A Co Down man described how his shower door exploded without warning, sending a loud boom through the house and scattering shards of glass into the bathroom.
Peter Sullivan heard a loud bang inside his home on Thursday night and feared a heavy object was crashing into his roof.
But when he investigated the noise, he found that a glass door in that shower had blown off and shattered, sending shards of glass flying across the room.
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The Donaghadee man said: “I had never experienced anything like this. I heard a loud bang, as if a large object had crashed into the roof at the back of the house.
“But when I ran upstairs to see if something had come through the ceiling I heard a creak. I opened the bathroom door, one of the shower doors blew off and the glass that was still in the frame continued to make the cracking sound for about an hour.
“It was a mess – there were tiny shards of glass everywhere. Because the screen door was still creaking, I was afraid the rest would go away, so I got out of there and left it alone. ‘install.
“This shower door is about 12 years old and has been used a lot over the years so maybe it was worn or damaged I don’t know but my wife put the picture on Facebook and a lot of people have replied that they had experienced something similar.
“People have mentioned seeing pint glasses exploding with no one around, oven doors when the oven wasn’t even hot, garden tables, a huge fish tank, a lady said the her fridge shelf had blown off, another said her bathroom shelf had blown off, and other people have experienced the same thing with double-glazed windows in their homes.
“It’s a little scary to think it could have happened while someone was in the shower. Considering the distance the shrapnel had traveled and the sound of the bang, there must have been some force behind it. the moving glass. It could have caused serious injury, but luckily we were down below and out of harm’s way.”
How can tempered glass explode?
To make it durable, tempered glass manufacturers subject this material to high pressure. If a virtually invisible chip or crack on a sheet of tempered glass occurs, a sudden change in temperature could cause it to burst.
However, there doesn’t seem to be a convincing theory as to why shower doors explode spontaneously, although glass expert Mark Meshulam claims that tempered glass contains a huge amount of stored energy and all of that energy is trying to get out.
During the manufacture of tempered glass, microscopic pebbles, called nickel sulfide inclusions, can sometimes become trapped inside the glass and, as the glass and the pebbles expand and contract with heat, the pebbles can weaken the glass and cause it to explode.
Mark said: “Glass can also shatter due to improper installation, pre-existing damage and imperfections. Extreme temperature changes can also cause shower glass to shatter, however, temperature changes between the day and night are not likely to cause this phenomenon.”
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