Mechanical Functions of Glass
Glass can be used for its mechanical strength in a number of situations.
In architecture it can be designed to withstand the varied loads that the world's weather systems can throw at it. You cannot say that the glass will never break but the probability of it breaking can be minimised. Glass can also be designed so that if it does break the results are not necessarily catastrophic.
In addition to wind and snow loads glass can be used as a floor, roof or barrier to protect people. It can be designed to increase safety for building users, provide security or act as a structural member.
The properties and applications for glass are detailed in the following sections:
- Aquaria and Glass with Water
load applied by water to glass is constant but not uniform. The
greater the height of the water in relation to the glass the greater the
broken by excessive loads glass will remain for very long periods. The
glass may be pitted by the weather but still it provides service
through the centuries of use.
- Glass and Explosions
that is able to protect an area from an explosive force is not new but
has become a familiar requirement for the age we live in. Like fire
resistance and manual attack the glass has to form part of a complete
system and will not perform as required in isolation.
- Glass and Human Impact
in its annealed form, framed and in tact is not an immediate threat but
when it is broken the long shards turn into effective cutting devices
with sharp edges and momentum. Fortunately glass can be modified to
change these properties and reduce the risk of injury dramatically.
- Glass and Manual Attack
categorise glass into safety and security. Safety is where protection
is needed from accidental damage and security for wilfull damage. Glass
used for security reasons can be further broken down into the types of
- Glass and Thermal Stress
Stress is created when one area of a glass pane gets hotter than an
adjacent area. If the stress is too great then the glass will crack.
The stress level at which the glass will break is governed by several
- Glass Enclosures for Animals
weight, strength, ability to use tools and propensity to attack the
glass all need to be considered above and beyond the safety of the
- Glass Strength
is clear, fairly rigid providing a lot of strength but can be brittle
as well. At an atomic level glass is a network of silicon and oxygen
bonds modified randomly by sodium.
- Wind and Snow Load
provide the service of determining the glass thickness and type to
withstand wind and snow loads when the information is not available in