Exams about how a building can handle a fire

Published: 27 April 2018

Elin Bergroth and Greta Torstensson, both fire engineers, have completed their master's thesis together on behalf of the construction company Isolamin, who works with wall structures for modular houses.

"We have investigated how the supporting steel structure between two modules in a modular building is affected when a fire rages in one module. When the modules are joined, a cavity is formed where the supporting structure is usually placed, in this case a steel structure. To recreate this space and examine the steel we have built a model consisting of sandwich panels and a steel beam," says Greta Torstensson

Can You tell us a little about Your thesis?

In order to investigate practical fire impact on the steel structure, part of the model was exposed to fire. To simulate the fire, we used the fire engine in the MCE lab (Mining and Civil Engineering Lab) here at LTU. During the fire test several temperatures were measured; temperatures on the steel beam, the temperature of the blast furnace, but also the walls of the model to see what temperature distribution is generated.

Finally, we have calculated the temperature distribution in constructions using computers through programs using the FEM, Finita Element Method. These calculations have been validated and compared with measured temperatures.

What conclusions and results have you achieved in this work?

The temperatures measured during the fire test did not show that the steel reached any critical temperatures during the hour it was exposed to fire. This also shows that the sandwich panels serve as a protection for the steel and therefore the steel structure in this specific case does not require fire protection.

What do you have for plans now? What do you want to work with?

We have both chosen to read on and are currently studying postgraduate education to become civil engineers in fire engineering. By reading the master, we gain deeper knowledge in fire engineering and building construction. In addition to the professions of a fire engineer's degree, we get a broader labor market that can lead to research studies or work as designers of fire protection. After the studies, mainly fire protection design in the consulting industry attracts.

Pedro Andrade

Andrade, Pedro - PhD Student

Organisation: Structural Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492073
Room: F1434 - Luleå»

Byström, Alexandra - Associate Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Structural Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491715
Room: F1408 - Luleå»

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