Realistic fire resistance evaluation in the context of autonomous infrastructure

Liming Jiang, Xiqiang Wu, Yaqiang Jiang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic research


For decades, the community of fire safety engineers have been dedi-cated to applying appropriate measures to improve the fire resistance of modern structures. However, estimation of structural resilience in fires is almost narrowed down to the practice of using standard fire curve and prescriptive design (i.e., applying fire protection simply ac-cording to the rate of fire resistance). Even with the recent spread of performance-based design (PBD) approaches within the fire-safety community, the tools for and understanding of structural fire engineer-ing still lag severely behind. In the 1990s, the ground-breaking Card-ington fire tests have demonstrated the significance of investigating system-level responses in evaluating the fire resistance, from which the floor system was found to survive in a post-flashover fire through a tensile membrane action. A similar breakthrough was made after rig-orous investigations on the tragic collapse of World Trade Center (WTC) buildings on 11 September, 2001, which, by contrast, has shown the system-level vulnerability of modern designed structures. Had the towers not been hit by the aircraft and only set on fire, com-prehensive investigations showed that they would have still collapsed. With the decades of research, many fundamental mechanisms of structural behaviour in fires have been identified. The advance of modern technologies and techniques have been utilized in understand-ing the structural behaviour in fires and ultimately preventing the fire induced failure and collapse. This chapter begins with a brief intro-duction of these fire induced collapses to underline the complexity of fire-structure interaction analyses, which is followed by a summary of the latest established design fire scenarios and structural failure mech-anisms. While highlighting visionary application of autonomous infra-structure in evaluating structural fire resistance, smart technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) have been summarized in the con-text of predicting fire behaviour and structural responses. As a pio-neering attempt to investigate the collapse criteria for early warning, the tests in Sichuan Fire Research Institute (SCFRI) are presented to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to monitor the critical events leading to fire induced structural collapse. At the end of this chapter, the prospect of future structural fire resistance evaluation is discussed, while such a vision will always focus on improving the safety performance of built environment considering fire threats.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cognitive and Autonomous Systems for Fire Resilient Infrastructures
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-98685-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-98684-1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022


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