The Role of Restraints on the Buckling Response of Glass Shear Walls
In current practice, glass shear walls are frequently used to cover wide surfaces in facades. There, a multitude of restraints can be found, depending on specific aesthetic, architectural and structural requirements. Typical practical examples can in fact take the form of linear adhesive joints, metal frames or mechanical point fixings, etc. From a practical point of view, as a result, it is clear that compared to idealized boundary conditions the actual restraints should be properly taken into account. In this research paper, the shear buckling response of glass shear walls is assessed by means of Finite-Element (FE) simulations and analytical methods. The role of (i) linear adhesive joints, (ii) metal frames with interposed adhesive joints or (iii) point mechanical connectors on the theoretical buckling resistance of these panels is first assessed (e.g. in the form of fundamental buckling shapes and Euler’s critical loads). Analytical fitting curves of general applicability are proposed, so that classical formulations derived from shear buckling theories could be used. Subsequently, the actual shear buckling resistance is also assessed, e.g. by taking into account the effects of possible initial geometrical imperfections, damage in glass or in the adopted restraints. This goal is achieved by means of accurate but computationally efficient FE models able to reproduce (via mechanical connectors, surface-to-surface interactions, etc.) the desired mechanical effect of restraints, as well as any possible local damage in them. As shown, rather close agreement is found with a past normalized buckling curve in use for ideally simply supported glass shear walls. It is thus expected, in view of further investigations and full-scale experimental validation, that the current research outcomes could provide a useful theoretical background for the implementation of standardized buckling design methods.