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FDS-FEM Simulation Method and Its Application to Model Localized Fire Tests on Steel Members



Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is an open source CFD code, developed by NIST. It has been widely used in fire engineering for modeling the gas phase environment (temperature, heat flux, velocity, species concentrations, etc.) in fires. Recently, there has been increased research in the application of FDS for structural fire analysis. Firestructure interface tools for transferring data from FDS to particular FEM codes (such as ANSYS, ABAQUS, SAFIR) have been developed. Although both FDS and FEM codes have been separately validated, there needs to be a direct validation for the integrated FDS-FEM simulation methodology. This paper validates the integrated FDS-FEM simulation methodology against a number of localized fire tests reported in literature. Localized fire tests on steel columns and on ceiling steel beams were simulated using the FDS-FEM method. The concept of adiabatic surface temperature used for transferring data from FDS to FEM was presented and the limitation of the concept was discussed. The FEM program ANSYS was used to conduct the heat transfer analyses and thermo-mechanical analyses to get the temperature and structural responses of the tested steel beams and steel columns.

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