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See detailTHIN-WALLED STEEL MEMBERS AT ELEVATED TEMPERATURES CONSIDERING LOCAL IMPERFECTIONS: NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF ISOLATED PLATES
Maraveas, Chrysanthos ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

Scientific conference (2017, October 06)

The local buckling capacity of fire exposed thin-walled steel cross sections is affected by the reduction in strength and stiffness due to elevated temperatures and the amplitude of the initial local ... [more ▼]

The local buckling capacity of fire exposed thin-walled steel cross sections is affected by the reduction in strength and stiffness due to elevated temperatures and the amplitude of the initial local imperfections. A usual method to estimate this capacity is the simulation of isolated plates (web: four sides simply supported plate, flange: three sides simply supported plate) that are subjected to in-plane compression until instability is observed. Several researchers have proposed design methods to calculate the capacity of these steel members at elevated temperatures based on isolated plate analysis, but they used different methodologies. This variability in hypotheses happens because there is no clear provision defining the numerical modeling procedure for fire design of steel plates in the codes (European or US). The paper proposes a methodology for finite element simulation of thin plates at elevated temperatures and its governing factors (amplitude of initial local imperfections, number of half-wave geometry of local imperfections, plate geometry (sides ratio a/b)). [less ▲]

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See detailBuckling of steel plates at elevated temperatures: Theory of perfect plates vs finite element analysis
Maraveas, Chrysanthos ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

in Proceedings of CONFAB'17 Conference (2017, September 11)

The local buckling capacity of fire exposed thin-walled steel cross sections is affected by the reduction in strength and stiffness due to elevated temperatures and the amplitude of the initial local ... [more ▼]

The local buckling capacity of fire exposed thin-walled steel cross sections is affected by the reduction in strength and stiffness due to elevated temperatures and the amplitude of the initial local imperfections. Several researchers have proposed design methods to calculate the capacity of the plates (i.e. web and flanges) that compose these steel members at elevated temperatures, but they used different shapes of steel plates (sides ratio a/b) and different amplitudes of local imperfections. This variability in hypotheses happens because there is no clear provision defining the numerical modeling procedure for fire design of steel plates in the codes (European or US). According to the theory of perfect plates, the critical load depends of the shape of the rectangular plate (e.g. the sides ratio a/b) and the corresponding buckling mode (number of half waves), the boundary and the loading conditions. This paper reviews the existing code provisions and compares the existing design models and their assumptions for thin-walled steel cross sections. Elements of the theory of perfect plates are presented. Parametric finite element analyses are then conducted on isolated steel plates at elevated temperatures to investigate the effect of the plate shape (a/b ratio) and imperfections (amplitude and number of half wave lengths). From the analysis, the governing parameter will be estimated (a/b vs imperfections) for simulation of isolated flanges and webs. Finally, recommendations for the numerical modeling of steel plates at elevated temperatures are proposed. [less ▲]

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See detailA method for hybrid fire testing: Development, implementation and numerical application
Sauca, Ana ULiege; Mergny, Elke ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege et al

in Gillie, Martin; Wang, Yong (Eds.) Proceedings of ASFE 2017 Conference (2017, September 08)

Hybrid Fire Testing (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 ... [more ▼]

Hybrid Fire Testing (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. To enable HFT, there is a need for a method that is unconditionally stable, ensures equilibrium and compatibility at the interface and captures the global behaviour of the analysed structure. A few attempts at conducting HFT have been described in the literature, but it can be shown, based on the analytical study of a simple one degree-of-freedom elastic system, that the considered method was fundamentally unstable in certain configurations which depend on the relative stiffness between the two substructures, but which cannot be easily predicted in advance. In this paper, a new method is introduced to overcome the stability problem and it is shown through analytical developments and applicative examples that the stability of the new method does not depend on the stiffness ratio between the two substructures. The new method is applied in a virtual hybrid test on a 2D reinforced concrete beam part of a moment resisting frame, showing that stability, equilibrium and compatibility are ensured on the considered multiple degree-of-freedom system. Besides, the virtual HFT succeeds in reproducing the global behaviour of the analysed structure. The method development and implementation in a virtual (numerical) setting is described, the next step being its implementation in a real (laboratory) hybrid test. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of upgrading concrete strength class on fire performance of reinforced concrete columns
Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Peric, Vlado; Mihaylov, Boyan ULiege et al

in Gillie, Martin; Wang, Yong (Eds.) Proceedings of ASFE 2017 Conference (2017, September 07)

