VERIFICATION OF AVAILABLE GLASS MECHANICAL PROPERTIES AGAINST RECOMMENDATION BY THE DRAFT EUROCODE DESIGN PRACTICE
Glass as a structural material has strongly evolved in modern architecture. Wide windows, glass facades and even load-bearing structures make buildings appear transparent and more integrated in the surrounding environment. According to the ongoing effort by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, only recently the notice “Eurocode on glass in construction” has been issued. This will make applicable the binding design practice in the EU starting from the next decade. This design practice will include, among others, the required properties of material and products, application fields, respective failure potential and failure consequences, safety and reliability approaches, principles of design, design and calculation rules for primary members, joints, connections and supports. This standard will be binding in all European countries, therefore, until then every member state should adapt these guidelines in order to make safe design practices for glass structures. At present, in Latvia there is no enforced regulation for glass-bearing structural design and a scattered view on the mechanical properties of the available glass applied for load-carrying designs.
In the present verification study, laboratory testings were performed to characterise glass mechanical properties such as stiffness and bending strength of the set of specimens provided by national distributers. For this reason, a series of samples has been tested by a 4-point bending with two different geometrical settings 360 ´ 1100 mm (EN 1228-3) and short beam tests of 50 ´ 200 mm. The current research has shown that compared with the Eurocode reference values, these test results show a lower strength of the internally available raw glass panels. The cause should be merged with edge grinding technology and studied in more detail in the further analysis.