Chennai

Better panels, engineering to prevent cracking of glass in airport’s new terminal

In the existing domestic and international buildings at Chennai airport, at least 40 glass panels broke, with a majority cracking due to impurities and others going down.

In the existing domestic and international buildings at Chennai airport, at least 40 glass panels broke, with a majority cracking due to impurities and others going down. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

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Remember the time Chennai airport’s brand new terminals made news for cracking or crashing of glass panels some years ago? To save the airport from such embarrassment, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has now taken steps to control damage occurring to glass panels in the upcoming new integrated terminal built at a cost of ₹2,430 crore. Officials of the AAI said that due to the effect of the natural causes, the terminal buildings have been designed as unitised curtain wall systems — wherein the structure can tolerate any harsh weather conditions and ensures glass panels don’t become loose. “Instead of holding the glass panels using mechanical means, we have provided structural silicone sealants which are designed to hold the panels tight and firm. In case of any severe weather change too, these sealants will bear the stress. Also, to increase safety, we have used laminated glass panels everywhere. To reduce the risk of spontaneous breaking of the glass panels as impurities are present in the glass, all toughened glasses go through a heat-soak process,” an official said. There were instances of the staff or passengers accidentally ramming the glass. To prevent this, it was proposed to put up trolly fenders (a metal structure running at the bottom of a wall), the officials said. A part of the new integrated terminal building under construction will be opened in June and since passengers are looking forward to getting better facilities and infrastructure, it is imperative that such instances of glass panels breaking do not occur. In the existing domestic and international buildings, at least 40 glass panels broke, with a majority of them cracking due to impurities and others going down. The then Union Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju ordered inspection to control this problem

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 2:07:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/better-panels-engineering-to-prevent-cracking-of-glass-in-airports-new-terminal/article65056322.ece