A New Approach for Buckling Analysis of Laminated Glass Panels

Heinz Wimmer, Christian Celigoj, Werner Hochhauser

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Due to its high compressive strength glass panels are becoming popular in architecture for primary load-carrying structural elements. The pursuit of the greatest possible transparency makes it necessary to use the glazing as a load bearing element not only for the transmission of lateral forces but also of in-plane forces. Therefore, owing to the high slenderness, stability issues have to be clarified. In the last decade, many research activities have been undertaken to investigate the in-plane load-transfer experimentally and numerically with the purpose to establish a uniform design format. Following the design procedure as it is common in steel and timber construction, the linear-elastic stability limit plays a central role. While for homogeneous beams and plates the determination of the buckling limit does not offer any difficulties, it is a challenging task for shear-elastic, laminated glass panels. A common approach is to model the glass panels with shell elements and the interlayer with volume elements. These elements are either tied together by corresponding coupling equations or modelled with identical nodes on the surface of the interlayer. In the latter case, the shell elements must be provided by an offset. In case of three or more laminated glass panels this should be a very elaborate task. For these cases we propose an alternative, pure structural approach, which generates a simple model which, by the way, gives an insight into the deformation behavior of such structures and allows for a clear and simple, user-friendly definition of the boundary conditions. A starting point is formed by the basic equations of the Refined Zigzag Theory (RZT) published by Tessler/Di Sciuva/Gherlone (2010). Extensions of the corresponding kinematic equations with the so-called von Karman terms lead to the geometrically non-linear variant. From here the linear buckling equation can be extracted when neglecting the initial deformations. The present approach is based on a finite element formulation presented by Versino (2013) which uses linear shape functions for all seven nodal degrees of freedom with the exception of the transverse deflection where an anisoparametric interpolation is used, which prevents shear locking. Extensive numerical studies have shown very good results in comparison to existing analytical and numerical solutions. The approach proposed is simple and meets all the objectives for practicable usage. Another advantage lies in an easy-to-handle and familiar treatment of kinematic boundary conditions. The numerical effort is independent of the number of glass panels and about 50 to 100 times lower than for a full 3D FE or coupled analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2023
EventWorld Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering - Architecture - Urban Planning Symposium 2022 - Prag, Czech Republic
Duration: 5 Sept 20229 Sept 2022


ConferenceWorld Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering - Architecture - Urban Planning Symposium 2022
Abbreviated titleWMCAUS 2022
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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