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Why Do Pharmaceutical Glass Containers Break: The Underestimated Power of Strength Testing and Fractography

Most times in our life we use products with little understanding of how and why the packaging was selected. We usually don’t think about the design specifications of the container and its crucial role in delivering the contents safely. It is only when a problem occurs that we dig deeper into the selection criteria and science that were used to specify the packaging system. In the pharmaceutical industry, glass is by far the dominant material used for the packaging of liquid and lyophilised drugs due to its impermeability and chemical inertness for drug product stability, transparency for ease of inspection, thermal stability for flexible use and processing, low extractables and leachables, and cost. The main focus of this paper is the reason for pharmaceutical glass containers fracture by Dan Haines, Florian Maurer and Uwe Rothhaar at Schott.