This paper presents a study on post-tensioned glass beams in a statically indeterminate system. In order to increase the safety of structural glass beams, ductile reinforcement can be added to glass beam sections providing secondary load carrying mechanism in case of glass breakage. In the here investigated post-tensioned system, the reinforcement tendons are additionally pre-tensioned, introducing compressive pre-stress in the beam in order to increase the apparent tensile strength of glass. The system is tested in five-point bending at 23°C and 60°C in order to investigate the basic structural performance and the influence of temperature increase on the initial cracking load and the behaviour of the cracked beam. The benefit of the here investigated statically indeterminate system is a more economical design, i.e. lowering of the bending moment in the span of an equivalent simply supported system by continuing the beam over the central support. The efficiency of the applied system is compared to a reinforced beam system produced in the same batch with similar overall dimensions. The results show an increase of initial cracking load of the post-tensioned beams due to the applied pre-stress and a ductile post-cracking response, reaching high ultimate loads prior to failure. At 60°C both reinforced and post-tensioned beams show lower initial cracking loads and limited post-cracking ductility but still significant load reserve with ultimate loads well above the initial cracking loads, providing safe failure behaviour.
- Structural glass beam
- Statically indeterminate