The University of Sheffield
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Modelling The Thermomechanical Behaviour Of Concrete Subjected To High Temperatures

Supervisor: Dr Giacomo Torelli

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the modelling of the mechanical behaviour of concrete subjected to high temperatures. This is due to the necessity of assessing the fire resistance of concrete structures such as nuclear pressure vessels, containers for chemicals, water towers or reservoirs, silos, and building structures in fire (particularly travelling fire) conditions.

When heated in absence of mechanical load, concrete presents a thermal expansion usually referred to as Free Thermal Strain (FTS). However, if concrete is subjected to a compressive load while heated, a different thermal strain is measured. The difference in between the thermal strain measured in case of mechanically loaded concrete and the FTS is commonly defined as Load-Induced Thermal Strain (LITS). LITS develops in the direction of the compressive load and its order of magnitude is comparable to the one of the FTS. Hence, accurate understanding LITS is crucial for reliably modelling the behaviour of heated concrete.

This project will focus on the effects of LITS and thermomechanical damage on the behaviour of concrete subjected to high temperatures. Advanced experiments will be performed. Original constitutive material models will be formulated to accurately capture the behaviour of heated concrete.

This project is NOT FUNDED, although Departmental/University scholarships are available for applicants who can demonstrate strong evidence of research potential.