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Person# Klaus Kreher

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The construction principles of "Timber-Glass-Composite-Girders" demand practical and theoretical research to ensure reliable designs. Toward this objective the mathematical description of load-bearing and the non-rigid bond is the subject of this work, i.e. to define the contributing parameters for the design of these girders. The non-rigid-bond of the adhesive joint is of great importance because of its influence on the load-bearing of the system as a whole. The loading of girders is dominated by permanent forces thus leading to the obligation of knowing the long-term behaviour of the system and its components. The definition of the characteristic values, taking into account the long-term load-bearing, is an intrinsic part of this investigation. It can be shown that the load-bearing of the girders depends on the fracture of the glass panes. The properties of glass-fractures are a function of the residual internal prestresses due to the heat-strengthening of the panes. The load-bearing, particularly the post-cracked behaviour, changes with respect to the intensity of these internal prestresses. The timber is able to reinforce the cracked glass, leading to a ductile load-bearing behaviour as in the girders, with a dependency upon the size of the remaining fractures. A model based on the differential equations of the non-rigid bond is defined in order to calculate the loading-peaks of the adhesive joint and the material loading itself. The characteristic values of the non-rigid bond, such as the number and distances between cracks and the load introducing length, were evaluated in tests on composite slabs and small scale girders. The existing calculation models which take into account non-rigid bonding were modified to adapt the influence of the width and thickness of the adhesive joint. In order to calculate the stressing of the material the existing calculation models were adapted to calculate the post-cracked situation. The load-bearing behaviour of glass-panes bent with respect to its strong neutral axis needs other safety-considerations than panes, bent off their plane. It is shown that the existing safety considerations subject to the use of glass can not easily be adapted onto the composite girders. The bending with respect to the strong neutral axis and the reinforcement of the glass of the timber demands a different hypothesis to adapt the fractural mechanical analysis and to establish a safe limit conception. This is part of the performed research of this document. The following descriptions present briefly the obtained results: Depending on the quality of the glass (residual stresses due to heat-strengthening, e.g. annealed glass, heat-strengthened glass, fully tempered glass), the ductility and the mode of failure of the girders does change. As a result of its failure mode, annealed glass without internal prestresses offers the highest remaining load-carrying potential after the first crack has appeared. This ductility and thus the structural safety, diminishes with an increasing degree of internal prestressing due to thermal treatment. Heat-strengthened glass (with various degrees of prestressing, various residual stresses) shows a decrease in remaining load-carrying capacity with an increasing degree of prestressing until it fails in a brittle mode as fully toughened glass does. This has to be well considered in respect to safety considerations. Girders with panes made of glass having internal residual stresses due to heat strengthening below 50N/mm2 are considered to collapse ductily, residual stresses bigger than 50N/mm2 cause brittle failure. The effective stiffness of the girders decreases under permanent loads in function of the bondage. Both, timber and adhesive take part in this decrease; the influence of both of the involved materials has been defined. Since the design of conventional glass constructions which uses the concept of principle stresses cannot be adapted, unidirectional shear stresses had to be determined for the shear strength of glass, which is defined as 25N/mm2 for annealed glass. The characteristic values of the adhesive to define the non-rigid bonds have been determined, likewise the influence of the width and thickness of the adhesive joint. The load introducing length, the distances between cracks and the number of cracks are defined with tests on composite slabs. A model to describe the theoretical bond with the defined parameters based on the differential equations was developed. This model allows the calculation of the material stressing at the load introduction and on both sides of a crack. To calculate the stressing of glass and timber existing calculation models which take into account non-rigid bonding were modified to adapt the influence of the width and thickness of the adhesive joint. In order to calculate the stressing of the material the existing calculation models were adapted to calculate the post-cracked situation. The safety factors for the influences of the glass surface, environmental conditions, load duration and the parameters of fracture mechanical analysis as developed as they are known for semi-probabilistic safety concepts for glass constructions cannot easily be adopted. The bending with respect to the strong neutral axis demands a different hypothesis in order to adapt the fractural mechanical analysis and to develop the safety parameters. For the reliable design of timber-glass-composite-girders a contribution to the appropriate use of probabilistic, semi-probabilistic and deterministic safety concepts are given. A realised construction (Hotel "Palafitte" in Monruz (NE)) shows an example and the experience made in designing girders.