Mechanical behavior of 316L austenitic stainless steel bolts after fire

Zhengyi Kong, Bo Yang, Cuiqiang Shi, Xinjie Huang, George Vasdravellis, Quang-Viet Vu, Seung-Eock Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stainless steel bolts (SSB) are increasingly utilized in bolted steel connections due to their good mechanical performance and excellent corrosion resistance. Fire accidents, which commonly occur in engineering scenarios, pose a significant threat to the safety of steel frames. The post-fire behavior of SSB has a significant influence on the structural integrity of steel frames, and neglecting the effect of temperature can lead to serious accidents in engineering. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the performance of SSB at elevated temperatures and their residual strength after a fire incident. To investigate the mechanical behavior of SSB after fire, 114 bolts with grades A4-70 and A4-80, manufactured from 316L austenitic stainless steel, were subjected to elevated temperatures ranging from 20°C to 1200°C. Two different cooling methods commonly employed in engineering, namely cooling at ambient temperatures (air cooling) and cooling in water (water cooling), were used to cool the bolts. Tensile tests were performed to examine the influence of elevated temperatures and cooling methods on the mechanical behavior of SSB. The results indicate that the temperature does not significantly affect the Young's modulus and the ultimate strength of SSB. Up to 500°C, the yield strength increases with temperature, but this trend reverses when the temperature exceeds 500°C. In contrast, the ultimate strain shows the opposite trend. The strain hardening exponent is not significantly influenced by the temperature until it reaches 500°C. The cooling methods employed have an insignificant impact on the performance of SSB. When compared to high-strength bolts, 316L austenitic SSB demonstrate superior fire resistance. Design models for the post-fire mechanical behavior of 316L austenitic SSB, encompassing parameters such as the elasticity modulus, yield strength, ultimate strength, ultimate strain, and strain hardening exponent, are proposed, and a more precise stress-strain model is recommended to predict the mechanical behavior of 316L austenitic SSB after a fire incident.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-298
Number of pages18
JournalSteel and Composite Structures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2024


  • degradation model
  • elevated temperature
  • post-fire behavior
  • stainless steel bolts
  • stress-strain curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Metals and Alloys
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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