Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)   February 2014

Glass has, in relatively recent times, undergone significant increase in its
use within our built environment, especially as a structural material. This
Guide updates and revises the Institution of Structural Engineers’ well
renowned and respected text Structural use of glass in buildings.
This Guide is not intended to be a code of practice, but rather a principal
source of information and reference for those interested in the structural
use of glass. It also provides general guidance sourced from all over the
world that is based on existing good practice as a starting point from
which designers can carry out further studies and research according to
circumstances.
It is intended that this Guide be used by experienced structural
engineers and construction industry professionals. It assumes varying
degrees of prior knowledge of the structural use of glass, in order to
provide an insight into design methodology, specification, materials and
techniques in the design and construction of glass structures.
Like the first edition, worked examples are given throughout the Guide
for the simple design of glass elements such as floor plates, beams and
columns. Connection design is also considered, as connections play a
significant role in the design of glass elements. Unique to this edition is
the inclusion of advice on the modelling of glass structures within
structural analysis computer applications to reflect the contemporary
working practices with the increased reliance of such tools. This Guide
also addresses some of the other issues that may influence structural
behaviour, or place constraints on what can be achieved, such as
extreme loading conditions and fire protection.

Structural use of glass
in buildings
(Second edition)
February 2014

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Institution
Structural
Engineers

Structural use of glass
in buildings
(Second edition)
February 2014

Technical author
C O’Regan BEng(Hons) CEng MIStructE (The Institution of Structural Engineers)
Membership of the steering group
M Byatt CEng MIStructE (PINNACLE Consulting Engineers) Chairman
B Barton BSc(Hons) CEng FIStructE FICE FConsE GradDiplBldgCons AA (Barton Engineers)
J Colvin MA(Cantab) (JCGC Limited)
S Ledbetter BSc PhD CEng FICE FSFE (Centre for Window and Cladding Technology,
University of Bath)
P Lenk Bc(Eng) Ing(Struct) PhD CEng MIStructE SSM SAS (Eckersley O’Callaghan)
T Macfarlane CEng MIStructE RDI (Glass Light and Special Structures)
J O’Callaghan BEng CEng MIStructE MHKIE (Eckersley O’Callaghan)
M Otlet BSc(Hons) D.Eng CEng FIStructE FSFE (Atkins)
M Overend BE&A(Hons) MSc PhD A&CE CEng MIStructE MICE (University of Cambridge)
D Pask BSc(Hons) CEng MIStructE (Atkins)
P Ryan BSc PhD CEng MIStructE FSFE (Patrick Ryan Associates)
J Sakula MA CEng FIStructE FICE (Buro Happold)
W Sharman BSc(Eng) (Cantifix Limited)
G Vasilchenko CEng MIStructE (Malishev Wilson Engineers)
F Wellershoff Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. IWE/EWE/SFI (HafenCity Universita¨t Hamburg)
Secretary to the steering group
L Allan MEng(Hons) (The Institution of Structural Engineers) (until July 2012)
L Kirk MEng(Hons) (The Institution of Structural Engineers) (from September 2012)
Acknowledgements
Fusion Glass – Figure 1.1, 1.2 and 8.8
Mel Yates – Figure 6.3, 6.7, 8.1 and 9.2
Dennis Gilbert – Figure 8.7
FA Firman – Figure 8.11
Gennady Vasilchenko-Malishev – Figure 8.16
Mariinsky stair, A Belov (Project Russia Magazine) – Figure 3.1
Eckersley O’Callaghan – Figure 1.3, 2.13, 2.16, 2.23, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7,
4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.11a, 4.11b, 4.11c, 4.12, 4.13a, 4.13b, 4.13c, 4.14, 4.15, 4.16, 8.2,
8.9, 8.17
William Murphy, Dublin – Figure 1.7
Jens Henrik Nielsen – Figure 2.8
DuPont – Figure 2.11 and Table 2.2 – DuPontTM and SentryGlassw are registered
trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates
Siu Lai Chan – Figure 2.14
IGA Institute for Glass Application, Witten, Germany – Figure 2.24
The Exeter Daily, Marc Astley – Figure 3.1
Novum Structures – Figure 5.1, 5.3, 7.2 and 8.18
Cantifix and the work to Rodic´ Davidson Architects – Figure 7.1
South China Morning Post – Figure 14.4
Elsevier – Figure D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, D8, D9, D10, D11, D12, D13, D14
# Raimond Spekking/CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons) – Figure 11.2
Conservation and restoration of glass by Sandra Davison, Taylor & Francis,
2nd Edition, 2003, Chapter 3, page 127, Figure 3.43 – Figure 1.9
Centre for Window and Cladding Technology – Figure 2.25
Permission to reproduce extracts from British Standards is granted by BSI Standards
Limited (BSI). No other use of this material is permitted. British Standards can be
obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/
Shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hard copies only: Tel: +44 (0)20
8996 9001, Email: cservices@bsigroup.com – Figure 7.3, 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6
Published by The Institution of Structural Engineers
International HQ, 11 Upper Belgrave Street, London SW1X 8BH
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7235 4535 Fax: +44 (0)20 7235 4294
Email: mail@istructe.org Website: www.istructe.org
First published 2014
ISBN 978-1-906335-25-0
# 2014 The Institution of Structural Engineers

The Institution of Structural Engineers and those individuals who contributed to this Guide have
endeavored to ensure the accuracy of its contents. However, the guidance and recommendations
given in the Guide should always be reviewed by those using the Guide in the light of the facts of
their particular case and specialist advice obtained as necessary. No liability for negligence or
otherwise in relation to this Guide and its contents is accepted by the Institution, the technical
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should pay particular attention to the provisions of this Condition.
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1 Post-failure behaviour of monolithic glass 16 2.1 7.3.3.4 7.1 3.2 Design criteria for fire protection 20 3.7 6.1 Description 29 4.6 7.2.3.1 1.4 Glass in the building envelope 34 Introduction 34 Design of glass panes within cladding units 5.3 Heat-strengthened glass 7 2.4.2.1 Introduction 56 5.6 Location 23 3.1.3 Non-linear analysis 29 Design examples 29 4.5.1.3.5.2 Annealed glass 6 2.4 Methods of connection 35 5.4 Detailed global model 28 Analysis types 29 4.3 Design criteria for blast loading 21 3.2 Initial model checks 32 4.5 Chemically toughened glass 8 2.1.7 2.6.1 Introduction 49 8.3.6 2.9 Testing methodology 24 3.8 Connection design 38 Introduction 38 Continuous linear support connections Clamp connections 38 Friction connections 38 Bolted connections 39 Adhesive based connections 40 Worked example 41 References 41 7 7.4 Methods of support 37 5.4 Methods of connection 50 8.2.2 7.3 Detailed local models 28 4.9 Glass balustrades 42 Introduction 42 Design principles 42 Material selection 43 Methods of connection 43 Serviceability 44 Initial sizing 45 Design criteria 45 Worked example for balustrade design References 48 8 8.2. non-linear 29 4.2.3.1 Introduction 15 2.5.1 4.7 Environment 23 3.3.5 Serviceability 35 5.3.2 4.6 Initial sizing 51 8.2.3 1.8 Testing 24 3.1 Interpretation 31 4.5 Serviceability 51 8.4 6.1.2 Simple global model 27 4.1 Introduction 20 3.3 7.5 7.Contents List of tables Notation v vi 4.2 6.4 3.3 Manufacture 16 2.2 Design principles 49 8.6 Initial sizing 36 Design of insulating glazed units 36 5.7 7.3.4.5.3 Material selection 50 8.4 Thermally toughened glass 8 2.6 5 5.3 3.3 Verification of results 32 References 33 5.1 Linear vs.2 2.1 5.1 Element design 49 Glass floor plate design 49 8.5 Adhesives 15 Limitations of material 15 2.1 Description 36 5.2 3.2.5 3 3.5 Structural use of glass Introduction 1 History of glass 2 Scope 4 Status 4 References 4 2 2.8 7.5.3.3 Clamp fixings 13 2.4.2 Analysis of glass structures Introduction 27 Modelling techniques 27 4.4 1.1 Methodology 27 4.5 2.1.5 Serviceability 37 References 37 6 6.1 Parameters 34 5.3 Redundancy and post-failure behaviour of glass 17 Application of limit state theory 17 References 17 2.3 Design principles 5 Glass material properties 5 Behaviour of glass as a structural material 5 Glass types 6 2.6.2.3.3 Design principles 35 5.5.4.5.4 2.6 6.5 Design criteria 19 Introduction 19 Stress limits 19 Support movements 20 Serviceability limits 20 Fire protection and extreme loading conditions 20 3.5 6.3.3 27 8.2.4.3.2.7 Laminated glass 10 2.1.3 6.3 Foreword vii 1 1.2 34 38 46 52 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) iii .5.1 Localised stress 13 2.3.7 Worked example for floor plate design Glass wall design 56 8.2.1 Introduction 23 3.3 Design principles 37 5.6 Heat soaking 9 2.4 Bolted fixings 14 2.4 4.2 Inherent properties 16 2.4.1 6.3.11 References 26 4 4.2 Continuous linear supports 13 2.2 Linear elastic analysis 29 4.1 2.2 1.3.9 Material properties of glass 12 Connections in glass 13 2.1.8 Glass coatings 12 2.4 Design criteria for seismic loading 22 3.2 Post-failure behaviour of glass at height 23 3.4.10 Codified approach to testing 24 3.2 Material choice 36 5.1 The four variants 6 2.5.5.4 Transport and installation 16 Post-failure behaviour 16 2.3.2 Post-failure behaviour of laminated glass 17 2.8 1 4.6.2 Advanced analysis techniques 30 Interrogation of model and results 31 4.6.5.6.2 Material choice 35 5.

4.1 Introduction 73 9.1 10.3 10.4.2 Material choice 73 9. construction.5 Serviceability 63 8.4.3.5 11.1 Introduction 85 iv 85 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 14.1 13.3.2.1 12.7 Worked example for glass wall design Glass beam design 61 8.3 Specification 83 Introduction 83 Specification for glass cladding 83 Specification for glass structures 83 12.3. and maintenance of glass structures 80 Introduction 80 Procurement 80 Quality control 80 Construction methods 80 Replacement strategy and maintenance regimes of glass structures 81 References 82 13 13.1 Principles of design 73 9.5 14.3.3 Design principles 73 9.5 9 9.3 Material selection 63 8.1 11.3 8.4 Fire protection of glass structures 75 Introduction 75 Material changes to glass for fire protection 75 Positive fire protection to glass structures 76 Impact of fire protection to the design of structural glass elements 76 10.6 12 Designing glass structures for extreme loading conditions 77 Accidental loads 77 Designing for blast loads 77 Ballistic loading 78 Intruder resistance 79 Designing for seismic loads 79 References 79 12.4 Methods of connection 68 8.2 11.3 9.3 11.3.4 12.7 Worked example for glass beam design 65 Glass column design 66 8.3 Material selection 57 8.4 8.5 14 Inspection of glass structures 14.4 Methods of connection 73 9.2.5 Serviceability 58 8.3.3.1 9.4 14.3 12.5 References 76 11 11.2 12.4 59 73 10 10.2 Special application of structural glass Introduction 73 Prestressed glass structures 73 9.3.6 14.2.4 11.2 Design principles 56 8.3 Design principles 66 8.6 Procurement.2.4.7 Degradation of connections 85 Cracking due to thermal shock 85 Cracking due to instability 85 Cracking due to surface imperfections Cracking due to impact 85 Nickel sulphide imperfections 86 Appendix A Bibliography 85 87 Appendix B Regulatory framework 88 Appendix C Design data for structural glass 89 Appendix D Material properties charts 91 Appendix E Glossary of terms 99 .1 Introduction 61 8.2.3 14.6 Initial sizing 58 8.1 Introduction 66 8.2.3.2 Design principles 74 Reference 74 9.2.2 Design principles 62 8.6 Initial sizing 64 8.7 Worked example for glass column design 70 References 71 8.2.5 Serviceability 68 8.4.2.6 Initial sizing 68 8.4 Methods of connection 63 8.2 10.4 Methods of connection 57 8.2.8.2 13.4.4.2.2 14.2 Material choice 66 8.5 Serviceability 73 Adhesive based glass structures 73 9.

2 Table 3.1 Table 3.1 Table 8.4 Table 7.6 Table C.7 Table C.2 C.1 Table 2. temperature rise 76 Material properties 89 Material partial factors 89 Variable action partial factor gQ 89 Glass surface profile factor ksp 89 Action duration factor kmod 89 Characteristic bending strength for prestressed glass fb.1 Table Table Table Table Table Table C.List of tables Table 2.4 C.3 Table 3.3 Table 3.9 Typical composition of soda–lime–silica glass 6 Temperature and load duration vs.k 90 Strengthening factor kv 90 Edge stress factor ke 90 Coefficient of shear transfer v 90 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) v .1 C.2 Table 10.5 C.1 Table 8. Young’s modulus of ionoplast interlayer 11 Characteristic strength of all types of glass 13 Values of characteristic strength for prestressed glass 19 Values of edge factor ke 20 Thermal shock temperature limits for glass 21 General Services Administration (GSA) categories for blast loads 22 Approximate thicknesses of free-standing toughened glass balustrades 45 Coefficient of slenderness g1 63 Coefficient of slenderness g2 and g3 63 Deterioration of PVB interlayer vs.8 Table C.3 C.2 Table 2.

k characteristic strength of prestressed glass design strength of glass at its edge feg.w hef.s effective thickness of laminated glass for stress thickness of ply in laminated glass hk hm.T) interlayer shear modulus GJ effective torsional rigidity H height of glazing panel I second moment of area Ii second moment of area in plies of a laminated glass column Is second moment of area of a laminated glass column J torsional constant L span of element when considering deflection limits distance between points of effective rigid rotational Lay restraint LCR unrestrained length of glass column M applied design bending moment MCR critical elastic bending moment N applied design axial force NCR axial design load capacity of glass column design stress limit Rd W elastic modulus Zi distance between centre of ply and centre of laminated glass column section Latin lower case letters b distance from centre of bolt to the centre of the bolt group and width of glazing c clearance between glass cladding element and frame supports d depth of beam and mid-span deflection of a simply supported beam e eccentricity of load onto column fb. .d applied stress F tension in bolt due to torque G shear modulus Gint shear modulus of the interlayer in laminated glass columns G(t.Notation Latin upper case letters A cross sectional area of a glass column E Young’s modulus EIy effective rigidity for bending about the minor axis EULS.k distance between middle of ply and middle of laminated glass pane ke edge factor for glass factor for load duration kmod ksp factor for glass profile prestressing factor kv t glass thickness teff effective thickness of laminated glass column thickness of ply in a laminated glass column ti tint thickness of the interlayer in a laminated glass column factor for imperfections in glass columns w0 y0 distance between restraint and the neutral axis of a glass beam yh distance from the neutral axis of the loading point in a glass beam vi The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Greek lower case letters coefficient for area of concentrated point load material partial factor for basic annealed glass material partial factor for prestressed glass deflection and inter-storey drift coefficient of friction in a bolt fixing Poisson’s ratio density stress coefficient of shear transfer in laminated glass b gM:A gM:v d d m n r s v Note: The glossary of terms is contained in Appendix E.d fg.k g1 coefficient of slenderness for glass beams slenderness factor for applied load to glass beams g2 g3 slenderness factor for support conditions to glass beams h height of glazing/cladding effective thickness of laminated glass for deflection hef.d design strength of glass characteristic strength of basic annealed glass fg.

Originally used as beads within jewellery. In particular. Matthew Byatt Steering Group Chairman The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) vii . in relatively recent times. followed by vessels and much later for incorporation within windows of buildings. the Guide will provide a detailed source of reference and knowledge for those engineers and designers already experienced in the structural design and use of glass. It is intended that the Guide be used by structural engineers and construction industry professionals. This second edition updates and expands upon the original publication but also re-formats the Guide to create an interesting. specification. Worked examples are given throughout the Guide for the simple design of various glass elements ranging from balustrades to floors. glass has. In 1999 the Institution of Structural Engineers published The structural use of glass in buildings. environmental considerations and architecture are pushing forward the boundaries of its use and. We are now at a pivotal point in the use of glass within buildings where technology. in doing so. drafting and preparing the final text of the document. It is hard to envisage any modern building where glass does not play an important part within the design. to fill a clear void in the published information available on this topic. with its unique optical and aesthetic properties. in order to provide an insight into design methodology. undergone significant increase in its use within our built environment. with varying degrees of prior knowledge of the structural use of glass. hard work and enthusiasm in researching. Throughout the process he has been open and accommodating when receiving and incorporating comments from the steering group on the numerous drafts throughout the authoring process.Foreword For thousands of years humans have manufactured glass. This Guide is not intended to be a code of practice. materials and techniques. sustainability. In 2012 a steering group was brought together by the Institution with a brief to review. considerable expertise and valued contributions in producing this document. update and revise this well renowned and respected guidance document and to create The structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition). are driving forward the understanding and further development of glass as a structural material. I would like to thank all members of the steering group who have brought their knowledge to our meetings and have freely given their help. but rather a principal source of information and reference for those interested in the structural use of glass. highly informative reference document combined with a wholly useable design guide. In addition. as well as reference and guidance for those wishing to further advance their knowledge and understanding. I would personally wish to thank Chris O’Regan of the Institution for his determination.

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As architecture becomes more adventurous (see Figure 1. The methods of design and construction of glass structures described in this Guide are contemporary to the time of its publication. of connection design cannot be understated with respect to structural glass elements. It is for this reason that such research has not been included in this edition. London. as they play a significant role in the design of elements. The structure of this Guide is set out in such a way as to provide as many tools as possible to carry out the design of structural glass elements.1 Glass water feature in Pompano Park. Chapters 2 to 4 explain design principles and criteria as well as expand on appropriate methods of computer modelling.2 Glass walkway. The importance Figure 1. This includes structural elements that carry load directly. Figure 1. Examples include balustrades. floor plates.2) and the need to create well lit and spacious areas within buildings becomes more prominent. The use of glass as a structural material within buildings has become increasingly common over the past 25 years. walls.1 and 1.3 as evidence of this. construct and inspect a glass structure. The Guide is split into 14 chapters and has been set out in such a way as to aid the structural engineer to design. These could vary from balustrades to enclosures that are to be constructed entirely from glass.1 Introduction This Guide deals with the design of structural glass in buildings. However. the reliance on the use of glass as a structural material has increased. elements subject to thermal effects and those that support imposed loads/variable actions. their own weight. a significant amount of technological advancement has occurred within the realm of use of structural glass elements – see Figure 1. Knowing that continuing research is being carried out in this field. Chapter 9 covers the special application of glass structures. It also covers glass elements that resist only wind load. but is inexperienced in designing structural elements in glass. This Guide is aimed at the structural engineer who is well versed in the design of building structures using more traditional materials such as steel and reinforced concrete. UK Since the first edition of this Guide was published in 1999. far more so than for traditional building materials. so the reader is encouraged to become fully versed with them before delving any further. There is also an emphasis placed on the design of connections in all of their forms. it is not exhaustive and the reader is encouraged to seek further guidance from other texts. silicone or adhesives within glass structures. The remainder of the Guide refers back to the principles laid down within these chapters.1 Structural use of glass 1. Chapters 5 to 8 describe how various structural glass elements are designed. Cheapside. be it bolted. It is this fact more than any other that has prompted the creation of this second edition. notably the use unique structural solutions such as the application of post tensioning. the reader is alerted to the fact that the use of glass as a structural element is still benefiting from continued advancements and that there is much in the way of cutting edge technology that is being developed but not yet proven. such as a beam or column. columns and beams. Florida Figure 1.3 Glass staircase and balastrade The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 1 .

The method they used consisted of casting the glass onto a table and then pulling it into shape while it was still relatively workable.6 Crown glass manufacturing . such was the complexity to create and install them. Chapter 13 expands on how structural glass elements are to be specified within design documents. Initially large windows existed in cathedrals and churches. producing a disc of glass that was then cooled gently. such as those generated during seismic events and explosions.5) in large enough quantities that would allow them to use it as glazing. It was coloured and was typically used as either jewellery or for vessels to store liquids (see Figure 1. North East England.4 Egyptian glass vessel 2 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 1.2 Lead glass was invented by George Ravenscroft in the 1670s and the British Plate Glass Company was founded in 1773. maintenance and inspection of existing glass structures.1 as a time of glass roofs and graceful curves. Notable examples include: Figure 1. In the crown method glassmakers blew a large bubble of glass. which eventually declined in the middle of the 19th century. Glass making was further developed by the Romans. Eventually developments in structural engineering made increasingly larger window openings possible for all types of buildings. There was a glass industry in Britain as early as 680 AD around Jarrow. This lead to the creation of the great iron and glasshouses that were built in the first half of the 19th century and were described by Woods and Warren1. Figure 1. likely causes of cracking and established safe methods of construction. who were the first to create clear glass (see Figure 1. thus stimulating demand for bigger and better panes of glass.5m  0. This process was the only way of making flat glass panes. Venetians and subsequently by the French. Tyne and Wear.2 Structural use of glass Chapters 10 and 11 explain the impact that fire protection has on the design of structural glass and how extreme loading conditions.4). which they then spun rapidly while the glass was still soft. but they were usually smaller.6) for manufacturing glass was first developed in the 14th century in France. Syrians. are considered. History of glass The oldest finds of glass date from around 3500 BC in Egypt. It was considered to be prestigious if a property owner had glass in their windows. The 19th century invention of the Siemens-Martin firing method. that recovered the heat from waste gases. This method was adopted by the The ‘crown’ process (see Figure 1. It explains the key performance criteria structural glass must meet and how this is traditionally communicated to the contractor. The crown method could produce panes of up to 0. It was the variation in thickness of glass panes made by this method that gave rise to the myth of glass ‘flowing’ even when cold. 1.75m. The first American glass making innovation was a glass-pressing machine that was patented in 1825.5 Roman clear glass vessels Chapter 14 explains what needs to be considered when carrying out inspections of glass structures and will assist the reader in knowing what to look for when carrying out such inspections. Germans and English.1. Chapter 12 concerns the procurement. It covers aspects of cleaning. construction. made possible the higher temperatures needed for better quality glass.

the glass industry has responded to concerns regarding the energy efficiency of glass by developing new coatings to tune the performance of glass to reduce energy consumption in use. it was slit longitudinally and it was then reheated and opened out into a flat sheet. the drop would disintegrate. the resulting drop of glass could withstand the impact of a hammer. In the 17th century Prince Rupert of the Rhine discovered that if small drops of molten glass were cooled in a bucket of water. and D.9). also completed in 1848. Bailey in 1827.0m  1. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 3 1. which used 84000 square metres (900000 square feet) of sheet glass in its patented ridge and furrow construction. Plate glass is the name given to glass rolled from the furnace into a ribbon.7).8).3m (60ft) tall circular dome at Bretton in Yorkshire. 1851. This was costly and incurred wastage of 20%. which is described in Chapter 2. In the mid-20th century Pilkington developed the float glass process. – The Palm House at Kew by Decimus Burton and Richard Turner. notably the Belgian Fourcault and the American Colburn Processes. This was due to the built in coupling of compression and tension stress within the glass.8 The Curvilinear Range at the National Botanic Garden. The cylinder process (also known as the broad process) provided glass of more uniform thickness up to 1. The patent described the process of cooling the surface of the annealed glass at a faster rate than the centre thus creating a material that was stronger than basic annealed glass. completed in 1848 (see Figure 1. then flattened and cooled it by pulling it between asbestos rollers into panes up to 1. In 1871 William Pilkington invented a machine which automated the production of plate glass made using the cylinder process. The beginning of the 20th century saw the development of various drawn flat sheet processes. Oxfordshire. where glass beads were made that had the same characteristics as toughened glass. A mechanical cylinder drawing machine was first introduced in 1910. – The Curvilinear Range at the National Botanic Garden in Dublin by William Clancey and Richard Turner. then swinging it into a cylindrical shape. A continuous stream of molten glass is poured between water-cooled rollers.5 inch) wrought iron bars provided out-of plane stiffness (see Figure 1. Toughened glass (also known as tempered glass) dates as far back as 3000 BC in Syria. In 1600 BC vases made from toughened glass appeared in Mesopotamia. grinding and polishing plate glass dates from 1918.3m (see Figure 1. The Bicheroux process for casting. c. The Romans then shared the making of toughened glass throughout its empire that saw it spread to North West Europe.9m wide. If the ‘tail’ of the drop was struck however. This is due to the built in compression of the glass being removed after the tail had been broken. The glass provided in-plane shear stiffness and 50mm (2 inch)  12mm (0. This is explained in greater detail in Chapter 2.Structural use of glass Moulding the cylinder Cut line Opening out Figure 1. In 1900 the patent for toughened glass was filed by Austrian chemist. Float glass combines the brilliant surfaces of sheet glass and the flat parallel surfaces of polished plate.2 .1800 (architect unknown). Dublin Since its invention. The ends of the cylinder were cut off. This involved blowing a bubble of glass. which was first made in 1898. – Lady Diana Beaumont’s 18. Patterned glass is made in a single pass process and wired glass by a double pass process. – Paxton’s Crystal Palace.9 Cylinder process – A cast-iron framed glass house at Chiselhampton. and then ground and polished. Seiden. it is the surface compression that gives toughened glass strength. In essence. In Egypt they developed a system of making pots from toughened glass via moulds made from sand.7 Bretton Hall glass dome Figure 1. The rolling process (first produced by the Chance Brothers in 1870) is used for the manufacture of patterned flat and wired glass. Rudolph A. These drew molten glass from the furnace in a thin stream. Figure 1. built by W.

The technology found its way into the automotive industry. However. Griffith carried out pioneering experiments in which he drew thinner and thinner glass fibres and measured their tensile strengths. it cannot be used to affix polycarbonate sheets to glass. Like PVB. It is not intended to define the responsibilities of any parties.1. Glass is a material that is the subject of research all over the world and is a continually developing field of study.S. Its scope is therefore largely but not entirely limited to those issues of most concern to structural engineers: – strength – stability – stiffness – durability – robustness – buildability – safety – sustainability.3 This Guide is principally aimed at structural engineers. and Warren. A. Ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) is a form of laminate that does not need to be cured in an autoclave. These early laminated glass panes were based on celluloid plastic bonding materials that had a poor resistance to moisture and were biodegradable. or place constraints on what can be achieved. This is due to the PVB laminates’ resistance to moisture attack and hence is a more durable material. with diameters measured in microns. but was dropped because of durability issues in the 1930s. By listing issues that need to be considered when designing structural glass. It should be noted that this team might well include the glass manufacturer. It has the capacity to provide an increased element of redundancy over and above other interlayers within laminated glass. A. they became stronger. He found that as they got thinner. Continuous glass fibre is a strand made up of a large number of individual filaments of glass and finds widespread application in glass fibre reinforced polymers and high performance architectural fabrics. which is why it is used in trains and aircraft. much like all other interlayers. However. This technology remained exclusive to the automotive industry for a further 20 years until the construction industry adopted it in cladding elements in the 1970s. 1.3 Structural use of glass In the early 20th century A. up-to-the-minute data on what coatings and other treatments to enhance environmental control are available from which manufacturers. Its major advantage over PVB is that it can be used to attach a ply of polycarbonate to glass. 1. as in all circumstances the party best placed to decide on the appropriate course of action will be the designer undertaking the particular project. The earliest form of laminated glass included a plastic sheet that bonded panes of glass together. It is much stiffer and stronger than PVB. The Institution of Structural Engineers has produced this text as a design guide. Its purpose is to provide general guidance based on existing good practice as a starting point from which designers can carry out further studies and research according to circumstances. but it is also more expensive. it does try to list where such advice can be obtained and to outline the effects such coatings and other processes may have on structural behaviour. The basis of it was to create a multilayered pane of glass that would exhibit better postbreakage behaviour than a single pane. exhibit strengths of up to 14000N/mm2. London: Aurum Press. for example. This Guide will not provide any definitive approaches to a given situation. This Guide therefore also addresses some of the other issues that may influence structural behaviour. the glass fabricator and the glass installer. in a given contract. In doing so it does not seek to provide. only its deterioration is less pronounced. the Guide will be of use in clarifying design responsibilities amongst the design team. 1990 . which allow for the installation of light-emitting diodes (LED) within the glass. The product was called ‘SentryGlas Plus’ and it is an ionoplast material that is stiffer and stronger than any other interlayer material. In order for the process to work. the panes of glass had to be created using the plate glass method. This Guide will make reference to new developments but will stop short of going beyond what is currently considered to be good practice at the time of publication. This creates a highly impact resistant sheet of glass. Twenty years later polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayers were developed whose arrival brought about a resurgence in the use of laminated glass. 4 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Scope Status This Guide has limitations. Today. M. which is especially useful if it fails. it does have a reduced loading resistance capacity over time. silica glass filaments. or to relieve them. Glass houses: a history of greenhouses. Structures do not exist in isolation from the buildings they serve. 1. In 2004 polyester (PET) interlayers were introduced. In 1910 the concept of laminated glass was introduced. In 1998 DuPont introduced a new interlayer for laminated glass. This has been adopted by lighting engineers and architects to dramatic effect.1 Woods.5 References 1. orangeries and conservatories.4 Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) has also been used as an interlayer within laminated glass and it is installed using a similar process to PVB.

samples were from nine European factories 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Breakage stress N/mm2 Figure 2.3) which is unfamiliar territory for most structural engineers. leading to the correct thickness. designers cannot ignore stress concentrations and lack of fit when designing structural glass elements. The tests were carried out in accordance with EN 1288-22. 6mm thick The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 5 . It should be noted that the distribution of glass failure that is shown on Figure 2. It is for this reason that connection design is a core component when designing structures made from glass (see Figure 2. This gave rise to the use of unrealistic allowable stresses and typically led to the oversizing of glass elements by making them thicker than they needed to be. and hence localised yielding is rarely considered during design of steel elements. then structural engineers have Number of results Results of 740 tests on 6mm annealed glass using EN 1288-2 test method. These principles are based on contemporary texts and knowledge at the time of writing. This theory is similar to applying PD effects and as such they can be applied when determining stresses in glass elements. using ad hoc methods. This takes designers into the realm of large deflection theory (see Figure 2. more familiar structural materials such as steel or aluminium.2).1 Glass material properties This chapter sets out to define the guiding principles used when designing structural glass elements. It fractures and its failure is difficult to predict.1 and show how stochastic (i. This is because steel can yield when it is subjected to localised areas of concentrated stress.2 Stress/strain curves for steel and float glass Glass behaves in a crucially different way from other. Figure 2.2.Design principles 2. unpredictable) in nature the results are for glass. due typically to lack of fit. 2.2 Steel Stress 2 Behaviour of glass as a structural material Glass Brittle failure Strain Figure 2. Structural engineers designing steel structures have typically concentrated their attention on limiting stresses at places of maximum bending and shear. Glass panes can deflect by more than their own thickness. Additionally the coefficient of variation of strength for basic annealed glass is around 25% higher than for other more common structural materials. Conversely.1 does not align with any probability distribution. To illustrate this further. Historically stresses in glass have erroneously been expressed as if small deflection theory were valid. Once the limitations of glass as a structural material are understood.e. It does not yield and hence it is a brittle material. It is for this reason that the Weibull probability density function is applied as proposed in EN 12600:20022.1 Test results of failed annealed glass panes. Quoted design stresses for use with small deflection theory will be larger than realistic design stresses used with large deflection theory.1 shows the test results of the failure of 6mm thick basic annealed glass.

3 Comparison between small and large deflection theory another material resource to exploit for their designs.4). Throughout this Guide images of glass structures are provided to both inform and inspire the reader to work with glass as a structural material.Design principles Table 2. Float glass (see Section 2. in ascending order of strength: – annealed (or basic annealed glass) – heat-strengthened (or semi-tempered) – toughened (also referred to as heat toughened. 2. It is hoped that this will assist with the creation of ambitious and complex building structures using glass as a structural material. Design pressure 2.3. Composition varies between manufacturers but is generally as shown in Table 2.2) can be clear. These types are. The chemical ingredients.3. which include silica sand.4 The float glass process 6 2. This Guide will show the varied ways in which glass can be used as a material for primary and secondary structural elements. Laminated glass will also be covered in this section in the context of it being layers of glass panes acting partially or fully compositely with one another.1 Stress (N/mm2) Simple deflection theory 60 50 ‘Quoted’ design stress Typical composition of soda–lime–silica glass Material Formula % composition Silica SiO2 69-74% Lime CaO 5-14% Soda Na2O 10-16% Magnesia MgO 0-6% Alumina AL2O3 0-3% 40 bent. The following sections explain the process of each glass type’s creation and their properties. tinted or coated.3 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Annealing lehr 600ºC Molten tin Cutting section 200ºC .1 Description Annealed glass (typically prefixed with the term ‘basic’) is today usually made by the float process. forming a flat ribbon of uniform thickness (see Figure 2. It can then be further printed. limestone and salt cake. The molten glass is fed onto the top of a molten tin bath. All of these terms are used in this Guide. Float bath 1100ºC Molten glass Figure 2.2. All of them differ in their bending stress capacity which is altered by an outside agent.3. Many processes are possible to produce glass with the right combination of properties to meet a particular need. It can then be heat-treated or Raw materials 1500ºC Melting furnace 1600ºC Glass types 2.1 The four variants It should be noted that prestressed glass is a term used to cover both heat-strengthened and toughened when appropriate. fully toughened and fully tempered) – chemically toughened (also referred to as chemically tempered). 30 20 Large deflection theory ‘Real’ design stress 10 0 1000 Uniform pressure (N/m2) 2000 Figure 2. controlled heating permits the glass to flow.3 There are four base material types of glass. are blended with cullet (recycled broken glass) and heated in a furnace to about 15008C to form molten glass. Clear glass for glazing is typically of the soda-lime-silica type and its general physical and mechanical properties are described in EN 5721:20042. While on the tin bath.2 Annealed glass 2. This Guide is only concerned with non-metallic glasses.3.3.1. soda ash. laminated and assembled into insulated glazing units (IGUs).

