Glass & Polymers
Glass in the building sector is one of the focus points of the Institute; in particular encompassing material characterisation, optimisation of production processes as well as the experimental and numerical examination of the load-bearing behaviour of building parts
On the micro-mechanical level, material specific properties such as scratch resistance and fracture behavior, edge strength, nickel sulphide induced spontaneous fractures and permanent fatigue behavior of glass and other brittle materials are examined. With regards to production processes, research activities include optimisation of thermal tempering, product tracing with glass markings, optical detection of nickel sulphide and the analysis and evaluation of the anisotropy of tempered glass. Examples of current research on the lad-bearing behavior of building parts are dynamic shock incidents and thermo-mechanical stress of glazing as well as the use of thin glass in the field of photovoltaics and solar thermal energy.
A closer look at glass building parts highlights that it is no longer sufficient to consider the material glass alone. Due to the brittle fracture behavior of glass, various polymers in the form of compound or contact materials are used. The characterisation of these materials and laminated glass under consideration of load duration and temperature influences is another focus of the Institute. Currently, different polymer interlayer of laminated glass and their behavior after glass breakage as well as the extraordinary stress caused by explosion pressure waves are examined. In addition, several projects concerning contact materials and adhesives are being carried out.
The Institute has a well-equipped laboratory at its disposal for experimental research. Worth highlighting are a universal testing machine with climate chamber, a universal surface tester, a rheometer and various photoelastic measuring devices to determine the internal stress of glass.
The Institute's vision of linking theory and practice is illustrated by the integration in manifold approval procedures and standardisation activities in the field of glass and polymers in the building sector.