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RE: Point supported glass design

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I had reason to study this once a long time ago.  What I found, and it may be out of date, is that glass is "designed" on the basis of statistical failure due to imperfections.  That is, glass fails by a flaw in the glass and not from "overstressing" the glass.  Glass manufacturers know they need a certain quality level to produce say, a 4'x8' plate glass pane that will survive 80 mph winds.  You can reduce that to an equivalent stress level to extrapolate your design but you aren't really designing to this stress as much as you are designing to a standard that has proven reliable in the past.


So that's what I learned long ago.  I'm interested in hearing the latest. 



Bob Garner, S.E.


From: Jim Wilson [mailto:wilsonengineers(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2:29 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Point supported glass design


Are there any simplified methods for designing point-supported glass?  I'm looking for applications such as glass handrails, stair treads, etc.  I've searched and found some generic glass articles online, but nothing technical.  Is this the kind of thing that requires a detailed analysis by an industry insider?


It seems like there could be some standardized analyses available for a single 1/2" or 3/4" pin through a piece of 3/4" glass.



Jim Wilson