Fire severity measures and engineering demand parameters for probabilistic structural fire engineering. (2019)
Type of ContentElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsShrivastava, Mayankshow all
Probabilistic Structural Fire Engineering (PSFE) has been introduced to overcome the limitations of current conventional approaches used for the design of fire-exposed structures. Current structural fire design investigates worst-case fire scenarios and include multiple thermal and structural analyses. PSFE permits buildings to be designed to a level of life safety or economic loss that may occur in future fire events with the help of a probabilistic approach. This thesis presents modifications to the adoption of a Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) framework in Probabilistic Structural Fire Engineering (PSFE).
The probabilistic approach runs through a series of interrelationships between different variables, and successive convolution integrals of these interrelationships result in probabilities of different measures. The process starts with the definition of a fire severity measure (FSM), which best relates fire hazard intensity with structural response. It is identified by satisfying efficiency and sufficiency criteria as described by the PBEE framework. The relationship between a fire hazard and corresponding structural response is established by analysis methods. One method that has been used to quantify this relationship in PSFE is Incremental Fire Analysis (IFA). The existing IFA approach produces unrealistic fire scenarios, as fire profiles may be scaled to wide ranges of fire severity levels, which may not physically represent any real fires. Two new techniques are introduced in this thesis to limit extensive scaling.
In order to obtain an annual rate of exceedance of fire hazard and structural response for an office building, an occurrence model and an attenuation model for office fires are generated for both Christchurch city and New Zealand. The results show that Christchurch city is 15% less likely to experience fires that have the potential to cause structural failures in comparison to all of New Zealand.
In establishing better predictive relationships between fires and structural response, cumulative incident radiation (a fire hazard property) is found to be the most appropriate fire severity measure.
This research brings together existing research on various sources of uncertainty in probabilistic structural fire engineering, such as elements affecting post-flashover fire development factors (fuel load, ventilation, surface lining and compartment geometry), fire models, analysis methods and structural reliability. Epistemic uncertainty and aleatory uncertainty are investigated in the thesis by examining the uncertainty associated with modelling and the factors that influence post-flashover development of fires. A survey of 12 buildings in Christchurch in combination with recent surveys in New Zealand produced new statistical data on post-flashover development factors in office buildings in New Zealand. The effects of these parameters on temperature-time profiles are evaluated. The effects of epistemic uncertainty due to fire models in the estimation of structural response is also calculated. Parametric fires are found to have large uncertainty in the prediction of post-flashover fires, while the BFD curves have large uncertainties in prediction of structural response. These uncertainties need to be incorporated into failure probability calculations. Uncertainty in structural modelling shows that the choices that are made during modelling have a large influence on realistic predictions of structural response.