Numerical Investigation on Fire Performance of LSF and Steel Modular Floor Panels

Dilini Perera, Irindu R Upasiri, Keerthan Poologanathan, Kate O’Grady, Brabha Nagaratnam, Elilarasi Kanthasamy, Heshachanaa Rajanayagam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The steel Modular Building Systems (MBSs) that have been influenced by the Light-gauge Steel Frame (LSF) techniques have become a prominent culture in the industry. However, the detrimental behaviour of steel structural components at high temperatures has elevated the risk of fatal accidents in the event of a fire. Although several research investigations have addressed the fire performance of steel modular wall systems, the behaviour of modular floor systems has not been adequately addressed in the state of the art. Hence, to promote the fire safety and optimum design techniques in the modular construction industry by addressing the aforementioned research gap, this study investigated 48 conventional LSF and MBS floors for their structural and insulation Fire Resistance Levels using Finite Element Modelling (FEM) and Heat Transfer Analyses (HTA) techniques. Initially, full-scale experimental fire tests were modelled using FEM methods, and the validity of the techniques was verified prior to the analyses of parametric floor systems. Furthermore, the structural behaviour of the channel section joists in the elevated temperatures was studied, and hence a correlation was established to determine the critical steel temperature at the structural fire failure with respect to the applied Load Ratio (LR). An additional 12.5 mm thick plasterboard sheathing on single plasterboard sheathed floors resulted a 30 min improvement in structural and insulation FRLs. In addition, the modular floor systems demonstrated enhanced structural and insulation Fire Resistance Levels (FRLs) against the corresponding conventional LSF floor designs due to double LSF skin build-up. The incorporation of rockwool insulation and the increase in the insulation volume implied increased structural and fire performances. However, insulation material in the modular designs was more effective. The fire-rated conventional and modular LSF floor systems are expected to be practised in the construction industry to achieve required fire resistances with optimum material usage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1721
Number of pages19
JournalBuildings
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2022

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