Fire test facilities

CESARE offers research and testing opportunities at our Werribee campus for applications in fire safety engineering.

Fire test furnaces

The Centre for Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE) at Victoria University have installed a unique large scale structural fire test furnace capable of testing structures under combined structural and fire loading.

The furnace is designed to fire conditions, such as those found in European tunnel fire scenarios. Vertical loading in any configuration up to 250 Ton and horizontal loading of up to 100 Ton is possible.

The furnace is capable of providing fire resistance rating to AS 1530.4, BS 476 Parts 20–24, ISO 834, ISO 3008, ISO 3009 and ASTM E119.

Conceptual design of furnace
The furnace can test the following:

  • Wall Specimens – 4580mm W x 3640mm H x 300mm D
  • Floor Specimens – 4750mm L x 3775 W x 300 T 
  • Columns – 500mm W x 500mm D x 3000mm L
  • Beams – 350mm W x 350mm D x 5000mm L
  • Composite Panels – as specified
  • T-beams – as specified
  • Tunnel Elements – as specified.

Conceptual Design of Furnace being fired
The furnace is capable of the following fire curves:

  • RijksWaterStaat, NL (RWS)
  • Modified HydroCarbon, FR (HCM)
  • HydroCarbon Eurocode 1 (HC)
  • RABT-ZTV (train) G
  • RABT-ZTV (car), G
  • ISO 834 Cellulosic Building

Furnace in building 5, front elevated view
Other curves with a temperature rate of change and maximum temperature less than the curves listed above.

The furnace is in the process of being NATA registered.

For furnace related enquires please contact CESARE.

Cone calorimeter

Cone calorimeter

Cone calorimeter

The cone calorimeter provides a method of testing the reaction of materials to heat exposure. In this test, small samples of materials (100 mm x 100 mm) are exposed to various levels of radiation and the resulting products of combustion are drawn into a hood and analysed allowing various calculations, such as the mass loss and heat release rates, to be determined.

3MW calorimeter and ISO room

3MW calorimeter

3MW calorimeter and ISO room

The 3MW calorimeter is similar to the cone calorimeter but at a much larger scale. It allows the burning characteristics (heat release rate versus time) to be established for a variety of items, such as furniture, by burning them directly under the hood or within an International Standards Organisation (ISO) room. Measuring 3.6 m x 2.4 m x 2.4 m high, an ISO room is a standard for tests that allow the evaluation of lining materials giving a good indication of how they might behave in buildings.

Four storey building scale model

Four storey scale model

Four storey model building

Various scenarios can be simulated utilising the detailed four storey building model allowing researchers to study fire and smoke movement that might occur in one or over several levels, including lift and stairwell involvement. By varying the location of fuel and ventilation, the effects of different ventilation arrangements can be measured using more than 160 thermocouples and other instruments.