Glass Structures & Engineering

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 335–353 | Cite as

Experimental analysis on the glass-interlayer system in glass masonry arches

  • Mike AurikEmail author
  • Ate Snijder
  • Chris Noteboom
  • Rob Nijsse
  • Christian Louter
SI: Challenging Glass paper


In the last decade there has been an increased usage of cast glass as structural element. Within this respect, a 14 m span glass masonry arch bridge is planned to be constructed at the TU Delft Campus. This paper focuses on part of the experimental analysis that was executed to develop the concept of this bridge. Since it is an arch, the applied loads will be transferred as compressive forces, hence the suitability of glass. Adhesive bonding is not required, since the arch is in compression under its own weight. Application of cast glass bricks in a bridge is a new concept, therefore several aspects with respect to the structural behavior are unknown. Two experimental tests are presented in this paper. First, an experiment with a stacked glass column with varying interlayers is loaded to investigate the stiffness of the interlayer. For PVC interlayers the time-dependent behavior is significant, whereas for polyurethane it is minimal. Furthermore the interlayer’s equivalent modulus of elasticity is dependent on the thickness, due to a difference in the occurring contact areas. Second, a small-scale glass masonry arch is loaded till collapse to investigate the failure behavior and the stresses distribution. It was concluded that a certain robustness is present in the system. Furthermore the brick geometry and the occurrence of sliding are the main aspects that determine the stress distribution. Therewith a stiffer interlayer results in higher stresses in the glass.


Glass Cast glass Dry stacked Masonry Bridge Arch Interlayer PVC Polyurethane Elasticity Creep 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. Aurik, M: Structural Aspects of an Arched Glass Masonry Bridge, MSc thesis, Structural Engineering, TU Delft, Delft (2017)Google Scholar
  2. Bristogianni, T., Oikonomopoulou, F., Veer, F., Snijder, A., Nijsse, R.: Production and testing of Kiln-cast glass components for an interlocking, dry-assembled transparent bridge. In: Glass Performance Days 2017 Conference Proceedings, pp. 101–106. Glass PerformanceDays, Glaston Finland Oy, Tampere (2017)Google Scholar
  3. McKenzie, H.W., Hand, R.J.: Basic Optical Atress Measurement in Glass, pp. 3–20. Society of glass technology, Sheffield (1999). ISBN: 0900682272Google Scholar
  4. Oikonomopoulou, F., Veer, F., Nijsse, R., Baardolf, K.: A completely transparent, adhesively bonded soda-lime glass block masonry system. J. Facade Des. Eng. 2(3–4), 201–221 (2014). Google Scholar
  5. Snijder, A.H., Smits, J., Bristogianni, T., Nijsse, R.: Design and engineering of a dry assembled glass block pedestrian bridge. In: Bos et al. (ed.) Challenging glass 5—conference on architectural and structural applications of glass, pp. 227–34. Ghent (2016)Google Scholar
  6. Snijder, A.H., Aurik, M., Veer, F., Louter, C., Nijsse, R.: Modeling structural behaviour of a dry-assembled glass block bridge with soft PVC interlayer, pp. 1–4. SEMC, Cape Town (2016)Google Scholar


  1. Lomholt I.: Monumento madrid. (2014)
  2. Nakamura H: Optical house, hiroshima. (2012)

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesDelft University of Technology (TU Delft)DelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.ArupAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Architectural Engineering and Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built EnvironmentDelft University of Technology (TU Delft)DelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations