Computational performance of beam-column elements in modelling structural members subjected to localised fire

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    In the past decades, increasing attention has been directed to understanding the structural response to various scenario fires, which is stimulated by the trend of considering localised burning in large open plan compartments. Beam-column elements as widely used in modelling steel frames have been extended to account for the thermal impact in OpenSees, the development of which is undertaken to formulate the displacement and force-based beam elements. After including the non-uniform thermal expansion along the element length caused by localised heating, the force-based beam-column element has shown greater efficiency compared to the displacement-based element. A detailed discussion regarding the computational performance of both beam-column elements has been presented in this paper, which concludes that force-based beam-column elements can better represent the localised plasticity of fibres caused by non-uniform heating. A generic simply supported steel beam can be modelled even with two force-based elements to reproduce accurate mid-span deflection under localised heating. A steel beam subjected to a localised fire is presented as a case study in this paper, experiencing run-away collapse after 15 min of exposure when the load ratio reaches 50%. Using a 12 element force-based beam-column model and shows equivalent accuracy against 48 element displacement-based beam-column model.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)490-502
    Number of pages13
    JournalEngineering Structures
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


    • Finite element method
    • Localised fire
    • Steel framed structure
    • Thermo-mechanical analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering


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