SENSITIVITY OF STRUCTURES TO FIRE DECAY PHASES, Quantitative comparison of structural components made of different materials

Thomas Gernay


This work presents an analysis of the behaviour of different structural members under natural fires, with the aim to characterize their sensitivity to the fire decay phase. Thermo-mechanical numerical simulations based on the non-linear finite element method are conducted using the parametric fire model of Eurocode to represent the natural fires. Results show that, for all the studied members (column, beam) and materials (reinforced concrete, steel, timber), structural failure during or after the cooling phase of a fire is a possible event. The major factors that promote delayed structural failure are the thermal inertia and the constituting material of the member. An indicator is proposed to quantify the propensity to delayed failure for structural members under natural fire. This work enhances the understanding of the structural behaviour under natural fires and has implications for the safety of the fire brigades and people proceeding to a building inspection after a fire.


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