Glass is a multipurpose material that finds use in a wide range of products, including windows and doors, glassware, and electronic devices. Yet, it is susceptible to breaking for various causes depending on the circumstances. This article will discuss the top 10 reasons why glass breaks and offer advice on how to stop it from happening.
The Many Causes of Glass Breakage
Understanding the reasons behind glass breakage can help prevent damage and ensure your glass products’ longevity. Here are the top 10 reasons why glass breaks:
- Thermal stress: Rapid temperature changes can cause the glass to expand and contract, resulting in cracks or breaks. To prevent this, avoid placing glass objects near heat sources or exposing them to sudden temperature fluctuations.
- Impact: Accidental impacts from objects, people, or animals can cause the glass to shatter. To minimise the risk of breakage, ensure that glass items are placed securely and away from high-traffic areas.
- Manufacturing defects: Poor quality glass or flaws during manufacturing can lead to increased vulnerability to breakage. Always purchase glass products from reputable manufacturers and inspect them for defects before use.
- Improper installation: Incorrectly installed glass can lead to uneven pressure distribution, causing cracks or breaks over time. Ensure that professional installers install windows, doors, and other large glass structures.
- Pressure changes: Sudden changes in air pressure can cause the glass to break, especially in sealed units like double-glazed windows. To avoid this, ensure that glass products are designed to withstand pressure fluctuations or are vented to equalise pressure.
- Spontaneous breakage: Glass can sometimes break without apparent cause due to internal stresses or imperfections. Although rare, this can be minimised using tempered glass designed to handle stress more effectively.
- Scratches and chips: Minor surface damage can weaken the glass, making it more susceptible to breakage. To prevent this, handle glass items carefully and avoid using abrasive cleaning materials.
- Edge damage: Damage to the edges of glass can reduce its structural integrity, increasing the likelihood of breakage. Protect the edges of glass items with cushioning materials during transportation and storage.
- Chemical damage: Certain chemicals can weaken glass or cause it to break. Avoid exposing glass items to harsh chemicals or cleaning agents, and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintenance.
- UV exposure: Certain glass forms can become more fragile after being subjected to ultraviolet (UV) radiation over an extended period. Consider using UV-resistant glass or putting a layer that blocks UV rays if the glass you want to protect is exposed to direct sunlight.
If you have glassware and want to keep it in good condition for as long as possible, it is important to be aware of the most common causes of glass breaking so that you may take preventative steps. You’ll be able to limit the possibility of glass breaking if you follow these guidelines and choose products made of high-quality glass. Glass has many advantages, and you’ll be able to use them all.