NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Recent Advances in Fire: Structure Analysis.

pdf icon Recent Advances in Fire: Structure Analysis. (1871 K)
Duthinh, D.; McGrattan, K. B.; Khashkia, A.

Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 43, No. 2, 161-167, February 2008.


World Trade Center; structural systems; surface temperature; deflection; insulation; thermometers; structural analysis; thermal analysis; building collapse; equations; computer programs; fire tests; ASTM E 119; experiments; temperature


One of the recommendations of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) for the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster [NIST NCSTAR 1 Final report on the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. NCST for the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, September 2005] is to enhance the capability of available computational software to predict the effects of fires in buildings, for use in the design of fire protection systems and the analysis of building response to fires. Following this recommendation, this paper presents two new interfaces in fire-thermal-structural analysis. The first interface uses adiabatic surface temperatures to provide an efficient way of transferring thermal results from a fire simulation to a thermal analysis. It assigns these temperatures to surface elements of structural members based on proximity and directionality. The second interface allows the transfer of temperature results from a thermal analysis modeled with solid elements to a structural analysis modeled with beams and shells. The interface also allows the reverse, namely the geometric updating of the thermal model with deflections and strains obtained from the structural analysis. This last step is particularly useful in intense fires of long duration, where significant deflections and strains could cause damage to insulation and displace the structure to a different thermal regime. The procedures can be used for a variety of fire simulation, thermal, and structural analysis software.