MATEC Web Conf.
Volume 149, 20182nd International Congress on Materials & Structural Stability (CMSS-2017)
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Session 1 : Materials & Pathologies|
|Published online||14 February 2018|
Connection behaviour and the robustness of steel-framed structures in fire
University of Sheffield, Department of Civil & Structural Engineering, Sheffield S1 3JD, United Kingdom
The full-scale fire tests at Cardington in the 1990s, and the collapse of at least one of the WTC buildings in 2001, illustrated that connections are potentially the most vulnerable parts of a structure in fire. Fracture of connections causes structural discontinuities and reduces the robustness provided by alternative load paths. An understanding of connection performance is essential to the assessment of structural robustness, and so to structural design against progressive collapse. The forces and deformations to which connectionscan be subjected during a fire differ significantly from those assumed in general design. The internal forces i generally start with moment and shear at ambient temperature, then superposing compression in the initial stages of a fire, which finally changes to catenary tension at high temperatures. If a connection does not have sufficient resistance or ductility to accommodate simultaneous large rotations and normal forces, then connections may fracture, leading to extensive damage or progressive collapse of the structure. Practical assessment of the robustness of steel connections in fire will inevitably rely largely on numerical modelling, but this is unlikely to include general-purpose finite element modelling, because of the complexity of such models. The most promising alternative is the component method, a practical approach which can be included within global three-dimensional frame analysis. The connection is represented by an assembly of individual components with known mechanical properties. Component characterization must include high-deflection elevated-temperature behaviour, and represent it up to fracture.In reality a connection may either be able to regain its stability after the initial fracture of one (or a few) components, or the first failure may trigger a cascade of failures of other components, leading to complete detachment of the supported member. Numerical modelling must be capable of predicting the sequence of failures of components, rather than considering the first loss of stability as signifying building failure. It is necessary to use a dynamic analysis, so that loss of stability and re-stabilization can be tracked, includingthe movements of disengaging members and the loadsharing mechanisms which maintain integrity and stability within the remaining structure, until total collapse occurs.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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