A series of compartment fire experiments has been undertaken to evaluate the impact of combustible cross laminated timber linings on the compartment fire behaviour. Compartment heat release rates and temperatures are reported for three configuration of exposed timber surfaces. Auto-extinction of the compartment was observed in one case but this was not observed when the experiment was repeated under identical condition. This highlights the strong interaction between the exposed combustible material and the resulting fire dynamics. For large areas of exposed timber linings heat transfer within the compartment dominates and prevents auto-extinction. A framework is presented based on the relative durations of the thermal penetration time of a timber layer and compartment fire duration to account for the observed differences in fire dynamics. This analysis shows that fall-off of the charred timber layers is a key contributor to whether auto-extinction can be achieved.
Building elements are required to provide sufficient fire resistance based on requirements set forth in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). Annex B of the Canadian standard for wood engineering design (CSA O86-19) provides a design methodology to calculate the structural fire-resistance of large cross-section timber elements. However, it lacks at providing design provisions for connections. The objectives of this study are to understand the fire performance of modern mass timber fasteners such as self-tapping screws, namely to evaluate their thermo-mechanical behavior and to predict their structural fire-resistance for standard fire exposure up to two hours, as would be required for tall buildings in Canada. The results present the great fire performance of using self-tapping screws under a long time exposure on connections in mass timber construction. The smaller heated area of the exposed surface has limited thermal conduction along the fastener’s shanks and maintained their temperature profiles relatively low for two hours of exposure. Based on the heat-affected area, the study presents new design principles to determine the residual length of penetration that would provide adequate load-capacity of the fastener under fire conditions. It also allows determining safe fire-resistance values for unprotected fasteners in mass timber construction exposed up to two hours of standard fire exposure.
This thesis studies the fire behaviour of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels in partially protected rooms. A one-dimensional heat transfer model was developed to determine the fire resistance of CLT floor and wall panels. During this study, three room fire tests were conducted at Carleton University Fire Research Laboratory to determine the maximum percentage of unprotected CLT surface area that will yield similar results to that of a fully protected room. The rooms had a single opening and were constructed entirely using 3-ply, 105 mm thick CLT panels. A non-standard, parametric fire using furniture and clothing as fuel was used and 2 layers of gypsum board were used to cover the ceiling and the protected walls. The Heat Release Rate, temperature, charring rate and gypsum falloff time of each test was collected. The results obtained from the room test were then compared to the numerical heat transfer model to evaluate its accuracy.
Fire safety remains a major challenge for engineered timber buildings. Their combustible nature challenges the design principles of compartmentation and structural integrity beyond burnout, which are inherent to the fire resistance framework. Therefore, self-extinction is critical for the fire-safe design of timber buildings.
This paper is the first of a three-part series that seeks to establish the fundamental principles underpinning a design framework for self-extinction of engineered timber. The paper comprises: a literature review introducing the body of work developed at material and compartment scales; and the design of a large-scale testing methodology which isolates the fundamental phenomena to enable the development and validation of the required design framework.
Research at the material scale has consolidated engineering principles to quantify self-extinction using external heat flux as a surrogate of the critical mass loss rate, and mass transfer or Damköhler numbers. At the compartment scale, further interdependent, complex phenomena influencing self-extinction occurrence have been demonstrated. Time-dependent phenomena include encapsulation failure, fall-off of charred lamellae and the burning of the movable fuel load, while thermal feedback is time-independent. The design of the testing methodology is described in reference to these fundamental phenomena.
This paper presents a numerical model for heat transfer in timber structures. The thermal behaviour is described by the standard Fourier heat equation. The chosen model integrates the three modes of heat transfer; namely: conduction, radiation and convection during the fire exposure. The theory and the boundary conditions associated with the model are briefly discussed. The identification of the model parameters is carried out with the experimental data available in literature. The simulation results are compared with experiments carried out on laminated veneer lumber (LVL) panels.
Three timber-concrete composite floor assemblies were evaluated for fire performance to understand how shear connectors might impact heat transfer into the assemblies. The floor assemblies tested included a CLTconcrete floor with self-tapping screws, a screw-laminated 2x8-concrete using truss plates, and a LVL-concrete using...