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Buildings 2018, 8(10), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8100131

Fire Resistance of In-Plane Compressed Log-House Timber Walls with Partial Thermal Insulation

1
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, Piazzale Europa 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy
2
Department of Civil, Architecture and Building and Environmental Engineering, University of L’Aquila, Via Giovanni Gronchi 18, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract

This paper presents the full-scale experimental assessment of a log-house timber wall with partial thermal insulation under in-plane compression and exposed to fire on one side. A key aspect of the current design application for log-house systems is represented by geometrical details, like cross-sectional properties of logs (typically characterised by high depth-to-width ratios) and outriggers. The latter provides restraint condition for the examined walls and hence markedly affects their overall load-carrying capacity. As a result, careful consideration should be given to the choice of these details, compared to fully monolithic timber walls (i.e., made from cross-laminated timber), due to the possible occurrence of local structural and/or thermo-mechanical mechanisms. This is the case of exceptional loading conditions like fire load, as the fire resistance of these systems could be affected by a multitude of variables, including the presence (even though limited to few surfaces only) of thermal insulation panels. To this aim, the results of a full-scale furnace test are discussed in the paper for a log-wall with partial thermal insulation, namely thermal insulation applied on the outriggers only, under the effects of EN/ISO standard fire conditions. The results of Finite Element (FE) numerical studies are also reported, to further explore the load-carrying performance of the reference log-house specimen and compare it with the experimental observations. Several thermal insulation configurations are finally numerically investigated, showing their effects on the overall fire resistance of the assembly. In accordance with literature, the test shows that the log house’s timber wall is suitable to obtain a fire resistance of about 60 min under relevant loading. The FE results are in rather close agreement with the temperature measurements within the section of logs, as well as a qualitative correlation with respect to the mechanical behaviour observed in the full-scale furnace experiment. The key role of outriggers and their thermo-mechanical boundaries, finally, is emphasised. View Full-Text
Keywords: log-house walls; in-plane compression; fire resistance; full-scale standard test; Finite Element (FE) analysis; thermal insulation; gypsum fibreboard panels; FE parametric study log-house walls; in-plane compression; fire resistance; full-scale standard test; Finite Element (FE) analysis; thermal insulation; gypsum fibreboard panels; FE parametric study
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bedon, C.; Fragiacomo, M. Fire Resistance of In-Plane Compressed Log-House Timber Walls with Partial Thermal Insulation. Buildings 2018, 8, 131.

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