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The odd case of spontaneously shattering bathroom glass

Glass, sink, basin, shattered, photo.

This used to be black glass, now it’s a sinkless, shattered crazed basin and bench.

Who knew tempered glass could suddenly fracture and in some cases explosively?

We have a bathroom basin and countertop of moulded thick black glass. For about five years it was happy, then late one night this week, for no reason, it shattered — the sink fractured into 100 pieces and fell into the towels below. The countertop crazed from end to end even tossing a few cubes of cracked glass up to two meters away. Luckily no one was in the room. The new white dusty look was created by the crazing pattern, which slowly continued for the next few hours.  We could hear the odd crackling noise every now and again as the last of the tempered tension in the glass ebbed away.  Even far corners — away from the sink — broke off. It turns out this is a natural, rare phenomenon.
Shattered Glass countertop.

Exploding shower-screens, shelves, sinks, car windows, and patio tables?

Apparently this is probably due to a manufacturing fault that may lie unseen for up to thirty years before triggering. (More below). On one old discontinued site there are some 300 stories of glass spontaneously exploding between 2003-2012 . There is a mainstream news video and story here.

One four year old needed hospital care after a shower screen shattered, though luckily, people rarely get hurt, but it is disconcerting, and it’s easy to imagine how this could end very badly, especially in glass towers far above the ground.

Many people report that it sounds like a gunshot or car backfiring. So some people thought their house was being invaded (rather terrifying, I would think), others feared someone shot at them, or they were victims of a stray bullet. Some hunt for spent bullets, and a quite a few other poor sods got very spooked, wondering if their house was being occupied by angry spirits. Think poltergeists and ghosts. The most common words posted were “I’m so glad I found this thread.”

Tempered glass and the rare Nickel Sulphide intrusion

The best explanation is that a manufacturing defect leaves tiny traces of nickel-sulfide as an intrusion. The problem has been known about since the 1940s. The flaw can trigger any time without warning, though most events occur in the earlier years. There is an excellent discussion at The Achilles heel of toughened glass by Dr John Barry:

The reason for all the trouble is a delayed phase transformation in nickel sulphide. Nickel sulphide crystals have a high temperature and a low temperature form. The dense crystal form at high temperature swells on cooling to make a less dense crystal form at low temperatures. In ordinary annealed glass nickel sulphide inclusions do not cause problems because the transformation occurs as the glass is cooled slowly during manufacture. However, the transformation is sluggish and when glass is rapidly cooled as part of the toughening process, the nickel sulphide remains trapped in its high temperature form until some years later when its transformation breaks the glass.

…any small crack in the tensile zone will cause catastrophic failure.

Swain found that the high to low temperature transformation results in a 4% expansion of nickel sulphide, so that inclusions larger than 60 µm in diameter can generate potentially dangerous cracks in the surrounding glass.

There is a distinctive butterfly pattern in the cracks? (But other things can cause this too.)

This scientific review by Jacob estimates 60% of failures occur in the first five years, 80% by ten years. There isn’t a lot we can do, though a process called Heat Soaking might help — but it’s destructive, costly, and probably not worth doing, except for “overhead tempered glass”.

Dr John Barry explain the lengths people have gone to, to find a way to detect the flaws:

…detection of inclusions is quite challenging because they are so small.

When spontaneous fracture does occur the majority of inclusions found at the initiation of failure are between 100 and 200 µm in diameter. And in some cases inclusions as small as 70 µm have been found.   …  A digital image of 3 m2 window at 35 µm resolution requires 3Gbytes of data storage.

A photographic method developed in a partnership between the University of Queensland and Resolve Engineering was used to examine 4194 individual panes of external vision glass (a total of 14,753 m2 of glass) in a Brisbane building in 1995/96. Using this process, which is known as the photoglass process, 291 nickel sulphide inclusions were found in 281 windows (10 sheets of glass contained 2 nickel sulphide inclusions).

Glass, sink, basin, collapse, shatter, photo.

Used to be a basin.

 

The frequency which varies from batch to batch – but it is rare

It has been estimated that in normal float glass production NiS inclusions occur at a frequency of about one per 8 tonnes of raw glass [4]. It has been estimated that 1 gram of nickel sulphide can produce approximately 1000 inclusions of 0.15 mm diameter. Consequently, it does not require too much contamination to produce a serious problem.