Heat-strengthened (and toughened) glass has better resistance to thermal shock than basic annealed glass. Figure 2. This is due to the varying thickness of patterned glass panes as well as sandblasting and causes of other flaws that tend to be found in the material.7 of this Guide. This is where cracking. No warning is given of this failure. 2. As the interior cools it tries to shrink. designers to assume that wired glass is half as strong in bending as basic annealed glass of the same thickness. More information can be found on this methodology in Section 2. Bending stresses. they do provide greater post-breakage strength as the wires prevent the glass from falling from its supports. It should be noted that heat-strengthened glass is significantly less susceptible to failure than toughened glass due to the presence of nickel sulphide impurities. due to the fact that humidity reduces its strength.2. the minimum thickness at any section is known and the quality of the glass itself is of a reasonable standard. Finally the glass edges are trimmed to give a constant width to the emerging sheet. This fact leads to basic annealed glass beams being designed to lower stress limits than for glass plates.3 . the stress level. For more details on this mode of failure see Section 2. All structural glass behaves perfectly elastically until the moment it fractures into large shards. EN 18632. It is very difficult to ascertain the base thickness of patterned glass and as such when determining the strength of glass. Unfortunately the opposite is true as the wires act as crack inducers that weaken the glass.7) can be designed to 75% of the same stresses as basic annealed glass.e. However.3. Cut edges of basic annealed glass are often weaker than its surface.20-M89 Structural design of glass for buildings2.Design principles Figure 2. It starts its life as basic annealed glass which is then heated to approximately 6208C.3 Heat-strengthened glass Heat-strengthened glass (as defined in EN 18632. thermal stresses and imposed strains all cause elastic deformation that could also lead to fracture.3. as well as from the environment the glass has been exposed to.3. however.5). This has the effect of cooling and solidifying the surface first. There is no creep (glass does not ‘flow’) and there is no fatigue in the metallurgical sense. the Canadian Code CAN/CGSB-12. which is then cut into jumbo sheets that are normally 3m  6m in size. i. it does so in a similar fashion to basic annealed glass.6 Wired glass pane At the end of the tin bath the glass is slowly cooled. The cooling process is slower than for toughened glass.3 Patterned glass Patterned glass (see BS EN 572-52. and as such basic annealed glass panes that are thicker than 12mm cannot be subjected to heat-strengthening treatment. basic annealed glass is susceptible to thermal shock.3. If. then it can be used as a base against which the full stress capacity can be applied. 2. can arise due to temperature differences across the pane.6).5 shows a sheet of broken basic annealed glass. Changing the speed at which the glass ribbon moves into the annealing lehr will vary the thickness of flat glass. into large shards (see Figure 2. due to internal stresses in the glass.5 Broken pane of annealed glass Figure 2.4 and BS EN 572-62.2 Wired glass Wired glass (see BS EN 572-32.2.5) is sometimes thought of as stronger than basic annealed glass because the wires are thought to act as a form of reinforcement (see Figure 2. grinding or drilling of the glass.9 states that the surface precompression stress for heat-strengthened glass ranges from 24N/mm2 to 52N/mm2. draft methodology text prEN 166122. Basic annealed glass may fail as a result of thermal shock. Temperature differences across the surface of the glass resulting from shading and shielding cause thermal stresses that may exceed the strength of the glass. When the heat-strengthened glass fails. the stressed surface area and the duration of the load. Whether or not fracture will occur depends on the presence of flaws in the glass. As it does so the tension stress within it increases and in response to this the surface of the glass becomes compressed. This is especially important as humidity encourages crack growth in glass. It is then re-heated to the same temperature and quenched by jets of cooled air.6 advises 2. It is not only impact damage that causes brittle fracture of basic annealed glass. unless limiting deflections are the governing criterion.6. advises a factor of 0. With regard to thermal effects. Then it is fed off the molten tin into the annealing lehr (or oven) for further controlled gradual cooling.9 ) is also known as partially toughened or semi-tempered. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 7 2.75 to stress limits be applied for this type of glass. Due to the weakening effect the cast-in wire has on glass.8. The flaws in the glass may be inherent or may be due to cutting.

The term fully tempered glass is also used. as long as their diameter is at least equal to the thickness of the glass. the surface compressive stress ranges of thermally toughened glass are usually between 80 and 150N/mm2 (11600 and 21750psi).3. This is particularly true for very large sheets of glass.12.5 Chemically toughened glass A different pattern of stresses can be achieved by chemical toughening in which the composition of the surface of the glass is altered. Figure 2. When the glass breaks the number of fragments in a standard area is counted (see Figure 2.3. In the United States of America. The selection of very large panes will limit the number of suppliers and may lead to long delivery times. As the surface stress increases so does the number of fragments. Glass contains inclusions and impurities. repeatedly bifurcating and causing complete fragmentation. 2. but fragment count alone cannot be used as a measure of surface stress for design purposes. as the interlayer cools. that it cannot be used for glass that has a highly reflective surface. the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard C1048-852. There are tests that can indirectly measure the surface compressive stress. In Europe. it shrinks. One approach is to use the fragmentation test defined in Clause 10 of EN 14179 Part 1: 20052.10. which is also referred to as fully tempered glass.3 Design principles 2. however. This creates a tensile central layer within the glass and the surface of the glass becomes compressed. causes it to shatter without warning. . Inclusions of nickel sulphide undergo a phase change and expand in size when heated over a long period of time. This causes the glass to be less flat. although it must be borne in mind that the strength range is different depending on the terms adopted. be a minimum of 69N/mm2 (10000psi).6. Costs may also be higher due to large distances from manufacturer to site. In this test a pane of glass is struck in a controlled manner. sometime after the glass has been fabricated. There is a treatment known as heat soaking that reduces the risk of this failure occurring and is described in detail in Section 2.9). It has been found that bolt holes do not cause large changes in surface stress. The measurement of the built-in prestress of toughened glass is an important parameter to check. It should be noted. as any variant can result in failure. which are 30% bigger (see Figure 2. All cutting. This confers two benefits. Secondly. Toughened glass will also shatter if the surface is deeply enough scratched (around 20% of depth) for the crack to penetrate the tensile zone of the glass. They measure the twist of polarised light from the thin surface of the glass and this can be converted to a surface stress.3.7). a feature known as roller wave. This has the effect of cooling and solidifying the surface first and. cracking on failure releases the thermally induced stresses such that the crack progresses rapidly. with the major difference being that it is cooled more rapidly than heatstrengthened glass.11 specifies that the surface compressive stress for toughened glass. The number and size of nickel sulphide inclusions need to be so great as to present this mode of failure raised from unlikely to probable.2. A more precise approach is to use optical instruments. This enables cooling air to pass readily through the holes so that they cool at a similar rate to the rest of the glass (see Figure 2. This expansion in size. drilling and grinding of the glass must be carried out before the glass undergoes the toughening process. In Europe there is a requirement that the surface compressive stress of toughened glass be at least 75N/mm2 (10875psi). The surface compression can be deduced from the number of fragments.8).7 Clumps of broken toughened glass 8 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) This creates an external layer under pressure.4 Thermally toughened glass Thermally toughened glass is described and defined in EN 121502. This technique is known as differential stress refractometry (DSR) and is used as part of the quality control procedure during manufacturing. Glass is normally toughened in a horizontal process where it is transported on rollers through the toughening oven. Toughened glass fractures into small dice. The likelihood of this occurring is extremely low. If the glass is basic annealed then these inclusions do not usually cause any adverse effects to the glass. the glass is stronger in bending because both the thermally induced compressive stress and the inherent strength of the basic annealed glass have to be overcome before failure occurs. however. but these usually initially fall as large clumps and only separate upon impact. The maximum size of pane that can be toughened will be limited by the size of the processor’s oven. Its creation follows a similar process to that for heat-strengthened glass. Any penetration of the compressive surface layer will lead to an imbalance of stresses and fragmentation of the glass. Firstly. Previously the vertical process in which the glass is hung on tongues was more common. such impurities and some inclusions can cause the glass to suddenly shatter. This typically occurs during the first five to ten years of the life of the glass. In the case of toughened glass. This is done by dipping the panes into electrolysis baths in which the sodium ions on the surface of the glass are exchanged for potassium ions.

4e+06 +6. To overcome this. Figure 2.6e+07 –8.9e+06 –7.1e+06 –2.9e+05 –1. as most glass panes with nickel sulphide impurities within them are discovered during the manufacturing process.6e+05 –3.4 the issue of nickel sulphide crystal expansion is cited as a cause for the failure of toughened glass panes.7e+06 –1. a method of accelerating this failure mechanism has been developed called heat soaking.0e+06 –1.7e+06 +2. +8.9 Section through toughened glass showing comparison between the stresses in thermal and chemical processes 69N/mm2 85N/mm2 Heat-strengthened Semi-tempered Increasing particle size Toughened Fully tempered Decreasing particle size Figure 2.6e+07 +1.1e+06 –5.1e+07 –4. Tension 50N/mm2 Compression Thermally strengthened Chemically strengthened Figure 2.1e+06 +4.3. which is likely to be less robust than the thicker layer produced by thermal toughening.3e+07 –1.2e+07 –2.0e+08 –1.2e+06 –8.0e+07 +2.3.3e+08 z θ θ r r (d) t → ∞ (c) t ≈ 100s Figure 2.2e+06 +1.0e+06 –1.1e+07 z Max.2e+08 –1.8e+07 –6.2e+07 –1.1e+07 z +7.8e+06 –1.10 Chart of glass types comparing their strength and particle size following failure The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 9 .6e+06 –9.6 Heat soaking In Section 2.1e+07 +5.6e+06 +1.1e+06 +5.3e+06 –7.3 σθ +8.4e+07 +3.7e+07 –1.4e+07 –1. This significantly reduces the risk of glass failing when installed.7e+06 –4.9e+06 +3.4e+06 –8.7e+07 +2.4e+07 –3.9e+07 z θ θ r r (a) t ≈ 20s (b) t ≈ 50s σθ σθ +1.7e+07 –3. The disadvantage is a much thinner surface compressive layer. 2. The heat soaking process prematurely induces the nickel sulphide crystals to expand and thus cause the glass pane to fail.4e+06 –9.6e+07 –4.8e+06 +5.3e+07 –1.3e+06 +3.Design principles σθ 2.1e+07 +6.8 The different stages of the toughening process of a square panel of glass with a hole in the middle The two key advantages of this process over thermal toughening are that there is minimal deformation during the toughening process and thinner sheets of glass can be toughened. It is also significantly more expensive than thermal toughening.3e+06 –5.5e+06 –3.7e+07 –2.10 shows the different types of glass compared to their characteristic strength and particle size when they fail.2e+07 –3.

The interlayer can be from 0. This can be significant in double glazed units.1 Composite glass Laminating is a process in which two or more pieces of glass are bonded by means of a viscoelastic interlayer.11.3 Design principles is the most common sheet interlayer material. Not all toughened glass is heat soaked. PVB/ PET/PVB sandwich.3. . which can act as solar collectors. is not the case with laminated glass that has an ionoplast interlayer. layered action.3. Basic annealed. With this value.2. the likelihood of a pane falling from its supports if failure occurs and the resulting consequences.7 Temperature also has an impact on the shear stiffness of the interlayer. although their strength is diminished somewhat. Figure 2. as can bent glass. The sheets of glass are brought together and held a certain distance apart by doublesided tape around their perimeter. EVA or a sheet of ionoplast. Sheet laminating The sheet interlayers can be PVB polyurethane. short-term out-of-plane loads can be resisted by both laminates acting compositely. The processes of laminating are described below. Though two layers of glass is the most common arrangement. Curing is via a chemical reaction or ultra violet (UV) light. shear modulus of PVB (Butacite) and ionoplast (SentryGlas) interlayers 2. For vertical glass. Increasing temperature softens the interlayer and reduces composite behaviour. Size is limited by the ability of the fabricator or by the size of the panes available. Laminated glass 2. When all the air has been displaced. 2. PVB 10 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) With knowledge of the geometric and material properties of a laminated panel. as shown in Figure 2. This. however. The effective thickness of a laminate is the thickness of an equivalent monolithic sheet.2 Structural behaviour of laminated glass The structural behaviour of laminated glass depends on the type(s) of glass used and on the properties of the interlayer. the interlayer shear modulus and the span length of the panel is illustrated in Figure 2. This is less of an issue for ionoplast in that it softens at slightly higher temperatures (see Table 2. This is due to the stiffness of the ionoplast interlayer decreasing over time. smaller panes are less likely to fall from their supports and so may not be heat soaked. the open edge is sealed and the laminate stored horizontally while the resin cures and solidifies. heat-strengthened and toughened glass can all be laminated. reproduced by permission of DuPont).7. The ASTM and Eurocode approach is to establish a ‘shear transfer coefficient’ value for the laminate. polyurethane and polyester. The ‘sandwich’ is then passed through an oven that heats it to approximately 708C.2.7. Other materials such as polycarbonates can be included.3.T ) – the thickness of the interlayer relative to the thickness of the glass sheets – the span length of the panel. Generally for the PVB and resin interlayer materials. The sheets of glass are assembled with an extruded sheet of interlayer between them. with the loads being shared by each laminate in proportion to their relative stiffnesses. The laminate then moves to an autoclave where it is heated to approximately 1408C under a pressure of about 800kN/m2 (120psi) in a vacuum bag.38mm for PVB. the level of composite action between the glass layers can be calculated (see Figure 2.11 Load duration vs. Laminates can incorporate many thicknesses and combinations of glass types to give a range of products with the required range of mechanical and optical properties. Due to creep in the interlayer long-term out-of-plane loads are generally considered to act noncompositely. The shear transfer coefficient depends on: – the interlayer shear modulus G(t.38mm to 6mm thick and usually comes in multiples of 0.13. A value of one represents total composite action and a value of zero represents non-composite. from which it passes between rollers that squeeze out any excess air and form the initial bond. Resin laminating The three main resins used are acrylic. The relationship between the shear transfer coefficient. A risk analysis will show the need for heat soaking based on the probability of occurrence of nickel sulphide.12). Resin is then poured between the two sheets. Such panels exhibit some composite action even during long-term loading conditions. more than 25 layers have been successfully bonded in an assembly over 100mm thick. an ‘effective thickness for stress’ and an ‘effective thickness for deflection’ can be calculated. The six materials that are used for the interlayer are: – poly vinyl butyral (PVB) – thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) – ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) – polyester (PET) – resins such as acrylic – ionoplast.

77 (256.0 (37120) 248C (758F) 581.0 (82215) 493.00 E + 0.54 (948. there is a risk that the broken panel may fall from the frame.7 (5032) 15.64 (817. 2m. 5m and 10m respectively. For further information on this refer to Chapter 10.8 0.2 2.0 (98745) 651.5) 3.0 (62060) 330.2) 3. Intumescent resin interlayers react to heat in such a way that during a fire they turn into foam.4) 0.49 (361.52 (365.8) 808C (1768F) 4.0 (60320) 327. as described below.78 (1273) 5.96 (574. for laminated glass panels that use all toughened glass.0 (64090) 413.0 (15660) 78.12 Section through laminated glass indicating bending stress within plies for short-term and long-term conditions Figure 2.2) 0. This minimises the likelihood of serious cuts or injuries caused by falling glass and/or falling against glass.0 (27115) 91.54 (78.91 (422) 708C (1588F) 11. This is Short-term load duration Composite factor Composite action of laminated panel 1 0.75 (108.7) 1.0 (47850) 256.2 0 1 × 103 1 × 104 1 × 105 1 × 106 1 × 107 1 × 108 1 × 109 G Shear modulus of interlayer G (Pa) Figure 2.5 (3553) 10. Safety If one or both layers of glass in a laminated panel break.86 (1430) 8.8) 2.9 (1581) 5.5) 681.44 (208.0 (91060) 612. This protects people who may need to pass it on their way out of the building.96 (139. Readers are encouraged therefore to investigate this topic further in order to gain a greater understanding of how to design laminated glass elements.0 (31465) 129.8 (11426) 33.3) 6. It should be noted that a softer interlayer in a longer element can provide the same level of composite action as a stiffer interlayer in a shorter element.8 (4901) 12.63 (91.3) 3.8) 1.10 (739.2) 2.1) 0. Laminated glass commonly remains in its support frame after it has failed.0 (59885) 324.0 (64960) 208C (688F) 628.0 (33060) 187.3 Temperature and load duration vs.4 Γ1 Γ2 Γ5 Γ10 Long-term load duration 0.0 (88740) 567.3 (1639) 8.6 (13282) 27.9 (2306) 408C (1048F) 228. This issue can be alleviated by using heat-strengthened glass for one or both layers. The shear modulus of the interlayer for each of these beams varies.0 (25810) 148.4) 1.6 (1827) 8. from right to left).0 (18705) 308C (868F) 442.0 (46980) 178.0 (81345) 505.45 (1225) 6.0 (21460) 34.8) 0.0 (94395) 597.3 (5119) 24.87 (561. However.8) 2.35 (195.6 0.8 (4031) 13.24 (469.0 (71485) 428.6 (1972) 9.0 (86565) 553.13 Chart showing the relationship between shear transfer and interlayer shear modulus The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 11 . Security The use of thicker interlayers increases the penetration resistance of the panel.00 (870) 608C (1408F) 35. The resulting variation in composite action is plotted.0 (73225) 416.3) Temperature Each curve represents a simply supported beam of a different length (1m.0 (80185) 499.0 (47415) 217. this is particularly true for glass that is not mounted vertically. Laminated glass offers a number of performance benefits over monolithic glass panes. giving protection to damage from a sledgehammer attack.Design principles Table 2. the broken pieces of glass will generally remain bonded to the interlayer.0 (1.65 (674.0 (84245) 561.84 (1282) 508C (1228F) 108. This change not only resists the passage of fire but also reduces the conduction and the radiation of heat through the glass. There are various analytical/numerical and semiempirical calculation methods that exist beyond what is described in this Guide. Young’s modulus of ionoplast interlayer Young’s Modulus E (MPa (psi)) Load duration 1s 3s 1min 1h 1 day 1 month 10 years 108C (508F) 692.0 (72355) 448.

The outer extremities of laminated glass are where the bonding is at its weakest and will tend to be the origin of delamination.3. When used with insulated glazing units (IGU) off-line coatings are less durable than their on-line counter-parts. again due to damping effect of the interlayer. as the stresses between the plies of the laminated glass are released. as they are similar to edges and are therefore prone to comparable issues. Laminated panes can. Multi-laminates including polycarbonate layers provide increased resistance to damage and are used in bullet-resistant laminate panels.1 Type and application The visual appearance.8. Holes through laminated glass can also be a point at which delamination can occur.3. 2.3. translucent. although rare. when examined minutely. This is especially the case with soft resin interlayers as opposed to the more commonly used PVB. These coatings tend to form a stronger bond to the glass and are therefore more durable than on-line coatings. for example. 2. They can be used in conjunction with double and triple glazed panels to further increase the insulating properties of the building. They may be applied to jumbo sheets or after the glass has been cut to shape. Coatings may reduce the transmission of light passing through the glass.22 . known as Surfaces 2 and 3. 2. To counter this. opaque and patterned interlayers are available which modify the passage of solar radiation.14). show themselves to be louvered in the manner of Venetian blinds. come in a smaller variety of colours. sealant installation/type and exposure to moisture can cause the edges of the glass to become delaminated.8. These coatings may be applied either on-line or off-line. while the glass is in the lehr and is still fluid. a coating can reduce the amount of solar energy passing through the glass or reflect heat energy back inside the building. Surface coatings affect the way certain wavelengths of visible and non-visible light are reflected and/or transmitted. These sunbursts do not begin to appear until after they have left the factory. therefore the thicker the laminated panel. This can in some circumstances result in the requirement for artificial lighting. high altitude summer sun while admitting low altitude winter sun. They do. it is possible to have an interlayer that blocks 99% of UV light which can be used to protect materials that are sensitive to UV. They come in two forms: sunburst and edge. They are then protected within the glazing cavity. This typically takes the form of delamination between each of the plies (see Figure 2. because of the damping effect of the interlayer. Solar control Tinted. the better the acoustic properties of the panel. for defects to occur within laminated glass panes. if properly held at their edges. Poor cutting. and may have to be applied to the cavity facing surfaces of the glass. This is one of the reasons why they tend to be used for floor plates and treads for staircases.8 2. The flatness of the plies being bound together need to be such that they will not pry apart due to residual stresses within the plies of the laminated glass. 2. Furthermore. Sound control Laminated panels are better than monolithic glass at absorbing sound.2 Glass coating impact on solar gain and heat transfer One major benefit of the application of glass coatings is their ability to reduce solar transmission and thus reduce the effect of solar gain. Vibration control Laminated glass panes perform well when subjected to dynamic loads.2. light and heat transmitting properties of the glass can be modified by applying metallic coatings to the glass. There are even interlayers which. Sunburst forms typically occur during the manufacturing process where the method of clamping the plies together has led to the development of a localised area of delamination that starts to spread.3 Design principles referred to as anti-bandit protection.8. These coatings act in conjunction with the gas-filled cavities on IGU to further increase the insulating properties of the building envelope. By controlling these factors. however. hence the ‘edge’ form of defect. The coating may be applied by dipping or by a vacuum deposition process. On-line coating On-line coating occurs during the annealing process. The mass of the glass panel has the greatest effect on the sound attenuation.3 Defects in laminated glass It is possible.3. thus negating some of the energy saving benefits. This is discussed further in Chapter 10.9 Figure 2. Off-line coating Off-line coatings are applied as part of secondary processing.7. which are as follows: – Density r ¼ 2500kg/m3 – Young’s modulus E ¼ 70000N/mm2 – Poisson’s ratio m ¼ 0. also improve safety from extreme loading conditions such as explosions.3. Glass coatings can also be used to trap heat within a building and thus make it more energy efficient. These can be used to exclude.14 Edge defect in laminated glass 12 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Glass coatings Material properties of glass The material properties of all types of glass are defined in draft document prEN 166122. careful attention needs to be paid to the edges of the glass during the manufacturing process.

There is also the key issue of the stress distribution not being constant along the line of support. Borosilicate glass has a coefficient of 3–5  106K1 and purer silicone dioxide glass (i.16). which must be understood and accounted for in the design.4. follows this principle. Everything from simple continuous clamps with silicone spacers being placed in direct contact with the glass.15 Section through a continuous frame supporting a glass pane are applied to the glass pane into its supporting frame (see Figures 2. all of which redistribute applied forces evenly.2 Continuous linear supports Continuous linear supports are the simplest and most widespread method of supporting a glass pane. It is also possible for continuous linear supports to transmit loads generated by diaphragm action.16 Conservatory with continuous linear supports The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 13 2.15 and 2. silicone or similar gaskets are used to transmit lateral loads that Figure 2. Consideration must be given to the machining of the pane’s edge.3 gives a suggested characteristic strength for each of the glass types described previously. the corners of the pane being isolated from the in-plane forces and the effect of thermal movement of the supporting frame and the glass it is supporting. These fixings consist of a small metal clamp with a layer of neoprene. The coefficient of thermal expansion of glass depends on its chemical composition.1 Localised stress Historically the development of connections within glass structures has been based on isolating hard materials from the glass via the use of softer ones such as plastic. Recent developments in adhesives have led to glass being bonded directly to glass. through to bolted connections that place a hard-plastic bush against the glass.e. They form the basis of most cladding systems that rely on a frame. ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) (EPDM) rubber. With the frame being slightly larger than the pane it supports. EPDM rubber or similar material The following section of the Guide describes the different methods of connections and is intended to act as an aid to the design engineer when they are attempting to select the most appropriate method of connection within a glass structure. There are. plastic or timber. The frame provides support to the edges of the glass panes. Such clamps are designed to carry either out-ofplane loads only. Figure 2. this makes it useful in the construction of cooking surfaces such as ceramic hobs. 2.4 Connections in glass 2.4. This also addresses the effect of local imperfections in the glass that have an impact of developing connections within glass.3 Characteristic strength of all types of glass Glass type Characteristic strength (N/mm2) Basic annealed 45 Heat-strengthened 70 Toughened 120 Table 2. steel.Design principles Table 2. 2. however. it is possible to instead provide isolated clamps which are then fixed onto a sub-frame support structure. thus eliminating the issue of placing an intermediate material between supporting elements. This is done in cladding systems where there is a desire to create a more visually pleasing glazed surface by placing the supporting frame behind the glass panes it supports. To do this requires close attention to be paid to the method of fixing between the glass and the frame. but all are based on the concept of limiting localised stresses.4 .4. based on a single pane of glass. fused silica or quartz glass) has lower values around 5  107K1. rubber and wood. 2.3 Clamp fixings Rather than use continuous linear supports. The out-of-plane load from the panes is transmitted through gaskets or structural sealant. as well as their reinstatement should the adhesive fail. which is usually made from aluminium. Connections vary in complexity. In basic annealed glass additives such as alkalines can vary the coefficient from 8-9  106K1. whereas the in-plane load is transmitted through setting blocks. issues surrounding the durability of adhesives in lieu of mechanical fixings. or both out-of-plane and in-plane loads.

A setting block is installed to transfer inplane loads and thus provide vertical support to the glass pane (see Figure 2. Common bush materials within bolted connections include soft aluminium. This is especially true for fixings into cladding elements as rapid change in direction of loads due to wind can induce significant vibrations within cladding support structures. This distributes the clamping force evenly and develops the necessary friction against the glass and the clamp (see Figure 2.17).19 Through-bolted connection oversized to prevent any contact between the bolt and the glass. The stress pattern around a bolt fixing is rarely uniform. It is for this reason that toughened glass is used.4 Design principles Bushing material EPDM rubber Setting block Figure 2. As forces are applied to the glass pane it expands and/or deflects non-uniformly. less rigid material than the clamp is inserted between the clamp and the glass. the isolating material between bolt and glass.17 Section through a clamp fixing 2. It is therefore recommended that any bolt connection solution within a cladding system must make allowance for the risk of vibration. Bolted fixings may provide in-plane restraint or allow in-plane movement. Only one bolt resists both vertical and horizontal in-plane . Typically a ‘high friction’ connection consists of steel plates that are clamped together with a bolt that passes through the glass pane. However due to their form.18). glass panes that are subjected to some form of diaphragm action also need to be carefully considered when it comes to isolated clamp supports. The fixings may need to be friction grip connections that allow the transfer of the in-plane loading from the pane to the clamp.4 Aluminium pad Prestressed bolt Figure 2. leading to localised stresses within bolted connections. the smaller contact surface to the glass induces higher local stresses. Any fixing solution that is adopted to counter vibration effects must also take into consideration the localised stress generation issues described previously.19) or by articulating the connections (see Figure 2. Two of the four bolts resist the vertical in-plane load. by including materials that have a low modulus of elasticity between the glass and the bolt itself (see Figure 2. Around the bolthole a pad made from a weaker.4. as this performs far better than basic annealed glass against such effects. again with a low modulus intermediate material being placed between the bolt head and the glass pane (see Figure 2. This can be overcome by placing a reliance on the bolt yielding locally. Figure 2. which are referred to as ‘bushes’. thickness of the glass pane. Consequently the stresses around the bolt fixing vary considerably. Figure 2. Similar to continuous linear supports. plastics and resins.22 shows a typical arrangement of bolt fixings. Clamp Figure 2.21). This can take the form of adopting spring washers or lock-nuts that are resistant to the effects of vibration.18 Section through a high friction clamp fixing being inserted between the metal to distribute the loads evenly. The bolt hole is Bolted fixings Bolted fixings are a popular method of connection for glass elements as their discreet size improves the appearance of the structure.20 Articulated bolted connection 14 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Bolted connections may be countersunk. and the closeness of fit of the bolt itself. Other aspects of detailing that affect the design of bolted connections include edge distances.2.20). Common to all bolt fixings is the risk of loosening due to vibration.

it should be noted that this table does not follow the principles of Eurocodes. The Institution’s Guide to the structural use of adhesives2. Unlike structural silicone. Outof-plane movement of the supports may cause the glass to bend. An example of a glass structure that consists entirely of adhesive based connections is Lucio Blandini’s Glass Dome. Germany. Such secondary systems are normally mechanically based and in some countries. This will require the designer to consider alternative load paths to the point where a secondary support structure may need to be designed.5 Countersunk bolt Nylon bush The advantage adhesive bonds have over the mechanical fixings so far described is that they spread the load more evenly along the significant lengths of the glass panes they are connecting. Like all structures made from more traditional materials. but are not as good at resisting shear loads or peeling actions. It is often the case that a structure 2. All of the bolts are designed to resist out-of-plane movement. Stiff adhesives should also have no voids against the glass substrate as these can cause major stress concentrations. Stiff adhesive joints will resist thermal movement more than a soft adhesive joint and should be designed to carry thermally induced stresses. Most adhesives exhibit some form of creep as they are visco-elastic materials. are mandatory in glass structures. while the former has poor shear resistance. Failure of stiff adhesive normally manifests as plucking of the glass surface. A major difference between soft and stiff adhesives is that the latter can achieve composite action. A disadvantage to the use of countersunk fixings is that the tolerances are greatly reduced and consideration needs to be given to accuracy. therefore some recognition of what effect a broken element will have on the structure needs to be addressed. The failure of a connection must not result in a disproportionate collapse of the structure.22 In-plane restraints at bolted connections Silicone-based adhesives perform well under uniform tension. Variations in thickness of stiff adhesive joints can generate unwanted stress concentrations.21 Section through a countersunk point support connection Note Horizontal restraint Vertictal restraint Free horizontally and vertically Figure 2.Design principles loads. However. This is less of an issue with stiff adhesives as they are affected less by creep.4. hence the likelihood of high local stresses is reduced. The use of stiff adhesives is relatively unproven technology in the field of structural glass. slow curing adhesives may require temporary initial restraint. whereas a stiff adhesive cannot. soft adhesives are usually designed to withstand only short-term loads such as wind. They are also less resilient when exposed to long-term loading. Spigot through hole in bracket to prevent fitting gripping bracket Figure 2. This is because the connection between each element is homogeneous as there are no holes and notches. with the sole purpose of preventing the collapse of the glass structure. this creates a visually appealing connection. It is for this reason that sharp edges must be removed from glass panes by edge finishing. the temperature required for the adhesive to set and the time it takes to cure. As such. The recommended values of partial safety factors are stated in Table 6 of the above referenced report. Structural silicone is used to bond glass panes to supporting frames as well to other pieces of glass. The pane is then free to expand and contract as a result of temperature change or accommodate in-plane movement of the supports. however. When translucent structural silicone is used. The issues to consider when designing connections based on stiff adhesives are related to the surface area over which they can be applied. It is. 2. The curing time of the adhesives should be considered as part of the design process. with the former setting in contact with the air while the latter cures as a result of a reaction between the two components. quite prevalent in the automotive and aeronautical industries and has begun to appear in glass structures. which is relatively easy to repair or replace as it can be cut out. The glass preparation for countersunk fixings is considerably more complex and therefore cost must also be considered. They come in two varieties: one-part and two-part components. their redundancy must be considered during their design. This is especially true of glass structures that are constructed using adhesive-based connections.13 provides advice on the application of partial safety factors that should be applied to adhesives. Stuttgart.4 bonded with a stiff adhesive would need to be replaced in its entirety. Stainless steel back fitting Glass Fibre gasket Bracket support Silicone rubber washers Stainless steel cap Adhesives There are two types of adhesives used in glass structures: soft elastic (such as structural silicone) and stiff (such as epoxy adhesives and polyester resins). such as Germany. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 15 . as the bond is normally stronger than the base material.

5. This is because the outer layers of the glass are under compression and any disturbance of that continuity will result in the glass shattering/breaking. more so than the conventional peak stresses considered in design. In addition to these measures.5. the size of the plant used to manufacture the glass governs the size of panes that can be manufactured. 2. The use of any adhesive in this kind of construction requires careful quality control and on-going testing to ensure that the bond is satisfactory. It is for this reason that so much effort is placed upon the assessment and modelling of supports to glass elements during the design process.5.23. In many instances they can become the governing factor in design. An important point to note is the degree of ease with which glass elements can be replaced should they fail. radii to internal corners can also be introduced in order to reduce stress concentrations. it is imperative that the designer of a structure allows for the efficient and safe replacement of elements within it.1 Introduction As with any other material. known as fenders. This usually consists of creating chamfered arrisses where the glass has been cut. These modifications normally consist of the use of guides. Glass that is thicker than 12mm is not as readily available due to modifications of the manufacturing process required to be instigated in order to achieve thicker panes. although 8m is not unheard of. Tolerance is a key issue with regards to installation.4 Transport and installation Glass. the mid-span of a glass floor panel. typically glass used for building projects lies in the range of 4mm to 19mm. Typically float glass comes in 6m  3. If the supporting structure is significantly out of tolerance.2 Inherent properties As has been explained previously. Its inability to yield means that local stresses at points of support more often than not govern the design of glass elements. It is important to recognise these limitations during the design process of a glass structure so that they can be taken into account. Manufacture The primary method of manufacturing glass is the float glass process. This is a key differentiator between glass and other materials used within building structures. there may be a need to treat the edge to remove any flaws so that stress concentrations are reduced. glass is a brittle material that can fail unpredictably.5 Limitations of material 2. Anything beyond that requires non-standard vehicles to deliver the glass to site. Beijing . glass has limitations that are set by a combination of its inherent properties. This creates sheets of glass that vary in thickness from 0. Where quantities are very large. To go beyond this requires special plant.5mm to 25mm. It is not only the thickness of glass that is affected by the manufacturing process.g.5 Design principles 2.2. transportation and installation. 6m is the optimum length for this reason. with some projects requiring unique installations in factories in order for the glass to be made. It can only be done prior to the toughening/heating process. While this is rarely a significant issue for other materials. However.21m panes. It is for this reason that structures which directly support glass elements have a much tighter tolerance threshold than for other materials. e. This is especially important when cutting holes in the glass to receive fixings as they are typically the location of highest stress within a glass pane post-installation.23 Apple store entrance. 16 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 2. glass is very sensitive to local stresses that can occur due to imperfections within the supporting structure. An example of such a structure is shown in Figure 2. 2.2 and in more detail in Chapter 4. manufacture. This is a limitation that must be understood prior to carrying out any design of a glass structure. to create the thicker glass. glass panes can be provided in custom thicknesses to suit a particular project. is limited by the length of vehicles used to transport it. just like many other materials.5. 2. then there is a likelihood that secondary forces the glass has not been designed for will become critical. This is expanded upon in Section 3. When glass is cut.3 One final point to note on the subject of drilling holes is that it is not possible to do so in toughened glass or heat-strengthened glass. As with any material.

