The Performance of Preloaded Bolts in Seismically Prequalified Steel Joints in a Fire Scenario

Materials (Basel). 2020 Nov 11;13(22):5079. doi: 10.3390/ma13225079.


Seismically pre-qualified beam-to-column joints guarantee large ductility in seismic scenarios thanks to the effectiveness of the design rules and technological requirements that are devoted to avoiding the failure of brittle components (i.e., bolts and welds). However, their performance under different severe actions like those induced by fire has not been properly investigated. Therefore, a parametric study based on finite element simulations has been carried out with the aim to verify the effectiveness of local details of seismically prequalified joints under fire. Finite element analyses were carried out on beam-to-column assemblies sub-structured from a reference archetype building accounting for both material and geometrical imperfections. The bolts' internal actions were monitored in all the investigated specimens varying the applied vertical loads. The results show that the seismic design rules adopted to size the bolts are effective to resist the large increase in shear forces in the bolts occurring under fire. Thus, the investigated joints provide satisfactory ductility and rotation capacity at high temperature preventing the failure of bolts; further analysis could be conducted to investigated the fire performance of the investigated joints in a seismic scenario.

Keywords: beam-to-column joint; bolt; finite element analyses; fire; seismic design; steel structures.