Effect of Bracing Systems on Fire-Induced Progressive Collapse of Steel Structures Using OpenSees

J. Jiang, G.-Q. Li, Asif Sohail Usmani

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. This paper investigates the effect of various bracing systems on the fire-induced progressive collapse resistance of steel-framed structures using OpenSees. Two types of bracing systems (vertical and hat bracing) and various fire scenarios (single and multi-compartment fires) are considered. Four collapse mechanisms of steel frames in fire are found through parametric studies. General collapse is characterized by the collapse of the heated bay followed by lateral drift of adjacent cool bays. Global collapse of a whole frame is due to the buckling of ground floor columns. Another two lateral collapse modes (local and global) are caused by catenary action developed in the heated beams under large deflections. Vertical bracing systems have positive effects on increasing the lateral restraint of the frame against local or global drift, while when arranged at edge bays of frames they negatively contribute to the spreading of a local damage to global collapse in the form of sequential buckling of adjacent columns through load-transfer mechanisms. For a more realistic arrangement of vertical bracings inside the frame, the bracing acts as a barrier to restrain the spread of local damage to the rest of the frame. Instead, using hat bracing can effectively optimize the load-transfer path through a more uniform redistribution of loads in columns and enhance the resistance of structures against progressive collapse. It is found that the application of vertical bracing systems alone on the steel frames to resist progressive collapse is proved to be unsafe and a combined vertical and hat bracing system is recommended in practical design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1273
Number of pages25
JournalFire Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bracing system
  • Collapse mechanism
  • Fire scenario
  • OpenSees
  • Progressive collapse
  • Steel frame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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