July 21, 2021

010 - Seeking the origins of standardized fire testing and ancient fire protection materials with John Gales

010 - Seeking the origins of standardized fire testing and ancient fire protection materials with John Gales

Did you know that the standard temperature-time curve, which is the underpinning of the fire resistance of assemblies, is over 100 years old? Once you know that, you cannot stop but think about how this affects modern construction works. In this episode, I'm interviewing dr John Gales from York University, who has spent over a decade studying the historical origins of fire testing and the standard curve. John has found some missing links and narratives and has also done a pretty good job confronting the choices from the (far) past with modern consequences.

But that is not all. Within this "historical" theme, we venture far earlier, to the 18th Century and some first attempts to use fire protection materials and verify their properties with fire tests. Furthermore, we take a modern view on these historical origins, through modern fire tests John has performed on materials his team has recreated in their lab.

For the practical engineers - the episode ends up with a discussion on fire protection of historical buildings, where antique solutions meet modern codes and expectations. A very needed discussion in the fire community.

Connect with John Gales at: 

*** Linkedin discussion thread ***

*** Useful links ***
The paper the episode is themed around: "The historical narrative of the standard temperature-time heating curve for structures" https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10694-020-01040-7

Heritage fire protection materials and verification of their properties with modern methods: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352710219310551?via%3Dihub

A great supplementary material from 2012 - Gales J., Maluk C., Bisby L., Structural Fire Testing – Where are we, how did we get here, and where are we going?

Two part paper from 1978 by V. Babrauskas and R.B. Williamson: