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Title Literature Review on the Contribution of Fire Resistant Timber Construction to Heat Release Rate
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Year 2003
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Url http://www.timber.org.au/resources/LiteratureReviewontheContributionofFireResistantTimberConstructiontoHeatReleaseRate.pdf
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Keywords Fire; Resistance; Wood; Building; Plywood; Treated
Abstract This report is a literature review on information that relates to or may assist in the determination of the amount of wood from fire rated timber elements that contributes to the heat release rate of a fire occurring in a building constructed of typical wood framed fire resistant construction. Timber-based fire load that could be present in non-fire resistant timber construction and non-timber construction is not considered. This includes timber floor covering, timber wall panelling, timber ceiling panels and internal non-fire rated timber-stud wall partitions. Based on the literature reviewed, the following findings are summarised: (a) Fire rated timber construction can be categorised into heavy timber members and light timber assemblies. Heavy timber members include large sawn timber and glue laminated timber (glulam) where fire resistance is based on established charring rates on the exposed surfaces. They are used predominantly in floor/ceiling systems and are protectively lined except in a few cases where exposed beam construction is used. Light timber assemblies are a system of stud and joist elements protected with fire grade gypsum board or equivalent non-combustible lining materials used in wall and floor systems. For Class 2 and 3 buildings, fire rated timber construction are predominantly light timber assemblies. (b) Timber protected by lining materials will delay the consumption of wood until the wood surface temperature reaches approximately 300°C. Linings of timber assemblies that are designed to meet the deemed-to-satisfy provisions for fire resistance are likely to offer substantial protection to the timber studs or joists against the effects of fire and significantly delay or prevent the onset of wood pyrolysis. (c) A conservative estimate of the potential contribution of fire rated timber construction exposed to the development of fire in an enclosure can be calculated based on reasonably well established charring rates of the exposed surfaces of the timber sections for the estimated duration that the wood temperature exceeds 300°C. Preliminary analysis based on data from Australian manufacturers estimates the percentage contribution of timber charring from walls, ceiling and floor for a 5m×4m×3m high enclosure exposed to an equivalent 60 minute standard fire to be in the order of 8% to 22% of the total fire load, for fire load densities ranging from 15 to 40 kg/m2. (d) Information from a detailed investigation of the full-scale six-storey timber frame building (TF2000) following the fire experiment (for a total fire exposure time of 60 mins) suggests that the contribution of timber from fire rated assemblies is approximately 17% of the total fire load, based on 25kg/m2 of wood cribs distributed over a floor area of 21.6m2). (e) The presence of active suppression systems such as sprinklers (if installed) and intervention from the Fire Brigade is likely to reduce the severity of the fire and therefore the pyrolysis of timber in fire rated assemblies. These effects are not considered in the review.
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Publisher Warrington Fire Research Consultancy
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