Enhancement of Stiffness in GFRP Beams by Glass Reinforcement

Document Type : Original Article


Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e Architettura (DICEA), Università Politecnica delle Marche, via B. Bianche, Ancona, Italy


Glass is a stiff material with brittle structural behaviour. Hence, it is usually a material mostly decorative or simply structurally supported, and it is hardly ever a load-bearing element within a structure. Although in recent years there have been several experiments in its use in civil engineering, to date little data has been collected or design methodologies disseminated. The present study proposes the innovative concept of considering glass as a structural material, cooperating within a structural system thanks to the adhesive joining technique. In detail, the case of a GFRP structural beam element subjected to bending is herein considered. The evaluation of the stiffness of the mentioned element is compared with that of the same element reinforced with glass plates of different thicknesses. The results show the possibility to increase the global stiffness of the structural element. These outcomes are validated by FEM analysis, which showed excellent agreement with the analytical ones. The effectiveness of the reinforced system, thanks to the considerable stiffness characteristics, allows both the use of glass and the respect of the requirements related to the displacements of the structural elements in their service life.


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