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Adaptive and composite thin glass concepts for architectural applications

C.P. Louter, M.A. Akilo, B. Miri, T. Neeskens, R. Ribeiro Silveira, Ö. Topcu, I. van der Weijde, C. Zha, M. Bilow, M. Turrin, T. Klein, J. O’Callaghan

Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Glass & Transparency Research Group,,

Thin glass – such as commonly applied for displays and touchscreen on electronic devices like smartphone and tablets – offers interesting characteristics for architectural applications. Due to its high strength and small thickness the glass can easily be bent in architecturally appealing curvatures, while the small thickness of the glass offers a significant weight reduction compared to traditional window glazing. This paper explores the potential of thin glass for architectural applications and reports on two thin glass concepts that are currently under investigation at TU Delft. The first concept concerns flexible and adaptive thin glass panels that can change their shape in response to external parameters. The second concept concerns thin glass composite panels in which thin glass facings are combined with (3D printed) core elements to create strong, stiff yet lightweight glass façade panels. From initial design explorations and prototyping, it can be seen that both concepts are very promising and viable for further in depth investigations.

Key words: Thin glass, composite, adaptive