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Multi-layer polymer metal laminates for the fire protection of lightweight structures

Lookup NU author(s): Sandra Christke, Professor Geoff Gibson, Professor Adrian Mouritz



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


A multi-layer polymer metal laminate (PML) system is described, which can be used to thermally insulate lightweight structural materials, such as aluminium or carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite, when exposed to fire. The system comprises many thin, adhesively-bonded metal foils, bonded directly to the structural substrate. When exposed to fire the PML adhesive thermally decomposes with the generation of volatiles, causing the foilsto delaminate and inflate, thus greatly reducing its thermal conductivity. The expanded PML slows heat transfer from the fire into the structural substrate, resulting in lower temperatures and increased structural survivability. The fire protection effects of two different thicknesses of PML are demonstrated here for both aluminium and CFRP substrates. Fire exposure tests demonstrate that the substrate temperatures are reduced and the time to failure under load is substantially improved. The protection offered is equivalent or superior to conventional fireprotection materials such as ceramic fibre mat or intumescent coatings. The advantage of the PML is that, in non-fire conditions, it contributes to the appearance and load-bearing capability of the structure without being prone to damage or water absorption.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Christke S, Gibson AG, Grigoriou K, Mouritz AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Materials and Design

Year: 2016

Volume: 97

Pages: 349-356

Print publication date: 05/05/2016

Online publication date: 24/02/2016

Acceptance date: 24/02/2016

Date deposited: 16/03/2016

ISSN (print): 0264-1275

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4197

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes,2016.02.105


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Funder referenceFunder name
Endeavour Scholarship Foundation
Government of Australia
246037EU FIRE_RESIST 7th Framework programme