Surface Tensile Strength and Hertzian Fracture Resistance of Patterned Acid-Etched Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patterned acid-etched glasses are frequently used in horizontal glass surfaces that may be walked on, such as floors and staircase treads. These glasses provide useful antislip properties, but the foot traffic cause contact stresses and ageing mechanisms that are poorly understood and can affect the strength of the acid-etched glass. This study explores these strength-reducing effects by undertaking nondestructive and destructive evaluations of two acid-etched glasses with geometrically different surface patterns and comparing their mechanical performance to unetched float glass. In particular, residual surface stress, Hertzian fracture resistance, and fractographic characteristics are determined for each glass type. The surface tensile strength of the glasses is also evaluated by means of destructive flexural tests before and after artificial ageing. The flexural tests reveal that the ridge areas of the acid-etched surface patterns are more susceptible to the formation of digs and deeper surface flaws and are therefore weaker than both the valley areas of the acid-etched pattern and the surface of the unetched float glass. Correspondingly, the acid-etched glass with the highest proportion of ridges was more susceptible to ageing-induced flaws and had the lowest surface tensile strength. The contact (Hertzian) fracture resistance was also significantly affected by the presence of a surface pattern in the acid-etched glass; specifically, the lowest contact strengths were recorded for hard body contact on the ridges of the pattern. The fracture phenomena and new data presented in this paper provide useful insights on the long-term performance of etched patterned glass. The findings can provide the bases for real-world design decisions and for glass forensics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04023015
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2023


  • Acid-etched glass
  • Ageing
  • Foot traffic
  • Frosted glass
  • Glass fracture interpretation
  • Hard-body contact strength
  • Hertzian fracture
  • Patterned glass
  • Strength


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface Tensile Strength and Hertzian Fracture Resistance of Patterned Acid-Etched Glass'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this