Preventing Glass Breakage


When doing anything, safety should always be a top priority. The creation and handling of glass and glass products is no different.

Spontaneous glass breakage is something that can occur, and understanding what it means and it’s potential affects is important to help prevent and/or minimize its damage. ‘It is a failure of design where solid toughened glass, which is known to have the potential to ‘explode’, may be being used in potentially dangerous applications – like external balustrades over a footpath. The design and construction industry has simply forgotten the lessons of the past. The problem of ‘spontaneous breakage’ of toughened glass is well known. It is caused by microscopic particles of nickel sulphide (NiS) that sometimes are unavoidably mixed-in with the sand used in manufacturing the glass.

These nickel particles aren’t a problem for normal glass, but do become an issue when glass goes through the toughening process in which it is reheated and then suddenly cooled down.

In the toughening oven, NiS inclusions shrink in size, but once the toughened glass is taken back to ambient temperature, these inclusions have the tendency to revert back to their original size.’ (Giorgio Marfella,

We provide this information not to scare, but rather to educate on the potential issues with glass when it is treated a certain way; awareness is key when making decisions. At Cornwall Glass your Cornwall glass professional, we pride ourselves on using quality products and helping our clients with safe and beautiful projects.

Glass Innovations