Author: PFP Specialist

PFP Specialists and COVID-19

The Coronavirus outbreak has changed how we all live and work, and this is no different for PFP Specialists. However, we remain operational and continue to work on a remote basis to offer assistance and support to our customers whenever you need us.

We understand that this is a difficult time for many people, not only for our customers, and we wish everyone well while we all adjust to new arrangements and working practices.

PFP Specialists welcome two new associates

PFP Specialists is delighted to welcome two further associate consultants to the team: Dr. Andrew Taylor and John Telfer.

Photo portrait of consultant John Telfer
John Telfer
Photo portrait of Dr. Andrew Taylor
Dr. Andrew Taylor

Dr. Taylor is a recognised technical leader in passive fire protection, with decades of experience in intumescent coatings and other forms of passive fire protection. He is highly active in numerous trade associations and standards committees.

John Telfer is assisting our Quantifire development team with his decades of experience of estimation and product certification, working on maintenance of the publicly available product data and supporting quality control.

Quantifire Latest Changes

Version v1.5.4.3 is a recommended update for cellular beam users.
Note: two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled users will need to confirm their identity by clicking on a link sent to their email when attempting to login from unrecognised locations. Note that retention of IP addresses by PFP Specialists will be undertaken in accordance with our privacy policy, available at the PFP Specialists main website. (released 2022-06-13)

  • A cell beam bug has been fixed. It could give the wrong DFT when an identical section was used above and below a cell beam (bug introduced in v1.5.0.0). All affected users have been notified.
  • Bracing Tcrit adjustment fixed to occur only when the section factor exceeds the limit
  • Change-all and pen mode duration adjustments now automatically switch unfilled voids to filled voids when moving from a duration<=90 minutes to >90 minutes.
  • Returning from the Tcrit editor sheet will now re-run a calculation to capture any changes that have been made. To return without changing the original settings use ‘Back’ at the top of the page.
  • Bug fixed whereby non-integer quantities could be imported (introduced in (released 2022-05-24)

  • Improved logic to handle numbers from text when importing from files. Logic will now handle text strings using the alternative decimal mark (comma or dot) and handle text that contains both, with one used as a thousands separator.
  • Default Tcrit from guidance improved for various occupancy types, updating previous conservative values with those from Yellow Book Table 16.
  • Improved logic on start-up when unable to establish a connection with the server. Re-try is permitted to avoid forced closure due to minor network interruptions. (released 2022-05-09)

  • Custom section entry bug fixed whereby Quantifire could crash in comma-decimal regions (released 2022-04-12)

  • Quantifire Web Reporting (Beta Feature) Added
    • Only available to invited users (primary users from full license holders) pending feedback before a wider release
  • Improvement to pen edit mode: cell beams DFTs are no longer recalculated if only non-relevant fields are changed (e.g. comment)
  • Bug fixes:
    • 2FA bug fixed whereby clicking to login twice before checking for emails could cause an issue
    • Toe-to-toe channels dimensions fixed
    • Crash on toe-to-toe channels when using wrong decimal separator fixed (released 2022-03-07)

  • Digital certificate now reinstated (our apologies for the absence of the certificate with v1.5.3.1, which was caused by supplier and customs delays outside of our control)
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed crash in profile matching that could occur when a profile has a category code at the end
    • Fixed report crash bug for certain custom notes
    • Fixed incorrect A/P re-calc when toggling on/off pen mode (released 2022-02-17)

  • Bug fixes:
    • CB product change re-calc crash fixed for beams with very high utilisation ratio
    • Asymmetrical BUP surface area and section factor bug fixed
  • Custom section improvements
    • I sections and RHS sections can now be built from back-to-back or toe-to-toe channels
    • Built up boxes can now be entered using the web spacing or the flange outstand
  • Date and time improvements
    • Format of date and times standardised as yyyy/mm/dd hh:MM:ss
    • All dates and times now adjust to local time, instead of showing UTC (released 2022-02-03)

