Concrete exposed to fire: From fire scenario to structural response

Francesco Pesavento, Matteo Pachera, Pierfrancesco Brunello, Bernhard A. Schrefler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


In this paper a model for the analysis of concrete structures exposed to fire, based on Porous Media Mechanics, is coupled with a computational fluid dynamics model. To show the capability of this strategy the numerical simulation of a simple concrete slab exposed to fire is presented. The thermal loads as well as the moisture exchange between the structure surface and the environment are calculated by means of computational fluid dynamics program. Thanks to this strategy the structural verification is no longer based on the standard fire curves commonly used in the engineering practice, but it is directly related to a realistic fire scenario. With the simple example proposed, it is possible to highlight how the localized thermal load generates a nonuniform pressure rise in the material, which results in an increase of the structure stress state and of the spalling risk. Spalling is likely the most dangerous collapse mechanism for a concrete structure. Numerical results of various sections of the slab exposed to fire are presented, showing the effects of a more realistic distribution of the thermal loads with respect to the ones obtained by using the standard fire curves. This coupling approach still represents a "one way" strategy, i.e. realized without considering explicitly the exchange of boundary conditions from the structure to the fluid. This results in an approximation, but from physical point of view the current form of the solid-fluid coupling is considered sufficiently accurate in this first phase of the research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConcrete under Severe Conditions - Environment and Loading
EditorsMatteo Colombo, Marco di Prisco
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783035710441
StatePublished - 2016
Event8th International Conference on Concrete under Severe Conditions - Environment and Loading, CONSEC 2016 - Lecco, Italy
Duration: Sep 12 2016Sep 14 2016

Publication series

NameKey Engineering Materials
ISSN (Print)1013-9826
ISSN (Electronic)1662-9795


Other8th International Conference on Concrete under Severe Conditions - Environment and Loading, CONSEC 2016


  • CFD
  • FEM
  • Fire-structure interaction
  • High temperature
  • Porous media mechanics
  • Spalling risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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