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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Jean-Marc Franssen and Thomas Gernay

This paper aims to describe the theoretical background and main hypotheses at the basis of SAFIR®, a nonlinear finite element software for modeling structures in fire. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the theoretical background and main hypotheses at the basis of SAFIR®, a nonlinear finite element software for modeling structures in fire. The paper also explains how to use the software at its full extent. The discussed numerical modeling principles can be applied with other similar software.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a general overview of the organization of the software, the thermal analysis part is explained, with the basic equations and the different possibilities to apply thermal boundary conditions (compartment fire, localized fire, etc.). Next, the mechanical analysis part is detailed, including the time integration procedures and the different types of finite elements: beam, truss, shell, spring and solid. Finally, the material laws are described. The software capabilities and limitations are discussed throughout the paper.

Findings

By accommodating multiple types of finite elements and materials, by allowing the user to consider virtually any section type and to input the fire attack in multiple forms, the software SAFIR® is a comprehensive tool for investigating the behavior of structures in the fire situation. Meanwhile, being developed exclusively for its well-defined field of application, it remains relatively easy to use.

Originality value

The paper will improve the knowledge of readers (researchers, designers and authorities) about numerical modeling used in structural fire engineering in general and the capabilities of a particular software largely used in the fire engineering community.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2019

Chrysanthos Maraveas, Thomas Gernay and Jean-Marc Franssen

The purpose of this paper is to present an improved temperature-dependent constitutive model for steel that accounts for local instabilities of slender plates using an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an improved temperature-dependent constitutive model for steel that accounts for local instabilities of slender plates using an effective stress-based method. This model can be easily implemented for use with Bernoulli beam finite elements (FEs) in the fire situation.

Design/methodology/approach

The constitutive model is derived by calibration on parametric numerical analysis on isolated plates subject to buckling at different elevated temperatures. The model is implemented in the FE software SAFIR and validation is performed against experimental and shell element analysis results.

Findings

A constitutive model based on an equivalent stress method is proposed as an efficient way to consider local buckling in steel members exposed to fire. The proposed stress–strain–temperature relationship is asymmetric and is modified in compression only, by reducing the proportional limit, the yield stress and the strain at yield stress. The reduction of these parameters depends on the plate’s boundary conditions, slenderness and temperature. The validation of the proposed model shows good agreement over a range of profile dimensions, temperatures and steel grades.

Research limitations/implications

The model is still giving conservative results for large compressive load eccentricities. An enhanced model is under development to improve the predictive capability under large eccentricities.

Practical implications

The proposed model, easily implemented into any finite element software, allows using fibre type (Bernoulli) beam FEs for modelling structures made of slender sections. This has major practical implications as beam elements are the workhorse used for simulating the behaviour of structures in fire. This model, thus makes it possible to simulate large structures with slender steel sections at a limited computational cost.

Originality/value

The paper presents a novel steel constitutive model based on an innovative approach to capture local buckling at the material level using an equivalent stress approach. The theoretical development, validation and perspectives for future improvements are presented.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2019

Ramla Karim Qureshi, Negar Elhami-Khorasani and Thomas Gernay

This paper aims to investigate the need for active boundary conditions during fire testing of structural elements, review existing studies on hybrid fire testing (HFT), a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the need for active boundary conditions during fire testing of structural elements, review existing studies on hybrid fire testing (HFT), a technique that would ensure updating of boundary conditions during a fire test, and propose a compensation scheme to mitigate instabilities in the hybrid testing procedure.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on structural steel columns and starts with a detailed literature review of steel column fire tests in the past few decades with varying axial and rotational end restraints. The review is followed with new results from comparative numerical analyses of structural steel columns with various end constraints. HFT is then discussed as a potential solution to be adapted for fire testing of structural elements. Challenges in contemporary HFT procedures are discussed, and application of stiffness updating approaches is demonstrated.

Findings

The reviewed studies indicate that axial and rotational restraints at the boundaries considerably influence the fire response of steel columns. Equivalent static spring technique for simulating effect of surrounding frame on an isolated column behavior does not depict accurate buckling and post-buckling response. Additionally, numerical models that simulate fire performance of a column situated in a full-frame do follow the trends observed in actual test results up until failure occurs, but these simulations do not necessarily capture post-failure performance accurately. HFT can be used to capture proper boundary conditions during testing of isolated elements, as well as correct failure modes. However, existing studies showed cases with instabilities during HFT. This paper demonstrates that a different stiffness updates calculated from the force-displacement response history of test specimen at elevated temperature can be used to resolve stability issues.

Originality/value

The paper has two contributions: it suggests that the provision of active boundary conditions is needed in structural fire testing, as equivalent static spring does not necessarily capture the effect of surrounding frame on an isolated element during a fire test, and it shows that force-displacement response history of test specimen during HFT can be used in the form of a stiffness update to ensure test stability.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Elke Mergny, Thomas Gernay, Guillaume Drion and Jean-Marc Franssen

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new framework based on linear control system theory and the use of proportional (P) controller and proportional integral (PI…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new framework based on linear control system theory and the use of proportional (P) controller and proportional integral (PI) controller to address identified stability issues and control the time properties in hybrid fire testing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper approaches hybrid fire testing as a control problem. It establishes the state equation to give the general stability conditions. Then, it shows how P and PI controllers can be incorporated in the system to maintain stability. A virtual hybrid fire testing is performed on a 2D steel frame for validation and to compare the performance of the controllers.