A recent survey in Sydney showed that out of the 45 high rise buildings glazed with tempered glass only 1 had a NiS induced fracture problem.

A review of 8 proven NiS problem buildings in Australia with a total of 17,760 panels of tempered glass showed that there have been only 306 reported NiS induced panel failures over a 12 year period. This equates to a failure rate of 1.73 %.

A local toughening plant monitored its production over a 5 year period. All the reported NiS induced failures were recorded and it was found that they had a total of 1 NiS induced failure for every 450 tonnes of tempered glass produced.

Anyhow, I’m looking for a stone bathroom countertop now.

REFERENCES

Dr Leon Jacob (2001) A Review of the Nickel Sulphide Induced Fracture in Tempered Glass, Glass Processing Days, 18-21 , pages 108-110. www.glassfiles.com

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86 comments to The odd case of spontaneously shattering bathroom glass

  • #

    We had that actually happen with one of those tempered ceramic glass cooktops.

    It was a new home and we were the first occupants, and it was the first home we had been in with one of those black glass cooktops.

    We had been in the home for around six months without a single problem at all with it, just getting used to actually cooking on it.

    Sound asleep one night, and bang, and it’s always louder at night. Scared the cr@p out of the both of us.

    Not knowing what the noise actually was, we had to look for a while before I found what it was, and it gave me the shock of my life really.

    First thing in the morning we phoned up the developer’s number as we got the home new in a new area.

    They sent someone around and the next day it was replaced.

    The second shock was seeing the bench top when the now ‘blown’ cooktop was removed.

    The hole it fitted in was not even carefully done with square edges for the cooktop to fit, and what seems to have happened was that when the original one was put in, it was so far out of whack that it had to be forced in, hence a very tight fit. The guy replacing it actually had to saw away some of the benchtop so the new one would actually fit into place, and it seems to me that the stress was a contributing factor.

    It went like one of those old car windscreens used to do, just shattered into tiny squares and just stayed virtually intact, and whole, but shattered.

    It’s been the only one which has ever given us the slightest problem.

    Also, a tip with cleaning them. Don’t bother with getting one of those cleaners from the supermarket designed for this situation. Sometimes you get marks on the cooktop which won’t budge at all with anything.

    I actually have a car care product that did the trick.

    It’s from the Mothers Car Care people and they have products to cover everything to do with your car.

    The product is Mothers Chrome Polish. It’s a paste type product. Spread a small amount on a Terry cloth, and I use a retired face washer for things like this.

    Then, apply it to the mark on the cooktop, and with tight circular motion, just rub gently. It dries to a whitish powder. and to get it off, just use a microfibre cleaning cloth. It’s safe for any glass at all, especially windscreens, and as it is for Chrome, which is very hard, similar to glass, it doesn’t scratch at all. It will remove any mark at all.

    Also, with respect to glass cleaners, use one of the ones specially for car glass, as there is no Ammonia in those car glass cleaners.

    Tony.

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    • #
      Annie

      Does that stuff work if the marks are actually etched into the ceramic glass top Tony? Everything I’ve tried so far does nothing for that. There seems to have been a reaction between the condensed water from the cooking and the enamelled cast iron pot I was using (supposedly ok to use) and the cooktop.

      10

      • #

        Annie,

        as it is a mild polish by nature, it actually does ‘work’ away etching of that type.

        Mothers, the Company, also recommends its use on any glass at all.

        Link to Mothers Chrome Polish

        I’ve used those compounds you get at the supermarket specifically designed for tasks like this, and they are okay, but are horrendously expensive by comparison.

        This product is the best thing I have seen for glass.

        Tony.

        30

    • #
      ROM

      Just change the name Tony, and it will save me writing an almost identical report to yours on an exploding toughened glass stove top.

      The insurance companies are quite familiar with that type of glass shattering apparently.

      10

  • #
    Roger

    Makes you think twice about the odd buildings with glass floors and the few bridges and walkways with glass as the ‘floor’.

    70

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    As you’ve noted it’s rare but not uncommon , I remember Chinese made glass products had a bad rap for a while because of the defects and shattering .
    Pretty much everything involving glass can be affected , shower screens , oven doors etc .

