The use of engineered timber products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) is of increasing interest to architects and designers due to their desirable aesthetic, environmental, and structural properties. A key factor preventing widespread uptake of these materials is the uncertainty regarding their performance in fire. Currently, the predominant approach to quantifying the structural fire resistance of timber elements is the charring rate, which allows estimation of residual cross-section and hence strength. The charring rate is usually determined by testing timber specimens in a furnace by exposure to a ‘standard fire’. However, it is recognized that the resulting charring rates are not necessarily appropriate for non-standard fire exposures or for characterizing the structural response in a real timber building. The effect of heating rate on the charring rate of CLT samples is investigated. The charring rate resulting from three heating scenarios (constant, simulated ‘standard fire’ and quadratically increasing) was calculated using interpolation of in-depth temperature measurements during exposure to heating from a mobile array of radiant panels, or in a Fire Propagation Apparatus (FPA). Charring rate is shown to vary both spatially and temporally, and as a function of heating rate within the range 0.36–0.79 mm/min. The charring rate for tests carried out under simulated ‘standard fire’ exposures were shown to agree with the available literature, thus partially verifying the new testing approach; however under other heating scenarios the Eurocode charring rate guidance was found to be unconservative for some of the heat flux exposures in this study. A novel charring rate model is presented based on the experimental results. The potential implications of this study for structural fire resistance analysis and design of timber structures are discussed. The analysis demonstrates that heating rate, sample size and orientation, and test setup have significant effects on charring rate and the overall pyrolysis, and thus need to be further evaluated to further facilitate the use of structural timber in design.
Architectural Institute of Japan Structural System
Timber elements, which are different from other structural elements, have a characteristic problem in that the load bearing capacity decreases due to self-burning in the case of a fire, and this self-burning may continue after other fuel in the room has been exhausted. Therefore, the structural fire performance of timber elements should be clarified during not only the heating phase, but also the cooling phase. However, in examining the load bearing capacity of timber elements in a fire, few studies have considered the cooling phase. In the present paper, the fire performance of glued, laminated timber beams is discussed based on load-bearing fire tests that take the cooling phase into consideration.
The superior fire performance of timber can be attributed to the charring effect of wood. As wood members are exposed to fire, an insulating char layer is formed that protects the core of the section. Thus, beams and columns can be designed so that a sufficient cross section of wood remains to sustain the design loads for the required duration of fire exposure. A standard fire exposure is used for design purposes. In North America, this exposure is described in the standard fire resistance test ASTM E 119 . Many other countries use a comparable test exposure found in ISO 834 . In spite of the difference between standard dire resistance tests, experimental charring rates measured in various parts of the world appear to be consistent. This justifies the use of such data for design, regardless of origin.
Inspection, Testing, and Monitoring of Buildings and Bridges
Depending on the severity, fire damage can compromise the structural integrity of wood structures such as buildings or residences. Fire damage of wood structures can incorporate several models that address (1) the type, cause, and spread of the fire, (2) the thermal gradients and fire-resistance ratings, and (3) the residual load capacity.
The investigator should employ engineering judgment to identify those in-service members that are to be replaced, repaired, or can remain in-service as they are. Suchjudgment will likely be based on the visual inspection of damaged members, connections, and any protective membranes.
The charring behavior of timber structural elements, such as the charring rate of timber elements and delamination of glue-laminated timber, affects the structural stability of timber buildings. The charring rate of timber elements varies depending on the severity of fire exposure. However, charring rates have been ordinarily investigated in...
The combustibility of timber is one of the factors that restrict the use of structural elements of wood in buildings in Brazil. This paper describes an experimental investigation of the charring rate of wood species. The charring rate is one of the key parameters for the design of load bearing timber structures. The purpose of this study is...
International Conference on Performance-based and Life-cycle Structural Engineering
December 9-11, 2015, Brisbane, Australia
Tall timber building designs have utilized cross-laminated timber (CLT) significantly over the past decade due the sustainable nature of timber and the many advantages of using an engineered mass timber product. Several design methods have been established to account for the composite action between the orthogonally adhered timber plies. These methods assume perfect bonding of the adjacent plies by the adhesive. CLT designs methods for timber in fire have also been formulated. These methods rely on the relatively constant charring rate of timber to calculate a sacrificial layer to be added onto the cross-sectional area. While these methods focus on the timber failure mode of reduced cross section by charring, the failure mode of ply delamination is often overlooked and understudied. Due to the reduction of shear and normal strength in the adhesive, the perfect bond assumption can be questioned and a deeper look into the mechanics of CLT composite action and interfacial stress needs be conducted. This paper seeks to highlight the various design methods for CLT design and identify the failure mode of delamination not present in the current design codes.
An experimental study was conducted to elucidate the effects of thermal penetration on delamination and the potential changes in failure mode of CLT. The first test series studied thermal penetration depths at various heat fluxes. The second test series consisted of single lap shear tests at homogeneous elevated temperatures followed by a...