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Technical fire prototype laboratory for new construction products

DBI wishes to develop a new technological service which will increase accuracy, minimise costs and shorten the time-to-market when new construction products need to undergo fire-testing. The aim is to enhance producers' competitiveness and exports, and to support the creation of new workplaces.

The background is the fact that the majority of all new construction products that are fire-tested by DBI do not have an optimal technical fire design. Around 40% of the products fail the fire test, which then costs time and money to re-develop the product and submit it for another fire test. On the other hand, the fire properties of around 30% of the products are 'too good', which results in increased costs for raw materials and production.

The modest success rate of 30% is due to the fact that there is no reliable method, neither in Denmark nor abroad, of evaluating the fire properties of a construction product at an early stage of the development process. Consequently, the manufacturer only gains this knowledge once a full-scale fire test has been carried out, which makes any changes to the product time-consuming and costly.

Therefore, improved accuracy will both strengthen the manufacturers' competitiveness and promote the development of innovative construction products which are required by the construction industry in order to meet the enhanced requirements of the market and society in terms of the sustainability, energy needs and impermeability of buildings.

The new service will be based on new methods for the early evaluation of technical fire properties – including the computer simulation of fire properties and fire-testing “on a desktop scale”.

The target group is around 600 Danish building materials producers, mainly SMEs, with overall revenue of around DKK 45 billion per year. Market analyses confirm that the service will be able to resolve a common problem for the target group. The new service thus has the potential to be a "game changer" for Danish building materials producers, according to civil engineer Rasmus Budde from Trehøje Døre.

The development of new tools requires research, which has not yet been undertaken, as well as knowledge of fire testing and companies' requirements. It is therefore natural for DBI, as a GTS institute, to undertake the technological risk of developing the new service on the basis of research performed in collaboration with DBI's research partners, Lund University and DTU.

The project is part of DBI's result contract which runs from 2015 to 2018. DBI enters into a result contract with the Danish Agency for Research and Innovation at three-yearly intervals.
Technical fire prototype laboratory for new construction products The project ran from: 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018

Project Lead
Anders Dragsted
Head of Building Design