120 years of structural fire testing: Moving away from the status quo
MetadataShow full item record
During the late 19th Century, stakeholders from the building construction industry were in need of rational, quantified, and repeatable assessment of building materials and structures subject to heating during fire; thus the standard fire resistance test was born within the context of the knowledge available at that time. This paper briefly illustrates the early conception and evolution of the standard fire resistance test and presents a new fire testing methodology, named the Heat-Transfer Rate Inducing System (H-TRIS), developed to address shortcomings of the ‘standard’ procedure using an innovative thermal loading technique in which the thermal exposure is actively controlled not using gas phase temperature, but by incident heat flux measurements at the test element’s exposed surface using a high precision loop feedback system. H-TRIS is based on the use of a mobile array of propane-fired high performance radiant heating elements, along with a computer-controlled mechanical linear motion system, allowing the development of rational fire resistance studies with high repeatability, realistic boundary conditions, and good statistical confidence, all at low economical and temporal cost.