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Connecting through the reinforcement – design, testing and construction of a folded reinforced glass structure

Paulo L. Carvalho, Paulo J. S. Cruz, Frederic A. Veer


A reinforced glass folded structure has been developed using an innovative connection method. The concept relies on extending the reinforcement outwards from the laminated glass and using it to transfer a significant part of the load. The goal is to accomplish a glass element with high stiffness, connected by using a discrete almost invisible and easily assembled/disassembled mechanism. This paper addresses the main issues regarding the design and fabrication of a 90° folded structure, the experimental investigation of the out-of-plane compressive response and the construction of a full-scale prototype (2,95 m high and 5,5 m long) at the campus of the University of Minho. It is demonstrated that the system offers both structural and aesthetical advantages. It combines a specific aesthetic, deriving from its hybrid character, with a considerable amount of out-of-plane compressive strength before and after failure.

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JFDE . ISSN 2213-3038