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Fire Technology

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 3–35 | Cite as

A Review of Parameters Influencing the Fire Performance of Light Gauge Steel Frame Walls

Review Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Fire Science Reviews

Abstract

Load-bearing Light Gauge Steel Frame (LSF) walls are made of cold-formed steel frames and lined with fire-resistant gypsum plasterboards, and include cavity insulation based on energy performance requirements. Despite the importance of their fire performance, the current fire design methods rely mostly on a prescriptive approach, which relies on fire resistance ratings (FRR) provided by the wall manufacturers due to the lack of knowledge of the various parameters affecting the fire performance of LSF walls. This paper identifies the parameters affecting the fire performance of LSF walls, and presents a detailed review of the fire performance of LSF walls as a function of these parameters, based on recent research studies. It discusses the effects of elevated temperature thermal properties, plasterboard fall-off, cavity insulation, wall configuration, and stud section shapes on the thermal performance of LSF walls, and presents a detailed study of the temperature distribution patterns across the stud cross-sections. Negative effects of plasterboard joints are also demonstrated using fire test results. Elevated temperature mechanical properties of steel, time–temperature profiles of walls, stud section shapes and their sizes were found to be affecting the structural performance of LSF walls in fire, and their effects are discussed. The importance of using accurate elevated temperature mechanical properties in determining the FRR of LSF walls is also demonstrated. A good understanding of the identified parameters on the fire performance of LSF walls can lead to the use of a performance-based fire design method, and development of LSF walls with enhanced fire performance.

Keywords

LSF walls Fire Structural performance Thermal performance Cold-formed steel Plasterboards Structural fire performance Plasterboard joints 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank QUT for providing the full scale fire testing and high performance computing facilities, and QUT and Australian Research Council for providing financial support to conduct this research project.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering and Built EnvironmentQueensland University of Technology (QUT)BrisbaneAustralia

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