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Factors influencing thermal breakage

Thermal breakage is a common phenomenon that can occur for many reasons. Generally, thermal loads on glass occur as a result of the glass being exposed to sunlight and interior heating. When glass is exposed to high temperatures, it absorbs heat and expands. At the same time, its edges remain cooler, causing thermal breakage

All glass reacts to the solar energy in a threefold way: part of the energy is directly transmitted, another part is reflected and the remaining is absorbed. The absorbed energy heats the glass, which results in a tendency for expansion, while the shaded parts tend to lag behind in expansion. These differences of expansion in different parts of the glass surface cause a thermal breakage. To avoid this thermal breakage, it is important to determine the factors that cause this phenomenon. Here are the most important ones to take in consideration:
Changes of outside temperature, especially with quick rise of morning temperatures.
Edge Quality
Poor quality edge cutting; glass edges should be clean cut with minimal defects.
Panel size and thickness
The risk of thermal breakage increases proportionally to the panel size and thickness, due to potential cutting, glazing and handling problems.
Frame selection
Select frames with higher heat storage capacities such as concrete or wood as opposed to more favoured plastic or dark coloured aluminum with thermal barrier.
Cooling and heating sources
This phenomenon can occur when there is a rapid decrease of external temperatures and contemporaneous internal heating.

To avoid glass breakage caused by thermal influence, all glass panels such as facades with solar control coated glasses and other exposed glass surfaces should normally be heat-treated. Find more information about this topic throught selected links.

Photos: GlassOnWeb
Last review: November, 2012

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