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Material Characterisation and Numerical Modelling of Gypsum Plasterboards in Fire

MANEESHA THARINDI DODANGODA, MAHEN MAHENDRAN, KEERTHAN POOLOGANATHAN, RAY L. FROST

Abstract


The fire resistance characteristic of LSF wall systems mainly depends on the protective linings in use, commonly gypsum plasterboards. However, unclassified boards with varying composition and more notably with ambiguous thermal properties are increasingly becoming available in the market. Therefore a study was undertaken with an aim to set minimum standards for fire protective boards used in LSF wall applications. This paper presents the details of this study based on material characterisation and finite element thermal modelling of the most commonly used fire protective board, gypsum plasterboards, to address these critical issues related to fire safety design. In the material characterisation phase of this study, thermal properties of three different gypsum plasterboards manufactured in Australia were measured, analysed and compared. Subsequently, it proposes a thermal property based “k-factor” capable of giving an overall measure of the fire performance of boards, so that it can be used in appropriately classifying fire protective boards. As it is not known how this factor relates to the overall fire performance of LSF wall systems, numerical models were also developed and used to simulate the performance of LSF walls exposed to the standard fire. Finally, a correlation between time-temperature profiles from numerical analyses and calculated k-factors was established.

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