The analysis of polymer pipe behaviour in fire conditions
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 17:10 authored by Timothy William Marsden
This report investigates the properties of polymer pipes of varying materials and their performance in high temperature compression testing. The inherent appeal of pipes being the ease of manufacturing and implementation is also their downfall as polymers are adversely affected by heat. This becomes a major issue when they are implemented instead of metal pipes in fire conditions. With the tendency of polymers to melt away in high temperatures, Hilti has developed products with the aim to address this issue through the implementation of intumescent materials. The presence of this intumescent material in firestop products takes the heat induced swelling characteristic of the material to crush the polymer pipes it surrounds and prevent fire and smoke spread from what would be a gaping installation hole. These intumescent materials are activated at temperatures of over 180°C but little is known about how the polymer pipe is affected by this radial compression under those high temperature conditions due the expensive and wasteful current testing methods. The procedure developed in this report acts as a building block for future development in this area by successfully designing a diametral compression test for polymer pipes. This then extended on to be applied to a designed and purpose built high temperature testing rig allowing for the production of high temperature results for a range of polymer pipes gaining the first results of their kind for this new area of research and investigation.