  • Reporting Improvements:
    • New feature: Users can now save up to 3 custom notes, and the maximum length has been extended to 600 characters each. This will remove the need for users to enter their own notes every time.
    • Bug fixed whereby Report ID was not showing.
    • Duplication of section type removed (e.g. “CB CB 533x…” now “CB 533x…)
  • Product selector improvements
    • UL1709 certificates now display the applicable Tcrit and SF range, along with the scope, to help users distinguish between multiple certificates for a product
    • HC products with jet fire are now shaded orange
    • Products in a private database are now marked with the same shield sign used in the Quantifire Web Service (to increase clarity for users of both)
  • Import canvas improvements:
    • Westok beam sheet compatibility expanded to include sheets with additional columns. Reset of matched columns will now prompt the user if a westok sheet match is detected and give the option of assigning columns to fit the template
    • Basic checking of cell beam hole dimensions has been added to the import – alerting the user if holes are unrealistically big (note that the import will still run, this is only to guide the user)
    • Bug fix on the option to set the area column as individual or total (it was accidentally disabled in v1.5.2.0) and minor editorial improvement to column header form to guide user to set top and bottom tees (cell beams only) as the designation, not the depth.
  • General improvements
    • Bug fixed whereby LT users would get an error message on loading
    • Class 4 Tcrit calculation internal verification study complete. Please note that class 4 calcs remain outside the scope of our 4rd party verification study, and the note in the options has been updated to reflect this. Class 4 Tcrit calcs have now been applied to the optimiser.
    • Clarification added when saving that going back to the Home page to create/edit products does not lose the MTO data. Users can create/edit a project during an MTO and then assign the MTO to it later.
    • The CB tee finder now clears previous options if an invalid size is entered
    • A bug has been fixed whereby the total area and individual section length would be out of sync when entering using area with a quantity greater than one. (released 2021-12-24)

  • Import canvas improvements:
    • New feature: ability to use custom section terms to help match serial sections. If enabled, any section that includes some custom text will search within all serial section categories of the same shape. This will increase the chance of a serial match and reduce the occurrence of serial sections returning custom profiles.
    • Improved logic for European sections (HEA,HEM,IPE, etc.) to show them as green when a good match is found
    • Import now checks the file extension and warns the user if it is an unsupported type
    • Bug fixed whereby selecting to use realistic length when importing using advanced Tcrit calcs (for sections outside 3-30m) was changing all section thereafter instead of only sections outside the range. Also extended from 3m down to 2m.
    • Bug fixed whereby setting zone location was fixed on Auto
    • Bug fixed whereby custom cell beams would import but fail to save when used with certain decking configurations.
  • Advanced Tcrit calc improvements:
    • The user can now choose how to handle lengths that exceed the inherent maximum limitations in Quantifire Tcrit calcs (this does not apply to cell beams) by choosing whether to use the maximum permitted length (a conservative option) or the default length (this is set by default)
    • The maximum length for beams has been modified from 18m to be the greater of 18m or 30x the beam depth. It has been retained as 8m for columns.
    • More prominence has been given to the inherent length limits in the Quantifire Tcrit calculations: the used length is now displayed on the structural report and the user is informed via a message of the used length when assessing a beam using the CCT Calculator page.
  • Reporting Improvements:
    • New feature: the revision number is no longer used as a unique identifier (in combination with the save ID). Now a unique report reference is displayed in the footer for traceability, and the user is able to manually set the revision number, permitting modifications to past revisions without the need to increment the revision number.
    • Prepared for now hidden on the report page if blank and if there is the risk of text being obscured
    • Bug fixed whereby the totals and summaries would not show if every report column was used (introduced in v1.5.0.0)
    • DFT and WFT values in microns or mils are now set to 0 decimal places instead of the report-wide general setting
    • Technical schedule report button size and positioning fixed
  • General improvements
    • Two-factor authentication implemented
    • Built up box and shelf item bug fixed whereby “.” decimals were being entered even when the system is set to “,”
    • Clarification on how to create/edit projects added to note when assigning a play mode MTO to a project
    • User alert added when an apostrophe is used in project or package details (this is a forbidden character) (released 2021-12-13)

