The influence of relative humidity on microhardness, stress intensity, crack resistance, and sub-critical crack growth of an alkaline earth aluminosilicate glass has been studied by Vickers indentation. Quenched and annealed glasses with a wide range of fictive temperatures (ΔTf ≈ 130 K) are compared in order to determine the influence of the thermal history on these properties. Vickers hardness is found to be essentially unaffected by the environmental conditions, while the stress intensity factor (fracture toughness) and the crack resistance decrease significantly with increasing humidity. The glasses with lower fictive temperature exhibit a larger change in the micromechanical properties when comparing wet and dry conditions. Finally, it is found that sub-critical crack growth is larger in the low fictive temperature glasses, indicating a diminished resistance against fatigue and stress corrosion.
Journal of Non-crystalline Solids, 2013, Vol 379, p. 161-168