Title: A Case Study on the Durability of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Fireproofing in Aggressive Industrial Environments
Author(s): Nicholas Triandafilou, Mark Guirguis, Ephraim Dissen, Olu Awomolo, and Mustafa Mahamid
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 54-69
Keywords: Passive Fireproofing, Fiber-Reinforced Concrete, Industrial Structures, Constructability
Fireproofing deterioration is widespread in industrial facilities throughout the country. Spalling concrete has potential to damage equipment and harm personnel. Replacing concrete fireproofing like-in-kind, without consideration for proper anchorage or material durability, does not eliminate the hazard as spalls may potentially occur again over time. However, when properly designed and installed, concrete is a durable option for replacing deficient fireproofing in aggressive environments typically present in industrial processing units. This paper presents the results of a case study on a structure in a Midwest industrial complex. Extensive concrete fireproofing repairs were performed on the structure 12 years ago. Design requirements included normal weight concrete with polypropylene fibers which enhance durability by improving cracking resistance. During a fire, the fibers melt forming relief channels for moisture to escape, thus eliminating explosive spalling. Installation methods included welded wire reinforcement (WWR) with positive anchorage to structural steel. WWR was attached to post-installed adhesive anchors between column flanges where existing fireproofing was sound and difficult to remove. After 12 years in service, repairs exhibit no significant defects. This level of durability is attributed to the design and installation methods utilized. Concrete fireproofing is a durable option for fire protection, provided structures are designed to support its weight, its mixture design is properly proportioned, and it is adequately anchored and reinforced.