Edge strength of core drilled and waterjet cut holes in architectural glass

Kay C.P. Sanders (Corresponding author), Freek P. Bos, Erwin H.J. ten Brincke, Jan L.I.F Belis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


In structural glass design, an often-applied connection is a bolted connection subjected to in-plane tensile loads. Traditionally, the hole in the glass pane is manufactured by core drilling and conical edge finishing. An alternative method is by waterjet cutting the holes, resulting in cylindrically shaped holes. This research compares the edge strength of core drilled and waterjet cut holes. It focuses on in-plane tensile tests and consists of an experimental part in combination with a numerical part. In the in-plane tensile tests, peak stresses occur perpendicular to the load direction. These stresses are found to be higher for waterjet cut holes (+ 13%) compared to core drilled holes. As a result, the characteristic ultimate load is lower for waterjet cut holes (− 16%). Furthermore, the influence of thermally toughening the glass is found to be more favourable for the characteristic ultimate load of specimens containing core drilled holes than it is for waterjet cut holes. Next to that, it was found that the ultimate load linearly increases with the panel thickness. Eccentric loading, caused by insufficient bushing material or rotation of the bolt, only slightly decreases the ultimate load, provided that no hard contact between bolt and glass occurs. In addition, coaxial double ring tests were performed in the hole area, showing that waterjet cut holes result in larger stresses near the hole edge than core drilled holes. Furthermore, waterjet cut holes are found not to be perfectly round, while drilled holes are. This un-roundness negatively influences the ultimate load and the stresses in the glass; the larger the extent of un-roundness, the higher the stresses and the lower the ultimate load. Also, the orientation of the un-round hole is of influence on the stresses and ultimate load for the tensile test. It is concluded that waterjet cut holes result in lower characteristic ultimate loads and higher stresses. Due to the different edge finishing, the ultimate load still is lower compared to core drilled holes, even if the waterjet cut holes are perfectly round.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalGlass Structures & Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date7 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Drilled hole
  • Edge strength structural glazing
  • Point-supported glazing
  • Waterjet hole


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