Oprite Bobmanuel and Ehab Zalok

Oprite Bobmanuel, MASc Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, oprite.bobmanuel@carleton.ca
Ehab Zalok, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, ehab.zalok@carleton.ca

ABSTRACT
The effect of fire temperatures on concrete masonry has been an area of interest over the years. The performance of concrete masonry during a fire has been concluded to be excellent because of its non-combustible nature, exceptional thermal properties, and stability. Hollow blocks with vertically oriented cavities are widely used in order to reduce heat flow through a wall. However, heat transfer predominantly by radiation and convection through the cavities is of major concern, as the hot gases in the cavities travels upward and increase the heat flow in the blocks. This gives rise to the need to further improve the fire resistance of concrete masonry blocks through the use of a lightweight insulating materials placed in the cavities. This study involves the use of alternative approach to study the thermal behaviour of normal weight concrete masonry walls with gypsum and polystyrene materials as fillers in the block cells. A finite element thermal analysis was conducted using ABAQUS CAE 14 on hollow concrete masonry blocks. The results obtained were compared with the air-filled masonry walls. All the walls failed due to the 180 oC insulation failure criteria. The walls with gypsum and polystyrene inserts had improved fire resisting properties than those with air-filled cavities. They improved the fire resistance of masonry concrete blocks by an additional 48mins.

KEYWORDS: concrete masonry, fire, gypsum, heat transfer, insulation, modelling