Performance-based analysis and design for enhancing the safety of prestressed concrete hollow-core slabs in case of fire and unforeseen events


  • Thomas Thienpont
  • Robby Caspeele (supervisor)
  • Wouter De Corte (supervisor)
  • Rubene Van Coile (supervisor)


When considering contemporary threats in our society, the question how safe our structures are in case of events that are normally unaccounted for in the design is very relevant. Therefore, this research project aims to gain novel insights in order to quantify the behaviour of frequently used prefabricated concrete hollow floor systems when such unforeseen events or a fire situation would occur. By developing accurate models, the design against such events can be improved, in order to provide an enhanced safety, which increases the probability of safe evacuation. Herein, the reserve capacity of prestressed concrete hollow core slabs and floors is quantified, taking into compressive and tensile membrane action, as these mechanisms are known to be able to significantly beneficial enhance load bearing capacity of concrete members when subjected to large deformations. Both detailed numerical models and simplified analytical engineering models will be developed, focussing on the behaviour of real floor systems subjected to large deformations. These models will be validated by an experimental test program on hollow-core slabs and floors. The end goal of this project is to develop an easily applicable set of design recommendations and a decision tool for making proper design adjustments.

Graphical abstract Thomas Thienpont


Logo FWO Thomas Thienpont

FWO Grant (Grant number 11F5520N)