Multi-physics simulation of glass to concrete adhesive joints


  • Yilin Wang
  • Roman Wan-Wendner (supervisor)
  • Jan Belis (supervisor)


Adhesive joints are frequently used for connections between different construction materials. Yet, a systematic modeling framework covering the main mechanical but also environmental influence factors is missing. There are various applications in which elements are adhesively bonded to concrete or glass is bonded to steel and other metals. However, so far adhesive bonding of structural glass to concrete has not be explored systematically, although such technology promises to have a great application potential. Various modeling concepts for adhesive joints have been proposed in the literature, yet none covers fully the complex situation of glass adhesively bonded to concrete (an aging viscoelastic material) by means of an aging viscoelastic adhesive. Adhesive bonding of structural glass to concrete is a challenging application with large potential but also many challenges. Acceptance of such joints in practice will largely depend on the developed design concepts in combination with guidelines for product qualification. A purely experimental approach will undoubtedly fail due to associated high cost to experimentally characterize the multitude of possible geometries, loading situations, environmental conditions, considering different adhesives and concrete substrates let alone the time scale needed to assess technical life-times of 50 years and longer. However, computational tools that are formulated in a rigorous and scientifically sound way are an efficient and powerful complement to experimental testing. After thorough calibration and validation, they allow the extrapolation from tested laboratory conditions and configurations to practically relevant scenarios e.g. in terms of size and time scale. Virtual experiments and sensitivity studies not only serve for the development of new applications but also the derivation of efficient and save product qualification guidelines as well as design concepts. In this project, a multi-physics modeling framework will be established that links the material behavior of concrete, adhesive, and glass subject to short-term and long-term mechanical loads as well as environmental factors.