Purpose: Most of the industrial buildings which are designed to moderate loads are constructed using light gauge cold-formed steel (CFS) sections. Residual mechanical properties of CFS sections exposed to elevated temperature need to be investigated as it is necessary to predict the deterioration of elements to avoid failure of the structure or its elements. Also, it would be helpful to decide whether the structural elements need to be replaced or reused. The use of fire-resistant coatings in steel structures significantly reduces the cost of repairing structural elements and also the probability of collapse. This study investigates the effect of fire-resistant coating on post-fire residual mechanical properties of E350 steel grade. Design/methodology/approach: In this study, an attempt has been made to evaluate the residual mechanical properties of E350 steel. A tensile coupon test was performed for the extracted specimens from the exposed CFS section to determine the mechanical properties. Four different fire-resistant coatings were selected and the sections were coated and heated as per ISO 834 fire temperature curve in the transient state for time durations of 30 minutes (821°C), 60 minutes (925°C), 90 minutes (986°C), and 120 minutes (1,029°C). After the exposure, all the coupon specimens were cooled by either ambient conditions (natural air) or water spraying before conducting the tension test on these specimens. Findings: At 30 min exposure, the reduction in yield and ultimate strength of heated specimens was about 20 and 25% for air and water-cooled specimens compared with reference specimens. Specimens coated with vermiculite and perlite exhibited higher residual mechanical property up to 60 minutes than other coated specimens for both cooling conditions. Generally, water-cooled specimens had shown higher strength loss than air-cooled specimens. Specimens coated with vermiculite and perlite showed an excellent performance than other specimens coated with zinc and gypsum for all heating durations. Originality/value: As CFS structures are widely used in construction practices, it is crucial to study the mechanical properties of CFS under post-fire conditions. This investigation provides detailed information about the physical and mechanical characteristics of E350 steel coated with different types of fire protection materials after exposure to elevated temperatures. An attempt has been made to improve the residual properties of CFS using the appropriate coatings. The outcome of the present study may enable the practicing engineers to select the appropriate coating for protecting and enhancing the service life of CFS structures under extreme fire conditions.
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