2. therefore its use must be carefully considered. if all panes of a laminated toughened glass panel fail.25). Engineering judgement is required when adopting such a solution. depending on the number of cracks/fragments.1 Post-failure behaviour of monolithic glass When glass breaks. the glazing slope and the cause of the breakage. Figure 2. resulting in a significant amount of tension being taken by the PVB interlayer. however. It should be noted that the use of the ionoplast only reduces the risk of tearing.24 and Figure 2. The interlayer goes into tension and keeps the glass in place (see Figure 2.6. A typical example of this is the inclusion of a continuous rail at the top of glass balustrades which allows panes within it to fail. These have a greater tensile capacity than PVB interlayers and as such are less likely to tear if all the plies in a laminated glass pane have failed. It has been created on the basis of adopting limit state theory for the design of structural glass elements. the residual out-of-plane stiffness of the panel is significantly reduced. The broken elements of the pane of glass need to either fall with acceptable risk or should remain in place until replacement can be undertaken safely. It is for this reason that its use must be considered carefully as its post-failure state lacks the redundancy of laminated glass. Glass is more likely to fall if it is sloping or horizontal.2 Post-failure behaviour of laminated glass Laminated glass tends to remain in place for some time after it has failed. This is not always the case. it does not eliminate it. One way is to make one of the plies of glass in the laminated pane either basic annealed or heat-strengthened Figure 2. There are two ways to overcome this issue. which has been developed with a view to making it the basis of a European wide code of practice. the pane size.3 Redundancy and post-failure behaviour of glass Once a glass element has failed in a structure the load it was supporting will be transferred to neighbouring elements of the structure. This is due to the viscoelastic interlayer that exists between each ply of glass.6. This only occurs if all of the plies in the laminated glass have failed.6. These elements must be designed to withstand loads that can arise due to the failure of neighbouring elements. the fixing method. By doing so one of the plies can fail yet remain in place as the other ply remains intact. the broken glass may remain in place or it may fall from its fixings. monolithic glass lacks the redundancy of laminated glass and is more likely to fall from its support structure once it has failed.24 Laminated glass pan with one ply failed and partial delamination A series of partial factors are applied to the characteristic glass strength (which depends on the glass type) to establish the design strength. as described in Section 2. This load must be allowed for when designing glass balustrades that have a handrail and rely on this type of load sharing post-breakage.8 is the draft methodology for determining the load resistance to glass panes. the glass type.25 Laminated glass floor plate that has one ply failed yet can still support pedestrian load while the other is toughened. Therefore. The panel may fall as excessive deflections cause it to pull from a rebate or detach from its fixings.Design principles 2. The resulting barrier load the balustrade was designed to withstand is then spread to neighbouring panes from the failed one. 2. for laminated toughened glass with PVB interlayers. Toughened glass may fall even if it is vertical. it is possible for the interlayer to tear as the fragments of glass cut into it. Furthermore.6. The second option is to use an ionoplast-based interlayer. however.7 Application of limit state theory prEN 166122.2. 2.6 Post-failure behaviour 2. This will affect the design of both the glass type and the supporting structure. Specifically.6 . that the post-failure condition assumes one of the plies is ineffective and hence ignored. These The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 17 2. laminated glass is favoured for glass panes that are at risk of falling from height. This does mean.

London: BSI. It is possible to create designs that would be considered to be conservative if the standard partial factors are used.8 Draft for comment 13/30281354 DC: BS EN 16612: Glass in Building – Determination of the load resistance of glass panes by calculation and testing. self-weight.1 BS EN 1288-2: 2000: Glass in building – Determination of the bending strength of glass – Part 2: Coaxial double ring test on flat specimens with large test surface areas. 2003 2. London: BSI. 2012 2. There is an argument that due to the geometric uniformity of glass the partial factor for permanent actions can be reduced from the typical value of 1.11 ASTM C1048-12: Standard specification for heatstrengthened and fully tempered flat glass. Any reduction to these partial factors is done at the designer’s risk and must be supported by evidence that demonstrates the veracity of altering any partial factors.2. and its duration. Furthermore.13 Institution of Structural Engineers. London: BSI.2 BS EN 12600: 2002: Glass in building – Pendulum test – Impact test method and classification for flat glass.7 BS EN 572-5: 2012: Glass in building – Basic soda lime silicate glass products – Part 5: Patterned glass. 2013 2.35.15 BS EN 1991-1-1: 2002: Eurocode 1: Actions on structures – Part 1-1: General actions – Densities. London: BSI.10 BS EN 12150-1: 2000: Glass in building – Thermally toughened soda lime silicate safety glass. London: BSI. 2012 2. The applied stress is derived using standard methods of analysis and is based on loads multiplied by partial factors as defined in EN 19902. PA: ASTM. London: BSI. the nature of the load that it is being designed to withstand.14 BS EN 1990: 2002+A1:2005: Eurocode – Basis of structural design. West Conshohocken. imposed loads for buildings.6 CAN/CGSB-12. Part 1: Definition and description. 1999 2. 2. 2012 2. the ultimate limit state of the glass pane describes the comparison between the applied stress and the design stress. 2012 2. 2002 .5 BS EN 572-6: 2012: Glass in building – Basic soda lime silicate glass products – Part 6: Wired patterned glass. London: BSI. London: BSI.20-M89: Structural design of glass for buildings. 2005 2. Ottowa: Canadian General Standards Board. London: BSI.12 BS EN 14179-1: 2005: Glass in building – Heatsoaked thermally-toughened soda lime silicate safety glass – Part 1: Definition and description.8 References 2. London: IStructE.3 BS EN 572-1: 2012: Glass in building – Basic soda lime silicate glass products – Part 1: Definitions and general physical and mechanical properties. 2000 2. 2000 18 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 2. London: BSI. 2012 2. The design stress definition is based on the material partial factor of the glass itself and other partial factors that relate to the glass geometry and type of load that is being applied to it. 1989 2.8 Design principles factors take into account the surface texture of the glass element. which is very important when designing glass elements. London: BSI.9 BS EN 1863-1: 2011: Glass in building – Heat strengthened soda lime silicate glass – Part 1: Definition and description. 2010 2.4 BS EN 572-3: 2012: Glass in building – Basic soda lime silicate glass products – Part 3: Polished wired glass.15.14 and EN 19912. Guide to the structural use of adhesives. 2012 2. London: BSI.

0).k = 45N/mm2) that is sandblasted (ksp = 0. Equation 3:1 The material partial factor of 1. The design strength of that pane according to prEN 166123.2 is the design strength limit is the applied stress The calculation of the design strength limit Rd is based on the design value of strength of the glass. heat-strengthened and toughened) the characteristic strength of glass panes fb. consider a 4mm thick basic annealed glass pane ( fg.k is taken from Table 3. Equation 3. By way of example.6 stated above does not correlate with that given in Table 2 of prEN 166123. For information on how to evaluate the design criteria discussed herein.3 Design criteria 3. the reader is directed to Chapters 4 to 8. f g. This Guide summarises a method that is based on limit-state design theory.2. An example of a structure that has been designed using this method is shown in Figure 3. This is defined in prEN 166123. just like any other structure made from other materials. These values are Table 3.6) Stress limits Stress limits have already been examined in Section 2.1 Introduction where: Rd EULS.6 be used for the material partial factor for basic annealed glass.1.2 gM.k is the characteristic strength of basic annealed glass (45N/mm2 ) kmod is the factor for load duration is the factor for glass surface profile ksp gM. which indicates a value of 1.8 unless advised otherwise by respective national annexes. . Specifically the stress within the glass pane must not exceed the design stress limit. The characteristic strength of glass types other than basic annealed glass is given in Table 3.A where: fg.1 Staircase designed using limit-state theory Values of fb.6) and will be subjected to 5 second gust wind action (kmod = 1.d  Rd . For all other regions the default value is 1.k of prestressed glass (N/mm2) Thermally toughened Heatstrengthened Chemically toughened Sheet float 120 70 150 Patterned 90 55 100 Enamelled float 75 45 Enamelled patterned 75 45 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 19 . 3. E ULS.1 Values of characteristic strength for prestressed glass Base type Figure 3.1.g. which address the methods of design for various structural glass elements.1. . as defined in Equation 3. The design characteristic strength for basic annealed glass fg.7 with regards to the application of limit state theory in the design of structural glass elements.1.1.A is the material partial factor for basic annealed glass (1. There are various approaches to the derivation of these design criteria.k .d is defined in Equation 3. Partial material factors can be found in Appendix C.1 would be: 1:0  0:6  45N=mm2 ¼ 16:9N=mm2 1:6 For prestressed surface glass (e.1 and reflected in this Guide.d ¼ k mod k sp f g. This is because once a formal European code of practice is adopted a UK National Annex will likely be created alongside it that will recommend a value of 1. .8.d Glass structures must comply with a set of design criteria. .

When considering the design strength (feg. Additionally many framing materials have a greater coefficient of thermal expansion than glass. Glass structures should be designed to accommodate some degree of misalignment of the structure.4. 3.2 kv is the factor derived from the method of strengthening of the glass fb.4 applies 3. Furthermore. More detailed explanations are provided in Chapters 9 and 10 of this Guide.3. constraints established during the design that originate from these estimations can lead to serious problems.2 recommends that the maximum deflection of a barrier at any point can be no greater than 25mm. arrissed. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) This section of the Guide introduces the concepts of fire protection and extreme loading conditions with respect to glass structures.3 gM. thermal movement.1 of BS 61803.4 where: is the factor for the strength of the edge ke depending on the type of edge work (from Table 3. As with all such limits.3. take the same glass pane used above and manufacture it from thermally toughened glass (kv = 1. . This is especially apparent when thermal effects cause the glass to expand and Table 3. Equation 3. Its design stress limit would be defined thus:   2 2 1:0  0:6  45N=mm2 1:0 120N=mm  45N=mm þ 1:6 1:2 ¼ 79:4N=mm f eg. Clause 6.0). they are reliant on the relative stiffness of each element within them.2) By way of illustration.8 0. prEN 166123.2 Design criteria for fire protection Many may assume that it is not possible to protect glass from the effects of fire. ke As-cut. . 3. although there is no absolute limit. Support movements For the sake of robustness it is preferable to ensure a glass structure is statically determinate.d . L/60 is therefore regarded as a more appropriate deflection criterion for such structures.d) at the edge of a glass pane Equation 3.v is the material partial factor for surface prestressed glass (1.1 g M. This is especially important when jumbo glass panels are installed.9 1.8 Wired patterned 0. though the temperature gain of the glass may be higher.v where: kmod.3 Design criteria contract.8 0.8 0.5 Fire protection and extreme loading conditions 3.1 recommends that a limit of span/65 or 50mm.4 Serviceability limits There are few prescribed limits to deflection of glass elements when placed under load. or ground edgesa Seamed edgesb Polished edges Float or sheet 0. creep. which can generate high localised stresses that lead to failure. foundation settlement etc. whichever is the lesser value.0 Patterned 0. For deflections of other elements. With regard to cable stayed fac¸ades the typical deflection criterion is impractical to achieve due to the nature of the structural system. This is on the basis that . b Arrissed or ground edges by machine or hand where the abrasive action is along the length of the edge.8 0.1 at the time of writing. .A are as per Equation 3. It is therefore required of the designer to make a judgement as to what deflection limits should be. these are offered as guidance only and engineering judgement needs to be exercised in order to ascertain whether or not deflections and movements of structures are within acceptable limits on a case by case basis. It only concerns the base criteria against which glass structures are designed to for extreme events. be adopted as a deflection limit.5.k  f g. . If this is underestimated in a glass structure. It should be noted that this advice does not form part of the draft of prEN 166123.k f g.   k mod k sp f g. While it is true that indeterminate structures have more redundancy.8 0.8 Polished wired 0. For balustrades. which differ from its main body.5.d ¼ þ gM.k k v f b. the fittings/structural system should allow for any movement that may occur during the design life of the building.k is the characteristic bending strength of prestressed glass from Table 3. then applied to Equation 3. 2 Further studies have shown that it is possible to consider the extreme edge of glass elements.1 Introduction Edge strength factor.A . 20 Further advice on how this is achieved can be found in Chapter 4. The few limits that have been expressed are stated in relation to certain types of elements. ksp.8 0.3 Differential deflections of the supported structure can be generated by installation/manufacturing errors.2 Values of edge factor ke Glass type 3.d ¼ k e f g. and g M.8 Notes a Arrissed or ground edges by machined or hand where the abrasive action is across the edge.8 0. Equation 3.2 or Appendix C).

5.5 . While it weakens the glass due to its crack inducing properties.4). the temperature difference limits for glass before it suffers thermal shock are as shown in Table 3. Failure strength of the glazing system will depend on a combination of: – the strength of the glass – the strength of the interlayer in laminated glass – any clamps or structural silicone bonding the glass pane to the framing – the stiffness and strength of the framing itself – the strength of the brackets and fixings. its resistance to excessively high temperatures is low and as such is commonly regarded as a sacrificial element of building structures during a fire. All of these elements need to be assessed in turn.5.Design criteria Table 3. is also discussed in Chapter 11. what is controllable is whether or not it will become part of the shrapnel after a blast has occurred. but remain in place.3. During a fire the temperature will reach a transition point (around 5008C) at which the glass starts to soften and lose its stiffness. With respect to the glass. even after failure. the inner pane is typically laminated basic annealed or heat-strengthened glass. which rates performance of windows into six hazard levels A to F. One of the means to make glass more resistant to fire is to address its chemical make-up. as it is possible to have an interlayer material that is intumescent in nature. stainless steel: 17  106K1 and aluminium: 23  106K1. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 21 3. the laminate material holds the glass together even if it has become permanently deformed. positive and negative pressures must be considered. However. This is because the force from the blast is so great that point connections become impractical due to the high local stresses that occur.3. When the glass cracks. glass will shatter easily. with these latter categories commonly used in commercially available software. It is usual to provide continuous support solutions for glass that could be exposed to blast loads. Blast design depends on both the assessed threat and on the allowable damage and injury criteria. non-linear material properties and geometry. then its coefficient of thermal expansion drops from 9  106K1 to between 3. More discussion is given in Chapter 11. which blast loads are a form of. Glass is not a combustible element and therefore does not fuel fires. Appropriate specialist advice should be sought. Finally the introduction of wire mesh into basic annealed or heat-strengthened glass is deemed to be a valid method. These parameters need to be derived in conjunction with the client’s security consultant. Glass. based on plastic hinges being formed. Damage levels to glazing can be defined with reference to ISO 169333. This creates a sacrificial ply in a two-ply laminated glass pane as the ply that is exposed to the fire fails and the interlayer expands into a foam in response to the heat from the fire. If 7–15% boron oxide is introduced into the glass. The threat can be defined in terms of charge size. as the combination of having a low tensile capacity and a high coefficient of thermal expansion causes glass to fail when exposed to high temperatures. In areas that could be susceptible to a blast load. These categories correspond roughly to General Services Administration (GSA) categories 1 to 5 in the USA (see Table 3. 3. however. depending on how far fragments fall inside the building after a blast is applied outside a standard test chamber. and the distance away (‘stand-off’). it does keep the glass in It is unlikely that glass will remain unscathed following an explosion. As a rough guide. Ultimately when the temperature becomes high enough the glass will melt. Blast resistant design of glazing systems involves time-dependent loading. If the glass fails then the fire has a greater chance of spreading. In order to dissipate energy the glass needs to be allowed to crack and then deform. Allowable framing deflections under blast loading are typically much higher than those for wind.4. This places an emphasis on both the glass itself and the method by which it is supported. Due to the low resistance of glass to thermal shock. For example steel: 12  106K1. and can be of the order of span/15. Glass shatters very easily when exposed to fire. It is because of this that some effort has been put into maintaining the integrity of the glass during a fire at the design and manufacture stages. does have a lower coefficient of thermal expansion (9  106K1) when compared to adjoining materials. The subject of extreme loading conditions. This tends to result in it becoming a conduit of heat transfer between parts of the building and thus aids the spread of the fire. In addition there is the issue of thermal gain from glass as it is very well suited to transmitting heat from one space to another. even if it has cracked. This has the effect of increasing the temperature difference at which the glass will crack and also increases its softening temperature. usually given as TNT equivalent. Another way to increase fire resistance is to use laminated glass. glass should be designed to remain in place. One of the key design criteria for glass when considering its fire resistance is its integrity.1 and 6  106K1.3 Thermal shock temperature limits for glass Type of glass Temperature limits (8C) Toughened 200a Heat-strengthened Basic annealed place after it has cracked and therefore maintains the integrity of the pane. b As per BS EN 1863-13. When designing glass elements that must withstand blast loads. This acts as an insulator from the effects of the fire for the other ply that has not failed.3 Design criteria for blast loading b 100 40 Notes a As per BS EN 12150-13.

It has been found that basic annealed panes that are laminated are less likely to fall from their frames than single pane sheets.5m (20in) or less above the floor of a vertical witness panel located 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen.5.5m (20in) and none of the perforations penetrate through the first layer of the witness panel High hazard Glazing is observed to fracture. the preferred method of fixing is via silicone bonding as that is proved to be flexible enough to allow racking movement to occur without forcing the panel from its supports. These are typically considered in a static load combination with relevant safety factors applied. Also. Damping systems are also installed within the connection interface between the glass and the primary structure. Provided the designer allows for this movement. Also. Fragments enter space impacting a vertical witness panel at a distance of no more than 10ft from the window at a height greater than 2ft above the floor 3. . This tests the performance of the curtain wall and is evaluated while being subjected to the specific static and/or racking horizontal displacement. then any seismic events will not have a significantly adverse effect on the glass. full scale static and dynamic testing is recommended according to AAMA 501.0in) or less on the floor between 1m (40in) and 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen. Fragments enter space and land on floor no further than 3. In high-risk seismic zones extra measures are required to mitigate seismic load. Dusting or very small fragments near sill or on floor acceptable No hazard The glazing is observed to fracture but is fully retained in the facility test frame or glazing system frame. there are ten or fewer perforations in the area of a vertical witness panel located 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen and higher than 0. Additional horizontal and vertical inertia loads acting on glass structures should be applied concurrently with other conventional loads.5 Design criteria Table 3. but glazing fragments generally fall between 1m (40in) of the interior face of the specimen and 0.0in) or less on the floor between 1m (40in) and 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen. there are three or less pinhole perforations and no fragment indents anywhere in a vertical witness panel located 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen. and the rear surface (the surface opposite the airblast loaded side of the specimen) is intact 3a Glazing cracks. This is due to the fact that silicone joints allow for the dissipation of impact 22 The glazing is observed to fracture. and is located within 1m (40in) of the original location. Fragments enter space and land on floor and impact a vertical witness panel at a distance of no more than 10ft from the window at a height no greater than 2ft above the floor 5 Glazing cracks and window system fails catastrophically. and there are more than ten perforations in the area of a vertical witness panel located 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen and higher than 0.4 GSA condition General Services Administration (GSA) categories for blast loads GSA description ASTM rating ASTM description 1 Glazing does not break. No visible damage to glazing or frame No break The glazing is observed not to fracture. Fragments enter space and land on floor no further than 10ft from the window 4 Glazing cracks.6-093. and there are fragments with a sum total united dimension of 25mm (1.3ft from the window Minimal hazard 3b Glazing cracks. An example is to support a glass structure with an isolated base support. and there are fragments with a sum total united dimension of 25mm (1. Glazing dust and slivers are not accounted for in the rating Low hazard The glazing is observed to fracture. In curtain wall cladding systems appropriate clear distance between glass panels and frame structure is to be specified to allow for movement during seismic events. or there are one or more perforations in the same witness panel area with a fragment penetration into the second layer of the witness panel Design criteria for seismic loading Glass structures must be designed to resist racking movement if they are to be subjected to seismic forces. which is one of the most important characteristics for dynamic loads.6. and there is no visible damage to the glazing system 2 Glazing cracks but is retained by the frame. there are less than 3 pinhole perforations and no fragment indents anywhere in a vertical witness panel located 3m (120in) from the interior face of the specimen.3. Glazing dust and slivers are not accounted for in the rating The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) energy. In addition. In parts of North America where significant seismic events are likely.4-09 and AAMA 501. and the total length of tears in the glazing plus the total length of pullout from the edge of the frame is less than 20% of the glazing sight perimeter. Also.4 Very low hazard The glazing is observed to fracture.5m (20in) above the floor.

7 Environment The environment in which a glass structure is to be placed has an influence on the design criteria. it is also required that a failed element should be able to support the traffic of people over a certain period of time in order to allow for a safe escape from the building.g. 3. They can be categorised into three aspects: lighting.6. Transparency describes the amount of light that is let in through glass as well as how it is dispersed. It is for this reason that clear glass has a green tint to it. the effect glass has on the passage of natural light within a building has become increasingly important. This forced architects to devise different ways to exploit sunlight as much as possible to ensure it flooded a building. In the case of glass floor plates. The glass should remain in place or fail safely.1 Introduction The location of glass elements within a building affects the safety of its occupants. This led to a reappearance of natural light and has become a significant element of lighting design. Thermal Solar gain is a phenomenon that has become increasingly important as more expanses of glass are installed into structures. or create additional requirements for cooling. This can be altered by applying obscuration effects. Clear glass has around 0.5. The forms of structure that are susceptible to the risks of falling glass include: – fac¸ades – roofs – canopies – barriers to drops – walkways/bridges – staircases. Consequently. then it has a risk of falling and injuring someone. The loads that are considered in the post-failure condition are usually self-weight and a fraction of the imposed load over a short-term period (e.2 Broken glass pane within canopy Conversely. should it fail. 3.1% of iron oxide within it which absorbs the colour red from the spectrum of natural light.Design criteria 3. as described in Section 3. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 23 3. and therefore its method of support must allow for this.7 provides designers and contractors with advice on what needs to be taken into consideration when placing any glazing in a location that. Lighting Historically windows were the primary source of light in buildings. until the late 20th century when buildings began to feature large expanses of glass. the lower level of luminosity is achieved within the building. It is therefore important that some consideration is given to this aspect of structural glass within a structure.3. then measures must be taken to prevent it from happening. which is more pronounced around the edges of the pane. The more opaque the glass is. The clarity and colour of glass has a direct impact on the natural light transmittance. temperature and acoustics. The level of opacity also has an effect on the way in which natural light is dispersed within a building. hours to days). would cause harm to those beneath it. The questions that have to be asked are: can a glass element fall. an understanding of what occurs to a glass element after it has failed is required (see Figure 3. what are the consequences if it does so? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ and ‘harmful’ respectively. The benefits of natural daylight over artificial lighting have been proven to be significant for the occupants’ wellbeing and comfort. Once the failure mode has been established. Glass can also be manufactured with a lower iron content (called low iron glass) which will reduce the green tint and allow more visible light to pass through the pane.2 Post-failure behaviour of glass at height In order to design out the risk of injury due to falling glass.6 . and if so. This type of glass can be heat treated in exactly the same way as standard glass. If not properly controlled it can create an uncomfortable environment to live and work in due to over-heating.6.6 Location 3. then it can be taken into account during the design process. If glass is placed in an elevated position for example. In many respects the precautions a designer should take when considering glazing at height are similar to those for blast loading. but is significantly more expensive to produce. heat loss through the glass and the structure that supports it can increase the level of heating required to maintain internal temperatures during a cold spell. either to the glass surface or to the glass itself via patterns.2). With the invention of artificial light these design skills fell away for a while. CIRIA has produced a guide on glazing at height: C632 Guidance on glazing at height3. Figure 3.

With single glazing it is the base resonance of the glass pane that impacts its ability to transmit sound. Elements that are tested are based on computational and theoretical analysis. London: BSI. test sample is reviewed. then the sound insulation is improved as the two panels resonate at different frequencies. Testing can be split into four categories: developmental.8 Design criteria To overcome these problems a mixture of shading. Strength testing concerns the integrity of the glass structure. London: BSI. The choice of frame and the type of fixings to this frame will also play a part in the overall acoustic performance of the element. 2000 BS EN 1288-3: 2000: Glass in building – Determination of the bending strength of glass – Part 3: Test with specimen supported at two points (four point bending).9 provides general guidelines to carrying out design that is assisted by testing. 2000 BS EN 1288-4: 2000: Glass in building – Determination of the bending strength of glass – Part 4: Testing of channel shaped glass. Part 5: Coaxial double ring test on flat specimens with small test surface areas. is employed to create the optimum environment within the building’s enclosure. London: BSI. With glass there is a relationship between sound transmission and the mass of the glass. If one of the panes is thicker than the other. the thinner the glass the lower its ability to insulate against sound from external sources. all of which are contemporary to this Guide. BS 8233: 19993. London: BSI. The results of the test are then compared against what the theoretical model predicted. 2000 3. London: BSI. London: BSI. For the purpose of sound insulation there are ‘acoustic’ PVB interlayers. This list is not exhaustive and is also subject to change. which are softer than their non-acoustic counterparts.8 is the UK code of practice for sound insulation and offers some guidance on limits of sound transmission. protective coatings and multi-chambered glazing. and the designer must be mindful of this when making reference to it. constructed.9 Testing methodology There is a long tradition of extensively testing glass structures.8 Testing Chapter 4 goes into some depth concerning the creation of models within computer simulation of glass structures. visual and verification. 2001 . Acoustics Sound insulation protects the building from undesirable noise pollution. However this code of practice has not been created with glass in mind. along with the actual glass specifications. Additionally. Developmental testing is carried out during the design process. thanks to the bespoke nature of their design and the lack of a codified approach to them.10.3. In many instances some territories require all glass structures to be tested in some form in order to comply with building standards. To overcome this. which causes beneficial acoustic interference. there is still a need in many instances to carry out testing of key elements within glass structures. Testing can be both non-destructive and destructive and is often bespoke depending on the structure that is being tested. single panes are laminated to increase the thickness of the glass and the properties of the laminating interlayer further enhance the acoustic performance.10 Codified approach to testing For multiple glazing panels there is an interaction between individual panels of glass that make up the unit.3 shows a staircase that is undergoing a load test. The following is a list of the codes of practice for the testing of glass structures. Due to the lack of a unified methodology for the design of structural glass elements there is a need to carry out extensive testing to verify that they are safe. 2003 BS EN 1288-1: 2000: Glass in building – Determination of the bending strength of glass – Part 1: Fundamentals of testing glass. Although the level of computing technology continues to advance at a significant pace. Alternatively it is possible to use simple cast resin as an interlayer. The choice of single and multiple glazing has an impact on the degree of sound insulation. EN 1990: 20023. most of which are listed in section 3. Figure 3. 3. while visual testing relates to the aesthetics of glass assemblies. which is known to have equivalent acoustic properties to the softer acoustic PVB material. If they are significantly divergent. then either the analysis is checked or the 24 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) BS EN 1288-2: 2000: Glass in building – Determination of the bending strength of glass – Part 2: Coaxial double ring test on flat specimens with large test surface areas. 3. Europe BS EN 12600: 2002: Glass in building – Pendulum test – Impact test method and classification for flat glass. The methodology can be gleaned from codes of practice. in some cases. Glass should attenuate any noise so that is does not annoy occupants. 2000 BS EN 1288-5: 2000: Glass in building – Determination of the bending strength of glass. doors and shutters – Explosion resistance – Test method – Part 1: Shock tube. The thinner the glass the higher its resonance and hence the likelihood of it generating sound due to it vibrating. strength. London: BSI. Verification tests are used to establish the validity of what has already been designed and. 2000 BS EN 13124-1: 2001: Windows.

West Conshohocken.3 Staircase undergoing load test BS EN 13124-2: 2004: Windows. and doors under the influence of uniform static loads by destructive methods. London: BSI.5-2007: Test method for thermal cycling of exterior walls. 2000 DIN 52338: 1985: Methods of testing flat glass for use in buildings. 2012 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 25 3. IL: American Architectural Manufacturers Association. IL: American Architectural Manufacturers Association. London: BSI. Schaumburg. Schaumburg. 2009 AAMA 501. 2009 ASTM E997-12: Standard test method for structural performance of glass in exterior windows. 2004 BS EN 356: 2000: Glass in building – Security glazing – Testing and classification of resistance against manual attack. Berlin: Beuth Verlag.6-09: Recommended dynamic test method for determining the seismic drift causing glass fallout from a wall system. ball drop test on laminated glass. 1985 North America AAMA 501. doors and shutters – Explosion resistance – Test method – Part 2: Range test.10 .Design criteria Figure 3.4-09: Recommended static test method for evaluating curtain wall and storefront systems subjected to seismic and wind induced interstory drifts and AAMA 501. curtain walls. PA: ASTM.

and doors under the influence of uniform static loads by non-destructive method. 2012 3. London: BSI. 2013 3. CIRIA C632.8 BS 8233: 1999: Sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings – Code of practice. Appendix B (PNAP 106): Safety test. Chapter 6 – Safety specification for human body impact 3.5 ISO 16933: 2007: Glass in building – Explosionresistant security glazing – Test and classification for arena air-blast loading.11 Design criteria ASTM E998-12: Standard test method for structural performance of glass in windows. 2009 3. PA: ASTM. Geneva: ISO. 2009 Asia/Pacific APP-37:2006: Curtain wall. 2012 ANSI Z97. and fully tempered flat glass.6 AAMA 501. Sydney. London: BSI. London: BSI. IL: American Architectural Manufacturers Association. Technical specification for application of architectural glass. 2009 ASTM C1279-09: Standard test method for nondestructive photoelastic measurement of edge and surface stresses in annealed.7 Keiller.4-09: Recommended static test method for evaluating curtain wall and storefront systems subjected to seismic and wind induced interstory drifts and AAMA 501. 2005 3. heat-strengthened. London: CIRIA. NSW: Standards Australia. A.11 References 3.2 BS 6180: 2011: Barriers in and about buildings – Code of practice. 2006 AS/NZS 4284: 2008: Testing of building facades. London: BSI. London: BSI.3 BS EN 12150-1: 2000: Glass in building – Thermally toughened soda lime silicate safety glass. windows and window wall systems. 2008 JGJ 113-2003. Hong Kong: Buildings Department.9 BS EN 1990: 2002+A1:2005: Eurocode – Basis of structural design.6-09: Recommended dynamic test method for determining the seismic drift causing glass fallout from a wall system. 2010 26 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .3. West Conshohocken. Part 1: Definition and description. New York: ANSI. PA: ASTM. London: BSI. et al. 2011 3. 2007 3. J 255-2003. 2000 3.4 BS EN 1863-1: 2011: Glass in building – Heat strengthened soda lime silicate glass – Part 1: Definition and description. Schaumburg. West Conshohocken.1 Draft for comment 13/30281354 DC: BS EN 16612: Glass in Building – Determination of the load resistance of glass panes by calculation and testing. Guidance on glazing at height. 1999 3.1-2009: American national standard for safety glazing materials used in buildings – Safety performance specifications and methods of test. curtain walls.

volume and contact) is also presented. For laminated glass. As with all structural analysis. the simple global model allows for time-efficient study of the global behaviour and for deflections and reaction forces to be established. especially those for finite element analysis (FEA) of glass structures are essentially the same as those applied to the analysis of other structural materials. Therefore attention to contact detailing is essential. the behaviour of the supporting primary structure needs to be considered and represented realistically. during the design process. 4. In the development of a glass structural model. shell. 4. The simple global model is complemented by detailed local models which assess stress distribution in the portion of structure modelled.4 Analysis of glass structures 4. or a single detailed global model is created which addresses all structural aspects. Guidance is provided on the choice between global and local modelling. and on appropriate element types and geometric simplification. This section provides information to prevent the misapplication of FEA to glass structures. In such instances. avoiding the need to create and update multiple analysis models.2. Of particular concern are the relative movements of the glass structure’s support points.1 Methodology Simple global model An example of a simple global model is presented in Figure 4. Specialised non-linear contact elements should be used as required. finding an optimal balance between the level of modelling accuracy and the solution time is fundamental in FEA. Figure 4. it is appropriate to model glass members with two-dimensional shell elements.2 Analysis issues which are specific to glass structures are included in this section. These issues include aspects which are specific to the material properties of glass and interlayer materials.2 is of the actual structure. Various calculation methods are presented In this section different modelling techniques available to the designer are presented. a simple global model and a series of detailed local models are created which are complementary and analyses are carried out iteratively. The level of modelling accuracy adopted should be appropriate to the purpose of the model and relate to the scale of the glass structure. detailed theory is not presented. In the second approach.2 Modelling techniques 4. However. the whole project is stored in one analysis file.2 Apple store entrance vestibule The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 27 . In the first approach. The possible deflected shapes of the support structure can be represented by separate load cases applied to the glass structural model.1 Introduction The principles applied developing computer models of glass structures.2. These can be post-processed into advanced load combinations. However. An approach recommended here is a sequential design process. One of two approaches may be adopted in finite element modelling of glass structures: either.1. Some design examples are presented. Readers are recommended to refer to other relevant publications for such information. The use of different element types (beam. This allows the level of modelling accuracy to be modified according to the purpose of the analysis and the model size.1 Example global model of entrance vestibule Figure 4. deflections and internal stresses. Such an approach increases the computational analysis time and is less easily modified to accommodate structural alterations Figure 4. the thickness of the shell elements can be calculated applying an effective thickness approach. the single detailed global model is used to calculate all structural aspects of the glass structure which are principally reaction forces. whereby a simple global model and a series of detailed local models are analysed iteratively.

volumetric local model Figure 4. This allows for a reduction in computational time.3.4. This approach provides an appropriate level of detail for the calculation of global behaviour.5 Bonded connection. Symmetrical boundary conditions shall be used when appropriate to dimensionally reduce the model. Three-dimensional volumetric elements can be used as illustrated in Figure 4.6 Example of detailed global model of glass stair . Where the lateral bending stiffness and torsional bending stiffness of a connection contributes to the global stability of the structure.5. An example of the level of complexity required at the connection is shown in Figure 4. these properties should be modelled accordingly. representing the structural components with a twodimensional plane strain model can be beneficial.2. two-dimensional stress-strain model 4. The two processes interact and iterations are required. adjustments to the dead load need to be made to the model to allow for this. a compression-only connection should be modelled as such. One way to do this is by increasing the partial safety factor applied to the dead load/permanent action in order to compensate for the reduction in self-weight of the global model.8. An example is shown in Figure 4. Alternatively. restraints and stiffnesses. Furthermore. An example is shown in Figure 4.7. deflections and reaction forces. The connection should account for all materials in the load path.3 Simplified bolted connection in global models 4. Due to the fact that effective (equivalent) thickness is always less than the overall thickness of the laminate. 28 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 4.2 Analysis of glass structures in the Eurocodes and ASTM. These aspects are not relevant to the global behaviour. The method of load transfer should be modelled. it is necessary to include a greater level of detail than in the approach described in Section 4. when appropriate to the problem. e. A more detailed approach to connection modelling can be applied to local models which are used to accurately calculate stress distribution. the glass holes at that connection need to be incorporated and the mesh density in that region needs to be sized appropriately. Figure 4.3.4 Bolted connection.4 Detailed global model Sometimes. They are captured by the detailed local models which are used to calculate the stress distribution in the structure. Figure 4.3 If one of the purposes of the model is to establish the stresses in the glass at a bolted connection. some simplifications may still be incorporated without compromising the accuracy of the analysis.6 and the actual structure is shown in Figure 4. Similarly.g.2. It is not necessary to include holes which penetrate the glass. the effective thickness can be calculated from first principles using a purpose-built finite element model. The use of two-dimensional Detailed local models Detailed local models are created to complement a simple global model. glass-glass connections and glasssubstructure connections can be modelled using one-dimensional beam or link elements with appropriately assigned releases.4.2. Separate detailed local models can be created to analyse the local behaviour and stress distribution in the region of a single glass-glass or glass-substructure connection. The simple global design stage and detailed local design stage are not entirely independent. However. An example is presented in Figure 4. radii at panel corners or arrisses along panel edges.

