January 26-28, 2009, San Francisco, California, USA
Fire-resistive wood construction is achieved either by having the structural elements be part of fire-rated assemblies or by using elements of sufficient size that the elements themselves have the required fire-resistance ratings. For exposed structural wood elements, the ratings in the United States are calculated using either the T.T. Lie method or the National Design Specifications (NDS) Method. There is no widely accepted methodology in the United States to determine the fire-resistance rating of an individual structural wood element with the protective membrane directly applied to the exposed surfaces of the element. In these tests, we directly applied one or two layers of 16-mm thick fire-rated gypsum board or 13-mm thick southern pine plywood for the protective membrane to the wood element. The wood elements were Douglas-fir laminated veneer lumber (LVL) specimens and Douglas-fir gluedlaminated specimens that had previously been tested without any protective membrane. The methodology for the tension testing in the horizontal furnace was the same used in the earlier tests. The fire exposure was ASTM E 119. For the seven single-layer gypsum board specimens, the improvements ranged from 25 to 40 min. with an average value of 33 min. For the three double-layer specimens, the improvement in times ranged from 64 to 79 min. with an average value of 72 min. We concluded that times of 30 min. for a single layer of 16-mm Type X gypsum board and at least 60 min. for a double layer of 16-mm Type X gypsum board can be added to the fire rating of an unprotected structural wood element to obtain the rating of the protected element.