The fire hazard has an essential impact on the built environment with substantial socio-economic consequences and the greatest threat to life. Several severe fire incidents in building and civil engineering structures have repeatedly demonstrated that the indirect financial loss due to fires, like service interruption and traffic disruption, are often even more severe for the owner of the civil engineering structures as well as society in general. It substantiates the urgent need for ongoing scientific research on global structural fire performance. Structural fire safety science and a deep understanding of the global structural fire performance are the key issues to achieve better fire safety of the built environment in a cost-effective way for society. The impact of fire on large-scale and megastructures, such as high-rise buildings, power plants and bridges must first be investigated and understood with the help of fundamental scientific methods, taking into account fire tests, in order to subsequently enhance markedly state-of-the-art concepts of best practice in engineering.
Steel building structures in fire hazards exhibit inherent structural performance due to interaction mechanisms that evolve between fire-exposed structural steel components in the fire compartment and the fire-protected adjacent cooler structure, as well as load redistribution mechanisms. These beneficial mechanisms are not accounted for in theoretical models commonly used to analyze and assess the structural fire performance. The difficulty of carrying out large-scale data-driven experiments on large-scale structures is a limitation to advancing knowledge as well as to developing and validating new analysis and evaluation methods for effectively describing and mitigating fire hazards. On the other hand, the results of purely numerical simulations performed on global scale of structures cannot be validated and are afflicted with computational uncertainties. Hybrid fire simulation, Hybrid Fire Simulation, however, can precisely fill this methodological gap, will enable a realistic prediction of the structural fire performance and will facilitate providing the scientifically rigorous methodological basis for performance-based structural fire designs.
Within scope of this project, it is aimed to both carry out systematic laboratory fire tests on global steel structures and to develop a rigorous approach to Hybrid Fire Simulation. It enables to scientifically analyze and describe the interaction and failure mechanisms, provide an insight into load redistribution during fire hazards, and develop a framework for a physically sound performance-based analysis and assessment approach to improve structural efficiency of global steel structures in fire.