The Fracture of Glass: Past, Present, and Future


Member, The American Ceramic Society.


This paper presents a summary of brittle fracture in silicate glasses. In it is discussed our current knowledge of the fracture mechanisms, what studies are ongoing, and what still remains unknown. The paper presents a historical perspective of the research into glass fracture including an annotated bibliography of key publications. Several key points include the susceptibility of silicate glasses to environmentally enhanced crack growth, the quantitative nature of the markings left on the fracture surface by a growing crack, the issue of crack arrest at low stresses, and recent work on the atomistic modeling of the fracture process. The paper concludes with a summary of both what we know, and what is yet to be learned about the important topic of glass fracture.