Fire Tests of Cold-formed Steel Wall Systems

Gunalan, Shanmuganathan & Mahendran, Mahen (2012) Fire Tests of Cold-formed Steel Wall Systems. In Australasian Structural Engineering Conference 2012, 11-13th July, 2012, Perth, Western Australia.

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Cold-formed steel stud walls are an important component of Light Steel Framing (LSF) building systems used in commercial, industrial and residential buildings. In the conventional LSF stud wall systems, thin-walled steel studs are protected from fire by placing one or two layers of plasterboard on both sides with or without cavity insulation. However, there is very limited data about the structural and thermal performance of these wall systems while past research showed contradicting results about the benefits of cavity insulation. This research proposed a new LSF stud wall system in which a composite panel made of two plasterboards with insulation between them was used to improve the fire rating of walls. Full scale fire tests were conducted using both conventional steel stud walls with and without the use of cavity insulation and the new composite panel system. Eleven full scale load bearing wall specimens were tested to study the thermal and structural performances of the load bearing wall assemblies under standard fire conditions. These tests showed that the use of cavity insulation led to inferior fire performance of walls while also providing good explanations and supporting test data to overcome the incorrect industry assumptions about cavity insulation. Tests demonstrated that the use of external insulation in a composite panel form enhanced the thermal and structural performances of stud walls and increased their fire resistance rating significantly. This paper presents the details of the full scale fire tests of load-bearing wall assemblies lined with plasterboards and different types of insulation under varying load ratios. Test results including the temperature and deflection profiles of walls measured during the fire tests will be presented along with their failure modes and failure times.

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ID Code: 53195
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Funders: ARC
Keywords: Fire tests, Light gauge steel frame walls, Plasterboards, Insulation, Composite panel, Standard fire
ISBN: 978-085825-871-4
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Structural Engineering (090506)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Engineers Australia
Deposited On: 20 Aug 2012 00:22
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2014 17:04

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