Findings

Control system theory provides an efficient framework for hybrid fire testing and rigorously formulate the stability conditions of the system. The use of a P-controller stabilises the process, but this controller is not suitable for continuous change of stiffness of the substructures. In contrast, a PI-controller handle the stiffness changes. The results of a virtual hybrid fire testing of a 2D steel frame shows that the PI-controller succeeds in reproducing the global behaviour of the frame, even if the surrounding structure is non-linear and subjected to fire.

Originality/value

The paper provides a rigorous formulation of the general problem of hybrid fire testing and shows the interest of a PI controller to control the process under varying stiffness. This methodology is a step forward for hybrid fire testing because it allows capturing the global behaviour of a structure, including where the numerical substructure behaves nonlinearly and is subjected to fire.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Ana Sauca, Thomas Gernay, Fabienne Robert, Nicola Tondini and Jean-Marc Franssen

The purpose of this paper is to propose a method for hybrid fire testing (HFT) which is unconditionally stable, ensures equilibrium and compatibility at the interface and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a method for hybrid fire testing (HFT) which is unconditionally stable, ensures equilibrium and compatibility at the interface and captures the global behavior of the analyzed structure. HFT is a technique that allows assessing experimentally the fire performance of a structural element under real boundary conditions that capture the effect of the surrounding structure.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts with the analysis of the method used in the few previous HFT. Based on the analytical study of a simple one degree-of-freedom elastic system, it is shown that this previous method is fundamentally unstable in certain configurations that cannot be easily predicted in advance. Therefore, a new method is introduced to overcome the stability problem. The method is applied in a virtual hybrid test on a 2D reinforced concrete beam part of a moment-resisting frame.

Findings

It is shown through analytical developments and applicative examples that the stability of the method used in previous HFT depends on the stiffness ratio between the two substructures. The method is unstable when implemented in force control on a physical substructure that is less stiff than the surrounding structure. Conversely, the method is unstable when implemented in displacement control on a physical substructure stiffer than the remainder. In multi-degrees-of-freedom tests where the temperature will affect the stiffness of the elements, it is generally not possible to ensure continuous stability throughout the test using this former method. Therefore, a new method is proposed where the stability is not dependent on the stiffness ratio between the two substructures. Application of the new method in a virtual HFT proved to be stable, to ensure compatibility and equilibrium at the interface and to reproduce accurately the global structural behavior.

Originality/value

The paper provides a method to perform hybrid fire tests which overcomes the stability problem lying in the former method. The efficiency of the new method is demonstrated in a virtual HFT with three degrees-of-freedom at the interface, the next step being its implementation in a real (laboratory) hybrid test.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Jean-Marc Franssen, Bin Zhao and Thomas Gernay

The purpose of this paper is to gain from experimental tests an insight into the failure mode of slender steel columns subjected to fire. The tests will also be used to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain from experimental tests an insight into the failure mode of slender steel columns subjected to fire. The tests will also be used to validate a numerical model.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of experimental fire tests were conducted on eight full-scale steel columns made of slender I-shaped Class 4 sections. Six columns were made of welded sections (some prismatic and some tapered members), and two columns were made of hot rolled sections. The nominal length of the columns was 2.7 meters with the whole length being heated. The load was applied at ambient temperature after which the temperature was increased under constant load. The load was applied concentrically on some tests and with an eccentricity in other tests. Heating was applied by electrical resistances enclosed in ceramic pads. Numerical simulations were performed with the software SAFIR® using shell elements.

Findings

The tests have allowed determining the appropriate method of application of the electrical heating system for obtaining a uniform temperature distribution in the members. Failure of the columns during the tests occurred by combination of local and global buckling. The numerical model reproduced correctly the failure modes as well as the critical temperatures.

Originality/value

The numerical model that has been validated has been used in subsequent parametric analyses performed to derive design equations to be used in practice. This series of test results can be used by the scientific community to validate their own numerical or analytical models for the fire resistance of slender steel columns.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Thomas Gernay and Mohamed Salah Dimia

The paper aims to give an insight into the behaviour of reinforced concrete columns during and after the cooling phase of a fire. The study is based on numerical…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to give an insight into the behaviour of reinforced concrete columns during and after the cooling phase of a fire. The study is based on numerical simulations as these tools are frequently used in structural engineering. As the reliability of numerical analysis largely depends on the validity of the constitutive models, the development of a concrete model suitable for natural fire analysis is addressed in the study.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes theoretical considerations supported by numerical examples to discuss the capabilities and limitations of different classes of concrete models and eventually to develop a new concrete model that meets the requirements in case of natural fire analysis. Then, the study performs numerical simulations of concrete columns subjected to natural fire using the new concrete model. A parametric analysis allows for determining the main factors that affect the structural behaviour in cooling.

