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Vulnerability of superheated steam-treated soda-lime-silica glass surface to ageing in ambient atmosphere

Title data

Roy, Barsheek ; Rosin, Andreas ; Gerdes, Thorsten:
Vulnerability of superheated steam-treated soda-lime-silica glass surface to ageing in ambient atmosphere.
Event: Society of Glass Technology Annual Conference on Sustainability in Glass , 4th-6th September, 2023 , Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, UK.
(Conference item: Conference , Lecture )

Abstract in another language

The tendency of the glass surface to ubiquitous interaction with ambient atmosphere is one of the major causes of its vulnerability. A leached layer depleted of alkali ions constitutes the SiO2-rich surface skin of soda-lime-silica (SLS) glass [1]. The vital contribution of the silanol groups to the surface structure is characteristic of its vulnerability to atmospheric degradation [2].

The present study is an attempt to dig deeper into the susceptible nature of the SLS surface skin to ageing in ambient atmosphere. In order to induce a distinguishable surface modification, superheated steam was considered as a medium of interaction with the SLS surface in the vicinity of the glass transition temperature (Tg) for 30 minutes. This caused a significant enhancement in subsurface hardness by 30% relative to the untreated SLS specimen, up to a depth of 300 nm below the glass surface. The increment in hardness was attributed to the stuffing of the interstitial voids within the silica tetrahedral units by hydrogen-bonded water molecules, evidenced by attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy. The steam treated SLS specimen was subsequently exposed to the ambient laboratory atmosphere at a temperature around 20 °C and relative humidity of 60-65%, for 1 week — referred to as ambient ageing. We discovered that the ambient ageing was accompanied by a substantial decrease in subsurface hardness, that was statistically significant. Surface structural studies by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated the condensation of vicinal silanols. The decrease in subsurface hardness by ageing was attributed to the loss of the stuffed water molecules within the interstitial voids either to the outer atmosphere or dissipation to the bulk of the silicate network.

The vulnerability of the glass surface may be expressed by the distribution of the intertetrahedral voids of depths on the order of 450-650 picometer [2]. The detrimental effect of these voids has been corroborated in this work, with respect to the susceptibility of the steam treated glass surface to ageing in ambient atmosphere. The vulnerability of the surface to atmospheric degradation is arguably associated with the sustainability of glasses.

1. Roy B., Rosin A., Gerdes T., Schafföner S. Revealing the surface structural cause of scratch formation on soda-lime-silica glass. Sci Rep 12, 2681 (2022).
2. Roy B., Baier F., Rosin A., Gerdes T., Schafföner S. Structural characterization of the near-surface region of soda-lime-silica glass by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Int J Appl Glass Sci. 14, 229-239 (2023).

Further data

Item Type: Conference item (Lecture)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Superheated steam; soda-lime-silica; glass surface; hardness; ageing
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science
Research Institutions > Research Units > Keylab Glass Technology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 600 Technology
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 08:36
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2023 08:36