Thermal breakage or thermal stress in glass is caused by varying amounts of radiant heat absorbed across a single sheet of glass. Large wandering cracks that mysteriously appear in glass panels are the typical consequence of thermal stress. There are various conditions or even types of glass that contribute to a higher risk of thermal breakage. Although in most cases there is no way to avoid the source of thermal stress a variety of solutions are available to prevent the costly fractures that are produced by this phenomenon.
Some may question whether the Australian Standards committee have gone far enough with the current code but pressure from affiliated industries and bodies may have played a part in preventing more changes to the old standard. The logical progression is to see all glass products in buildings move to some form of safety glass and here we will examine the past, present and future of glass in buildings.