What is Heat Soak Testing and how does this benefit our clients?
In simplest terms, Heat Soak Testing is a quality control process! Basically, we heat the glass following the tempering process, maintain the heat for a period of time and then allow the glass to cool down. Essentially we are ageing the glass.
Why do we do this?
Heat Soak Testing protects against spontaneous breakage of toughened glass. The Heat Soak Testing process adds longevity to toughened glass by eliminating foreign bodies that occur in raw materials of float glass especially "Nickel Sulphide (NiS)".
The purpose of Heat Soak Testing is to place the panel of glass under load by heating it to cause expansion of the inclusions and resulting in breakage of the glass if there are impurities in the glass panel. Any glass panel that passes this heating and cooling testing process is significantly more likely not to break in the future. Its a form of insurance against spontaneous combustion.
What causes spontaneous combustion?
Not all materials mix 100% thoroughly when glass is manufactured with terminal consequences in some panels of toughened glass. Sometimes Nickle Sulphide(NiS) in the glass can cause spontaneous combustion. The nickel sulphide inclusions can cause toughened glass to break 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days and perhaps 5 years after manufacture. No one can really tell when or even if this is likely to occur. Spontaneous combustion is not covered by warranty.
'NiS inclusions are invisible to the naked eye and practically impossible to eliminate forming during the manufacturing process. Essentially all glass will have some inclusions such as NiS present. These particles can freeze in an unstable form and can return to their original state at any point meaning the glass panel may break. This can occur at any time in days, months or years
Do Clear Glass Solutions recommend Heat Soak Testing?
There are many applications now where Heat Soak testing is becoming mandatory. This includes Balustrades in high rise buildings. Clear Glass Solutions, has the simple standard that we would prefer toughened glass to break before it leaves the factory and not when installed onsite. This means that we substantially reduce any incidence of glass breakage on site to help protect your clients, family, neighbours and friends. The costs associated with replacing a panel of glass on site includes clean up, measure, manufacture, delivery and installation. On some applications, there are OH&S standards to adhere too so may include temporary safety barrier erection. The costs can mount very quickly. Heat Soak testing is an initial cost, but may save you money at some point in the future
We at Clear Glass Solutions recommend that Heat Soak Testing is applied to all toughened glass products and as such offer this service at a minimal cost per square meter . We hope you share our focus on safety and quality by insisting toughened glass installed on your project has undergone this process.