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Determining self-extinguishment characteristics of CLT

A full-scale fire test using Xlam supplied CLT was undertaken at the QFES’ White’s Island Live Fire Training facility. Hyne Timber and XLam are supporters of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hub to Transform Future Tall Timber Buildings. Source: Timberbiz

The test was undertaken for The Hub’s project “Exploring the self-extinguishment mechanism of engineered timber in full-scale compartment fires”.

The project is being led by Dr Juan Hidalgo (Hub Chief Investigator and Senior Lecturer at UQ) and assisted by The University of Queensland (UQ) Fire Safety Engineering Research Group.

It investigates the self-extinguishment mechanism of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) at a largescale in order to establish design criteria for the safe use of CLT in tall-timber buildings.

Partners of the project include Hyne, XLam, QFES, Lend Lease, Knauf and Rockwool International.

This is the fourth test in the experimental series of large-scale tests in the ARC Future Timber Hub. The aim of the test was to demonstrate the occurrence of CLT self-extinction for a limited fuel load.

The team used XLam supplied CL3/125 CLT (45-35-45 mm thick lamellae) to build a 3.4 m Å~ 3.4 m Å~ 3.125 m room with a wall and a ceiling exposed, and with the rest of CLT surfaces protected with Knauf fire-rated plasterboard.

The fuel load corresponded to a 1m x 1m pool of kerosene fuel to generate a fully developed compartment fire reaching gas-phase temperatures above 1000 °C.

In this test, the kerosene fire burned out at approximately 20 minutes. A few minutes after the complete consumption of the kerosene, the charred CLT wall and ceiling self-extinguished without failure of the plasterboard encapsulation.

Great to see the ARC Future Timber Hub and UQ researchers adding to the world’s knowledge of CLT. We’re excited about the growing use of CLT as a safe and sustainable building material.