What Causes Spontaneous Glass Breakage?

Although most people do not need to worry about spontaneous glass breakage in their homes or buildings it certainly does occur on extremely rare occasions, and can strike without even the slightest warning. It is a phenomenon that transpires when tempered or toughened glass breaks or shatters, seemingly out of nowhere without any perceptible reason. That being said there is an explanation for it that is most definitely not based on user error. So if this has happened to you it is not your fault whatsoever.

The most common causes are based on the following factors:

Internal Defects Within The Glass Such As Nickel Sulfide Inclusions

Nickel sulfide inclusions or stones are a potential cause of spontaneous glass breakage. These inclusions are small particles of nickel sulfide that can become trapped within tempered or toughened glass during the manufacturing process. They are typically caused by the use of stainless steel equipment that contains nickel during the manufacturing process.

Over time, these inclusions may change their structure and grow in size, which can create internal stresses within the glass itself. These stresses can eventually exceed the strength of the glass, leading to spontaneous breakage without any apparent external cause.

However, it is important to note that nickel sulfide inclusions are just one potential cause of spontaneous glass breakage, and other factors such as physical impact or temperature changes may also contribute to the failure of tempered or toughened glass. If you are experiencing spontaneous glass breakage, it is recommended to contact a professional for a thorough inspection to determine the root cause of the issue.

Minor Damage During Glass Installation

When glass pieces are being moved and installed some installers accidentally make minor chips and nicks with their tools or fasteners such as nails and screws. These small chips and nicks are not large enough to be noticeable once installed, and typically do not cause immediate issues. However, as time passes the glass will naturally contract and expand. At this point the chips and nicks become a larger issue causing stress concentrations to develop. Much the same as what eventually occurs with nickel sulfide inclusions, breakage tends to happen when the internal stresses are stronger than the glass strength. This is why it is so critically important to only hire an experienced, professional, and reputable glass company that will takes the extra time and precautions required in order to avoid the unnecessary chips and nicks that end up causing serious damage.

Binding Of The Glass In The Frame

Window and exterior panel glass tends to contract and expand when environmental temperatures changes occur. In order to counter this, modern glass is set on resilient blocks that are located at the bottom. This provides space for expansion at the top and both sides. The gaskets holding the glass in the frame are typically resilient in order to cushion the glass from wind buffering. If there is not enough space provided at the perimeter of the unit than the glass will bind up against the frame. This action causes internal stresses to develop within the glass. When the stresses surpass the glass strength breakage will occur. Once again, it is of utmost importance to only hire an industry leading glass installation company in order to avoid these costly problems.

At A Cut Above Glass we pride ourselves on the fact that our company only works with the leading industry experts to design, manufacture, and install the highest quality glass products for all of our clients needs. When you work with us you can be rest assured that your property is as safe as possible from spontaneous glass breakage. Please contact us for an initial consultation, we hare more than happy to walk you through the entire process.

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