Hayez Valerie


Interest to include glass to façades has always been present due to its transparency enabling interaction between indoor and outdoor. Major advances in technology have enabled fully glazed sustainable designs providing the demanded aesthetic, whilst respecting occupant benefits such as daylight and energy efficiency systems. This explains the growing interest for increased glass in facades in commercial buildings. The use of bulky frames limiting the transparency of a façade can be minimized through adapted fixation systems including structural glazing designs. Yet even these have their limitations since the adhesive used for the bonding, the weathersealing or the secondary sealing of insulating glass units, are not necessarily both transparent and durable. This paper discusses design possibilities and material properties offered by crystal clear silicones


Bonding of glass onto aluminum frames, known as Structural_Silicone_Glazing (SSG), has been applied for more than 40years on facades. Traditionally silicone bite is calculated using a simplified equation assuming a homogenous stress distribution along the sealant bite. Finite element analysis (FEA) allows to describe the accurate local stress distribution within sealant volume. Due to design complexity of façades the requirements to use FEA increased recently. However, there is no standardize methodology to run FEA for evaluation of SSG as well as complexity of FEA is limiting factor to run the calculation on most of projects.

For these reason, a simplified analytical method was developed which predicts deformation of SSG extremely well compared to FEA predictions. The basis of the method was develop 25years ago and is included as annex in ETAG002. The method is based on the assumption that sealant does not influence the bending of glass, which can be calculated using the assumption of simply supported boundaries. The validation of the method was done by comparison of physical measurements, results from FEA and the simplified calculation method. To increase the accuracy further, an extension of the simplified relationship for nonlinear material is proposed, assuming a NeoHookean stress_strain behavior.

Valerie Hayez is chairing  Smart Glazing Session in GPD Finland 2017.

  • Company:Dow Corning
  • Short Bio:Valérie Hayez is an Application Engineer for the Façade Engineering & Architectural Design Team for Dow Corning, based in Belgium. Her current role includes providing technical service to the design community, including architects and engineers. She is responsible for identifying and communicating industry needs to Dow Corning’s R&D and supporting the development and commercialization of new products. Valérie holds an MSc and a PhD in engineering from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
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