Automated two-way coupling of CFD fire simulations to thermomechanical FE analyses at the overall structural level

J.A. Feenstra, H. Hofmeyer, R.A.P. van Herpen, M. Mahendran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)


Coupled CFD fire simulations and thermomechanical FE analyses typically consist of fire simulations, heat transfer analyses and structural response analyses, mutually coupled by three coupling steps. There are two coupling approaches, one-way and two-way coupling, where two-way coupling includes the effects of the structural response on fire propagation. In the first part of this paper, one- and two-way coupling approaches including the coupling steps are proposed to include coupling at the structural level. Then a case study comprising an office space with a 12-plate thin-walled steel façade under fire conditions is introduced, as well as the related CFD and FE models. A newly developed automated coupling interface and subprograms are used to perform several one-way and two-way coupled analyses using a coarse and fine CFD mesh for the case study. Slight differences are found in the results of identical simulations due to random effects in the fire simulations. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that two-way coupling is feasible, and that significant differences in the façade failure progression illustrate its effectiveness. Future research includes additional developments of both the fire and structural models, as well as verification and parametric studies to further confirm the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalFire Safety Journal
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Adiabatic surface temperature
  • CFD-FEM coupling
  • Fire safety
  • Thermomechanical analyses
  • Two-way coupling


Dive into the research topics of 'Automated two-way coupling of CFD fire simulations to thermomechanical FE analyses at the overall structural level'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this