Failure mechanism of steel frames subjected to post-earthquake fires

Gabriel-Victor Risco, Luisa Giuliani, Varvara Zania

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Despite building fires may occur as a consequence of a previous earthquake, current regulations do not require fire verifications on a structure previously or concurrently solicited by a seismic action, thus implicitly considering fire and earthquake as a statistically independent accidental actions.
On the other side, modern seismic design relies on the structural ductility, meaning that a post-earthquake fire will act on a weakened and deformed structure, which could potentially possess a lower fire resistance than expected by the design performed on an integer structure.
This paper aims at investigating the post-earthquake fire resistance of steel buildings, looking in particular at the structural response of two uninsulated steel moment resisting frames of different height (a 5-storey and a 10-storey frame). Each frame was subjected to two different earthquakes, selected among 9 different accelerograms, and then several different fire scenarios were considered, where the elements involved in the fire were assigned a temperature history calculated from a standard fire exposure. Times of local element failure and global collapse in case of post-earthquake fire are reported and compared with the case of fire acting on the integer structure. The results show that the fire resistance of both frames is not strongly affected by a previous earthquake, but the collapse mechanism can in some cases change in a detrimental way for firefighting operations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Structures in Fire
Number of pages8
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event10th International Conference on Structures in Fire - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jun 20188 Jun 2018
Conference number: 10


Conference10th International Conference on Structures in Fire
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Post-earthquake fire
  • Steel structures
  • Moment resisting frame
  • Parametric study


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