Light Gauge Steel Frame (LSF) wall panels with cold-formed thin-walled steel-Lipped Channel Sections (LCS) and plasterboard linings are increasingly used in the construction industry due to their lightweight and constructability characteristics. However, due to the high thermal conductivity of the LCS, rapid heat transfer is observed in LSF walls, causing negative impacts to the fire performance of the LSF wall elements. Cavity insulation is one of the practical solutions used in the industry to improve the fire performance of LSF walls. Insulation materials such as rockwool, glass fibre, cellulose fibre, ceramic fibre are commonly used as cavity insulation materials in LSF walls. A novel approach in LSF walls is the introduction of lightweight concrete filling as a cavity filler. The effect of lightweight concrete filling on the fire performance of LSF walls was analysed with the numerical investigation in this study. Fire performance of conventional LSF walls with 12.5 mm and 15 mm single and double plasterboard with Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) with 600 kg/m3 density, Foam Concrete (FC) with 650 kg/m3 density and FC with 1000 kg/m3 density lightweight concrete fillings were compared with LSF walls without cavity insulation and rockwool insulation under standard and hydrocarbon fire conditions. It was observed promising improvement in insulation and load-bearing fire ratings in LSF walls with lightweight concrete filling. Among lightweight concrete materials considered, FC with 1000 kg/m3 density has exhibited the best fire performance. LSF walls performance could be enhanced with lightweight concrete fillings depending on the application with improved fire performance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Northumbria. University and the University of Moratuwa for the financial support and research facilities.
University and the University of Moratuwa for the financial support and research facilities.
© 2022 Institution of Structural Engineers