Investigating the Effect of Prior Damage on the Post-earthquake Fire Resistance of Reinforced Concrete Portal Frames

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Abstract

Post-earthquake fire (PEF) can lead to a rapid collapse of buildings that have been partially damaged as a result of a prior earthquake. Almost all standards and codes for the design of structures against earthquake ignore the risk of PEF, and thus buildings designed using those codes could be too weak when subjected to a fire after an earthquake. An investigation based on sequential analysis inspired by FEMA356 is performed here on the immediate occupancy (IO), life safety (LS) and collapse prevention (CP) performance levels of two portal frames, after they are pushed to arrive at a certain level of displacement corresponding to the mentioned performance level. This investigation is followed by a fire analysis of the damaged frames, examining the time taken for the damaged frames to collapse. As a point of reference, a fire analysis is also performed for undamaged frames and before the occurrence of earthquake. The results indicate that while there is minor difference between the fire resistances of the fire-alone situation and the frames pushed to the IO level of performance, a notable difference is observed between the fire-alone analysis and the frames pushed to arrive at LS and CP levels of performance and exposed to PEF. The results also show that exposing only the beams to fire results in a higher decline of the fire resistance, compared to exposing only the columns to fire. Furthermore, the results show that the frames pushed to arrive at LS and CP levels of performance collapse in a global collapse mode laterally, whereas at the IO level of performance and fire-alone situation, the collapse mechanism is mostly local through the collapse of beams. Whilst the investigation is conducted for a certain class of portal frames, the results confirm the need for the incorporation of PEF into the process of analysis and design, and provide some quantitative measures on the level of associated effects. © 2012 The Author(s).

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Ronagh, H. R., & Behnam, B. (2012). Investigating the Effect of Prior Damage on the Post-earthquake Fire Resistance of Reinforced Concrete Portal Frames. International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials, 6(4), 209–220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40069-012-0025-9

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