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Design and dimensioning of a complex timber-glass hybrid structure: The IFAM pedestrian bridge

: Vallée, Till; Grunwald, Cordula; Milchert, Lena; Fecht, Simon


Glass structures & engineering 1 (2016), No.1, pp.3-18
ISSN: 2363-5150 (Online)
ISSN: 2363-5142 (Print)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM ()

Research has repeatedly pointed out the suitability of adhesive bonding to substitute to “traditional” joining techniques for numerous materials and loads, including timber to glass. Practitioners, however, are still reluctant to implement them into their designs. Adhesion as a method of joining, particularly in the context of hybrid structures, presupposes knowledge of all involved materials, including codes and procedures; most practitioners however tend to be focused on just a subset of materials. While such specialization is not unusual, it makes it challenging to implement novelty (i.e. new materials or techniques). Additionally, when it comes to adhesion where most of the knowledge has been generated by chemists, the lines become even more blurred. Taking the example of a pedestrian timber-glass bridge, this research shows how design and dimensioning of complex bonded hybrid structures can be performed in accordance with “traditional” engineering practice. The paper guides through every step, from the first concepts to the final design, including the manufacturing, of a relatively complex structure, in which timber and glass act together as equivalent members. The compliance of this process with engineering models is emphasized, and the embedment into existing codes and standards is sought after to ensure acceptancy by practitioners.