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4.

Achieving fire resistance

Tensile Membrane Action (TMA)


TMA can develop in concrete floors subjected to fire,
provided the proper design provisions are implemented
TMA is favorable for the fire behavior
Focus here on steel-concrete composite structures
Objective: explain TMA and apply the adequate design provisions
What is it? How does it work?
How can we design the structures to take advantage of this behavior?

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Steel concrete composite structures
Development of tensile membrane action in the floor (reinforced concrete slabs)
Example of a performance-based approach leading to cost reduction

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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Observation: Cardington tests (UK)
- Max T in steel was about 1150C
- Classical element-based fire calculation
predicts failure at 680C
- How did the structure survive?

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J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Composite steel concrete floor in normal conditions
- Supports offered by secondary beams limit the floor span
- The floor spans in one direction and works in bending ( beam )
L1
Side A A
LADO
SIDE
A

Secondary
beams
Vigas internas

Unprotected

no
protegidas
internal

Side D

SIDE
Side BB B
LADO

LADO
SIDED D

beams

L2
Peripheral beams
Vigas
Protected
perifricas
perimeter
protegidas
beams

Side B C
LADO
SIDE
C

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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Composite steel concrete beam/floor in bending (normal conditions)

Composite beam in bending

Composite floor in bending

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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Composite steel concrete floor in fire conditions
- Secondary beams, unprotected, lose stiffness and offer no support
- Tensile membrane action develops on the wider panel between peripheral beams
L1
Side A A
LADO
SIDE
A

Secondary
beams
Vigas
internas
Unprotected
(unprotected)
no protegidas

Side D

SIDE
Side BB B
LADO

LADO
SIDED D

internal
beams

L2
Peripheral beams
Vigas
Protected
(protected)
perifricas
perimeter
protegidas
beams

Side B C
LADO
SIDE
C

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Composite steel concrete floor in TMA (fire conditions)

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


One-way members simply supported (bending) VS fixed (catenary action)

Catenary action

Bending
Structural system

Deformed shape and


reactions

Development of catenary action in one-way members


Not easily activated because the tensile forces need to be equilibrated by external
reactions at the extremities
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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Two-way members (slabs) - How does tensile membrane action works?
The concrete slab is like a piece of fabrics
When it is very much deformed, it is subjected to tensile forces
(supported by the steel reinforcing mesh)

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Two-way members (slabs) - How does tensile membrane action works?
The concrete slab is like a piece of fabrics
When it is very much deformed, it is subjected to tensile forces
(supported by the steel reinforcing mesh)
Different possibilities to equilibrate the tensile forces
By external horizontal forces?

By peripheral members?

By compression in the slab

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


How does it work?

Catenary action in a beam (1D)

Membrane action in a slab (2D)

- Shift from bending to tension

- Shift from bending to tension

- Large displacements (deflection)

- Large displacements (deflection)

- Tensile forces equilibrated by


external horizontal forces

- Tensile forces equilibrated by compression


in the slab auto-equilibrated

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


How does it work?

Membrane action in a slab (2D)

- Large displacements due to thermal gradient


- Tension in central zone (steel rebars) equilibrates
the vertical force owing to displacements (2nd order)
- Peripheral compression ring develops from
geometrical reasons
- Tensile forces are anchored in the compression
ring
- This effect can develop without any external
horizontal reaction (horizontal forces autoequilibrated); only vertical supports are needed at
the extremities

Floor with compressive and


tensile force lines

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J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Benefits for design
- Slab supported by primary beams and secondary beams
- Secondary beams can be left without thermal insulation
- In fire conditions, the secondary beams quickly lose their load bearing capacity, but
tensile membrane action can develop in the wider panel
L1

SIDE
LADO
Side B B

DD
Side D
LADO
SIDE

Side AA
LADO
SIDE
A

Secondary
Vigas
internas
Unprotected
no
protegidas
beams
internal
beams
unprotected
L2

Peripheral
Vigas
Protected
beams
perifricas
perimeter
protegidas
beams
protected

LADO
SIDE
C
Side BC

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Example of a performance-based approach leading to cost reduction in design

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2016/2017

University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Example of a performance-based approach leading to cost reduction in design

40 to 55% of steel beams


can be left unprotected
thermal insulation is put
only where necessary!
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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors

