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Unbonded Post Tensioned Concrete Slabs in Fire - Part II - Modelling Tendon Response and the Consequences of Localized Heating

1 BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Mayfield Road, Edinburgh, UK EH9 3JL

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering

ISSN: 2040-2317

Article publication date: 30 August 2011



This is Part II of a two part paper dealing with the current state of knowledge of the fire-safe structural design and construction of unbonded post-tensioned (UPT) flat plate concrete structures. Part I provided detailed results of nineteen transient high temperature stress relaxation tests on restrained UPT tendons of realistic length and parabolic longitudinal profiles. Experimentation identified several credible concerns for UPT concrete structures in fire, most notably the potential for premature tendon rupture due to localized heating, which may result from a number of possible causes in a real structure. The real world response of continuous UPT tendons both during and after heating is largely unknown, and is dependent on factors which are not currently accounted for either in standard fire tests or by available prescriptive design guidance. This second part of the paper presents and applies a numerical model to predict the time-temperaturestress-strength interdependencies of stressed UPT tendons under localized transient heating, as may be experienced by tendons in a real concrete building in a real fire. The model is used, along with previously developed and validated computational models for heat transfer and prestress relaxation in UPT tendons, to assess existing prescriptive concrete cover requirements for UPT slabs. It is shown that localized heating of UPT tendons is likely to induce premature tendon rupture during fire, and that current prescriptive code procedures based on concrete cover alone are, in general, insufficient to prevent this. Based on the data presented it appears that minimum code prescribed concrete covers for UPT structures require revision if premature tendon rupture during fire is to be avoided.



Gales, J., Bisby, L. and Gillie, M. (2011), "Unbonded Post Tensioned Concrete Slabs in Fire - Part II - Modelling Tendon Response and the Consequences of Localized Heating", Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 155-172.



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