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Cross-Laminated Timber Fire Testing Sees Promising Results

The International Code Council Ad-hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings provided five fire scenarios that were tested in each of the two one-bedroom apartments constructed using mass timber in a multi-story apartment building. The test scenarios included various arrangements of exposed and unexposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) with open doors between living and sleeping areas while the effectiveness of automatic sprinkler systems was simultaneously evaluated.

Test 1: a mass timber structure fully protected with gypsum wall board was subjected to a large furnishings and contents fire. The test was terminated after three hours without significant charring on the protected wood surfaces of the structure.

Test 2: approximately 30 percent of the CLT ceiling area in the living room and bedroom were left exposed. The test was terminated after four hours, providing additional time to determine if there would be any significant fire contribution from the exposed CLT. Notably, once the furnishings and contents had been consumed by the fire, the exposed CLT essentially self-extinguished due to the formation of char that protected the underlying wood.

Test 3: parallel CLT walls were left exposed, one in the living room and one in the bedroom. Similar to Test 2, once the apartment furnishings and contents had been consumed by the fire, during which a protective surface of char formed on the CLT, the mass timber surfaces essentially self-extinguished.

Test 4 and 5: examined the effects of sprinkler protection. For both tests, all mass timber surfaces in the living room and bedroom were left exposed. Test 4 demonstrated that under normal operating conditions, a single sprinkler easily contained the fire. For Test 5, the fire was allowed to grow in the compartment for 23 minutes before water was supplied to the sprinklers which quickly controlled the fire.

From Woodworking Network: http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/architectural-products/cross-laminated-timber-fire-testing-sees-promising-results?ss=news,news,woodworking_industry_news,news,almanac_market_data,news,canadian_news

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