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This thesis studied the effect of aging of intumescent coatings (ICs) on the reliability of protected steel columns in fire condition and developed a probabilistic approach to assess the service life of ICs applied on steel columns. In the study, Monte Carlo simulations were conducted to obtain the reliability index or failure probability of steel columns protected by ICs subjected to compartment fires. The effect of aging of intumescent coatings on the failure probability of protected steel columns was investigated by using variable insulation property of intumescent coatings in the simulation. The test data on aging effect on insulation property of intumescent coatings from literature was used. Based on the reliability analysis, a probabilistic approach is given to determine the service life of intumescent coatings for steel columns. In that approach, the failure probability of the protected steel columns is compared with the target probability of the structural fire design. The approach can also be used for probabilistic analysis of steel columns protected by conventional inert fire protection materials.



Chapter 1. Introduction

In prescriptive codes, steel structures are commonly requested to be protected with thermal insulation to achieve the specified fire resistance ratings.
Chao Zhang

Chapter 2. Fire Modeling

A real fire will generally undergo six stages which include ignition, growth, flashover, full fire development or steady burning, decay and extinguishment.
Chao Zhang

Chapter 3. Steel Temperature in Natural Fires

Post-flashover fires are widely adopted to represent natural fires. In literature, the temperature of a steel member exposed to a post-flashover fire is usually determined by first modeling the fire phenomenon by a empirical correlation (e.g. parameter fire model [1]) or advanced compute simulation (e.g. Fire Dynamic Simulation [2]) to obtain a temperature-time curve to represent the fire environment, then substituting the fire curve into a 1D condensed heat transfer model to obtain the steel temperature [3].
Chao Zhang

Chapter 4. Thermal Properties of Intumescent Coatings in Fire

Intumescent coatings, by their advantages like attractive appearance, potential for off-site application and practically taking no space, are now the dominant passive fire protection materials used in industrial and public buildings [1].
Chao Zhang

Chapter 5. Behavior of Steel Columns in Fire

Columns are the critical building components, failure of which usually leads to progressive collapse of the local or global structures.
Chao Zhang

Chapter 6. Reliability Analysis

This chapter presents the probabilistic study on reliability of steel columns protected by intumescent coatings to natural fires.
Chao Zhang

Chapter 7. Service Life of Intumescent Coatings

This chapter presents a probabilistic approach to determine the service life of intumescent coatings for steel columns. An example is provided to show the application of the approach.
Chao Zhang

Chapter 8. Conclusions and Further Work

This research is diverse and wide ranging. It has covered in some detail all areas necessary to determine the reliability of steel columns protected by intumescent coatings subjected to natural fires. One zone model for predicting the gas temperature of post-flashover fires and its sub-models have been reviewed in detail.
Chao Zhang


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