Protected

Effet membranaire: btiment ArcelorMittal, Flmale, B


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J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Conceptual design in the plan view
- Divide the floor into rectangular slab panels (aspect ratio < 3)
- One column must be present on each corner, no column inside the panel
- Protect the edge beams of the panel

- Leave internal beams of the panel unprotected

Ribs

Primary beam

Secondary beam

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Conceptual design in the section
- Reinforced concrete slabs or composite steel-concrete floors
- Provide steel mesh at mid-level of the slab (cover) with sufficient section to withstand
tensile membrane forces and sufficient overlapping between adjacent meshes
- Provide sufficient thickness of the slab to withstand compression membrane forces
Bending
lever arm

Membrane action
cover for fire
protection
Slab

Composite floor

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J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Typical failure modes are:
a) Tension in the slab (central crack parallel to the short edges of the panel)
b) Compression in the compression ring or in the corners of the slab
c) Bending in the protected edge beams (receives more load than at room temperature)

d) Connection between:
1. unprotected beams and protected beams
2. protected beams and columns

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J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Simulation by finite element method (SAFIR) tests for model validation

Diamond 2

FILE: UlsterS1
NODES: 2031
BEAMS: 260
TRUSSES: 0
SHELLS: 1664
SOILS: 0

IMPOSED DO
DISPLACEME
TIME: 6316.5

F0
F0
F0
F0

F0
F0
F0

F0
F0
F0
F0
F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0
F0
F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

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Z

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Experimental research project FICEB (funded by RFCS)
Test performed on February 27, 2010 in Ulster, UK

Compartment 15 m x 9 m
Composite structure with cellular steel beams
Steel mesh: 393 mm/m
Mechanical load: 3.25 kN/m
Fire load: 700 MJ/m

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Experimental research project FICEB (funded by RFCS)
1. Fire action OZone model
- Model: combination of Two-Zone and One-Zone fire
- Model: post flash-over uniform temperature in the compartment =(t)

- In reality: measures show a certain spatial disparity


1200

Middle
OZone model

1000

Temperature [C]

Left back
800
600

Right front

400

Right back

Left front

200
0
0

30

60

90

120

150

Time [min]

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2016/2017

University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Experimental research project FICEB (funded by RFCS)
2. Thermal response SAFIR model
- Input data for fire action: OZone results (step 1)
- Analysis of heat transfer in each section of the beams and slab

Diamond 2009.a.4 for SAFIR


1

1 11 111111 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111111 11 1

FILE: prot2
NODES: 1683
ELEMENTS: 1523

22222

22222

22
222 2 2 2
2
2
2
22
2
2222222222222222222
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
22
2
22222222222222222222

FRONTIERS PLOT
CONTOUR PLOT
TEMPERATURE PLOT
TIME: 3600 sec
>Tmax
900.00
800.00
700.00
600.00
500.00
400.00
300.00
200.00
100.00
20.00

2
2
2
2
2
2

222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Experimental research project FICEB (funded by RFCS)
3. Structural response SAFIR model
- Input data for the thermal response: SAFIR results (step 2)
- Analysis of the evolution of displacements, stresses, etc. in the structure
Diamond 2009.a.5 for SAFIR

Secondary beam
unprotected

FILE: UlsterH1
NODES: 2031
BEAMS: 260
TRUSSES: 0
SHELLS: 1664
SOILS: 0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

BEAMS PLOT
SHELLS PLOT
IMPOSED DOF PLOT

Composite slab
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

prot1.tem
prot2.tem
prot3.tem
unpr1.tem
slab_side.tsh
slab_center.tsh

F0

F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0

F0

F0
F0

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Primary beam protected


University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Experimental research project FICEB (funded by RFCS)
Results: deflections at mid-span

Note: no tuning of the parameters (e.g.: use of the OZone T and not measured T )
validation of predictive capability
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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Diamond 2009.a.5 for SAFIR
FILE: UlsterS1
NODES: 2031
BEAMS: 260
TRUSSES: 0
SHELLS: 1664
SOILS: 0

IMPOSED DOF PLOT


DISPLACEMENT PLOT ( x 1)

Experimental research project FICEB (funded by RFCS)


