Nonlinear numerical simulations are reported for a conventional unitized laminated glass curtain wall subjected to high- and low-level air blast loading. The studied curtain wall, spanning floor to floor, consisted of a laminated glass panel, a continuous bead of structural silicone sealant, a split screw spline frame and four rigid brackets. Firstly, a linear elastic FE-model (M01) is presented to investigate dynamic stresses and deflections due to explosion, by taking into account geometrical nonlinearities. Since, in similar glazing systems, it is important to take into account the possible cracking of glass lites, a second model (M02), calibrated to previous experimental data, is proposed. In it, glass behaves as a brittle-elastic material, whereas an elastoplastic characteristic curve is assumed for mullions. As a result, the design explosion seriously affects the main components of the curtain wall, especially the bead of silicone. To address these criticalities, additional viscoelastic (VE) devices are installed at the frame corners (M03). Their effectiveness explains the additional deformability provided to the conventional curtain wall, as well as the obvious dissipation of the incoming energy due to blast loading. Structural and energy capabilities provided by devices are highlighted by means of numerical simulations.
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