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Advances in Concrete Construction
  Volume 1, Number 1, March 2013 , pages 29-44

Methodology for investigating the behavior of reinforced concrete structures subjected to post earthquake fire
Behrouz Behnam, Hamid R. Ronagh and Hassan Baji

    Post earthquake fire (PEF) can lead to the collapse of buildings that are partially damaged in a prior ground-motion that occurred immediately before the fire. The majority of standards and codes for the design of structures against earthquake ignore the possibility of PEF and thus buildings designed with those codes could be too weak when subjected to a fire after an earthquake. An investigation based on sequential analysis inspired by FEMA356 is performed here on the Life-Safety performance level of structures designed to the ACI 318-08 code after they are subjected to two different earthquake levels with PGA of 0.35 g and 0.25 g. This is followed by a four-hour fire analysis of the weakened structure, from which the time it takes for the weakened structure to collapse is calculated. As a benchmark, the fire analysis is also performed for undamaged structure and before occurrence of earthquake. The results show that the vulnerability of structures increases dramatically when a previously damaged structure is exposed to PEF. The results also show the damaging effects of post earthquake fire are exacerbated when initiated from second and third floor. Whilst the investigation is for a certain class of structures (regular building, intermediate reinforced structure, 3 stories), the results confirm the need for the incorporation of post earthquake fire in the process of analysis and design and provides some quantitative measures on the level of associated effects.
Key Words
    fire resistance rating; performance based design; post earthquake fire; reinforced concrete structures; sequential analysis
Behrouz Behnam, Hamid R. Ronagh and Hassan Baji: School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Australia
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