Simulation Tool for the Analysis of Simple Flat and Cylindrical Insulated Glass Units


  • Tomàs Colldecarrera Bellapart

challenging glass


A simulation tool for simple flat and cylindrical insulated glass units (IGUs) has been developed using VBA code included on Excel and RF-COM, the programmable COM Interface for the RFEM of Dlubal. The software allows the non-linear computational analysis of rectangular flat panels and cylindrical IGUs considering the monolithic equivalent thickness of the inner and outer glass panel. The sealant silicone elastic properties can be defined by the users, including, if necessary, the rotational stiffness. Climatic load and superficial uniform loads (typically wind loads) can be defined.

The tool automatically generates the inner and outer glass panels with shell elements and the boundary conditions in RFEM. Both panels are connected all along the perimeter by means of spring elements with the equivalent stiffness of the silicone. The internal pressure due to climatic loads and the distribution of the superficial uniform loads are automatically calculated by means of an iterative method. This method, published for other authors in the recent past, considers the bending stiffness of both glass panels and the silicone for the definition of the resultant load.      

The results of the simulations have been successfully correlated with the commercial software SJ-MEPLA for flat panels and ANSYS Workbench 19.0 for flat and cylindrical panels, in this case, modelling the air cavity with a 3D hydrostatic fluid element (HSFLD242). The simulation tool provides an accurate definition of the internal pressure, deflection and stress on glass panels and forces through the sealant silicone with a reduced pre-post and calculation time, being ideal for parametric studies.





Insulating Glass Units


IGU, Insulating glass units, Climatic load, Cylindrical, Simulation tool