Engineered Timber and Fire

san-fran

The Fire and Materials Conference will be held this February in San Francisco USA.

We have two papers being presented by students at this year’s Fire and Materials Conference in San Francisco:

  • Comparing timber adhesive shear strength properties after fire damage 
  • Laminated veneer lumber plated connections in fire

Engineered timber is built up using adhesives. These adhesives tend to begin to break down at temperatures around 200C. The first paper presented will represent an critical evaluation of adhesive break down from heat beyond the char layer (formed in a fire). The work is still preliminary and should be submitted soon for consideration in a journal when completed. Also being considered at the conference is one of our papers which considers some preliminary work regarding Laminated Veneer Lumber connections in a collaboration with NIST; here we are using some innovated measurement technologies to measure charring front on beams that are on fire. The conference is one of my favorite ones to attend because it has a lot of opportunities for good discussion and debate – that and who doesnt love San Francisco? There are a number of innovated structures appearing all over the world at the moment and there is a valid question to ask about the performance of these materials in a real fire – particularity when we want to build 20 stories high. Our work is scratching the surface of this to make these structures safe, but there is much to do still. These papers will be available freely to download on our publications after the conference.

New Zealand Research Collaboration

Following the conference one of our research team members, Hailey Quiquero, will begin a five month research visit at the University of Canterbury with Dr. Anthony Abu where we will investigate modelling technologies that can consider the behaviour of Glulam in and after fire. The student visit is being financed through NSERC’s Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program.  This is the first of four research visits that are planned for our group where students will have an opportunity to study abroad at other universities and institutions performing fire research. We will be announcing one of these new collaborations in the coming month.

Interested in joining our timber research team?

Currently we are expanding our research team to consider all these areas of timber study. Prospective Canadian graduate students with an interest to help consider making Timber Structures safe in Fire are encouraged to contact me over the next month if keen to take on similar studies.

Research photos

lvl

One of our projects shown above is a LIFT test of Laminated Veneer Lumber being tested by our research team.

glulam-shear

Preliminary test results on the shear capacity reduction of laminates after fire will also be presented. This work holistically considers the adhesive break down below a charred layer of timber using advanced digital image correlation technologies.

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