Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol.103, No.4, 2741-2756, 2020
Partial safety factors for laminated glass
Glass plies can be bonded together by polymeric interlayers to form laminated glass. Thanks to the capacity in finding alternative stress paths after partial breakage, it is commonly accepted that the more the layers are, the higher the safety level is. However, a negative aspect is that the tensile strength of glass carries a size effect in terms of surface area, which increases with lamination. Here we evaluate these competing factors by calibrating the partial safety factors to be used in semi-probabilistic (level-I) design, through comparison with probabilistic (level-III) methods in paradigmatic case-studies under wind, snow, and dead weight. Starting from a two-parameter Weibull distribution for glass strength, the "failure modes" approach determines the statistical distribution of strength for a multi-laminate as a function of the number of plies, which interferes with the statistics for actions. As a function of the target probability of failure for the assigned class of consequence, we introduce a new coefficient in the verification formula of level-I, to account for the effects of lamination with dependence upon the number of plies. We find that there is strong gain when passing from a monolith to a two-ply laminate, but the advantage fades by increasing the number of layers. Verification formulas of this type could avoid overconservative design.