Analysis of Strength Variation in Glass Due to Ion Exchange
The main goal of this project was to compare the changes in statistical variation and Weibull characteristics of the strength of glass rods as modified by heat treatment with and without an ion exchange bath. Several sample groups of 30 sodium borosilicate glass rod specimens were heat treated at various temperatures in air and in a potassium nitrate salt bath to induce an ion exchange process. All samples were then tested to failure in 4-point bending to assess the resulting Modulus of Rupture (MOR). Statistical analysis techniques and Weibull analysis were used to study the variations which occur within and between strength distributions of each sample group. A smaller sampling of test groups was subjected to fractographic analysis to study the effect of ion exchange on fracture features. The data shows that the ion exchange process caused a statistically significant increase in the strength of the glass rods. Samples which were heat treated do not show any significant changes in average strength. The fractographic analysis suggests that no changes in fracture morphology occurred as a result of ion exchange process, and that the critical flaw size population was not significantly different.