, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 275-283

Strength of glass (a review)

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After defining the termglass, brief consideration is given to the theories of glass structure which have been propounded. That glass, in practice, is very much weaker than its theoretical strength predicts is established, and the prime factor for this is shown to be the surface condition of the glass. Surface defects which are accentuated by heat treatment or other processes are considered, and the effects of the structural state, loading, and water and other liquids are dealt with. Methods of measuring the strength of glass are discussed and techniques of strength reinforcement, particularly in respect of producing a flaw-free surface and protecting it against subsequent damage, in the light of current knowledge are indicated. Many possible techniques for achieving strengthening have been postulated in the literature and some of these have now been commercially applied. Particularly, thermal and chemical toughening processes — the latter including ion-diffusion techniques recently developed — are reviewed. Where possible, references to the original papers and patents are provided. The references given, whilst not comprehensive, will permit a wider study of the subject.