To optimise the methods for assessing the fire resistance performance of construction elements, the Fire Testing Centre has been actively developing this innovative test technique for many years through several successive theses, that of Ana SAUCA defended in 2017 and that of Silvio RENARD defended in 2021, in partnership with Prof. Jean-Marc Franssen of the University of Liège and Jean-Christophe Mindeguia of the University of Bordeaux.
A new milestone was reached in 2020 with the completion of the world’s first hybrid test with this level of complexity (3 degrees of freedom). A hybrid fire testing approach is based on a physical and numerical sub-structuring method. To assess the fire behaviour of a part of a building structure, a computer simulation using the SAFIR software is carried out simultaneously with an experiment in the Promethée furnace, which has unique resources for measuring and reproducing forces and stresses.
This method allows what standardised test methods or calculation methods alone do not allow. To deal with innovative construction processes and, in some cases, to assess the performance of the tested elements more precisely, more accurately and less unfavourably.
This provides designers and manufacturers with data for optimising these elements and/or improving the level of fire safety.
This is a new generation of fire testing methodology that replaces, so to speak, a full-scale fire test on an entire structure.