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June 22, 2020

Exploding Safety Glass

Glassone | Glass Repair | Brisbane & Ipswich

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 manufacturers. Now whilst the story does take aim at 2 particular Australian suppliers of this 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

The 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.

Toughened Glass

Toughened glass is four to five times stronger than a traditional 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

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Australian Standard Safety Glass

Before we delve completely into why safety glass can explode it is always recommended by all reputable glaziers to use Australian Standard Safety Glass for your shower screens, pool fences and wall dividers.

Australian Standard Logo

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Why does safety glass explode?

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

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 the 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 explode.

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 in shower screens as you do not have clothing on to aid in your protection in the event 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 become cracked or weak, the energy from the spring will be able to explode through them.

The same is for toughened glass, the edge of the glass is what is holding the energy inside. Once they become weak or get a crack, the glass breaks.

Glass One glass repairs in Brisbane and Ipswich

Glass One only uses reputable 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 at 0436 452 771 or alternatively, you can fill in our online booking form via the button at the top of the page. One of our friendly staff will be in contact with you in regard to your query.

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