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fire design

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Title: fire design

Many engineers--especially those on the West Coast--are over-specifying fire protection for structural steel-framed buildings, according to AISC. The main culprit is the concept of "restrained" and "unrestrained" fire resistance ratings. Introduced in the late 1960s (and unique to North America), the concept of restraint as it relates to fire protection is poorly understood. Although similar terminology is frequently used in structural design, in the context of fire engineering it should be emphasized that restrained ratings relate solely to resistance to thermal expansion. And a review of actual fire data, full-scale fire tests and analytical modeling reveals that structural steel-framed buildings should be classified as restrained for purposes of specifying fire protection.

If you have any questions or comments about restrained fire ratings, please visit AISC's chat room ( on Tuesday, June 26 at 2 p.m. central time. Socrates Ioannides and John Ruddy from Structural Affiliates International, Inc., Nashville, will be discussing Fire Engineering, restrained/unrestrained ratings, and performance-based fire design. Structural Affiliates International is currently working on AISC's fire initiative and can also answer questions on that program.

Future on-line chats include:
July 10: Michael A. West from Computerized Structural Design, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, and Don Moore from Steward Steel, Inc., Sikeston, MO, discussing the new Code of Standard Practice.
July 24: Duane K. Miller from The Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, OH, discussing structural welding issues.
August 7: Peter C. Birkemoe from the University of Toronto discussing structural bolting issues.