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Aluminium structures exposed to fire conditions – an overview

J. Maljaars1, L. Twilt1, J.H.H. Fellinger2, H.H. Snijder3, F. Soetens1, 3
1 TNO Built Environment and Geosciences, Delft, the Netherlands
2 Max-Planck-Institut für plasmaphysik, Garching, Germany
3 Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

This paper gives an overview of the structural behaviour and design of aluminium structures exposed to fire conditions. Two design approaches are elaborated: the 'traditional' approach that is mainly based on conventions and the fire safety engineering approach that is more based on physics. For the traditional approach, equations for the aluminium member temperature are provided, mechanical properties are given and recently developed calculation models for flexural buckling, local buckling and heat affected zone rupture are presented. For the fire safety engineering approach the possibilities for evaluation of member temperature are provided, a constitutive model for aluminium alloys is given which can be implemented in finite element programmes and two design examples are presented to show the evaluation of the structural behaviour. The paper concludes that the fire safety engineering approach is preferred for the fire resistance evaluation in particular for structures made of materials sensitive to fire conditions, such as aluminium alloys.

Key words: Fire design, fire safety engineering, elevated temperature, heating, creep, aluminium, local buckling, flexural buckling, heat affected zone