The widely held explanation for mechanical failure of silicate and silica glasses rests upon the existence of Griffith-flaw and associated free ion diffusion concepts used to model crack growth. However, this theory has consistently failed to provide complete agreement with the experimental results. This dilemma coupled with the reports of single-valued strengths in fibers cannot be rationalized by the modification of the intrinsic Griffith-flaw distribution to essentially a delta function.
It is for these reasons that the field-enhanced ion diffusion model has been introduced. The inclusion of a term for the electrostatic potential in the thin-film solution of Fick's second law has been shown to be consistent with the experimental results. Therefore, the effects on alkali ion migration as a consequence of the local variations in charge density that occur on the solution side of the glass/water interface play a direct role on the chemical corrosion mechanism. Thus chemistry which can modify the surface potential can alter the rate of aging of glass.
It has been found that the chemistry which has been used to modify the corrosion behavior of glass fibers can also alter composite properties. These modifications no doubt arise from changes in the interphase region.
We report on the effects of treatments on initial fiber strengths, aging resistance, and preliminary results of composite properties (made from our treated fibers).