Structural performance of a novel liquid-laminated embedded connection for glass

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Connections between load-bearing glass components play a major role in terms of the structural integrity and aesthetics of glass applications. Recently, a new type of adhesive connection, known as embedded laminated glass connections, has been developed where a metallic insert is embedded within a laminated glass unit by means of transparent polymeric foil interlayers and assembled through an autoclave lamination process. In this study, a novel variant of this connection, consisting of a thin steel insert encapsulated by a transparent cold-poured resin, is proposed and examined. In particular, the axial tensile mechanical response of this connection is assessed via numerical (FE) analyses and destructive pull-out tests performed on physical prototypes at different displacement rates in order to assess the effect of the strain rate-dependent behaviour of the resin interlayer. It was found that the pull-out stiffness, the maximum load-bearing capacity and the failure mode of the connection are significantly affected by the imposed displacement rate. The numerical (FE) analysis of the pull-out tests, performed in Abaqus, showed that the complex state of stress in the vicinity of the connection is the result of two load-transfer mechanisms and that the relative contribution of these mechanisms depends on the insert geometry and the relative stiffnesses of the constituent materials. Overall, it is concluded that the prototypes are promising in terms of manufacturability, aesthetics and structural performance and thus the novel variant connection considered in this study offers a promising alternative to existing load-bearing connections for laminated glass structures, but further investigations are required to ascertain its suitability for real-world applications.