Author: Blockley, David
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It is the author’s firm belief that textiles and glass have the greatest potentials of all the building materials used today. Textiles fascinate by their high tensile strength (allowing to span over large distances), by their breathable property and by their capability to integrate different types of phase-change materials (PCM). Glass, on the other hand, provides high compression strength and perfect transparency – but also the possibility to alter this transparency through the integration in the glass of materials which have a switchable light transmissivity. Today’s coating technologies as well as the possibility of reinforcing glass with different stiffening materials open a nearly endless range of new ways of using glass. There is much room for further research and development with regard to this fascinating material. And while glass has been used as a building material for centuries, its structural properties only became a matter of serious research as late as in the 1980s. Since this time, the load-bearing behaviour of glass, its failure characteristics and the possibilities of influencing its transmissivity for radiation have been widely researched. But a series of interesting questions still remain untouched. Prof. Dr Werner Sobek Werner Sobek Ingenieure