The principle of superposition is fully applicable which means that load cases are simply accumulated into complex combinations. 4.7 Glass stair to Apple store on Fifth Avenue.2m  1. However. Where applicable. a linear elastic analysis approach is recommended. soft sub-frames.3 Figure 4.3. other materials are used in glass structures which are not linear elastic.g.1 Linear vs. half the thickness of the glass pane. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 29 4. silicone adhesives and steel fittings if designed plastically. In situations where boundary conditions depend on the applied load (such as elastic bedding.1 Description 4. stresses are predominantly due to bending. Hence. 4. New York Non-linear analysis In finite element analysis non-linear behaviours are categorised as follows: Geometrically non-linear When a plate is subjected to small deflections. and component deformations – all of which may influence structural stiffness (e. such as PD. A geometrically non-linear analysis. a non-linear or hyper-elastic material model should be used. is more appropriate in such situations.4 Design examples 4. especially when the material is subjected to higher strains. If it is necessary to accurately model the behaviour of these materials. The effective thickness of the two-dimensional elements may be altered in the region of the connection to reflect this. This transition occurs when deflections are approximately equal to plate thickness. However. 4. However. resting on a rigid steel frame covered with a neoprene gasket. A uniformly distributed face pressure of 25kN/m2 is applied in 1kN/m2 load steps. By assuming a support is infinitely stiff in all axes but free to rotate in orthogonally. such an approximation is not always suitable. These include interlayers. Materially non-linear Glass is a fully elastic material to the point of fracture. consideration should be given to the effect of increased stress on the level of composite action through the laminated panel in the region of the connection.9) in thickness has been analysed.2 Linear elastic analysis This is the simplest possible analysis of a structural model.3.3. It has a constant elastic modulus without plastic deformation or yielding point.Analysis of glass structures shell elements may provide adequately accurate results. Figure 4. compression-only face supports or spring elements with appropriate stiffness should be used. The assumption that the simply supported boundary condition should be used with caution as it does not allow for edges that are free to move along their axis as well as rotate. No uplift or rotational restraints are provided. linear analysis is adequate.4.3 . boundary conditions remain rigid under applied load. as presented in section 4.3 Analysis types 4.8 Detailed bolted T-connection in a global model Non-linear boundary conditions Typically. does have an impact on the stress and deflection outputs. non-linear A brief comparison between linear and non-linear analysis is presented in this section and reasons why an advanced non-linear analysis might be required are stated. 4. stresses redistribute from bending to membrane. analysing the material as linear elastic is accurate.4. element imperfections as described in Chapter 2. At larger deflections. It is applicable when the material stress-strain relationship is linear and when structural deflections are ‘small’. linear analysis overestimates the stress in the plate leading to inaccuracies in design.3.6m and 10mm (see Figure 4.3. contact capturing problems or compression/tension only supports) these effects should be included in the model appropriately.e. The computational solution time is short even with large models. The panel is simply supported (pinned) on all four edges. At smaller deflections. i.1.1 Simply supported rectangular glass panel A rectangular glass panel measuring 1. a stability analysis where initial imperfections are applied to the structure before loads are applied). Other aspects which are addressed by a geometrically non-linear analysis are initial support movements. As deflections increase. Special contact elements.

Midspan deflections –60 4. soft-body and hardbody impacts.5m  0. It should be noted that how the linear analysis produced a non-conservative result. An inplane tension load of 20kN is applied to the steel pin in increments of 1kN. measuring 0. Comparison between linear and nonlinear analysis hence boundary conditions along the supported edges are modelled using compression-only cut-off bars. Symmetry boundary conditions are applied on two edges.4MN/m2 as shown in Figure 4.4. Introducing a softer connection marginally increases the stress to 105.14. Symmetry X Symmetry Y Stress plots are presented in Figure 4. Bolted glass connections are usually very stiff.8MN/m2 according to the linear and non-linear analyses respectively. For glass structures. In these analyses stress redistribution occurs and the peak stress is not focused at the centre of the plate. The maximum stress is 50MN/m2 and 104.1. Eightnode square shell elements measuring 20mm  20mm are used.5m. The calculated connection stiffness is presented in Figure 4. creating a quarter panel model. A layer of 5mm thick resin material is located between the glass and the steel.4. 1. the linear elastic analysis overestimates the deflections and stresses in the panel. dynamic analyses should be performed. A geometrically non-linear analysis should be used under these conditions.11 for a 25kN/m2 uniformly distributed pressure.5MN/m2 and 76. As mentioned in Chapter 2.10. The advanced analysis techniques that are considered when designing structural glass elements are: – dynamic analysis – viscoelastic analysis – creep analysis – probabilistic analysis – fragmentation analysis. This engineered softness can be achieved by introducing soft bushing in the bolt hole assembly.4. 20 25 Figure 4. Z Y Shell model. The mesh density increases in the region of the hole. such load situations typically include seismic actions. A 20mm diameter steel bolt pin passes through the hole.2m  1. Contact between the steel pin and resin elements is modelled using compression-only contact elements. Eight-node quadrilateral shell elements are used. This is because the contact elements in the linear analysis transfer both compression and tension which leads to a significant underestimation of the glass stresses. and human and machine induced 30 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . According to the non-linear analyses.9 Primary element stress 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 LA G NLA GM NLA 0 5 Load steps (mm) X 10 15 20 25 –50 –40 –30 –20 LA G NLA GM NLA –10 0 0 5 Load steps 10 15 Three analyses are performed: (1) a linear analysis (2) a non-linear analysis (3) a non-linear analysis with soft-bushing.2 Advanced analysis techniques Three analyses are performed: (1) a linear elastic analysis (2) a geometrically non-linear analysis (3) a geometrically and boundary non-linear analysis.6m  0. however in some situations softer connections are designed to encourage the redistribution of peak connection forces and to establish alternative load paths. with a 30mm diameter hole near to an unrestrained corner has been analysed.010mm (MPa) Figure 4. The plate is 10mm in thickness. This approach quickly converges on the analysis solution and the results are accurate.12. 4.13c. The stress distribution in the region of the hole for each of these analyses is presented in Figure 4.2 Glass panel with loaded bolt hole A square region of a glass panel. The model layout is shown in Figure 4.4 Analysis of glass structures approximately equal to the panel thickness. the stress peak is 138MN/m2 and is located at the centre of the plate. As presented in Figure 4. According to the linear elastic analysis. the stress peaks are 78. Differences between linear and non-linear analyses are clearly visible.13.2MN/m2 respectively. the transition in behaviour between geometrically linear and non-linear analyses may be seen when the deflection is When loads vary with time and cannot be approximated as static.10 Stress and deflection at panel’s centre.

(b) geometrically non-linear analysis.11 Analysis results of quarter model. 40 Symmetric boundary conditions 500 Symmetric boundary conditions Ø30 40 Figure 4. For glass structures incorporating or supported on materials which have time-dependent stress-strain properties. harmonic analysis. and full time history analysis are applicable without restriction. viscoelastic or creep analyses should be performed.Analysis of glass structures Figure 4.5 . Such materials include interlayer sheets and reinforced concrete.1 Interpretation A brief list of model features is presented in this section. Fragmentation analyses are still in development. stress redistribution for (a) linear elastic analysis. special attention is required in 500 the estimation of the contact region and deformability of the impacted body. If advanced information about the probability of failure for a prescribed load combination is required.5 Interrogation of model and results 4. Typical dynamic analysis techniques such as eigenvalue analysis. Cracks form and propagate along element boundaries following the cohesive law fracture model. These analyses apply to brittle materials which fragment into pieces when stress in the material reaches the breakage limit. a probabilistic analysis can be carried out and a reliability assessment can be performed. The damping of glass components and glass systems need to be established carefully and verified by testing for the results of dynamic analyses to be reliable. spectral analysis. which allow the designer to check the quality The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 31 4.5. In soft body contact analyses. (c) geometrically and boundary non-linear analysis vibrations.12 Analysis model F 4.

Aspect ratios nearest to 1 (where all edges are equal in length) are the most accurate. (c) contact non-linear analysis with soft bush Tension force (kN) of a finite element FE model. This is especially common in large and/or complex models. These discontinuities can relate to inconsistent element orientation in a mesh and neighbouring elements not sharing intermediate edges. It is advisable to keep the internal angle within +458 of these optimal angles. there are packages that are developed for analysing glass that also consider cavity glass elements as well as laminated and monolithic glass variants. A mesh which is too coarse leads to inaccuracies in results. An example is shown in Figure 4. others can only be checked after analysis by reviewing the results.5.13 Analysis results. 4. Some features can be checked before analysis of the model. stress distribution for (a) linear elastic analysis. Furthermore. 20 15 10 NLA soft NLA LA 5 1 1.5.3 0 0 0.14 Axial connection stiffness 32 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Initial model checks A common problem encountered in FE modelling is discontinuities between elements of a mesh. Some features which affect the quality of the elements in an FE mesh are the aspect ratios and internal angles of those elements.5 Analysis of glass structures Figure 4. Most FEA software packages contain tools allowing all of these features to be checked. These checks allow the designer to tune the FE model to ensure that accurate and reliable results are calculated.5 2 Figure 4. The optimal internal angle for quadrilateral elements is 908 and for triangular elements is 608.2 Verification of results In FEA it is desirable to optimise the density of the model mesh.4. empirical knowledge and physical testing is discussed.5 Displacement (mm) 4. (b) contact non-linear analysis. The validation of FE results by comparison with hand calculation . A useful way to check the quality of the mesh is to . a mesh which is too fine leads to a large model size and a long computation time.15.

2 can be used to validate finite element results. the stresses are not necessarily continuous. 8th ed. prototype testing is essential. This result is where the maximum difference in the stress nodal values at each node is calculated and normalised by dividing by the maximum difference over the model. A very good fit between numerical and analytical results can be expected. analytical methods published in Peterson’s stress concentration factors4. Roark’s formulas for stress and strain. When complex stress concentration problems are investigated. W. 2012 4. Simple elastic formulas to determine the stress and strain in selected cross sections and plate components can be used to verify finite element results.1 has proved to be a very useful source of information for decades.C. To increase result accuracy. W.F. However. Figure 4. A significant amount of research and development is needed in order to capture complex test results in sufficient detail. averaging the stresses reduces the magnitude of maximum and minimum stresses causing inaccuracies in the results. et al. it is desirable to have normalised stress jumps less than 0. If necessary the structure can be simplified but the structural behaviour should not be compromised. Peterson’s stress concentration factors. 3rd ed. and Pilkey. The verification of test results using finite element models may be challenging due to the simplifications assumed in finite element modelling. Hoboken. From theory. New York: McGraw-Hill. 4. In general.1 Young.6 . A good approximation technique to remove discontinuities in the stress plot is to apply nodal averaging of stresses. This is contrary to physical reality (in the majority of cases). the finite element method guarantees that the displacement across a mesh is continuous between connecting elements. elements with a higher grade shape function (i. All finite element results should be double checked using simple analytical methods. Well-known formulas can be used to calculate internal forces in determinate and indeterminate structural systems.D.2 Pilkey. 2008 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 33 4. D. for poorly meshed bodies.15 Plate aspect ratio example Figure 4.e.6 References 4. NJ: Wiley.16.15. Roark’s formulas for stress and strain4.Analysis of glass structures review the normalised stress jumps in the results as illustrated in Figure 4. broken into smaller discrete elements) should be used.16 Normalised stress jumps When novel glass structures are designed. The magnitude of the discontinuity depends on many factors. However. A greater value suggests the mesh is too coarse.

Figure 5. Lightweight trusses can also be used.2 Cladding over entrance to Palladium Shopping Mall. then it takes on a more structural role within the cladding system by acting as a diaphragm within the cladding (see Figure 5. As a variant on the aforementioned form of cladding structure there is the vertical-only element.1 Introduction This chapter concerns the use of glass as a cladding material. which are placed as far apart as possible.1).2.2. the most onerous of which is typically the suction effect due to negative wind pressure. If for example. A grillage of supports is akin to having a series of frames that are in turn supported laterally.1 Figure 5. This means that the critical design wind action will typically be the highest imposed on the glass. If on the other hand the glass is fixed via a series of point supports (e. bolts).5 Glass in the building envelope 5. hence the thickness of the glass tends to be thinner than floor plates for example.2 Design of glass panes within cladding units 5. which can cause problems when one of them needs to be replaced due to maintenance. Cladding is typically placed in a vertical orientation. The difficulty with this system lies with the need to provide intermediate vertical supports to the transoms. The duration of loading is typically short. Istanbul. then the glass does not form a diaphragm as it is independently supported. . but it is not uncommon to have discrete point fixings. such as silicone. The amount of work a sheet of glass is expected to perform within a cladding system is partially dependent on its method of support. depending upon the form of cladding system that has been adopted. Such support systems are usually only found in single-storey enclosures due to the limitations of the material in terms of risk of damage to the structure. This requires the glass to span between the vertical elements. All glass panes in a cladding system will normally need to be of similar construction in order to maintain visual uniformity. The form of support of cladding comprises two main forms: hung or gravity based system. Fac¸ade types can be broken down further based on the form of support that is described in Figure 5. depending on the geometry of supports. Glazing panels must span between either continuous line supports or point fixings. Figure 5. leaving it to be supported on two continuous edges.2 shows a series of support methods for cladding systems that can and have been adopted. The connections between the glazing and support elements are typically adhesive based. Conversely the same system can be adopted that consists entirely of transoms. These trusses can vary in form from lightweight steel through to tension cables. however in instances where it is horizontal the selfweight of the glazing units must be considered in their design. This results in an obtrusive structure with the glass only spanning between continuous supports within the frame. it is supported via isolated frames. This design can result in thicker glass. Turkey Transom and vertical element methods of supporting cladding 34 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 5. be they transoms or posts that are made from structural glass. Transoms can be tension cables or rods that span the length of the cladding. as variations will be visible as changes of colour in the fac¸ade. which eliminates the need for the transoms entirely. as they have to support a load that has a longer duration. These systems are not mutually exclusive and in many instances they are mixed to form a kind of hybrid system. as they typically cannot span very far without exhibiting significant vertical deflections. The all-glass solution has support elements.g.1 Parameters Glazing panels within cladding systems need to be designed to withstand wind pressures. This results in the stacking of glass panes.

The key point to note is the duration of the load being applied to the glazing panel. This addresses wind pressure on unique parts of the structure such as cladding elements. Both are subjected to an area load of some kind.2 Material choice For single glazing based solutions. 19mm). as well as the consequences of failure of the element. such as a fin.2. Laminated glass is commonly installed within cladding systems as a means to create redundancy should a panel fail. For point fixed cladding systems (see Figure 5. with respect to its integrity to act as a shield. Cladding framing members – For span less than 3. 5. – Maximum in-plane deflection of any member due to dead load and live load shall not exceed 1/500 of the span. – For span greater than 3. via structural silicone. but there is cause for specifying it in certain conditions. with the major difference being the duration and magnitude of that load. Provided the movement in the cladding is accommodated within it. Their guidelines can be summarised as follows. One of the drivers behind this decision is the distance the glazing has to span. It is also possible to utilise wind tunnel testing as a means to determine a more accurate magnitude of wind load being placed onto cladding elements.5m: span/300 þ 5mm.4 Figure 5. This is not as critical as it is for glass that is placed overhead. This requires that the frequency of pressure taps in the wind tunnel model is increased. For example. but other factors such as susceptibility to thermal shock and height above ground are also important.0m and less than 7. whichever is the lesser.0m: span/200. it is either Cantilever framing elements Elements of the supporting structure that are cantilevering are to have a deflection limit of L/100 (max. basic annealed glass is a valid choice of glass type. and to provide containment. Part 2 of the Standard for systemised building envelopes5. It is not uncommon for glazing panels to be thinner than a floor plate with similar dimensions and loading.1.3). 5. This could expose it to lateral loading from pedestrians and would therefore act as a form of barrier in such instances. Basic annealed glass cannot accommodate such fixings as it cracks due to the localised stresses that build up around the connection. or 3mm. Caution is advised when using this data as it must be made clear to the testing facility that a wind load to the cladding is sought and not just the building overall. it is deemed to be acceptable. Isolated point fixings typically take the form of through bolts that clamp the glazing to the supporting structure. The strength of the glass can be derived using the guidance provided in Chapter 3.2. – For span greater than 7.2. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 35 5.Glass in the building envelope 5.2 . especially where glazing is installed at ground level.3 Point fixing in cladding system placed within a frame and fixed via a clamp or glued to another element of glass.5m: span/250.2.5 Serviceability The amount of deflection a cladding system can exhibit is dependent on the method of support as it influences how much of the cladding element will move. The Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) has published guidelines as to what deflection limits of supporting cladding framing systems and the cladding elements themselves should be designed to. Toughened glass is typically used for longer spans due to its higher strength. a failing glass cladding element could fall from height and cause harm to anyone beneath it.2 covers the movement of cladding structures. These are expanded on at length in Chapter 2. Wind load is considered to be significantly shorter than imposed load as it is based on a one second gust where cladding elements have a diagonal dimension of less than 5m. 5. Dominant openings within cladding systems also need to be considered and guidance for this is provided in EN 1991-1-4 Eurocode 1 – Actions on structures Part 1-4: General actions – wind actions5.3 Design principles The principles used to design cladding elements are not too dissimilar to those that are used for floor plates. as is toughened glass. Where a glazing panel has a continuous support. Methods of connection The ways in which cladding elements are connected is dependent upon the method of support. toughened or heat-strengthened glass is also required as it can withstand the localised stresses that are generated around the fixings. due to higher acceptable deflections for glazing panels.

edge of panel: D  H/125 5. A secondary seal is then added. for example.4). Single glazing. as described in Section 5.3 Glass in the building envelope Localised cladding framing deflections Normal-to-plane deflections. edge of panel: D  H/175 where: H is the height of the glazing panel. – Double glazing: 1000/540  (frame span in m)2 mm (max. Basic annealed is commonly used for the smaller panels while toughened is favoured for larger profiles. 20mm). Account shall be taken of the effects of deflections of all supporting members. 50mm) under wind load. it is very difficult to pinpoint a set of rules of thumb for the initial sizing of glazing elements within them.2. 5. BS 5516-25. It should be noted that that some manufacturers will allow greater deflections. Roof glazing elements – centre pane deflections To prevent ponding of water.2.3 Design of insulating glazed units 5. Glazing panel edge frame deflections – two edge support – Single glazing: 1000/180  (frame span in m)2 mm.58 to the horizontal is maintained.4 Insulated glazed unit (IGU) . A maximum of 15mm deflection is for typical IGU sized elements. The gap is filled with either dehydrated air or a single inert gas. Glass with unsupported free edge Single glazing. differing air pressures and changes in temperature will result in deformation and deflections within the IGU. To overcome this.2 Material choice IGU installations can be made from any type of glass. 50mm) under wind load. to bond the glass layers together structurally. while still providing a warranty.5. edge of glass panel D  H/175 (max. These are selfcontained glazing panels that are typically fixed within a frame (see Figure 5.3 36 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 5.3. Aesthetics can play a key part in specifying glass within an IGU installation.3. The deflection of the centre pane shall not cause the panel rebate edge cover to be reduced to less than 75% of its unloaded dimension including allowance for fabrication and installation tolerances.6 Initial sizing Taking into account the myriad of variables that exist within cladding systems. Thermally toughened and heat-strengthened glass exhibits various deformations during manufacture. If. With a fixed quantity of air or gas being sealed between the panes of the IGU. including roller wave and warp. edge of glass panel: D  H/125 where: H is the height of the glazing panel. which acts as a moisture sealant between the panes of glass. The use of basic annealed glass within IGU installations has become the preferred choice of glass type as a result. 15mm) All glass elements – centre pane deflection Structural design of glass shall take into consideration the effects of calculated maximum glass surface temperature and its effect on stiffness of the interlayer(s) if present. – Double glazing: short span/65 (max.5. Double glazing. measured over a single infill glazing unit: provides guidance on available pane sizes and thickness for both monolithic and cavity glass. Of special note is the need to address the movement of the primary structure when compared to the cladding support system. the structure the IGUs are to be installed in is at a high altitude. and use that as a basis for establishing an initial thickness of the glazing before embarking on detailed design.1 Description where: H is the height of the glazing panel. Glazing centre pane deflections – four edge support – Single glazing: short span/65 (max. the external air pressure will be less than it will be internally. Double glazing. This air pressure differential can cause a load to be applied to both panes causing them to deflect outwards. 5. Typically tolerances of movement are more onerous for cladding than primary structural elements and consideration should be given to this disparity when designing cladding systems. Standard sealed glazing units are as also described as insulating glazed units (IGU). glazing shall deflect such that a minimum drainage slope of 1. It is possible to take on board the advice given by CWCT in terms of deflection. the outer panes can be made from thicker glass to prevent them from deflecting and thus be seen as a distortion. which can lead to deformations within IGU installations and can have a detrimental effect on the appearance of the cladding as a whole. IGU based cladding systems consist of multiple layers of glass that are divided by a spacer with a primary seal between it and the glass.

2004 5.2. is not the case for point loads as the small area over which the load is applied. Standard for systemised building envelopes.4 . 5. security and wind loading. it is possible to investigate this effect in greater detail using FE analysis.5 BS 6262-3: 2005: Glazing for buildings – Part 3: Code of practice for fire.7. reduces the shared action between the panes. 2006 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 37 5.3. IGU design is described in Clause 6. although this does make reference to the now withdrawn BS 6399-2 Loading for buildings: Code of practice for wind loads5. This clause assumes that the applied wind loads are uniformly distributed and are therefore shared between panes within the multi-glazed IGU. Part 2: Loads. 2005 5.3 Design principles The pressure that is exerted onto the glass panes due to the presence of the gas or air between them is a significant point of concern. London: BSI. fixings and movement. When there is a difference in this pressure and the surrounding environment.4 References 5. London: BSI.5.6 can also be referred to for wind actions. 5. This can result in the designer of the IGU having to adjust the relative glass thickness of the panes to mitigate the risk of resonance occurring within the IGU. 5.3. a point fixed based system or the primary structure. light and sound.4 and Part 3: Code of practice for fire. London: BSI.7 BS 6399-2: 1997: Loading for buildings – Part 2: Code of practice for wind loads.4 Methods of support IGU assemblies are supported from a secondary frame.5.5 Serviceability Serviceability limits for IGUs are the same as for single-glazed cladding elements. The reader is therefore directed to Section 5. However.1] This.1 BS EN 1991-1-4: 2005 þ A1:2010: Eurocode 1: Actions on structures – Part 1-4: General actions – wind actions. London: BSI. In such conditions it is acceptable to ignore the shared load and design the point load for a single pane.3. superseded by ref 5. Their supports are designed to within deflection limits placed upon cladding systems. security and wind loading5. BS 5516-1: 2004 Patent glazing and sloping glazing for buildings.4 of BS 6262 – Part 2 Glazing for buildings5. Code of practice for design and installation of sloping and vertical patent glazing5. 5. as the above recommendation is conservative.3 BS 5516-2: 2004: Patent glazing and sloping glazing for buildings – Part 2: Code of practice for sloping glazing. as well as the short duration. London: BSI.2 Centre for Window and Cladding Technology. Bath: CWCT. 2005 5. a force is placed onto the glass that must be designed for. however.6 BS 5516-1: 2004: Patent glazing and sloping glazing for buildings – Part 1: Code of practice for design and installation of sloping and vertical patent glazing. It is recommended that sufficiently accurate results will be obtained by assuming the single pane will support the point load and that no load sharing occurs. 2004 5.Glass in the building envelope 5. London: BSI. 1997 [withdrawn. This can create sound pollution problems if not addressed during the design stage. 2004 5.5 for further guidance on this. It is possible that they can become amplifiers due to the vibration of the glass within the IGU.2.4 BS 6262-2: 2005: Glazing for buildings – Part 2: Code of practice for energy. Acoustics can also play a part in the design of IGU installations. as described in Section 5.

The localised stresses generated by these setting blocks are not normally a significant concern as they only typically support the self-weight of the glass panes. However. While generally accurate for floor plates subject to a UDL action to consider the relative stiffness of the glass and supporting frame. connections can be split into two sub-categories: mechanical and adhesivebased. As a general rule the width of setting blocks should be equal to the glass pane thickness. They transfer in-plane forces without needing the bolts to bear on the glass. The stiffness of supports is discussed in Chapter 4 with respect to computer modelling. but the same issue holds true for small clamps. Therefore attention needs to be paid to the local stresses around the bolts that pass through the clamp. which explains the various methods of support for structural glass elements. Once that is established the bending stresses around the clamp can be determined and an analysis can be carried out. Additionally. It is possible therefore to review the impact of the size of setting blocks within a continuous linear support system. localised fixings. Unlike the continuous support systems described in Section 6.1 Introduction This chapter builds on what was described in Section 2.2 and 6. The applied stresses are compared against the design strength of the glass as described in Chapter 3. The following procedure can be used to design splice connections using the estimated size and number of bolts within a splice.1 and BS 8000:7 1990 Workmanship on building sites.3).1 Continuous support frame with setting blocks 38 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Clamp connections Friction connections Friction grip connections are a subset of clamping connections and are more often than not found in splice connections within beams and columns. for cladding elements it is more accurate to describe them as being supported off of a pair of discrete points.3 6. They can have setting blocks present. Mechanical fixings can be further split into clamp and bolt fixings. as described in Section 2. but for the smaller clamps the primary point of concern is the local bending and stiffness of the clamp itself as it interacts with the glass it is supporting. It considers what needs to be reviewed for each connection type. These capacities are dependent upon the elastic modulus of both the setting block and the pane of glass. These blocks transfer the self-weight of the glass to the supporting frame. Nevertheless there are instances where for particularly large panes of glass both the compressive capacity of the setting blocks and any localised tension stress due to the bridging of the glass over the setting blocks needs to be addressed. These support points are setting blocks. The principle behind it focuses . Code of practice for glazing6. It is therefore important to determine the relative stiffness of the clamp against the glass pane it is supporting. The hole around the bolt is oversized to accommodate the inclusion of a hard isolation material. then localised bending stresses can develop around the clamp. which creates the same issues as described in Section 6. In many cases this can govern the design more than the overall element itself (see Figures 6.2.2 for installation guidance.4.6 Connection design 6. Clamps can either be continuous or small. to minimise the effects of local stresses. For more information refer to BS 6262: 1 2005 Glazing for buildings – General methodology for the selection of glazing for sizing6.1). 6. clamps can provide a positive fixing that does not rely entirely on gravity. i.2. they have a tension capacity as well as shear and compression. For the purposes of design. soft bearing pads can be used within the clamp assembly.4. such pads have the tendency to cause the pane they are supporting to unduly deflect.2 Continuous linear support connections Continuous supports provide an unbroken line of support along an edge of a glass pane (see Figure 6. If they are relatively stiff compared to the glass panes they are supporting. which the glass sits upon once it is installed.e. 6. It is these stresses the glass has to be designed for. The sizing of setting blocks can impact on the integrity of the glass pane they are supporting.4 Figure 6.

Add to this the complexity of avoiding direct contact between the bolt and the glass itself.5 . M ¼ 2m X F i bi . By comparing the applied bending moment against the value of M in Equation 6. eliminates this issue and allows the designer to focus on addressing the high localised stresses within the bolt connection (see Figure 6.4) F is the tension in the bolt due torque b is the distance from the centre of the bolt group to the bolt m is the coefficient of friction between the gasket in the bolt fixing Figure 6.Connection design on the induced tension in the bolt via torque and the coefficient of friction m between the gasket in the bolt fixing and the glass. usually a creep-resistant fibre gasket. unlike other materials such as steel and timber. As the clamp is pressed against the glass.1 for long-term loading conditions and 0.3 Clamp fixing to glass beam within walkway 6. thus significantly reducing the clamping force and rendering the connection ineffective. This requires laboratory trials in advance of manufacture. so that it is of the same thickness as the interlayer after the fixing is torqued.5 Bolted connections Bolted connections can generate high localised stresses. For friction connections to be able to transmit forces effectively they have to be well torqued and a ‘benign’ separator.2 for short-term. Figure 6. The design of bolted connections must consider these interactions very carefully in order for it to function as intended. This happens over a period of time that can occur within the design life of the structure and is therefore a hazard that can occur during the structure’s in-service condition. 1 b1 2 b2 b3 b4 Centre of rotation 3 4 Figure 6. In laminated glass the presence of friction-based connections causes problems with the interlayer material. This material needs to be creep resistant and of a thickness carefully matched to that of the interlayer. It is for this reason that the designer must pay special attention to the interaction between the bolt fixing and the glass it is supporting. The use of gaskets and brushes. This may require the connection to be reviewed and checked on a regular basis to ensure the amount of required torque is maintained. The isolation is required to prevent the glass coming into contact with a material that is harder than it. which are not dissipated due to yielding. To overcome this. the interlayer material is squeezed out from the laminated glass. . . Equation 6. is needed between the glass and the steel clamping plates. This can be estimated as 0.2 Clamp fixing that allows for vertical displacement along its axis It is possible to assess such a connection using finite element analysis models for more accurate results. Glass cannot yield.1 i where: i is the number of the bolt (see Figure 6.4 Splice fixing within glass beam (friction connection) The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 39 6. a layer of soft aluminium is placed within the interlayer where the fixing is to be located. which are formed from materials with a lesser modulus of elasticity.1 the capacity of the splice can be approximated.5).

This section explains what the designer needs to consider when using adhesives as a means to connect structural glass elements together.6 Connection design Figure 6. the bearing capacity of the glass can be assumed to be 1kN/mm width of glass that is effectively carried. The first is that when fixing through toughened glass. It is very difficult to carry out a simple manual calculation to determine the localised stresses around bolt connections in glass. and the distribution of stress around the bolts is difficult to model. The properties of the proposed adhesive determine how creep may be anticipated when placed under load.6. 6.6 provides guidance on spacing of bolted connections within glass elements.6 expands on the different types of adhesives available to the designer and advises on 40 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) how they are used in glass design. The duration of . The glass is not able to yield.5t 2t 4t x + y > 6t No holes in this area y > 2t 2t Figure 6.6 Adhesive based connections Section 2. This is only an estimate.4.8). Structural silicone has varying material properties. One of the most common forms of adhesive connection is the use of silicone to form glass-toglass right angle butt joints. Displacement occurs between the two elements as the tension force tries to pry them apart. and it is advisable to employ the use of finite element modelling applications to determine stresses around bolt connections accurately. however. Where adhesive is used in a less conventional manner. Such fixings allow the glass to rotate within the frame and are thus deemed to be simply supported connections when the glass is being designed (see Figure 6. Nevertheless there are some rules of thumb that can be used when initially sizing bolt connections.5 Bolt fixing showing gaskets and brushes acting as isolating material between the bolt and the glass t = glass thickness x > 2t >2. the transfer of load between the elements it is fixing together is one of the most important parts of the design (see Figure 6.6 Bolt fixing spacing The geometry of the bolt fixings with respect to their proximity to each other and the edge of the glass is of significant importance. Figure 6. Peeling stresses can also be a concern as they are typically very high at the extreme ends of the adhesive.7). which are manufacturer dependent. These can then be compared against the design strength described in Chapter 3.

The tension induced strength of the bolts is 37kN and their vertical spacing is at a pitch of 73mm. Bending capacity of splice connection is: Figure 6. 6. 1990 Figure 6.7 .2 due to short term loading. where most of the load transfer occurs ¼ 4:4kNm . London: BSI. 4:0kNm [ OK 6. 2005 6. similar to glass. Production samples of what adhesive is going to be used during construction should be tested and not those made solely for testing purposes.4 can support the applied bending moment.7 Worked example A splice connection is to support a design bending moment of 4kNm due to short term loading. Check to see if two rows of four M12 bolts. laid out in a similar fashion to Figure 6.7 Glass staircase with treads fixed via adhesive based connections m ¼ 0.2 BS 8000-7: 1990: Workmanship on building sites – Code of practice for glazing.1 BS 6262-1: 2005: Glazing for buildings – General methodology for the selection of glazing for sizing. M ¼ 2  0:2  ½ðð0:073m þ 0:037mÞ  37kNÞ þ ð0:037m  37kNÞ þ ðð0:073m þ 0:037mÞ  37kNÞ þ ð0:037m  37kNÞ Regions of maximum strain in the adhesive.Connection design loads also has an impact on their capacity.8 References 6. The designer must carry out numerous checks based on the form of loading they are designing the glass structure for when using structural silicone as an adhesive for connections. Workmanship should also be taken into consideration to the extent that it is advisable to have test pieces made by the same process at the same premises. London: BSI.8 Differential strains in a long lap joint The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 41 6.

