Fragile yet Ductile, Structural Aspects of Reinforced Glass Beams
This dissertation investigates the structural aspects of reinforced glass beams. The concept of these beams, which are intended for building applications, is to provide redundancy even if the glass is broken. This redundancy is obtained through a small reinforcement section that is bonded at the tensile edge of the glass beam. Upon glass failure the reinforcement section bridges the crack and carries the tensile forces over the crack, thereby creating a post-breakage load-carrying mechanism. Various parameters that may influence the structural performance of the reinforced glass beams are experimentally investigated in this dissertation, namely: bond system, temperature, thermal cycling, humidity, load duration, reinforcement material, reinforcement percentage and beam size. This is done by means of pull-out tests, to investigate the pull-out strength of the reinforcement, and by means of bending tests, to investigate the structural response of the reinforced glass beams. Furthermore, analytical and numerical investigations are performed into the modelling of the structural response of reinforced glass beams. The analytical model has been developed in this research in analogy with reinforced concrete. The numerical model makes use of a novel sequentially linear analyses (SLA) scheme and saw-tooth reduction diagrams to simulate cracking of the glass and yielding of the reinforcement and to describe the overall structural response of the beams.