The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has released the results of a study on fire protection alternatives for metal buildings.

The research report, “W/D Study of Non-prismatic (built-up) I-shaped Framing Members in Metal Buildings,” was undertaken by Nestor Iwankiw, PE, SE, Ph.D., of Jenson Hughes. The executive summary of this research is available for download at the MBMA blog (

“This research fills an important gap in fire-protection data for metal building systems,” notes Lee Shoemaker, PE, Ph.D., MBMA’s director of research and engineering. “It demonstrates that alternative fire protection materials and products can be specified to accommodate various architectural schemes.”

The study results indicate the opportunity for increasing applications of spray-applied products and intumescent/mastic coatings in metal buildings for structural framing members with a W/D of at least approximately 0.30 lb/ft/in. in column assemblies, such as UL X632, X649, X772 and X829. The results encourage alternative potential uses of spray-on protection in industrial or warehouse metal buildings when a finished interior appearance with gypsum board is not necessary. RF