Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2012)
Potential of Dynamic-Mechanical Analysis Toward a Complementary Material and System Testing Approach for Structural Glazing
Dynamic-mechanical material analysis as a basis for a general performance exploration complemented by system testing under superimposed climatic and mechanical loading seems to be a promising interdependent test approach addressing the performance behavior of construction sealants under more realistic conditions. With this contribution an attempt is made to adapt dynamic-mechanical material analysis, which has been already successfully validated for different construction types of expansion joint systems in road and bridge engineering, to the field of construction sealants for building façades. Test results from dynamic-mechanical material analysis characterizing the temperature-dependent, deformation-dependent, and frequency-dependent behavior of structural sealant materials are presented and exemplarily discussed for three different sealant products. An attempt is made to address unknown material characteristics in the multi-dimensional loading matrix representing practical use conditions. Furthermore, the applicability of this test approach and its various complex test modes for the exploration of technological performance and especially estimation of fatigue behavior is verified in several examples. Based on this fundamental material exploration, it is planned to complement the dynamic-mechanical assessment methodology by means of system tests on a section of a structural glazing system subjected to a simplified but superimposed loading function. The technical fundamentals and the procedure proposed to develop an adequate system test mode are introduced. The motivation for these investigations is to identify the actual mechanical system behavior under load combinations and for specimens that both closer resemble reality. The objective is to achieve a consistent and interdependent test program complementary to the existing methodology. Finally, the study is meant to initiate further progress toward a performance-related methodology which considers the design, specification, material, and system selection.