Hybrid façade elements made of FRP and Glass

The trend in modern architecture towards high-quality building envelopes continues. In current ventilated walls coloured enamelled glass is used for weather protection and as a design element. It is bonded to the load-bearing carrier plate with an elastic sealant. This paper presents a new kind of high performance façade element. The novel element comprises of a glass pane that is coated with fibre-reinforced plastic layers on the back. On the one hand, the applied polymer matrix is needed as a resin in the fibre-reinforced plastic composite and on the other hand as an adhesive to the glass. Therefore, no additional bonding process is required. The combination of both materials forms a full composite structural behaviour and is therefore reckoned as a hybrid element. The positive characteristics of both materials are combined – the high durability of glass functions as a protector against environmental damage and the fibre-reinforced plastics is offering an advantageous load bearing capacity. This paper presents and discusses numerical as well as experimental investigations on the composite load bearing behaviour. This shows that the glass contributes to the load transfer in the system due to the significant full coupling effects.