Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Friday 5th June 2020

Fireproof Construction

wrought ironGlossary Term [1]. Until the design of the cast-iron beams had been perfected, structural instability and defective casting techniques were the cause of a number of collapses of fireproof mills. After improvements in the design, fireproof construction was adopted more widely and it continued in use throughout the 19th century. ReinforcedGlossary Term [2] concreteGlossary Term [3] flooring was introduced in a limited way in the 1880s, as were rolled steel beams, but these materials were not widely adopted in Manchester mills until the 20th century. Fireproof construction was expensive and for this reason timber floors continued to be widely used, sometimes with metal or plaster claddingGlossary Term [4] to give a measure of fire resistance. Heavy timber floors without joistsGlossary Term [5] offered some fire protection because large timbers tend to char slowly without losing structural integrity.

 

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009