Cutting glass, flat glass, laminated safety glass and hollow glass

© Photo Kai-Uwe Wudtke / Fraunhofer IWM

Thermal cutting of glass

In contrast to conventional cutting processes, in which micro-fissures form in the break edge, with this process glass can be cut with almost no defects. This is achieved by introducing deliberate thermal stresses into the glass. Local stress fields, which are used to guide a separating crack through the glass with contour precision, are typically generated using laser light. Lasers can apply heat controllably to exactly the right position and with exact timing, which makes them an ideal tool for this task.

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Cutting of laminated safety glass

With our competences in materials mechanics in glass and plastics, in optical laser light guidance and in evaluating the mechanical properties of materials in manufacturing processes, we have
devised a new method of cutting laminated safety glass (VSG). In this method the internal PVB polymer is first cut using the laser light
and then the glass is cutted. This allows new scope for the design of cutted laminated safety glass.

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Properties of laser-supported laminated safety glass cutting

PVB polymer is cut by laser beam

Cutting of the PVB polymer within the laminate is independent of the glass cutting process

Process offers new possibilities for creating customer specific contours and also opens up the way to automated cutting of laminated safety glass models

Process is integrated into a laminated safety glass cutting unit of the company HEGLA
 

Laboratory equipment and tools

Various laser sources and wavelengths

Mechanical testing methods (tension test, bending, double ring)

Microscopic analysis processes (light microscopy,
scanning electron microscopy)

Simulation (finite elements, particle-based numerical methods)

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© Photo Achim Käflein / Fraunhofer IWM

Application examples

Fraunhofer IWM has many years of experience in designing cutting processes for brittle materials. Various methods have been developed in our well-equipped laboratories for thermally cutting different types of glass and laminated safety glass. Particular emphasis has been given at each stage of development to the adaptation of the process to the specific material to be cut, in order to realize as much of the potential of the material as possible. At
the same time, the demands of implementing such methods in an industrial environment have been taken into account to a high level, resulting in a series of functioning modules for production
machinery.

We assist our customers by developing and implementing new techniques, we perform feasibility tests and develop the necessary
know-how to ensure that they master the special cutting process to a sufficient degree.

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