An Edge-integrated Connection for Segmented Glass Beams
There are different options to obtain a structural glass beam with a span of more than 6 meters. One option is segmentation, which has many advantages compared with the other options. However, the choice for segmentation is often avoided, because of aesthetic reasons. Existing connections, even the most slender ones, result in a reduction of the transparency of the beam. While transparency is the key reason to use glass beams. In this paper a connection is presented that should improve the transparency of segmented glass beam. The connection is integrated in the least transparent part of a glass segment, the edge. It has a twofold effect; the transparency of the beam will decrease less, and by following the contours of the segment the connection is less noticeable. Since such a connection seems to be highly compatible with edge-integrated steel reinforcement, which can be applied to reach safe failure behavior, it is investigated how reinforced beam segments can be connected in an edge-integrated way. A connection is designed and its performance is determined by finite element analysis and physical testing of prototypes.