Three glass compression wall structures in Japan


Three examples of the use of toughened glass, which has a strength and stiffness similar to that of aluminium, in compression in loadbearing shear walls are described. A small shop covering an area of 4.5 m square and having no roof was constructed from 10 mm thickness glass panels joined at the top by steel bars and at the corners by an acrylic L-section. Gaps are filled with a silicone sealant. A dental clinic with a floor area of 8.4 x 3.65 m and a height of 3.6 m was constructed using glass panels of 19 mm thickness. The design was such that a factor of safety of 5 was maintained if one panel was broken. A timber roof was used to minimise weight. As in the first example, panels were joined at the top by steel bars and gaps were filled with sealant. A temple facade was constructed from three levels of stacked panels, the lower being of 15 mm thickness and the upper two levels of 12 mm thickness. A meeting room in the centre is constructed from curved glass panels to provide stiffness to the structure. Loose-hole bolt connections are used at the ends of the flat steel bars at the tops of the panels to accommodate sway deflection of up to 15 mm. Finite element analysis was used to confirm the safety of the structure in the event of panel loss. 3 refs.

Primary author(s): Burden A

Source: Struct.Eng.

             Vol.82, No.10, 2004, p.27-30


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