PERFORMANCE BASED DESIGN OF UNBRACED STEEL FRAMES EXPOSED TO NATURAL FIRE SCENARIOS

Carlos Couto, Thiago Silva, Martina Carić, Paulo Vila Real, Davor Skejić

Abstract


According to the Eurocode 3 Part 1-2 (EN1993-1-2) (CEN 2005b), it is possible for structural engineers to consider physical based thermal actions and to do performance based design instead of using prescriptive rules based on nominal fire curves. However, some uncertainties remain in the use of such approaches. This study focus on the clarification of the use of the simplified design methods to assess the fire resistance of unbraced steel frames exposed to fire. On the other hand, a recent study (Couto et al. 2013) suggests the use of a buckling coefficient of 1.0 for all the columns except those belonging to the first storey of a pinned framed where 2.0 should be taken instead and it is unclear if the consideration of such values for the buckling lengths is adequate when using performance based designs.

In this study, a comparison is made between simple and advanced calculation models and it is demonstrated that the simple design methods, using the suggested buckling coefficients to calculate the fire resistance of the frames are safe sided when compared to the use of advanced calculations using the finite element method (FEM).

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