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ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice No. 138: Performance-Based Fire Design Guidance for Concrete Structures

Monday, March 28, 2022  4:00 PM - 6:00 PM, C-Boca I

Structural fire engineering represents one of the most promising opportunities for structural engineers to provide value-added services to project stakeholders. In conjunction with new provisions in Appendix E of ASCE/SEI 7-16, a first-of-its-kind ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice has been developed to provide structural engineers a baseline level of guidance to practice structural fire engineering. In this context, a structural system may be appropriately designed for both ambient and fire loads, which presents nearly endless possibilities in terms of design freedom, as well as enhanced intrinsic structural fire safety. It is envisioned that this new Manual will foster best practices in industry, as well as fuel new research to address the compilation of knowledge gaps clearly identified herein.
Learning Objectives :
(1) Explain the new ASCE Manual of Practice 138 and highlight its usefulness and significance to practitioners and educators;
(2) Discuss avenues for implementation and value-added design in the current regulatory environment;
(3) Identify opportunities to incorporate the document into structural engineering educational curriculums and continuing professional development programs;
(4) Educate participants on current structural fire engineering research projects and case studies.


Introduction to ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice No. 138: Structural Fire Engineering

Presented By: Kevin LaMalva
Affiliation: Warringtonfire
Description: As a refreshing alternative to traditional prescriptive approaches to structural fire safety, performance-based structural fire engineering is beginning to establish a foothold in the United States. Advancements put forth by the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of ASCE are paving the way for a regulated engineered alternative to the long-standing archaic requirements for structural fire resistance. Notably, a first-of-its-kind ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice 138: Structural Fire Engineering, has been developed to provide structural engineers a baseline level of guidance to practice structural fire engineering. Also, this manual provides building officials the tools to properly evaluate structural fire engineering designs. Advancing the adoption of performance-based structural fire engineering within the AEC industry will benefit public safety while delivering more efficient and economic building designs. This presentation will introduce ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice 138 and its applications, as well as its envisioned impact on future editions of the ACI 216 standard.


Behavior and Design of Concrete Structures Under Natural Fires

Presented By: Thomas Gernay
Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University
Description: Structural Fire Engineering Design explicitly evaluates demand and capacity of structural systems under fire exposure. This explicit evaluation considers natural fire exposure conditions resulting from a physically based description of the fire (as opposed to a standard fire exposure). Designing structures under natural fires requires an understanding of the response of materials and structural assemblies under both the heating and cooling phases of the fire. This presents opportunities as the designer can explicitly demonstrate the ability of a structure to resist to full fire burnout or other discretionary performance objectives identified by the stakeholders in accordance with ASCE/SEI 7 Appendix E. To enable this shift in fire design of concrete structures, research work is ongoing as part of an ACI Foundation project to collect data about concrete behavior in cooling and propose design methods for burnout resistance. This presentation will describe the outcomes of the project, as well as the envisioned impact on the ACI 216 standard with respect to behavior and design of concrete structures under natural fires.


Explosive Spalling in Concrete Elements Under Fire: New Experiments and Analyses Toward Performance-Based Design

Presented By: Aerik Carlton
Affiliation: Lehigh University
Description: Concrete is widely viewed as a fire-resistant material due to its low thermal conductivity and non-combustibility. However, concrete under intense thermal loading may exhibit explosive spalling, for which there is currently no consensus design criteria or prediction methodology. The guidelines established in ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice 138: Structural Fire Engineering recommend that the loss of section due to spalling be considered in performance-based design of concrete structures under fire. The document also emphasizes that new research is needed to more clearly establish the material and heating conditions that trigger spalling as well as the degree of section loss when spalling occurs. This presentation will showcase the results of a recently completed experimental program and subsequent numerical work at Lehigh University that focuses on the initiation of fire-induced spalling in normal weight reinforced concrete panels. This research effort has focused on the potential for fire-induced spalling in concrete tunnel liners, but the results can be generalized to other types of concrete structures as well. The goal of this effort is to develop simplified approaches that are conducive to the performance-based design methodologies that are currently outlined in ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice 138 for concrete structures.


Structural Performance of Composite Floor Systems in Fire

Presented By: Lisa Choe
Affiliation: NIST
Description: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been conducting a series of large compartment fire experiments on the full-scale test building constructed at the National Fire Research Laboratory, with the aim to quantify the complex behavior and limit states of the 9.1 m × 6.1 m composite floor system commonly built in the United States. This talk will provide a brief overview of the NIST composite floor test program and some results from the first and second fire experiments and will discuss the influence of steel reinforcement (welded wire reinforcement versus reinforcing bars) on the structural performance of the composite floor slab subjected to a large compartment fire. Concepts covered in ASCE/SEI Manual of Practice No. 138 Section 8.3 (Mechanical Properties of Concrete and Reinforcing Steel) are highlighted in this talk.


Fire Behavior of Post-Installed Anchoring Systems

Presented By: Nicolas Pinoteau
Affiliation: CSTB
Description: Post-installed anchors and post-installed reinforcement are often used in construction to provide flexibility, to correct mistakes on jobsites, and to enable extensions and strengthening of structural elements. Unprotected anchors of all types directly exposed to fire conditions may experience failure due to softening of the steel (e.g., stripping of threads). In addition, fire conditions may reduce the strength of the concrete and thus the breakout strength associated with anchorages. Most significantly, organic binders (e.g., epoxies) account for a significant percentage of adhesive anchoring products used for threaded rod and reinforcing bar connections. These products have a heightened sensitivity to elevated temperatures, including in fire conditions where the internal concrete temperatures can approach or exceed their glass transition temperature. Testing and design methodologies for post-installed reinforcement follow the “Resistance Integration Method” established in Europe in, e.g., European Assessment Document 330087 based on work by Pinoteau and others. Work is ongoing to implement this approach into ACI testing and design standards for anchors in concrete. Additional steel and concrete failure mode considerations are needed for post-installed mechanical and adhesive anchors, which are also intended to be addressed in ACI testing and design standard update. This paper provides basic information about anchoring systems, their sensitivity to elevated temperatures, and the assessment and design methodologies anticipated in ACI documents. Design examples using the Resistance Integration Method are provided.


Performance-Based Fire Design of Concrete Plenum over Train Tracks

Presented By: Luciana Balsamo
Affiliation: Thornton Tomasetti
Description: Thornton Tomasetti redesigned a deteriorated concrete plenum over train tracks passing below an existing building. We followed a performance-based approach to structural-fire safety and evaluated the replacement plenum structure in the event of a train fire. The capacity of the plenum structure (lightweight concrete slab and the supporting steel tube hangers) was evaluated under the effect of the extreme-event load combination per ASCE 7-16. We explicitly analyzed the reduction in strength of the structural steel, reinforcing steel and lightweight concrete at elevated temperatures and considered changes to concrete mix design to reduce spalling in case of fire. Our final design is able to resist a train fire for one hour without failure.

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