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The strength of aged glass

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Datsiou, K 


Glass is known for its excellent durability, but the strength of glass is very sensitive to the characteristics of its surface, which is known to accumulate damage during its service life. There is however, a lack of strength data on weathered or aged glass, particularly on thermally or chemically treated glass. In this study a carefully calibrated sand trickling test is used to produce surface damage equivalent to erosive action of 20 years of natural weathering on different types of glass: soda-lime-silica annealed, soda-lime-silica fully toughened and aluminosilicate chemically toughened. The soda-lime-silica glass specimens are tested destructively in their as-received and artificially aged form in a conventional coaxial double ring set-up, while the alumino-silicate chemically toughened specimens are tested in an improved coaxial double ring set-up. Fractography is subsequently used to identify and measure the critical flaw size on each specimen. The strength data are analysed statistically and the design strengths for each glass type are obtained. It is found that all glasses suffer a loss in strength after artificial ageing, with fully toughened glass providing the best post-aged performance. It was also found that the degree of toughening in the glass affects the erosion resistance, with chemically toughened glass outperforming the other glasses in this respect.



4005 Civil Engineering, 40 Engineering

Journal Title

Glass Structures & Engineering

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Volume Title


EPSRC (1328338)
EPSRC, Eckersley o' Callaghan, Onassis Foundation