This paper presents a comparison, based on real practical case studies, between the simple analytical BRE-Bailey method (BRE-BM) and the advanced finite element model (FEM) Vulcan for the membrane action of composite slab panels with unprotected secondary beams at elevated temperatures. Both approaches predicted the membrane behaviour of the composite slabs, comprising compressive membrane action around the slabs' perimeter and tensile membrane action in the central span region of the slabs. This paper mainly studies the effects of the orientation of unprotected secondary beams and the boundary conditions on tensile membrane action of composite slab panels. The results show that the application of the BRE-BM is generally restricted by the conservative assumption of the maximum allowable vertical displacement. In contrast, the FEM estimates higher load-carrying capacities as well as providing a full displacement-time relationship throughout the heating of the slabs. For slab panels with unprotected secondary beams with an orientation in the short span, tensile membrane action can be easily mobilised without increasing fire protection to the boundary supporting beams. However, the FEM predictions on the slab capacities and deflections in fire are very sensitive to the continuity of the reinforcement over the protected boundary beams.
Toh, W. and Bernabè, N. (2010), "Tensile Membrance Action of Composite Slab Panels in Fire - Simple VS. Advanced Models", Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 177-187. https://doi.org/10.1260/2040-23220.127.116.11Download as .RIS
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