Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Looking at glass

Spotlight

The spontaneous failure of part of a large glass wall earlier this year raised understandable concerns for the future safety of passers-by. The glass fell into a public area, triggering the closure of that part of the building until preventative measures are in place.

Materials onsultancy Sandberg was called in to investigate why the problem occurred and to determine how to prevent any similar incidents.

One of the glass fins stiffening the wall had failed spontaneously, says consultant Dr Richard Harris.

Possible causes were checked. 'We were eventually able to locate the piece of glass from the origin of the fracture and prove there was a defect in the material, ' says Harris.

'It was a nickel sulfide failure.'

The presence of this naturallyoccurring crystalline impurity can cause toughened glass to fail without warning.

There was a chance that other inclusions might be present in the glass wall. 'We've been looking at options for securing the glass, so that if another one failed it would not fall down, ' says Harris. Several tests were carried out to arrive at a way of applying a film to the glass and securing it in place.

www. sandberg. co. uk

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.