Performance of a ventilated‐façade system under fire conditions: An experimental investigation

Eleni, Asimakopoulou orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5644-1372, DIonysios, Kolaitis and Maria, Founti (2020) Performance of a ventilated‐façade system under fire conditions: An experimental investigation. Fire and Materials, 44 (6). pp. 776-792. ISSN 0308-0501

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During a fire event, ventilated facade systems may contribute to external fire spreading to the upper floors of a building via the facade, thus representing a significant risk. In this frame, the performance of a typical ventilated façade system under fire
conditions is experimentally investigated, using a full-scale compartment-facade test rig. Two alternative façade configurations are examined and comparatively assessed, namely a plain façade (PF) and a ventilated façade (VF) system. Emphasis is given on the estimation of the thermal characteristics of the developed Externally Venting Flames (EVF) and the thermal boundary conditions developing on the façade's exposed surface. An extensive set of sensors was installed at the interior of the fire compartment, the façade systems and the exterior of the test configurations. Analysis of the experimental data suggests that even though gaseous combustion products managed to penetrate the air cavity of the VF system, no consistent flaming conditions were established. On the unexposed face of both PF and VF systems, temperatures remained constantly below 180C throughout the duration of both fire tests. The Eurocode correlations are assessed against the obtained experimental data; certain parameters, such as EVF length, width and centreline temperature, are found to be under-estimated by the Eurocode methodology.

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