Laboratory for failure analysis in the glass industry

Failed materials in the glass industry: beware of breakage!

What are the problems faced by manufacturers in the glass sector?

The glass industry is one of the few sectors whose manufacturing techniques are essentially based on craftsmanship. The non-standardization of production tools, the fragility of materials and the scarcity of know-how give the glass industry strong industrial constraints in the design of solid, innovative glass that respects health and environmental requirements.

Flat glass, hollow glass, fiberglass or crystal, the study of their characteristics will allow companies to better control their assembly, packaging and use. This technical challenge leads manufacturers and distributors in the glass sector to call upon service providers to assist them in controlling their materials, optimizing their production process and developing effective surface treatments.

The FILAB laboratory is generally solicited for two types of problems

– Interactions between the packaging and its environment (appearance of an external deposit or stain, wear, oxidation, etc.)

– Interactions between the packaging and its contents (migration phenomenon)

In the first case, the failure generally occurs after the product has been placed on the market, alerted by customer complaints, for example, requiring a high level of reactivity in the handling of analysis.

At FILAB, the investigation of this failure is built in a methodical way:

1.characterize the chemical composition of the deposit by SEM-FEG-EDX, XPS, TOF-SIMS, ICP-MS or GC-MS according to its nature (organic, mineral)

2.identify the origin of the deposit: verification of the conformity of the packaging, surface characterization, audit of the production process…

3.provide a detailed expertise and propose adapted solutions to avoid again the risks of failures: determination of the root cause, implementation of corrective and preventive actions, improvement of industrial processes, development of protective surface treatments of the packaging… 

Concerning the second problem, the health issues are more important. Indeed, the possible migrations between the glass packaging and its contents can present risks for the consumer or the final user. To analyze and anticipate these phenomena, FILAB performs aging tests and then analyzes the chemical behavior of the substances present by ICP-AES or ICP-MS. The analysis results and their interpretation allow our customers to assess the risks and chemical compatibility between the packaging material – in this case, glass – and its contents.

Both manufacturers and customers must therefore be vigilant in their manufacturing process in order to avoid failures related to the quality of the packaging or its use. Thus, controls upstream and downstream of the marketing will contribute to the quality of the final product.

"Glass" to infinity and beyond with FILAB

For many years, our laboratory has been offering its know-how in understanding and solving the problems of the glass industry. Our human and technical complementarity is a real asset for glass manufacturers.

Mineral chemistry, material chemistry, organic chemistry, so many skills requested by the glass industry and gathered today in a single place in our laboratory, guaranteeing reactivity, confidentiality and performance.

More than an analytical laboratory, FILAB supports you in all your R&D projects and industrial challenges in order to meet the evolutions of your sector.

Thomas GAUTIER Head of Materials Department
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