Critical issues in glass chemical strengthening

In structural glazing applications a growing attention is reserved to glass chemical strengthening by ion exchange. Superior optical quality and no limitations in thickness and shapes are the most appealing characteristics of this strengthened glass together with significantly higher level of surface compression that can be introduced by ion exchange. Drawbacks related to consistency of strength either initially and during service life will be discussed, crack initiation tendency will be discussed in connection to glass chemical composition for both soda lime silicate and Sodium aluminosilicate glass. Processing drawbacks related to glass surface chemical attack together with effects on glass strengthening performances due to salt bath contamination will be discussed.