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A Review of Models for Heat Transfer in Steel and Concrete Members During Fire



Dilip K. Banerjee


Structural design for fire is conceptually similar to structural design conducted under ambient temperature conditions. Such design requires an establishment of clear objectives and determination of the severity of the design fire. In the commonly used prescriptive design method for fire, fire resistance (expressed in hours) is the primary qualification metric. This is an artifact of the standard fire tests that are used to determine this quantity. When conducting a performance-based approach for structural design for fire, it is important to determine structural member temperatures accurately when the members are exposed to a real fire. In order to evaluate the fire resistance of structural members such as structural steels and concrete, both the temporal and spatial variation of temperatures must be accurately determined. The transient temperature profiles in structural members during exposure to a fire can be determined from a heat transfer analysis. There are several models/approaches for analyzing heat transfer that have been used to determine the transient structural temperatures during a fire event. These range from simple models to advanced models involving three-dimensional heat transfer analysis employing finite element or finite difference techniques. This document provides a brief summary of some of the common simple and advanced approaches that have been used for conducting heat transfer analysis of both steel and concrete members when exposed to fire.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


concrete members, fire, heat transfer analysis, steel members


Banerjee, D. (2021), A Review of Models for Heat Transfer in Steel and Concrete Members During Fire, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created October 22, 2021, Updated December 16, 2021