Component Tests of Vitralock Installation System for Hollow Glass Blocks
The paper is focussed on partition walls assembled from hollow glass blocks. These blocks gained popularity recently because of new development: new decors, wide range of colours, variable surface finishing and wide range of accessories make it attractive for architects. In addition, improvements in acoustic and thermal properties, improved fire resistance and further innovations lead to new applications. The traditional method of assembling is based on using of cement mortar and steel reinforcement leading in kind of reinforcement concrete structure. However, the growing popularity demands new, easier and faster installation methods as is the Vitralock system. It consists of two plastic elements and steel reinforcement. The elements are easily assembled, there is no need for special tools and skills. The performance of the system needs to be verified and reliable design model and application rules need to be prepared. Extensive test programme was carried out at Czech technical University in Prague. It include full-scale test of the wall loaded by horizontal load to evaluate the overall performance. The test is briefly described in the paper. In addition, component tests were performed to obtain properties of several parts of the system. These tests allow to build component finite element model which can be used to predict the response of the wall. Detailed description of these tests and basic information about the model is included here.