Numerical prediction of structural fire performance for precast prestressed concrete flooring systems.
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
In predicting the likely behaviour of precast prestressed concrete flooring systems in fire using advanced finite element methods, an improved numerical model using the non-linear finite element program SAFIR has been developed in order to investigate the effects and the interaction of the surrounding structures and has been used extensively throughout this thesis. Note that fire induced spalling is not included in the analysis. In the numerical investigation of the new model, the reinforced concrete topping is modelled as part of the beam elements in order to predict the behaviour of single hollowcore concrete slabs, with various support conditions, under a Standard ISO fire. It is shown that the current approach using tendons that are anchored into the supporting beams leads to a major problem for precast prestressed flooring systems. In order to resolve this problem, a multi-spring connection model has been developed to include the old and new connection systems corresponding to the New Zealand Concrete Standard NZS 3101. The connection model with hollowcore slabs is validated against a published fire test. The investigation on restrained hollowcore floors is performed with various parameters and boundary support conditions. Numerical studies on various boundary support conditions show that the behaviour of hollowcore floors in fire is very sensitive to the existence of side beams. Further investigations on the effects of fire emergency beams, which reduce the transverse curvature of floors to improve fire resistance, are made on 4x1 multi-bay hollowcore floors with different arrangements of theses beams. The numerical studies show that fire emergency beams significantly increase the fire resistance. Code based equations which can calculate the shear resistance and splitting resistance are then introduced. The Eurocode equation can be modified with high temperature material properties to estimate the shear capacity of a hollowcore slab. The modified Eurocode equation which is fit to fire situations validated against the published literature with respect to shear tests in fire. The structural behaviour of single tee slabs having different axial restraint stiffness as well as the variation of axial thrust in fire is then studied. SAFIR analyses of single tee slabs show that fire performance can increase when a web support type is used that has high axial restraint stiffness. A series of test results on prestressed flat slabs conducted in United States are used to validate a simply supported numerical model. The application of multi-spring connection elements is also investigated in order to examine the feasibility of continuity.