Structural Silicone Glazing

A pioneering architectural technique such as structural glazing owes its impact to a sophisticated blend of inspired optical effects and innovative facade technology. But cutting-edge technical solutions of this kind can only be realized if all the elements and products used comply with the strictest of specifications and are installed with perfect workmanship.

Silicone structural glazing is a method utilizing a silicone adhesive to attach glass, metal, or other panel material to the structure of a building. Therefore there are no external caps or beads, allowing an almost unbroken external facade. Windload and other impact loads on the façade are transferred from the glass or panel, through the structural silicone sealant to the structure of the building. Structural Silicone Glazing (SSG) is a high performance application, the silicone sealant must maintain adhesive and cohesive integrity as the façade is subjected to windload and thermal stresses throughout its life.

Because the SSG process is a physical and structural bond between the glass and carrier, it can be used very effectively to increase the strength of a glass or glass and metal assembly. The example of Library Walks in Manchester demonstrates the potential strength of an engineered SSG structure – 7m tall curved-on-plan laminated glass panels were bonded together on site by AEL, to provide a finished structure which is strong enough to support a 27-tonne stainless steel roof, with no structural steel whatever.

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The 27-tonne stainless steel roof is supported on top of a vertical glazed wall of triple-layer, frameless structural glass panels of 7.2 m in height. These are wedged into a…


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