Glass Chemical Strengthening with Science and Experience

If your glass product would benefit from dramatically increased fracture strength, fatigue resistance, thermal shock resistance, and/or abrasion resistence, you should take a careful look at chemically strengthened glass from Saxon Glass Technologies.
The glass experts at Saxon may be able to provide 50 to 800% increases in design strength - using your current glass compositions.

Process Overview

What occurs during chemical strengthening?

Large K+ ions exchange sites with host Na+ ions in glass forcing surface into compression and creating a closure stress on cracks, there by increasing the strength and making it more difficult for new cracks to form. Furthermore, the surface compression all but eliminates problems of "delayed failure"; i.e. time-dependent weakening under load, and increases abrasion resistance. The ion exchange process is carried out at temperatures below the glass transition temperature, i.e., while glass is still nearly solid.

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Ionex® is suitable for most glasses, typically used in pharmaceutical, container, and cover glass for electronic devices. Increase usable strength by 50% to 800% over untreated glass.


Like Ionex®, Ion-Klad® is also suitable for most glasses, but offers a deeper compression case-depth for greater forgiveness to handling-generated surface flaws.


A chemically strengthened glass for use in transparent armor laminates. Exhibiting a modulus of rupture of nearly 1 GPa (~144,000 psi), Ion-ArmorTM offers superior performance over typical soda-lime silicate glass.
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Process Design

Conceptually, chemical strengthening is a simple process. In practice, the process is influenced by a number of factors, and the results vary considerably. It is often difficult to determine whether a particular treatment has produced the desired effect. This is because a quantification of glass abrasion during product manufacture, as well as during subsequent application, is difficult. Strength as measured by the average modulus of rupture (MOR) is often used to assess the effectiveness of a particular treatment, but the results can be misleading. One cannot design an appropriate treatment based only on average MOR, and while average MOR is useful as a quality control test, it must be used with caution and only in conjunction with other measurements, such as those which provide an indication of:
  • The depth of the compression layer - i.e. what is the case depth?
  • The magnitude of the surface compression stress.
  • A statistically meaningful description of the distribution of MOR values.
  • Some measure of the sensitivity of the strengthened glass to handling/abrasion/impact.

Figure 2-update

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About Us

Saxon Glass Technologies, Inc. was started in 1996 when a large glass maker came to the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in search of a solution to their glass strength problems. After the successful demonstration of trial runs, a shop was set up at the Ceramic Corridor Innovation Center to meet the new challenge from the New York State legislature to help with the economic growth of the region. Dr. Arun Varshneya, president and CEO of the company, is an educator-cum-entrepreneur who has over 45 years' experience in research on ion exchange strengthening, and has authored several key publications and patents dealing with the process. The company has grown in several areas where strengthened glass provides a more reliable and safe approach to product application. The scientific and engineering staff at Saxon understands the technical issues in producing consistent high-strength glasses and have developed processes for "optimized" ion exchange through which the time and cost of strengthening can be significantly reduced.

Dr. Arun K. Varshneya, emeritus professor of glass science and engineering, serves as the president.

Awards & Distinctions

Recent Awards:

  • Dr. Varshneya receives the Toledo Glass & Ceramics Award; delivers lecture entitled, “Strengthened Glasses”, Toledo OH, April 09, 2015.
  • Dr. Varshneya receives the 2015 Arthur L. Friedberg Memorial Lecture award; delivers a presentation entitled, “Principles of Glass Chemical Strengthening Science & Technology”, MS&T’15, Columbus OH, October 05, 2015.

Recent Presentations:

  • Made presentation to the Alfred Lions’ Club entitled, “No Tammy, there is no such thing as an unbreakable glass”, February 11, 2016, Alfred NY.
  • Dr. Varshneya delivers plenary lecture entitled, “ Chemical Strengthening of Glass” at the International Commission on Glass annual meeting, Bangkok (Thailand), September 22, 2015.
  • Conducted 6- hour short course entitled, “Instabilities in Glass”, to industrial participants and university students during the International Commission on Glass meeting, Bangkok (Thailand) Sept 20, 2015.

Recent Publications

  • “Buildup and relaxation of stress in chemically strengthened glass”, Arun K. Varshneya, Garrett A. Olson, Patrick K. Kreski and Prabhat K. Gupta, J. Non-Cryst. Sol. 427, p 91-97 (2015).
  • “Mechanical model to simulate buildup and relaxation of stress during glass chemical strengthening”, Arun K. Varshneya, J. Non-Cryst. Sol. 433, p 28-30 (2016).

Recent Patents

  • “Transparent armor systems, methods for making and methods for using”, Arun K. Varshneya and Patrick K. Kreski, US patent 9,162,426 B2 October 20, 2015.
  • “Method for making strengthened glass”, US patent 8,959,953 B2, February 24, 2015.
  • “Strengthened glass and curvature control”, Patrick K. Kreski, US2014/0178690. Being issued.

More Patents, Publications, and Presentations
Dr. Varshneya honored with the 2014 Distinguished Life Membership award of the American Ceramic Society at the annual meeting October 13, 2014, Pittsburgh PA.

Dr. David Green, president of the American Ceramic Society presenting the award to Dr. Varshneya

Dr. Varshneya, accepting the honor, pays tribute to his late father, Nathi Lal Varshneya (picture in the background).

Contact Us



  Saxon Glass Technologies, Inc. P.O. Box 575 200 N. Main St. Alfred, New York 14802