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Re: Structual Design of Glass

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Thanks, everybody!

I've learned more about glass in the past 10 days than I've ever learned before. Most of what I previously knew came from looking at the bottom of a glass. There certainly appear to be some grey areas and not a lot of structural design info available.

As part of my studies, my research assistant (wife) and I went to a local hotel that has a restaurant on the 33rd floor overlooking Niagara Falls. The bar area has several glass guard rails about 42" high and 9/16" to 5/8" thick with no vertical posts or top rails as the rows of tables are tiered to allow better viewing. I also noticed that the building windows had a coating applied which extended 6' up from the floor in some cases and full height in others. There was a slight difference in glass shading which isn't noticeable until you look for it. The people who apply this stuff call it security film which comes in different thicknesses from 0.5mm to 1.5mm. It can be applied before the windows are installed or afterwards.

The main purpose is to prevent shattering of the glass but also assist in it acting as a guard rail. These coatings are big business now, after the Oklahoma City bombing due to the significant number of deaths and injuries from glass shrapnel. Unfortunately, it is very hard to get any numbers that are meaningful to a structural engineer. They tell me it will not tear or shred but how can I evaluate its effect on 1/2" or 3/4" tempered glass?

Anyway, my search continues but, as usual, I also look forward to further insights from the listers here.


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