    40

    • #
      Annie

      There was a problem in the UK not long before we moved back to Aus with washing machine doors shattering. Quite a few, by all accounts. For this reason we decide to keep our old Miele, which I thought was getting past it, and ship it back and it lasted a further 3 years! As far as I know the new owners still use it although it has the occasional hiccup. It was a good 20 years old in April! We now have a new one of the same brand…should easily see us out! ( If it lasts as well as its predecessor, that is).

      30

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  • #
    pat

    fascinating story … but I just want to direct anyone interested thread –

    19 Aug: Patch: Solar Eclipse 2017: Californians Urged To Conserve Energy

    which reports, among other interesting stuff, that Californians have been asked to step in “to allow our hard-working sun to take a break, rather than relying on expensive and inefficient natural gas peaking power plants”!

    Reuters’ detailed coverage is also posted in an earlier comment.

    50

  • #
    RB

    I had a glass explode on me some 30+ years ago. Just sitting on the kitchen bench and exploded into tiny fragments. No injuries.
    A bit like Dutch tears
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Rupert%27s_Drop

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      We had a set of leading French brand tempered glass tumblers which self destructed one by one all unattended. I guessed it must have been faulty tempering at play.
      There were also stories of car windscreens shattering for no apparent reason., including two at the same place on the same morning for people traveling to a function. A bit hard to believe that wasn’t human induced.

      00

  • #
    David Maddison

    Here is a video on spontaneous breakage of tempered glass in the US.

    https://youtu.be/7EgAUhsiRQs

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Here is a video on spontaneous breakage of tempered glass in the US.

    https://youtu.be/7EgAUhsiRQs

    10

  • #
    pat

    don’t know how the rest of my intro got lost

    but I just want to direct anyone interested thread …

    should be:

    but I just want to direct anyone interested to a comment I just posted on jo’s previous “Al Gore” thread -

    20

  • #
    Kevin Anderson

    Obviously a clear case of Climate Change, 300 cases all over the world say no more!

    60

  • #
    Peter C

    I have read somewhere that clear gass as we know it is actually a liquid. Apparently a window pane will very gradually become thicker at the bottom as the glass flows toward the bottom.

    Perhaps there is some sudden change in state.

    I have had limited success with cutting window pane glass. Usually it does not break cleanly along the line I have scribed in it. However I have tried this new technique on a bottle. Scribe a line around it with a glass cutter. Then run boiling water from the jug over the crack, followed by cold water from the tap. After a few goes it starts to crack, possibly quite rapidly and gives a very clean cut.

    Something about increasing the stress in the glass, probably similar to those shattering glass bench tops.

    40

    • #
      Lewis P Buckingham

      From the little I have gleaned, glass is a supercooled liquid.
      When you lean panes of glass against a building it slowly flows and ends up with a bow in it.
      Nickel sulphide impurities in the glass slowly form crystals which as they grow, force the crack which shatters the glass.
      A similar effect can be seen when a tomato is dropped into liquid nitrogen and then thrown against a brick wall,
      where it shatters into tiny pieces.
      Anecdotally if the annealing is done at a high enough temperature the nickel sulphide dissolves in the glass
      to such an extent that it is unable to crystallize out, a bit like when you mix CuSO4 in water but do not saturate it.
      So if you have a deciduous building with glass panels shattering, the choice is to take them all out and anneal them all again,
      x ray them to find the impurity and anneal those ones affected or replace them with known safe panels, impurity free.
      It is not generally acceptable to have deciduous high rise, be they glass or polyethelene bonded aluminium.
      The whole thing usually ends up in arbitration and settlement.

      20

    • #

      Peter, apparently people thought it was a slow flowing fluid because medieval glass windows were thicker at the bottom. But it now seems that the workers preferred to put the pieces in like that. Other scientists looking at 20 million year old Amber have declared that it’s a myth, and glass does not flow. http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-glass-is-a-liquid-myth-has-finally-been-destroyed-496190894

      80

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I think it depends upon the recipe used for the glass. I have a sheet of plate glass (originally bought to put in a door), that has spent four or five years “standing up”, and leaning on the back wall of my garage. No mean feat, in an earthquake zone.

        It now has a perceptible bow in it, of somewhere between 5 to 7 cm’s, half way along its length.

        Now the subject has come up, it has reminded me to turn it round, to see if I can get the bow to un-bow, as it were.

        I have always thought of Amber as being fossilised plant resin, derived from organic matter, and therefore unrelated to glass which consists of minerals bound together in a lattice structure.

