Greenhouses are made of strong aluminum profiles and of course glass. Greenhouses should meet NEN requirements. That is why all connections and parts of greenhouses are tested to meet these NEN requirements. By strengthening some connections you can strengthen the construction making weight reduction possible. For the same greenhouse you then need less aluminum. This can raise profits.
I have been investigating the connections between handle and gutter and between gutter and supports.
By pulling out the handle from the gutter (TNO tests the same way to prove everything is according NEN) it seamed like the bend in the web of the handle causes the collapsing of this connection. Just by connecting both instable webs of the handle with a screw can overcome this collapsing mechanisme. Now the connection has to fail in another collapsing mechanisme. This is always at a higher force so we have stregthened the connection. The gain was so big that now the arrow of the gutter would shear off making the connection collapse. Of course we do not need a screw to stabilise. We can also adapt the extrusion mold. This means that we add a thin piece of aluminum stabilising wall near the instability point of the handle . This can be seen on the last page in the above link.
Also it is possible to adjust the clicker used to position the handle in gutter direction. The way of collapsing of this connection and the adjustments on the mold for the handle can be seen in above link.
We can change the way the forces go from handle to gutter. That can be done with a new inventive clicker. If we can connect the topside and downside of the handle with the gutter a much stronger connection is born. Instability problems of the handle are now also overcome due to this double connection. The original clicker can be seen at the page working experiance / constructive improvements in greenhouses. The original clicker was needed to overcome a movement of the handles over the gutter due to windloads. A piece of glass could fall out when handles can move in gutter direction. To use this new inventive clicker only some extra holes have to be drilled in gutter and handle. This is the most simple and cheapest way to strengthen the connection between handle and gutter. Itis only an adaptation of the allready used clicker.
Also other connections have been investigated. The strength of the gutter is mostly dependable upon the horizontal bending in the glazing stadium. During glazing some hoods are filled with glass and others are not. Due to the weight of the glass the gutters tend to bend outward due to sagging. Due to this mostly horizontal bending there is less space in the next hood to place the glass.
By designing a new console the connection between gutter and supports can strengthen reducing the horizontal bend of the gutter. The old console was not good in resisting a horizontal force. Too less material of the console was placed in this horizontal direction. you should always place material in the direction of the force. With the new console it was possible to reduce the horizontal bend out with a factor 8. The old console also bends away due to rotation of the console. Also this rotaton was reduced with a factor 5. With this new console horizontal displacements during glazing stadium were reduced. Due to this the gutter could be made much lighter to compensate for the extra strength.
Due to improving of the connections it was possibele to redeuce the weight of a greenhouse with at least 15%. Due to the fact that aluminum is an expensive material extra profit is possible.
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