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Numerical modelling and experimental assessment of concrete spalling in fire

Manuchehr Shamalta1, Arnoud Breunese1, Willy Peelen2 and Joris Fellinger1
1 TNO Centre for Fire Research, Delft, the Netherlands
2 TNO Civil Infrastructure, Delft, the Netherlands

In this paper, the phenomenon of spalling of concrete in fire has been studied using a numerical model. Spalling is the violent or non-violent breaking off of layers or pieces of concrete when it is exposed to high temperatures as experienced in fires. The types and mechanisms of spalling have been explained. A numerical model has been developed, which takes into account main characteristics of the real phenomenon. To improve the stability, robustness and calculation time of the model analysis, the transport phenomenon and the mechanical behaviour have been coupled in a staggered way. The system of differential equations describing the transport phenomenon has been implemented in FEMLAB, an interactive environment to model single and coupled phenomenon based on partial differential equations. A one-dimensional example has been studied. It has been shown that the results are physically reasonable but still validation of the results needs to be done. These results will be validated against the experimental measurements and the results obtained by other recently developed models predicting the concrete spalling.

Key words: Concrete spalling, fire, high temperatures, porous medium, numerical modelling, staggered analysis