Development of realistic design fire time-temperature curves for the testing of cold-formed steel wall system
Ariyanayagam, Anthony Deloge & Mahendran, Mahen (2014) Development of realistic design fire time-temperature curves for the testing of cold-formed steel wall system. Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, 8(4), pp. 427-447.
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Fire resistance rating of light gauge steel frame (LSF) wall systems is obtained from fire tests based on the standard fire time-temperature curve. However, fire severity has increased in modern buildings due to higher fuel loads as a result of modern furniture and light weight constructions that make use of thermoplastics materials, synthetic foams and fabrics. Some of these materials are high in calorific values and increase both the spread of fire growth and heat release rate, thus increasing the fire severity beyond that of the standard fire curve. Further, the standard fire curve does not include a decay phase that is present in natural fires. Despite the increasing usage of LSF walls, their behaviour in real building fires is not fully understood. This paper presents the details of a research study aimed at developing realistic design fire curves for use in the fire tests of LSF walls. It includes a review of the characteristics of building fires, previously developed fire time-temperature curves, computer models and available parametric equations. The paper highlights that real building fire time-temperature curves depend on the fuel load representing the combustible building contents, ventilation openings and thermal properties of wall lining materials, and provides suitable values of many required parameters including fuel loads in residential buildings. Finally, realistic design fire time-temperature curves simulating the fire conditions in modern residential buildings are proposed for the testing of LSF walls.
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