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  1. #1
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    Default metal stud construction

    In my first alarm district several new buildings are using metal studs in their construction. I realize that they will not add to the fire loading , but I can find no good information on how they will react during fire conditions. I am hoping someone may direct me to an artical or website that addressed the subject. Any information, experience, or constructive comments are welcomed. Thanks.


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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of studies to start with. Not as specific or comprehensive as what you may want, but it might get you going.

    NRC - Fire Resistance and Sound Insulation of Load-Bearing Stud Wall Assemblies

    And this one is informational only. Scroll down to the sections on fire resistance, and the recommendations of the Gypsum Association regarding meeting codes.

    Gypdsum Product Development ***. - Fire Resistance

    The consensus is that for metal-stud walls to meet code, they need additional protection. I participated in a massive burn and research initiative in 2000, consisting of dozens of metal stud framed buildings. Our observations were as firefighters, not scientists, but it was pretty clear that once the drywall was compromised, the studs began to warp and fail very quickly. There was just no mass to resist the heat.

    The secondary problem came as a result of high heat situations warping the frames, and pulling the screws out of the studs/drywall, and propagating a quicker failure. We did not get to see any of the newer sound deadening steel systems, but the consensus from the NRC guys is that they are additionally perforated, meaning even less fire resistance.

    In a sentence: While Steel-studs have no inherent fire resistance, they can perform adequately when properly constructed and insulated with additional fire protection. In the standard construction environment however, expect failure times to be dramatically reduced.
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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemedic037
    In my first alarm district several new buildings are using metal studs in their construction.
    One important consideration is whether they steel studs are being used as structural elements, or if they are just used to make partitions.

    Metal studs are only used in my area in non-structural applications so we don't feel they pose an unusual fire suppression hazard.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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