Design, Engineering and Experimental Testing of Tubular Glass Columns

C.R.A. Veenstra*, C. Noteboom, F. Oikonomopoulou, M. Overend

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

30 Downloads (Pure)


This research revolves around the design, fabrication and testing of tubular glass columns, with particular focus on their redundancy and fire-safety mechanisms; moreover, addressing aspects such as: the column shape; cleaning and maintenance; end connections; geometric tolerances in the glass and demountability. Two alternative circular hollow (tube) column designs are initially developed and engineered to address these aspects, namely: the MLA (Multi Layered with Air) and the SLW (Single Layered with water). In both concepts the main load-bearing structure consists of two concentric laminated glass tubes. Thus, in order to explore the manufacturing challenges and structural potential of these concepts, the prototyping and experimental work focuses on six 300 mm long samples with 115 mm outer diameter that are laminated and fitted into customized, engineered steel end-connections. Particular attention in terms of manufacturing is paid to the lamination process and associated bubble formation, the possible fracture of the glass by internal resin-curing stresses and the interface between the glass tube and the steel end-connections. All samples are laminated with Ködistruct LG 2-PU component. Three samples are assembled using DURAN® (annealed) glass and the other three are using DURATAN® (heat-strengthened) glass. Subsequently, the six samples are tested in compression until failure to investigate the behaviour of the interlayer material, the post-fracture behaviour of the designs, the differences between annealed and heat-strengthened samples, the capacity of the glass tubes and the performance of the end connections. Initial cracks appeared between 95-160 kN (compression strength of 30-50 MPa) in the DURAN® samples and between 120-160 kN (compression strength of 37-50 MPa) in the DURATAN® samples. These loads are lower than the ones estimated by calculations; in specific, the first cracks occurred at 34-64% of the calculated load. Nevertheless, the samples are found to be robust, with a considerable load-bearing capacity beyond the first cracks, leading to a maximum nominal compression strength capacity of up to 152 MPa for the DURATAN® samples and up to 233 MPa for the DURAN® samples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenging Glass Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationConference on Architectural and Structural Applications of Glass
EditorsChristian Louter, Jan Belis, Freek Bos
Place of PublicationGhent
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • glass column
  • glass tubes
  • laminated tubes
  • tubular glass columns
  • glass compression strength
  • structural glass

Cite this