Flawed Beauty: the problem with toughened glass

On 2nd August 1999, a particularly hot day in the town of Cirencester in the UK, a large pane of toughened glass in the roof of a shopping centre at Bishops Walk shattered without warning and fell from its frame.

When fragments were analysed by experts at the giant glass manufacturer Pilkington. which had made the pane, Q24 they found that minute crystals of nickel sulphide trapped inside the glass had almost certainly caused the failure.

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