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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 8, Number 1, February 2008 , pages 1-18

Analysis of restrained steel beams subjected to heating and cooling Part I: Theory
Guo-Qiang Li and Shi-Xiong Guo

    Observations from experiments and real fire indicate that restrained steel beams have better fire-resistant capability than isolated beams. Due to the effects of restraints, a steel beam in fire condition can undergo very large deflections and the run away damage may be avoided. In addition, axial forces will be induced with temperature increasing and play an important role on the behaviour of the restrained beam. The factors influencing the behavior of a restrained beam subjected to fire include the stiffness of axial and rotational restraints, the load type on the beam and the distribution of temperature in the cross-section of the beam, etc. In this paper, a simplified model is proposed to analyze the performance of restrained steel beams in fire condition. Based on an assumption of the deflection curve of the beam, the axial force, together with the strain and stress distributions in the beam, can be determined. By integrating the stress, the combined moment and force in the cross-section of the beam can be obtained. Then, through substituting the moment and axial force into the equilibrium equation, the behavior of the restrained beam in fire condition can be worked out. Furthermore, for the safety evaluation and repair after a fire, the behaviour of restrained beams during cooling should be understood. For a restrained beam experiencing very high temperatures, the strength of the steel will recover when temperature decreases, but the contraction force, which is produced by thermal contraction, will aggravate the tensile stresses in the beam. In this paper, the behaviour of the restrained beam in cooling phase is analyzed, and the effect of the contraction force is discussed.
Key Words
    fire-resistance; steel structure; catenary action.
Department of Structural Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, P. R. China

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