Fire performance of non-load-bearing double-stud light steel frame walls: Experimental tests, numerical simulation, and simplified method uri icon


  • Double-stud light steel frame (LSF) walls provide an enhanced insulation performance when exposed to fire conditions. However, the behavior of different configurations of such assemblies under fire is not well understood. Thus, this study aimed to assess the fire resistance of non-load-bearing double-stud LSF walls subjected to ISO834 standard fire. The walls were lined with one or two type F gypsum plasterboards on each side, using cavity uninsulated or insulated with ceramic fiber. The experimental tests revealed that a wider cavity slows the heat transfer through the cross-section, delaying the temperature rise on the unexposed surfaces. The use of ceramic fiber insulation substantially increases the fire resistance of the wall and when the cavity is partially filled with this material, if the blanket is placed towards the exposed side, enhanced insulation fire resistance is achieved. Based on the finite element method, a numerical validation was conducted using a special hybrid approach that used experimental temperature values inside the cavities or insulation blankets. This approximation was essential to improve the numerical results. Also, the employment of an air layer, located at specific regions of the models, helped to improve the numerical results, introducing an extra thermal resistance. A new simplified approach was proposed based on the improved design model available in the literature, and the results obtained are consistent with the experimental results. The predicted insulation fire resistance of the numerical and simplified methods agreed well with the experimental results and useful information is supplied to support further numerical and experimental studies.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022