Fire Safety Journal
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The extreme variability of natural compartment fires poses a significant challenge in the process of performance-based fire design. To reduce this variability, the severity of a natural fire can be related to that of a standard fire, known as a time equivalent (te). In this paper, the applicability of a time equivalent, previously derived based on the average internal temperature profile (AITP) that develops within reinforced concrete (RC) beams exposed to fire from three sides, is examined for RC columns exposed to fire from four sides. A parametric study is presented to examine the suitability of the existing AITP te in representing the internal temperatures of RC columns. The accuracy of the AITP te in approximating column performance, is judged based on the moment-curvature, axial load-axial strain, and bending moment-axial force relationships during fire exposure. Comparison with existing methods is provided to further demonstrate the superior suitability of the AITP te in representing natural fire severity for RC columns.