Findings

Failure of concrete columns during and after the cooling phase of a fire is a possible event. The most critical situations with respect to delayed failure arise for short fires and for columns with low slenderness or massive sections. The concrete model used in the simulations is of prime importance and the use of the Eurocode model would lead to unsafe results.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the assessment of the fire resistance of concrete elements in a performance‐based environment.

Originality/value

The paper provides original information about the risk of structural collapse during cooling.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Mayank Shrivastava, Anthony Abu, Rajesh Dhakal and Peter Moss

This paper aims to describe current trends in probabilistic structural fire engineering and provides a comprehensive summary of the state-of-the-art of performance-based…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe current trends in probabilistic structural fire engineering and provides a comprehensive summary of the state-of-the-art of performance-based structural fire engineering (PSFE).

Design/methodology/approach

PSFE has been introduced to overcome the limitations of current conventional design approaches used for the design of fire-exposed structures, which investigate assumed worst-case fire scenarios and include multiple thermal and structural analyses. PSFE permits buildings to be designed in relation to a level of life safety or economic loss that may occur in future fire events with the help of a probabilistic approach.

Findings

This paper brings together existing research on various sources of uncertainty in probabilistic structural fire engineering, such as elements affecting post-flashover fire development, material properties, fire models, fire severity, analysis methods and structural reliability.

Originality/value

Prediction of economic loss would depend on the extent of damage, which is further dependent on the structural response. The representative prediction of structural behaviour would depend on the precise quantification of the fire hazard. The incorporation of major uncertainty sources in probabilistic structural fire engineering is explained, and the detailed description of a pioneering analysis method called incremental fire analysis is presented.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Lorenzo Lelli and Jonas Loutan

This paper aims to detail the advanced natural fire simulations that were carried out for the composite steel-reinforced concrete structure of the JTI Building in Geneva…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to detail the advanced natural fire simulations that were carried out for the composite steel-reinforced concrete structure of the JTI Building in Geneva, Switzerland. The results of these analyses led to a significant reduction of in the fireproofing of the steel floor framing.

Design/methodology/approach

Several scenarios were studied considering different thermal behaviours of the peripheral cladding. Despite the small thickness of the resisting slabs, the analyses performed with SAFIR software showed that the typical wide storey bay (12 × 15.86 m) can resist to the design’s fire temperatures without the protection of the main and secondary beams while the spandrels remain protected. For study completeness, the composite frame-membrane model was also simulated with Hasemi-localized fire routines on SAFIR.

Findings

The analyses have showed that the membrane behaviour of composite slabs under fire allows a significant reduction of the fire protection, even in case of small thickness of the concrete topping. The increase of the reinforcement ratio to sustain the membrane forces is widely compensated by the savings related to the fireproofing of the steel framing.

Practical/implications

A natural fire approach is particularly advisable in case of fully glazed buildings. In fact when the façade collapses, the entry of a large cold air quantity limits the increase of the gas temperature inside the compartment.

Originality/value

The analyses were carried out with recent SAFIR routines for localized fires (Hasemi fire model) and represent one of the first applications in practice. The issue of the rebar orientation in mesh is raised out. The latest SAFIR release allows the definition of a global orientation of the rebars and amends the issue.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Nurizaty Zuhan, Mariyana Aida Ab Kadir, Muhammad Najmi Mohamad Ali Mastor, Shek Poi Ngian and Abdul Rahman Mohd. Sam

Concrete-filled steel hollow (CFHS) column is an innovation to improve the performance of concrete or steel column. It is believed to have high compressive strength, good…

Abstract

Purpose

Concrete-filled steel hollow (CFHS) column is an innovation to improve the performance of concrete or steel column. It is believed to have high compressive strength, good plasticity and is excellent for seismic and fire performance as compared to hollow steel column without a filler.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental and numerical investigation has been carried out to study the performance of CFHS having different concrete in-fill and shape of steel tube.

Findings

In this paper, an extensive review of experiment performed on CFHS columns at elevated temperature is presented in different types of concrete as filling material. There are three different types of concrete filling used by the researchers, such as normal concrete (NC), reinforced concrete and pozzolanic-fly ash concrete (FC). A number of studies have conducted experimental investigation on the performance of NC casted using recycled aggregate at elevated temperature. The research gap and the recommendations are also proposed. This review will provide basic information on an innovation on steel column by application of in-filled materials.

Research limitations/implications

Design guideline is not considered in this paper.

Practical implications

Fire resistance is an important issue in the structural fire design. This can be a guideline to define the performance of the CFHS with different type of concrete filler at various exposures.

Social implications

Utilization of waste fly ash reduces usage of conventional cement (ordinary Portland cement) in concrete production and enhances its performance at elevated temperature. The new innovation in CFHS columns with FC can reduce the cost of concrete production and at the same time mitigate the environmental issue caused by waste material by minimizing the disposal area.

Originality/value

Review on the different types of concrete filler in the CFHS column. The research gap and the recommendations are also proposed.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

Keywords

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