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Silicone sealant was substituted for mortar in bonding glass blocks. The sealant's tensile and shear strengths and stiffnesses were determined. Joints bonding two glass blocks were tested for stiffness and strength in tension, bending, out-of-plane shear, and in-plane shear. Bending tests were done on specimens one block wide and four blocks long to evaluate one-way bending behavior. A six block by six block panel, supported on all four sides, was built and tested under simulated wind load. An analytical model with material nonlinearity in the joints was developed for the one-way bending case. It gave good comparisons with the experimental data to load levels approaching failure. A more complex analytical model was developed for the two-way panel. It was only valid for lower load levels, in the range of potential allowable design loads, but compared well with test results. Silicone bonded glass block panels have potential for meeting the wind load requirements necessary for exterior use.
Glass, Block, Silicone, Sealant, Structural Glazing
Structural engineer, Structural Engineering Associates, Inc., San Antonio, TX
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich