Experimental investigations and numerical simulations of innovative lightweight glass–plastic-composite panels made of thin glass and PMMA

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


Composites are being increasingly used for industrial applications and combine the advantageous properties of two or more constituents. The urge to reduce material to a minimum and the trend towards lightweight glass structures require further developments in high performance and fully transparent composite structures for the building industry. Novel innovative glass–plastic-composite panels combining a lightweight polymer polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) interlayer core and cover layers of thin glass are currently under development. The panels exhibit high structural load-bearing performance, are durable and fully transparent with a low self-weight. These properties make the composite panels suitable for slender and lightweight glass constructions and reveal new design possibilities for the building industry. However, the material properties of the modified PMMA polymer interlayer core for precise design considerations are lacking. Furthermore, the material behaviour of thermoplastic polymers changes over time, ages due to environmental influences and is temperature-dependent. This significantly affects the composite load-bearing behaviour and defines the limits of application for the composite panels in the building industry. In order to facilitate during the development process and to build a design basis for the composite panels, material model parameters and simulation methods are required. Hence, an extensive test programme was conducted to investigate the material properties of the PMMA interlayer core by means of dynamic mechanical thermal analysis as well as uniaxial tensile and creep tests. The dataset and subsequent implementation into finite element software allowed for realistic simulations of the glass–plastic-composite panels and an extension of experimental results. Numerical simulations were performed with the commercial finite element programme ANSYS Workbench 19.3. Additionally, four-point bending tests were performed on composite test specimens with a different build-up and conventional glass panels to validate the material model and finite element simulations. These investigations and adopted material properties formed the basis for a numerical parametric study to evaluate the influence of stiffness, the load-bearing and lightweight performance in different build-ups. All the results are evaluated in detail and discussed in comparison with conventional monolithic and laminated glass panels. The dataset and material model parameters can be applied to further developments and design of lightweight glass–plastic-composite panels for structural applications in the building industry.


Seiten (von - bis)249-271
FachzeitschriftGlass structures & engineering
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juni 2021

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-4013-9720/work/142255720
Scopus 85106532881


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  • glass–plastic-composite panels, sandwich structure, material model, numerical simulation, tensile testing, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, PMMA, acrylic glass, four-point bending, finite element analysis, thin glass, composite material, transparency, PMMA, numerical simultation