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An investigation on fire hazard and smoke toxicity of epoxy FRP composites

Saeed Bakhtiyari (Department of Fire Engineering, Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center, Tehran, Iran)
Leila Taghi Akbari (Department of Fire Engineering, Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center, Tehran, Iran)
Masoud Jamali Ashtiani (Department of Fire Engineering, Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center, Tehran, Iran)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is assessment of fire and smoke hazards of some fiber reinforced polymers (FRP). The use of FRP strengthening strips has been found rapid growth in construction industry of Iran and many other countries. However, the fire and smoke hazards of these materials in both construction and use phases need to be determined and the appropriated measures against fire should be taken.

Design/methodology/approach

The fire hazards of two types of fibre-reinforced epoxy composites (graphite fibre-reinforced polymer and carbon fibre-reinforced polymer) were investigated in bench-scale using cone calorimeter test method. Time to ignition, heat release rate, total heat release, smoke release and carbon monoxide production were measured and analysed. Time to flashover of an assumed room lined with the tested FRP was analysed with Conetools software. Smoke production and toxicity of the considered composites were also analysed and discussed, using the fractional effective dose parameter.

Findings

The results showed that the tested FRP products had a high fire hazard and a potential high contribution to fire growth. The tests also proved that the used epoxy resin had a low glass transition temperature, around 50°C; therefore, the mechanical strength of the product could be drastically reduced at first stages of a probable fire incident. This also showed that a regular thermal barrier, typically used for protection of plastic foams against fire, could not be sufficient for the protection of strengthening FRP composites.

Originality/value

This research was carried out for the first time for the materials used in construction industry of Iran. The results and achievements were very useful for safe use and development of proper details of application of the system.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Road, housing and urban development research centre (BHRC) provided financial and laboratory supports for this research. The authors like to appreciate Composite Sazeh Moghavem Company for their supports for providing the needed FRP materials and their implementation. In this regard, the authors also like to appreciate value cooperation of Dr M. Sarafraz and staff of the fire department of BHRC, Mr Koosha, Mrs Doroodiani and Mrs Askari Moghadam.

This paper forms part of a special section “Selected papers from CIB World Building Congress 2016”.

Citation

Bakhtiyari, S., Taghi Akbari, L. and Jamali Ashtiani, M. (2017), "An investigation on fire hazard and smoke toxicity of epoxy FRP composites", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 230-237. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-07-2016-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited