A. Morovat, Engelhardt, M., Helwig, T., and Taleff, E., “Investigation of Time-Dependent Buckling of Steel Columns Exposed to Fire Temperatures,” Proceedings, 2012 Structures Congress, pp. 2095–2106, 2012.
One of the critical factors affecting the strength of steel columns at elevated temperatures is the influence of material creep. Under fire conditions, steel columns can exhibit creep buckling, a phenomenon in which the critical buckling load for a column depends not only on slenderness and temperature, but also on the duration of applied load. The phenomenon of time-dependent buckling can have a significant impact on the safety of steel columns subjected to fire. This phenomenon has received relatively little research attention, and is not currently explicitly considered in code-based design formulas for columns at elevated temperatures, such as those in the Eurocode 3 or those in the AISC Specification. This paper presents some results of on-going research, which aims at developing analytical, computational and experimental predictions of the phenomenon of creep buckling in steel columns subjected to fire. Analytical solutions using the concept of time-dependent tangent modulus are developed to model time-dependent buckling behavior of steel columns at elevated temperatures. Results from computational creep buckling studies using Abaqus are also presented, and compared with analytical predictions. Material creep data on ASTM A992 steel is also presented in the paper and compared to existing creep models for structural steel at high temperatures. Both analytical and computational methods utilize material creep models for structural steel developed by Harmathy, by Fields and Fields, and by the authors. Predictions from this study are also compared against those from Eurocode 3 and the AISC Specification. Results of this work show that neglecting creep effects can lead to erroneous and potentially unsafe predictions of the strength of steel columns subjected to fire.