        60

        • #
          aussiepete

          Hey Rereke,
          That means another 4 or 5 years before you fix that door. I thought I was a bit slow in the handyman department, but 8 to 10 years to fix a door, I can’t match that.

          60

        • #
          Lewis P Buckingham

          RW, Ive had the same experience with window pane 3 mm glass leaning against a vertical brick wall that belonged to my father.
          After 40 plus years it bowed in the middle.
          It was never exposed to extreme heat.
          My conclusion was that it flowed, so has plasticity.
          Since then I always store glass as upright as possible.
          Basser computing used to have open days at Sydney Uni and demonstrate supercooling with frozen tomatoes.

          30

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Another useless fact:

        You used to be able to make drinking glasses from glass milk bottles, The trick was to poor cold water into the bottle, to the desired height for the rim of the glass. Then poor some mineral oil into the bottle so that a thin layer sat on the top of the water.

        Heat a poker, or a longish piece of reinforcing rod, in a fire, until it starts to glow red, and then plunge it into the top of the glass bottle and into the water. The glass will cleanly break at the juncture between the water and the oil. The remarkable thing about this is that the edges of the glass were not sharp. For some reason, this process does not work with beer bottles.

        40

      • #
        yonason

        Thanks. Wasn’t aware of that. Always thought it was suspect.

        As to exploding glass, it’s apparently happening a lot, and due to sloppy workmanship.
        http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/exploding-glass-balconies-in-melbourne-apartments-expose-faulty-building-products-20170628-gx0lwf.html

        http://www.winknews.com/2016/05/11/a-danger-lurking-in-your-home-exploding-glass/

        Apparently they have the potential to be quite harmful, so glad to hear you weren’t hurt.

        00

  • #

    Glad you’re OK. Jo and Co.

    50

  • #
    William

    What is the matter with you people?
    This is all obviously the fault of George Bush. Or is it Donald Trump?
    Some days I just get so confused.

    70

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    All glass has a resonant frequency at the molecular level, depending upon it’s chemical composition, thickness, sheet dimensions, etc.

    There are stories about parakeets that could whistle at a certain frequency, and break glass.

    40

    • #
      Lewis P Buckingham

      An example of forced resonance, so not sympathetic, is sonic booms, which break it anyway.
      For some years I wondered how the AdShells at bus stops were being shattered near home.
      These were large sheets of glass.
      What happened was a team of four drunks linked hands and threw themselves at the pane, stepped back in unison and the most astute
      commanded them to hit it again in concert, at the maximum wave toward them.
      This process was repeated as the wave form amplified, until the pane shattered to the cheers of the players.
      Next day the AdShell team would put in another pane and clean up the safety glass in time for the next Saturday Night fun.
      Eventually AdShell went plastic/polycarbonate.

      50

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  • #
    • #
      ROM

      Resonances in wine glasses;

      For those who haven’t tried it and it only works on some higher quality wine glasses.

      First drink all the wine in the glass. If you have time to drink a second glass due to others being a bit slow, take your opportunity.

      it helps loosen any inhibitions you might have about your host’s possible and very likely non positive reactions to the assault upon his / her and other guest’s auditory systems.
      The other requirement for emptying the glass is that this only works on empty clean glasses and not all of them at that.

      Wet you forefinger and run it around and around the rim of the glass for a period which could be a half minute or more
      The glass if it is amenable to resonances , it will begin to “sing” with a high to very high pitch as you continue to run your finger around the rim of the glass.

      If you and your mates can get a half a dozen glasses all singing at once, you will have the other patrons holding their heads and grimacing badly and complaining loudly and it is just about guaranteed to get you thrown out of most eateries unless you promise to stop immediately.

      50

      • #
        Annie

        ROM, we used to do that at home. It didn’t need to be a wine glass necessarily. A fine rimmed glass usually worked well. The sound was considerably less annoying than that produced by blowing on a blade of grass held sideways on between the thumbs. I am guilty of teaching our grandchildren how to do this!

        60

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        But it’s such fun to have a half dozen or more glasses all going at the same time!

        10

  • #
    DaveR

    Nickel sulphide inclusions

    Nickel sulphide crystals are preserved in their high temperature crystalline form when the glass is formed by quenching a silicate liquid to an amorphous solid (glass). Therefore, the NiS crystal is metastable at low temperatures, and will eventually revert to its low temperature crystalline form in time – with a volume expansion and shattering.

