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Seeking stability in fire for stainless steel structures

Owing to its excellent corrosion resistance and durability even in the most adverse environmental conditions, stainless steel is increasingly being utilised as a structural material, offering sustainable construction with increased design life and low maintenance requirements. Currently, the primary factors hindering its wide-spread utilisation are its high initial cost and price volatility. However, its very low maintenance requirements and high scrap value considerably offset this initial cost when the entire service life of a structure is considered.

At elevated temperatures, stainless steel exhibits significantly different material response with better strength and stiffness retention relative to conventional carbon steel widely used in construction, leading to considerably different response for structures made of stainless steel in fire. However, the methods provided in the current European structural steel fire design standard EN 1993-1-2 for the design of stainless steel structures at elevated temperatures are virtually the same as those originally developed for carbon steel, thus resulting in an inaccurate assessment of their actual behaviour at elevated temperatures.

This talk will be concerned with my latest research focusing on the improvement of EN 1993-1-2 for the design of stainless steel structures in fire. The outcomes, which will be discussed in the talk, are expected to be incorporated into the upcoming version of the European structural steel fire design code EN 1993-1-2.