Finite element modeling to predict racking test results and performance of four-sided structural sealant glazing curtain wall systems

April 29, 2013
Publication: AEI 2013: Building Solutions for Architectural Engineering - Proceedings of the 2013 Architectural Engineering National Conference, ASCE p 735-744
Author(s): Nicholas Simmons Memari, Ali M.

Abstract: Full-scale, unitized, four-sided structural sealant glazing (4SSG) curtain wall system mockups featuring a re-entrant corner were subjected to cyclic racking displacements in accordance with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association AAMA 501.6 protocol to determine serviceability and ultimate behavior responses. Sealant cohesive failure and glass cracking were identified as limit states and corresponding drift levels were determined. The displacements obtained from the finite element modeling (FEM) were used to calculate the effective shear strain of the structural silicone and the drift capacity of the system. This paper describes the details of the techniques developed for FEM and for the analysis results and shows example application of the method to mockups with racking test results available.