While modern, high strength concrete outperforms normal strength concrete in nearly all performance criteria, it also displays a higher propensity for fire-induced concrete spalling when exposed to severe heating.

Spalling occurs when the exposed surface of heated concrete flakes away in a more or less violent manner. Such spalling presents a serious concern in the context of the historical approach to fire safe design of concrete structures, where structural engineers typically rely on concrete’s inherent fire safety characteristics (e.g. non-combustibility, nonflammability, high thermal inertia).

It has been widely shown that the inclusion of polypropylene (PP) fibres in concrete mixes reduces the propensity for heat-induced concrete spalling, although considerable disagreement exists around the mechanisms behind the fibres’ effectiveness.

UQ Fire works on bushfires research, with a main focus on the flammability of vegetation.

UQ Fire research on bushfires include:

Concrete spalling