DBI can test according to the hydrocarbon fire curve

11 megawatts. This is the power output of DBI’s large multi-furnace. In […]

Oct 2023
DBI can test according to the hydrocarbon fire curve

11 megawatts. This is the power output of DBI’s large multi-furnace. In addition, it can fire test specimens measuring 5 x 3 metres. This offers some unique opportunities and is difficult to find anywhere other than at DBI – The Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology.

With a maximum output of 11 megawatts, DBI’s multi-furnace can not only run the standard fire curve (ISO), like many other furnaces, but also the hydrocarbon fire curve (HC), which simulates the types of oil fires that can occur on drilling platforms, for example. It is also suitable for fire testing ship structures, etc.

“The drilling platforms around us are getting older and are starting to require renovation. This is why a unique calibre of fire testing is needed, and DBI has the facilities and the expertise required to perform this type of testing,” says civil engineer Wisam Elias Neaman at DBI’s fire testing department.

The H0 test is the most rigorous of all hydrocarbon fire tests. This is usually a non-isolated test, which runs over 120 minutes, without a temperature requirement, but with an integrity requirement which means that no flames may occur on the unexposed side of the test specimen during the fire test.

“It is difficult to achieve the hydrocarbon temperature curve and at the same time maintain the required pressure in the furnace. And there aren’t many furnaces powerful enough to cope with the heat loss that occurs during an H0 test. Therefore, running an H0 test places far more demands on the furnace than any other test,” says Wisam Elias Neaman, asserting:

“DBI’s multi-furnace, however, has sufficient power in its burners to achieve the hydrocarbon curve, even with the large heat loss associated with an uninsulated H0 test specimen, and ventilation that is effective enough to establish the pressure conditions required during such a test.”

All hydrocarbon tests run at a maximum temperature of 1,100 degrees. In addition to the H0 test, there is also a series of tests named H15-H120, where the numbers indicate the number of minutes that the test, which always lasts 120 minutes, must run at a certain temperature.

Enquiries from far and wide
DBI can perform all fire resistance tests based on the HC curve. This includes testing of decks, bulkheads, doors, and bulkhead or deck bushings. And since it is difficult to find test laboratories with the same test facilities as DBI, enquiries relating to hydrocarbon tests come from far and wide.

“Our customers have typically been unable to find other laboratories offering the same testing options and expertise and are therefore willing to travel to test with us,” says Wisam Elias Neaman.

Furnace size
The size of the multi-furnace – which measures a generous 5 x 3 metres – also offers some additional options in relation to fire doors, because it enables DBI to test both sides of a double door in one single test. It is also possible to test large ventilation ducts measuring up to 2.5 x 1.5 metres and loaded columns up to 80 tonnes. And finally, the larger furnace width allows for more bushing test types and testing of a greater number of details in walls.

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