Although it is rare, there have been many occasions where glass has broken spontaneously, with no apparent cause.
This phenomenon, which we call ‘spontaneous glass breakage’ occurs solely with toughened (or tempered) glass and can be triggered by a number of preventable issues.
Read on to learn more about how you can prevent your glass from breaking spontaneously.
During transport and installation, glass panels are very susceptible to nicks and chips. These nicks and chips often don’t cause immediate breakage; however, they can lead to spontaneous glass breakage overtime. This is caused by stress concentrations developing around the nicks and chips as a result of glass expansion and contraction.
The best way to avoid installation damage is to hire a professional to install your glass windows and doors. They will understand how to best transport and install the glass panel to ensure no damage occurs throughout the process.
Spontaneous glass breakage can also be triggered by thermal stressors on the glass. Thermal stress occurs when the centre of a glazing unit becomes warmer than the outer edge of the thermal unit. This causes the centre of the glass to expand, resulting in the infliction of a tensile force that causes breakage.
Thermal stress occurs most commonly in glass that absorbs heat and solar radiation. This includes tinted, low-e and reflective glass. The best way to avoid thermal stress is to avoid installing these types of glass panels in locations that are exposed to large amounts of direct sunlight. A good rule of thumb is to avoid installing them anywhere where there is more sun than shade coverage.
Ensuring the framing around your glass windows or doors has a high heat capacity and leaves space for the glass to expand will help too.
Additionally, simply keeping your blinds or curtains open on sunny days will minimise the occurrence of thermal stress breakages too. Blinds and curtains often reflect heat and sunlight back into the windows causing them to absorb more warmth.
Accidental inclusions of nickel sulphide can also cause spontaneous glass breakage. These inclusions are caused by stainless steel remnants from fabrication machinery falling into the glass. The nickel sulphide in these remnants changes shape and structure, which puts stress on the glass and can lead to breakage.
The best way to avoid such defects is to ensure you are sourcing your glass from a reputable fabrication facility. They will have procedures in place to ensure nickel sulphide inclusions are minimised.
Whether you’re looking to avoid spontaneous glass breakage or require assistance after it occurs, get in contact with Magic Glass.
Our experienced Glaziers always take necessary precautions to prevent the occurrence of spontaneous glass breakage and our state-of-the-art fabrication facility ensures that all our glass products are manufactured to the highest safety and quality standards.