Fire Engineering - Research Areas - Civil Engineering - Universityof Canterbury

Recent areas of research

Structural Fire Performance

Post-earthquake fires

Fire after earthquakes can have serious consequences for life and porperty. Our researach has investigated how the NZ Building Code deals with the post-earthquake fire problems and also the performance of passive protection measures under earthquake conditions.

Key publications

  • Sharp G S, Buchanan A H. Earthquake damage to passive fire protection systems in tall buildings, Proc. New Zealand Society of Earthquake Eng Annual Conference, Rotorua, Paper 34, 2004.
  • Taylor J. Post-earthquake fire in tall buildings and the New Zealand building code. Fire Engineering Research Report 2003/6. (PDF, 1.5MB)  

Testing concrete slabs in fireDesign of reinforced concrete slabs

Concrete is commonly used as part of a floor system in a building. The performance of these systems under fire conditions has been a continued area of research, both numerically and experimentally.

Key publications

  • Lim L, Buchanan A H, Moss P J. Franssen J-M., Numerical modelling of two-way reinforced concrete slabs in fire, Engineering Structures, v26, 2004, pp. 1081-91.
  • Lim L, Buchanan A H, Moss P J. Restraint of fire-exposed concrete floor systems, Fire and Materials, v.28 no.2-4, 2004, pp. 95-126.

Performance of Laminated Veneer Lumber

The work has investigated the fire performance of LVL as a structural material. Research has been carried out in our laboratories and at BRANZ with support from Carter Holt Harvey. Recent work has been to investigate connection systems using the small-scale furnace in our laboratory.

Key publications

  • Lane W, Buchanan A H, Moss P J. Fire Performance of Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), Proc. of World Conf on Timber Engineering, Lahti, Finland, v3, 2004, pp. 473-78

Lab fire testing   Lab fire testing    Small scale furnace

Gypsum wallboard systems

Compartment fire - wallboard testingResearch into the fire performance of gypsum wallboard systems has included large and small-scale experimental work. Much of the work has been sponsored by Winstone Wallboards and the large-scale experiments were conducted in collaboration with BRANZ.

Key publications

  • Gerlich H, McLellan D, Buchanan A H, Barnett C. Predicting the Performance of drywall Construction Exposed to Design Fires, Proc. Interflam 2004 Fire Science and Engineering Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2004.
  • Nyman J, Gerlich H and Buchanan A H., Equivalent Fire Resistance of Drywall Construction Exposed to Compartment Fires, Proceedings, Fire and Materials Conference, San Francisco, 2003, pp. 21-32.

Steel beams

Key publications

  • Moss P J, Buchanan A H, Seputro J, Wastney C, Welsh R, Effect of support conditions on the fire behaviour of steel and composite beams, Fire and Materials, v.28 no.2 - 4, 2004, pp. 159-76.