Design of Steel Portal Frame Buildings for Fire Safety
This paper describes a study into the fire behaviour of steel portal frame buildings at elevated temperatures using the finite element programme SAFIR. The finite element analysis carried out in this report is three dimensional and covers different support conditions at the column bases, the presence of axial restraints provided by the end walls, different fire severities within the building, different levels of out-of-plane restraint to the columns and the effect of concrete encasement to the columns. From a large number of analyses, it is shown that the bases of the steel portal frames at the foundations must be designed and constructed with some level of fixity to ensure that the structure will deform in an acceptable way during fire, with no outwards collapse of the walls. The analyses also show that to avoid sidesway (i.e. collapse outwards) it is not necessary for steel portal frame columns to be fire-protected unless the designer wishes to ensure that the columns and the wall panels remain standing, during and after the fire.