Determination of elevated temperature material properties by ANN-based FE model

Irindu Upasiri*, Chaminda Konthesingha, Anura Nanayakkara, Keerthan Poologanathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Elevated temperature material properties are essential in predicting structural member's behavior in high-temperature exposures such as fire. Even though experimental methodologies are available to determine these properties, advanced equipment with high costs is required to perform those tests. Therefore, performing those experiments frequently is not feasible, and the development of numerical techniques is beneficial. A numerical technique is proposed in this study to determine the temperature-dependent thermal properties of the material using the fire test results based on the Artificial Neural Network (ANN)-based Finite Element (FE) model. Design/methodology/approach: An ANN-based FE model was developed in the Matlab program to determine the elevated temperature thermal diffusivity, thermal conductivity and the product of specific heat and density of a material. The temperature distribution obtained from fire tests is fed to the ANN-based FE model and material properties are predicted to match the temperature distribution. Findings: Elevated temperature thermal properties of normal-weight concrete (NWC), gypsum plasterboard and lightweight concrete were predicted using the developed model, and good agreement was observed with the actual material properties measured experimentally. The developed method could be utilized to determine any materials' elevated temperature material properties numerically with the adequate temperature distribution data obtained during a fire or heat transfer test. Originality/value: Temperature-dependent material properties are important in predicting the behavior of structural elements exposed to fire. This research study developed a numerical technique utilizing ANN theories to determine elevated temperature thermal diffusivity, thermal conductivity and product of specific heat and density. Experimental methods are available to evaluate the material properties at high temperatures. However, these testing equipment are expensive and sophisticated; therefore, these equipment are not popular in laboratories causing a lack of high-temperature material properties for novel materials. However conducting a fire test to evaluate fire performance of any novel material is the common practice in the industry. ANN-based FE model developed in this study could utilize those fire testing results of the structural member (temperature distribution of the member throughout the fire tests) to predict the material's thermal properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-424
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Structural Fire Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023

Cite this