Sharing of general loading in double glazed units

The BAM analytical approach

Double Glazed Units (DGUs) consist of two glass panes held together by structural edge seals. Calculation methods for DGUs consider that actions applied on one pane develop effects in all the panes, due to the coupling from the entrapped gas. Various methods have been proposed in standards to evaluate this load sharing, which depends upon the stiffness of the glass panes, the thicknesses of spacer and the size of the DGU. A comprehensive analytical formulation, the Betti’s Analytical Method (BAM), has been recently proposed to calculate the load sharing in DGUs of any shape, composed by glass panes of arbitrary thickness, with various support conditions at the borders and various types of external actions, including concentrated and line loads. Simple expressions can determine the gas pressure as a function of a universal shape function, which coincides with the deformed surface of a simply supported plate, of the same shape of the DGU, under uniformly distributed load. Here, comparisons are made with numerical analyses, performed by implementing an ad hoc routine in the software Straus7, developed by Maffeis Engineering, where the deflection of the glass panels is iteratively calculated, until the volume enclosed reaches a value compatible with the pressure exerted by the gas. The numerical routine, that is part of an integrated parametric approach to the façades design, allows precise calculations for any kind of build-up, panel shapes and load conditions.

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Photo credits

Laura Galuppia, Gianni Royer-Carfagni a, b, Luca Barbieri b, Massimo Maffeis b

a Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, Italy, e-mail

b Maffeis Engineering S.p.A, Italy