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Experiments And Modeling Of Unprotected Structural Steel Elements Exposed To A Fire

Hamins, A., Mcgrattan, K.B., Prasad, K., Maranghides, A. and Mcallister, T., 2005. Experiments And Modeling Of Unprotected Structural Steel Elements Exposed To A Fire. Fire Safety Science 8: 189-200. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.8-189


A large-scale fire experiment was conducted to assess the accuracy of a combination of gas and solid-phase models designed to predict the temperatures of structural steel elements exposed to a fire. The experiment involved a 2 MW heptane spray fire in a compartment that was nominally 4 m by 7 m by 4 m tall. The compartment openings were designed such that natural ventilation flowed into the compartment from one side and flowed out through the opposing side. Measurements included the surface temperature of uninsulated steel elements and the temperature of the upper layer gases in the compartment. The measurements were compared to predictions made by a computational fluid dynamics model of the fire coupled with a finite-element model of the steel. The numerical predictions of the steel surface temperatures were within 8% of the measurements on-average. An analysis showed that the uncertainty in the prediction could be attributed to the uncertainty in the prescribed heat release rate in the fire model.


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), compartment fires, performance-based design, structural response

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