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spikey eye bw



Musings, questions and brief essays. The normal.

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And then, without warning, something rather strange happened.
spikey eye bw
Pictures accompany this entry: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkida/195008918/

"What's this weird stuff under my foot?" I wondered as I stepped into the kitchen. Granted, we haven't swept the floor in a couple of weeks but they felt like incredibly big crumbs and they were right in the middle of the floor. I stepped closer to the counter to find that there were even more of them there, so I stepped back and switched on the light. My original plan had been to wander to the fridge, grab a cold drink and go back to the living room without touching the light, but now I was curious.

All over the floor were tiny little chunks of clear and black glass, almost cuboid in shape, like safety glass is. At first I thought that somehow one of our glass placemats had been swept off the table and shattered but it would have to be a very large one. So what else could shower glass all over the kitchen? I looked up.

"Um. How come our oven door has exploded?" I asked Tobes, carefully stepping back off the chunks of glass, reasoning that bare feet weren't a good plan for the kitchen.

We heard nothing, saw nothing. An hour ago the cooker was intact. It hasn't been used in two days. For some reason, though, it's simply exploded everywhere this evening. I guess it must be the hot weather but it's a mystery. If it had happened in the day I could understand it better - light could have been concentrated through the patio door onto the oven door causing a magnifying glass effect during the day. That, I suppose, would have the potential to make glass explode. Maybe. But it was dark and in a room with nobody in it to disturb anything and it just spontaneously threw glass everywhere. That's a bit dangerous, really, innit?

So now we have to figure out how to get that fixed, what it will cost, and whether the contents insurance is worth invoking. Hey... maybe it's under warranty. Time to dig through paperwork tomorrow. *sigh*
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I think Insurance companies will prefer to take a religious look at it, rather than a supernatural one.

so athesists'd have a hard time when they tried to claim for anything covered by acts of god...

Is it double glazed? A friend had an apparent bullet-hole appear in the inner pane only of his double glazing a few years ago, despite there being nary a gun in the house. Mutter mumble something to do with the pressure between the two sheets of glass rhubarb not all that unusual.

Not double glazed as such. There were two plates of glass in there but they weren't sealed, just screwed into place with the metal parts - air could travel freely between the two.

Well, it's a cooker, right? So chances are it's gotten pretty hot before...

That really is bizarre.
Maybe a clumsy ghost needed a late night snack.
*goes to check whether his cooker has experienced the same phenomenon*

If I remember correctly, the tempered safety glass you get in ovens has its surface quenched during production, so that the outer skin of the glass is under greater stress than the inside (the idea being that it breaks into little cubes when it breaks, rather than huge great Shards of Death and Dismemberment).

Unfortunately, if there's a flaw or scratch in the outer skin, a crack can form and swiftly propagate due to this disparity in stress. Another possible reason for sudden breakage is the growth of nickel sulphide crystals in the glass (normally due to contamination with stainless steel during production). This is rare, but not unheard of; I can remember reading about a shopping centre in the UK which had a persistent problem with glass roof panels shattering for this reason.

Either way, it's probably a manufacturing problem that's taken some time to show itself, and so you should be able to claim on your insurance.

(on the plus side, at least it wasn't your ceramic hob that went bang - it was you that had a plate/pancake/halogen hob accident, wasn't it?)

Having found that the replacement part is about 83 quid and the excess on the insurance is 100, I think we'll fund this ourselves... Damnit.

And yeah, it was me with the pancake. Explosions are following me around!

GBP83 for the part - how much for fitting it, or are you happy to do that yourself?

We don't know yet - none of the local "Smeg engineers" are open on Saturdays. I would imagine about 50 quid or so, and for the hassle of a claim for the sake of 20-30 quid or so it's not worth it.

We can't do it ourselves, we can't work out how the pieces held together. The bit at the top of the door with the handle on it came off when I tried opening the remains of the door, and the bottom part will need taking off to retrieve bits of glass from inside it.

The breaking into safe itty pieces is a nice side effect, but the primary reason for tempering is to prevent breakages due to scratches on the outside. In ordinary glass, a scratch on the surface can easily widen and spread, but for tempered glass, the surface is in compression, so a crack has a lot to do before it can even start widening.

Unfortunately, if there's a flaw or scratch in the outer skin, a crack can form and swiftly propagate due to this disparity in stress.

No, you've got that backwards, that's what can happen to glass that isn't tempered.

Ah, you're right. I thought it didn't sound quite right...

Wow, that is very bizarre! You never know what's going to happen. Surely it couldn't be hot weather, what with it being an oven and all. Hope you get it sorted soon.

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