building & innovating with glass, maximizing transparency
boosting architecture to a next level
free translated from Latin: 'completely out of glass', vitroplena is a consultancy office specialised in expertise, design, engineering and realisation of architectural glass applications. Vitroplena was founded as a Ghent University spin-off by dr. ir. Kenny Martens, after receiving a Ph.D. for his work on structural glass beam systems.
vitroplena is a dynamic, flexible and thrustworthy consultancy office that realizes, through innovation, a strong material knowledge and significant calculation skills, tomorrow's glazed structures.
"our vision is to become a dynamic, polyvalent and easy-deployable design, engineering & expertise office enabling the realisation of iconic & unique glazed/glass structures. We strive to become the company-to-call for high-level glass structures on a global scale."
meet the glassifiers
real glass doctors, dedicated to their mission & vision, triggered by innovation & challenges
Bert Van Lancker - M.Sc. Ph.D.
glass expert - façade systems & adhesives
glassifier - R&D
sport - basketball
hobby - traveling
favourite music band - coldplay
Kenny Martens - M.Sc. Ph.D.
glass expert - structural glass systems & adhesives
founder - managing director
sport - cycling
hobby - playing drums
favourite music band - dire straits
a Ghent University spin-off
vitroplena collaborates with Ghent University for research and experimental testing activities, education and advanced expertise into architectural glass and glazing.
Glass mastermind at Ghent University is prof. Jan Belis, having more than 20 years of experience in the field. His expertise in architectural glass and glazing is internationally recognized.
Jan Belis - prof. M.Sc. Ph.D.
all-round expert in glass & adhesives
mentor - academic sounding board
sport - martial arts
hobby - board games
favourite music band -
advanced numerical simulations for optimal design
vitroplena supports the design of glazed structures by means of high-level and deep numerical analyses in which the material behaviour is maximally approximated. Our specialty is the innovative modelling of glass and glass fracture, which can be used to evaluate the post-fracture behaviour - and hence the (structural) safety - of elements (partly) composed of glass. The movie at the left presents the fracture and deformation behaviour of a glass beam with two spans, loaded in vertical direction. While the load is increasing in time, the glass fractures (in red) expand and the deformation increases.
this simulation presents the numerical model of the innovative glass beam system developed by vitroplena. The model is used to validate the capacity of the system and for further finetuning of its design. It perfectly illustrates the satisfying behaviour and significant safety of the developed glass beam system:
the occurrence of glass fractures does not lead to the collapse of the structure. The system maintains its load-carrying function and the load can increase even further!
testing of structural glass or glazed structures
you can also rely on vitroplena for the execution of tests on structural glass or glazed structures. Testing can be performed in the lab at Ghent University as well as on site. Static, dynamic as well as aging and durability tests are possible.
this movie shows a dynamic, pendulum test, frequently executed on glazed balustrades. The purpose is to simulate human impact on the glazing. A pendulum with an impact body (in accordance with the eurocode) is released from a predetermined height (here 300 mm) and impacts the glazing, which performs satisfactory as the panel stays in its frame and no harmful glass shards are scattered as the glass does not break.