Bi-linear columns

Artist's_impression_of_KPG_designed_52-54_Lime_StreetOur latest structural fire engineering paper has just been published online by Engineering Structures. The paper makes the case for detailed structural fire engineering design, and uses the example of “geometrically bi-linear columns” to show that just because a fire resistance is specified – doesn’t mean the structure will achieve it.

The paper was inspired by a commercial project, 52 Lime Street; this was a job that my co-authors and I worked on at Arup. While we were working on the project, we realised that some of the column arrangements were geometrically bi-linear – and were vulnerable to the effects of fire. During the design, we took a series of corrective measures to ensure that the structure would achieve sufficient fire resistance.

Once our project involvement was over – we couldn’t let it drop. We realised that there was potentially a much bigger lesson to be learnt about structural fire resistance. After I arrived at Fire Lab UQ, I started working with my co-authors to unpick the issues, and gain a better understanding of how these columns behave in a fire – and how it is possible to improve their fire resistance.

The “standard heating” paper is only the beginning of this study – so stay tuned for future updates.

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