Exploring the potential of the critical shear crack theory for reinforced and post-tensioned glass beams: Initial analysis and experiments

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In the evolution of structural glass beam elements, the requirements for post-fracture load bearing capacity and safe failure behaviour have led to the development of reinforced and post-tensioned beams. Maximum bending capacity in the post-fracture state is normally associated with extensive yielding of the reinforcement, providing a safe failure mechanism through apparent ductility of the composite beam section. This can be achieved as long as the propagation of primary flexural cracks does not compromise the transfer of shear from the load points to the supports. Although shear failure is typically not critical for the ultimate limit state design of ’normal’ unreinforced glass beams, it may govern the load-bearing and deformation capacity in the post-fracture state for reinforced and post-tensioned glass beams. This paper presents exploratory experiments and initial analysis of the shear failure phenomenon in the post-fracture state of reinforced and post-tensioned glass beams. Potential shear transfer mechanisms are identified based on the critical shear crack theory developed for reinforced concrete members and applied in the analysis of shear failures observed in four-point bending tests of post-tensioned glass beams. The behaviour of fractured laminated glass under mixed-mode (tension+shear) loading is explored on a limited set of small-scale double-notched glass specimens, demonstrating the feasibility of the applied test methodology. Preliminary findings of the present study may serve as a basis for further investigations of shear resistance of glass beams. Typical shear failure kinematics and suitable constitutive laws of the applied materials need further investigation in order to provide design recommendations for the prediction of shear resistance of reinforced and post-tensioned glass beams.


Original languageEnglish
Article number115554
Number of pages10
JournalEngineering structures
Issue numberNovember 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023

External IDs

Mendeley a98d25dd-5fa7-37dd-9c01-ac98361c51f4
unpaywall 10.1016/j.engstruct.2022.115554
Scopus 85146099404


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis

Sustainable Development Goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Critical shear crack, Double-notched mixed-mode test, Post-fracture limit state, Reinforced and post-tensioned glass beam, Shear resistance, Shear-transfer actions, beam, reinforced and post-tensioned glass