chapter
38 Pages

Transparent structural materials—glass and plastic

Transparency is one of the significant features of modern Architecture Yet using transparent plastic material is still not very common in the building industry. But the lightness of glass structures is very important. As for any other material the possibilities for using glass are limited. When using plastic material some of the issues can be resolved. Even the use as load bearing material is possible. In cooperation between the manufacturer of Plexiglas® Evonik Röhm GmbH and the Technical University of Darmstadt the use of plastic material is investigated and new structures have been developed. Plastics you can use as transparent bearing structures are rare. One of the possibilities is Polymethylmethacrylate, abbreviated PMMA and known as acrylic or Plexiglas. It is a highly transparent thermoplastic material. Compared with other plastics it is very hard, has a very high transparency and is extremely weatherproof; it is brittle and prone to stress cracking when unmodified.