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RE: Beam unbraced length

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Well, you *do* have an interesting structural problem, Gunnar.

I have one more thought, then I will shut up.

Have you looked at welding plates in a triangular shape to the compression 
flange(s), thus:

             |
        \====+====/
         \       /
           \   /
             *

or would that add too much depth to the W-beam?  Thick cover plates could 
also accomplish the same thing.

Good luck!

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Gunnar Isleifsson wrote:

. > The glass is an "insulating glass unit" with a two-ply laminated glass on 
. > the inside and a thick monolithic pane on the outside. Glass thickness is
. > based on windload results from wind tunnel tests, as well as acoustic and
. > temperature criteria. I've learned more about glass in the last weeks and
. > months than I ever thougt possible (or preferable). The requirements are
. > one-piece, motor-driven blinds, made of material that functions as 
. > sunglasses, and due to the irregularly trapezoidal shape of the glass 
. > panes, the blinds have to be either in top or bottom position. The 
. > geometry of the structure means that no two glass panes have the same 
. > dimensions, so the blinds have to made specifically for each window pane. 
. > There is one vertical symmetry plane in the stucture but the glass panes
. > positioned symmetrically about that plane are mirrored. The horizontal 
. > mullion (I had to look that word up in my dictionary), which I use for
. > bracing, can only be connected to the outer flange of the window post, or 
. > else the blinds can?t run past them.

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