Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Relative stress in Tack and Full Fused Glass

There is a view that there will be less stress in the glass after a full fuse than a tack fuse firing.

This view may have its origin in the difficulties in getting an adequate anneal of tack fused pieces and the uncritical use of already programmed schedules. There are more difficulties in annealing a tack fused piece than one that has all its elements fully incorporated by a flat fuse. This does not mean that by nature the tack fused piece will include more stress. Only that more care is required.

Simply put, a full fuse has all its components fully incorporated and is almost fully flat, meaning that only one thickness exists.  The annealing can be set for that thickness without difficulty or concern about the adequacy of the anneal due to unevenness, although there are some other factors that affect the annealing such as widely different viscosities, exemplified by black and white.

However, tack fused annealing is much more complicated.  You need to compensate for the fact that the pieces not fully fused tend to react to heat changes in different amounts, rather than as a single unit.  Square, angled and pointed pieces can accumulate a lot of stress at the points and corners. This needs to be relieved through the lengthening of the annealing process.

The uneven levels need to be taken into consideration too.  Glass is an inefficient conductor of heat and uneven layers need longer for the temperature to be equal throughout the piece.  The overlying layers shade the heat from the lower layers, making for an uneven temperature distribution across the lower layer.

The degree of tack has a significant effect on annealing too.  The less incorporated the tacked glass is, the greater care is needed in the anneal soak and cool.  This is because the less strong the tack, the more the individual pieces react separately, although they are joined at the edges.

More information is given on these factors and how to deal with them in this post on annealing tack fused glass.

If you have taken all these factors into account, there will be no difference in the amount of stress in a flat fused piece and a tack fused one.  The only time you will get more stress in tack fused pieces is when the annealing is inadequate (assuming compatible glass is being used).