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Modelling and Simulation in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 964910, 13 pages
Research Article

Multiple Dissipative Devices for Blast-Resisting Cable-Supported Glazing Façades

Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, Piazzale Europa 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Received 27 May 2013; Accepted 16 September 2013

Academic Editor: Laurent Mevel

Copyright © 2013 Claudio Amadio and Chiara Bedon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper analyzes the structural response of a high-level air blast loaded cable-supported façade. Since the glass panels and the cables present a typical brittle behavior and are subjected to elevated tensile stresses when a high-level explosion occurs, multiple dissipative devices are simultaneously introduced in the conventional glazing system to mitigate the maximum effects of the design blast wave. Dynamic analyses are performed using a sophisticated FE-model to describe accurately the response of the façade equipped by dissipative devices. Based on numerical results of previous contributions, viscoelastic spider connectors (VESCs) are introduced in the points of connection between glass panels and pretensioned cables, to replace “rigid” spider connectors commonly used in practice. At the same time, rigid-plastic frictional devices (RPDs) are installed at the top of the bearing cables to mitigate furthermore the bracing system. As a result, due to the combined use of VESCs and RPDs opportunely calibrated, the maximum tensile stresses in the glass panels and in the cables appear strongly reduced. In addition, the proposed devices do not trouble the aesthetics of such transparent structural systems. At last, simple design rules are presented to predict the response of cable-supported façades subjected to high-level dynamic loads and to preliminary estimate the mechanical parameters of combined VESCs and RPDs.