Fire hazards and full-scale structural tests have provided evidence that the beam-column connections of building frames are the weakest structural elements, which are vulnerable to fracture in fire. Connection fractures may lead to extensive damage or even progressive collapse. However, current design methods for connections are solely based on ambient-temperature behaviour, the additional forces and rotations generated in fire are not taken into account. The Structural Fire Engineering Research Group of the University of Sheffield is involved in a European-collaborative project which concerns the behaviour and robustness in fire of practical connections to composite columns. This includes two natural fire tests in a full-scale composite structure in Veselí, the Czech Republic. The Sheffield team was responsible for predicting the structural behaviour in the tests before they were conducted. This assessment was conducted using the specialist structural fire engineering FEA program Vulcan. This paper reports the results of this predictive analysis.
Journal / conference name:
Journal of Structural Fire Engineering