High strength concrete (HSC) provides several advantages over normal strength concrete (NSC) and is being used in multi-story buildings for reducing the dimensions of the columns sections and increasing ... [more ▼]

High strength concrete (HSC) provides several advantages over normal strength concrete (NSC) and is being used in multi-story buildings for reducing the dimensions of the columns sections and increasing the net marketable area. However, upgrading of concrete strength class in a building may affect the fire performance, due to higher rates of strength loss with temperature and higher susceptibility to spalling of HSC compared with NSC. Reduction of columns sections also leads to increased member slenderness and faster temperature increase in the section core. These detrimental effects are well known, but their impact on fire performance of structures has not been established in terms of comparative advantage between NSC and HSC. In other words, it is not clear whether the consideration of fire resistance limits the opportunities for use of HSC for reducing the dimensions of columns sections in multi-story buildings. This research aims to address this question by comparing the fire behaviour of reinforced concrete columns made of NSC and HSC using nonlinear finite element modelling. The evolution of load bearing capacity of the columns is established as a function of the fire exposure duration. A 15-story car park structure is adopted as a case study with alternative designs for the columns based on strength classes ranging from C30 to C90. Results show that, although the replacement of NSC by HSC accelerates the reduction rate of columns capacity under fire, the columns generally have significant reserves in resistance leading to sufficient fire resistance. This study gives an insight into the impact of replacing stocky sections in NSC by more slender sections in HSC on fire resistance rating for multi-story structures. [less ▲]

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See detailSensitivity of elevated temperature load carrying capacity of thin-walled steel members to local imperfections
Maraveas, Chrysanthos ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

in Gillie, Martin; Wang, Yong (Eds.) Proceedings of ASFE 2017 Conference (2017, September 07)

The local buckling capacity of fire exposed thin-walled steel cross sections is affected by the reduction in strength and stiffness due to elevated temperatures and by the amplitude of the initial local ... [more ▼]

The local buckling capacity of fire exposed thin-walled steel cross sections is affected by the reduction in strength and stiffness due to elevated temperatures and by the amplitude of the initial local imperfections. Several researchers have proposed design methods to calculate the capacity of these steel members at elevated temperatures, but they used different methodologies and different amplitude of local imperfections in the extensive numerical analyses that are typically at the base of these methods. This variability in hypotheses happens because there is no clear provision defining the local imperfection amplitude for fire design in the codes (European or US). EN 1993-1-5 proposes amplitude values of local imperfections for ambient temperature design, while EN 1090-2 defines a -different- maximum allowed size of fabrication tolerance during production. Meanwhile, other sizes of local imperfections have also been proposed in the literature, with values different than those from EN 1993-1-5 and EN 1090-2. This paper reviews the existing code provisions and compares the existing design models and their assumptions for thin-walled steel cross sections. Finite element analyses are then conducted on isolated steel plates at elevated temperatures to investigate the effect of local imperfections. Finally, specific amplitude of local imperfections is proposed for fire design of thin-walled steel members. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling structures in fire with SAFIR®: Theoretical background and capabilities
Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege

in Journal of Structural Fire Engineering (2017), 8(3), 300-323

Purpose: This paper describes 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 ... [more ▼]

Purpose: This paper describes 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. 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. 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. [less ▲]

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See detailHybrid Fire Testing: A new approach for fire labs
Sauca, Ana ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Mergny, Elke ULiege et al

Poster (2017, May 02)

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See detailSAFIR: a software for modeling structures in fire
Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege

Poster (2017, May 02)

SAFIR is a computer program developed at University of Liege to model the behavior of building structures subjected to fire.

