An extended travelling fire method framework for performance-based structural design

Xu Dai, Stephen Welch, Olivier Vassart, Kamila Cábová, Liming Jiang, Jamie Maclean, George Charles Clifton, Asif Usmani

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the extended travelling fire method (ETFM) framework, which considers both energy and mass conservation for the fire design of large compartments. To identify its capabilities and limitations, the framework is demonstrated in representing the travelling fire scenario in the Veselí Travelling Fire Test. The comparison between the framework and the test is achieved through performing a numerical investigation of the thermal response of the structural elements. The framework provides good characterization of maximum steel temperatures and the relative timing of thermal response curves along the travelling fire trajectory, though it does not currently address a non-uniform fire spread rate. The test conditions are then generalized for parametric studies, which are used to quantify the impact of other design parameters, including member emissivity, convective heat transfer coefficient, total/radiative heat loss fractions, fire spread rate, fire load density, and various compartment opening dimension parameters. Within the constraints of this study, the inverse opening factor and total heat loss prove to be the most critical parameters for structural fire design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-457
Number of pages21
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • large compartment fire
  • numerical heat transfer
  • performance-based design
  • structural fire engineering
  • travelling fires
  • Veselí travelling fire test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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