The setting for the Tisova fire tests could not be more picturesque, cool crisp winter days near a river in the western province of Carlsbad, on an old coal processing site. Over the past week you would have found a small band of academics making holes in floors, ceilings, walls, and beams in one of the buildings located on this site 25 minutes to the west of Karlovy Vary (where we are staying). Whilst this is a lot of fun, it is all in the name of research.
|Karlovy Vary at night from our apartment|
To understand the structural effects of a travelling fire on concrete and composite structures, both during the fire and residually after the fire has cooled back to ambient. We are aiming to run the test on the 28th of January.
University of Edinburgh, Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP), Imperial College London, CSTB, Lulea Technical University, Czech Technical University in Ostrava, MajaCzech, and the Fire and Rescue service of the Karlovy Vary region.
When did we start:
Set-up on site started on the 13th of January with two members from SP (David Lange and Fredrik Kahl) marking out holes for instrumentation and setting up the lighting for working into the evenings. Jamie Maclean and I (David Rush) arrived on site on the 14th of January having set-off from Edinburgh on the 12th with a van full of equipment.
|The test building|
What have we done so far:
The first week has been mainly drilling holes through the concrete and composite slabs for the 60 plate thermometers, drilling into the concrete and composite slab at various depths to place 112 thermocouples, and installing the 56 thermocouple trees in the fire compartment. On top of this we have taken out the internal steel partitions that were in the fire compartment, made many holes in the plasterboard partitions on the floor above the fire compartment to run cables to the data loggers, broken a sledge hammer trying to break through a bathroom floor and created a lot of additional dust.
|Thermocouple trees inside fire compartment (Photo credit Dave Lange)|
Trials and tribulations:
|Jamie Maclean and drill|
So far there have been few trials to speak of, the only two of note are locating the troughs in the composite slab so that we can accurately measure temperatures, and a delay in the wood supply due to the time that its taking to dry it.
Over the next week the numbers on site will swell to around 10, meaning that we can start hooking up the 700 or so measurement channels, placing the wood (when it arrives), protecting the necessary cabling in the fire compartment, and install the remaining thermocouples and deflection gauges
Globus is a big positive for us with tasty sandwiches, coffees, and pastries that keep us full of energy for the long days on site. Finding drill bits long enough to drill 650mm into a concrete beam from above, which we wouldn’t have found had it not been for the very helpful and patient English speaking lady at the local hardware store, which we have visited everyday so far with random lists of equipment that we need.
(Photos copyright of David Rush)