1 Glass staircase and link bridge with balustrade 7. calculations have to take into account four specified design actions: – uniformly distributed action – a concentrated action – a line load at a specified height – a vertical action – any additional action from air movement or wind.2 Glass staircases with balustrades 42 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 7. the primary component of loading is a lateral force due to a horizontal load of a short duration. In either case.1 and 7. With . The vertical action for balustrades is defined in Clause 3 of PD 6688-1-1:2011 Recommendations for the design of structures7.6kN/m should be applied to the barrier during the design process.1 Introduction Glass balustrades are part-height barriers that protect people from a fall between levels. With this in mind. which states that an additional vertical load of 1kN or 0. The glass can form part of the barrier when used to infill a structural frame or become the barrier itself (see Figures 7.7 Glass balustrades 7. This load is applied at 1. Typical balustrade heights range from a minimum of 900mm to 1200mm for protection but can be taken higher for reasons of privacy or to act as a wind break. The building use. the location of the barrier and the possible distance of fall determine the height of the balustrade and the variable design actions to be applied.2 Design principles The design of balustrades concerns the prevention of someone falling from an edge. The design process has to also take into account the actual installed height of the barrier.1m from above finish floor level. Figure 7. the method of fixing and any other external loads due to building location. regardless of the actual height of the balustrade. even though barrier loads still have to be taken into account. When full height glass is used to protect from a fall this is not considered as a balustrade.1.2).

a reasoned conclusion can be reached on whether or not the balustrade must be designed to be able to remain in place post-failure and still be able to withstand the full load. This can only be achieved by using laminated glass.3 more robust in the post-failure condition than other materials. the glass should be laminated so that in the event of its failure it remains in place. Any risk assessment must consider the location of the barrier and the use of the location it is placed in. In the post-failure condition. For bolt fixings from the balustrade into the primary structure. the glass deflects significantly but usually remains in place. The type of laminate material also has an impact on the way in which glass behaves post-failure. 100 × 150mm 6 1. In instances where the balustrade is placed at height.3. In all other cases the duration is increased to 5 minutes and has a corresponding kmod value of 0.77. with no composite action.4 of BS 6180: 20117.3 . For infill panels with continuous supports. Figures 7. the height of the applied load is 900mm from the finish floor level. Without the redundancy of an additional ply of glass to support the failed ply. it is reasonable to adopt a kmod value of 0. 7. For most interlayers.6 show details of a method for clamping the glass into place. it is safer to assume that both plies act separately. which are typically PVB. This reduces the risk of the glass falling from its mount as one ply can act as a support to the one that has failed. It is unlikely to remain in place following failure. Ionoplast interlayers provide greater stiffness and are therefore 4 5 6 7 8 Key 1 Glass 2 M16 bolts 3 3mm thick bush hard fibre or nylon 4 >12mm metal plate attached to structure at 500mm centres 5 >12mm metal plate min. – Isolated bolt fixings or clamps within a frame.3. e. from infill elements within a steel framed structure through to a free-standing glass pane. Once the risk assessment has been developed. the infill panel must comply with the design criteria given in Clauses 6. Neighbouring panels must then also be designed to withstand the additional load from the handrail as the failed panel can no longer support the loads applied to it. Free-standing glass balustrades are essentially cantilevers and must be designed to withstand the load as defined in the above referenced codes of practice.1 and 8. Annex B of BS 6180: 20117. if a handrail is present at the top of the balustrade then it is advisable that it is designed to span between panels of glass within the balustrade should one of them fail.3 provides details of typical fixings for monolithic toughened glass balustrades which are reproduced in Figures 7. 7. resulting in falling glass if the balustrade is placed at height.Glass balustrades the case of infill sections and domestic use. The loads for balustrading are defined in BS EN 1991-1-1 Actions on structures7. What is common with all of these details is that they do not allow any direct contact between the steel and the glass. For barriers that are placed along the edge of an opening. Where no handrail is present then a risk assessment must be carried out to determine the consequences of it failing.3 Point fixing clamp to balustrade The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 43 7. Noting that the load is classified as not permanent and has an assumed duration of 30 seconds for domestic use.g. the fixing detail of the balustrade onto the primary structure must be designed in such a way as to prevent the glass falling if all plies in pane have failed.2.0mm thick fibre gasket 7 Side of drop 8 Public access side Figure 7. there are two forms: – Continuous edge supported within a frame. a bar/restaurant or a shopping mall. When designing balustrades constructed from laminated glass.3 and 7. 1 2 3 Material selection Glass balustrades can be formed from any type of glass and are usually laminated.89 when determining the strength of the glass using guidance given in Chapter 3 and Appendix C.2 and BS 6180: 2011 Barriers in and about buildings – code of practice7.4 Methods of connection Glass balustrades can come in a variety of forms. similar to that described in Section 7. the balustrade will no longer perform as one as the pane will have failed completely.4. In the case of infill panels.5 and 7.

and slippage of this connection will allow the glass to deflect. and are therefore conservative for lower loadings. which is .4.0kN/m.1 of BS 6180: 20117. 3 7. extruded silicone S/H 85° or epoxy polysulphide compound 4 Setting block 5 Continuous 12mm thick angles Figure 7.0mm thick fibre gasket 6 >12mm continuous metal plate attached to structure 7 Side of drop 8 Public access side 5 Key 1 Glass 2 High modulus sealant 3 Hardwood. When calculating the deflection of balustrades the designer should take note of the assembly that fixes the balustrade to the base structure.5 Continuous clamp fixing to balustrade using steel angles 44 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Serviceability Typically Clause 6. extruded silicone S/H 85° or epoxy polysulphide compound 4 Setting block 5 Continuous 12mm thick plates Figure 7. The high modulus sealant is not as stiff as hardwood and the movement at the top of the balustrade will be greater.7). The grip on the glass is by a bolt in shear.2. BS 6180: 20117.5 4 5 Key 1 Glass 2 High modulus sealant 3 Hardwood.4 Continuous fixing clamp to balustrade Figure 7. The deformation of the connection system used can have a significant impact on the overall deflection of the balustrade and must be considered during its design (see Figure 7.3 can be referred to when determining the allowable deflection of a balustrade when subjected to the lateral load as described in Section 7.5 makes reference to a variety of packing materials between the glass and the steel.3 stipulates that the maximum deflection at the top of a free-standing glass balustrade cannot be any more than 25mm. 2 25 80 It should be noted that the above details can deal with the maximum horizontal loading of 3.5 Glass balustrades Glass 1 1 2 2 80 3 3 4 4 200 30 5 6 90 7 8 Key 1 Glass 2 >12mm metal plate continuous >100mm wide 3 3mm hard fibre or nylon bush 4 M16 bolts at 500mm centres 5 1.7. Hardwood spacers should be tight to the glass.6 Alternative clamping system 6 1 12 The detail shown in Figure 7.

5 1.3 is a guideline and as such it is ultimately up to the designer to determine acceptable deflection limits on the balustrade under consideration. Most manufacturers will have a view on the type of glass that they would recommend.6 Initial sizing Table 7. In most cases this is the governing criterion for the design of glass balustrades as this is a stringent limit that is difficult to achieve in glass thicknesses of anything less than 12mm for freestanding forms.74 1100 15 / 21. It should be noted that in post-failure condition these deflection limits do not apply. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 45 7. It must be noted that BS 61807. They are provided as a means to develop a final design and should not be regarded as definitive. based on fixing method.1 provides approximate thicknesses of freestanding balustrades made from toughened glass.7 Design criteria Over and above what has already been described in this chapter. including the likelihood of people being injured by falling glass. inspection. 7. Critical structural issues include: – how the overall structure will behave – how the structure will behave after one or more glass elements have failed – the safety implications of the failure of a piece of glass. as the balustrade need only act as an arrest from falling and not a semiimmovable barrier as it did prior to failure. it is possible to reduce the overall thickness of the glass due to the greater stiffness properties the interlayer has over other materials.7 Rotation of connection assembly for balustrades a UK requirement.Glass balustrades Non-structural items include: – thermal transmission and solar radiation – condensation – rainwater runoff – fire – acoustic behaviour – access for installation. Table 7.36 900 12 / 17.1 Approximate thicknesses of free-standing toughened glass balustrades Design load (kN/m) Height of glass (mm) Thickness of glass: monolithic toughened/laminated toughened (mm) 0.5 3. cleaning.5 7. handling and other considerations. heat-strengthened or toughened glass will rarely be determined by considerations of strength alone. The choice of annealed.5 0. Figure 7. It should be noted that these figures are based on current codes of practice and assume a fully fixed continuous connection at the base of the balustrade. maintenance.5 1100 19 / 25. Where ionoplast is used as an interlayer for laminated glass balustrades. the designer should also consider the following critical issues when designing a balustrade. repair and replacement – availability of materials – appearance and fit – durability – environmental impact and life cycle costing.6 .0 1100 25 / 31.

k The glass is toughened horizontally.0 gM:A and gM:v are 1.d ¼ 0:77  1:0  45N=mm2 1:0ð120N=mm2  45N=mm2 Þ þ ¼ 84:2N=mm2 1:6 1:2 Determine thickness of glass required based on design strength M 1:2  106 Nmm=m ¼ 14:3  103 mm3 =m  84:2N=mm2 [ Wrequired  W 84:2N=mm2 1000mm  t 2 [ thickness required:  14:3  103 mm3 =m 6 rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 6  14:3  103 mm3 =m [t ¼ 9mm 1000mm 46 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .k  f g.2 respectively and fg.74kN/m UDL acting 1.k ¼ 120N/mm2 and kv ¼ 1.5 UDLult ¼ 0.k is 45N/mm2. Each pane of glass within the balustrade is 2m long and the following calculation is a design of the glass only and not its connection to the primary structure.0 Calculate the design strength of the glass f g. Determine the strength of the glass using advice given in Chapter 3 and Appendix C Strength of glass f g.1m above FFL Partial factor for variable action gq ¼ 1.2kNm/m Toughened glass to be used. the balustrade should be designed for a line load of 0.6 and 1.7 4kN /m 1100 7.k gM:A þ k v ðf b.5 ¼ 1.74kN/m applied at a height of 1100mm above the floor level. Determine fb.k Þ gM:v The glass is toughened horizontally using a thermal based process and is not to be sandblasted. float glass therefore ksp ¼ 1. It is in a restaurant and is therefore exposed to public access.1kN/m  1.7 Actions 0. Assuming no overcrowding. The balustrade is a cantilever with continuous clamped connection at its base and a handrail. Determine kmod The load is of a short duration. therefore kmod is 0.d ¼ k mod k sp f g.77 (see Appendix C).74kN/m  1. The glass is made from float process and not sand-blasted.Glass balustrades 7. laminated with two plies.8 Worked example for balustrade design A glass balustrade is to be installed along an edge of an opening within a ground floor that has a basement underneath it.1m ¼ 1.1kN/m BMult ¼ 1. therefore fb. 0.

5mm thick laminated glass.Glass balustrades Try 25. In order to maintain the integrity of the balustrade.w ¼ 123 mm þ 123 mm ¼ 15mm rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 153 mm In terms of bending capacity: hef. the coefficient of shear transfer v is 0 (see Appendix C). Post-failure check In the event that one of the panels fails. The effective thickness of the balustrade is therefore as follows. With the interlayer being PVB and the form of loading is on a public balustrade.s ¼ ¼ 17mm > 9mm [ OK 12 Deflection check I¼ 1000mm  153 mm ¼ 281:3  103 mm4 =m 12 d¼ 740N  11003 mm ¼ 17mm 3  70  10 N=mm2  281:3  103 mm4 =m 3 Allowable deflection (as advised by BS 6180:2011 Clause 6. the handrail will have to span over the panel that has broken and share load into the adjacent one. Additional load from balustrade/handrail Partial factor for variable action gq ¼ 1.7 . the remaining glass pane will have to support the load from the handrail. [ UDLULT ¼ 1:0kN=m þ 1:1kN=m ¼ 2:1kN=m Applied bending moment 1:1m  2:1kN=m ¼ 2:3kNm=m Determine bending resistance Elastic Modulus W ¼ 1000mm  172 mm ¼ 48:2  103 mm3 =m 6 M 2:3  106 Nmm=m ¼ ¼ 47:7N=mm2 < 84:2N=mm2 [ OK W 48:2  103 mm3 =m No deflection check is required as this condition is post-failure and serviceability limits do not apply. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 47 7. [ action=m ¼ 1:1kN ¼ 1:0kN=m 1:1m This action is additive to the one that was originally applied.5 2m  0:74kN=m  gq 2m  0:74kN=m  1:5 ¼ ¼ 1:1kN 2 2 This reaction is spread over 1100mm.5mm PVB interlayer. two sheets of 12mm thick toughened glass panes with 1. ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi p 3 In terms of deflection: hef. which needs to be assessed as part of the entire balustrade assembly.1) ¼ 25mm 17mm < 25mm [ OK This deflection does not take into account the rotation of the fixing.4.

3 BS 6180: 2011: Barriers in and about buildings – Code of practice.9 Glass balustrades 7.9 References 7. self-weight. London: BSI. imposed loads for buildings. London: BSI.7.2 BS EN 1991-1-1: 2002: Eurocode 1: Actions on structures – Part 1-1: General actions – Densities. 2011 7. London: BSI. 2011 48 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . 2002 7.1 PD 6688-1-1: 2011: Recommendations for the design of structures to BS EN 1991-1-1.

After breakage the glass fragments will be held together by the interlayer material and many of the fragments will be large enough to continue spanning between at least two of the supported edges. Floor plates are subjected to variable actions which may be either short duration or long duration. Three or more sheets laminated with an ionoplast interlayer and supported on two or three sides or is cantilevering: In this case panels should be laminated with an ionoplast interlayer which is strong enough. as failure of one or more of the glass sheets could lead to serious consequences. capable of supporting the applied loading. The following paragraphs give an overview of these design principles for various types of glass floor plates: Two or more sheets laminated with a resin or PVB interlayer supported on four sides. With this configuration allows any type of glass to be used. Hence it is up to the The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 49 . Noting that variable actions on floors have medium term duration. Laminating the glass with an ionoplast interlayer will improve the performance of the panel pre. postbreakage. as long as broken fragments or shards are adequately restrained from becoming detached or from causing a person to lose their footing. as it is exposed to maintenance access. steps must be taken to ensure that the loaded panel remains in place after the glass has broken. the higher the magnitude of design strength that can be assumed.8 Element design 8. The design of double glazed units is covered in Chapter 5. Basic annealed or heat-strengthened glass types are typically used for floor panels as they break into larger fragments on failure which can contribute to considerable postbreakage strength. and therefore longer lasting.1. almost permanent). due to maintenance.1 for an example of pedestrian short-term loading to a glass floor. 8. self-weight permanent action and a concentrated variable action as defined in EN 19911-18. Appendix C provides the relevant coefficient values for various durations of actions. which includes the analysis of IGU that are subject to imposed load/variable actions.2 Design principles Glass floor panels can be supported on one or more edges.60 when determining the design strength of the glass. However. The glass should be designed for deflection and stress criteria ignoring the contribution of the plastic and the plastic should be designed for stress criteria only assuming no contribution from the glass.1. it is reasonable to adopt a kmod value of 0. after all of the sheets of glass have failed. In some instances. while the permanent actions are obviously long-term – see Figure 8.1. Panel solutions based on these principles typically demonstrate satisfactory postbreakage behaviour.e. Any proposed system that is based on what is described above should be verified by testing. The plastic sheet should be designed to support a portion of the full design load as deemed acceptable by the engineer for the given failure scenario (typically 50– 70% of the design load is considered acceptable). The ratio of length to breadth of the panel is must be 2 or less. There are. The glass does not need to be bonded to the plastic in this system and attempts to do so have often led to other problems such as bowing due to the different coefficients of thermal expansion of the glass and the plastic. It is therefore required to carry out multiple assessments of the floor plate depending on the actions it is being analysed against. Figure 8. As with the four sided support solution. however. A number of solutions have been developed to provide this fail safe behaviour. conditions where a variable action can be akin to storage (i. It is always recommended that the system is fully tested to ensure compliance. The duration of applied actions affects the design strength of the glass – the shorter it is.1 Glass floor plate design 8. Panels with aspect ratios greater than 2 should be designed as being supported on only two sides: In this case the interlayer is assumed to provide no structural stiffness and the panel should stay in place. particularly in roof light installations.and postbreakage.1 Floor plate supported by glass beams Glass floors must be designed to withstand the variable action. IGU need to be treated as a floor plate unit.1 Introduction Glass floors can act as both a walking surface and sometimes as the supporting structure to other glass elements such as a glass wall or balustrade. basic annealed or heatstrengthened glass provides significantly better postbreakage resistance than toughened glass. A single or laminated sheet of glass underlain with a single sheet of clear plastic: Plastics such as acrylic can be used as a safety net for the situation where the glass breaks. to hold the fragments together in composite action with the interlayer acting as the tension component and the cracked glass providing compression resistance. as stipulated in Appendix C.

This needs to be assessed based on its location and the likely use of the floor area. the risk of local failure around the connections.1. either on all sides or at least two.2). Figure 8. which is typically steel. Both effects will generate some small tensions in the top surface and should therefore be considered when reviewing local effects adjacent to supports. basic annealed. take this into account when the panels are continuous over supports. it is not advisable to use chemically toughened glass as the depth of the prestress section of the glass is too thin and the glass is far more susceptible to failure when its surface is damaged. depending on load and size. thermally toughened and chemically toughened. 8.e. This allows light transfer through the glass and provides sufficient obscurity to create a modesty shield against those who would be able to look up through the glass to those walking above.4 In most instances. however. Curing sealant Silicone sealant Structure Methods of connection Rubber strip 3-5mm thick. heat-strengthened.8. This should be taken into consideration when assessing the design of glass floor panels. There is always the risk of concentrated stresses being generated within a floor plate if the means by which they are resting on the frames relies on spacing blocks which provide a form of point support along the frame. The enamelling or etching process does have an impact on the tension capacity of the glass and can reduce it by up to 40%. minimum 60 Shore hardness 25mm Minimum bearing Rubber strip 3-5mm thick minimum 60 Shore hardness T. All glass to have flat ground and arrissed edges. as the stiffness of this structure will have a significant impact on how the assembly behaves. it is possible to provide point support solutions for floor plates. Figure 8. Sand blasting. acid etching and enamelling are all standard methods of achieving the required slip resistance designer to designate the appropriate durations for applied variable actions based on the likely use of the floor. floor plates tend to be enamelled (see Figure 8.1 Element design 8. To provide slip resistance. from the glass via a plastic or fibre washer. but larger spans can result in the uniformly distributed load becoming the critical case.1. In the case of floor plates this has no direct effect on the design of the glass that is simply supported as the tension face of the glass is on the underside. It is important to take into account the deflection and deformation of the supporting structure. There will be some moment continuity at the support plus corner restraint if the panels are two way spanning.3 is an example of a continuous floor plate support system. With such a fixing system being adopted. While less common. or solid bar support 50mm minimum Figure 8.3 Material selection Glass floors can be made from any of the four types of glass. is much higher. One should. 10mm to 25mm heat soaked toughened glass. Care must be taken to isolate the connection material. rather than at mid-span as expected with the continuous support systems.2 Example of an enamelled glass floor plate One important consideration is the slip resistance of glass. There will also be some tension in the top surface even with nominally pinned supports. box.3 Example of a continuous support to a floor plate 50 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . Such a solution reduces the risk of concentrated stresses being developed within the construction. Typically floor plates are supported via a continuous edge. i. which often results in a translucent effect. the critical case is the concentrated variable action. However. or otherwise textured by sand blasting or acid etching. This can be some form of steel frame that the glass floor plate sits in. This typically induces the most bending stress in the floor plate. especially when it is wet.

the natural frequency should be limited to no less than 5Hz. method of fixing support and geometry. With regards to floor vibration.5 Serviceability For glass floor plates it is common to use a base deflection limit of span/250 when subjected to both variable and permanent actions. only covers the effect of the second harmonic caused by footfall onto the floor plate. glass floor plates can range from 12mm to 80mm. This is then refined further based on applied actions. however. as an initial estimate. This.6 Initial sizing In most instances.1. a base span/ depth ratio of 40–50 can be used to establish a thickness of glass. Depending on the imposed load and geometry.1. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 51 8. as well as the method of fixing and plan dimensions. 8.5Hz.Element design 8.1 . For typical floors third harmonics are usually covered and rule of thumb frequency limits are set to above 7.

The effective thickness of the glass when considering deflection due to bending is: vffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi !ffi u X u X 3 hef.1.7 Worked example for floor plate design A glass floor plate is to be installed that sits over a basement.29 ksp ¼ 1. kv ¼ 1.60 [ fg.0.6 and gM:v ¼ 1. fg. The following calculation determines the thickness of the glass required for the floor plate.d ¼ 0:60  1:0  45N=mm2 1:0ð70N=mm2  45N=mm2 Þ þ ¼ 37:7N=mm2 1:6 1:2 Determine the effective thickness of the glass required based on design strength Try a three-ply laminated glass made from two plies of 12mm thick toughened glass and a 12mm thick sacrificial ply of heat-strengthened glass.8.5m  1. To provide the most effective post-breakage behaviour the lower two sheets will be heat-strengthened. fg. the shear interaction between the plies of the laminated glass via the PVB interlayer must be accounted for.50 years.1 Element design 8.5m grillage of beams.0kN The glass will not be sandblasted and will be enamelled on the wearing side.d ¼ k mod k sp f g.k k v ðf b.e. The simplified method of determining stress of glass within each ply is as follows. This frame provides a continuous support and the following analysis and design of the glass floor plate provisionally assumes it to be infinitely stiff. f g. gM:A ¼ 1. In order to calculate the effective thickness of the glass pane. The laminate is PVB based material and is 0.5kN/m2 Characteristic point action Qk ¼ 3. The support is via a steel frame with a 1.k  f g.k 2 k 52 i The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . fb.2.k ¼ 70N/mm2.w ¼ t hk 3 þ 12v hk hm. 150 0 150 0 The below floor loadings are typical for domestic use and should be used for design: Characteristic variable action qk ¼ 1.k ¼ 45N/mm2. for pedestrian action.76mm thick.k Þ þ gM:v gM:A For load duration .0. Two action durations apply: permanent and short. It is assumed that the top sheet will be toughened and not included in the stress calculations although will be considered for deflection. kmod ¼ 0. short duration load For load duration of 5 hours. Permanent action condition Determine design strength of glass using Appendix C. kmod ¼ 0. This will not impact on the design of the glass as the enamelling is on the compression side of the floor plate.d ¼ 0:29  1:0  45N=mm2 1:0ð70N=mm2  45N=mm2 Þ þ ¼ 29N=mm2 1:6 1:2 Variable action condition i. The glass is to be made up of three layers of glass laminated with PVB.

With respect to the permanent condition.j ¼ 12mm þ 2  0:1  6:4mm Note how the effective thickness has increased from 15.5 ¼ 3.7N/mm2 [ OK The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 53 8.s.9kN/m2  1.5kN/m2  gq ¼ 1. UDL smax ¼ 0:287  3:47kN=m2  1:52 m ¼ 6:4  103 kN=m2 ¼ 6:4N=mm2 0:01872 m 6. 37.9kN/m2  gg ¼ 0.k is the distance between the middle of the ply to the centre of the laminated glass pane.036m  25kN/m3 ¼ 0.4N/mm2 .j ¼ hj þ 2v hm.1 .) Partial factor for permanent action gg ¼ 1.7mm when calculating stress.7mm due to the inclusion of shear interaction within the PVB based interlayer.35 ¼ 1. therefore b ¼ 0.1mm to 16. The effective thickness of the laminated glass for bending stress is as follows: sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 16:73 mm ¼ 18:7mm hef. When calculating stress the equivalent thickness is calculated from: sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi hef.9kN/m2 (Note this includes the 12mm thick tougthened top ply which is not included when determining the effective thickness of the glass.4 of Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain – 8th Edition as: smax ¼ b qb2 hef.5 1. which is then increased to 18. Bending stress check There are two action conditions to check for: permanent and variable (short). In this instance the ratio of the dimensions of the plate is 1.22kN/m2 The applied bending stress to the plate during the permanent condition is defined in Table 11.w ¼ 123 mm þ 123 mm ¼ 15:1mm Note that the variable v equates to ‘0’ hence it is not included in the calculation.s.Element design where: is the thickness of each ply hk hm.22kN/m2 þ 1. b ¼ 0:287 The b variable is dependent upon the ratio of geometry of the plate.w ¼ 3 123 mm þ 123 mm þ 12  0:1  ð12mm  6:42 mm þ 12mm  6:42 mmÞ ¼ 16:7mm This is the effective thickness of the laminated glass that is to be used for deflection calculations. 29N/mm2 [ OK The applied bending stress to the plate during the variable action condition is: gq ¼ 1.1 for v when considering variable actions and ‘0’ when assessing effects due to permanent actions.5kN/m2  1.j Assuming a value of 0. the following applies: Permanent actions due to self-weight ¼ 0.47kN/m2 There are two effects to consider for the variable action condition: that of the UDL and the point load. Additionally the tougthened top ply is not included when determining the overall depth of the glass as it is considered to be sacrificial. Effective thickness in permanent action condition The effective thickness of the laminated glass with respect to permanent action is as follows: ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi p 3 hef.w 2 . two effective thicknesses need to be calculated.287 [ smax ¼ 0:287  1:22kN=m2  1:52 m ¼ 2:3  103 kN=m2 ¼ 2:3N=mm2 0:01872 m 2.35 UDLult ¼ 0.22kN/m2 þ 1.w 3 hef. Effective thickness in variable action condition The effective thickness of the laminated glass with respect to variable action is as follows: qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi hef .3N/mm2 .

Two action durations apply: permanent and short.j 2 where: W is the design concentrated point action n is Poisson’s Ratio b is a variable that is dependent upon the ratio of geometry of the plate. 0. 2. Equivalent thickness of 3 layers is as follows: sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 3 3 3 3 12 mm þ 12 mm þ 12 mm þ ¼ 21:5mm hef. therefore b ¼ 0.e.4mm therefore the floor plate passes both serviceability and strength checks.9kN/m2 Partial factor for permanent action gg ¼ 1. 29.9kN/m2  gg ¼ 0. This can offer some measure of comfort but does not cover the case where all three sheets are broken. Some schools of thought suggest a design method where one sheet is assumed to remain intact.w ¼ 12  0:1  ð12mm  12:82 mm þ 12mm  02 mm þ 12mm  12:82 mmÞ Equivalent I value ¼ 1500mm  21:53 mm ¼ 1:24  106 mm4 12 Taking the point load as the worst case condition: Serviceability state deflection ¼ 3000N  15003 mm ¼ 2:4mm 48  70000N=mm2  1:24  106 mm4 Assuming a span/depth ratio of 250.4N/mm2 . See Table 11. Post-failure check As all three sheets of glass could fail the only truly reliable test for the proposed design is to undergo physical testing of the design to confirm its suitability.9kN/m2  1.0 due to accidental condition UDLult ¼ 0. 37. the following applies: Actions are similar to intact condition i.8.00 ¼ 0. With respect to the permanent condition.7N/mm2 [ OK Deflection check It is safe to assume all three panels of glass participate in restricting deflection. In this instance the ratio of the dimensions of the plate equate to 1.0N/mm2 . This approach is illustrated below. b ¼ 0:287 [ smax ¼ 0:287  0:9kN=m2  1:52 m ¼ 4  103 kN=m2 ¼ 4:0N=mm2 0:0122 m 4.3N/mm2 ¼ 31.9kN/m2 When taking into account the two way spanning action of the floor plate.s.5   3  3000N  1:5 2  1500mm [ spoint load ¼ þ 0:435 ¼ 29:1N=mm2 ð1 þ 0:22Þ ln p  28mm 2  p  18:72 mm [ including self weight soa ¼ 29. Permanent action condition The strength of the glass is the same for the intact floor plate.4 of Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain – 8th Edition b is length of plate. Bending stress check In the post-failure condition there remain the two action conditions to check for: permanent and variable (short).0N/mm2 [ OK 54 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . the maximum allowable deflection is 6mm .435 Partial factor for variable concentrated action gQ ¼ 1.1N/mm2 þ 2.1 Element design Concentrated point force The area over which the action is applied is 50mm  50mm ¼ 2500mm2 rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 2500mm2 0 0 [ equivalent circle area radius r0 ¼ r0 if r0  0:5t [ r 0 ¼ ¼ 28mm p Bending stress at point of concentrated load:   3W 2b s¼ ð1 þ n Þ ln þ b p r 00 2p hef. the applied bending stress to the plate during the permanent condition is: smax ¼ bqb2 hef:w 2 .

9N/mm2.7N/mm2 [ fails If the two bottom sheets remain as 14mm and the top sheet is dropped to 8mm then the overall thickness will remain the same and the stress calculated above will reduce to 36.1N/mm2 þ 2.9kN/m2 þ 1. Partial factor for variable concentrated action gQ ¼ 1.3N/mm2 ¼ 49.5mm.Element design The applied bending stress to the plate during the variable action.5kN/m2  gq ¼ 0.9kN/m2 þ 1.5kN/m2  1.0 ¼ 2. The overall thickness of the glass is 37.0 due to accidental condition UDLult ¼ 0.4kN/m2 There are two effects to consider for the variable action condition: that of the UDL and point load. 37.4N/mm2 49.1 . the point load check still applies.1N/mm2 . which correlates closely to the span/depth ratio of 40. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 55 8.7N/mm2 [ OK Point load check Although this is an accidental condition.8N/mm2 þ 2.3N/mm2 ¼ 13. short duration condition is: Partial factor for variable action gq ¼ 1.4N/mm2 . No deflection check required as it is a post-failure condition. which is within the allowable design bending stress. 37.0   3  3000N  1:0 2  1500mm þ 0:435 ¼ 47:1N=mm2 sconcentrated action ¼ ð1 þ 0:22Þ ln p  28:2mm 2  p  122 mm [ including self weight soa ¼ 47. UDL sUDL ¼ 0:287  2:4kN=m2  1:52 m ¼ 10:8  103 kN=m2 ¼ 10:8N=mm2 0:0122 m [ including self weight soa ¼ 10.

1 Introduction This part of the Guide concerns frameless glass walls.4. The various combinations of support conditions are shown in Figure 8.2.2. Full rotational fixity of the bottom restraint is difficult to achieve in a glass connection.8.2 Glass wall design 8. Glass walls need to be adequately strong. have fewer edges being supported with some only having two (top and bottom) edges receiving restraint. wall panels can also be designed to support in plane loading.4 Vertical load poorly applied to laminated glass 56 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 8. it is the walls that get a significant amount of attention and they need to be checked for redundancy in the event of one or more plies failing.2 Element design 8. The nature of how elements are supported by walls impacts on the compression capacity of the glass. Examples of this are where the panel is required to support panels at a higher level or where the panel is subject to racking. The analysis of axial forces in glass walls that are supported by only two edges. stiff. i. Figure 8. They do. 8. laminated or double glazed. is very similar to that of columns. such as a roof panel. as described in Chapter 5.2 Design principles Glass walls can be a single pane. In such cases the use of finite element analysis would yield the most accurate results for the design of glass walls. Their design is similar to floor panels when considering the lateral actions they are subjected to. These include lateral. through to elements within fully glazed enclosures.5: – free at top fixed at base – free at base fixed at top – pinned at top and base – pinned at top fixed at base – pinned at base fixed at top – fixed top and base. For walls that are supported on three or more edges. This means that buckling needs to be considered. fracture may occur. They come in many forms – from internal simple partitions and glazing to retail units within shopping complexes. This is especially the case for multi-glazed units. the degree of vertical load share between the outer and inner panes needs to be considered. The latter are the most complex to design as they tend to have a multitude of forces to support. Although typically designed to support out of plane loading such as wind. which can have only some of the panes within their assembly subjected to the applied vertical load from elements they are supporting. The major difference to floor plate design is the presence of axial actions due to the self-weight of the wall and other elements it may be supporting.e.5 Stability conditions of walls . stable and robust. axial and diaphragm actions as they are used as part of a lateral stability system for enclosures. The principles governing their design are similar to those adhered to in the design of unreinforced brick piers or walls. however. Because the glass cannot yield. In the case of a wall composed of an IGU. has P P p p H p P Figure 8. This can best be described as a propped cantilever with an axial load. In the absence of this the possibility of using buckling curves. When considering vertical actions.5 shows the possible stability conditions for glass walls. top and bottom. hence it is more appropriate to model a rotational stiffness or spring as a support. The cantilever condition is not commonly found in glass walls as their end is typically restrained by an element they are supporting. The effect of construction tolerances can mean that the entire load is taken by either the outer or the inner pane – see Figure 8. To this end the reader is directed to Section 8. Wall panels supported at the top and bottom can have fixed pinned or free connections.4 for the design of glass columns for guidance on glass elements resisting axial forces. When assessing glass enclosures for disproportionate collapse. similar to those used for steel columns. the mechanics of the buckling of a plate become a more accurate model. it is imperative that design and execution of the method of transferring load into and out of the glass is understood. Any localised hard or high spots can cause very high local stresses.

4 on the design of glass beams is applicable.2 . Therefore when analysing short squat glass walls some assume that they can withstand enormous compressive forces. tend to be double glazed in order to maintain thermal properties. Where the glass is supported at discrete points such as in a bolted glass assembly (see Figure 8.6).8 Example of a point connection within a wall The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 57 8.7 Example of a wall with continuous support considered as differential settlement. or point supports which can be on all sides but must be on at least two sides (see Figure 8.4 Methods of connection Walls are supported either via a continuous edge. It is not uncommon for glass walls to be supported by glass fins or a light weight metal frame that supports the wall via a continuous joint.2.2. It is important to note that glass walls in public buildings that are transparent need to have a marking or manifestation at eye level to prevent people trying to walk through them. Walls can also be subjected to shear forces when they are acting as a component of the structure that provides lateral stability.7). concentrated stresses should be avoided when considering connection solutions. short vertical elements fail not by an excess of compressive stress but by tension failure along a shear plane as an unconfined compression block will experience bursting tension forces. Figure 8. creep and live load deflections of supporting structures can all impose loads on panels which they must be capable of either avoiding through flexible joint design or resisting without being overstressed. This is especially the case for non-coloured clear glass as it can cause injury if such markings are not present. Glass walls can act as direct support to other elements such as floor panels and glass beams. If tensile or shear stresses are generated (see Figure 8. similar to concrete cubes.8). 8. It must be noted that the compressive capacity of glass is estimated to be twenty times that of its tension capacity. which are equivalent to the compression force  Poisson’s ratio. As with all glass elements.6 In plane forces glass walls can be subjected to been explored and continues to be developed for use as a design tool.Element design Figure 8.3 Material selection Glass walls can be made from any of the four types of glass described in previous chapters and in the case of walls that are exposed to the external environment. This is not necessarily the case as. The connection of glass panels to other elements of the building structure needs to be carefully Figure 8. 8. the stresses around the hole should be carefully checked. the guidance in Section 8.

It should be noted that such methods do not consider axial loading. 8. almost equal to that of aluminium and less than that of steel. It should be noted. which walls are always subject to. that in most cases the lateral deflection limits on walls may be far more stringent than those for balustrades if they are supporting an axial load.4 for advice on glass column design. With regards to axial shortening. Alternatively it is possible to consider the design strength of the glass based on a pre-defined glass type and use the stress as a basis of the initial sizing.2. glass walls are not usually prone to such problems because of the relatively high Young’s modulus of glass. In other instances the designer should decide what deflection is appropriate based on experience. The wall acts more like a column in such cases and the reader is directed to Section 8. In other cases the thickness will be determined from the glass type used and the relevant permissible stresses.2 Element design 8. Glass walls are also exposed to relatively low working stresses and therefore there is an absence of creep or shrinkage.6 Initial sizing Where the wall panel is designed to act as a barrier or the panel is an insulated glazed unit deflection limits will probably govern the thickness required.5 Serviceability The lateral deflection of walls should not cause damage to the wall panel or its connections and in the case of walls that act as barriers the deflection limits for balustrades should be considered. In such instances high compression forces and the PD effects will usually govern. 58 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . Insulated glass panel manufacturers typically quote span/175 as a deflection limit on the edge of the panel to protect the glued connection of the edge spacer to the glass from excessive stress.8. however. which is greater than those of timber or concrete. Glass panels supported by single cable walls for example have been designed for deflections up to 1m over a 30m span.2.

6kN/m2. 0 2500 200 0. Variable action condition Determine strength of glass using Appendix C.0.k ¼ 45N/mm2.2.76mm thick PVB interlayer.0 ksp ¼ 1.Element design 8.k ¼ 120N/mm2. It is a 2m wide panel and an axial load of 2.6kN/m2 The top and bottom supports will be designed as pin connections.k Þ gM:v Cladding wind load.0kN.5m must withstand a net internal air pressure of 0.6 and gM:v ¼ 1.d ¼ 1:0  1:0  45N=mm2 1:0ð120N=mm2  45N=mm2 Þ þ ¼ 90:6N=mm2 1:6 1:2 The glass is thermally toughened horizontally with no surface texture.6 kP a Wind load action ¼ 0.5 BMULT ¼ 2 2 wl 2 0:6kN=m  gq  2:5 m 0:6kN=m2  1:5  2:52 m ¼ ¼ ¼ 0:7kNm=m 8 8 8 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 59 8. which is its self-weight. Strength of glass fg.2. Determine thickness of glass required based on design strength Applied bending stress: Partial factor for variable action gq ¼ 1.d ¼ kmod ksp fg:k gM:A þ kv ðfb. gM:A ¼ 1. kmod ¼ 1. The glass is to be a two-ply laminated pane of 8mm thick toughened glass and a 0. It also does not provide any lateral stability and hence does not perform as a diaphragm. fg. fg.k  fg. Determine design strength of glass. kv ¼ 1.2 .7 Worked example for glass wall design A glass wall that spans from floor to ceiling at a height of 2.0. fb.

