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Stainless steel structures in fire: Behaviour, numerical modelling and design

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, August 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Owing to its combination of excellent corrosion resistance, superior mechanical properties and aesthetic appearance, stainless steel is increasingly being utilised as a structural material, offering sustainable construction with increased design life and low maintenance requirements.

In fire, stainless steel exhibits significantly different material response with better strength and stiffness retention relative to conventional carbon steel widely used in construction, leading to significantly enhanced performance for stainless steel structures relative to their carbon steel counterparts at elevated temperatures. However, despite this significant quality of stainless steel over ordinary carbon steel at elevated temperatures, the current European structural steel fire design standard EN 1993-1-2 recommends the design provisions originally developed for carbon steel structures for the design of stainless steel structures in fire, typically leading to inaccurate and overly-conservative designs of stainless steel structures at elevated temperatures.

With the aim of improving the design provisions provided in EN 1993-1-2 for stainless steel structures, this PhD project will focus on the behaviour and design of stainless steel structures in fire. Various instability phenomena encountered in stainless steel structural elements will be thoroughly explored. Advanced nonlinear numerical models able to replicate the behaviour of stainless steel structural members in fire will be created by means of the finite element analysis software ABAQUS and validated against experimental results. Design methods for stainless steel elements in fire, furnishing very accurate assessment of their behaviour at elevated temperatures, will be developed for the purpose of their future incorporation into European structural steel fire design code EN 1993-1-2.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold (or expected to obtain by the start date, October 2019) a first class or upper second class honours degree (and/or postgraduate MSc degree) in Civil/Structural Engineering. Applicants should have strong understanding of structural behaviour and strong interest in developing appropriate mathematical and computer models for structural analysis and design.

Funding: The annual stipend will be £14,777 (tax free), for 3 years, with university fees paid at the UK/EU rate. The full scholarship is for UK/EU students only.

How good is research at University of Warwick in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 94.75

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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