OpenSees Fire v2.0

OpenSees modules for thermal loading and thermo-mechanical behavior were developed by Usmani et al in the early 2010s. This was the first foray for OpenSees outside its earthquake engineering comfort zone and highlighted the benefits of an open, collaborative software framework–an opportunity for the research community to share modeling methodologies, develop new applications, and ensure transparency of numerical modeling research.

Embracing this collaborative approach for the structural fire engineering community, researchers in Eastchester have developed benchmark examples and established a culture of sharing information that can be a first step in pushing the field of structural fire engineering forward with transparent research. The examples have been merged with the forthcoming OpenSeesDocumentation site.

Image from Maddalozzo and Fischer, thermal example 2

This effort is independent of the OpenSeesForFire GitHub repository, where you can find source code–in a zip file that hinders pull requests–and examples that do not work with the mainline OpenSees. OpenSeesForFire can be frustrating for students who have been tasked with using OpenSees for structural fire engineering research but do not realize there is a difference between OpenSees and OpenSeesForFire. Important bug fixes and improvements that have been contributed to OpenSees do not make their way in to OpenSeesForFire.

The benchmark examples developed in Eastchester work with the mainline OpenSees, which should mitigate the various bug fixes and compiled versions of OpenSees swirling around. In a separate effort, researchers at another university have contributed bug fixes and improvements to Steel01Thermal.

Both OpenSees and OpenSeesForFire, and the structural fire engineering research community in general, will benefit tremendously from these transparent efforts.

I’ve posted modeling challenges on the blog, but here’s a new challenge for the structural fire engineering community: maintain the momentum and keep making contributions to thermal modules on the mainline OpenSees. I’ll help you do it, just let me know.

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