    50

  • #
    Schrodinger's Cat

    I’m no expert but I believe that to make tempered/toughened glass they pass a sheet of glass through an oven. The glass is supported by rollers. They heat it close to the softening point. They have to take care not to let it sag between the rollers since this produces distortions in the final product that can be seen in transmission/reflection.

    They cool the hot glass very quickly using cold air. This makes the surface freeze while the inside is still hot and soft. The result is that the colder outer glass contracts around the hot, expanded inner glass. This creates huge strain in the structure. This strain, I’m guessing, affects the entire product because the outer skin is under huge tension. If it becomes damaged, instead of splintering into a broken sheet the glass implodes into fragments. This is judged to be safer than heavy portions of sheet with razor sharp edges and sharp dagger like points falling on people.

    Something must have penetrated the outer surface of your glass counter top causing the whole thing to implode. This may have been a hard object like a nail and the process could take years. Maybe it was just a weak spot.

    40

  • #
    Paul Aubrin

    It is a well known fact that tempered glass fractures as a consequence of global-warming. It will be even worse in 2050 if we don’t immediately shut down all those coal powered plants.

    70

  • #
    David Maddison

    Glass is amorphous and therefore fluid-like and is ultra-viscous but it is not necessarily a fluid because there is no clear distinction between materials thar are ultra-viscous and actual fluids.

    It is a definitional problem.

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/Glass/glass.html

    Also see the University of Queensland pitch drop experiment.

    https://youtu.be/BZvsrOciU_Q

    It’s been running since 1927.

    https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/11/explainer-pitch-drop-experiment

    30

  • #
    Casey

    “Who knew tempered glass could suddenly fracture and in some cases explosively?”

    No direct offence meant… but the answer is “anyone with half a brain or more”

    tempered glass just needs a tiny scratch in the “right spot” or a knock (even without visible damage) – then the tension inside the glass changes and the setting is created for a future burst… much like a tectonic plate fault-line.

    20

  • #
    Tim

    It’s not only glass. Many years ago I was woken in the night by a loud noise. After a search for any intruders I found the wash basin in the bathroom had split across. That was probably just moulded in stress.

    30

  • #
    Haydenlee

    Adding to above comments, my father worked for a time, at Pilkingtons Glass factory in Geelong, when they were developing tempered glass. He would amuse we kids relating tales of girls inspecting glass for imperfections in the glass being startled by the sudden explosion of the glass. His explanation was that the air cooling the heated glass had unwanted dust particles in the airstream which would stick to the near molten glass, causing a concentrating stress as the glass cooled until – “bang” and there would only be space between the hands where once there was a windscreen. He said it was best to watch the new girls…
    Then again, tempered glass is hugely resistant to blows delivered by a blunt hammer or mallet, but terribly vulnerable to a sharp pointed hammer. Now it’s all laminates.

    20

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Wow! I’m glad no one was there when it happened.

    Tempered glass is very hard and of course, strong stuff but it’s also brittle and once it’s stress limit has been exceeded the shock from something giving way is transmitted very well through the whole glass object, window, sink top or whatever.

    Some very hard supposedly unbreakable dinnerware such as Corolle that doesn’t break easily will shatter if it has that limit exceeded. I’ve dropped the stuff more than once and it’s unharmed. Then one day my wife dropped a bowel and it landed wrong. There were tiny shards of glass all over the kitchen. They went everywhere from dropping maybe 2-3 feet. It shows you how much energy is expended by so short a fall when all the energy is directed to throwing small pieces around instead of being absorbed by something more elastic. Some of that bowel went nearly 10 feet.

    That vanity top looks almost like my car window after someone fired a pellet into it. It hit near the middle of the window and made a small crater with a hole at the bottom. But the rest of the window shattered in the same fashion as your sink top though not for the same reason. The window stayed there in place although shattered until I closed a door and then the slight pressure increase from the door closing blew the glass outward.

    I’ll never again insist on tempered glass glasses.

    20

  • #
    yonason

    Back radiation from CO2. Happens all the time nowadays, and as CO2 increases, it’s only going to continue getting worse.
    // ;) //

    10

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      And you know this how?

