Corelle revisited

I had an incident just a few minutes ago that brought back this thread.

Little backstory: About a month ago I completed 12 rounds over 24 weeks of chemo. My fingers and toes are still numb and tingly.

My wife just handed me a Corelle plate with the remains of some sauce and wanted me to set it on the floor for the dogs to lick. When I got bent down to where it was about 12-18 inches from the floor it slipped out of my fingers and immediately exploded into millions of tiny pieces of very sharp shrapnel. There was not even one piece big enough to pick up safely with fingers.

I have no idea where the common notion that they’re unbreakable came from.

A bowl of hot mashed potatoes shattered when dropped.
Was you plate hot?

Corelle is shatter resistant, not shatterproof. They hold up pretty well, but when they do shatter (it depends on how they hit the floor), they break into a thousand shards.

They’re much more rugged than ordinary glass, but they have this nasty tendency to turn into a thousand flechettes when they finally do break.

Is that a function of the shatter-resistance? I know squat about materials science, so I could be totally off on this, but do shatter-resistant items fragment more completely when they reach their limit than non-shatter-resistant items? My guess would be yes. Anybody want to educate me on this?

I only know Corelle does this, but given the example of Prince Rupert’s Drop, it’s possible that the strength comes from the material being under tension, and if that tension is snapped, it will shatter.

Are you suggesting cruelty to animals?

Corelle generally bounces, but I have heard that older Corelle tends to shatter. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced this yet myself. But my set is quite old.

Sir, I am a member of the SPCAES.

Corelle and other shatter-resistant glasses are typically tempered glass, which is a specific heat-treatment regime that toughens the glass (reduces overall brittleness). When pushed to failure, internal stresses make the glass break into smaller shards rather than long jagged dagger-like ones.

Automotive glass is also typically tempered glass, which is why broken car glass typically breaks up into glass nuggets instead of glass swords.

They are nicely chip resistant, Not fully drop resistant from my experience. When you hear a noise behind you while washing, and instinctively turn with plate in hand, clipping the sink or faucet, they do very well compared to other plates.

Safety glass breaks safely because of tension, though. It sounds like the OP’s plate shattered into death shards.

I had a plate of grits break almost perfectly in half while reheating in the microwave.

Safety glass (in cars) has a layer of plastic between the panes of glass, which keeps the broken shards from flying around.

I had a round pizza stone break into a perfect Yin-Yang(well, no eyes, but other wise perfect)

^This. I’ve been using Corelle for years; on average I break a piece once a year or so, but I’ve never had a chip occur.

But I see no evidence that they’re shatter resistant at all. In my experience, if you drop one on any surface other than carpet it almost certainly WILL break, usually spectacularly. Even, as I mentioned in the previously linked thread, if it’s brand new being taken out of the box for the first time.

I wasn’t thinking of car safety glass, but tempered glass. Like my deck table top. The one that the wind blew over, causing it to drop onto the deck and shatter in thousands of not at all dangerous pieces.

Actually, even in cars I think it’s only the windshield and rear glass that are laminated. I think the side windows are designed to be impacted and shatter into safe pieces, like my aforementioned table top.

Whose fault was that?

I recall seeing side windows cracked into comparatively large pieces that stayed together.
But I digress.