Numerical Analysis of Point-Fixed Glass Balustrades
Sammanfattning: The design approach is currently very diverse for glass. It differs greatly between European countries and there is not one definite method for the design of glass components. Research in this field has a potential for better design optimization and industry professionals express a limitation of tools and knowledge about glass structure design.The purpose of this study is to analyze glass balustrades with point-fixings and to test a structural verification approach using a Finite Element (FE) software. The theory provides insight of glass as a structural material, different interlayers used for laminated glass, joints and connections, as well as design standards, concepts and regulations. Different models of varying configurations and geometries are created from the evaluation of balustrades with point-fixings available on the Swedish market and the theory. The models represent a glass balustrade with 4- or 6-point-fixings and is regarded as a fully toughened laminated glass component with different stiff and standard interlayers. The structural analysis of point-fixed glass balustrades on the Swedish market indicated a lower stress and deflection resistance capacity than the pre-normative Eurocode criterion. Based on the FE calculations, some guidelines for fulfilling the criterion are proposed.To make glass more generally applicable as a load-bearing material, the limitations of the FE-software, and how the parameters affect the calculation results needs to be taken into consideration. In order to evaluate the interlayers used for the model, a parametric study using FE-analysiswas carried out, in which the maximum stresses and deflections for several variations were calculated. A sensitivity analysis of the balustrade was conducted to evaluate various geometric and material parameters and how they affect the FE software-based model. Comparisons of guidelines and national codes for simplified hand-calculation and the FE-approach were made to obtain some understanding of calculation methods used in the glass industry and to evaluate the results of the structural analysis. The study suggests that the FE approach is an effective method for a relatively quick and easy verification of glass balustrades.
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