Laminated glass panels; understanding a new failure mechanism

Glass structures are predominantly dependent on how individual panels are connected together. In this way limited sizes can be used to much greater effect in larger structures. The development of different connection technologies has grown rapidly over the last decade. Material development and the advancement of analytical process have enabled this process to flourish. This paper will demonstrate the development of the latest technical solutions through the direct experience of Eckersley O’Callaghan’s projects and speculate as to what the future will bring.

Lamination interlayer materials, tempering and production sizes have rapidly broadened and increased since it became an automated production process. Over the past decade the availability of large format glass has spread and become more available. We find ourselves in a time where the designer has a plethora of options in which to engineer for a certain load and performance. Such a variety of options provides great potential and opportunity, but it can also provide new and unexpected consequences. This paper will look at the discovery of a new failure mode in the plane of the glass that is exhibited in certain conditions that has potential for serious consequences if not well understood and catered for. The paper will look at how the glass industry has developed and how this new failure mechanism works. It will also consider how these effects can be mitigated.