Experimental and numerical investigations of metal-to-glass embedded connections with thin stainless steel plate
The recent demand for architectural transparency has drastically increased the use of glass material also for structural purpose. However, connections between structural glass members represent one of the most critical aspects of glass engineering, due to the fragile behaviour of this material. This work presents the experimental and numerical investigations of embedded metal-to-glass connections realized by embedding a thin metal plate within an ionomer interlayer usually used for laminating glass panels. The tested specimens consist of small rectangular glass panels combined with rectangular stainless-steel plates, laminated with a transparent ionomer polymer. The experimental investigations are performed by pulling out the metal plate from the laminated glass panel, at constant displacement rate. Tests at different temperatures are carried out, because of the temperature sensitivity of the interlayer polymer. The connection’s response in terms of load versus relative displacement is here presented. Then, numerical investigations on this type of metal-to-glass connection are performed, with the goal to compute the non-linear distribution of both strain and stress’s fields within the interlayer. In that regard, the experimental tests are simulated by a non-linear FE model. The effects of geometrical non-linearity are taken into account. Comparisons between experimental and numerical results are here presented focusing on the interface level between interlayer and glass material. From the study it is concluded that (i) the use of the adhesion properties of the interlayer material of laminated glass is a promising technique for joining structural glass member (ii) the numerical model developed in this work represents an efficient tool to predict the behaviour of such type of connection.