Fire Resistance and Mechanical Performance of Laminated Glass Facades Subject to A Down-Flowing Water Film

Project: Research

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Glass facades are increasingly used in modern high-rise buildings because of their advantageous aesthetic and environmentally friendly characteristics. However, in the case of an accidental fire, fallout and collapsing glass can enhance air circulation and cause flames to rapidly spread to different floors and adjacent buildings, leading to significant casualties and economic losses. An example is the London Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, which caused 72 deaths and several millions of dollars’ worth of damage. Lamination has been used as an effective approach to improve the fire resistance of glass facades. The polymer interlayer of laminated glass can provide appropriate adherence to broken fragments in a fire scenario. However, the glass pane of laminated glass may crack and break due to a nonuniform thermal stress distribution. A water film can effectively reduce the heterogeneous thermal response by moderating the exposed glass surface temperature, thereby improving its overall fire resistance performance. The integrity of a water film system is characterized by the fluid-structure interaction (FSI) mechanism, sprinkler activation time, water film thickness, and laminated glass properties. However, the FSI mechanism remains poorly understood, which impedes the application of water film techniques to laminated glass for fire protection.Traditional mesh-based methods have potential drawbacks in dealing with FSI problems, including glass cracking behavior in fires and fluid flow simulations. The goal of the proposed study will thus be to develop a novel meshfree computational framework to determine the FSI mechanism and investigate the fire performance of water film laminated glass facades. The critical challenges lie in the thermal redistribution caused by heat exchange between the water film and laminated glass and the strong nonlinearity and large deformation of the system under differential thermal stresses. A detailed study of this multiphysics coupling is therefore crucial to predict the fire performance of a laminated glass facade and alleviate safety concerns. In the proposed project, a series of experimental investigations will be conducted to facilitate the design and improve theoretical understanding of the fundamental properties of laminated glass with water films. A meshfree framework verified by experimental data will be applied to study the FSI problem and thermal-mechanical properties of water film-protected laminated glass facades. The effects of water film and interlayer thicknesses and activati on temperature will be investigated to establish a comprehensive understanding of their fire resistance performance. An objective function will be built to optimize design during the manufacturing process. 


Project number9043135
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …