Fire protection provided by clay and lime plasters

Plasters are traditional surface finish materials in timber buildings. Today, the lack of fire performance data and design guidelines place such ecological materials at a disadvantage since plaster is not considered as a fire protection material for timber. This study aims to provide an up-to-date overview of performed fire tests accompanied by investigations on thermal properties of selected ready-mix clay and lime plasters. Design parameters of plasters for the fire design of timber structures are proposed following the safety philosophy of EN 1995-1-2. Numerical heat transfer simulations provide sufficient agreement with furnace test results for undercoat clay plaster. The mechanical fastening system of a plaster (e.g. reed mat) on timber demonstrates paramount importance when determining the charring rate of timber and the fall-off time of plaster. The structural integrity and fire performance of plasters should be further investigated due to their various recipes and numerous fastening systems on timber. Further research in full-scale is needed to confirm the recommended design parameters.

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