Experimental study of in-fire and post-fire material response of high-strength aluminium alloys

Yao Sun, Wen Cheng, Kang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an experimental study on the residual material properties of high-strength aluminium alloys in and after fire. A testing programme was firstly conducted on grade 7075-T6 high-strength aluminium alloy, consisting of 13 in-fire and 24 post-fire coupon tests, to derive the material stress-strain responses at and after exposure to elevated temperatures ranging from 20 °C to 550 °C. The key temperature-dependent material properties including stiffness and strengths were determined from the measured stress-strain curves and normalised by their room-temperature counterparts, resulting in a series of in-fire and post-fire retention factors. These experimentally obtained retention factors were used to analyse the effects of elevated temperatures on the residual stiffness and strengths of high-strength aluminium alloys. The design in-fire retention factors, as given in the European, American and Chinese standards, and the existing predictive models in previous studies for the post-fire retention factors, were also quantitatively and qualitatively assessed based on the test data. They were found to be inapplicable due to less accuracy; especially when used for predicting the in-fire Young's moduli, a 25 % over-prediction can be yielded, leading to unsafe design. To address the shortcoming, a series of predictive models were developed to offer accurate predictions of the in-fire and post-fire residual stiffness and strengths of high-strength aluminium alloys, with the mean test-to-prediction ratios ranging from 0.995 to 1.074 for different in-fire and post-fire material properties and the design accuracy improved by at least 15 % than existing design models. Then, a two-stage Ramberg-Osgood material model that was proposed for describing the room-temperature stress-strain curves of structural aluminium alloys was considered in this study, with its applicability to high-strength aluminium alloys assessed. The considered Ramberg-Osgood model was found to well predict the in-fire and post-fire stress–strain curves of high-strength aluminium alloys. The proposed models for retention factors and stress–strain curves can be further assessed based on more test data on other new high-strength aluminium alloy grades. Future research can focus on developing new coating technologies and optimising existing treatments to improve the fire performance of high-strength aluminium alloy structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109581
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2024


  • High-strength aluminium alloy
  • In-fire and post-fire
  • Material coupon tests
  • Ramberg-osgood material model
  • Retention factors
  • Steady-state test
  • Transient-state test


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental study of in-fire and post-fire material response of high-strength aluminium alloys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this