TIME: 7737.3 sec

Finite element simulation (SAFIR) for model validation

F0
F0
F0
F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0
F0
F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

Y
Z

1.0 E+00 m

X
Y

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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Shift from bending mode to tensile membrane action
Diamond 2012.a.0 for SAFIR
FILE: ulsterft1b
NODES: 2031
BEAMS: 260
TRUSSES: 0
SHELLS: 1664
SOILS: 0
SOLIDS: 0

Ambient conditions

Fire conditions

DISPLACEMENT PLOT ( x 10)


DISPLACEMENT PLOT ( x 10)
TIME: 20.2 sec

(amplified)

Diamond 2012.a.0 for SAFIR


FILE: ulsterft1b
NODES: 2031
BEAMS: 260
TRUSSES: 0
SHELLS: 1664
SOILS: 0
SOLIDS: 0

F0
F0
F0
F0

F0

IMPOSED DOF PLOT


DISPLACEMENT PLOT ( x 15)
DISPLACEMENT PLOT ( x 15)
N1-N2 MEMBRANE FORCE PLOT

F0
Z

F0
F0

TIME: 20.2 sec

F0
F0

- Membrane Force
+ Membrane Force

F0

1.0 E+00 m

F0 1.0 E-01F0
m
F0

F0
F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0
Z

F0
F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0

F0
Y
X

5.0 E-01 m
Y

F0
F0

1.0 E+00 m

Tension: red | Compression: blue

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F0
F0

F0

F0
F0

F0

F0

F0

University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


What do we learn from such a test?
Validation of tensile membrane action with cellular steel beams
Increased confidence in design and execution (e.g.: steel mesh in concrete)
Validation of software (OZone, SAFIR) and capability to reproduce (and predict) a
test on a loaded structure under natural fire
Increased confidence in material models (e.g.: concrete)
General impact
Improved knowledge of tensile membrane action
Possibility of substantial cost reductions in fire protection of steel beams
Opportunity of implementation of this effect in the Eurocodes
Opportunity of use of numerical methods to generate more results (parametric
analyses) for calibration of simplified methods that can be incorporated in codes

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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Different experimental research programs
Full scale tests
Some in a lab (ISO fire), some in natural conditions
Collapse observed in one test but very severe design

Size [m x m]

FRACOF COSSFIRE

TONGJI

MOKRSKO

FICEB

8,7 x 6,7 8,4 x 6,7

5,2 x 3,7

12,0 x 9,0 15,0 x 9,0

MUNCHEN
7,5 x 5,0

Slab [mm]

97

75

70

60

69

Bars [mm]

257

256

335

196

393

Load [kN/m]

3,87

3,93

9,00 - 18,00

3,00

3,25

2,10

Fire

ISO

ISO

ISO

Results [min]

123

120

75 - 100

620 MJ/m 700 MJ/m 584 MJ/m


Collapse

Survival

Survival

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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Numerical calculation model for TMA
Transient analysis
Step by step quasi static analysis
Dynamic analysis
Shell-membrane finite element
3D beam finite element
Plane stress constitutive model for concrete
plasticity-damage
strain reversal
cooling
transient creep
Uniaxial constitutive model for the steel bars
Large displacements
Thermal expansion
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University of Liege

J-M Franssen & T. Gernay

4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Simple calculation models for TMA

1. C. Bailey method
Treats slab panels individually (no horizontal link between panels)
Orthotropic steel mesh and unprotected beams can be considered
Load bearing capacity calculated in bending by the yield line theory is
enhanced by a factor that takes into account the beneficial effect of tensile
membrane action
Crushing of concrete in the corners can be verified
2. C. Clifton
Developed a user-friendly computer software
Considers the flexibility of the protected edge beams
3. G.Q. Li
Based on equilibrium equations
Horizontal and vertical displacements fully fixed on the edges
4. See also Omer, Izzudin & Elghazouli
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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Implementation in real projects

The shard in London

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4. Achieving fire resistance

Tensile membrane action in composite floors


Conclusion

Tensile membrane action is an efficient load transfer mode

It has been observed in real fires and studied in full scale experimental tests

It allows leaving around 50% of the steel beams unprotected

It can be verified by simple models or by numerical analyses

It is accompanied by large displacements

It requires special attention on the building site

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