Reinforced glass beams lecture for Verre 2006 Dr ir. F. A. Veer


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Reinforced glass beams lecture for Verre 2006

  • Dr.ir. F.A. Veer


Glass in architecture

  • Glass has played an important role in architecture as the material that opens up a building to light.

  • An important example are the great rose windows of the medieval cathedrals.





Glass in architecture

  • Although these windows are very dramatic they need extensive supporting masonry as they weaken the structure.





Glass in architecture

  • Although glass appeared to take a leading role it was still only a material that separated the interior and exterior.

  • It was only some twenty years ago that glass started to be used in a limited structural role.





Glass in architecture

  • This marks a transition from non-structural to limited structural use of glass.

  • This also raised the important question:

    • How far can we go in using
    • glass as a structural material ?


Glass as a structural material

  • It also raises the question of what loads we can put on glass in :

    • Tension
    • Bending
    • Compression
    • Bending will be the focus of this presentation


Glass beams

  • Monolithic annealed float glass

  • Tempered float glass

  • PVB laminated tempered float glass

  • Sentry glass laminated tempered float glass

  • Cast resin laminated tempered glass

















Failure behaviour



Stainless steel reinforcement

  • In 1995 the ZAPPI research program started.

  • Goals was to develop safe transparent components for a transparent building of 20×20×20 meters.

  • This means beams of large span, column’s etc. as well as the technology to put it together.





















Further improvement

  • Although the 2004 result showed large and safe beams can be made research is continuing in several directions.

  • This with the following aims :



Further improvement

    • how to increase the ease of manufacture
    • what is the required volume of reinforcement
    • what is the optimum configuration for the reinforcement
    • - what is the optimum configuration for the glass
    • What is the best adhesive for the reinforcement
    • What is the maximum length that can be attained


Ease of manufacture



Required volume of reinforcement



Reinforcement configuration



Adhesive type



configuration for the glass



configuration for the glass



maximum length



Conclusions

  • The results so far show that reinforced glass beams :

    • can exceed the 6 meter length limitation imposed by the standard glass panel size
    • can have a build in structural safety mechanism which shows considerable deformation after initial cracking and thus cannot collapse spontaneously
    • can in theory be used as structural member of the main load bearing construction
    • have a length limit of about 20 m
    • can result in innovative architectural solutions


Conclusions

  • The main obstacles to introduction of reinforced glass beams are:

    • the lack of an adequate knowledge base on which to design the components
    • the problem in joining the glass components together
    • the lack of knowledge about these components at the architecture and engineering level
    • the lack of clearly applicable building codes for the regulatory body
    • the need for specialised staff and expertise for the contractor



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