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Large-Scale, Real-Fire Structural Testing: A unique testing and metrology challenge



Matthew S. Hoehler


This talk will address large-scale experiments of structures subject to real fires and the challenges associated with measurement of structural performance in this environment. While dramatic structural collapse during a fire is thankfully rare, our understanding of how fire interacts with a diversity of existing and emerging structural systems, as well as experimental validation of the systems we do understand, is too limited. The actions (loads and deformations) imposed on a structure by a fire are complex and often necessitate testing at full scale. The scarcity of experimental data motivated the construction of the new National Fire Research Laboratory (NFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The talk will highlight recently completed and ongoing projects in the NFRL and discuss possible solutions to improve deformation measurements in burning structures.


structural fire testing


Hoehler, M. (2017), Large-Scale, Real-Fire Structural Testing: A unique testing and metrology challenge, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created September 8, 2017, Updated September 26, 2017