Wetting and sticking of soda-lime glass on two types of stainless steel as well as on platinum and vitreous carbon substrates are studied in a neutral gas atmosphere between 860 and 1200degreesC. Wetting is measured by the "transferred drop" version of the sessile drop technique, enabling fully isothermal spreading kinetics to be monitored. Sticking is investigated by measuring the temperature of glass drop detachment from the substrate during cooling below the vitreous transition temperature. Characterization of substrate and glass surfaces after separation is carried out using surface profilometry, atomic-force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. The character of molten glass wetting on metal (reactive or non-reactive) and the type of interactions ensuring ultimate wetting and adhesion (physical or chemical) are identified and discussed. The factors controlling glass spreading kinetics and those governing glass/steel sticking are also evidenced. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.