35 N ¼ 2.s.6: Ncr ¼ Ncr ¼ p 2E I Lcr 2 p 2  70000N=mm2  ðð2000mm  83 mmÞ=12Þ 25002 mm ¼ 9433N The wind load on the wall induces a lateral load and the resulting deflection will lead to second order PD effects. the maximum allowable deflection is 38mm . Stress due to axial forces Permanent actions due to self-weight: Partial factor for permanent action gG ¼ 1. The effective thickness of the laminated glass with respect to variable action is as follows: hef. 60 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .35 ¼ 2. an additional bending moment is applied to the wall based on the maximum deflection from the wind action and the axial force: MPD ¼ 2:70kN  0:037m ¼ 0:10kNm This is only the first part of the iteration process and several additional cycles are required until convergence is achieved in order to complete this analysis.s. To take this into account.0kN  gG ¼ 2.0 therefore the wall with an overall thickness of 17mm is adequate.6 . For the sake of expediency we will conclude with the final combination of axial and bending moments based on the first iteration.70kN The elastic buckling load (as described in Section 8.6N/mm2 [ OK Deflection check I¼ 2000mm  11:23 mm ¼ 234:2  103 mm4 12 D¼ 5wl 4 5  2m  600N=m2  2:5m  25003 mm ¼ ¼ 37mm 384E l 384  70000N=mm2  234:2  103 mm4 Assuming a span/depth deflection ratio of 65. Also note how deflection was the governing criterion in this example.j sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 11:23 mm ¼ ¼ 12:6mm 8mm þ 2  0:1  4:4mm Bending resistance of glass wall W¼ s¼ bhef. Check combination of applied bending moment and axial load: 2:70kN 2m  0:7  106 kNm þ 0:10kNm  106 ¼ 0:6 þ 9:433kN 52:9  103 mm3  90:6N=mm2 0.1 from Appendix C.4) based on a single ply as composite action cannot be assumed for vertical actions that are subjected to permanent actions and is defined as per Equation 8.5N/mm2 .2 Element design Effective thickness of wall: The interlayer shear coefficient v equates to 0. 1.w ¼ qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 3 83 mm þ 83 mm þ 12  0:1  ð8mm  4:42 mm þ 8mm  4:42 mmÞ ¼ 11:2mm This is the effective thickness of the laminated glass that is to be used for deflection calculations. 37mm. 90.8.0kN  1. therefore the wall passes both serviceability and strength checks based on the applied lateral wind action. j 2 2000mm  12:62 mm ¼ ¼ 52:9  103 mm3 6 6 M 2m  0:7kNm=m  106 ¼ 26:5N=mm2 ¼ W 52:9  103 mm3 26. The effective thickness of the laminated glass for bending stress is as follows: hef.

Other limitations to the size of beam elements are tied to site access. basic annealed and heat-strengthened glass. Such splices can be formed using friction-grip based connections to prevent localised stresses being generated within the connection. Figure 8. grit blasting to roughen its surfaces and improve its coefficient of friction may harden its surfaces).1 Introduction A glass beam is a linear loadbearing element that is subject to both bending and shear stresses. Normally single lengths can be up to 4 to 7m. but some suppliers can provide lengths as much as 15m. as shown in Figure 8. Vertical fins that are hung can be regarded as cantilevering beams that provide lateral support to walls.g. The clamp plates must be sufficiently parallel to the glass surfaces not to cause excessive local bending when Figure 8.11 Spliced glass beam being lifted into place The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 61 8. This allows for some redundancy in the beam should it fail.3 . depending on supplier. Great care is needed in the design and manufacture of splices (see Figure 8.11).10.10 Application of load onto laminated glass beam Figure 8. Some connections use soft aluminium as the interlayer to replace the interlayer of laminated glass to avoid adverse effects. it is sometimes necessary to create a splice within a glass beam due to geometric restraints. As with beams made from other materials. It can also be used to support other primary structural elements including beams. Soft aluminium can also be used as the gasket material. and that site processes do not change its hardness and temper (e. The fins are attached to the panes of glass by silicone adhesive/ sealants or by bolting. columns and walls (see Figure 8. allowing it to remain in place.9). must have a reasonably high coefficient of friction to glass and the splice plates and must be elastic enough to accommodate possible differential thermal behaviour between the glass and the splice plates. The gasket material between the splice plates and the glass must be soft enough not to cause stress concentrations on the glass. Typically they are placed in a horizontal or near horizontal plane. Fabrication tolerances also need to be considered for splice connections as a significant mismatch between connection points within the spliced elements can cause localised stresses.Element design 8. must be relatively incompressible (so that preset bolt tensions do not decrease). such as floor and roof plates.3.3 Glass beam design 8. If this is done then particular care is needed to ensure that the correct type and treatment of glass is specified and used.9 Cantilever glass ‘I’ beam The make-up of glass beams is typically laminated. 1 mm thick vulcanised fibre gaskets are good for this. The application of load is parallel to the laminate. Glass fins are exactly what the name implies – fins made of glass. but can be in any orientation and can support other elements. All forms of interlayers can be used as can a mixture of toughened. They are vertical or sloping beams used to support fac¸ades and walls to help resist wind and other lateral loads. Glass beams can be made of a single length of glass or be composed of a number of lengths joined together. If lengths are joined together the limitation is usually the moment capacity of the joint itself. cranage inside the site and lifting.

62 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) With heat-strengthened or toughened glass the precompression stress of the surface typically a minimum of 30N/mm2 suggests that long-term tensile stresses of at least 37N/mm2 would need to be applied to the glass to trigger this type of failure.1 is used for beams that are fully restrained along one edge of their length.2. Typically a substantial overlap between sheets is created to reduce the shear in the bolts in this type of assembly. With respect to shear capacity. This removes the need for allowable shear stresses. MCR ¼ ðp=Lay Þ2 ðE IÞy ½d 2 =4 þ y0 2  þ ðGJÞ ð2y0 þ yh Þ .3.e. If bolting is not used.2 Design principles Glass will fail in tension and. . Shear connections using standard bolts separated from the glass with a suitable bush of high density nylon or similar material can also be used to create longer beam sections although the local stresses around the holes in the glass need to be carefully checked. Such an approach will predict the location. shear is considered. Glass fins are often made out of lengths of glass that are bolted together. however. As glass beams are typically thin in relation to their depth buckling checks are important. Appendix C of AS 1288-20118. with proprietary filler material between the glass and the bolts. to ensure correct alignment of holes on-site. the friction connections which were more common in the past have been largely superseded by the use of bearing connections in oversized holes. when considering primary stresses. Creep in the plastic interlayer or high local stresses in thin glued joints has so far limited the widespread use of adhesive based connections. This is a particular problem with basic annealed glass where permanent stresses of more than 7N/mm2 can cause crack growth leading to failure. However. Equation 8:1 where: MCR is the critical elastic buckling moment Lay is the distance between points of effective rigid rotational restraints (E I)y is the effective rigidity for bending about the minor axis d is the depth of beam (GJ) is the effective torsional rigidity yh is the location from the neutral axis of the loading point. These connections are factory assembled in advance of delivery to site. finite element analysis can also be used. Bolt holes require toughened glass to be used. engineers may prefer to use Mohr’s stress circles to determine principal tensile stresses in regions of high shear. Adhesive based splice connections are also possible. As there will be at least three plies of glass in a glass beam assembly it is statistically unlikely that they will all have the same defects in the same region of high stress so using the lower stress of 7N/mm2 for the design of an annealed glass beam may be over conservative. then annealed glass may be used if the circumstances of use and demands on the glass allow it. Examples of this can be found in Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain8. Lateral torsional buckling is another key criterion when designing glass beams and can be the governing one.8. glass beams rarely fail due to shear. whether by bearing onto a setting block. Unless there are alternative load paths allowing a beam to fail without causing instability of the structure or causing injury by falling from overhead the beam should be fabricated from three or more sheets of laminated glass. The Australian code of practice on the design of structural glass provides guidance on the buckling analysis of glass beams and fins. As in the case of floor plates the beam should be designed assuming two of the sheets have failed with the remaining sheet(s) designed to support the applied loads without collapse. Another method to model beam behaviour is to use the ‘strut and tie’ method.3 Element design the bolts are tightened. Fabrication tolerances are readily overcome by having oversized holes in the glass. it is important to identify local tensile stresses at connections as well as the principal stresses due to bending and buckling.3 recommends Equation 8. þ/ (see Figure 8. It will quickly become apparent from such an analysis how important it is to take care over how a beam is supported.1 and Appendix C. Ideally the structure should still remain safe with all plies broken and experiments have been successfully carried out where a thin metal bar was bonded to the bottom of the beam (in a simply supported span) utilising the large fragment breakage pattern of heat-strengthened or annealed glass to provide sufficient residual strength in the compression zone to act as a couple with the metal bar in tension. This design has not yet been developed commercially so unlike the situation with floor plates the option of designing a beam which will continue to function after all plies have broken is not yet satisfactorily resolved. 8. which is sensitive in terms of direction of applied load i. although they are rare and based on a lamination method where the interlayer bonds glass sheets together and transfers the load across the splice in shear or are simply glued together with the glue performing the same role as the laminate. This can provide a good assessment of peak tensile stresses at mid-span (peak bending) and at the supports (peak shear). While it is possible to design glass beams by hand. As with all glass structures the post-breakage behaviour of annealed and heat-strengthened glass is better than that of toughened glass. The resistance to shear is based on the characteristic strength as described in Table 3.12) . as it has no capacity to yield. For laminated glass. or by gluing or bolting. As an alternative. magnitude and direction of the principal tensile and compressive stresses in the glass beam. The edges of glass are normally prone to defects such as chipping or shelling which can reduce their tensile capacity. .

Equation 8:2 yh = –d/2 x x where: d is the depth of beam b is the effective width of beam . glass beams are typically made from laminated toughened glass.5 11.e. 8.7 6.8 Fixed þ UDL 4. deflection is rarely a problem.5 5. .1 0.1 8.2 for values) It should be noted that the buckling of laminated glass beams is still being researched.3 apply.0 Table 8.3 14.0 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 63 . .6 Fixed þ mid-point load 5.3 Material selection With strength being the governing criterion for beams as well as a need for redundancy in the event of failure.5 4. . .2 6. but can be modelled with sufficient accuracy using finite element analysis.12 Definition of variables yh and y0 For beams with intermediate restraints. .4 can be used. 8. J¼ db 3 3  1  0:63 b d yo = yh = d/2  .12) y0 y 8.3 Cantilever þ point load 0 0 4.5 7. E is 70000kN/mm2 and J is determined in Equation 8. for example.2.1) g1 (EI )y is the stiffness of the beam in the minor axis For unrestrained beams Equation 8. which is sensitive in terms of direction of applied load i.4 6.3 Coefficient of slenderness g2 and g3 Support condition and applied load Major axis restraint only Fully restrained g2 g3 g2 g3 Simple þ UDL 3.0 8. Equation 8:4 where: g2 and g3 are slenderness factors based on the form of applied load and support conditions of the beam (see Table 8.0 3. the procedures in Equation 8. This must be taken into consideration when designing connections for beams and the material the connection is made from must be isolated from the glass. g ¼ 2 Lay x d/2 The applied design bending moment is compared against the critical elastic buckling moment MCR . but is normally coupled with a more traditional connection for the sake of robustness. MCR ¼ ðg1 =Lay Þ½ðE IÞy ðGJÞ1=2 yo = d/2 Serviceability At the low stress levels commonly used in designing glass beams and fins.0 1.3 y Load direction Load direction G is taken as 28700kN/mm2 for glass.3.0 5. Laminating steel reinforcement into the tension zone or introducing metal plates into the interlayer are also options for connections within glass beams.3.1 1.2 Simple þ mid-point load 4. This is especially true for bolted connections as there is the risk of local failure around the connections.1 Coefficient of slenderness g1 Bending moment ratio at restraints Slenderness factor g1 Major axis restraint only Fully restrained 1.3. MCR ! d/2  1=2  ðE I Þy ðGJÞ 1  g3 ! 1=2 yh  ðE I Þy ðGJÞ Lay # .7 2.9 5.0 2. This can be done with suitable gaskets and bushes.5 " x Figure 8. Heat-strengthened glass can also provide a good balance between strength and post-failure performance.0 Cantilever þ UDL 0 0 6.2 0.5 6.1 4.3 4. Composite beams that use the glass in compression and.14.14 against factored loads.1 0.4 5. giving a factor of safety which is recommended in AS 1288 as being a minimum of 1.6 1.4 2.0 14.2 1. b b y y Concentrated stresses are a particular concern with respect to connection solutions for glass beams. þ/ (see Figure 8. 8.13).4 Methods of connection Glass beams are typically bolted or set into a glazing box (see Figure 8.Element design is the distance of restraint to the neutral axis of the loading element. Equation 8:3 where: is the coefficient of slenderness (see Table 8. An example of such a connection is given in Figure 8. The use of basic annealed glass is usually reserved for the support of elements that are not subject to high stresses. Table 8. steel in tension are more likely to be designed at higher stress levels and it is more important that deflections are checked. . The use of adhesives is also possible.

13 Example of a glazing box connection If a glass beam is supporting a floor plate or a section of cladding that could be subject to vibration. . Equation 8. This is especially true when a beam is relatively short and the connections are highly loaded.5 can be used to determine the natural frequency of a simply supported glass beam: 16 F ¼ pffiffiffiffi Hz d . . It should be noted that in some cases the connection governs the design of the beam thanks to the need to reduce the impact of localised stresses.6 Initial sizing With design strength primarily governing the design of the glass beams.14 Example of a bolted connection for beam 64 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) chosen type of glass.3 Element design Section along depth of beam Neoprene linear to beam box Base plate End view Steel base plate Glass beam Glass beam Steel beam box welded to base plate Neoprene linear to beam box Steel beam box welded to base plate Polypropylene setting block Polypropylene setting block Internal dimensions of beam box are larger than nominal dimensions of beam Figure 8. . Equation 8. it is possible to size the glass initially using the applied design bending stress and comparing it against the design strength of the Nylon bush Bolt tightened with lock nut Incompressible fibre gasket Stainless steel angle Laminated heat soaked toughened glass Figure 8. As a simple rule of thumb.8. natural frequency should be checked.3.5 where: d is the mid-span deflection of the beam The limiting value of natural frequency should be kept above 5Hz in order to avoid excitation by foot traffic or wind. 8.

ignoring buckling effects and assuming only one ply in the laminate is resisting bending stress. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 65 8.74 kmod ¼ 0:74 [ fg.0kNm  4. It is subjected to only one short duration action.75m long cantilevering glass fin is supporting a wall that is subjected to a lateral design wind action of 1kN/m2.7 Worked example for glass beam design A 1. The laminated ply will not be considered in this design and will be treated as a conservative lower bound condition.3 . Variable action condition Wind load. 0 200 350 0 200 1.0 2500 1750 kPa The glass is toughened horizontally using a thermal based process and is not to be sandblasted. its resistance to bending is as follows: Bending resistance ¼ t  d2 10mm  3502 mm  fg. The beam is a 350mm deep  2 ply 10mm thick laminated toughened glass fin placed at 2m c/s.6kNm but this check is only for illustrative purposes as the actual resistance to bending is far less when considering buckling. kmod ¼ 0.d ¼ 0:74  1:0  45N=mm2 1:0ð120N=mm2  45N=mm2 Þ + ¼ 83:3N=mm2 1:6 1:2 Check thickness of glass required based on design strength Local bending stress is initially reviewed before carrying out an overall buckling check.3.Element design 8. Applied design bending moment: Partial factor for variable action gq ¼ 1.5     1:75m 1:75m MULT ¼ 1kN=m2  gq  2m  1:75m  ¼ 1kN=m2  1:5  2m  1:75m  ¼ 4:6kNm 2 2 Reviewing the bending capacity of the fin.d ¼  83:3N=mm2 ¼ 17:0kNm 6 6 17.

14 ¼ 6. 66 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . 4. therefore the same checks with the similar properties of the section would apply.6kNm therefore OK in bending when tension edge of fin is restrained. the buckling resistance is therefore defined as: !2 p Lay MCR ¼ ðEIÞy " # d2 þ y 0 2 þ ðGJÞ 4 ð2y0 þ yh Þ  p 2 8 2 4 ð70  10 kN=mm  2:92  10 m Þ  1:75m MCR ¼ 6 ! 0:352 m 2 þ 0:175 m 4 ð2  0:175mÞ þ 0:175m 28:7  10 kN=m  1:146m4  107 6 þ 2 ð2  0:175mÞ þ 0:175m ¼ 7:03kNm Factor of safety check: 7.8. The above calculation does not assume composite action.03/1.17kNm . Deflection check: Major axis stiffness: I¼ D¼ tb3 10mm  3503 mm ¼ ¼ 35:7  106 mm4 12 12 wl 4 1000N=m2  2m  1:75m  17503 mm ¼ ¼ 0:9mm 8El 8  70000N=mm2  35:7  106 mm4 In the post-failure condition it is assumed one of the plies has failed. Similar check required for when the fin is in reversal due to negative wind pressure.3 Element design Buckling resistance: Properties of fin Minor axis stiffness: I¼ bt 3 0:35m  0:013 m ¼ ¼ 2:92  108 m4 12 12 Torsional constant J:   0:35m  0:013 m 0:01m  1  0:63  ¼ 1:146  107 m4 3 0:35m The fin is restrained along its length.

it is reasonable to treat them in a similar manner to beams.4. N As with glass beams.4. . Consider Figure 8. . smax ¼ The following guidance on the design of laminated glass columns is drawn from Structural Use of Glass by Haldimann.15 – this shows the buckling model of a column when subjected to a vertical load with an eccentricity ‘e’. Equation 8:8 where: N is the applied vertical force A is the cross sectional area of the column W is the elastic section modulus of the column The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 67 8. N p2 E I . As with beams and floor plates a column fabricated from annealed or heat-strengthened glass laminated with ionoplast can exhibit better postbreakage behaviour than a column laminated with toughened glass.1 Introduction Glass columns can either be part of the primary structure or secondary structure such as a vertical element that supports an entrance canopy. A conservative assumption states that columns designed in laminated glass with PVB or resin that are supporting long-term loads should ignore any interlayer and assume each ply within the laminated glass acts independently.6 to 8. . This stress can be compared with that determined in accordance with Chapter 3.6. 8. the surface stress can be calculated using Equation 8.4 Glass column design N 8. Equation 8:6 Lcr 2 where: I is the stiffness of the column about the axis it will buckle. . One is more critical than the other in terms of overall stability of a structure and this should be taken into consideration during the design. wmax ¼ e w0 pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi þ N=Ncr Þ 1  N=Ncr cosðLcr =2 . typically minor for asymmetric columns Lcr is the height of the column The maximum deflection to the column caused by the Ncr can be defined as shown in Equation 8. M Figure 8. with fixed end connections. as Once these variables are calculated.7. columns should have sufficient redundancy to allow the member to fail completely with safe redistribution of the load or it should be fabricated from a minimum of three plies of laminated glass in which two of the plies are assumed to have failed.3 Design principles Glass columns are subject to the same rules as columns in any other material but care must be taken that local stresses in connections are carefully considered in addition to the principal stresses arising from bending due to buckling. Equation 8:7 Where the columns are laminated use can be made of the beneficial effect of ionoplast interlayers as long as the shear capacity of the interlayer is calculated for the maximum temperature that it will be subject to in relation to the duration of the variable and permanent loading.Element design 8. θ wθ wmax Mmax Lcr Buckling instability of a slender column is the typical mode of failure due to applied compressive loads however as with any other glass element the fail safe behaviour usually governs the design.8 can be used to determine the surface stress for monolithic glass columns. They are therefore influenced by temperature and load duration.2 Material choice As with beams and floor plates all types of glass can be used for columns as long as the tensile stress in the glass is within safe limits. Laminated glass columns are subject to the same limitations as any other glass element. As glass columns are typically slender the tensile forces arising from buckling stresses and out of plane bending typically govern. .8. 8. Lower bound of imperfections can be summarised as follows: – Basic annealed: L/2500 – Heat-strengthened and toughened: L/300 By determining the deflection at the midspan of the column it is possible to calculate the maximum surface stress in the glass.4 . Equations 8. In instances where columns form part of a portal frame. Its value varies depending on the treatment the glass has been subjected to.4.15 Buckling model of a glass column The w0 variable allows for imperfections within the glass. The critical elastic buckling load Ncr is defined in Equation 8. .4. Again referencing the variables described in Figure 8. It should be noted that this only applies to pin ended columns. N N þ w0 þ eÞ + ðw A W max .15. Ncr ¼ Ionoplast interlayers have greater stability than PVB and resin at higher temperatures and columns laminated with this material can be designed assuming some composite action when subject to long-term loading. Luible and Overend8.

8. adhesive based connections using a suitable bearing material such as nylon or neoprene are not uncommon due to their ability to spread the load more evenly at the point of connection.4 Element design described in Section 8.11. then the effective length of the column can be reduced. Equation 8:9 where: in the case of two-ply laminated glass. This can be determined using Equation 8.16. Serviceability The lateral deflection of glass columns is a function of their ability to support the vertical loads.3. For laminated glass columns the composite action between the plies of the glass increases the complexity of the analysis. This is because of the relatively high Young’s modulus of glass combined with low working stresses and the absence of creep or shrinkage.3 with additional buckling check for vertical loads.9. It is possible to reduce the effective buckling length of columns by making assumptions on the nature of the connections to the rest of the structure.4. This means that the connection must be designed to accommodate the forces that are likely to be generated due to the restraint they are assumed to provide. .18. Concentrated stresses should be avoided when considering connection solutions for columns. Ncr ¼ p2 ð1 þ a þ p2abÞ E IS 1 þ p2b Lcr 2 .4.16 Example of a fully fixed moment connection for a glass column . . the connection material must be isolated from the glass. To this end. as shown in Equation 8. It therefore follows that lateral deflections of columns are kept within acceptable limits. When considering shortterm loads such as gusts of wind or ionoplast interlayer is used laminated glass can be considered to be acting compositely and the following analysis approach should be adopted. tint E IS Gint bðz1 þ z2 Þ2 Lcr 2 where: Gint is the shear modulus of the laminate interlayer is the thickness of the laminate tint In the case of three-ply laminated glass: 2I1 þ I2 IS a¼ IS ¼ 2bt1 z1 2 tint E IS 2Gint bz1 2 Lcr 2 b¼ The midspan deflection of a laminated glass column must be calculated using the effective thickness of the column teff . 8. . W¼ 68 bt eff 2 6 .8. It is also possible to use point supports for columns. If semi-rigid supports that provide rotational resistance are installed. although this can create an increased risk of local failure around the connections due to concentrated forces. As explained in Section 8.4 IS ¼ bðt1 z1 2 þ t2 z2 2 Þ where: is the thickness of each ply ti zi is distance between the centreline of each ply b is the overall thickness of the glass section Methods of connection Columns can be supported via a fully fixed moment connection or via point supports. As with all such connections. 8. This can be done via a plastic or ceramic washer. sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 2 3 12IS ð1 þ a þ p abÞ teff ¼ . Examples of columns with such connections are given in Figures 8. Equation 8:10 2 bð1 þ p bÞ From this it is possible to determine the elastic modulus of the glass. a¼ The deflection is determined using the effective thickness and any applied lateral load.10. The axial load capacity of a laminated glass column is given in Equation 8. . .17 and 8. axial shortening of glass elements is not usually an issue. .5 I1 þ I2 Is I1 and I2 are the second moment of areas for the plies of glass and IS is defined thus: b¼ This is then inserted into the surface stress calculation as described for monolithic glass columns. Equation 8:11 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 8.

18 Spliced columns with point supports The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 69 8.4. Figure 8.4 .6 Initial sizing As with most column design there is not a great deal of guidance with respect to a rule-of-thumb with regards to initial sizing. A trial section size is selected and tested against a model to determine whether or not it is capable of supporting the applied loads.17 Example of columns with point supports 8.Element design Figure 8.

we must assume one of the plies in the glass will fail. Determine elastic modulus of the minor axis W¼ 70 bt 2 350mm  122 mm ¼ ¼ 8400mm3 6 6 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . Determine buckling resistance Ncr of column Due to the redundancy requirement and the nature of the action being permanent.5kN due to self-weight and support roof panel glazing.29 ksp ¼ 1. Therefore: Ncr ¼ p2 EI Lcr 2 ¼ p2  70000N=mm2  ðð350mm  123 mmÞ=12Þ 25002 mm ¼ 5571N The next item to check is the combined bending and axial force against the induced stress vs.0. load duration .4 The glass is toughened horizontally using a thermal based process and is not to be sandblasted. The column is pinned at both ends. Permanent action. 3. The column is a 350mm  24.Element design 8.2.0.6 and gM:v ¼ 1. Permanent action condition Determine strength of glass using Appendix C. fg. 50 years.76mm. the lamination cannot be considered to be composite and only one of the 12mm thick plies can be regarded to be acting as a supporting element. fg. the design strength of the glass. gM:A ¼ 1.k ¼ 45N/mm2.7 Worked example for glass column design A 2.4.d ¼ 0:29  1:0  45N=mm2 1:0ð120N=mm2  45N=mm2 Þ þ ¼ 70:7N=mm2 1:6 1:2 In order to allow for redundancy.k ¼ 120N/mm2. Therefore only one of the plies can be assumed to support the lateral load from the wind.5m long glass column is supporting a design axial action of 3. It is subjected to both permanent and variable actions. kv ¼ 1. kmod ¼ 0. with two plies of 12mm toughened PVB laminated glass.5kN 350 2500 8. fb.

Element design The value of w0 is L 2500mm ¼ ¼ 8:3mm 300 300 8:3mm Wmax ¼   ¼ 22:1mm 3:5kN  103 1 5:6kN  103 Assuming no eccentricity onto the column: [ smax ¼ 3:5kN  103 3:5kN  103  22:1mm ¼ 10:0N=mm2 + 350mm  12mm 8400mm3 Checking the combination between axial force and bending moment the following expression applies: 3:5kN 10:0N=mm2 ¼ 0:8 < 1:0 [ OK þ 5:6kN 70:7N=mm2 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 71 8.4 .

C.5 Element design 8. Structural use of glass.3 AS 1288-2006: Glass in buildings – Selection and installation. self-weight. 2002. NSW: Standards Australia. New York: McGraw-Hill. Sydney. Structural Engineering Document 10.4 Haldimann.8. M. 2008 72 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .2 Young. 2006 8. imposed loads for buildings. London: BSI. et al. 8th ed. Roark’s formulas for stress and strain.1 BS EN 1991-1-1: 2002: Eurocode 1: Actions on structures – Part 1-1: General actions – Densities. et al. Zurich: IABSE-AIPC-IVBH. 2012 8. W.5 References 8. 8.

This includes pre-tensioned glass structures and the heavy reliance on adhesives in some glass assemblies. They are relatively rare due primarily to the nature of compression failure of glass. the prestressed tendons will stretch over time and need to be checked and tightened as required. Design principles The way that the precompression is applied to prestressed glass structures can significantly affect the buckling length of the member concerned. which is sudden. but are not limited to: – how the overall structure will behave – how the structure will behave after one or more glass elements have failed – the safety implications of failure of a piece of glass. the engineer will have to address the stiffness of the structure to arrest excessive movements.2.2 Material choice With compression being the primary component of the glass being used in prestressed structures. making axial shortening less of an issue. Unlike prestressed concrete. such as a cylinder with a tension cable through it. but other critical structural issues may require the adoption of heat-strengthened or toughened glass. cables used to prestress glass are usually attached to slender structures so that the change of main structure geometry may affect the cable force significantly. non-structural concerns also need to be addressed.3.2 Prestressed glass structures 9.3 example. maintenance and durability. which can cause problems within the structure. the selection of type is dependent on indirect aspects of design. This does not occur so readily in glass thanks to the high Young’s modulus when compared to other materials. Prestressed structures are sensitive to shortening of axial elements.2. which is taken to be equivalent to 20 times that of its tensile capacity. This The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 73 .1 Introduction This chapter concerns unusual uses of structural glass within structures. in the case of a glass beam. the length of which varies on a case by case basis. They can vary in form from having a tension cable being placed through the glass and acting as a clamp through to a hollow element. In practice prerestressed glass elements are not stressed to the same degrees as steel. Despite this. Asymmetric precompression will camber a glass beam. any small deflection may have an important impact on the overall behaviour. To this end the designer must be mindful of the importance of localised stresses in connections. 9. 9. even more so than for non-prestressed structures.2.2. it is important to remember that precompression is always accompanied by axial shortening. 9. a prestressed glass column will shrink three times as much as a similarly sized steel element.4.3 Adhesive based glass structures 9. due to the reliance on connectivity between the supporting structure and the glass with respect to stability. including the likelihood of people being injured by falling glass. In addition to these aspects. 9. Where it does become sensitive to the design of the structure as a whole. This has an impact on the structural integrity of the structure as its strength is diminished.g.5 Serviceability The lateral deflection of column elements does not tend to be a governing criterion for prestressed glass structures. The sequence the prestressing occurs must be carefully planned out as there is a risk of residual stresses being developed that the structure has not been designed for during construction. There is also the issue of the sensitivity to movement tension structures have that compound the aversion to using them.1 Introduction A description of the different types of adhesives that are used in glass is presented in Section 2. acoustics. These include thermal effects. Basic annealed may be adequate in most instances due to its strength in resisting compressive forces.1 Principles of design Prestressed glass structures rely upon the high compressive strength of glass. a small change in geometry may reduce the tensile force in a cable. The key point to note is that the localised stresses can tend to be greater than for structures with no prestress support structure present. With respect to maintenance. e. 9.4 Methods of connection The methods that are used to connect the glass elements to the prestressed supporting structure are very similar to those found in point supported structures. As with prestressed concrete. 9.9 Special application of structural glass 9. buildability. A non-linear analysis may be necessary for some types of prestressed structures. fire protection.2. These criteria include. The external precompression may not be applied symmetrically. Although the structure itself does not deform grossly. For Axial shortening of prestressed glass beams may cause problems for the supporting structure and should be checked. This occurs over a period of time after the completion of the structure.

it is left to the judgment of the engineer to decide what figures to adopt. London: IStructE. Guide to the structural use of adhesives. Adhesion tests need to be carried out on both elements that are being bonded together to ensure that correct cure and bond strength can be achieved. – Adhesives have a wide range of moduli.2 – – – Design principles There are a number of significant issues for designers who wish to use adhesives in glass structures. Depending on the level of risk and the degree to which the structural system will give some warning before it fails. – In the absence of code-based allowable stresses for adhesives. The behaviour of a glued joint is very much dependent on the preparation (degreasing and then priming) of the contact surfaces. The behaviour of two-part adhesives is very dependent on how accurately and well the parts are mixed. Capillary action by water can debond glued joints.4 Reference 9. A drop in temperature will simultaneously shrink glass and metal and increase the stiffness of the adhesive joining them. This is more likely to lead to – – – – Strength 9. is likely to affect the behaviour of an adhesive joint.2 Reduction in strength of adhesive over time 74 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . which will restrict the choice of adhesives. Silane is a commonly used primer for glass with modified epoxy adhesives. It is very important to control the joint thickness. In long overlapping joints in shear it is the adhesive at the ends of the joint that transfer most of the load.Special application of structural glass Flange showing an exaggerated roller wave Web with accurately cut straight edges Figure 9. Adhesives with low moduli are suitable for holding glass in place. 9. 1999 Time Figure 9. Figure 9. Continual tests need to be carried out on the mix of silicone adhesives as they are being applied.1 is an example of a structure that is primarily made of adhesive based connections.3). The surface treatment of glass.1 Institution of Structural Engineers. – Many adhesives are stronger than the glass to which they are attached and failure can then occur within the glass.4 – – – × × × × × × × complete structural failure than failure within the adhesive or at the interface. whereas higher modulus adhesives are more suitable for carrying shear forces. it may be appropriate to undertake some testing to establish design values. High shear stress across adhesive based connections can lead to peeling.1. Adhesive properties are temperature-dependent. a low emissivity coating. Heat of adhesives curing can be difficult. e.g. The flatness of the glass and metal surfaces to be joined may mean that the joints need filling. – – – – Guidance on the choice of appropriate factors of safety may be found in the Institution’s Guide to the structural use of adhesives9. 9. Finite element modelling of glued joints can indicate where stress concentrations may occur. Use of a suitable primer is crucial to minimise the chances of this. For applications in which the adhesive is under longterm load then load testing with the loads applied over. ‘Roller wave’ and ‘edge dip’ are the names given to the lack of flatness of glass as a result of support by rollers during heat treatment (see Figure 9. This could lead to deterioration of adhesion between glass elements. stress concentration alone is not a reliable indicator of a problem with a joint. They are listed below: – Time dependency: adhesives tend to flow and may be sensitive to the rate of application of the load (see Figure 9. However. Etching the glass surface to improve adhesion will reduce the strength of the glass. This is most important when the adhesive is being applied on-site under different weather conditions. a month or more should be considered in order to determine if there is a lower bound figure of adhesive strength. for example. It is important to note that cyclical loading can reduce the strength of adhesive joints.3 Lack of flatness can cause problems with adhesives Figure 9. Energy absorption can sometimes be a better indicator. Steel generally has a much rougher surface than glass and is much harder to apply adhesive primer to.3.2).1 Glass structure using adhesive based connections section explores their use in glass structures and what needs to be considered during their design.

10 Fire protection of glass structures

10.1 Introduction
Glass does not have any inherent fire resistant
properties and is usually considered to be sacrificial
when assessing structures in the event of a fire. It is
important to appreciate that there are two
approaches when considering fire and how it affects
glass elements. Firstly there is fire protection to glass,
which is the protection of glass from failing due to
exposure to fire. Secondly there is fire protection of
glass, which concerns the role of glass in fire
protection of a structure, i.e. compartmentation.
Fire protection to glass is focussed on its isolation
from the fire itself. However, it is possible to develop
glass structures that have significant resistance to
fire. The protection can be either modifications to the
glass material or positive protection via sprinklers to
reduce the temperature on the glass itself. This
chapter brings together the current methods of fire
protection of glass structures.

