Glass is a beautiful medium for lining swimming pools. The color spectrum is vast and the colors sparkle. However, many poorly manufactured glass tile mosaics are flooding the market and home improvement warehouses.
Compression & Tension
However, glass is temperamental. Manufactured incorrectly, glass can be both under compression and tension. This is okay for tempered glass (that's exactly why tempered glass breaks into little square pieces). But it is bad for glass tile mosaics.
You cannot tell by looking at the glass tiles with the naked eye. Special devices are required to view the internal stresses.
If the glass tile mosaics are subject to thermal stress, they may spontaneously crack. This is due to the conflicting stresses that may exist in poorly manufacturer glass.
Saving a Buck
Inferior glass tiles are easy to manufacture. The annealing process, (or the slow cooling of freshly manufactured glass), is performed faster than is required. This speeds the manufacturing process and reduces their energy costs - which are tremendous to operate glass kilns. It's all about saving a few bucks.
Most glass tile manufacturers do not maintain a quality control program. They do not randomly sample tiles for testing. Eliminating tests for resistance to thermal shock or the presence of tessellated stresses saves them money.
How does a consumer protect themselves? They should only buy name brand glass tile mosaics. They should inquire if the tiles are guaranteed to be resistant to thermal shock (even slow thermal shock, as what occurs when a spa heats from 50º-104ºF). They should inquire if the tiles undergo random sample testing to ensure that they are not concealing internal stresses. Get their promises in writing...
Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or at 408-776-8220