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Old 09-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Since Pyrex explodes at times, what to replace it with?

Since pyrex has a tendancy to explode un predictably what are you all going to replace it with? Or are you just going to be really careful with it

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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I have never had Pyrex explode. The times I have heard of that happening were due to thermal shock, most commonly putting a Pyrex dish right out of the oven in a puddle of water.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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It's not unpredictable at all. Thermal shock as already noted. Put it on layers of a dry towel when hot or a wooden trivet. A cast iron trivet might also cause thermal shock
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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so while nothing is absolute, you can pretty much prevent it from exploding. What concerns me is that my wife does things pretty much unconsciously, so she could take something from the ice box and try to put it in the oven.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Let me explain the physics of this. As materials, be they glass, ceramic, metal, liquids, etc., heat or cool, they expand or shrink. It is this quality that creates the explosions. Glass is an insulator. It doesn't accept or transfer heat readily. When you take glass that is very hot, or very cold, and immerse it into an environment that forces rapid temperature change (placing a hot casserole dish onto a water covered counter top where the water rapidly cools the material that it touches) the glass that is forced to rapidly change temperature contracts. But the heat isn't dissipated from the whole container. Only the outermost skin of the glass is rapidly cooled. Glass and ceramic have very little elasticity and the rapidly cooling surface contracts much faster than the iner layer of the material, creating huge stress until the glass shatters.

Think of a bi-metallic strip. It is made of two metals, with different expansion rates, welded together. When they are heated, one strip expands faster than the other one. This causes the strip to bend as one piece of metal pulls on the other for the length of the strip. That's what makes an electric toaster stop toasting. The strip finally bends enough so that it trips a latch that turns off the toaster and releases a spring loaded bread holder. That same bending action is forced onto a glass or ceramic dish when it is very hot or cold, and is subject to extreme temperature change. The outside surface expands or contracts too quickly and tries to bend the whole dish. That force becomes strong enough to shatter the glass.

Pyrex used to be made from a special formulation of glass that transfered heat throughout the whole of the container much more quickly, and thus prevented the thermal shock problem. But now, they just use tempered glass as it's cheaper.

Believe it or not, in extreme cases, cast iron can be made to shatter in the same way that ceramics or glass can shatter from thermal shock. But it takes extreme temperatures to do it. I have heard of it happening though.

Be careful with any pot or pan, no matter what it's made of. I have seen the bottom of my stainless steel pots expand and suddenly warp inwards when placed on too high a heat, with little liquid in them. This caused a loud bang when the pan bottom popped upward and threw water into the air. The bottom got bigger, but the sides didn't change thier circumferance, and the only direction the metal had to go was up, suddenly and with violent consequences. Fortunately I wasn't very close and didn't get hit with hot water.

Know a bit about your cooking tools and you will be safe. All pots, pans, and cooking vessels have strengths, and weaknesses. It's best to knowsomething about the properties of the tools you use so that you get safe, and effective results with them.

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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goodweed... I thank you for the physics refersher course.... all jokes aside but i was an electrical engineering major... I know the physics.

I have a really cute and intelligent wife... who has argued with me about the sun setting in the east....

And one day she will take a dish from the icebox and put it on the stove and it will ka-pluey and she will look at me all sweet an innocent....

And i will say didn't I tell you not to do that

And she will continue to look at me all sweet and innocent...
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilasman View Post
...Or are you just going to be really careful with it

From your last post, the above does not appear to be an option. There is a variety of metal (steel, iron, aluminum) pans in all the same sizes as the glass ones.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:09 PM   #8
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>>Pyrex used to be made from a special formulation of glass that transfered heat throughout the whole of the container much more quickly, and thus prevented the thermal shock problem. But now, they just use tempered glass as it's cheaper.

this is incorrect. "Pyrex" glass is a formulation of glass that has a low coefficient of thermal expansion.

"tempered glass" is altogether a different concept.

the "coefficient of thermal expansion" is the amount of expansion a material experiences per degree of thermal difference.

"thermal difference" - that's about about taking it directly from the freezer to a hot oven.

"amount of expansion" if you stretch (any) material past its limit, it breaks. so a glass with a high expansion per degree of heat change will more rapidly expand/stretch to the point where the elastic limit of the material cannot withstand the strain - and then it breaks.

yeah, I used to work for a glass company.....
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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Cool. Thanks Dillbert. What about Visions cookware? Do you know what it is made of?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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i have some visions , have had for many years, nary a problem. the only time one exploded on me, i was roasting a duck. pulled out to check and the air hit that super hot duck fat. it shattered. scary
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