Towards the use of novel materials in shipbuilding : assessing thermal performances of fire-doors by self-consistent numerical modelling

D’Amore, Giada Kyaw Oo and Mauro, Francesco and Marinò, Alberto and Caniato, Marco and Kašpar, Jan (2020) Towards the use of novel materials in shipbuilding : assessing thermal performances of fire-doors by self-consistent numerical modelling. Applied Sciences, 10 (17). 5736. ISSN 2076-3417

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    Abstract

    Nowadays, fire-doors optimization is approached by using consolidated design guidelines and traditional materials, such as rock wool. Then, selected solution is directly tested in a mandatory fire-test. Unfortunately, few pieces of information could be retrieved either if the test succeeds or fails, which makes both improvements in the design and use of innovative materials difficult. Thus, in this work, a self-consistent finite element method (FEM) analysis is developed and assessed against experimental fire-test results, highlighting the critical parameters affecting the numerical simulations. Using this tool, a new fiberglass-containing foam, with improved acoustic and mechanical properties, as compared to the rock-wool, is studied as a potential insulating material for on-board fire-doors. The assessment of the performance of the new material demonstrates that, contrary to common believe, the effective thermal insulation capacity is not necessarily the critical factor in determining the fire-resistance of a fire-door. Using the validated FEM analysis, it has been proven that the reduction of the thermal bridges originated at the door edges allows, firstly, for the attainment of a fire-door 37% thinner and 61% lighter with respect to a traditional one, and, secondly, the use of new material as insulator in fire-doors that, even if less thermally capable, could improve other properties of the door, as an example its soundproofing.