Effect of Fire Temperature and Exposure Time on High-strength Steel Bolts Microstructure and Residual Mechanical Properties
The article presents results of research consisting in an attempt to assess the influence of temperature, heating time and cooling method on microstructure and residual strength properties of steel previously tempered during the production process. Simulated environmental conditions to which high-strength bolts, commonly used in steel construction, were subjected, were intended to reflect conditions of a natural fire that may occur in public facilities where the obligation to ensure safety of
... ers and rescue teams is of key importance, also required by law. Furthermore, the tests carried out also comprised a simulated effect of a rescue and firefighting operation using shock, rapid cooling of some of the heated bolts. Samples cut out from the tested bolts, after they were properly prepared, were subjected to microstructural tests using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), phase analysis with the use of an X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and quantitative analysis of the microstructure involving, inter alia, measuring the surface area of grains, their equivalent diameter and mean diameter. As a result of the tests, considerable microstructure changes were identified occurring in the bolt material as a result of exposing it to fire conditions, leading to a change in key, from the point of view of structural safety, mechanical properties. The results of the microstructure tests were compared with the results of previous strength tests, including hardness of the material after the heat treatment and the residual tensile strength of the material Rm. A conducted comparative analysis showed a significant effect of all such factors as the temperature level of the simulated fire, its duration and the fire-fighting method on the mechanical properties of bolts. Results obtained were provided with required comments and the concept of using the microstructure for the post-fire assessment of steel structures was referred to.