Research in Action

AFM recently hosted 63 brokers from around the world for a Broker Engineering Forum that included a tour of the FM Global Research Campus. During the day-and-a-half program, participants experienced firsthand how AFM uses research to help clients protect their businesses from property loss.

Participants gathered on the floor of the large-burn laboratory and listened to a description of the upcoming fire test they were about to witness. Two identical storage arrangements —one with sprinkler protection and one without —would soon be set on fire.

After several minutes, the storage arrangement with a single sprinkler was nearly extinguished, while the fire in the unprotected rack continued to grow. The temperature measured at the ceiling was nearing 1000 ° F, which is the temperature that structural steel begins to lose integrity. FM Global's Industrial Fire Brigade put out the fire in the unprotected rack.

In the Natural Hazards Laboratory, brokers watched the large missile cannon fire simulated windblown debris at various protection schemes. In this image, the missile penetrated the ½-inch plywood often used to protect windows or building openings. However, the one-inch plywood was able to protect against the same impact.

Also in the Natural Hazards Laboratory, participants saw the potentially damaging effect severe wind can have on a roof. This wind uplift test demonstrated the need to reinforce roofing systems.

Brokers got to see and touch FM Approved temporary flood barriers, such as a plank door, which is a more effective solution than sandbags, shown at left.

The tour of the Research Campus ended with a bang...in the form of a dust explosion. Even a small amount of dust can lead to a large explosion. AFM works with our broker partners to help clients understand dust exposures and make recommendations to manage and control those exposures.

Every May, AFM hosts brokers from around the world to experience "Research in Action." If you think you or someone from your company can benefit from this experience, please contact your production underwriter.