  • Import canvas improvements:
    • import canvas zones auto location setting (using in-row if present and if the column is not also used for another property, or assuming headers otherwise)
    • Imperial unit support improved: custom section dimension units can now be entered in inches on the canvas
    • Improved logic for better matching of North American and imperial unit designation sections
    • Import of Westok-format cellbeam files has been improved to match the correct top and bottom tees (instead of assuming the most symmetrical option).
  • Custom sections on MTO Builder can now be entered with imperial dimensions (released 2021-11-25)

  • The Getting Start page has been changed to the Home page to reflect a significant change to the layout of project and MTO controls. Users are now given specific buttons for the tasks they want to do (such as create projects, start a new MTO, load an MTO) to help users navigate Quantifire
  • The route to loading an MTO has been made a little simpler. When a project does not have packages the user no longer has to go through this stage to get to an MTO. Packages that are empty (or ‘N/A’) are treated as invisible and will not appear on the MTO Builder page or on reports
  • The MTO Builder page now shows the project (and package name if relevant) and the Save ID, making it clear to users what they are working on
  • The reports have been improved:
    • Logos have been moved out of headers and footers, to prevent printer settings from scaling these (and causing reports to look wrong)
    • The reference (if applicable), revision number and date have been moved to headers, allowing reduced white space at the top of a report
    • The report has been changed to fit ‘letter’ paper size by default. Previously it was A4, meaning printing as letter caused the columns to spill over multiple pages. Reports can still be printed as A4 without issue, giving only a slightly wider margin on the right
    • The Quantifire logo has been removed form reports
    • Export to excel has been improved and now inserts the company logo (if applicable)
  • The cell beam calculation routine has been improved to (significantly) speed up the calculations when multiple products are loaded.
  • When UL1709 products are loaded the user is now prompted to set the UL specific options (such as the single thickness mode) to prevent the need to go into the advanced settings each time
  • The steel section database has been expanded to include additional US and NZ sections
  • Bug fix: the user-set temperature during import and change-all is now compatible with Fahrenheit
  • Bug fix: changing the length of cell beam via the pen mode could result in beam surface area not being updated
  • Manual and quick start guide 1 updated (released 2021-11-09, including 2021-11-08)

  • New feature: manual DFT override. Users with permission can use the pen button to directly edit DFTs on MTO builder. Edited DFTs are then frozen and not recalculated unless the freeze is removed. Note that Quantifire marks edited DFTs on the report by default and saves record whether DFTs were manually changed.
    This has been implemented to accommodate (mainly HC) users who may work with non certified assessments for items such as vessels or cryogenic spill. Company administrators may choose to enable this feature for individual users.
  • New feature: Westok cell beam standard schedule import. Quantifire will now detect a standard (unmodified) Westok beam list and set the import fields accordingly.
  • New permissions implemented: in additional to the manual DFT override, companies can now determine which users can view privately held DFT tables
  • Recovery improved: the reset (and recover button) now gives an improved recovery file that imports directly into Quantifire via the canvas.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Imperial units Tcrit bug fixed whereby Tcrits would round away from the original value when turning off the pen mode
    • Custom sections will no longer override bracing section factors when the pen mode is used
    • Invalid dimensions (too high to save) are now caught before sending the job to save
    • Optimiser crashes in comma decimal regions resolved
  • Minor improvements, including such as editorial corrections and adjustments to canvas to better pick up steel grade and comments. (released 2021-10-15)

  • New feature: the text used to detect (and build) custom sections when using profile matching on the canvas can now be saved for each user individually, allowing users to set text relevant to their region.
  • New feature: the setting of default Tcrit values has been improved. Temperatures for different shapes and uses are now shown for each option and users can individually modify temperatures for shapes and uses (subject to user permissions) allowing a range of user-set Tcrits without the need to change them manually between sections.
  • Please note the Quantifire Terms and Conditions of Use have been updated.
  • Fixed bug introduced in v1.4.0.1 that could cause the optimiser to crash when recalculating Tcrits
  • Shelf angles (entered as a custom section) now accommodate upwards pointing angles, permitted greater concrete encasement depths (released 2021-09-20)

