Past work has shown that water or acid soaking treatments can increase the mechanical strength of soda lime silicate (SLS) glasses. In this work, we show that acid leaching treatments result in an increase in the apparent crack resistance of the acid-leached surface of SLS glass during indentation. Vickers indentation tests in controlled environments show a humidity dependence of radial cracking, suggesting that the transport of water through the leached layer plays a critical role in the propagation of cracks to the glass surface. Molecular dynamics simulations with reactive force fields indicate that the leached surface layer can undergo pressure-induced mechanochemical reactions during indentation, which increases the bridging oxygen connectivity in the silica network of the leached layer. Such structural changes can hinder transport of water molecules from the environment to the subsurface crack tip. Based on experimental observations and simulation results, a new hypothesis is proposed that mechanochemical restructuring in the leached layer in response to the applied load may lower the transport kinetics of molecular water to critical flaws, resulting in an apparent enhancement in the crack resistance of the acid-leached surface of SLS glass.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry