Research and
Development

The Fire Testing Centre has a team of doctors and PhD students dedicated to research and development projects.

Fields of application.

Our experts support all those involved in the construction industry who wish to:

implement innovative solutions.
develop new calculation methods.
better understand physical phenomena.
carry out research to provide the background documents used in standardization development.

The R&D team at the Fire Testing Centre works in collaboration with several partners in France and internationally, notably with various universities: Imperial College in London, the University of Liège, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Bordeaux, INSA in Rennes, the University of Braunschweig, Hopkins University in Baltimore, and the Polytechnic University of Milan…

Here are some examples of research and development projects carried out within this team:

Hybrid fire

resistance tests.

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.

“Travelling fires”.

This research programme, in collaboration with Imperial College, ARUP, ITB, and the Ozarow Fire Centre, is dedicated to fire dynamics. It aims to develop the new Travelling Fires methodology based on full-scale experimental campaign in a large, open-plan compartment (Area = 384 m²) in Poland; this consisted of x-ONE (September 2017) and x-TWO (May 2019).

This research programme, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Bordeaux, Brandskyddslaget, IBMB-Braunchweig and the University of Liège, aims to understand the applicability of standardised fire resistance tests to combustible materials. The project has several objectives, such as the quantification of the energy contribution of combustible materials to standard fire test, the influence of combustible surfaces and ventilation conditions on the compartment fire dynamics (including the impact on the external flame) and the thermo-mechanical behaviour of a structure under conventional and real fires.

“Development of an intermediate scale tool for the characterisation of concrete spalling”.

This research programme, in collaboration with RISE, EDF, Brandskyddslaget, aims to develop test methods for the characterisation of concrete spalling in intermediate scale. It is part of the work carried out internationally by the RILEM group “256-SPF: Spalling of concrete due to fire: testing and modelling”.

Support for “Construire en Chanvre.

The Fire Testing Centre accompanied the association “Construire en Chanvre to evaluate the fire performance of wood-frame walls embedded in hemp concrete. A specific methodology was implemented to extend the test results as much as possible to the entire family of hemp concretes. Two optimised orientation tests on models were proposed based on the material data provided by “Construire en Chanvre”. Many parameters were considered (dosage and nature of the binder, method of implementation, finishes, etc.) to define an “envelope” configuration. The fire resistance classification obtained (EI 240) as well as the LEPIR II façade test result could be generalised to all other validated configurations. Appropriate instrumentation allowing to understand the heat transfer within the hemp concretes has also been used for all the elements subjected to the fire tests.

Regulatory documents prepared by the Fire Testing Centre for this study

Our other activities.

Fire
tests.

Special &
In situ Tests.

Fire safety
engineering
.