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.
Use of structural composite lumber products is increasing. In applications requiring a fire resistance rating, calculation procedures are used to obtain the fire resistance rating of exposed structural wood products. A critical factor in the calculation procedures is char rate for ASTM E 119 fire exposure. In this study, we tested 14 structural composite lumber products to determine char rate when subjected to the fire exposure of the standard fire resistance test. Char rate tests on 10 of the composite lumber products were also conducted in an intermediate-scale horizontal furnace. The National Design Specification/Technical Report 10 design procedure for calculating fire resistance ratings of exposed wood members can be used to predict failure times for members loaded in tension. Thirteen tests were conducted in which composite lumber products were loaded in tension as they were subjected to the standard fire exposure of ASTM E 119. Charring rates, observed failure times in tension tests, and deviations from predicted failure times of the structural composite lumber products were within expected range of results for sawn lumber and glued laminated timbers.
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.