Orcoroc tempered glass anomaly!!

ks_toolgirlDecember 11, 2011

Don't know where, exactly, to post this - but some may consider arcoroc French glassware collectible, so I'll try here first.

Ok... I "had" a set of 4 glass mugs, got them at GW years ago. Tempered glass, clear w/no color or tint. Into one, I'd put unpolished rock stones from DH's kit. (They've been kept there for several months, in a cupboard). Decided to rinse any dust off, before putting them into polisher. They were rinsed w/water, then DH put a bit of dishwasher detergent in & swished. ALWAYS with room temp water!

This morning, around 10:00 am, he drained all water out & set mug to side on counter. About an hour ago - it SHATTERED, nobody within 7 feet of it! Completely freaked us out - I was upstairs & heard it.

More weird... It kept "popping", for at least 20 minutes - little chunks of glass jumping around like jumping beans!

Most weird... While we stood there watching, in dumbfounded shock, talking about possible causes, I asked DH "um, you don't suppose this is supernatural, do you?"... He said "No, there's got to be a logical explanation!". (He's my lovable Spock, lol). Then, he reached over, picked up a piece of glass & instantly dropped it! It shocked him, as in "electrically"!

I actually took video with my phone, & think I caught a pop & piece of glass moving. Here is a photo I took a few minutes ago - around 9:45 - I heard another "pop-crackle" as I took it.

I put one of the other mugs behind the rubble, to show what it was before.

Anyone able to explain this? NO temperature change, no activity around it for hours - help! I'll post elsewhere, if I get a rational explanation I'll share it, here.

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Tempered glass is highly stressed. It may have been tempered to put the outer surface in compression and conversely, the inner side would be in tension. The trouble may have started when you put rocks in the glass. The rocks could have put micro-scratches in the glass. These were pushed to their breaking point when the glass was rinsed. A small temperature shock may have been enough. Once the first break occured, one could expect nothing more would happen, but you glass continued to shatter. This indicates that it was over-tempered and dangerous.

The puzzlement here is that glass is an amorphous material not having a crystal structure and over a long period of time, its habit to cold flow should have relieved some of the tempering. I'm betting on scratches on the inside of the glass.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 3:07AM
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Here's another idea. Its 'far out' but possible. The glass was set down near an ultrasonic source. High frequency vibration was induced in the glass causing it to break. Some sources of ultrasound are: jewelry cleaners, buglar/intrusion sensors, and so called electronic insect repellers. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners have been known to shatter gem stones, and most makers of these cleaners include a warning to that effect.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 3:31AM
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Tempered glass will "just do that" sometimes.

The tempering places the glass under stress, and a scratch or nick in the wrong place releases the stress and it suddenly explosively releases stress all over the place.

Corningware's Corelle line will do that.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 2:48PM
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Thanks, to both of you! Sorry about the typo in post title, btw, should've read "Arcoroc" - not that it matters, lol.

Those little pieces popping & jumping for a half hour had us fascinated - we stood & stared in fascination.

The "shock" DH got when he picked up a piece - long after it shattered - makes NO sense to us, whatsoever! That just can't happen, right?

I suppose I have to throw the other 3 away... I really liked them, but don't trust them now. (I certainly don't want my kids using them, even if they haven't held rocks!).

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 3:22PM
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I know I'm a little late to the party but even polished stones could create microscopic scratches in the tempered glass. Once there is a flaw, the clock starts ticking and the changes of what you experienced increase.

You can probably continue to use the other pieces. Just don't put anything other than liquids in them.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 12:32AM
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A similar thing happened to five of the six Arcorocs we had; we threw out the sixth. We never noticed the jumping around, only the bursting, always into chunks, never shards. We had those glasses for years, but they all burst within several months of each other. At the time WE DID NOT HAVE A DISHWASHER! I washed them myself, by hand.

I suggest you toss them. Mine never burst when full, just when they were sitting on the formica counter or on the wood shelf in the cupboard. We used them every day for years before the poltergeist struck.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 5:45PM
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