Straw bale fire test ASTM E119 on cement plaster mixes.

Written by esba

The use of plastered straw bales for wall construction in residential and light commercial buildings has increased significantly all over the world. The performance of straw bale walls under fire exposure is an item of major importance in securing construction. This paper presents a fire resistance test on different cement plaster mixes applied on straw bales of thickness 45 cm. The test was conducted on the samples’ surface for almost 2 hours using a direct flame. A thermal sensor was installed on the sample side opposite to the flame side to record the transmission of heat through the plastered bales. The results showed that bales survived fire penetration in excess of 2 hours after which the flame was discontinued. It was concluded that mixes containing higher percentages of cement content exhibit more fire resistance than those with less cement content. It was also noticed that the increase in heat transmission through the bales (between both sides) did not exceed 5°C in all samples. Keywords: straw bales, fire resistance, fire test, cement plaster, cement content, lime content, direct flame, heat transmission, exposure period.

Authors: Garas, G.; Allam, M.; Mamdouh, K.
Test made in 2009


About the author


The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.