EACS 2016 paper - A Novel Methodology for Hybrid Fire Testing

<div>EACS 2016 Paper No. 132<br></div><div><br></div>This paper describes a novel methodology for conducting stable hybrid fire testing (HTF). During hybrid fire testing, only a part of the structure is tested in a furnace while the reminded structure is calculated separately, here by means of a predetermined matrix. Equilibrium and compatibility at the interface between the tested “physical substructure” and the “numerical substructure” is maintained throughout the test using a dedicated algorithm. The procedures developed so far are sensitive to the stiffness ratio between the physical and the numerical substructure and therefore they can be applied only in some cases. In fire field, the stiffness of the heated physical substructure may change dramatically and the resulting change in stiffness ratio can lead to instability during the test. To overcome this drawback, a methodology independent of the stiffness ratio has been developed, inspired from the Finite Element Tearing and Interconnecting (FETI) method, which has been originally developed for substructuring in numerical analyses. The novel methodology has been successfully applied to a hybrid fire test in a purely numerical environment, i.e. the physical substructure was also modelled numerically. It is shown that stability does not depend on the stiffness ratio and that equilibrium and compatibility can be consistently maintained at the interface during the fire. Finally, the ongoing experimental program aimed at employing and experimentally validating this methodology is described.