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Surface Devitrification and the Growth of Cristobalite in Borofloat® (Borosilicate 8330) Glass

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Borofloat® (borosilicate 8330) glass is an important type of inorganic glass, both scientifically and commercially. During prolonged heat treatment of this glass above its glass transition temperature of 525°C, heterogeneous nucleation, and growth of cristobalite crystals occur. The kinetics and morphology of this crystal growth have been studied for heat treatment temperatures at and above 660°C. The activation energy for crystal growth is estimated to be 185±10 kJ/mol. This is attributed to the diffusion of boron, rather than sodium, being the rate-limiting step within the borosilicate framework. Contact with the atmosphere is shown to initiate the nucleation of cristobalite crystals, while deposition of a thin silicon nitride surface coating on the glass helps to prevent this nucleation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1551-2916.2010.03793.x

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Mechanics Processes and Control—Twente (IMPACT) and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands 2: Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, U.K.

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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