In this study an orthotropic slab finite element is developed to model orthotropic slabs in fire, using a layered 9-noded isoparametric slab element and a 3-noded beam element. The element is assembled from a solid slab element which represents the continuous upper portion of the profile, and a special beam element which represents the ribbed lower portion. An equivalent width for the cross-section of this beam element is determined according to the dimensions of the solid slab element and the cross-section of the ribbed profile, and the beam shares the nodes of the solid slab element. The temperature within each layer of the slab element can vary between adjacent Gauss integration points so as to reflect temperature variations in the horizontal plane. Several fire tests on composite slabs have been modelled to validate the approach. Cases of orthotropic slabs with wide range of parameters defining the ribbed profile have been studied, which show that the orthotropic slab model is robust and effective in reflecting the influence of the shape of ribs on the thermal and structural performance of the slabs in fire. The study shows the influence of decking shape on the thermal and structural behaviours of orthotropic slabs. A simple evaluation method for profile selection is proposed. \u
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