Volume 9, Issue 3 (March 2012)
Seismic Racking Test Evaluation of Silicone Used in a Four-Sided Structural Sealant Glazed Curtain Wall System
This paper presents the results of a study in which four-sided structural sealant glazing (SSG) insulating glass curtain wall units were subjected to cyclic racking test methods in accordance with AAMA 501.6 testing protocols. The test configuration included three side-by-side primary units and a corner unit. High-resolution cameras were utilized to capture instantaneous images during the racking test so that the displacement within the sealant joint could be captured and isolated from the displacement of the entire glazed unit. Drift capacity of the system in terms of glass attachment and sealant performance is reported in detail for different levels of racking displacements and boundary conditions. The overall behavior of the system is characterized, and specifically the sealant performance at a corner condition during racking drift is discussed. Additionally, expected strains in the sealant were calculated using a linear-elastic finite element model and were then compared with the strains the actual structural sealant joint underwent during system testing. Silicone sealant damage was evaluated using visual observation before and after cyclic racking. The paper discusses proposed acceptable sealant stress levels for seismic design and the durability of silicone used in the SSG system as compared to dry-glazed systems based on glass performance.