Exploding glass shower screens and pool fences have been covered by news programs, newspapers and social media. It appears as though the safety glass explodes for no reason although this is not entirely true. In this post today we are going to dive into the phenomenon of exploding glass.
Exploding Glass Media Coverage
This exploding glass story is from back in 2015. This was aimed at both shower screen and pool fence "Safety Glass" from dodgy overseas manufactures. Now whilst the story does take aim at 2 particular Australian suppliers of these overseas imported glass. There are many factors that go into why glass explodes which we will go into below.
What is safety glass
There are two main types of safety glass. One is toughened glass and the other is laminated glass. Both of them have their advantages and it comes down to budget and personal needs.
Laminated glass prevents the glass from shattering into shards when broken. The glass has a flexible web like interlayer which helps to block out UV rays and provide added security.
Toughedned glass is four to five times stronger than tradition glass of the same thickness. This glass will shatter into small blunt(ish) pieces to minimize damage to you in the event of the glass breaking
Australian Standard Safety Glass
Before we delve completely into why safety glass can explode it is always recommended by all reputible glaziers to use Australian Standard Safety Glass for your shower screens, pool fences and wall dividers.
Always check for these logos
Why safety glass explodes
When it comes to safety glass exploding, it is typically toughened glass that it happens to. Laminated glass will crack but retain its shape due to the web like interlayer holding it together.
Broken toughened glass shower screen
According to glass expert Mark Meshulam Toughened glass has a huge amount of energy stored within it and all of that energy is trying to get out. During manufacturing of toughened glass microscopic pebbles (called nickel sulfide inclusions) can sometimes be trapped inside the glass. As the glass and pebbles expand and contract with the heat in the bathroom the pebbles can weaken the glass causing it to exlode.
Mark also stated that the glass can also shatter due to poor installation. It is always recommended to use a trusted and well reviewed glazier when having glass repaired or installed.
Is toughened glass dangerous
The short answer is no. Toughened glass is designed to shatter into smaller pieces in order to reduce the amount of harm done to people that are near it when it breaks. It is why it is used as shower screens as you do not have clothing on to aid in your protection in the even that glass breaks.
An easy analogy for toughened glass is to think of it as a compressed spring. Whilst compressed it is very strong and cannot be bent or damaged easily. If for some reason the edges around the top or the bottom of the spring making it compressed have a crack or become weak the energy from the spring will be able to explode through them.
The same is for toughened glass, the edge of the glass are what is holding the energy inside. Once they become weak or get a crack, the glass breaks.
Glass One only use reputiple brands that comply with Australian Standards. We are experts in glass repair and can answer any questions you may have about safety glass. If you have had a glass shower screen, pool fence or divider explode speak to our staff today on 0436 452 771 or alternatively you can fill in our online booking form. One of our friendly staff will be in contact with you in regards to your query.