      10

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        It’s another of Al’s inconvenient untruths, Roy.

        Sheeez!

        10

      • #
        yonason

        By applying many special techniques, that you mortals couldn’t possibly understand, to analyze data from highly sophisticated futuristic scientific instruments, obviously.

        00

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          I bow to your superior wisdom.

          10

          • #
            yonason

            Awe, T’Ain’t Nothin’. Here are some real masters.

            AGW theory would have been impossible without their technical and communication skills.

            00

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Now there is the real master of things. I don’t think I could come up with as clear and concise an explanation of even a safety pin, much less a turboincabulator if I tried for a month or even 6 months.

              I hope I spelled it right.

              I thought I’d heard double talk and obfuscation before but that one had me rolling on the floor… nearly.

              I’m surprised that Chrysler would let their name be attached to it though.

              10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Here is a little bit of different nonsense that’s hilarious. It’s audio only so have the sound on.

                It’s in the Book.

                I’ve always remembered this. It goes all the way back to 1952 and got a lot of play on the radio for more than a week — you do remember radio don’t you?

                I think we all deserve a comedy break now and then.

                10

              • #
                yonason

                “…you do remember radio don’t you?”

                Oh, yes. And Capital Records (still have a few of those old 45s), and I even knew someone who made lye soap.

                I wasn’t aware of Standley, though. After looking him up, I’m a little surprised by that, given some of those he used to perform with, who I did know of.

                As to comedy breaks. I wouldn’t know what to do without ‘em.

                Thanks.

                10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                And you’re welcome.

                00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                I think what makes that Bo Peep routine so funny is the masterful use of just staying silent for a few seconds while the listener is thinking about what comes next. They wonder, surely he isn’t going to say the obvious and then when he does it’s funny where if he just went ahead and said it, it wouldn’t be.

                Laurel and Hardy were masters of the technique visually.

                And enough with the comedy. The world awaits with more than enough trouble to keep us all on our toes. :-(

                00

      • #
        Old44

        Has to be CO2, what else could it be.

        10

  • #
    Jerry F

    There is nothing quite like Prince Rupert’s drops shattering, viewed in slow motion. The fractures propagate through the glass at about a mile per second.

    20

  • #
    Rod Stuart

    I had the rear window in an ARB cap on the ute explode like that in teh middle of the night.
    The O’Brien Glass people said it happens with utes hauling trailers.
    A stone can ricochet off the trailer hitting the glass, and sometimes days or weeks later it goes bang.

    20

  • #
    AndyG55

    On the shattering of glass,

    Prince Rupert’s drops

    30

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Andy,

      Beautiful illustration.

      Now you see why I said what I did above. It’s not quite the same phenomenon but the same thing happens. Once part of the glass lets go the shock wave travels to every part of whatever it is, throwing pieces everywhere.

      Properties of construction materials 101.

      50

  • #
    GreatAuntJanet

    Um, (I have to say um, I do not have the sciency background of you clever lot, though I do enjoy reading all the discussion) so does that mean roof top solar panels might be at risk from the same problem? Is that acres and acres of tempered glass up there?

    40

  • #
    Faye Busch

    When we owned a country motel, a couple came up to the office to ask who had been in their room because the drinking glass which they had used before they went out was shattered on their return. It was a mystery to us so we went down to the room and sure enough glass was everywhere. How do you not protest too much when someone? must have been in their room – how else could it have happened? Conveniently, another guest was a scientist who gave us and his fellow guest an explanation. I can’t remember the explanation now but my husband and I have never forgotten the incident.
    Believe me, this was one of the least dramatic events to happen to us in our country motel. I could write a book.

    50

  • #
    ROM

    Good question!

    Next question!

    [ Carried off with enough panache, that technique leaves the audience sitting there perplexed and puzzled as "Did I miss something?".]

    GreatAuntJanet, a quick look through the literature [ with the amount of tax payer's hard earned rip off money floating around in the renewable energy industry that means pages and pages of nothing more than dozens of solar firms advertising and not much hard information ] it does seem to indicate that tempered glass is being used on all of the higher priced solar panels.
    So you might be right.

    Give the whole solar thing another few years and there could be a spate of exploding solar panels.