10.2 Material changes to glass for fire
protection
Glass is incombustible and in the event of a fire does
not represent a fire load. When exposed to the
effects of heat, normal sheet glass products shatter
relatively easily because of their low tensile strength
with relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion.
Borosilicate glass is frequently used in fire protection
applications due to its high ability to resist the
stresses caused by temperature changes (based on
7–15% boron oxide in the glass melt). Also the
coefficient of thermal expansion of alkaline earth glass
(according to BS EN 14178-110.1) is slightly lower
than that of soda-lime-silica glass – this can greatly
reduce stresses due to temperature changes. The
use of fire-resistant glass requires national technical
approval. What follows are descriptions of the
different types of fire resistant glass that are available.
Glass that is deemed to have some element of
inherent fire resistance is placed into categories,
which are based on BS EN 13051-2:200710.2. The
most commonly used categories are as follows:
– Class G (E) type glass: remains transparent and
intact when exposed to fire, depending on form of
construction. In principle this type of glass prevents
the passage of smoke and flames, but not
transmission of heat radiation. It employs a special
single glazing that does not shatter when exposed
to fire but deforms depending on the thermal load.
Alternatively it can consist of two panes of float or
toughened glass, separated by a fire-resistant layer
or a cavity that is filled with air or an inert gas. In
the event of a fire the fire-resistant layer expands in
a similar manner to intumesant paint to steel
elements.
– Class F (EI) type glass: provides additional
protection against heat radiation as well as smoke

and flames. This is achieved by using a multi-ply
construction with special interlayers that foam up
when exposed to heat, e.g. two panes of basic
annealed or toughened glass separated by a gel
(i.e. fire resistant layer).
– Class EI glazing: the fire protection strategy for this
type of glazing system is based on the concept that
the surface of the side of the glass not directly
exposed to fire may not rise above room
temperature more than 1408C on average and
1808C as a peak value.
– Class EW glazing: this prevents passage of smoke
and flames and reduces (but does not eliminate)
transmission of heat radiation. The radiation
generated by a fire must not exceed 15kW/m2
when measured at a 1m distance from the surface
not directly exposed to the fire.
If a fire-resistant glass assembly fails due to
emergence of gaps or openings, fire can spread to
the side not directly exposed to the flames. The
enclosing function and reduction in heat transmission
is then no longer satisfied.
The glazing beads which hold the fire-resistant glass
in place must be made from incombustible materials.
Sealing strips which ensure no-rigid support for the
glass can create an insulating layer or foam up in the
event of a fire.
Angle of installation of glass elements is important.
Vertical installations (.708 to the horizontal) must
guarantee fire protection requirements for a fire on
either side. For sloping (between 708 and 158 to the
horizontal) and horizontal (,158 to horizontal) fireresistant glass in suspended floors and roofs, fire
protection requirements must be satisfied for a fire
from below.
To provide fire protection, fire-resistant glass must be
fitted in appropriate frames along with approved fixing
and sealing materials.
A critical factor to fire-resistance glass is how long it
can withstand the fire: 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes
are the classes of resistance.
Testing involves the complete unit consisting of frame,
seal and glass. The standard temperature in the fire
chamber rises according to the standard
temperature-time curve as follows: reaching 7008C
after 15 minutes, 8258C after 30 minutes, 9008C after
45 minutes, 9208C after 60 minutes, just below
10008C after 90 minutes.
To check smoke and flame integrity a cotton wool
pad is held directly behind the glass; it should not
ignite spontaneously and there should be no flames.
Heat treated glass (toughened or heatstrengthened) has residual surface stress which
helps it to withstand thermal loads. Up to about
3508C, there could be a slight reduction in residual
surface stress of the order of 5%, but this would
not affect the ability of the glass to meet its design
requirements.
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75

10.3

Fire protection of glass structures
Table 10.1 Deterioration of PVB interlayer vs.
temperature rise
Step of deterioration

Temperature (8C)

First liquid formation (and first
deterioration in adhesion to glass)

100-125

Start of decomposition

200-230

Smoke generation

240-250

Splitting of the laminate (pieces of glass
falling off)

250-260

However, this temperature may not occur uniformly
over the whole surface of the glass at the same time.
It is possible that the different temperatures over
different parts of the glass surface could cause failure
in some cases.
It is therefore necessary to consider how the glass is
held together once it has failed; for this the behaviour
of the interlayer is important.
With respect to laminated glass, tests in the UK have
been carried out into the behaviour of PVB in fire,
with the results as shown in Table 10.1.
It can be seen from the data in Table 10.1 that the
stiffness and bond of PVB interlayer will start
deteriorating above approximately 1008C, and that at
2508C decomposition will be well underway. In
conclusion, interlayers in laminated glass lose most of
their strength above 1008C.
Specific data on the decomposition temperature for
rubber gaskets and seals in fire are not available.
However, it is noted that silicone ovenware can
withstand domestic cooking oven temperatures of up
to 2608C.

10.3 Positive fire protection to glass
structures
It is not very common for glass to have direct fire
protection measures applied to it. As can be seen
from Section 10.2, the emphasis is on treating the
glass itself to withstand high temperatures.
Nevertheless there are spray systems that can be
used to extinguish the fire. In addition water mist
systems can reduce air temperature to levels that do
not endanger the glass.

10.4 Impact of fire protection to the design
of structural glass elements
The major impact that fire protection has on the
design of glass structures is the treatment of the
glass itself. This impacts on the material selection
only.
There is also the issue of testing that needs to be
considered as part of the design process. Typically a
fire resistance test procedure evaluates against the
following criteria:
– Loadbearing capacity for framework (if appropriate).
76

The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)

– Integrity: ability to prevent spread of gases and
flames.
– Insulation: ability to restrict temperature rise on the
unexposed surface of the glass to below specified
levels.
– Radiation: level of radiation hazard, high levels of
heat radiation can inhibit means of escape or ignite
materials on the unexposed side of the specimen.

10.5 References
10.1

BS EN 14178-1: 2004: Glass in building – Basic
alkaline earth silicate glass – Part 1: Float glass.
London: BSI, 2004

10.2

BS EN 13051-2:2007 Fire classification of
Construction products and building elements – Part 2:
Classification using data from fire resistance tests,
excluding ventilation services

11 Designing glass structures for extreme loading conditions

11.1 Accidental loads
When structures are expected to withstand extreme
loading conditions, such as explosions and seismic
activity, a great deal is asked of them with regards to
stability and robustness. With glass being somewhat
unforgiving as a material, how does the designer take
the forces that are generated from these events into
account?

11.2 Designing for blast loads
A blast wave is caused by the almost instantaneous
transfer of a suddenly released amount of energy into
the surrounding air. This causes a thin front of highly
compressed air to be pushed outwards from the
explosive source in all directions. The leading face of
the front is at extremely high pressure, which reduces
across the thickness of the front to zero pressure,
followed by a longer zone of suction (i.e. subatmospheric pressure). The speed of the blast wave
is supersonic and its time to pass a fixed point or to
load a surface is therefore very short, measured in
milliseconds.
A structure subjected to this pressure front will
therefore receive a very high positive load of very
short duration (analogous to an impact), followed by
a suction load of smaller intensity and longer
duration. The effect of this loading is to set the
structure and its elements into motions, which may
result in distortion past material survival limits. The
latter may involve displacements above or below the
limits of permanent distortion.
In considering this phenomenon in the context of
glazing, the objective of the engineer is to be able to
quantify with some confidence the response of, for
example, a window of given parameters to a blast
wave of given parameters. The approach to this
problem may be on the basis of empirical tests or by
mathematical analysis.
On any installation the factors that influence the
choice of bomb-blast resistant glazing will vary and
may include:
– the threat
– the degree of protection required (safety of people/
minimisation of damage)
– the extent of the building area to be protected
– architectural constraints, including any opening
requirements
– manufacturing and installation limitations
– budget.

blast resistance or thicker panes it is pointless to
upgrade glass into a frame which is not strong
enough to carry the reactions generated by the new
glass.
The range of briefs for providing blast resistance to
glazing may vary. From providing complete protection
to specified rooms under a specified threat (bomb
size and distance), to enhancing the resistance or
hazard mitigation properties of existing windows over
a large fac¸ade by a nominal amount by adding film
and curtains that are designed to mitigate against the
effects of blast loads. Intermediate levels of upgrading
may consist of re-glazing with stronger glass, or
replacing with stronger frames and stronger glass,
but for an unspecified threat.
Between these two approaches lies the transition
from a deterministic approach (i.e. against a specific
defined threat) to a stochastic approach (i.e. risk, or
statistical) influenced by pragmatic policy and cost
decisions. It is easy but confusing to mix the two
philosophies.
The predicted threat itself can only be an estimate
even if it is carried out by those who have information
to enable them to do so. The threat may change with
time and there will always be a chance that the
predicted value will be exceeded.
Rapid and efficient methods of estimating maximum
structural response and damage are very desirable
in preliminary dynamic structural design. This is
especially true when developing the characteristics
of the structural response under blast load from
experimental blast test data for application in
design.
Basic annealed glass breaks into jagged irregular
fragments that are extremely dangerous. Toughened
glass is several times stronger than annealed glass
and it breaks into cube-shaped ‘dice’. Laminated
glass is generally held together after the glass has
broken by the plastic or resin interlayer.
The plastic interlayer normally used for blast
resistance is PVB, but specialist applications can use
polyurethane. Glass can also be laminated with layers
of polycarbonate using polyurethane as a bonding
layer.

Costs of different glasses should not be considered
in isolation from the framing and installation costs.

PVB is highly ductile at room temperature and has
significant tensile strength and high recovery after
deformation. It bonds well to glass. Under blast load,
after the glass has broken, the PVB acts as a ductile
membrane in catenary and is capable of stretching a
significant amount. The interlayer material will stretch
further the larger the force placed upon it until failure
initiates by tearing of the PVB or by pulling out from
the frame rebates. The breaking strength of PVB
which is 1.52mm thick is approximately 10N/mm.

Anti-shatter film or thin laminated glass can be
installed in standard frames with the objective of
providing some hazard mitigation by limiting the
spread of loose fragments. For more comprehensive

Under blast load, laminated glass behaves in a
fundamentally different way to plain glass. Blast
energy will cause brittle fracture of annealed glass,
converting it into high velocity hazardous shards.
The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)

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1 Idealised pressure-time history applied to frame members by laminated glass in blast Laminated glass can absorb considerable blast energy while retaining integrity as a flexible membrane (see Figure 11. Additional information and advice can be gained from Blast effects on buildings11. Glass polycarbonate can resist blasts effectively but the outer glass layers are liable to be thrown off as hazardous fragments. 78 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Figure 11. The glass loads its perimeter frame in a direction normal to the plane of the fac¸ade. Typically these forces are of the order of 50% of the forces normal to the fac¸ade. When selected for bullet resistance the glass construction can be very thick. The high strength and stiffness of the composite pane can load its frame severely. it is used for special critical applications such as aircraft windows. However. Polyurethane is used as the interlayer because it adheres to both glass and polycarbonate and it can cope with the differential thermal movements of glass and polycarbonate. 11. combining the toughness of polycarbonate with the stiffness of glass. modify the strength and edge retention details of bullet. These covered a limited range of window sizes.1. It is therefore important to assess the capacity and.3 Interlayer breaks Interlayer acting in catenary Glass breaks For further advice on designing structures for blast loading and other security related issues. Bullet-resistant glazing must. sometimes more than 50mm. stiff. Being more expensive than PVB. if necessary.3 Ballistic loading Laminated glass is effective against bullets and manual attack when correctly selected. 0 Time (ms) 10 20 30 Figure 11.2.2 for an example of such a glass. prevent the passage of bullets from defined weapons. more flexible. Such a thick pane is capable of resisting blast loads for which the frame support will have to be much stronger than would be needed to resist bullet or manual attack threat. These are related to a standard test chamber as described in ISO 1693311. The laminated glass often incorporates a layer of polycarbonate to enhance ballistic resistance. An alternative interlayer material is polyurethane. However once the glass cracks and the interlayer(s) go into tension. The results have been corroborated with test data. laminated pane capable of resisting that threat. There are specialist blasted-rated systems that have already been tested and can be shown to perform as required. In the past. it is recommended to seek advice from a security consultant. At the same time it softens the blast shock impact transmitted to the glass supports. even though the inner layers of polycarbonate remain held in the frame. See Figure 11. a certificate must be produced upon installation to show conformity. the interlayer(s) exert membrane forces on the framing in the plane of the fac¸ade.1).2 Bullet proof glass installation . the data to prove which glass configurations satisfy which hazard criteria were obtained exclusively from field test data. Even if only required to resist a lesser blast threat than its full capacity a thick. To transfer these forces to the framing the glass is usually bonded into its framing using adhesive sealant. There is proprietary software available which can calculate the performance theoretically for any window size.Designing glass structures for extreme loading conditions Pressure applied to frame members 11. of course. An essential part of laminated pane design is in the edge retention detailing and frame strength to support the glass. which is as strong and ductile as PVB and which retains these properties at higher temperatures. Another criterion is the nature of the splinters of glass ejected from the rear face of the glass. bullet-resistant pane can transmit higher shock loads to the frame than a thinner. which gives hazard categories ranging from A to F. Polycarbonate can be laminated with glass. This overrides the usual requirements of blast resistance. It is also advisable to employ the services of a blast consultant.and vandal-resistant frames if they are also required to resist blast. The hazard levels relating to glass in fac¸ade systems describe how far any glass fragments fly into a room following a blast.

VA: ASCE Press. 2007. Loss Prevention Standard LPS 1175: Issue 6: Requirements and testing procedures for the LPCB approval and listing of intruder resistant building components.4 ASCE/SEI7-10: Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures.redbooklive.pdf [Accessed: 11 October 2013] 11. especially at the points of support. most of which are applicable to glass elements.4 . 2010 Toughened glass is susceptible to impact from sharppointed objects. caused by seismic activity. .2 Cormie. Watford: BRE Global. breaks into jagged edge pieces that can deter or delay entry. D. The BRE-authored Loss Prevention Standard LPS 117511. such as axes. Available at: http://www. which is taken from ASCE 7-10 Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures11.3 provides further guidance on antiintrusion measures. et al. with multiple layers for high security areas. security enclosures and free-standing barriers. 11.4. It may be sufficient to deter a housebreaker by persuading them that it will take too long (and hence increase the risk of detection). Laminated annealed glass often provides the right level of protection. London: Thomas Telford. A simple formula to calculate the required clearance for a rectangular panel is given in Equation 11.1 where: d is the horizontal seismic drift over the height of the panel being considered c1 is average clearance on vertical sides c2 is average clearance on top and bottom h is the height of a rectangular panel b is the width of a rectangular panel This philosophy of movement and flexibility must extend throughout the structure. There is no point in providing strong glass in a weak frame. Reston. The evaluation of the threat should be carried out by the client’s security advisor.Designing glass structures for extreme loading conditions 11. 2009 11. This movement is allowed through the use of larger than normal clearance between the glass and the framing.3 Loss Prevention Certification Board.1. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 79 11. Geneva: ISO.4 Intruder resistance 11. Basic annealed glass. The framing system for anti-bandit glazing is just as important as the glass. it is imperative that it is allowed to move in sympathy with a dynamic action.5 Designing for seismic loads When a glass structure is located within a seismic zone.6 References Anti-bandit glass comes in different forms with different levels of resistance. . This applies to all structures of course. 11. However glass failure can lead to fatalities. although weaker. strongpoints. or in providing strong glass and frames that can easily be removed. For more sustained and energetic assaults it will be necessary to provide a higher level of resistance. regardless of the material type. 2007 11. d ¼ 2c1(1 þ hc2/bc1) . This can result in an increase in the complexity of the connections within the structure. Blast effects on buildings. therefore extra care must be taken when designing glass structures that are subject to seismic events.com/pdf/LPS1175-6. 2nd ed. Even wired glass can sometimes act as an effective deterrent. Equation 11.1 ISO 16933: 2007: Glass in building – Explosionresistant security glazing – Test and classification for arena air-blast loading.

element size accuracy. As specifications become ever more challenging and increasingly individual to a specific project. It is not just scratches and blemishes that have to be categorised but also other phenomena that become apparent when glass is curved. and maintenance of glass structures 12. when detailing the supporting structure it is important to make sure that tolerances can be as flexible as possible and any adjustments can be easily made prior to installing the glass. In the past the application of glass was limited by its availability rather than. Often difficult discussions can arise between what is acceptable for the glass industry. These address the presence of bowing. processing. 12. prepared by the Institute of the Glazing Trade for Glazing Technology and Window Manufacture in Hadamar.0m and perpendicular to the face of the glass.g. There are also a number of associated qualifying statements depending on the specification of the glass and the location of the damage. resized. Desire for better performance and the ever-increasing demands on larger sizes means the constant updating of processes and systems. demonstrating conformity to these standard tests and the clients’ expectations as to the visual performance of the glass installed. it needs to be clearly understood by all on site that accuracy is the key element in structural glass installation.2 Procurement Unlike many other materials most types of glass cannot be reshaped. 12. even the smallest scratch or blemish can be visually and structurally unacceptable. These can result in lines. the number of potential suppliers reduces globally. This means that the finished specifications and dimensions have to be determined well in advance of the final installation. presence of flaws and blemishes. These standards require the glass to be placed upon a viewing platform and examined from a stated distance and orientation under standard lighting conditions. It is not unusual to find glazing materials travelling long distances from process to process before arriving at their final point of installation. construction. a good standard for visual quality of glass is the Guideline to assess the visible quality of glass in buildings12. Although glass is fairly hard to damage. The main aim with this sort of design should be to keep things simple and limit the possibility of mistakes or incorrect interpretation of instructions. It helps greatly . Germany. the Glass and Glazing Federation guidelines state that a double glazed unit should be viewed under normal 80 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) daylight conditions (but not direct sunlight) from a distance of 3. this is sometimes at the expense of quality control that takes time to catch up again. Due to time constraints on-site this often means the glass is being manufactured from drawings rather than waiting for the supporting structure to be surveyed. The only guaranteed route to provide glass that will be certain to fit is to carry out a site survey after the support structure has been completed.1 Introduction The construction phase of glass structures can be more complex than the more traditional structural materials. transportation or installation. For example. the structural aspect of the glass elements must also undergo similar checking regimes.12 Procurement. In addition to what has been described above in terms of quality control. Alternatively. often the only solution is for it to be scrapped and replaced.4 Construction methods Due to the inability for glass to be modified postproduction. Depending upon the exact specifications of the glass it may have to be processed and transported from overseas on lengthy delivery times.3 Quality control Glass can be damaged at any stage throughout manufacture. quality of edge polishing. toughening.1. In this case. the requirements of modern design driving glass technology faster and further beyond its comfort zone. integrity of prestress and position of holes/cuts. coating and then laminating). laminated or made into multiple paned units. distortion or discolouration that have little chance of being avoided completely and occur more often with larger and more complicated pieces of glass. For glass that is wrongly sized or incorrectly specified. There are industry standards that set out how the visual quality of this damage should be assessed and whether it is serious enough for the glass to be rejected. These standards set out what is allowed and what constitutes a defect. These are particularly present in coated glasses or applications when more than one process has to be undertaken (e. waves. cut or added to once they have undergone processing. These are often dependent on viewing angle and the distance and location of the light source. as now. 12. toughened. Alternatively the support structure would need to be reworked or rebuilt to suit the glass. This chapter explains what the designer should allow for when developing glass structures with respect to their construction. They can appear and disappear as these conditions change. It means nothing to get the calculations and details correct if site conditions or installer ability do not allow them to be fulfilled.

This needs to be carried out with minimal disruption to other elements. when dealing with elements where replacement is difficult. Where the glass is simply being used as an infill material or bolt-on. Throughout the construction process. A broken glass beam might not be visually appealing but the breakage should not cause collapse of the structure. Timely prevention is preferable for urgent replacement or certain alteration. In almost every case for this type of construction the glass tends to be the final element to be installed and is the least able to be adapted with regards to inaccuracies and movement. a single large panel of glass could be later replaced by several smaller elements not requiring mechanical lifting. that the specification of the glass is correctly made in the first place and properly interpreted when being manufactured for installation. The increased desire for ‘minimal’ or ‘frameless’ features has further complicated structural element design as connections have had to be miniaturised or hidden entirely from view. A basic guideline to manual handling is 150kg in vertical applications or 100kg in horizontal applications. This is usually undertaken by the glazing contractor. At 2. Inspection of critical areas is advisable to allow for as much advanced notice as possible in cases of potential failure. All tests need to be carried out by experienced and trained operatives with knowledge of the materials that they are using. it is achieved through correct specification in the first place and employing experienced companies that know what they are doing. is more important. The possible likelihood and resultant cost of this replacement needs to be considered and a strategy formulated for each element of the structure. Site location and access may often dictate the size and specification of both the glass and the structural elements of the design. concrete or steel) need to be analysed. and when using these materials. but at least it can be controlled. but the thought process should not be excluded even if it is later discounted. These parts should be designed in such a way that they can be replaced without affecting structural elements. The risk of replacement cannot ever be completely overlooked as glass is a brittle material and it gets broken. The risk of material damage and personal injury must be assessed and be eliminated throughout the specification. site conditions have to accommodate their use. Limiting the need to replace elements. or at least reducing the risk.Procurement. changes of specification. structural sealants must not be used in freezing or wet conditions. The role of ‘window’ or ‘cladding’ requires less accuracy than that of ‘envelope’ or ‘structure’. Consequences of breakage can be managed in terms of urgency and necessity. consideration needs to be given to site conditions and overall manoeuvrability of the glazed elements. 12. both internally and externally. Installing replacement glass elements is often considerably more difficult than removing existing ones due to the inaccessibility of the fixing elements once the initial works have been completed. Opening elements need more continual servicing to ensure they are operating correctly and a more regular replacement of moving parts needs to be anticipated. For example. When planning for the best method of construction. Performance of the core elements of the design (usually brick.5 Replacement strategy and maintenance regimes of glass structures Glass structures may need to have individual or complete elements replaced or renewed in the future. regular testing must be carried out on-site during their use. Exact like-for-like replacement may not necessarily be an option and therefore it may be acceptable to consider replacing an original element with something where installation is more achievable. Whether this is in the form of a crane or a winch. This ensures that the correct materials are being used and in the correct manner so that adhesion can be assured. and in a way that is safe for those carrying out the work and those using the building at the time. end of expected life and failure. There are usually more important reasons for a particular design. although greater weights can be accommodated by the use of bespoke lifting systems. The reasons for replacement will include damage. Records of these adhesion tests need to be kept by the glazing company to help diagnose any cases of future failure. For example. If the glass is being used as the primary structural element then the adjustability of the connection needs to be between the fixing elements and the building core. and maintenance of glass structures to involve experienced companies that are used to the tight tolerances of structural glazing and that can adequately control the likelihood of a successful execution. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 81 12. Safe and convenient access to the glass. glass can become heavy and unmanageable. Construction methods vary enormously depending on the part the glass is playing on the overall structure. Regular maintenance and on-going inspection will extend the life expectancy of a glass structure and reduce the need for early replacement. design and construction processes.5 . the connection between the fixing elements and the glass can be used to accommodate these requirements for movement and tolerance. There are some external factors that can adversely affect the construction of structural glass elements that cannot be predicted nor directly controlled at the design stage. and requirements for movement (both thermal and structural) and construction inaccuracies need to be calculated. This has increased the need for accuracy both within the design and the installation. construction.5kg/m2 per millimetre thickness. Health and safety requirements often make it necessary to use mechanical lifting devices to install the glazing. needs to be considered from the start. It is just as important. Fixed glass structures require little maintenance beyond cleaning down to avoid prolonged contact with air (or water) borne contaminants. A regime for cleaning and inspection should be documented and allowed for within the original design brief. In these cases the fixing structure would be undertaken at the same time as the core elements. The connecting element between the core and the glass can then be constructed in such a way as to accommodate these values and therefore be fully prepared in advance of the glass installation.

Guideline to assess the visible quality of glass in buildings.isolar. and maintenance of glass structures 12.pdf [Accessed: 19 September 2013] The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .12.6 References 12.6 Procurement. Available at: http:// www.1 82 Institute of the Glazing Trade for Glazing Technology and Window Manufacture and Federal Association for Architectural Glazing. construction.de/media/visible_quality_06_2009. 2009.

storey and overall structure. a reasonably robust specification would be developed. Infestation Ironmongery Lightning protection and electrical safety Locked-in stresses Movement Noise generation Robustness Safety Solar control Strength. A specification needs to be: – complete – clear – precise – enforceable – co-ordinated with other project information (for example. System descriptions Types of framing. or the completion of the design. 13. it may combine the two. or even samples if this is appropriate. programme. Visual acceptance criteria are not easy to define. ease of removal. What follows is a checklist of items that should be contained in a specification for glass structures. The terms ‘consultant designer’ and ‘specialist designer’ are sometimes used to distinguish between the different parties involved in this process. accommodation of leaning/ maintenance gantries. It may include requirements for materials and workmanship. In a performance-based specification the contractor is responsible for the design. in response to criteria established by the designer or specifier. including other contract documents. in which all required materials are described as well as any reference standards.3 Specification for glass structures The specification is a document included in the contract documents and contains the instructions of the designers or specifiers to the contractor. In such instances. some guidance given in the NBS suite of specifications. This would include: – wind load information up to site specific information sufficient to establish local pressures – information on or specific data on internal pressures – partition loads – balustrade loads – deflection/displacement of elements. General requirements Pressure equalised cavities. thermal bridging. codes. however. adjustment. attachment to the building. locations of weather seals. durability. or it may contain requirements for the performance of the glass (sometimes known as performance-based specification). stability. glass. sometimes known as a prescriptive specification. health and safety. Performance requirements Acoustic transmission Air permeability Applied loads Bracketry and fixings Condensation Corrosion Design life Fire and smoke stopping Fire performance General requirements for enclosure. It is not exhaustive. regulations.2 Specification for glass cladding With respect to cladding elements. support and attachment to the building. it should not conflict with drawn information). The quality of workmanship is clearly defined with reference to codes of practice. ease of removal/replacement. stiffness Thermal transmittance Vibration Weathertightness Wind resistance – safety Wind resistance – serviceability The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 83 . Design requirements Responsibilities. accepted industry standards. movement. There is. It is not uncommon for the design responsibility of glass elements to fall to the specialist contractor. it is recommended that the specification includes the following items: – the extent of the glazing – its geometry – how it is attached to the building – its intended solidity – lightness – texture – contrast – colour. 13. It is most important that the requirements of the specification can be objectively verified – they can be measured or tested according to clearly defined standards. but it is comprehensive enough that if it were followed.1 Introduction With an absence of code of practice it is left to the designer to develop bespoke specifications for glass structures. This is the traditional specification. This chapter of the Guide explains what needs to be included in a specification for glass structures of all types.13 Specification 13. key design data and criteria need to be expressed within the specification and other design documentation.

13.3 Specification Submittals With tender Post-contract Quality assurance Quality plan Quality control procedures Technical procedures Air permeability tests Assessing thermal performance Attachments to concrete Checking flatness Checking sizes Erection and dismantling Factory-assembled mock-up samples General Impact tests Load tests On-site quality control samples and testing Reporting Sizing movement joints Sources of information Testing (scope) Testing procedures The test rig The testing authority Thermal load test Watertightness tests Weathering performance test specimens Wind resistance test General standards of product quality Accuracy and flatness Aluminium Annealed glass Anodising Carbon steel Double glazed units Fabrication Gaskets General Glass Heat-strengthened glass Heat soaked toughened glass Insulation Laminated glass Low emissivity coatings Non-structural sealants Polyester powder coat finishes Safety Screen printing Setting blocks Sizes Stainless steel Stainless steel finishes Structural silicone glazing Thermal stresses Toughened glass Vapour control layers Visual acceptance criteria Waterproofing membranes Execution Accuracy of erection Accuracy of joints between components Erection tolerances Finishes Fixings Gaskets Glazing Handling and storage Health and safety file 84 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Inspection and testing Installation Insulation Protection and cleaning Setting blocks Vapour control layers and waterproof membranes .

Any remedial proposals should be thought of as new design work and evaluated as part of a lifecycle cost. the glass element it is supporting is likely to crack due to additional stresses being placed upon it. The differences between the two are that the intensity of the cracks around the point of impact is far greater Figure 14.4 Cracking due to instability When the support system for glass becomes unstable or is compromised in some way.g.2 Crack pattern in basic annealed glass due to load failure The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 85 .1) that project perpendicularly from the line of support. Obvious indicators of distress around connections would include cracking of the glass itself.1 Crack pattern in basic annealed glass due to thermal shock 14. As always. Are all of the elements that should be within it present? Is there corrosion. Toughened glass is not susceptible to thermal shock and heat-strengthened glass is rarely susceptible.2).3 Cracking due to thermal shock It is not uncommon for structural engineers to be called upon to carry out inspections on glass structures. In such instances the advice of structural glass specialists may be appropriate.2 Degradation of connections Connections are typically the weak point of a glass structure. for example. The crack pattern typically stretches across the whole of the glass pane and varies depending on the extent and method of support e. four edge support (see Figure 14. Thermal cracking to glass elements have a certain pattern that is dependent on the type of glass. two edge support vs.6 Cracking due to impact Failure of glass due to impact is often confused with nickel sulphide inclusions within toughened glass.14 Inspection of glass structures 14. These scratches can occur during manufacture or while the glass is being handled during construction. related to the complete installation or just to a local detail? What is the scale and urgency of the problem? Diagnosis of defects or failures can be a complicated matter and should be approached systematically. The crack pattern for this is much more varied and is reflective of how the glass is buckling and deflecting under load as its supporting structure becomes unstable. the designer must consider the health and safety not only of the people carrying out the repair or replacement but also of those affected by the work. What should also be reviewed is the integrity of the connection assembly itself. It is for this reason that they become the focus of attention when carrying out inspections on glass structures.5 Cracking due to surface imperfections There are tiny flaws in the surface of glass that can cause it to fail within designed loading conditions.1 Introduction 14. This will usually include both the general public walking past the building and the occupants of the building. This chapter explains some of the items that need to be considered when carrying out such inspections. breakages and loose elements within the fixing? Are the isolating elements that separate the glass from the fixing degrading in any way? These defects can lead to deterioration of the integrity of the support and then a failure of the glass. Basic annealed glass generates long cracks (see Figure 14. defects should be diagnosed to determine the cause(s) and extent of failure. Before any recommended remedial action is taken. Figure 14. 14. 14. Are they. 14.

and the patterns do not have the small butterfly-like wings that are indicative of that source of defect. 86 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .14. where a weakness is generated from within the glass itself and not via an external agent. and definitive proof can only be obtained by microscopic examination in a laboratory. However. which is characteristic of a nickel sulphide failure.3). 14. this is a major difference from nickel sulphide failures.7 Nickel sulphide imperfections Failure due to nickel sulphide imperfections within toughened glass generates a unique cracking pattern (see Figure 14. This is a very important point to note as it is very easy for the two sorts of failures to be confused with one another. The centre of the crack pattern typically has a double-D or butterfly pattern.3 Nickel sulphide failure pattern than for nickel sulphide failure. The cracks all generate from a single point in the glass with no sign of impact of the outer surface. these do not conclusively point to a nickel sulphide cause.7 Inspection of glass structures Figure 14. Impact failures always show damage to the surface of the glass.

ed. Glass structures: design and construction of selfsupporting skins. B. Basel: Birkhauser.Appendix A Bibliography Ashby. J. et al. et al. 2010 Bull. W. Materials selection in mechanical design. Guide to the structural use of adhesives. et al. J. 2nd ed. 2004 Institution of Structural Engineers. Glass in building: principles. 8th ed. et al. Structural use of glass. Glass construction manual. M. T. 2007 Young. London: IStructE. examples.W.F. et al. 2012 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 87 . Basel: Birkhauser. 2008 Herzog.C. ICE manual of structural design: buildings. Oxford: Pilkington Glass with Butterworth Architecture. 1999 Schittich. and Pye. Roark’s formulas for stress and strain. 2009 Wurm. 2012 Button. 1993 Haldimann. 2007 Weller. Glass in building: a guide to modern architectural glass performance. Basel: Birkhauser. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. applications. Basel: Birkhauser. C. Facade construction manual. 4th ed. B. Zurich: IABSE-AIPC-IVBH. D. Structural Engineering Document 10. London: ICE Publishing. M. New York: McGraw-Hill.

These are listed below: – England: The Building Regulations 2013 – Wales: The Building Regulations 2013 – Scotland: The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 2013 – Northern Ireland: The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 Health and Safety Designers in the UK should be aware of their duties under the various health and safety regulations. better known as the CDM Regulations. The Building Regulations If it is intended to erect a new building.Appendix B Regulatory framework National and European standards Many national standards exist for glass products and the use of glass. Separate regulations apply to England. 88 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . European Standards are being prepared or already exist and are issued in the UK under the prefix BS EN. or to change the use of a building in the UK. the Building Regulations will probably apply. the European Committee for Standardisation. These include The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. Scotland and Northern Ireland. Draft European Standards are prefixed prEN and are issued by CEN. to alter an existing building. Wales.

This is because once a formal European code of practice is adopted.6 70000N/mm2 Enamelled float or drawn sheet glass Shear modulus G 28700N/mm2 Patterned glass 0.48 1 month Snow load medium-term 0.d ¼ kmod ksp fg.45 Patterned wired glass 0.j The effective thickness of laminated glass in terms of bending stress.A is the material partial factor for basic annealed glass kv is the factor derived from the method of strengthening of the glass fb.36 Characteristic strength of toughened glass fg.k gM. unless advised otherwise by respective national annexes. a UK National Annex will likely be created alongside it that will recommend a value of 1.00 30 seconds Domestic balustrade load 0.2.s .k k i . .v where: is the characteristic strength of basic fg.Appendix C Design data for structural glass Table C. hef. Partial factor for variable actions Primary structure 1.2 Note a The material partial factor of 1.74 30 minutes Maintenance access 0.0 0.g. Equation C:2 where: t is the duration in hours The equation can only be used for load durations that are more than 20msec.5 Secondary structure 1.45 Polished wired glass 0.w. For all other regions the default value is 1.6 1.3.6 Drawn sheet glass 1.0 0.75 0. kmod ¼ 0:663t1=16 . Equation C:1 gM. . Table C.0 0.w and hef.25.6 be used for the material partial factor for basic annealed glass. kmod can be greater than 1.8.2 Low risk infill panela 1. . which indicates a value of 1.2 Material partial factors Surface prestress Note a Where glass is etched with acid the ‘as produced’ value of ksp should be used.k annealed glass (45N/mm2) kmod is the factor for load duration ksp is the factor for glass surface profile gM.k is the characteristic bending strength of prestressed glass gM.60 1 week Snow load short-term 0.8.v is the material partial factor for surface prestressed glass Type of glass Material partial factor Basic annealed glass gM:A ¼ 1.1 Material properties Material Property Table C.77 10 minutes Multiple gust (storm) 0. .4 Glass surface profile factor ksp Value 2 Characteristic bending strength of basic annealed glass fg. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 89 .75 0.41 50 years Permanent (e.75 0.22 Enamelled patterned glass 0.0. .44 3 months Snow load long-term 0. Table C. self-weight and altitude pressure) 0.k Þ .6a gM:V ¼ 1. hef.6 stated does not correlate with that given in Table 2 of prEN 16612. .3 Variable action partial factor gQ Type of element Load duration factor kmod The base equation to determine the value of the load duration factor kmod is as shown in Equation C. b In the case of extremely short loading conditions such as explosions. is defined in Equation C.69 5 hours Pedestrian access 0.45 Poisson’s ratio m 0.5 Action duration factor kmod Duration Example kmod 5 seconds Single gust 1.A þ kv ðfb.6 0.89 5 minutes Workplace/public balustrade load 0. Equation C:3 Table C.k 45N/mm Density r 2500kg/m3 Young’s modulus E Type of glass As produceda Sandblasted Float glass 1.3 Infill panel 1.k  fg.29 Note a The minimum value of kmod is 0. Laminated glass effective thickness hef.1 Note a An infill panel whose failure would not cause injury.w vffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ! u u X 3 X t 3 2 ¼ hk þ 12v hk hm.

hk and hj are the thicknesses of the plies of glass within a laminated sheet.s . Edge strength factor ke As-cut.3 h3 Mid-plane of laminated glass Figure C. which varies from 0 to 1. as defined in Figure C.j ¼t hj þ2v hm.8 0. – Ionoplast: Family 3.4.8 0.3 Maintenance load 0 0.3 0. or ground edgesa Seamed edgesb Polished edges Float or sheet glass 0.w  hef. h1 ¼ hk and h2 ¼ hj hm.s.e.9 Coefficient of shear transfer v Table C.8 0.Appendix C Table C.1 0. arrissed.6 Wind load (other locations) 0. Materials that fall within Family 0 can have the shear coefficient v increased following extensive testing to verify their properties and performance.4 Personal load – normal duty 0.8 0.8 0.0 Wind load (Mediterranean) 0.9 1.k (N/mm2) Thermally toughened Heatstrengthened Chemically toughened 120 70 150 Patterned 90 55 100 Enamelled float glass or drawn sheeta 75 45 Enamelled patterned glassa 75 Float glass or drawn sheet Table C.8 0.1 0. The different material types currently in use along with their stiffness family are as follows: – Acoustic PVB: Family 1. is defined in Equation C. vffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi u  3 u h ef.k Base glass material Glass type Characteristic bending strength fb.1 0.3 Snow loads – roof 0 0. .j .8 Note a Arrissed or ground edges by machined or hand where the abrasive action is across the edge.8 0.7 The effective thickness of laminated glass in terms of stress within a ply.7 Strengthening factor kv Manufacturing process Strengthening factor kv Load case Family 2 Family 3 Horizontal toughening 1.j .6 Characteristic bending strength for prestressed glass fb. b Arrissed or ground edges by machine or hand where the abrasive action is along the length of the edge. . . – Standard grade PVB: Family 2.1 Laminated glass thickness dimensions 90 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) Acoustic PVB and materials that fall outside the definitions above are decreed to be in Families 1 and 0 respectively. h1 h2 Mid-plane of each ply hm. Table C.i is the distance to the mid-plane of the glass plies The coefficient of shear transfer v is based on the material of the interlayer and the duration of load the glass is to be subjected to.0 Patterned glass 0. hef.6 Vertical toughening 0.8 Wired patterned glass 0.8 Edge stress factor ke 45 Note a Enamelled glass cannot be chemically toughened.1 Permanent loads 0 0 where: v is the coefficient of shear transfer of the interlayer. Equation C.1 Snow loads – external canopies 0.2 hm.8 Polished wired glass 0. i.1.1 hm.5 Personal load – crowds 0 0.

the following charts are reproduced from Materials Selection in Mechanical Design – Fourth Edition. with which designers may be more familiar. Figure D.1 Young’s modulus plotted against density The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 91 .Appendix D Material properties charts To set glass in the context of other materials.

