Building and Testing Lenticular Truss Bridge with Glass-Bundle Diagonals and Cast Glass Connections
On the campus of Delft University the Glass and Transparency Research Group is preparing to build a pedestrian bridge as a low arch consisting of dry-stacked glass blocks. As temporary support for the arch, a lens-shaped truss has been constructed and placed on location. This truss has been fitted with as many glass components as was structurally feasible. The diagonals in the truss are glass bundle struts and the nodes of the truss are cast glass components. The lenticular truss will serve as a temporary bridge during the time the team needs to prepare for construction of the eventual Glass Arch Bridge. Due to the experimental nature of the truss, with its unusual and novel applications of structural glass, a number of demonstrative proof loadings were performed to ease concerns about the safety of the structure. The glass bundles have been proof-loaded to twice their maximum expected load just prior to their installation in the structure. The whole system has then been proof-loaded for several critical load combinations (static and dynamic) just after installation. During the proof-loading the strains in the glass diagonals have been measured. These lie easily within the acceptable limits. In the paper the structural design of the bridge, in particular the glass node connector and the glass bundle diagonals will be explained. Then the proof-loading of the bridge will be described. Then the results of the proof-loading are presented and discussed.