Spider connectors are architectural clamps that architects and engineers use to connect panels made from glass and other similar materials in a seamless, aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound facade. The clamp has four arms spread out from the centre, giving the apparatus a spider-like appearance, hence the name. They give glass and similar materials used in architectural designs a modern and innovative look without sacrificing the structure’s safety and integrity.
They can be used for many different uses, including structural glazing, glass canopies, glass walls, glass railings and many others. Keep reading about how spider connectors bring innovation to structures and increase their aesthetics, as well as the materials used to make them and their different types.
Spider Connectors: Innovation
Spider connectors are innovative because they offer several advantages over traditional methods of glazing, such as:
Spider connectors are made of high-quality materials like stainless steel that are proven resistant to corrosion and harsh weather conditions. They are designed to be long-lasting, ensuring the structural integrity of the building for decades.
Since spider connectors are so much smaller than the materials they hold together, they occupy very little space. This ensures that the glass panels have the maximum transparent surface area and allow for high visibility.
There are many different types and materials that spider connectors come in, each suited to combat unique engineering challenges. They also allow architects to incorporate innovative and radical designs into their buildings without being limited by connector availability.
Spider Connectors: Aesthetics
They are aesthetic because they enhance the beauty and elegance of glass in various ways, such as:
Spider connectors are manufactured to look aesthetically pleasing with polished metals or futuristic rubber designs that provide a look of elegance and modernity to all structures. Some innovative options, like concealed spider connectors, are designed to be nearly invisible without affecting structural support.
Spider connectors complement the glass facade and blend in with the surrounding environment. They have neutral and elegant colours that match any glass type or tint well. They also have a high load-bearing capacity and can resist wind pressure and seismic forces, ensuring the stability and safety of the glass facade.
Spider connectors can connect panels of many different shapes, sizes and angles, providing architects with the creativity to create unorthodox designs that increase the aesthetic appeal and value of the project. It can also be used to construct many glass structures like inclined facades, double-skinned facades, glass canopies and transparent roofs, providing a large selection of architectural diversity that architects can pick from.
Spider connectors are small compared to the structures they hold together, giving them a sleek and minimalistic appearance. They remove the need for large and bulky frames or mullions to hold sheets of glass together, giving the facade a seamless look that does not block natural light and views from the building.
Spider Connectors: Materials
The materials of spider connectors vary depending on their design and application, but they generally include the following:
Spider connectors made of stainless steel are the most common option due to their exceptional durability, resistance to corrosion, and ability to endure harsh weather conditions. Steal is also smooth and polished, making for a great aesthetic advantage.
Besides, these stainless steel spider connectors are available in different alternatives depending on the project’s requirements. The higher the quality of the metal, the more expensive it is. Usually, these high-quality connectors are used for high-intensity projects like glass skyscrapers.
Aluminium connectors are a lightweight and affordable alternative to stainless steel. While stainless steel is used when the spider connector needs to be extremely durable and resistant to weather and other external factors, aluminium is used when the connectors face lower stress levels. They allow architects to reinforce low-intensity structures without spending more money on high-intensity ones.
Spider connectors are primarily made from stainless steel or aluminium, providing strength and durability to their structures; however, rubber is used in special applications where rigid metals are unsuitable.
Rubber is a flexible material capable of absorbing numerous vibrations without compromising the structural integrity of the glass. It is used in projects which face the issue of increased seismic activity or strong wind forces. Since rubber is so flexible, it bends with the vibrations and absorbs the force behind them without cracking the glass.
Spider Connectors: Types
Spider connectors have various types depending on their design and application, such as:
Spider Connection and Reinforcement System
This revolutionary system allows for constructing structures with a column-to-floor system, eliminating the need for beams. It consists of steel connectors inserted into the panels and fastened with self-tapping screws. The connectors have a spider-like shape that distributes the load and increases the stiffness and strength of the structure.
These connect two shafts or pipes that are misaligned or subject to vibration. They have a flexible element, such as rubber, polyurethane, hydrogel, etc., that absorbs the shock and compensates for the angular, parallel or axial misalignment. They also transmit torque and power between the shafts or pipes.
Spider Glass Connectors
Spider glass fittings connect sheets and panels of glass and glass-like materials to create a very aesthetically pleasing structure with strong structural integrity. These are the most common spider connectors used to build structures like skyscrapers, glass walls, greenhouses and glass building facades.
Spider fittings bring versatility and elegance to any structure they are applied on, enhancing the functionality and beauty of the entire building. These connectors have been tested and used by thousands of engineers and architects across the globe for many years, proving their reliability and stability in architectural uses.
The large selection of spider connectors gives architects specialised options when connecting glass and similar materials in different scenarios and circumstances. They can spice up the aesthetic value of any architectural project without compromising structural integrity.