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Re: Design of Glass as a Walking Surface

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Its been a while (over a decade) since I dealt with glass design, so I would highly recommend checking any of the few "facts" I remember. The modulus of elasticity is near that of aluminum - we simulated glass (fused silica, to be exact, though BK-7, aka pyrex, is similar) contact with oring seats using aluminum to verify deflection and clearances. Working strength is 3-4x lower than Al...I'm guessing 4-6ksi, but I'm not certain. The critical mode of failure is flaw growth. The analysis program used years ago was called FLAGRO and is probably available free from NASA, at least in source form. The most difficult part is assuming a flaw/crack size. The program then simulated repeated loadings (as a uniformly distributed pressure, iirc) and gives an idea of how many cycles to failure. Hmmmm...this is for annealed glasses...might not be applicable for tempered, which is, I'm sure what you'll need. If you can hang out for a day, email me off list (glassinfo at truesdell engineering dot com) and I'll look at my glass notebook in the office tomorrow.


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