Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 37-52 (2006)



Zhaohui Huang 1,*, Ian Burgess2 and Roger Plank3

1 Lecturer, Department of Civil & Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK.

*(Corresponding author: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Tel: +44 (0) 114 2225710, Fax: +44 (0) 114 2225700)

2 Professor, Department of Civil & Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK.

3 Professor, School of Architectural Studies, University of Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.





In this paper a numerical analysis procedure which employs a sub-structuring technique together with selective node re-numbering, is described as a way of efficiently modelling the response of buildings to fires which are restricted to internal compartments. In this procedure user-defined cool regions of the building model are substructured and condensed into a linear "super-element", which has nodes connected to the non-linear sub-structures located within and in the immediate vicinity of the fire zone. The procedure has been incorporated into the non-linear program Vulcan which has been developed to model the structural response of loaded structures to fire attack, and two full-scale fire tests have been modelled to examine the computational efficiency of the method. The method makes it much easier than previously to investigate the influence of the surrounding cool structure on the behavior of elements within the fire compartment, and its efficacy has been investigated for these two tests.


Keywords:Super-element; Sub-structuring; Re-numbering; Structural fire behaviour; Finite element analysis.


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