In 2013, a new load frame for testing the fire resistance of load-bearing wall structures and firewalls was introduced at the fire testing facility. The load frame has a remarkably high stiffness. The wall structure to be tested is mechanically loaded from below. In the current configuration with five hydraulic presses, it is possible to apply a centric or off-centre load of 1500 kN to the test structure. In addition, the attachment surfaces for walls were extended to allow for a more convenient, unhindered attachment to the new support frame.
Masonry walls and metal stud walls are not the only load-bearing structures for which the fire resistance is determined pursuant to DIN EN 1365-1 in conjunction with shock testing pursuant to DIN EN 1363-2 and which are classified as firewalls pursuant to DIN EN 13501-2. In recent years, load-bearing solid wood structures and timber stud structures have increasingly also been tested in the same manner. The test wall set-up personnel have access to compressed air and high-voltage current at each of the three new attachment surfaces. In addition, a second crane (10 tonne) was installed, which can traverse the entire facility. As a whole, these measures have created an environment which ensures problem-free preparation and execution of fire resistance tests, especially for manufacturers of load-bearing wall structures such as brick walls or solid wood walls.