    Not to mention if we get back to the thunderstorm prevalence of the late 1940′s , 50′s, 60′s and early 70′s again down in SE Australia.
    Which I suspect is a highly likely possibility as we run through another decades long weather cycle down here in southern Australian

    Solar systems might need some heavy insurance unless they are kaput by then after 20 or 25 years being out in the weather and sun which i suspect most of them will be as well as the reaction against the very high power prices, the huge subsidies for installation of renewable energy is removed, limits are placed on how solar system energy is fed back into tyhe grid IFit is allowed at all to do so as the Grid regulators and public get fed up to the back teeth with trying to achieve once again, a very stable cheap and always guaranteed power supply.

    The backlash against renewable energy and everything that is so utterly wrong about it is getting under way and could be and I think will be severe over the longer run as of a generation or two.

    If the American’s or Chinese or Europeans crack Fusion within the next decade or so then solar and all the other gee whiz, saving the planet power gizmos are dead meat economically, financially, environmentally, politically and publicly.

    Solar and wind have far too many negatives across every field they intrude on, technology, reliability , public expenditures, costs, environmental, economics, energy collection and distribution and etc, to be sustainable in the long term energy generating sense.
    Technology of another far more relaible and cheaper power generation type will wipe solar and wind off the map particularly as public sentiment begins to shift towards a far less tolerant view of renewable energy as is already happening in the UK [ not yet in Scotland, the land of the turbines but beginning ] and in Germany.

    That technology , the filler until Fusion is mastered may have already have appeared if the Japanese research into coal burning with a huge reduction in fuel use, ie burn fuel use efficiencies up by some 15% or more plus dramatic CO2 emmission reductions is viable and can be commercialised by 2022 as the Japanese claim is their aim.

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    Louis Hissink

    That’s the problem with keeping pigmy rhinos in the bath room – never know when they bump their horns into the furniture etc, here the fancy vanity basin top.

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    Asp

    Another way of getting an unexpected ‘wake up’ is to place a cup of hot tea or coffee in a Coring ware (or similar) drinking mug on a cold ceramic floor. I had one shatter on me, and it appeared as if there was not one remnant particle bigger than 1 cm. Fortunately, the mug shattered rather than exploded. Use of coasters definitely recommended.

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    Apoxonbothyourhouses

    All this technical nonsense. This is a well known Gore Effect.

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    Timo Soren

    Just 4 days ago, moving a sauna with a safety glass door. Took the door off of its hinges and placed it onto a White Fir Floor. It exploded with such force it made cuts to the shin through jeans. We carefully checked the floor for an exposed nail, none-nada-zip-zero.

    It was quite frightening.

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    Streecred

    ” [ ... ] it’s easy to imagine how this could end very badly, especially in glass towers far above the ground.”

    Indeed, it has happened in a number for buildings in Brisbane which forced the construction of safety canopies over the footpaths to protect pedestrians. From memory this was glass from one particular manufacturer that contained too much nickel sulphide which shattered under heat stress.

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      An afterthought…

      What if it happens to
      climate modellers
      in glass towers,
      whilin’ away the
      tenured hours,
      kinda’ like the mirror
      cracking from side to side
      in The Lady of Shalott?
      Don’t it jest make you shiver
      to think on it?

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      Alan

      This is happening with glass panels in the Bankwest Tower (former Bond Tower) here in Perth at the moment.Footpath currently covered by safety canopy as random windows have been shattering into tiny pieces but generally staying in place we are told

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    The only question that has to be answered by anybody who is new to this global warming con is why would give up the sovereignty of any country to a handful of unelected control freak insanely greedy few people with a psychopathic bent.

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    KinkyKeith

    Remember hearing once, long ago, that very large glass castings for huge telescope lenses used in astronomy, were cooled over a period of at least one year to prevent localized irregularities in crystalline structure occurring.

    Something may have gone wrong in the cooling process.

    Had there been significant global warming, this may not have happened.

    KK

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    Kim

    It’s possibly due to lateral pressure on the sides of the glass due to temperature changes. Either as it gets cooler – the sides pushing in, or as it gets warmer – the glass expanding. It’s more likely the former and is caused by the house shrinking and pushing on the wood.

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    Now why would that little poem on broken glass be in moderation?
    A puzzled serf. )
    [I am puzzled too. I set it free]ED

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    We have had a spate of exploding frameless shower screens in Perth that we have had to replace. Apparently its the untreated glass from China or that what the building commission have said.

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