A hierarchy of coupling strategies for integrating advanced three-dimensional modelling methodologies for prediction of the thermo-mechanical response of structures in fire has been developed and systematically assessed. The methods have been implemented to link various fire and structural code pairs and a common file format has been established for one-way coupling, facilitating addition of further codes in future. Methodologies based on one-way coupling, with information passing from fire to solid-phase code, have an advantage of flexibility, particularly where omission of structural components from the fire model can be justified, i.e. where there is only a minor influence on the overall gas temperatures and radiative exchange. Where structural components markedly affect the flowfield there is no alternative to including them in the fire simulation, though geometrically simplified representations, using adiabatic solids, may be sufficient. Two-way coupling should be considered when there is a more significant interaction of fire and structure, or when more accurate analysis is required and greater computational costs can be sustained.
- CFD, FEM, solid phase, modelling, coupling