Integrated Connections for Glass–Plastic-Composite Panels: An Experimental Study under Tensile Loading at +23, +40 and +60 °C and Different Glass Build-ups


  • Julian Hänig Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Building Construction
  • Bernhard Weller Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Building Construction


The desire of builders and architects of maximum transparency and homogeneous surfaces in glass façades and glass structures extends to interior all-glass applications such as glass partitions or all-glass doors. In conventional glass systems the interconnections are performed by eye-catching fittings and clamping details that reduce the transparency and disturb the aesthetics. Novel glass–plastic-composite panels show a significantly reduced self-weight by composition of a polymer polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) interlayer core and cover layers of thin glass. The innovative composites show high structural performance with optical properties of conventional glass. The panels allow for a direct connection into the thick PMMA interlayer core with the supporting structure or other panels. Such an integrated connection design reduces stress concentrations and allows for the development of small and unobtrusive fittings. Different integrated connections for the glass–plastic-composite panels have been designed and investigated. This article presents an experimental study on different connections, such as mechanically fastened and adhesively integrated, tested under tensile loading. Based on video analyses, crack progressions and failure mechanisms are evaluated and discussed in detail. The tests investigate temperature effects as well as the influence of the interlayer core thickness and glass type of the cover layers in varying build-ups. The comprehensive evaluation includes a description of the mechanical load-bearing behaviour in form of load versus displacement graphs as well as an investigation of crack progression and failure mechanisms for the final assessment. The results from this experimental study elucidate the structural characteristics of integrated connections in glass–plastic-composite panels under tensile loading and represent a basis for the ongoing development of real application fittings.





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