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Multi-Hazard Experiment of the Full-Scale Steel Structural Building.

Recently the frequency and intensity of major disasters such as earthquakes and fires gradually increases. It reveals that the probability of the building structures undergo multi-hazard impacts within a short period of time might become very high. To study the behaviors of building structures subjected to these extreme forces, the Architecture and Building Research Institute (ABRI) had conducted a full-scale steel building test on November 29, 2016. The structural response, decay of the seismic capacity, and rehabilitation technology of post-fire building structures were fully investigated.
Constructed in 2015 and equipped with base isolators and a shaker, the full-scale structural building is a one story steel moment resisting system (Fig. 1). It is designed for multi-hazard experiment to study structure responses under the combination of fire and certain level of seismic forces. The test included static and dynamic loading tests before and after fire to explore the impact of fire damage to the seismic capacity of building structures.
To simulate office fire scenario, the beam and floor behavior under multi-hazard test had done as a first step. Experiment factors such as loading combination including fire loads were referred to Eurocode 1 and British Research Establishment (BRE) fire test in Cardington. The results showed the flash occurred in 15 minutes and the highest temperature reached over 1000℃. The maximum deflection of beam and floor was approximate 10 cm, 40% higher than the value before fire. In the end, the beam lost its loading capacity due to lateral torsional buckling occurred, therefore vertical loads redistributed to floor and girder causing the infrastructure to fail (Fig.2). As for the dynamic response, the natural frequency of the steel building was 4.064 Hz after fire, 1.5% lower than the value (4.125 Hz) before fire.
The experiment team comprised ABRI and National Cheng Kung University. Tainan City Government Fire Bureau also sent a squad by request in case accident might happen. Infra-red Thermal Imager was set to measure the temperature and deformation of the whole structure (Fig. 3). All the information would be very helpful for fire fighters to understand and judge the moment of retreat that the structure become unsafe when fighting with fire.
While building codes in Taiwan mainly focus on seismic design, professional engineering are, however, eager to know the fire failure mode of the whole and members of building structures. In recent years, ABRI has made several attempts to strengthen structural safety by conducting a series studies on shear connecter, catenary effect, membrane action, and lateral torsional buckling behavior of steel and concrete structures. These tests will help fill this gap in knowledge in the hope to promote the capability in both seismic and fire design.


  • Multi-Hazard experiment of the full-scale steel structural building.jpg
  • Deformation and damage of beams during fire
  • Structure temperature monitored by Infra-red thermal imager