Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Tanguy Rouxel

article posted 22 Feb 2016

Tanguy Rouxel

is a Mechanical Engineer (ENSAM, Paris), a Doctor in Ceramic Science (ENSCI, Limoges) and full Professor of Glass Science and Solid Mechanics at the University of Rennes 1.

After obtaining an engineer diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, TR gained his B. Sc (French DEA) from the University of Paris XIII, and his Ph.D (French Doctorate) from the University of Limoges. After graduating he became a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Government Industrial Research Institute of Nagoya (then the NIRIN, Japan) for one year and a half. He then held a position as a CNRS Researcher in Ceramics Science for four years, during which he spent several periods of study leave in the department of Materials Science at the University of Tokyo. In 1997, he was appointed Professor at the University of Rennes, where he founded a laboratory (LARMAUR) devoted to the study of surface mechanics problems, and flow and fracture in advanced glasses and ceramics. He is the author of approximately 150 papers in scientific journals, 4 patents, and 5 book chapters. He is also an associate Editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.

Prizes and awards

French ceramic society prize, 1992.

CNRS Bronze medal, 1996.

Nominated to the Institute Universitaire de France, 2001.

Medal of the City of Rennes, 2001.

Asian Young Ceramist Conference in Tokai Award (AYCECT, Japan), 2006.

Yvan Peyches Award, French Academy of Sciences, 2007.

Professor Brahm Prakash Visiting Chair, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, 2009.

Adjunct Professor of the Chinese Academy of Science, SICCAS, Shanghai, China, 2009.

Otto Schott Research Award for "Outstanding research achievements in glass science", 2010.

Advanced Grant of the European Research Council "Pushing the Frontier of Glass Brittleness", 2012

Indentation-cracking behavior and structural characteristics:
Copper-borate, titanium-silicate, oxynitride, and chalcogenide glasses

Tanguy Rouxel

Physics Institute (UMR UR1-CNRS 6251) - Mechanics and Glasses
University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France.

The indentation-cracking behavior of glasses from different chemical systems including lead- and zinc-copper-borate, sodium-titanium-silicate, rare-earth-oxynitride, and chalcogenide glasses, is revisited in the light of structural characteristics and elastic properties. These glasses exhibit a great diversity of structural features, with much different atomic bonding character, atomic packing density (Cg), crosslinking degree, average coordination, and network energy to name a few key parameters. As Cg increases, the indentation-cracking pattern evolves toward more lateral and radial cracking, and Palmqvist cracking prevails, so that the available mechanical energy might dissipate through the formation of more and longer radial cracks.

Copper borate glasses, with large packing density and Poisson's ratio (up to 0.33) provide a remarkable illustration of this evolution. On the contrary, sodium-titanium-silicate (with Poisson's ratio as small as 0.18) turn out to fall in the property range where the driving force for indentation cracking, whatever the cracking pattern of concern (radial, median, lateral), is relatively limited and exhibit a good indentation damage resistance. Several unexpected trends are observed. For instance, chalcogenide glasses are relatively soft but extremely brittle, and silicon oxynitride glasses, in spite of a relatively high crosslinking exhibit a large Poisson's ratio, which is favorable to lateral-radial cracking. This suggests some interesting structural peculiarities in these latter systems.


This presentation is based on published works by S. Deriano, JP. Guin, P. Sellappan, G. Scannel, and ZY Yao thanks to fruitful collaboration with Prof. L. Huang (RPI, USA), Prof. L. Wondraczek (Univ. Jena, Germany), and Dr. A. Sharafat (Linnæus University, Sweden), and on researches supported by the European Research Council, under the Advanced Grant 320506.


1. G. Scannell, L. Huang, and T. Rouxel, " Elastic properties and indentation cracking behavior of Na2O-TiO2-SiO2 glasses", J. Non-Cryst. Sol., 429, 129-142 (3015).

2. Z.Y. Yao, D. Moncke, E.I. Kamitsos, P. Houizot, F. Célarié, T. Rouxel, and L. Wondraczek, "Structure and mechanical properties of copper-lead and copper-zinc borate glasses", J. Non-Cryst. Sol., 455, 55-68 (2016).

3. P. Sellappan, T. Rouxel, F. Celarie, E. Becker, P. Houizot, and R. Conradt, « Composition dependence of indentation deformation and indentation cracking in glass », Acta Mat., 61 5949-5965 (2013).

4. P. Sellapan, A. Sharafat, V. Keryvin, P. Houizot, T. Rouxel, J. Grins, and S. Esmaeilzadeh, "Elastic properties and surface damage resistance of nitrogen-rich (Ca,Sr)-Si-O-N glasses", J. Non-Cryst. Sol., 356 2120-26 (2010).

5. S. Dériano, T. Rouxel, M. Lefloch and B. Beneu, "Structural and mechanical properties of alkali-alkaline earth-silicate glasses", J. Phys. Chem. Glasses, 45 37-44 (2004).

6. J-P. Guin, T. Rouxel, J-C. Sangleboeuf, I. Melscoët, J. Lucas, "Hardness, toughness and scratchability of Ge-Se chalcogenide glasses", J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 85 1545-1552 (2002).

7. T. Rouxel, "Driving force for indentation cracking in glass: composition, pressure and temperature dependence", Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 373, 20140140 (2015).