"In order to improve the strength of a glass part (flat display, window, lens, fiber, etc.), most investigations so far were devoted to thermal and chemical surface treatments aimed at generating compressive stresses at the surface. The DAMREG project focuses on the incidence of the glass composition and atomic network structure on the mechanical properties, and specifically on the cracking and fracture behavior, and is based on the experience and expertise of the PI on the structure-property relationships in glass science. This project proposes to address the fundamental issue of glass brittleness in a new paradigm of thinking, questioning the usefulness of the standard fracture toughness parameter, with emphasis on the surface flaw generation process (multiscale approach), and aims at determining novel routes to improve the mechanical performance of glass further promoting innovative applications. DAMREG involves revisiting the fundamental fracture mechanics concepts, the preparation of novel glass compositions, and nanoscale physico-chemical and mechanical characterization. So far most glass fracture studies focused on the crack tip behavior, and were limited to vitreous silica. A crack acts as a lever arm for the stress so that the singular stress at the tip is proportional to the crack length and inversely proportional to the square-root of the tip radius (provided this has a meaning). Since a crack can hardly be cured or shielded at ambient, the presence of a sharp crack is already detrimental. On the contrary to this approach, DAMREG is aimed at understanding the crack initiation process, and the main objective is to define some roadmap to design glasses (composition, thermo-mechanical treatments etc.) with better damage (initiation) resistance."
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