Failure Analysis

Glass failure analysis or fracture analysis is a powerful tool combining the techniques of glass fractography, laboratory analysis and microscopy to diagnose and determine the root cause of a glass breakage or glass product failure. 

Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) provide a comprehensive glass failure analysis service. This can include laboratory inspection and analysis, on-site investigation, auditing, inspection and expert witness support, as required by the failure scenario. We provide full investigation of broken or failed items as well as preventative  quality assessment and physical and mechanical performance testing services to ensure proper due-diligence before products are placed upon the market or following concerns or complaints over the performance of existing products.

Please contact us, or make an enquiry using the form above, if you have any bespoke requirements, require further information, or would like a quote for analysis.

For further information, please see:

Introduction to Glass Fracture/Failure Analysis

There are many reasons why glass might break, including design problems, glass quality, manufacturing or processing issues, material interaction, handling or abuse, and breakages may occur at any point from manufacture to use by the end consumer.

Circumstances surrounding a glass breakage can often be unclear - therefore, by using the evidence present within the broken sample to diagnose the true cause of glass failure can help to eliminate future problems and resolve disputes, whether between manufacturer and supplier, or when the end user has experienced glass failure. An expert witness service can also be offered in the case of legal or civil disputes.

The benefits of using our specialist glass services include specialist knowledge in glass, independence, confidentiality, speed and flexibility.

Please note: it is essential that all pieces of broken glass are retained in order to allow a full investigation to be conducted.

Issues Investigated

Glass Technology Services Ltd investigate a wide range of product failures and related issues. Including, but not limited to:

  • Glass breakages and fracture diagnosis;
  • A wide range of failure types, including those due to:
    • Nickel Sulphide (NiS) Inclusions, commonly referred to as "Spontaneous Glass Failure" or "Spontaneous Glass Breakage";
    • Glass impacts and suspected vandalism;
    • Thermal failures and thermal shock;
    • Impact;
    • Internal pressure;
    • Vertical load;
  • Product failures, cracking and fractures;
  • Glass Surface Delamination  (of pharmaceutical vials, ampoules, bottles and syringes);
  • Misting, Bloom and Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) failures;
  • Component interactions;
  • Closures and leakages ;
  • Inadequate product performance.

Investigative Techniques

Depending on the nature of the product and the failure, a range of techiques are used to investigate and diagnose the cause of failure, including:

  • Reconstruction of failed, broken, articles;
  • Interpretation of fracture patterns; 
  • Analysis of fracture origins;
  • Physical testing of intact samples;
  • Assessment of the product design;
  • Optical Microscopy;
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM); including composition of surface deposits, inclusions and contamination by EDS;
  • Composition Analysis .

Products Investigated

Analysis for a wide range of products, including

  • Architectual glass and glazing , including toughened, laminated and annealed glass;
  • Glass packaging, bottles and jars , including champagnes, wines, beers, non-carbonated drinks and jars; 
  • Domestic glass , including table glasses, ovenware, cookware, bowls, vases and jugs;
  • Pharmaceutical packaging , including glass vials, ampoules, bottles, cartridges and syringes;
  • Automotive glass , for cars, commercial and industrial industrial vehicles;
  • Furniture and Fittings , including tables, mirrors, shower screens and other fixtures and fittings;
  • Scientific glassware , including beakers, conical flasks, burettes and tubes;
  • Technical glass , including specialist glass components, assemblies, glass solders, semi-conductors and insulators;
  • Industrial equipment glass , such as reaction chambers and pressure vessels.

Further information, Resources and Case-studies

For further information, our case-studies provide detailed examples of some of the real and complex scenarios where our expert knowledge, experience and range of analytical competencies have determined the causes of failure and enabled the client to take informed decisions and any appropriate action to take:

Please contact us, or make an enquiry using the form above, if you have any bespoke requirements, require further information, or would like a quote for analysis.

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