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

© 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.


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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© 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

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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