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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,636
Registered: ‎09-01-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

My thoughts are leaning towards a combination of things that resulted in the breakage. If there is evidence of house settling in other areas, the glass is likely under stress and more pressure than it is meant to hold. I'm also thinking about extreme temperatures and humidity as factors, along with the age factor of the window. Glass breaks like this, usually occur at the weakest point, which would make me think stress is the root cause. I too would lean towards making a change in that wall.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,938
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

Out of the clear blue, I just thought of something.......Ever think about replacing that one door's glass with Plexi-glass?  I've done that twice (years ago - sunroom and also garage windows, because of neighborhood softballs breaking the glass windows), and it's almost the same (well, I can't tell the difference) as real glass.  I'm guessing that the quality has improved in all of these years.  Look into it.  It can be an alternative replacement, because of your possible ground shifting, etc.  Cat Happy

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,938
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

p.s.  They are also called acrylic sheets.  I'm sure window replacement companies have access to it.  Available just about everywhere (Home Depot, etc.).  Probably can use a small glass cutter to cut the desirable dimensions.  Just web search Home Depot acrylic sheets.  Take a look, see what's available in your area.  Then, have an excellent handyman and/or window company install it in your door.  Just an idea, of course.  I wouldn't want the worry of wondering if the new replaced real glass will shatter again because of any earth movement/shifting.  And real glass most likely isn't made to last very long (now-a-days).  You know, folks just can manage to get the formulations just right anymore........not that they have the formulations and the modern day electronics/calculations to figure it all out ..............(lol) Smiley Wink

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

In science class we learn that glass is not actually a solid substance. It is , in fact, a liquid, and is in constant motion. After 30 years a vertical , heavy piece of glass could spontaneously break .

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,136
Registered: ‎06-03-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

molecular lattice has a lot to do with something just shattering............the tighter the molecular lattice the more resistant it is to shattering...........what plays into the molecular lattice is thermal shock, which can cause glass to shatter also...........................................raven

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,938
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

The shattered glass, being 30 years old, has done an excellent job, considering...........I think I'd go with a plexiglass/acrylic glass.  Being it's a moving door and all..............It would give me peace of mind and less worry.  I'm only saying this is because I have a few replacement acrylic glass windows, (two of which are rather large), as I mentioned in my previous posts. 

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 597
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

[ Edited ]

@151949 wrote:

In science class we learn that glass is not actually a solid substance. It is , in fact, a liquid, and is in constant motion. After 30 years a vertical , heavy piece of glass could spontaneously break .


The statement that "glass is a liquid," is an urban legend.

 

Glass is, in fact, an amorphous solid.

 

The following is a very technical explanation of what an amorphous solid is:

 

If an amorphous solid is maintained at a temperature just below its melting point for long periods of time, the component molecules, atoms, or ions can gradually rearrange into a more highly ordered crystalline form. Note: Crystals have sharp, well-defined melting points; amorphous solids do not.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. -- Oscar Wilde
Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,938
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

Yes, it's all in the 'molecules'......I recall repetitive lectures in elementary school:  'molecules, molecules, molecules'.......(lol).  The closer they are placed together, the more dense the object....etc., etc.  (Or something similar....... so many years ago). Cat Surprised

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,938
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

[ Edited ]

Thanks, Sui G.   We typed at the same time.  Well, your explanation is 'way more' scientific and updated than my rather old- fashioned one...........(lol, in a nice way).  I do learn something new/updated every single day on these boards.  Smiley Happy

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,510
Registered: ‎03-17-2010

Re: Why would a glass door wall suddenly shatter? Ideas?

What a shame.... I'm sorry this has happened to you.  I had a glass shelf shatter when taken out of the refrigerator and the contrast between the cold fridge and the warm house caused it to shatter.

 

Sometimes a drop or rise in pressure or temperature can cause glass to shatter.  Today it was 85 around 11:00 a.m. and dry.... by 1:30 a huge storm rolled in, temperature dropped to 60 with a torrential downpour.  By the time we got home from going out I had a huge headache.... 

 

There may even be several reasons the door shattered.....

*~"Never eat more than you can lift......" Miss Piggy~*