University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > The use of glass envelopes for building stability - Glass panel under shear loading

The use of glass envelopes for building stability - Glass panel under shear loading

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The latest trends in contemporary architecture are fully transparent pavilions: a single storey building free of any steel or concrete frame, where glass panels are used as unique vertical structural elements to support the roof and as wind bracing to stabilize and stiffen the building. In this application, individual glass panel is supported on two sides (roof and foundation) and subjected to in-plane shear force, out-of-plane distributed load and in-plane compression force. While several studies on glass plate behaviour under distributed load and column buckling exist, shear buckling of two sides supported glass panel has not been investigated yet. The local behaviour of the connection devices and the global behaviour of the glass panel under in-plane shear force are studied by means of experimental investigations, numerical modelling and parametric analyses.

Two structural concepts are developed: - point support concept – the glass panel is attached to the substructure by bolted connections at corners - linear support concept – the glass panel is glued to the substructure by two shorter sides.

Investigation on connection devices was conducted in order to understand the behaviour of different types of glass/substructure bolted and glued connections and their influence on surrounding glass. Tests on full size glass panels were used to estimate their shear buckling behaviour.

Advanced numerical models of glass panel were implemented using the FE code ANSYS . By elastic buckling analysis the critical shear buckling force, shear buckling coefficient and shear buckling modes were determined. By means of nonlinear buckling analyses the global glass panel behaviour was studied analysing glass panel deformations, stresses distribution and support reactions. Comparing their results with experimental measurements validated the model.

A parametric study was carried out to identify the most important parameters. The influence of the glass panel and connection device geometrical/material properties on critical shear force, global deformation, stress distribution and support reaction were determined.

A simple method for preliminary design of glass panels subjected to in-plane shear force was proposed for determining the glass panel shear buckling resistance. Finally, practical recommendations for use of glass panels in fully-transparent pavilions as structural elements were given.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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