In order to study the coupled influence of fire exposure and mechanical loading, a mechanical testing device has been designed at Institute P’. This equipment is a 3 or 4 points bending test apparatus to which has been coupled a thermal aggression device, a burner or a cone calorimeter.
During the test, the load or the displacement can be controlled as well as the intensity of the thermal load. Moreover, the temperatures can be measured at three locations on the back side of the specimen. Bending can be applied so that the side under tension or compression is in front of the cone calorimeter or the burner. When the displacement is imposed, a cell records the evolution of the load. It is then possible to draw the load drop and the temperature on the rear side with respect to time.
This innovating device allows assessing the influence of the coupled thermo-mechanical loading on the advancement of the decomposition front and on the strength. This data is an original result brought by the project.