Mysterious Window explosion

Posted by: 86Z51

Mysterious Window explosion - 02/06/06 11:24 AM

Has anybody heard of this and/or can explain it? I was airing up some tires in my garage when I heard a loud explosion. I thought a tire had blown, but they all looked ok. Then I looked at my 86 Coupe sitting about 5 feet away (where it has been for months awaiting a brake job and a few other things) and the enire rear hatch had shattered.

Most of the glass had landed inside the car like it had imploded, but some had landed outside as well.

My first thought was that my golfing neighbor had driven another golf ball onto my property and somehow managed to hit the car, but I just can't believe that it would have the energy to do that. Another thought is that a stray bullet (or maybe not stray) had managed to hit it, but I didn't see any holes in the garage and I don't think that a small impact would produce that kind of failure.

Any ideas?
Posted by: Smokensparks

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/06/06 11:53 AM

Stress failure perhaps? If there wasn't an obvious reason what else could it be? confused
Posted by: 86Z51

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/07/06 11:50 AM

Could be but I don't know how much stress it's under if the car is just sitting there. You have the gas struts at the rear edges which are now sticking out over the rear deck with little pieces of glass attached around the buttons at the ends. Another thought I had was that my air compressor was emitting a high frequency noise that caused resonance, but that seems improbable since it runs at a pretty low rpm.
Posted by: BruceF

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/07/06 12:25 PM

I've heard of heat blowing out windows. But, then the glass would have gone out. If the glass were already under stress for some reason and then it got hit I could see it shatter pretty easily. Weird.
Posted by: 86Z51

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/08/06 11:57 AM

The air temp in the garage was about 80F and the temp overnight was probably in the low 30's. If this caused it then it seems like I would have seen alot more failures in my life.
Posted by: Smokensparks

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/09/06 09:50 AM

http://www.alumaxbath.com/tech/tgp.htm
http://www.cwct.co.uk/facets/pack08/text06.htm#nis

My uncle worked in the glass industry for many years. He suggested this theory. Nickel Sulfide, present during production, can cause sponteanous failure years in the future. Long shot? You bet, but possible. Found alot of info on google addressing this possibility. cheers
Posted by: 86Z51

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/09/06 01:12 PM

Hmmm, interesting. I hope this wouldn't apply to airplane windshields, as well.
Posted by: Smokensparks

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/10/06 10:19 AM

I believe airplane windscreens aren't made from the same material. Aren't they made from plexiglass?
Posted by: 86Z51

Re: Mysterious Window explosion - 02/10/06 04:25 PM

Light aircraft, yes, but not with large pressurized aircraft. It's very infrequent that they fail completely. The plastic laminates usually prevent pressure loss and you end up with what looks like a balloon protruding out from the frame, even though you might have 300 knots of indicated airspeed pushing it back!