Wind and fire engineering lab facilities
First-class facilities and equipment in our lab allows us to test from very small-scale materials (mechanical and thermal property tests) to full-scale structural fire and wind testing of roof, wall and floor panels.
Testing materials with our equipment helps our researchers and industry partners to develop an improved understanding of the performance of building materials and many important building components such as light gauge steel (LSF) roof panels and LSF wall and floor assemblies under simulated fire conditions (both ambient and elevated temperatures) and wind conditions
We can test the mechanical and thermal properties of materials at room and elevated temperatures:
- Mechanical property tests, for tensile and compressive strengths (elastic modulus, yield and ultimate strengths) and associated ductility measurements
- Thermal property tests (DSC, TGA, LFA, dilatometer), for specific heat, thermal conductivity, density, thermal expansion and diffusivity
We use gas and electric furnaces to test materials for standard fire curve, hydrocarbon fire curve, external fire and real fire curves:
- Small-scale fire tests (0.5 m x 0.5 m and 1 m x 1 m gas furnaces) of both wall and floor panels
- Full-scale fire tests (3 m x 3 m) of wall panels
- Member capacity tests of individual column and beam members exposed to both uniform elevated temperature exposure or standard fire time-temperature curve.
We can test building components subjecting them to both static and cyclic wind loading:
- Full scale air box tests (4 m x 1.5 m) of steel roofing systems (roof and wall sheeting, purlins/girts and battens): test video
- Small-scale cyclic test – Two-span batten: test video
- Small-scale cyclic test – Two-span batten with purlins: test video
- Static and cyclic/fatigue wind loading tests of steel roof and wall systems and their connections.
We can perform general structural tests of building components subject to tension, compression, bending, shear, torsion, web crippling and bearing actions.
Our structural testing facility at the Banyo Pilot Plant Precinct and Gardens Point Campus O-Block includes:
- a scientific and industrial lab for heavy mechanical and structural testing, including fire and wind testing capabilities and many universal testing machines
- a 5t gantry crane and 2.5t forklift for heavy lifting
- 100m2 of strong floor (up to 500 kN)
Finite element modelling (computer modelling)
All laboratory tests can be simulated using our high performance computing (HPC) facilities. We can achieve them using structural, thermal and coupled thermal and structural finite element models developed using finite element software including Abaqus CAE, MSC Patran, Ansys and SAFIR. More than 40 PhD and Masters research projects have been completed that fully utilized QUT’s HPC facilities to achieve excellent results through simulations.
|Sequentially coupled structural model of the rivet beam||Heat transfer analysis of LSF walls under fire conditions|
|Finite element simulation of batten fatigue||Global Buckling of CFRP strengthened steel tubular column|
Local Buckling of CFRP strengthened steel tubular column|