Numerical modelling of the structural fire behaviour of composite buildings

A. Y. Elghazouli, B. A. Izzuddin, A. J. Richardson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes numerical models constructed to simulate the response of composite steel/concrete building floors under fire conditions. In particular, this study deals with two of the fire tests recently undertaken on a full-scale multi-storey building at Cardington, UK. The analysis is carried out using a structural analysis program which accounts for both geometric and material nonlinearities, and which includes temperature-dependent constitutive models for steel and concrete materials. The approaches used to represent the various structural details are discussed, and the procedure employed for incorporating the experimentally measured temperature profiles and histories is outlined. For the two tests considered in this investigation, the numerical results are in general agreement with the experimental data, particularly in terms of the magnitude of vertical deformations induced in the floors at elevated temperatures. Close examination of the numerical and experimental findings provides an insight into the complex interactions that occur in the structure at elevated temperatures. Most significantly, the influence of the restraint to thermal expansion of the heated floor area, which is provided by the surrounding parts of the structure, is shown to be of paramount importance. The increasing confidence that can be placed in numerical models as well as the improved understanding of the structural fire response may be used in developing more realistic and cost-effective design methods which are based on the actual structural response rather than that of isolated members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-297
Number of pages19
JournalFire Safety Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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