Effective thickness is a widely applied method for the simplified determination of laminated glass structural performance. Multiple effective thickness models published in glass standards (e.g., ASTM E1300 and the draft Eurocode CEN/TS 19100) and recently proposed in research are available to evaluate lite flexural stiffness, lite torsional stiffness, and ply surface stress. However, these models are not universally applicable to all section geometries, loading and boundary conditions, or consistently accurate for evaluation of stress.

Given each model’s limitations, it is necessary to be informed on the which method(s) are appropriate for evaluation of structural performance corresponding to a loading and boundary condition. Furthermore, application of multiple effective thickness values in a representative analysis is necessary for accurate evaluation of deflection, stress, and critical buckling. This can present a particular challenge with the use of shell elements based on a single effective stiffness for evaluation of critical buckling in glass fin designs.

In this paper, appropriate effective thickness methods for select loading and boundary conditions are identified, as proposed for a new ASTM effective thickness standard. Additionally, scaling of shell element properties corresponding to both effective flexural and torsional stiffness is evaluated for numerical analysis of a glass fin.