Plate shell structures of glass: Studies leading to guidelines for structural design

Publication: ResearchPh.D. thesis – Annual report year: 2010

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This thesis is a study of plate shell structures -- a type of shell structure with a piecewise plane geometry, organized so that the load bearing system is constituted by distributed in-plane forces in the facets. The high stiffness-to-weight ratio of smoothly curved shell structures is mainly due to their curved shape. A plate shell structure maintains a high stiffness-to-weight ratio, while facilitating the use of plane structural elements. The study focuses on using laminated glass panes for the load bearing facets. Various methods of generating a plate shell geometry are suggested. Together with Ghent University, a script has been developed for an automated generation of a given plate shell geometry and a corresponding finite element (FE) model. A suitable FE modelling technique is proposed, suggesting a relatively simple method of modelling the connection detail's stiffness characteristics. This modelling technique is used to model a plate shell structure with a span of 11.5 meters in the FE software \textsc{Abaqus}. The structure is analyzed with six different connection details with varying stiffness characteristics, to investigate the influence of these characteristics on the structural effects. Based on these investigations, and FE analysis of other plate shell models, the structural behaviour is described. Possible methods of estimating the stresses in a given plate shell structure are proposed. The non-linear behaviour of a plate shell structure is investigated for varying parameters, such as facet size, imperfections, and connection characteristics. The critical load is compared to that of a similar, but smoothly curved, shell structure. Based on the investigations throughout the study, a set of guidelines for the structural design of plate shells of glass is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJun 2010
Place of publicationKgs. Lyngby, Denmark
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)
Number of pages122
ISBN (print)9788778773005
StatePublished
NameBYG-Rapport
NumberR-221
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