• Impact failure in two silicates revealed by ultrafast, in situ, synchrotron X-ray microscopy

      Bourne, N. K.; email: neil.bourne@manchester.ac.uk; Mirihanage, W. U.; Olbinado, M. P.; Rack, A.; Rau, C. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2020-06-25)
      Abstract: To travel safely behind screens that can protect us from stones and hail, we must understand the response of glass to impact. However, without a means to observe the mechanisms that fail different silicate architectures, engineering has relied on external sensors, post-impact examination and best-guess to glaze our vehicles. We have used single and multi-bunch, X-ray imaging to differentiate distinct phases of failure in two silicates. We identified distinct micromechanisms, operating in tandem and leading to failure in borosilicate glass and Z-cut quartz. A surface zone in the amorphous glass densifies before bulk fracture occurs and then fails the block, whilst in quartz, fast cracks, driven down cleavage planes, fails the bulk. Varying the rate at which ejecta escapes by using different indenter tip geometries controls the failed target’s bulk strength. This opens the way to more physically based constitutive descriptions for the glasses allowing design of safer, composite panels by controlling the impulses felt by protective screens.