So there we were last night, watching Smallville on DVD, minding our own business after a pleasant dinner out with friends, when an almighty crack sounds and the glass in the sliding door shatters, imploding all over the carpet like buckshot! We crept over to investigate, half expecting a home invasion or at the very least a broken branch, but there was nothing and no one outside in the darkness. Glass man came to fix it up today. He didn’t even raise an eyebrow when we told him what had happened. Apparently glass can shatter apropos of nothing when there’s a sharp change in temperature. Especially old door glass like ours.
Who’d have thought?


  1. A friend’s shower screen did that. Fortunately, no-one was in the shower at the time (otherwise they’d have been picking glass out of interesting places for months) and she had just finished cleaning it and had left the room. Awful to think what would have happened had it asploded while she was still cleaning it. 😯

  2. Glass isn’t a true solid, but a supercooled liquid. As a result, there’s often a great deal of internal stress in a big chunk of glass, and when you start rapidly expanding or contracting said glass chunk due to temperature changes, sometimes those internal stresses can get a bit exciting.

    At least you had safety glass in place… on the other hand, if I recall correctly safety glass has even more internal stress than normal glass. That’s the reason it shatters into such itty-bitty pieces when it’s finally cracked.

    Right. Sorry. You probably didn’t want to know any of that shite, did you?

  3. Exactly. Glass repair men roaming the neighbourhood with stones, then telling everyone how normal it is when they come to fix it.

  4. There was a case in Holland in the 70s of a glass replacement company using ice cubes and a super slingshot to drum up business in quiet times.

    My own story involves a glass shelf, lifting it down it suddenly went *FOOM*. Some of the pieces were dinner plate size and shot under furniture, for the next hour or so showers of safety glass granules and tiny slivers would explode out from under things. I ended up having to move every stick of furniture and vacuum everything within about 6m.

      • Diabolical those Dutch. 🙂

        Was told by a Dutch friend, it was one of the factors that influenced her parents emigrating. They felt it indicated a collapse of civilized values.

        • yeah. Cos no Australian glass company would ever pull a stunt like that…

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