Fire Technology

, 46:91

Numerical Modelling of Thin-Walled Stainless Steel Structural Elements in Case of Fire

  • Nuno Lopes
  • Paulo Vila Real
  • Luís Simões da Silva
  • Jean-Marc Franssen


In this paper, the structural response of stainless steel thin-walled elements submitted to fire is analysed numerically by means of the geometrically and materially non-linear Finite Element program SAFIR, including imperfections. In order to make these simulations, two main changes in the program were made: (i) the code was changed in order to deal with the stainless steel 2D material constitutive law to be used with shell elements and (ii) the possibility of the program to take into account residual stresses with shell finite elements was introduced. The stainless steel stress–strain relationship at high temperatures was based on the one presented in part 1.2 of Eurocode 3. To model the strain hardening exhibited by the stainless steels, using the shell element formulation, an approximation to the Eurocode 3 constitutive law was needed. Local and global geometrical imperfections were considered in the simulations. The paper shows the influence of the residual stresses on the ultimate load-carrying capacity of thin-walled stainless steel structural elements in case of fire.


stainless steel fire thin-walled numerical modelling local buckling 


a, b, c, d

Parameters to calculate the stainless steel stress–strain relationship: and also parameters to calculate the approximation proposed in this paper to the stainless steel hardening rule


Parameter to calculate the stainless steel stress–strain relationship


Tensile strength


The proof strength at 0.2% plastic strain


Plastic strain


Slope of the linear elastic range


Slope of the linear elastic range


Slope at proof strength


Total strain at proof strength


Ultimate strain

σ1, σ2

Principal stresses


Comparison stress of the residual stresses


Stress from the hardening rule


Matrix of residual stresses in the axis i (x, y and xy)


Matrix of residual strains in the axis i (x, y and xy)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nuno Lopes
    • 1
  • Paulo Vila Real
    • 1
  • Luís Simões da Silva
    • 2
  • Jean-Marc Franssen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringLABEST - University of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringISISE - University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Structural EngineeringUniversity of LiegeLiegeBelgium

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