3 Young’s modulus plotted against strength 92 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .2 Strength plotted against density Figure D.Appendix D Figure D.

4 Specific modulus plotted against specific strength Figure D.5 Fracture toughness plotted against Young’s modulus The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 93 .Appendix D Figure D.

7 Loss coefficient (damping) plotted against Young’s modulus 94 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .6 Fracture toughness plotted against strength Figure D.Appendix D Figure D.

Appendix D Figure D.8 Thermal conductivity plotted against thermal diffusivity Figure D.9 Linear expansion coefficient plotted against thermal conductivity The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 95 .

Appendix D Figure D.10 Linear expansion coefficient plotted against Young’s modulus Figure D.11 Young’s modulus plotted against relative cost 96 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .

13 Strength plotted against energy content The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 97 .12 Strength plotted against relative cost Figure D.Appendix D Figure D.

Appendix D Figure D.14 98 Young’s modulus plotted against energy content The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) .

which comes up to about waist height. Acoustic performance The properties of a glass or glazing product which describe its airborne sound insulation. Annealed glass Ordinary stress free glass which can be cut by scoring and snapping. Blast resistance The ability of a particular type of glass to provide enhanced performance in response to explosion pressure waves. a safety film. Acid etching A process that creates a pattern whereby a polished surface of glass is made matt by exposure to hydrofluoric acid. Anti-bandit glazing A form of security glazing resistant to manual attack. Typically this is 1. Balustrade A term commonly used for a barrier. Bevelling The manufacture of polished shallowly chamfered edges to glass. A vast majority of the terms are included in the text of the Guide. but also in terms of the spall ejected from the opposite face by the impact. Break safely See safe breakage. Cast-in-place (CIP) A type of interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass.Appendix E Glossary of terms The list below is a glossary of terms that are encountered when using glass as a structural material. Barrier A structure designed to either guide the direction of pedestrian traffic or to provide guarding to the edges of drops. Bullet resistance The ability of a particular type of glass to withstand armed attack using a particular type of weapon. Butt joint A joint between the edges of adjacent panes. but some are not. Typically this is 1. commonly silicone sealant. Anti-ballistic glazing See bullet resistance. Airborne sound insulation The type of sound insulation provided by glass. sand blasting or forming coated glass. protecting a drop. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 99 . Acoustic laminate A laminated glass with special interlayers with better acoustic performance. Bow One form of distortion of toughened glass or heat-strengthened glass. in decibels (dB). Aspect ratio The ratio of the long edge of a pane to the short edge. Arris An edge finish to the glass where the sharp corners of the edge have been removed. Absorption An alternative word for absorptance. Bead See glazing bead. not just by stopping the bullets. See also acoustic performance. to prevent direct contact between the bolt and the glass. Applied leading Strips of lead adhered to both surfaces of a pane of glass to give the appearance of a leaded light. but is filled with adhesive sealant. Term Definition Absorptance The proportion of incident solar radiation absorbed by the glass.2m above finish floor surface. Armed attack An attack using firearms. Applied film An organic (plastic) film stuck on to glass to give it additional properties. It typically induces heat and 12 atmospheres of pressure onto the glass for 5 hours. expressed as a fraction (see solar properties).2m above finish floor surface. which has no frame. Attenuation The reduction of either sound (see acoustic performance) or electromagnetic radiation (see electromagnetic shielding). at specific frequencies. by pouring a liquid resin between two panes of glass and curing it either chemically or by exposure to UV light. expressed as a percentage. e. acid etching. Bushes Nylon or hard fibre ferrules used around the shanks of bolts in bolted connections.g. Backing paint A form of opacifier. as measured by the reduction or attenuation of sound. Airspace An alternative term for cavity. These terms typically have equivalent phrases that are described in the text. Basic annealed glass See annealed glass. Autoclave Device used during the fabrication of laminated glass. e. or a protective coating applied to mirrors. Where this is not the case a more detailed description of the term is provided. Base glass A term used to describe the glass which is subsequently processed.g.

Usually applied to the effects on light of acid etching. Conduction heat gain The transfer of heat from outside the building to the inside when the external air temperature is hotter than the internal air temperature. i. following manufacture of the float glass) to stock sizes or cut sizes. designed to limit the rate at which water vapour penetrates into the cavity. Double glazing Historic term for insulating units comprising two panes of glass with a gap between them. Coated glass A base glass to which an inorganic coating has been applied. doors. The glazing may include both vision areas and spandrel panels. Ceramic coating The enamel finish applied to toughened glass. UV light (generally described as 280nm to 380nm wavelength).e. usually applied on-line (i. Data protection The electromagnetic shielding of computers either to prevent scanning of the radio waves emitted by computers or to prevent corruption of data by interference from outside radio or radar sources. Clear float Untinted float glass (but which may have a slight green tinge to it. The better edge seals are usually dual seal systems. sand blasting and white interlayers (see also translucent). leading it to over-estimate actions due to buckling. either a pyrolytic coating (hard coat). Decibel (dB) The scale used to measure or describe – loudness of sound.e.g.g. to radio waves with very long wavelength. in the case of drained glazing. Drained glazing A glazing system in which any lodged water is channelled out of the rebates. Electromagnetic radiation The full spectrum ranges from gamma rays with very short wavelength.e.e. usually by draping the softened glass over or into a mould. 100 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . Edge clearance The distance between the edge of a pane and the frame in which it is glazed. Electromagnetic attenuation See electromagnetic shielding. Cross bar A support for the lead cames in large traditional leaded lights. e. Cut sizes Panes of glass cut to the final size for glazing. The clearance is required to allow for tolerances. Desiccant Material or chemical that sustains a state of dryness close to its proximity. Critical locations Those areas of a building. covered by the glazing bead. Cold radiation A description of the apparent effect felt when sitting near to a cold window surface. Dual seal system System of edge seal to insulated units with an inner air seal (primary) and an outer structural seal (secondary). adjacent to doors. Curved glass Glass which has been heated past its softening point and formed into a curved shape. Eigenvalue analysis A form of non-linear analysis that predicts the buckling strength of a structure. It is not accurate as it does not consider imperfections and nonlinear behaviour. Edge cover The amount of glass within the rebate. Differential stress refractometry (DSR) A technique that uses optical imagery instruments to measure the twist in polarised light from the thin surface of toughened glass. a mechanical requirement) and also to ensure the edge seal of an insulating unit is protected from the environment. Cold bent glass Glass which is formed into a curved shape by bending without heat. This is then converted to calculate its surface stress. e. avoid contact between the glass and its framing and. during the manufacture of the float glass) or a sputtered coating (soft coat) applied off-line (i. or low level glazing.Appendix E Term Definition Cavity The gap between the panes of an insulating unit also known as the airspace. Containment The ability of a glass or glazing product to prevent persons who accidentally fall against it from falling through (see also guarding and barriers). visible spectrum (generally described as 380nm to 780nm) and infrared. or – attenuation of radar and radio waves (see electromagnetic shielding). Double window A window containing two panes of glass in the same vision area. single glazing in cold weather. Diffusing Randomly scattering the incident light while still allowing transmission. usually in conjunction with applied leading to give the appearance of a leaded light. This is required to ensure the pane is effectively secured (i. Edge seal The hermetic seal around the edge of an insulating unit. The shaped glass is subsequently cooled slowly to form annealed glass or it may be rapidly chilled to form toughened glass. to give sufficient room for water to drain away. but which are glazed separately. where glazing is most vulnerable to accidental human impact and which may require the use of safety glass. usually noticeable only when looking at the edge of the glass). Coloured film Decorative applied film stuck on to the glass. dB See decibel. Curtain walling A glazing system in which the complete fac¸ade is glazed into frames attached to the building structure. through X rays. or – sound insulation and sound reduction indexes (see acoustic performance). not formed into an insulating unit.

In terms of glass. The electromagnetic attenuation given by the Faraday Cage is measured in decibels. when made into low emissivity glass (low E glass). Free-standing glass protective barrier A balustrade in which the glass performs all the mechanical functions. Fire barrier An element of construction. There are no posts or balusters. Float glass Glass which has been manufactured by floating the molten glass on a bed of molten tin until it sets. Fac¸ade The face of a building. Fin box The glazing system used at the ends of glass mullions to retain them. Fire propagation See reaction to fire. after which the sharp corners are arrissed. This is usually filled with a gasket or sealant. This is used as a measure of how much energy can be developed by accidental impact in order to determine the appropriate containment level for glass in the barrier. usually at the frequencies of radar and radio waves. such as a wall. Frit The powder from which glass is manufactured. or – the action of installing the glass (glazing it). in an appropriate glazing system. Enamel A glassy material which is melted into the surface of the base glass at high temperatures to form a ceramic coating. but reflects it back into the room. enhancing the U value of the glazing. the glass is cantilevered from the floor and has a continuous handrail mounted on the top edge. Face clearance The distance between the glass and the rebate upstand. producing a product with surfaces which are flat and parallel. the glass surface does not absorb the radiated heat. Fired-on transfer An applied transfer containing ceramic material or enamel which is melted into the glass surface at high temperature. Frameless Not supported by a frame on any of the edges. partition or glazed screen. Fac¸ade element A part of the facade.Appendix E Term Definition Electromagnetic shielding The use of a Faraday Cage to reduce or prevent the passage of the longer wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Fire resistance The ability of an element of construction. Fire protection The action of a fire barrier in containing a fire. Framed Supported by a frame along the full length of an edge. Film See applied film. Typical descriptions of glazing systems would be 4 edge framed or 2 edge framed. Glass naturally has a high emissivity. such as a wall. Fixing Depending on the context this may mean either – the method of retaining the glass in position on the building. The fire resistant glass may be a non-insulating glass. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 101 . Flat ground edge A glass edge which has been completely flattened by a grinding machine. Fire performance The length of time an element of construction. or the cladding covering it. Explosion resistance See blast resistance. In terms of data protection. Faraday Cage A complete electrically conducting earthed screen around a volume of space. Fully tempered glass Alternative term for toughened glass. The surface compressive stress of fully tempered glass is at least 69N/mm2 as opposed to the European limit of 75N/mm2. such as polysulphide or silicone sealant. Enamelled glass Glass with enamel applied. typically used in North America. Framing system The type of material and the design of the frame supporting the glass (see also glazing system). However. including electromagnetic radiation. Fire resistant glass A glass which. this requires all the surfaces of a room to contain a metal mesh or be made from electrically conducting materials. The surface appearance is similar to sand blasting. partition or glazed screen. Free path The distance which a person can move directly towards a barrier. allows the glazed screen or door to achieve fire resistance for more than 30 minutes. cannot pass. emissivity is only important with respect to long wavelength radiation (in the range 5000nm to 50000nm) produced as radiated heat by objects at around room temperature. It is sometimes used as an alternative name for enamel. Emissivity The ability of a surface to absorb or emit electromagnetic radiation. Flexible compound A type of glazing material or sealant which remains permanently elastic. across which electrical fields. continues to give fire resistance when tested under simulated fire conditions. Fire safety See fire protection. The alternative to framing is by using bolted or structural silicone connections. partition or glazed screen. such as a window or spandrel panel. to maintain integrity and/or insulation. which gives an appropriate level of fire resistance. such as a wall.

bushes. or – the act of installing the glass or glass product. Inner pane The pane on the room side of an insulating unit or double window. Impact resistant Alternative term for safety glass. Also known as a fin. Inclined glazing Glazing which is either horizontal or sloping at an angle. when it is soft it tends to sag between the rollers. 102 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . but which breaks like annealed glass. Glazing seal Another term for glazing compound or sealant. Glazing compound A glazing material which is soft and pliable. Although the glass is kept moving during the process. Hermetic seal An edge seal which is designed to prevent gas passing. Glazing factors Another term for radiometric properties. Hard coating A term for a coating which is very durable. Handling All the activities involved in transferring the glass from factory to the site and into position in the building ready for glazing. Insulating glass A fire resistant glass which gives both integrity and insulation for a specific period of time. Impact safety An alternative term to impact resistance. sealants and other items required for the purpose of glazing a glass product. Insulating unit A construction consisting of two or more panes of glass spaced apart with spacer bars to form a cavity between the panes. An insulating unit does not normally have any fire resistance properties unless it incorporates at least one pane of fire resistant glass. upon which the glass sits (on setting blocks) when it is glazed. Any glass glazed into or forming such a barrier or balustrade is required to give containment. minimising the ingress of moisture into the cavity. Inner leaf See inner pane. Heat transfer coefficient A measure of the rate at which heat can cross a boundary or surface (whether it be by conduction. Glazing within 158 of vertical is usually defined as vertical glazing. The air in the cavity can be replaced by another gas to give the unit specific thermal insulation or sound insulation properties.Appendix E Term Definition Gaskets Solid. Installation Depending on the context this is either – the act of glazing. convection or radiation). A desiccant is incorporated in the spacer bar to dry up any residual moisture. such as putty and can be used as a gap filler. Infill panel Depending on the context. Glazing platform The horizontal leg of the rebate in a frame. Typically this is in the region of up to 758 from the horizontal. glazing tapes. Heat-strengthened glass Glass which has been heated past its softening point and chilled rapidly to increase its strength.e. resistant to abrasion. solar properties and optical properties.e. pre-formed glazing materials used to separate glass from other parts of the fixing or frame. Guarding The prevention of persons falling. supported on rollers. or – the finished glazing. Glass mullion A mullion support for glass panes made entirely from glass or from glass beams splice jointed with metal connectors. Heat soaked toughened glass Toughened glass which has been heated for a period of time at moderately high temperatures to reduce the probability of spontaneous fractures in-service. Glazing Depending on the context it is either – the complete element of construction comprising the glass. Glazing materials The gaskets. which may manifest itself as a regular distortion of images reflected in the glass surface. i. by means of barriers and balustrades. this could mean – an alternative term for spandrel panel. An edge seal is applied around each cavity to form a hermetic seal. Glazing system The frame and the design or method of fixing the glass into the frame. Glazing bead The common mechanism used to retain glass in a frame. Impact performance The impact resistance of a safety glass. or – a panel underneath the handrail in a barrier. Not to be confused with insulating units. i. The final product shows traces of this sagging as a phenomenon called roller wave. the glazing materials and the fixing or frame. Horizontally toughened glass Glass which has been toughened in the horizontal position. It is a term usually applied to pyrolitic coatings. The edge seal of an insulating unit is a hermetic seal to minimise the rate at which water vapour can penetrate into the cavity. Inner glass See inner pane. Insulated panel A spandrel panel with insulation in the form of organic foam or mineral wool attached to the rear face. or – the glass or glass product itself. glazing compounds. which is typically greater than 30 minutes.

polyester.2 in the long wavelength radiation part of electromagnetic radiation. Lite See pane. insulating units incorporating low E glass have much improved thermal insulation properties when compared to units without low E glass. or – by sticking applied leading on to the surface of a single pane. so large leaded lights may need additional support from cross bars attached at intervals to the lead cames. 15%). but the commonest is float glass. EVA. It is therefore much stronger and stiffer than PVB. Lead cames The lead used in traditional leaded lights to hold the individual small panes of glass in position. Laminate The material used to bind plies of glass together in laminated glass and is also an alternative term for laminated glass.Appendix E Term Definition Insulation Depending on the context. The panes can be any type of glass. Glass is opaque to this radiation so short wave radiation from the sun is trapped by glass. Leaf See pane. Internal applications Applications where glass or glazing products are not exposed to natural weather. but are commonly used in opening windows. this may mean either – the material applied to the back of spandrel panels to increase the thermal insulation of the panels. Leaded glass An alternative name for leaded lights. The separators are called location blocks when positioned on the vertical and top edges of the pane. Uncoated glass has an emissivity of around 0. Interlayer The material used to separate and bond the plies of glass in laminated glass. giving the greenhouse effect. which is produced by objects at around room temperatures. Light reflection An alternative term for light reflectance. but also creating an effective barrier to smoke. but which are highly reflective. Location blocks are not required in every instance. Leaded light Glazing which is formed either – in the traditional manner by using lead cames to fix small panes of glass. The lead cames are relatively flexible. ionoplast or intumescent. Light reflectance The proportion of the visible spectrum which is reflected by the glass. Ionoplast A type of interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass. Long wavelength radiation That part of the electromagnetic spectrum (i. Laminated glass Two or more panes of glass separated and bonded by interlayers.e. have a low emissivity. Light reflection can be described as low (( 15%) or high ( . It is has a significantly higher modulus and less loss of strength at elevated temperature than PVB.e. or – the length of time that a construction can give fire resistance in relation to the passage of heat. Laminated toughened glass Laminated glass made with all the panes toughened glass. Low emissivity glass Glass coated with a material which has an emissivity less than 0. expressed as a fraction (see optical properties). usually expressed as %. The purpose of low E glass is to reduce the radiation component of heat transfer across the cavity of an insulating unit. not only holding the laminated glass together. or – an alternative word for thermal insulation. flames and heat. this may mean – the ability of the glass to hold together after fracture. The interlayer can be PVB.9. intumescent means specifically that it becomes swollen. Location blocks Small separators placed between the frame and the edge of the glass to maintain the edge clearance between the glass and the frame. Integrity only glass Another term for non-insulating glass. especially upon exposure to heat. from 5000nm to 50000nm wavelength). Since radiation is a significant component of the heat transfer across a cavity. Glass with such a coating is called low E glass. Low E glass See low emissivity glass. Intumescent Capable of expanding. The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) 103 . At the bottom edge their equivalents are setting blocks. expressed as a percentage. Intumescent interlayer An interlayer which intumesces in fire conditions. cast-in-place. where there may be a tendency for the glass to move in the frame. Long wave shading coefficient See shading coefficients. Light transmittance The proportion of light transmitted through the glass in the visible part of the spectrum. Low level glazing Glazing which is wholly or partly within the critical location that is typically described as approximately 800mm from finished floor level. In terms of glass and glazing. i. It is possible to design coatings which are transparent to visible light. or – the length of time that a construction can give fire resistance in relation to the passage of flames and smoke. to long wavelength radiation. Integrity Depending on the context.

Multiple glazing Historic phrase for an insulating unit comprising two or more panes. Pyrolitic Applied at high temperature. Pinhole A small defect where a coating. Polyurethane A type of interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass in a similar fashion to PVB only it can also attach sheets of polycarbonate to glass. either after passing through a polarising filter. Pallet A packaging method for transporting and storing glass. Opacified Made opaque by the application of a backing paint or other backing material. One way vision An optical effect resulting from the relative luminance of transmitted and reflected light. Optical properties The light transmittance and light reflectance of glass products. The most common marks are those related to safety glass classification and to insulating unit performance. this term is usually applied to coatings applied on-line when the ribbon of float glass is around 5008C to 6008C. private side is not visible. Patterned glass Glass manufactured by passing between two rollers (hence it used to be called rolled glass). Public side The side of a one way vision glass from which the other. Polished wired glass Wired glass which has subsequently been ground and polished on both surfaces to make it transparent. which allows vision through a window from only one side. Noise attenuation An alternative term for sound insulation. Printed interlayer A process whereby the interlayer of a pane of laminated glass is printed upon that provides a texture and/or image within the glass. Silvering followed by an application of backing paint forms the commonest type of mirror. 104 The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) . Non-combustible See reaction to fire. Polarised light Light waves which are vibrating in a specific orientation. Optical quality The presence or absence of visual distortion or small blemishes in the glass. Private side The side of a one way vision glass from which the other. Multi-laminated Containing more than two plies of glass in the laminate. by placing a sheet of the material between two panes of glass and curing under heat and pressure. Multi-pane A term applied to fire resistant glazing which has been tested with more than one pane of glass in the assembly. but not firearms. a term related closely to spandrel panels. Primary seal See dual seal system. Non-loadbearing element An element of construction which plays no part in supporting the building structure or part of the structure. Polyvinyl butyral (PVB) A type of interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass. usually in roofs. Observed side See public side. Off-line/on-line See coated glass. on-line. Mirror A glass which is highly reflective and opaque. Mullion Vertical element of a frame structure that directly supports a cladding element. Marking The permanent inscription marked on the glass. Pane A piece of glass. In relation to glass. Nickel sulphide inclusion A small impurity in the glass which can cause spontaneous fracture of toughened glass sometime after toughening. It does NOT indicate double windows or insulating units. Outer glass/ outer leaf See outer pane. Ply See pane. one of which forms an impression or pattern into the glass. public side is clearly visible. Polyester A more rigid interlayer material than PVB and is usually CIP. coated glass with a backing paint is also a mirror. Observing side See private side. Ordinary glass See annealed glass. Highly reflective.Appendix E Term Definition Manual attack Attack using manually held implements or thrown objects. Marked Having a permanent inscription indicating the performance of the product and other information. enamel or backing paint is missing. or after being reflected from a surface or from the sky. See also rack and stillage. Overhead glazing Inclined glazing or horizontal glazing. Outer pane The pane on the external side of an insulating unit.

Appendix E
Term

Definition

Rack

A packaging method for transporting and storing glass. See also pallet and stillage.

Radiative combustion

See reaction to fire.

Radiometric properties

The combined sets of optical properties and solar properties of a glass product.

Reaction to fire

The way in which a material or product behaves in a fire situation. There are four major
classifications used to define the behaviour. Radiative combustion relates to whether fire can pass
through a material when used as a roof covering subject to heat from an adjacent fire. Materials
are also classified by surface spread of flame, the ability or otherwise of fire to spread along its
surface. Materials are also assessed for being non-combustible, i.e. that they do not burn, and for
their fire propagation, i.e. whether they contribute to a fire. Glass is non-combustible, except for
laminated glass, which typically achieves the highest rating for fire propagation.

Rebate

The part of a frame which holds the glass.

Rebate depth

The depth of the rebate in a frame, being the sum of the edge clearance and the edge cover of
the glass.

Reduced spall

See spall.

Reflectance

The proportion of incident light or solar radiation reflected by the glass, expressed as a fraction
(see optical properties and solar properties).

Robustness

The ability of a pane of glass to resist breakage (under accidental human impact).

Rolled glass

An old name for patterned glass.

Roller wave

See horizontally toughened glass.

Safe breakage

Either cracking without producing large openings or separate large sharp edged pieces (i.e. in a
manner similar to laminated glass), or cracking into many small fragments (i.e. in a manner
similar to toughened glass). Safe breakage is precisely defined in BS EN 12600 – Pendulum test
– Impact test method and classification for flat glass.

Safety

Depending on the context, this may be either
– the ability of glass to reduce the possibility of piercing and cutting injuries when subjected to
accidental human impact, or
– the reduction of hazard from breakage of glass in overhead glazing, or
– fire protection.

Safety backing

An alternative term for safety film.

Safety film

A plastic film adhered to one surface of the glass with the intention of holding it together after
fracture, so that the glass can be classified as a safety glass.

Safety glass

A glass or glazing product, which classifies the product as giving no break or safe breakage when
the glass is tested.

Safety rating

The classification achieved for a safety glass.

Sand blasting

A process whereby the polished surface of glass is made matt by exposure to air blown sand or grit.

Screen printed glass

Glass which has been given a decorative surface finish of either ceramic ink (a type of enamel),
which is subsequently fired onto the glass, or epoxy based ink.

Sealant

A glazing compound which sets after application into a rubbery consistency.

Secondary processing

Subsequent processing of glass after initial manufacture, e.g. manufacture into laminated glass,
toughened glass, or insulating units.

Secondary sash glazing

A double window.

Secondary seal

See dual seal system.

Security

Depending on the context this means either
– the ability of glass to withstand manual attack or armed attack, or
– blast resistance, or
– electromagnetic shielding, or
– one way vision.

Security glass

A glass which assists in giving security.

Security glazing

A glazing system including security glass which assists in giving security.

Semi-tempered glass

Alternative term for heat-strengthened glass, typically used in North America.

Setting blocks

Small packers, usually of hardwood, hard rubber or plastics, placed under the bottom edge of the
glass to support it off the glazing platform and allow clearance for drainage and ventilation.

Shading coefficients

The total shading coefficient is a measure of the total amount of heat passing through the glazing
(known as the total solar heat transmittance) compared with that through a single clear glass.
Glass lets heat through in two ways; a proportion of the short wavelength radiation is transmitted
straight through, while some is absorbed by the glass and re-radiated as long wavelength
radiation. The total shading coefficient is split into two parts relating to the proportions of the total
solar heat transmittance which are short wavelength – the short wave shading coefficient, and
long wavelength – the long wave shading coefficient.
The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)

105

Appendix E
Term

Definition

Short wavelength radiation

That part of electromagnetic radiation (i.e. from 280nm to 2500nm wavelength), which is radiated
by the sun. The main components of glass are transparent to the majority of this short wave
radiation.

Short wave shading coefficient

See shading coefficients.

Silicone sealant

A type of glazing compound made from silicone material which is gunned into position and cures
into an elastic solid.

Single glazed/glazing

Fitted with only one pane of glass, neither an insulating unit nor a double window.

Silvering

Depositing silver on glass to form a mirror.

Sloping glazing

An alternative term for inclined glazing.

Solar control

The effectiveness of glass in limiting solar heat gain. Solar control can be described in terms of
the total shading coefficient of the glass, as being low (shading coefficient .50%), medium
(35% , shading coefficient 50%), or high (shading coefficient ,35%).

Solar direct transmittance

The proportion of incident solar radiation which passes straight through the glass, expressed as a
fraction (see solar properties).

Solar energy

An alternative term for solar radiation.

Solar gain factors

Numbers related to and derived from shading coefficients, which also describe the ability of the
glazing to reduce solar heat gain.

Solar heat gain

The amount of heat from the sun which passes through the glass into a building.

Solar properties

Those properties of glass related to solar radiation, i.e. reflectance, absorptance, solar direct
transmittance, total solar heat transmittance, shading coefficients and solar gain factors. The term
is also used occasionally to include emissivities and optical properties.

Solar radiation

The heat, light and UV emitted by the sun as received at the surface of the earth.

Sound insulation

See acoustic performance.

Spacer

An alternative term for spacer bar.

Spacer bar

A pre-formed section, usually aluminium or steel, which separates the panes within an insulating
unit to form a cavity. The spacer bar usually also acts as a container for the desiccant in the
insulating unit.

Spall

The pieces of glass ejected from one face of a pane of glass when it is impacted from the
opposite face. This term is commonly used in connection with bullet resistance, where a
requirement for reduced spall may be part of the classification system.

Spandrel panel

A glass panel, commonly in a curtain wall, which is made of an enamelled glass or an opacified
glass in order to hide parts of a building structure, such as the edge of floor slabs.

Spontaneous fracture

The sudden breakage of glass. The term is more often associated with fracture of toughened
glass than any other type, because the mode of fracture of toughened glass tends to disguise the
cause.

Spigot

A form of fixing within a cladding system.

Spread of flame

See reaction to fire.

Stained glass

Depending on the context, this may mean
– a traditional leaded light made with glass of different colours to form a picture or decorative
pattern, or
– a pane of glass with coloured applied film and applied leading which looks like a traditional
leaded light
– a piece of glass of the type used in a leaded light.

Stepped unit

An insulating unit with one pane larger than the other. The unit may be stepped on only one edge
(often used at the bottom edge of roof glazing) or it may be stepped on more than one edge.

Stillage

A packaging method for transporting and storing glass. See also rack and pallet.

Stock plate

An alternative term for stock sizes.

Stock sizes

The glass as manufactured and stored ready for cutting down to cut sizes.

Stress pattern

The effect seen in toughened glass when it is viewed under polarised light or through a polarising
filter, which shows a patterning of spots or bars due to slight non-uniformity of the surface
compressive stress in the glass.

Structural glass

Glass used in a manner where it may be supporting other building components (e.g. glass
mullions) or where it performs a semi-structural role (e.g. free-standing glass protective barriers).
The term is sometimes misused for glass fixed using bolted connections (frameless glazing), even
if it performs no structural function.

Surface 1

The surface of glass exposed to the weather.

Surface 2

The room side surface of single glazing, or the cavity surface of the outer glass in an insulating
unit.

106

The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)

Appendix E
Term

Definition

Surface 3

The cavity surface of the inner glass in an insulating unit.

Surface 4

The room side surface of double glazing.

Surface coated glass

See coated glass.

Surface compressive stress

See toughened glass.

Surface resistances

The inverse of the heat transfer coefficients at a surface.

Surface spread of flame

See reaction to fire.

Tempered glass

See toughened glass.

Template

An exact size physical model of the shape of the glass to be manufactured.

Thermal insulation

The ability to restrict the flow of heat. The lower the U value, the better the thermal insulation.

Tinted float

Float glass which has small amounts of colourants added to the glass to give it solar control
properties. Also called body-tinted float.

Tinted interlayer

An interlayer in laminated glass which is tinted to give the glass solar control properties, or for
aesthetic effect.

Total solar energy
transmittance

An alternative term for total solar heat transmittance.

Total solar heat transmittance

The proportion of incident solar radiation transmitted by the glass, including both the solar direct
transmittance and a portion of the absorbed radiation which is re-radiated, expressed as a
fraction, also known as g-value.

Total transmittance

An alternative term for total solar heat transmittance.

Toughened glass

Glass which has been heated past its softening point and chilled rapidly to build in a surface
compressive stress, which gives it greatly increased strength and makes it break into small
fragments if broken.

Translucent

Letting light through, but obscuring clear vision.

Transmission

An alternative word for transmittance, expressed as a percentage.

Transmittance

The proportion of incident light or solar radiation transmitted by the glass, expressed as a fraction
(see optical properties and solar properties).

Transom

Horizontal element of a frame structure that directly supports a cladding element.

U-Value

A measure of the thermal transmission usually expressed in W/m2K.

Vandal resistance

The ability to resist damage from external sources, as opposed to the ability to resist penetration.
Glass typically does not have high vandal resistance.

Vertical glazing

See inclined glazing.

Vertically toughened glass

Glass which is toughened while in vertical orientation, held by tongs on the top edge.

Vision area

Depending on context, either
– an oval with axes equal to the height and width of the pane, or
– the parts of a building facade or curtain wall which are intended for the passage of light.

Visual distortion

The warping of images when seen through the glass, due to the surfaces of the glass being not
exactly flat and parallel. The term is also sometimes applied to reflected images.

Visual quality

An alternative term for optical quality.

Weight

The area density of a pane of glass, expressed in kg/m2.

Wired glass

Generic name which covers polished wired glass and wired patterned glass.

Wired patterned glass

Glass with a welded steel mesh incorporated within the body of the semi-molten glass and formed
by passing between two rollers, one of which forms an impression or pattern into the glass.

Abbreviation

Definition

EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) (EPDM) rubber is a synthetic rubber that is
commonly used as a form of sealant for glazing.

EVA

Ethylvinylacetate, a type of interlayer used in the manufacture of laminated glass, in a similar
fashion to PVB. Unlike PVB, does not need to be placed into an autoclave to cure it.

IGU

Insulating glazing unit – self-contained cavity glass panel made up of multiple panes with a gap
between each one that is filled with air or an inert gas, see insulating unit.

PVB

See polyvinyl butyral.

TNT

Trinitrotoluene is an explosive chemical and is used in the context of this report in terms of
determining the threat of charge size of an explosive device.

The Institution of Structural Engineers Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)

107

specification.org www. Like the first edition. as connections play a significant role in the design of glass elements. worked examples are given throughout the Guide for the simple design of glass elements such as floor plates.Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition)   February 2014 Glass has. Structural use of glass in buildings (Second edition) February 2014 The Institution of Structural Engineers International HQ 11 Upper Belgrave Street London SW1X 8BH UK T. It assumes varying degrees of prior knowledge of the structural use of glass. but rather a principal source of information and reference for those interested in the structural use of glass. This Guide also addresses some of the other issues that may influence structural behaviour. +44 (0)20 7235 4535 F. Connection design is also considered. materials and techniques in the design and construction of glass structures. beams and columns. in order to provide an insight into design methodology. Unique to this edition is the inclusion of advice on the modelling of glass structures within structural analysis computer applications to reflect the contemporary working practices with the increased reliance of such tools. SC038263 Barcode to be supplied by the printer Institution Structural Engineers . especially as a structural material. +44 (0)20 7235 4294 mail@istructe. This Guide updates and revises the Institution of Structural Engineers’ well renowned and respected text Structural use of glass in buildings. undergone significant increase in its use within our built environment. This Guide is not intended to be a code of practice. such as extreme loading conditions and fire protection. It also provides general guidance sourced from all over the world that is based on existing good practice as a starting point from which designers can carry out further studies and research according to circumstances. in relatively recent times. It is intended that this Guide be used by experienced structural engineers and construction industry professionals.org Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales No. or place constraints on what can be achieved.istructe. 233392 and in Scotland No.

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