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Chao Zhang, John L. Gross, Lisa Y. Choe


Recent numerical studies on the behavior of steel components subjected to a localized fire are presented. Sequentially coupled thermo-mechanical simulations were conducted to predict the steel temperature distribution, the deformation mode and failure temperature of restrained beams, the lateral torsional buckling resistance of simply supported beams, and the buckling behavior of unrestrained and restrained steel columns. Heat fluxes from a localized fire to the exposed surfaces of the beams were calculated according to correlations derived from localized fire tests. Simple approaches were provided to calculate the temperature of steel columns surrounded by and adjacent to a localized fire. The main findings of these studies were: the behaviour of a steel component in a localized fire may be totally different from that of the component in a standard fire, and the failure temperature of a steel component in a localized fire may be much lower than that of the component in a standard fire. This study illustrates the importance of (1) using realistic, worst-case fires in conducting structural design for fire, and (2) accounting for the behavior of the structural system as a whole. The technical basis underpinning such calculations is currently lacking and is the motivation for the development of the National Fire Research Laboratory (NFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This facility is capable of conducting full scale structure tests under real fires such as localized and compartment fires.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structures in Fire
Conference Dates
June 11-13, 2014
Conference Location
Shanghai, -1
Conference Title
8th International Conference on Structures in Fire (SiF'14)


Localized fire, Numerical simulation, Steel beam, Steel Column, Temperature gradient, Buckling
Created June 11, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017