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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 86
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper 156

The Influence of Finite Element Modelling Parameters on the Stress Distribution in Bolted Glass Connections

M. Overend1 and I. Maniatis2

1School of the Built Environment, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
2Whitbybird Engineers, London, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M. Overend, I. Maniatis, "The Influence of Finite Element Modelling Parameters on the Stress Distribution in Bolted Glass Connections", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 156, 2007. doi:10.4203/ccp.86.156
Keywords: bolted glass, glass finite element analysis, glass strength, glass connections.

Bolted glass is being increasingly used in buildings to enhance the 'transparency' of structures and to overcome the relatively small manufacturing sizes of thermally toughened glass plates. Despite their popularity there is a general lack of test data and design guidelines for these connections.

This paper describes on-going research in this field that aims to use finite element analysis and the recent advances in glass failure prediction models to determine the strength of bolted glass connections in an accurate manner. In detail it describes the initial research effort which consists of a review of the mechanical properties of glass, the procedure for determining glass strength [1,2], and the initial numerical investigation carried out to determine the influence of finite element modelling parameters on the stress distribution of bolted glass connections [3,4].

This paper reviews the two key steps that are necessary for design bolted glass in an accurate manner, namely, the correct characterisation of glass strength and the correct modelling and interpretation of results from finite element analysis. The initial modelling parameters investigated were found to have a major influence on the stress distribution.

With respect to glass strength, although safe, the maximum stress approach is not appropriate for accurate calculations and a failure prediction model that accounts for flaw severity, stress history, stress distribution and environmental conditions should be adopted.

Future work in this area includes reviewing the performance of other commercially available software for modelling of bolted glass connections and combining the results obtained from finite element analysis with the glass failure prediction model to provide reliable design formulas and guidelines for designing bolted glass connections.

Overend M., Parke G.A.R., Buhagiar D., "Predicting failure in glass - A general crack growth model", ASCE J. Struct. Eng., forthcoming August 2007. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9445(2007)133:8(1146)
Haldimann M., "Fracture Strength of Structural Glass Elements - Analytical and Numerical Modelling, Testing and Design", EPFL Thesis No 3671, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2006.>
Maniatis I., "Numerical and Experimental Investigations on the Stress Distribution of Bolted Glass Connections under In-Plane Loads", PhD Thesis Technische Universität München, Berichte aus dem Konstruktiven Ingenieurbau Nr. 1/06.
Mano T., "Analysis of Bolted Pin Connections in Glass Structures", Master Thesis Chair of Steel Structures, Technische Universität München, 2005.

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