Development of a hybrid glass-HPL balustrade

Architects and clients increasingly demand a clean and direct design language of the building envelope. This aim also applies to parapets for loggias and balconies. Thus, glass railings are increasingly used. Clamps or other additional fixing elements that are typically used for such constructions are visible and impair the appearance of the building envelope. This paper presents the results of a recently completed research project – a composite glass balustrade with non-visible fixing. The composite panel of the balustrade comprises a color-lacquered glass pane on the outer side and a carrier plate on the inner side. Both panels are adhesively bonded with a 2 mm thick silicone layer. Four-point bending tests demonstrate that both panels contribute to the load transfer. The complete hybrid balustrade exhibits a partial composite behavior. Therefore, the hybrid plate is nearly as thin as a glass railing that is made of laminated safety glass. The durability of the adhesive bond was tested according to ETAG 002. The hybrid panel is non-visibly fixed at its backside. No other metal substructure is required. Due to the non-visible backside fixing at the base of the composite plate, the hybrid railing reaches a high homogenous appearance.