Our approach is to fracture glass samples under controlled conditions in order to elucidate fracture mechanisms. Specimen
- Worldwide, more than $100B of glass is made every year as flat glass, fiber glass, container glass, and specialty glass. Glasses fail by subcritical crack growth (fatigue) from small pre-existing defects, so measurement methods are needed to evaluate crack growth processes.
- Prior NIST work on the reliability of glass was used in the design of glass for the National Ignition Facility, a $4B project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
- Prior NIST work on proof-testing was used to assure glass fiber reliability for communication applications and glass window reliability in spacecraft and aircraft.
- New applications requiring methods to assess crack growth and its effect on reliability include glass seals in fuel cells and silica glass coatings on electronic components.