Structures under thermal loads and fire

Thermal loads are derived from a heat source which induces a temperature field in the structure/element, which in turn results into thermal deformations and, if restrained, stresses. The best-known thermal load is fire, but there are other examples where thermal loads are relevant and must be considered for design (e.g., large infrastructures subjected to temperature gradients, elements near radiation sources, refrigeration towers, thick concrete elements where dissipation of the hydration heat can induce high temperatures, …). The analysis of the thermal loads can entail some difficulties to the common civil/structural engineer, who is more familiar to mechanical loads. The first problem may arise in the determination of the thermal load itself, which in some cases requires the development of auxiliary models (e.g., CFD analysis). Then the heat transfer problem inside the element shall be considered as well. The problem can become more complex when the thermal load variable in time and when the thermal response is coupled with the mechanical response.

ESTEYCO’s team, formed by a multidisciplinary group of engineers, provides the necessary capabilities to tackle these type of problems, from modelling the thermal load to determining the response of the structure. Its experience in analysis and design of structures subjected to relevant thermal loads covers complex elements for the nuclear industry subjected to high thermal loads (e.g., Test Blanket Modules for the ITER project), fire analysis of tunnels for the Spanish railway infrastructure manager ADIF and assessment of ambient temperature gradients on large infrastructures (dams, nuclear facilities),…

CFD analysis of tunnel under fire load

Thermal analysis of actively cooled shielding blocks, IFMIF-DONES

Response of deep slabs under thermal loads, Spanish Centralized Temporary Storage Facility

Thermal análisis in infraestructure projects

Would you like more information?
Contact us at:
We will be happy to assist you.