Strength evaluation and failure prediction of bolted and adhesive glass/steel joints

Ioannis Katsivalis, Ole Thomsen, Stefanie Feih, Mithila Achintha

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This paper investigates the use of bolted and brittle/ductile adhesive connections in glass structures. Two benchmark designs of shear connections are introduced and tested experimentally in quasi-static tensile tests. The designs consist of tempered glass and aluminium substrates while steel splices are used for the load application. In addition, material characterisation testing for the glass and the adhesive is performed and the outputs are used for the numerical simulation of the same joints. Pressure-sensitive, plasticity and failure models are introduced and calibrated to accurately capture the behaviour of the adhesives. Good agreement between the experimental observations and numerical predictions is achieved. The results show that both types of adhesive joints outperform bolted joints while counter-intuitively the lower strength ductile adhesive achieves consistently higher joint strength compared to the brittle adhesive. The numerical analyses highlight that brittle adhesive joints fail once the fracture strain of the adhesive has been reached, while for ductile adhesives an extensive plastic zone develops near the areas of stress concentrations thereby delaying the damage initiation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalGlass Structures & Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Glass structures, Adhesive joints, Bolted joints, Material characterisation testing, Numerical modelling


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