Thin glass sheets may be manufactured using a two-part process in which a sheet is first cast and then subsequently reheated and drawn to a required thickness. The latter redrawing process typically results in a sheet with non-uniform thickness and with smaller width than the cast glass block. Experiments suggest that the loss of width can be minimized and the non-uniformities can be essentially confined to thickening at the sheet edges if the heater zone through which the glass is drawn is made very short. We present a three-dimensional mathematical model for the redraw process and consider the limits in which (i) the heater zone is short compared with the sheet width, and (ii) the sheet thickness is small compared with both of these length scales. We show that, in the majority of the sheet, the properties vary only in the direction of drawing and the sheet motion is one-dimensional, with two-dimensional behaviour and the corresponding thick edges confined to boundary layers at the sheet extremities. We present numerical solutions to this boundary-layer problem and demonstrate good agreement with experiment, as well as with numerical solutions to the full three-dimensional problem. We show that the final thickness at the sheet edge scales with the inverse square root of the draw ratio, and explore the effect of tapering of the ends to identify a shape for the initial preform that results in a uniform rectangular final product.
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