Why have tables been exploding!

Many people wonder, when debating whether or not glass furniture is really for them, if glass furniture is safe. Glass has a reputation for being quite weak and prone to dangerous breakages which, whilst not entirely undeserved, isn’t strictly true. Particularly when talking about toughened glass.

You may be wondering now, if glass so strong and durable how comes I’ve heard all these stories of Patio glass tables exploding recently? You would be well within your rights to ask this question and Futureglass would like to help shed some light on the situation.

First, heres some fun facts about toughened glass:

  • Standard toughened glass typically has a pressure resistance of over 65 megapascals which means that theoretically it could withstand the ground force exerted by an elephant’s foot.
  • Futureglass manufactures glass hifi stands with free standing shelves capable of supporting over 20kg of weight.
  • Toughened glass is manufactured so that when it breaks it forms small blunted granules instead of large dangerous shards.

So if toughened glass is so capable of such feats of strength why have tables been exploding?

A common cause of this is that quite simply the design and or manufacturing is flawed. Glass placed within a metal frame, particularly garden furniture for the summer, has to be granted tolerances, and gasketed accordingly. The metal frame will grow and shrink throughout the day and unless this has been taken into account unnecessary pressure will be placed on the glass which can cause it to break. Gaskets remove the pressure points of unevent metal and share the load. This is often the case with mass produced imported furniture. Design flaws often go overlooked until after the incident has occurred because these products are manufactured by people without the understanding, care or skill who sell to retailers who are often staffed by buyers who simply do not have the specific expert knowledge and experience required.

This is why specialist manufacturers are important. Professional glass furniture manufacturers have the knowledge and the training to understand not only how to design and make a beautiful product but also how it will be used and how this will ultimately affect the product. When purchasing from an independent design and manufacturing specialist you pay for this expertise which makes an engineered product designed to last.

What can I do if my glass top breaks?

When broken, toughened glass forms small relatively harmless granules. A good way of picking up these granules is to get the nozzle of a hoover and place a pair of fine tights over the nozzle end, then simply hoover up the granules and place them into a lidded container. Plastic bags are often unable to take the full weight of the glass table top and will likely split when lifted, so wrap in old newspaper or put into a sturdy box.

In terms of replacing your table top, you can appeal to the retailer who sold you the table, however there is no guarantee that a replacement won’t fall foul to the same issue. We would recommend going to an independent glass furniture manufacturer, many of whom are more than willing to provide a custom made replacement glass table top. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.

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