Cyclic behaviour of as-built and strengthened existing reinforced concrete columns previously damaged by fire

Jose Melo, Zafiris Triantafyllidis, David Rush, Luke A. Bisby, Tiziana Rossetto, Antonio Arede, Humberto Varum, Ioanna Ioannou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A structure, during its life, may be subjected to multiple hazards. These hazards are sometimes combined over a short period of time, or in some cases occur many years apart, with the first hazard influencing the structural response under a second hazard. A reinforced concrete (RC) structure previously damaged by fire and then exposed to seismic loading is one such example. To assess such structures, the effects of fire on the cyclic performance of RC elements needs to be better understood. Moreover, it is also important to develop and validate strengthening methods that can reinstate or improve the seismic performance of fire-damaged RC elements. This paper presents the results of a novel experimental campaign where six full-scale RC columns with detailing representing existing Mediterranean buildings designed to old seismic codes are subjected to fire and then cyclic loading. Four RC columns were damaged after exposure to 30 or 90 minutes of the ISO 834 standard fire curve in a furnace and then tested under uniaxial cyclic lateral loading up to failure. Two of these columns were repaired and strengthened post-fire with Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) wrapping. The strengthening method aimed to increase the concrete strength through confinement, and to increase the displacement ductility and energy dissipation capacity under seismic loading. Two additional control columns, one as-built and another strengthened, were cyclically tested for comparison with the fire-damaged columns. It was found that the 30 minute fire exposure resulted in few concrete cracks, whilst cover spalling and general cracking was observed in the 90 minute fire exposure. A significant decrease in the displacement ductility and dissipated energy of the columns was observed following fire exposure, even for the 30 minute fire. The columns that had post-fire repair and CFRP strengthening, showed better cyclic performance than the control column without fire exposure. It was also found that post-fire strengthened columns may reach similar seismic performance than similarly strengthened columns without previous fire damage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114584
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Existing RC columns
  • Fire damage
  • post-fire strengthening
  • post-fire cyclic loading
  • experimental tests


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