LFI undertakes the forensic investigation of incidents involving the failure or damage of glass components, products and structures.

Glass materials are available in a diverse range of compositions and forms, and are used for applications including:

  • Architectural glass and glazing
  • Packaging, e.g. bottles, jars and containers
  • Furniture and domestic goods, e.g. tables
  • Industrial equipment, containers and vessels

By applying its expertise in materials science and engineering, LFI investigates the failure or damage of glass components, products and structures. 

Investigations may require the reconstruction of fractured glass products, and often the detailed examination of the glass fracture patterns using a stereoscopic microscope in order to determine the origin of the failure. 

Once the origin of the failure or damage has been established, further microscopic examination, testing and/or characterisation may be conducted to identify the cause(s) of the failure. 

Typical causes or factors in such failures may include:

  • A materials or manufacturing-related defect, such as Nickel Sulphide (NiS) inclusions, voids or moulding defects.
  • Damage, either unintended or malicious
  • Mechanical failure, e.g. excessive or unintended loading.
  • Improper design or materials selection

Some examples of the types of incidents we investigate are:

  1. The ‘spontaneous’ failure of toughened glazing due to the presence of Nickel Sulphide inclusions
  2. The fracture of a glass cafetiere container due to impact damage
  3. The characterisation of glass fragments found on clothing and at the scene of a crime
  4. The mechanical damage to a glass coating of an industrial reaction vessel
  5. The fracture of a wine bottle due to corkscrew-related surface damage


Get in touch

However, this is only a very small sample.  Please contact our expert team to discuss any incidents that fall within this or any of our other specialist areas.

Alernatively, you can find our details on our contact us page.

Please contact our expert team using the contact form below

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