Fire design rules of light gauge steel frame walls – a review

Gunalan, Shanmuganathan & Mahendran, Mahen (2014) Fire design rules of light gauge steel frame walls – a review. In Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Steel and Composite Structures, Naples, Italy.

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Cold-formed steel members are widely used in load bearing Light gauge steel frame (LSF) wall systems with plasterboard linings on both sides. However, these thin-walled steel sections heat up quickly and lose their strength under fire conditions despite the protection provided by plasterboards. Hence there is a need for simple fire design rules to predict their load capacities and fire resistance ratings. During fire events, the LSF wall studs are subjected to non-uniform temperature distributions that cause thermal bowing, neutral axis shift and magnification effects and thus resulting in a combined axial compression and bending action on the LSF wall studs. In this research a series of full scale fire tests was conducted first to evaluate the performance of LSF wall systems with eight different wall configurations under standard fire conditions. Finite element models of LSF walls were then developed, analysed under transient and steady state conditions, and validated using full scale fire tests. Using the results from fire tests and finite element analyses, a detailed investigation was undertaken into the prediction of axial compression strength and failure times of LSF wall studs in standard fires using the available fire design rules based on Australian, American and European standards. The results from both fire tests and finite element analyses were used to investigate the ability of these fire design rules to include the complex effects of non-uniform temperature distributions and their accuracy in predicting the axial compression strengths of wall studs and the failure times. Suitable modifications were then proposed to the fire design rules. This paper presents the details of this investigation into the accuracy of using currently available fire design rules of LSF walls and the results.

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ID Code: 76349
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cold-formed steel structures, LSF walls, Fire design rules, Fire tests, Finite element analyses
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Structural Engineering (090506)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 24 Sep 2014 23:25
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2014 20:44

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