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logo SMC logo SMC  NLIN logo SMC  NLIN  PROJ3 Modeling of progressive collapse of structures
Contact Thierry J. Massart

Peter Berke

Keywords progressive collapse, RC structures, abnormal loading, rate effects, dynamic computations
  • Prof. J. Vantomme, Royal Military School, Brussels, Belgium
Scientific motivation Throughout recent history, famous records of building failures may be found, unfortunately accompanied by great human loss and major economic consequences. One of the mechanisms of failure is referred to as 'progressive collapse': one or several structural members suddenly fail, whatever the cause (accident or attack). The building then collapses progressively, every load redistribution causing the failure of other structural elements, until the complete failure of the building or of a major part of it.
Structural progressive collapse Computational modelling of structural progressive collapse

No extensive study can be found, in which these codes procedures are compared to more complete approaches for progressive collapse simulation, aiming at the comparison of the assumptions underlying them. The research conducted here consists in studying the various hypotheses, and gradually adding complexities to computational models.

New methodologies for design against progressive collapse are proposed, based on quasi-static computations. Their main objective is to account accurately for dynamic inertial effects. The first methodology extends the energetically based equivalence towards a static equivalent pushover procedure. The second one uses load amplification factors resulting from optimisation procedures in order to account for dynamic inertial effects.

NL 3 Fig1

Rate dependent effects Rate dependent effects in structural progressive collapse

This project deals with the modelling of reinforced concrete structures in the context of progressive collapse simulations. Depending on the initial triggering event, the progressive collapse phenomenon may involve high strain rates in structural members. Since the behaviour of concrete is sensitive to the strain rate, a numerical representation of the strain rate effects on the material behaviour is required. The introduction of the rate dependent constitutive laws for concrete and steel in a perfectly-bonded layered beam model provides a strain rate dependent behaviour at the sectional level. This multilevel approach aims at comparing the structural response of beam-column frames using a rate independent approach with the one obtained via the rate dependent one, in the framework of a loss of a load bearing element.

  • FRIA
  • RMS
  • F.R.S.-FNRS
Selected publications
  • [1] K. Menchel, T.J. Massart, Y. Rammer, Ph. Bouillard, Comparison and study of different progressive collapse simulation techniques for RC structures, Journal of Structural Engineering, 135(6), 685-697, 2009.
  • [2] K. Menchel, T.J. Massart, Ph. Bouillard, A pushover analysis methodology for structural progressive collapse based on a kinetic energy criterion, submitted.
  • [3] K. Menchel, T.J. Massart, Ph. Bouillard, A pushover analysis methodology for structural progressive collapse based on optimised load amplification factors, submitted.