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Construction industry to get a boost from Ulster fire safety research

A research is going on fire safety materials in construction industry
A research is going on in University of Ulster on fire safety in constructions

Experts at the university are analysing the fire resistance of a new type of steel column.

Fire safety in the construction industry could be revolutionised by new research by scientists at the University of Ulster, which has secured funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Experts at the university are analysing the fire resistance of a new type of steel column, which features elliptical sections, a relatively new product available to structural engineers.

However, despite its architectural appeal and structural efficiency, there is no fire resistance design guidance on the material, which is preventing it from being widely adopted. Ali Faris, professor of structural engineering from the Built Environment Research Institute, aims to change this by using advanced computer modelling techniques and high standard fire tests to gauge its performance.

"We will also investigate the performance of the elliptical steel sections when subjected to severe fire," he explained, adding the results will help them create preliminary fire design guidance and regulations. The Health and Safety Executive recently issued revised guidance aimed at reducing fatalities from the thousands of fires on construction sites that occur every year.

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