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Proceedings Paper

Photoelastic study of thermal stresses in window glass exposed to radiant heat
Author(s): Cheok Fah Than
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Paper Abstract

The shattering of glass glazing in modern buildings during occurrence of fire poses an important life safety problem. A shattered glass glazing produces a vent that allows the rapid spread of toxic fire gases to remote areas and also serves to promote fire growth through an influx of fresh air. Recent efforts to gain better understand of this problem are primarily done through experimental investigations of temperature distribution, thermal stresses and breaking time using medium and full-scale fire test. However, the cost and time of conducting such test are high and information obtained is often limited and shows fairly large scatter. In this study, a bench scale experimental set-up was developed to investigate the thermal stresses in radiatively-heated glass samples of up to 100 by 100 mm in size and mounted freely in a frame on all edges like a glass glazing. It provides a cheaper and more effective means to understand the development of thermal stresses prior to fracture in developing the theory of glass breakage in fire. A truncated cone heater was designed and fabricated to provide a radiant flux of between 10 and 50 kW/m2 on the glass samples. The truncation allowed the optical path of the polariscope to pass though the glass samples to reveal the developing fringe patterns during the heating process. Result of iso chromatics and iso clinics were obtained to interpret the stress patterns in the glass samples and relate them to the potential sites for fracture initiation. With slight modifications of the experimental set up, the cracking of glass samples was also captured to reveal the fracture process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 June 2001
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4317, Second International Conference on Experimental Mechanics, (13 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.429619
Show Author Affiliations
Cheok Fah Than, Univ. of Malaya (Malaysia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4317:
Second International Conference on Experimental Mechanics
Fook Siong Chau; Chenggen Quan, Editor(s)

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