Fire is among the most important hazards to the built environment with substantial economic implications for society and of greatest threats to life. Therefore, it has a strong impact on the design of civil engineering structures. The structural fire performance of large-scale structures, however, is much better than predictions of traditional structural fire analysis, because beneficial interaction mechanisms evolve between the fire-exposed structural components and the cooler fire-protected adjacent structure. Nevertheless, the opportunities arising from this empirical reality cannot be exploited for efficient performance-based fire designs because there is no methodical analysis approach available that could reliably quantify the beneficial effects of such interaction mechanisms. The results of pure numerical methods cannot be validated at full-scale; and isolated component testing does not allow considering the interaction with the surrounding system. 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. Here, a hybrid model is considered as an extended FE model that controls and integrates, during an ongoing analysis run, data from a physical fire experiment. The project aims to develop a novel approach to cyber-physical simulation in fire safety science and a rigorous methodology for hybrid simulation of coupled thermo-mechanical problems. By applying this approach, it will be possible for the first time to reliably quantify the inherent performance of large-scale structural systems in fire. Hence, the project provides the key prerequisite for the scientifically based optimisation of fire design provisions and a sound and reliable performance-based fire design of large-scale building and engineering structures. In a long-term perspective, this will significantly advance building construction and lead to more efficient and more economic structural fire designs without comprising safety.
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