SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Structural Silicone in Curtain Walls


Modern building facades are frequently constructed using Structural Silicone Glazing (SSG) technology. In the USA and South-East Asia, 45 and 65% of facades, respectively, are erected with the use of this technique, in which external cladding panels are attached to the facade framing by an elastomeric silicone adhesive (sealant). The chemical structure of silicone sealants assures chemical bonding across the sealant/substrate interface. Therefore, the bond integrity should be assured for at least the life of the building. The reliance of the facade integrity on adhesive bonding, however, and the relatively young age of the technology require caution and a thorough understanding of material performance and the influence of the service environment on the material properties. Often, hydro-thermal and loading factors are inadequately considered in the facade design, construction and maintenance. Also, the influence of the sealant joint geometry on the material performance is neglected. This paper addresses major issues concerning the above factors, as related to the structural design and maintenance of structurally glazed buildings.

Author Information

Gutowski, VWS
Constr. & Engineering, Highett, Victoria, Australia
Lalas, P
Arup Facade Engineering, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
Cerra, AP
Constr. & Engineering, Highett, Victoria, Australia
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Developed by Committee: C24
Pages: 97–112
DOI: 10.1520/STP16052S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5329-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2049-5