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Thermal stresses in load-bearing glass-timber components
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Engineering.
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thermal stresses can arise in glass used in architectonic realisations in buildings as a result of solar irradiation:  that is, sunlight.  The magnitude of these thermal stresses depends on the temperature conditions in the glass in terms of the temperature differences between warm and cold areas. 

The work described here has verified the existence and distribution of thermal stresses in glass, both theoretically and experimentally, in a load-bearing element made of glass and wood, when exposed to incident solar radiation and various degrees of shading. 

The finite element method was used in order to simulate the temperature distribution in the glass, together with the resulting associated thermal stresses.  Parts of these model results were then compared with results and data from experimental investigations in a solar simulator.  The experimental trials were carried out on a plain glass sheet and on a wood-framed glass sheet.  This frame assembly saw the glass fitted in a wooden frame such that its edge was flush with the edges of the frame and therefore freely exposed to the surroundings.  Two different grades of glass were analysed in the theoretical modelling and used in the experimental solar exposure:  a clear glass, with a low absorption coefficient, and a tinted glass having a relatively high absorption coefficient.  The experimental part of the work included two different finishes to the glass edge:  as-cut, with no further attention, and cut and smoothed. 

The results from the finite element method calculations agree relatively well with the experimental results.  When simulating the temperature values and distributions, the value of the coefficient of heat transfer is an important factor in determining the results.  The coefficient can be given either a constant value, taken from a standard, or a calculated value that varies depending on the surface temperature and ambient temperature at every instant.  For the clear glass with a low coefficient of absorption, the calculated temperatures did not differ significantly depending on which method had been used to provide a value for the coefficient of heat transfer.  However, for the glass with a high coefficient of absorption, and when exposed to high solar intensity, a calculated value of coefficient of heat transfer should be used in order to arrive at relevant values of surface temperatures and stresses.  Thermal tensile stresses have more effect on the total stress level than have stresses arising from typical in-service vertical loads.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
-: - , 2012. , 96 p.
Keyword [en]
Thermal stresses, thermal failure, glass and wood construction, incident solar radiation, shading, cracks, temperature difference, finite element method.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-25381ISBN: 978-91-86983-76-5OAI: diva2:618534
Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2014-01-14Bibliographically approved

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