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See detailValidation of SAFIR through DIN EN 1992-1-2 NA: Comparison of the results for the examples presented in Annex CC
Romeiro Ferreira, Joao Daniel ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege

Report (2017)

Annex CC of DIN EN 1992-1-2 NA presents a series of cases that allow benchmarking software tools aimed at the design of structures in a fire situation. With the goal of providing a validation document for ... [more ▼]

Annex CC of DIN EN 1992-1-2 NA presents a series of cases that allow benchmarking software tools aimed at the design of structures in a fire situation. With the goal of providing a validation document for the finite element code SAFIR, a comparison of the reference results for the cases presented in the Annex CC with the results obtained with SAFIR has been carried out and is presented in this document. The validation typically consists in a comparison between the value of a result (temperature, displacement or others) obtained by SAFIR and the value given as a reference and supposed to be the « true » result. The value obtained must fall in the interval stipulated by the document. The parametric analysis shows that the solution of SAFIR satisfies the requirement of the standard. The solution converges to the theoretical solution when the density of the mesh is increased and the value of the time step is reduced. When refining the mesh, rectangular elements converge slightly faster than triangular element; regular structured meshes are most efficient, with slight differences being observed in distorted structured meshes; unstructured meshes are somehow less efficient while being still in the acceptable range of the standard. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of experimental hydrocarbon localised fires with and without engulfed steel members
Tondini, Nicola; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

in Fire Safety Journal (2017), 92

Localised fires can represent an important hazard to structural safety of buildings where a fully generalised fire cannot develop or when it is at its early stage. Plume correlations given in the codes ... [more ▼]

Localised fires can represent an important hazard to structural safety of buildings where a fully generalised fire cannot develop or when it is at its early stage. Plume correlations given in the codes are valid for undisturbed plume and it is not known whether the presence of a structural element engulfed into the localised fire can affect the validity of such correlations. In structural design, this may lead to highly conservative assumptions or, even, to possible misuses of the correlations. In order to provide insight into this issue, a comprehensive experimental programme aimed at providing data on hydrocarbon localised fires with and without engulfed vertical steel members was performed. In detail, a series of 22 tests of circular hydrocarbon pool fires in well-ventilated conditions of diameters ranging from 0.6 m to 2.2 m were performed with diesel and heptane. The particular aspect of these tests is that they were performed by means of a system that controlled the fuel flow and thus the rate of heat release (RHR) of the fire. The flame length and the temperatures of the fire plume measured experimentally were compared with existing plume correlations, data in the literature and the Eurocode correlations. The results show that: the presence of the column contributed to “straighten” the flame; although pool fires with same diameters were characterised by the same RHR, the flame length was different depending on the fuel type; experimental gas temperatures were lower than the temperature correlation given in the Eurocodes. In sum, the correlations included in the Eurocodes provided reasonable predictions in terms of flame length and of fire plume temperature rise around a steel vertical element located along the centreline of the localised fire. [less ▲]

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See detailUncertainties in determination of fire resistance by experimental testing and by calculation
Dumont, Fabien ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

Conference (2016, November 24)

In Europe, certification of the fire resistance of building construction elements can be assessed by experimental testing or by calculation. To date, both communities (testing and calculation) express the ... [more ▼]

In Europe, certification of the fire resistance of building construction elements can be assessed by experimental testing or by calculation. To date, both communities (testing and calculation) express the fire resistance results in a deterministic way, i.e. each fire resistance result consists in a single number as if there was no uncertainty. However, when asking different partners within a community to assess the fire resistance of a given element of building construction subjected to a given fire scenario (a so-called “round robin” exercise), the reported results exhibit a very significant variability. Recent efforts have been undertaken to evaluate the extent of the scatter for fire resistance results, i.e. a process of "uncertainty evaluation". This process recognizes the fact that, for a given element of building construction and a given fire scenario, only a probability distribution (as opposite to a deterministic value) can be attributed to the fire resistance result. This approach opens the door to probabilistic reporting as an alternative to deterministic one. [less ▲]

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See detailLoadbearing capacity criteria in fire resistance testing
Dumont, Fabien ULiege; Wellens, Eric ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege et al

in Materials and Structures (2016), 49(11), 4565-4581

The European system for fire testing and classification of loadbearing building elements lacks consistency because the two standards that have to be applied prescribe different criteria for assessing the ... [more ▼]

