We’ve heard many stories of tempered glass spontaneously shattering. This ‘shattering’ has been described to us as sounding almost like a small explosion with a loud band and glass going everywhere. In hearing an increase in these stories, we wanted to shine some light on the cause of this issue as well as possible solutions for you and your business.
What is Tempered Glass?
First, let’s define tempered glass. Tempered glass is a unique type of glass created to be stronger and, if it does shatter, it shatters safely. When tempered glass is broken, it will break into thousands of small pieces as opposed to large sharp shards of glass. This makes tempered glass the ideal type of glass for bathrooms, staircases, or really any glass used in a public space.
What Would Cause Spontaneous Breakage of Tempered Glass?
The root cause of spontaneous breakage of tempered glass has been narrowed down to two potential issues:
Cracks in Tempered Glass Causing Spontaneous Breakage
Any flaw in the edge or glass surface can cause spontaneous breakage. Small cracks in glass grow over time. As the glass expands in the heat and contracts in the cold this crack will grow. Eventually, this change in temperature can cause the tempered glass to shatter.
Nickel Sulfide Causing Spontaneous Breakage
Another cause of spontaneous breakage is a small bead of nickel sulfide. Nickel sulfide can accidentally be left in the glass when it is made. The reason nickel sulfide causes shattering of glass is that the metal will expand and contract at a different rate than the surrounding glass. This leads to violent, spontaneous shattering of tempered glass without any warning.