Glass is a fascinating material with maximum transparency and high strength. All-glass structures and glass facades are getting more impressive and increasingly popular with architects and engineers. Nevertheless, glass has a big weakness. The fire resistance of structures made of soda lime silicate glass is unregulated. As tested in experimental examinations the fire resistance of structures made of load-bearing laminated glass is not high enough for a safe use. The glass and the interlayer melt within the first 10 min in case of fire. To meet the high fire requirements, alternative safety systems such as sprinkler systems must be used in most cases. Therefore, new fire-resistant load-bearing glass beams will be developed and examined within a research project.
This paper shows the composition of these beams, how they work in case of fire and gives a short overview about the possible applications of these beams. Additionally, a guide to assessing the fire resistance of such structures according to the European standards is content of this paper. This guide consists of a detailed overview of the standards and how they are connected to each other. Furthermore, a detailed list of all necessary experimental examinations to assess the fire resistance of the components is part of the guide. The new fire-resistant glass beams and the assessment guide for their fire resistance combines the high transparency and the high strength with a high fire resistance of a structural glass application and creates the opportunity for a safe use of load-bearing glass beams.