The European system for fire testing and classification of loadbearing building elements lacks consistency because the two standards that have to be applied prescribe different criteria for assessing the loadbearing performance. This article analyzes the implications of the present conflict between the standard for testing and the standard for classification. The prescribed criteria for loadbearing performance are related to the exceedance of deflection and rate of deflection thresholds. A database of 46 fire resistance tests performed at the University of Liege is collected that contains the time at which these thresholds are reached in fire tests with different typologies of elements (walls, floors, columns and beams). Then, the loadbearing performance (and hence the fire resistance rating) can be derived according to the two standards. The evolutions of deflection and rate of deflection during the tests are also analyzed to gain a better understanding of the adequacy of the standards. The selection of one or the other standard affects the time at which “failure” is deemed to occur in fire tests. Statistically speaking, the difference in terms of failure time that results from using one or the other standard has a 25% probability to exceed 10%. In certain cases, this results in a difference in fire resistance rating; this was observed for 3 of the analyzed tests. The apparent contradiction in two codes in application has potential practical implications and therefore needs to be solved. The article suggests some guidelines for defining homogenized and consistent criteria. [less ▲]

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See detailNew features in SAFIR® 2016 - SWS 2016
Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege

Scientific conference (2016, October 27)

Presentation of the new capabilities and developments in the version 2016 of SAFIR, a non linear software dedicated to the analysis of the behaviour of structures in fire.

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See detailA Novel Methodology for Hybrid Fire Testing
Sauca, Ana ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Robert, Fabienne et al

in Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Structural Control (2016, July 11)

This paper describes a novel methodology for conducting stable hybrid fire testing (HTF). During hybrid fire testing, only a part of the structure is tested in a furnace while the reminded structure is ... [more ▼]

This paper describes a novel methodology for conducting stable hybrid fire testing (HTF). During hybrid fire testing, only a part of the structure is tested in a furnace while the reminded structure is calculated separately, here by means of a predetermined matrix. Equilibrium and compatibility at the interface between the tested “physical substructure” and the “numerical substructure” is maintained throughout the test using a dedicated algorithm. The procedures developed so far are sensitive to the stiffness ratio between the physical and the numerical substructure and therefore they can be applied only in some cases. In fire field, the stiffness of the heated physical substructure may change dramatically and the resulting change in stiffness ratio can lead to instability during the test. To overcome this drawback, a methodology independent of the stiffness ratio has been developed, inspired from the Finite Element Tearing and Interconnecting (FETI) method, which has been originally developed for substructuring in numerical analyses. The novel methodology has been successfully applied to a hybrid fire test in a purely numerical environment, i.e. the physical substructure was also modelled numerically. It is shown that stability does not depend on the stiffness ratio and that equilibrium and compatibility can be consistently maintained at the interface during the fire. Finally, the ongoing experimental program aimed at employing and experimentally validating this methodology is described. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a standard measure of the ability of a structure to resist a natural fire
Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

in Garlock, Maria; Kodur, Venkatesh (Eds.) Structures in Fire (Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference) (2016, June 10)

Fire brigades face a major threat when intervening in a building in fire: the possibility of structural collapse during the cooling phase of the fire, or soon thereafter. In the current approaches to ... [more ▼]

Fire brigades face a major threat when intervening in a building in fire: the possibility of structural collapse during the cooling phase of the fire, or soon thereafter. In the current approaches to structural fire engineering, the fire resistance rating (R) is generally the only measure taken into consideration to characterize the fire performance of structural elements, although this measure does not reflect the response in real fire conditions. In this work, a standard measure is proposed to characterize the ability of structural members to resist a natural fire including the decay phases. This measure yields information about the potential occurrence of delayed failure as a function of the duration of the fire before it started to decrease, whether by self-extinction or due to the action of the fire fighters. The paper presents the method to derive this new standard measure as well as results for different typologies of structural elements. Finally, the interpretation and practical consequences are discussed, in particular regarding the safety of fire fighters during an intervention. [less ▲]

