We often get initiatives for our research and development projects from customers, but we also do a lot of research and development work based on our own ideas. We have received public funding for some of our research and development projects, but we fund a significant part of our projects ourselves.
Many of our experts have a long work history in research, for example at Aalto University or VTT. Therefore, we conduct our research projects with solid expertise. A few examples of our research projects in recent years are
- opinions on compartmental structures and the use of thermal insulation
- Renovation of fire regulations and instructions for construction -project (2016): thermal insulation of external walls, prevention of fire spreading from compartments and extension of classification-based design
- research on heating and fire protection of steel structures
- research related to fire protection of wood and steel structures
- participation in several concept development projects of wood construction, such as wooden parking garage development project
- participation in the development of performance-based fire safety design.
The contribution of our research work to the development of regulations related to fire safety has been very significant. Over the years, we have also commissioned numerous diploma theses. Currently (March 2021), a study focusing on the carbon footprint of a building, funded by Business Finland, is underway, and the resulting diploma thesis will be presented in more detail as soon as it is completed.
Product development projects
Most of our product development projects are initiated by a company that designs, manufactures or imports construction products: the company contacts and presents its product concept or tells about fire safety problems with the product or its prototype. For example, it is often desired to know how a product should be modified to meet the fire performance requirements of the desired construction product. In these cases, we offer the manufacturer theoretical level of fire safety consulting or recommend concrete measures based on a more detailed study of the product.
Upon receiving our assignment, we can investigate whether the product or its prototype meets the regulations applicable to it and the planned level of fire safety requirements. The study can be carried out, for example, by simulating how the structure and materials of the product behave in a fire, and by examining whether the fire requirements for the product are met.
After analyzing the product and its flammable behavior, we recommend to the manufacturer measures that can increase the product’s fire-technical functionality. We share our own views on what affects the fire safety of a product or part of it, what product development should focus on in terms of deficiencies, and what we think may be ignored.
Classification of building components and materials
The classification of building components and building materials is determined in accordance with the European classification system defined by the European Commission. European (EN) classification and test standards are used for classification. Compliance with the class requirement can be demonstrated experimentally, computationally, by combining experimental and computational results, or by using acceptable table values. Compliance with the class requirement is determined on the basis of a standardized temperature-time curve.
The fire performance class of a building material is determined by combustion tests measuring the non-combustibility property of the product, calorific value, properties to spread fire, smoke formation, flammability, formation of flammable droplets or parts, and tendencies to smouldering combustion. The fire resistance tests of structures measure load-bearing capacity, tightness, insulation and protective properties. The fire resistance of structures can also be determined by calculation methods in accordance with Eurocode design standards.
If necessary, we train the product manufacturer for classification testing to obtain the widest possible scope of classification, as testing institutes often do not do this, and assist in the design of test arrangements for product classification.
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