The Analysis Of Partial And Damaged Fire Protection On Structural Steel At Elevated Temperature

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Renga Rao Krishnamoorthy


Intumescent coating fire protection on steel structures is becoming widely popular in the UK and Europe. The current assessment for the fire protection performance method using the standard fire resistance tests is not accurate, owing to the reactive behaviour of intumescent coating at elevated temperature. Moreover, the available intumescent coating temperature assessment method provided in the Eurocode for structural steel at elevated temperature does not incorporate the steel beam's behaviour and/or assessment for partial protection and/or damaged protection. The research work presented provides additional information on the assessment of partial and/or damaged intumescent coating at elevated temperature. In the scope of the investigation on the thermal conductivity of intumescent coating, it was found that the computed average thermal conductivity was marginally sensitive to the density and emissivity at elevated temperature. However, the thermal conductivity was found to be reasonably sensitive to the differences in initial dft's (dry film thicknesses).In this research, a numerical model was developed using ABAQUS to mimic actual indicative test scenarios to predict and establish the temperature distribution and the structural fire resistance of partial and/or damaged intumescent coating at elevated temperatures. Intumescent coating actively shields when the charring process occurs when the surface temperature reaches approximately 250°C to 350°C. Maximum deflection and deflection failure times for each damage scenario were analyzed by applying specified loading conditions. It was also found that the structural fire resistance failure mode of intumescent coating on protected steel beams was particularly sensitive to the applied boundary conditions. Careful selection of nodes in the element was necessary to avoid numerical instability and unexpected numerical error during analysis. An assessment of various numerical models subjected to a standard fire with partially protected 1mm intumescent coating was analysed using ABAQUS. An available unprotected test result was used as a benchmark. The outcome suggests that the fire resistances of the beams were found to be sensitive to the location of the partial and/or damage protection. The overall fire resistance behaviour of intumescent coating at elevated temperature was summarized in a 'typical deflection regression' curve. An extensive parametric analysis was performed on localized intumescent coating damage with various intumescent coating thicknesses between 0.5mm to 2.0mm. It was found that the average deflection was linear for the first 30 mins of exposure for all the variables, damage locations and intumescent thicknesses. It was concluded that a thicker layered intumescent coating may not be a better insulator or be compared to a much less thick intumescent coating at elevated temperature. The use of passive fire protection, however, does enhance the overall fire resistance of the steel beam, in contrast to a naked steel structure. The research work investigated the intumescent coating behaviour with different aspects of protection and damage and the outcome of the assessment provided a robust guide and additional understanding of the performance of intumescent coating at elevated temperature.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Colin Bailey (Supervisor)
Award date1 Aug 2012