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See detailStability in Hybrid Fire Testing
Sauca, Ana ULiege; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Robert, Fabienne et al

in Garlock, Maria; Kodur, Venkatesh (Eds.) Structures in Fire (Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference) (2016, June 09)

Hybrid testing is an appealing technique to observe the behavior of an element in an experimental test while taking into account the interaction with the rest of the structure which is modelled ... [more ▼]

Hybrid testing is an appealing technique to observe the behavior of an element in an experimental test while taking into account the interaction with the rest of the structure which is modelled numerically. Being widely used in the seismic field, this technique has been recently proposed in the fire field. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the loading control process may be unstable during the hybrid testing when using the methodology applied in former tests presented in the literature. The stability in the latter method depends on the stiffness ratio between the two substructures. For the purpose of discussion, a one degree-of-freedom elastic system is studied. To overcome the stability issues, a new method is presented, independent on the stiffness ratio. Finally, the hybrid testing of a 2D beam being part of a moment resisting frame is analyzed in a virtual environment (both parts being modeled numerically) using the “first generation method” and the new proposed method. [less ▲]

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See detailSteel hollow columns with an internal profile filled with self-compacting concrete under fire conditions
Chu, Thi Binh; Gernay, Thomas ULiege; Dotreppe, Jean-Claude ULiege et al

in Proceeding of the Romanian Academy. Series A, Mathematics, Physics, Technical Sciences, Information Science (2016), 17(2), 152-159

A detailed experimental and numerical investigation has been performed on the behavior under fire conditions of concrete filled steel hollow section (CFSHS) columns. In this study the internal ... [more ▼]

A detailed experimental and numerical investigation has been performed on the behavior under fire conditions of concrete filled steel hollow section (CFSHS) columns. In this study the internal reinforcement consists of another profile (tube or H section) being embedded with the concrete, and filling is realized by self-compacting concrete (SCC). Ten columns filled with self-compacting concrete embedding another steel profile have been tested in the Fire Testing Laboratory of the University of Liege, Belgium. Numerical simulations on the thermal and structural behavior of these elements have been made using the non linear finite element software SAFIR developed at the University of Liege. There is a rather good agreement between numerical and experimental results, which can be slightly improved by using the ETC (Explicit Transient Creep) model incorporated in SAFIR. This shows that numerical analyses can predict well the behavior of CFSHS columns under fire conditions. The properties at high temperatures of self-compacting concrete are considered the same as those of ordinary concrete. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental Tests and Numerical Modelling on Slender Steel Columns at High Temperatures
Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege; Zhao, Bin; Gernay, Thomas ULiege

in Journal of Structural Fire Engineering (2016), 7(1), 30-40

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 ... [more ▼]

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. [less ▲]

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See detailTemperature assessment of a vertical steel member subjected to localised fire
Dumont, Fabien ULiege; Wellens, Eric ULiege; Franssen, Jean-Marc ULiege

Textual, factual or bibliographical database (2016)

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See detailAn integrated modelling strategy between a CFD and an FE software: Methodology and application to compartment fires
Tondini, Nicola; Morbioli, Andrea; Vassart, Olivier et al

in Journal of Structural Fire Engineering (2016), 7(3), 217-233

Purpose: This paper aims to present the assumptions and the issues that arise when developing an integrated modelling methodology between a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software applied to ... [more ▼]

Purpose: This paper aims to present the assumptions and the issues that arise when developing an integrated modelling methodology between a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software applied to compartment fires and a finite element (FE) software applied to structural systems. Design/methodology/approach: Particular emphasis is given to the weak coupling approach developed between the CFD code fire dynamics simulator (FDS) and the FE software SAFIR. Then, to show the potential benefits of such a methodology, a multi-storey steel-concrete composite open car park was considered. Findings: Results show that the FDS–SAFIR coupling allows overcoming shortcomings of simplified models by performing the thermal analysis in the structural elements based on a more advanced modelling of the fire development, whereas it appears that the Hasemi model is more conservative in terms of thermal action. Originality/value: A typical design approach using the Hasemi model is compared with a more advanced analysis that relies on the proposed FDS–SAFIR coupling. [less ▲]

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