Lateral instability of slender reinforced concrete columns in a fire environment

  • Nicholas J. Weeks

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research concerns the development and application of an analytical computer program, SAFE-ROC, that models material behaviour and structural behaviour of a slender reinforced concrete column that is part of an overall structure and is subjected to elevated temperatures as a result of exposure to fire. The analysis approach used in SAFE-RCC is non-linear. Computer calculations are used that take account of restraint and continuity, and the interaction of the column with the surrounding structure during the fire. Within a given time step an iterative approach is used to find a deformed shape for the column which results in equilibrium between the forces associated with the external loads and internal stresses and degradation. Non-linear geometric effects are taken into account by updating the geometry of the structure during deformation. The structural response program SAFE-ROC includes a total strain model which takes account of the compatibility of strain due to temperature and loading. The total strain model represents a constitutive law that governs the material behaviour for concrete and steel. The material behaviour models employed for concrete and steel take account of the dimensional changes caused by the temperature differentials and changes in the material mechanical properties with changes in temperature. Non-linear stress-strain laws are used that take account of loading to a strain greater than that corresponding to the peak stress of the concrete stress-strain relation, and model the inelastic deformation associated with unloading of the steel stress-strain relation. The cross section temperatures caused by the fire environment are obtained by a preceding non-linear thermal analysis, a computer program FIRES-T.
Date of Award1985
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn A. Purkiss (Supervisor)


  • Lateral instability
  • slender reinforced concrete columns
  • fire environment

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