Investigating the Collapse of a Warehouse Structure


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Title: Investigating the Collapse of a Warehouse Structure

Author(s): F. J. Vecchio and M. P. Collins

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 12

Issue: 3

Appears on pages(s): 72-78

Keywords: collapse; concrete slabs; deformation; fires; floors; frames; loads (forces); reinforced concrete; structural analysis; warehouses; General

Date: 3/1/1990

A reinforced concrete warehouse structure was subjected to floor loads considerably greater than design-specified values when a major collapse occurred. An explosion and a major fire occurred at the same time. Investigations were undertaken to estimate floor-load capacity and other factors to establish the cause of the crash. Details of the structure's design and construction, and of the loads imposed, are presented. Nonlinear analyses are described in which calculations were made of the floor's theoretical load-deformation response and of its response under fire conditions. Results indicate that nonlinear effects in reinforced concrete structures, most notably membrane action, can result in floor load capacities surprisingly larger than design values. 614-390