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Loud cracking dinner plate 15 min after dropping

  1. Jun 22, 2015 #1
    Hi all

    Random question: yesterday an empty ceramic / porcelain dinner plate was accidentally dropped on a tiled floor from the dinner table. Amazingly, it did not break. It was picked up and set aside on the kitchen counter, where it remained untouched. After about 15 minutes, there was a loud cracking sound, and it split along a single straight line, causing about 1/3 of the plate to be broken off. I really struggle to come up with an explanation for this, given that there was no heating / cooling taking place, or other external forces being exerted...

    Any thoughts would be interesting.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2015 #2


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    Hi humanoid,

    It seems as though the plate has obtained some micro-fissures and a tensed structure by the impact, it is hard to say as no knowledge on manufacturing can be obtained (no need for interpretation).
    These fissures can in time go from from micro to macro without any need of force acting externally, like scratching a tempered glass and the catastrophic failure thereafter, just that in this case a small fissure (caused by a tension) grew (slow process) until the structure was destabilized (extremely fast fissure growth).
  4. Jun 22, 2015 #3
    Thanks Lok... that explanation makes sense to me!

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