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The rational approach for the design of building structures to resist the effects of fire has advanced significantly over the past decade. Part of this advancement has been the development of a computer model, FASBUS II, which predicts the structural response of steel-framed floor systems exposed to fire. An evaluation of this model using large-scale test data has demonstrated its ability to accurately predict the influence of heating on the overall performance of these floor assemblies. The approach represented by the traditional test method, Method for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials (ASTM E 119-83), contrasts markedly with the engineering-based solution utilized in the FASBUS II model. In order to evaluate this difference, the performance associated with each approach has been characterized and a comparison made. As a result, a relationship between thermal restraint in the test and restraint due to predicted structural interaction has been suggested.
Using the analytical solution represented by FASBUS II, an evaluation of actual details of construction can be made and the interaction between the exposed and unexposed portions of the structure can be examined. Such an analysis provides the designer with information that will contribute to a more accurate and effective means of accessing structural fire endurance.
fire endurance, structural response, computer model, FASBUS II, steel frames, floor systems, restrained construction
Senior engineer, American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, DC,