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  BRANZ TR9 - Timber Framed Wall or Floor/Ceiling Systems

TR9 software is a model to extrapolate the results of a fire resistance test on a light timber framed wall or floor/ceiling, to a greater height or span and/or loading, which can be used in the design of light timber framed walls and floor/ceilings for fire resistance, where a prototype system has a successful fire resistance test result.

TR9 is based on BRANZ Technical Recommendation No. 9 (see technical references below)

Walls
The studs in a light timber framed wall, when subjected to fire, are modelled as axially loaded columns. The effect of fire is simulated by the loss of timber cross-section in the studs and a calculation of the residual loadbearing capacity. The "Secant Formula" is applied to what is assumed to be eccentrically loaded studs (in a wall) and has been modified to include the effects of charring of the studs and face loading due to lateral forces.

A prototype fire resistance test on a loaded wall is required to establish the performance of the lining system and timber frame in terms of the criteria of stability, integrity and insulation. The test result will also enable the charfactor (degree of damage to the wall) to be assessed.

The charfactor, as the measure of fire damage, is applied to the new design, which may be required to be a different height and/or loadbearing capacity. A new stud size is selected to support the applied load at the required height, thus meeting the stability criterion. If the wall remains intact the integrity criterion is also likely to be satisfied, as the curvature of the new wall cannot exceed that of the tested wall due to the imposed limitations (Collier, 1991b) preventing reduction of either stud dimension. The insulation criterion as established in the prototype test will also be met, provided the space between linings is not reduced.

Floor/ceilings
The result of a fire resistance test on a loadbearing floor system may be applied to a floor/ceiling of similar construction. The basis for comparison is that the calculated stress induced in critical areas of the extrapolated design is not greater than that in the test specimen. The span of the floor may be increased if required, and the structural adequacy of the joists is subject to the critical stress in the prototype test not being exceeded. The load on the extrapolated floor may not be increased above the load applied to the prototype, as there is a danger of the flooring membrane being penetrated, causing an integrity failure.

A simply supported beam is modelled by the software. The parameters for the prototype test are entered and the stress at the bottom of the beam (joist) at mid span is calculated. The required parameters for the extrapolated floor are entered, and for the same induced stress, the minimum depth of joist is calculated.

Free download

Free Firerest TR9 download (3MB) - run setup.exe to install

User's guide
Collier, P.C.R. Software for the design of light timber frame construction for fire resistance - A user's guide - Version 2.0 (PDF 119KB). Building Research Association of New Zealand. (2000).

Technical references

Collier, P.C.R. 1991a. Design of loadbearing light timber framed walls for fire resistance: Part 1. Building Research Association of New Zealand, Study Report No. 36 Judgeford, Wellington.

Collier, P.C.R. 1991b. Design of light timber framed walls and floors for fire resistance. Building Research Association of New Zealand, Technical Recommendation No.9. Judgeford, Wellington.

Collier, P.C.R. 1992. Design of loadbearing light timber framed walls for fire resistance: Part 2. Building Research Association of New Zealand Study Report No.42. Judgeford, Wellington.

Collier, P.C.R. 1996. Software for the design of light timber frame construction for fire resistance - A users guide, version 1.0. Building Research Association of New Zealand, Judgeford, Wellington.

Specifications

Model name
BRANZ TR9

Version
2.0

Classification
Fire Resistance (Endurance) Model

Modeller(s), Organisation(s)
Peter Collier, Building Research Association of New Zealand.

Necessary software and hardware
Microsoft Windows 95 or later
486 or higher microprocessor
VGA Display
8 MB of memory
7 MB of disk space

Computer language
Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0

More information

Contact branz@branz.co.nz.