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Simulation Methodology for Coupled Structural Fire Analysis



Chao Zhang, Julio C. Goncalves Da Silva, Craig G. Weinschenk, Daisuke Kamikawa, Yuji Hasemi


Advanced simulation methods are needed to precisely predict the complex behavior of structures exposed to natural fire conditions. Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, developed by NIST for fire related simulations. In recent years,there has been an increase in use of FDS for performance-based analysis in the area of structural fire research. This paper discusses two FDS to finite element method (FEM) one-way coupling methodologies for advanced structural fire analysis. First, a concept used to transfer data from FDS to FEM codes, namely adiabatic surface temperature is used and its limitations are discussed. Then, a newly developed tool named Fire-Thermomechanical Interface (FTMI) is applied. A high temperature stress-strain model for structural steel developed by NIST is also included in the FEM analysis. The methodologies predicted both the thermal and structural responses of a steel column in a localized fire condition. The results indicate that these procedures can provide reliable performance-based analysis.
Fire Technology


CFD-FEM simulation method, Structural fire analysis, Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS), Fire- Thermomechanical Interface (FTMI), Adiabatic surface temperature, Finite element simulation, Localized fires, Steel column, Validation study


Zhang, C. , Goncalves, J. , Weinschenk, C. , Kamikawa, D. and Hasemi, Y. (2015), Simulation Methodology for Coupled Structural Fire Analysis, Fire Technology, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created May 28, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018