Fire safety engineering and Structural fire resistance (1° MOD)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and ability to understand:
Knowledge of the mechanical behavior of structures subjected to fire. Knowledge of the European Standard Codes. Knowledge of the construction details and protection systems.
Ability to choose and design the different structural elements of reinforced concrete, steel, masonry and wood.
The student must be able to design the structural elements and choose the systems of fire protection
During the course, students must refine their technical dictionary on the topic.
Students must have the ability to select the most appropriate design choice also evaluating options that are not perfectly identical to those shown during the course.
Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course the student will learn the basic principles of the
thermofluidynamics of the fire. He must also acquire knowledge of
numerical codes used in fire safety design fire on the basis of the
Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to deal with a design study case using the
engineering approach to fire safety and in particular to the use of
numerical codes accredited in this field.
By the end of the course the student will have the tools to critically
evaluate the design choices in the field of fire safety design.
The student must possess the ability to present clearly the procedure
adopted in the assessment of the fire safety of a compartment on the
basis of the engineering approach including the use of codes of
simulation / visualization of the dynamics of the fire.
Strength of Materials and Structural Mechanics
To follow the course with profit requires knowledge of the basic concepts
of Applied Physics. It is also useful to have familiarity with the basic
features of Microsoft Excel.
Course contents summary
Theoretical and applied aspects for the design of structures in reinforced concrete, steel, masonry and wood.
The course is divided in two parts: a theoretical and an activity of
exercises. The theoretical part covers the following topics: Performance based approach to fire safety engineering. Regulatory national and international reference. The process of
combustion. Thermal power released
by the fire.
Natural fire: the plume of smoke and fire. Parametric models. Fire resistance
of structures. Nominal fire curves. Production and dynamics
Smoke from the fire. Numerical analysis applied to the thermal fluid dynamics and modeling of thermal stress of structures in case of fire. The activities carried out in exercise
computer lab, focused on case studies, is aimed at the
acquisition of the fundamental elements for the use of calculation codes
in fire design.
1 ) The fire resistance in accordance with Italian Codes and Eurocodes .
2 ) Actions on structures exposed to fire according to EN 1991-1-2
3 ) Fire design of reinforced concrete structures according to EN 1992-1-2 and UNI 9502. Tabular and analytical methods; Protection systems
4 ) Fire design of steel structures according to EN 1993-1-2 and UNI 9503. Graphic and analytical method . Protection systems of structures
5 ) Fire design of masonry structures according to EN 01/02/1996
6 ) Fire design of wood structures according to EN 1995-1-2 and UNI 9504. Protection systems
Regulatory and engineering approach to fire design:
national and international regulatory framework of reference, the DM May
9, 2007, ISO / TR 13387, stages of fire growth, the condition of flashover,
the fire load and specific design fire load.
Thermodynamics of combustion:
combustion process, combustion byproducts, amount of oxygen
consumed, theoretical air of combustion, stoichiometric concentration,
ventilation ratio, over ventilated and underventilated conditions.
Energy balance of the flame: enthalpy of combustion, adiabatic
combustion temperature, minimum energy energy, extinguishing agents,
Classification of the flames: the limits of flammability and premixed
flames, measurement of flammability limits, flammability diagrams,
diffusive flames, laminar and turbulent jet flames.
Regimes of burning: RHR, rate of burning, the pool fire, the alpha tsquared
model, fire development.
Natural fire: the flame height, the plume of smoke and fire, the ideal
model of the plume, the Zukoski model, the Heskestad model, the
Thomas model The model of The, the McCaffrey model The model of The
, Production and dynamics of the smoke produced by the fire,
Fire resistance of structures: the nominal fire curves, application
examples, passive protection of structures.
Numerical analysis applied to the thermo fluid dynamics of the fire: The
zone models and field models, C-Fast, FDS.
The exercise activities carried out in the computer lab, focused on case
studies, are aimed at the acquisition of the fundamental elements for the
use of CFD codes for fire simulation and fire safety design.
Buchanan AH, "Structural design for fire safety", Wiley
Additional material available at the web site" University Campus net " : Electronic copy of the slides used during the course. Track of all the exercises done.
INGEGNERIA DELLA SICUREZZA ANTINCENDIO, Antonio La Malfa Case
Editrice "Lagislazione Tecnica Editrice" di Roma
An Introduction to Fire Dynamics, by D. Drysdale, John Wiley Edition
Additional educational material available on the University web learning
site “Campus Net”: Lecture slides.
The student will develope an homework on the fire assesment of a simple structure in steel or concrete (slab, or beam, column, etc.)
Slides will be used to convey the most important messages of the theory
lectures. The students will perform the experiments during the lab
sessions. The part devoted to the lab training includes lessons in the
computer lab aimed at the simulation of the dynamics of combustion for
some representative fire of practical interest. Each tutorial provides an
introduction to the case study, an activity carried out independently by
the students, followed by an elaboration and discussion of results.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam starts from the discussion of the homework done by the student.
Knowledge : theoretical questions ( 60 % )
Communication skills : dictionary ( 10 % )
Making judgments : design choices ( 30 % )
The examination is based on a practical test to be carried out with the aid
of the computer codes used in the tutorials, followed by an oral
examination. The examination is weighted as follows: 50% practical test
(proper analysis of the case study); 50% oral exam (theory questions and
It is strongly recommended to attend the course
Lecture attendance is highly recommended.