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Title: Fire resistance simulation for high strength reinforced concrete
Author: Ezekiel, Samson
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 7045
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2015
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High strength reinforced concrete (HSRC) has been used more frequently in the construction of high rise buildings and other concrete structures in recent decades due to its advantages and excellent performance over normal strength and conventional reinforced concrete. Some of these advantages include: higher strength, better durability and allowance for provision of using less concrete and smaller section sizes. Although HSRC performs better than normal strength reinforced concrete (NSRC) at ambient temperatures, NSRC has been found to perform better than HSRC at elevated temperatures and fire conditions. Provision of adequate fire resistance for reinforced concrete (RC) structures is essential as fire represents an extreme loading and hazardous condition to which a structure might be exposed during its life span. The fire resistance of RC members is evaluated using a prescriptive approach which is irrational and conservative. Current codes of practice and construction in industry are moving towards performance based fire design method with computing software, which is a rationally based method with each structure designed to meets its own need. This method requires comprehensive knowledge and modelling of concrete and reinforcement material behaviour and their response at elevated temperatures. The fire resistance of HSRC members (columns and beams) in this study was evaluated using a three-dimensional Finite Element (FE) model created in ANSYS. The stress – strain behaviour of concrete proposed in this research was used in modelling the behaviour of concrete in ANSYS, while other concrete and steel material properties were accounted for by using models proposed by other researchers. The fire resistance of the HSRC members is evaluated using coupled field analysis (thermal – structural analysis) with performance based failure criteria provided in the code of practice. The accuracy of the FE model was verified by comparing the thermal response, structural response and predicted fire resistance with fire test results obtained. Using the validated FE model, parametric studies were conducted to investigate the influence of various parameters affecting the fire performance of HSRC members exposed to fire. From the parametric studies conducted, simplified calculation models were developed for evaluating the resistance of HSRC members (columns and beams) exposed to fire. These models were validated with results from ANSYS and a fire resistance test. The simple model accounts for major factors such as member size, load ratio and fire scenario, and therefore can be easily incorporated into structural design. The FE model and simple calculation model provide a rational approach for evaluating the fire resistance of HSRC (members) and predict a more accurate fire resistance than the prescriptive approach.
Supervisor: Xiao, Robert ; Kraincanic, Ivana Sponsor: Petroleum Technology Development Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral