Predicting Fire Resistance Performance of Drywall Construction Exposed to Parametric Design Fires — A Review

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This paper describes validation of a cumulative radiant energy method for predicting the time to failure of non load-bearing drywall construction exposed to realistic parametric fires. The validation uses full-scale compartment fire tests and analytical calculations. Three compartment fire tests are carried out in a room 3.6m by 2.4m with different arrangements of fuel load and ventilation, with walls and ceilings constructed from assemblies which have been previously tested in standard fire resistance tests. The analytical calculations use a finite difference heat transfer model developed for predicting the fire performance of cavity construction, in combination with a number of Eurocode parametric fires. We conclude that the cumulative radiant energy method can be used as a valid tool for prediction of insulation failure times of drywall assemblies, during the period of fire exposure where heat transfer is predominantly by radiation. This includes the growth period to flashover, the period of sustained ventilation-controlled burning, and the early part of the decay period.

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