Failure analysis in brittle fracturing materials
On the basis of many years of experience with failure events, Fraunhofer IWM has developed concepts for characterizing and analyzing failure in brittle materials such as glass and silicon. These concepts have been used many times on glass components for automotive applications, for architecture and in solar power modules and solar cells for determining the causes of failure. Tests are performed on single panes, domestic glass, solar wafers and solar cells and on complete units such as windows, complex glazing systems and solar modules that have been damaged or broken either during manufacture or later during use. These tests provide conclusions as to the mechanism of the breakage, the causes of failure, initial damage and how the failure developed. Identifying the causes of failure gives customers valuable insight into the development of manufacturing processes with low failure rates and into improving the mechanical properties of products during their end use.