STRUCTURAL FIRE PROTECTION
Structural fire protection includes the insulation materials, coatings, and systems used to prevent or delay fire-induced temperature rise in structural members in buildings. It falls into the general class of passive fire protection that typically supplements active fire protection (fire alarms, fire suppression systems, human interventions, etc.), as required by the building codes. Structural fire protection for walls, columns, and floors can be provided in varied forms, different materials and products, such as lightweight or higher density spray-applied fire resistive materials, gypsum board, intumescent/mastic coatings, concrete and masonry. Performance, weight and cost are the three key design selection factors. The analysis-design of fire protection can be performed in one of two ways: prescriptively or by means of performance-based engineering. The conventional prescriptive approach relies on fire resistance rated assemblies developed from standard furnace tests conducted in accordance with the long-established ASTM E119 criteria. The selection of the fire protection material type, product, thickness, and its installation details will depend on the particular assembly design selected for the required rating time of the fire resistive construction.