The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the adaptation to fire of current proposals/design methodologies at normal temperature is capable of producing accurate predictions of resistance for the out-of-plane stability of tapered beams.
The adaptation of these methodologies to fire has been done by accounting for the reduction in steel material properties with the temperature. Results were then compared to FEM calculations by performing GMNIA analyses to determine the ultimate strength of the numerical models and to ascertain the validity and accuracy of the adapted methodologies.
Although all methodologies produce safe results at normal temperatures, only the general method is recommended for the safety verification at elevated temperatures, although the data points were overly conservative. This investigation demonstrates the need of proper and accurate design methods for tapered beams at elevated temperatures, which should be the subject of future developments.
The research in this paper is limited to the adaptation of existing room temperature design methods to fire. Therefore, possible assumptions made during the conception of the initial formulae, which may be valid exclusively for 20ºC, may have been disregarded.
For the time being, design methodologies for the safety check of tapered beams for the case of fire are inexistent. This paper investigates the adaptation of existing room temperature design to the fire situation by providing insights on their accuracy level, as well as on how to proceed. Finally, a safe design methodology for tapered beams in case of fire is provided until improved design methods are developed.