Damage analysis of glass and silicon

© Benjamin Blankenburg/Fraunhofer IWM

The Fraunhofer IWM has decades of experience in damage analysis of brittle materials such as glass and silicon. We work closely with our customers as a trusted partner.

Our methodological approach to damage analysis has been applied frequently, resulting in improvements, new developments, and increased product safety.

How to work with the Fraunhofer IWM

Damage analysis of glass and glass components


We clarify fracture formation, fracture patterns and causes of damage through damage analysis of layers and complete assemblies that were damaged or broken during production or use. These include:

  • Float glass
  • Laminated safety glass
  • Tempered glass
  • Semi-tempered glass
  • Technical glass (measuring cuvettes)
  • Quartz glass
  • Domestic glass
  • Glass ceramics
  • Automotive glazing
  • Architectural glazing

We also perform load tests on components in the laboratory as required for damage analysis.

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Benefits for our customers


We determine the causes and provide evidence for fracture patterns, formation mechanisms, stresses, possible unforeseen circumstances, loads, overload, material defects, and preliminary damage.

You thus obtain clarity on the causes and can take targeted remedial measures, such as changing materials, changing the glass production and finishing processes, reduction of stress or adjusting or altering the design or dimensions.

You also receive information on adjustments in the manufacturing processes and improvements to the mechanical resistance of the products, as well as on cost savings in production.

We work with you to perform studies to improve process steps in order to lower the loss ratio and minimize the risk of the occurrence of damage. In special cases, we make use of numerical simulation methods for optimization.

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Damage analysis of silicon components


Damage, strength and process analyses similar to those used for glass. We include product-specific manufacturing steps in the analysis.

Examples of components:

  • Wafers
  • Solar cells
  • Solar panels
  • Optical lenses (e.g. IR lenses)
  • Microsystems technology and precision components

Examples of production steps:

  • Machining processes (sawing, sanding, polishing)
  • Chemical milling
  • Soldering
  • Coating
  • Handling
  • Sintering
  • Printing
  • Laminating

Application also for other crystalline optical materials like germanium, calcium fluoride or zinc sulfide.


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