  • The saving method has been overhauled to be faster. In the (hopefully nonexistent) event of failure a backup file is saved for PFP Specialists to investigate and resolve.
  • The import canvas has been improved:
    • Profile-matching logic improved to pick up sections as serials when a duplicated dimension is not given (e.g. SHS 140×4 or L 120×8 will now be recognised as serials)
    • Profile matching without category names has been similarly improved to handle duplicate dimensions in either the given profile or the Quantifire serial section
    • The above improvements have allowed new defaults added to the custom section builder without reducing the number of serial matches (“L”,”pipe”,”HSS”)
    • The “Use canvas” area has been adjusted, to fix a bug that could occur when 4 sided beams were imported with length set as totals
  • Precision of dimensions has been increased behind the scenes to prevent 1-micron rounding errors when entering by area or weight
  • Custom section entry with non-system decimal separators (e.g. use of “.” in Europe) can give unrealistic dimensions, a warning message has been added if the wrong decimal is detected in European regions
  • Further improvements made to imperial unit display and display of DFTs (improved rounding for on-screen and improved display as fractions)
  • Improvements and bug fixes made to divisional calculations and entry of bulkheads and decks (released 2021-08-30)

  • Quantifire has now been expanded to include cementitious fire protection. The focus is initially on the UL1709 market in North America, hence the term SFRM (spray applied fire resistant material) is used. A update to the User Guide will accompany this version to explain more on how to use SFRMs in Quantifire, the bd-ft/bag measure used for quantity calculations, and how a certificate can be specific to a box design or a contour design.
  • Accompanying SFRMs, the US imperial units available in Quantifire have undergone some improvements to make them more available in reports and menus. Product DFTs can also now be displayed in fractions (base 1/16) to match UL certificates.
  • The system page has undergone improvements. The user can now choose whether materials are sold by weight or by volume, allowing different products to be compared more easily. Conversion between units now converts values entered automatically. Density can now been changed for all products.
  • The product selector window now allows the user to filter product type and to list only their own products, making product selection a little quicker and easier
  • Some bugs fixed, including a rare bug that could put the DFTs in the wrong place when changing products after cell beam after
  • The change all has been improved to now include all sides options, and a couple of extra side options have been added. Cell beams can also now be switched between 3 and 4 sided exposure (4 sided available only with user-specified Tcrit). Change all can now recalculate temperatures for all sections without changing or updating the Tcrit method (previously, temperature updates were limited to one method of Tcrit calculation that had to be set manually).
  • The import canvas has had a couple of minor improvements to the column matching logic and the profile matching window (the latter now remembers the profile types previously selected when opened).
  • Finally, some changes have been made for compatibility with the Quantifire Web Service (QWS), about to be launched. More information will follow on QWS soon. (released 2021-08-03, including 2021-08-02)

  • Note fixed a bug introduced in that would prevent import when starting with a blank canvas
  • An new method of calculating the DFT for a concrete filled tube (C.F.T.) has been implemented. Previous certificates continue to give DFTs based on the section factor method, however new certificates give DFTs on a wall thickness and tube diameter (or side length) basis.
  • Cell beams can now be re-dimensioned after entry. The length can now be changed using the pen mode, change-all button or in the CB calculator sheet. The main menu advanced settings now contain extra options on when to regenerate holes (if the length is increased) and whether to maintain the end post (when increasing of decreasing length)
  • A new method of calculation load combination has been added for compatibility with Eurocode national annexes (e.g. Poland) that require using the smallest of Eq. 6.10a and 6.10b in EN 1993.
  • System and pricing bug fixes / improvements:
    • Improved handling of comma decimals in the pricing menu
    • Appropriate use of kg or L in the price per unit summary on reports
    • An ‘apply to all products’ button has been added to speed entry of system details across multiple products (released 2021-06-21) and (2021-07-04)

  • Note that jet fire data will no longer load correctly in older versions due to a change implemented in this version to handle new types of certificate
  • The Eurocode method for calculation of class 4 sections has been improved and internal checks are complete. However please note: it is currently undergoing a 3rd party verification study and use of the method is not recommended at this time. Please await further confirmation
  • Cellular beam import has been greatly improved. Users can now import beams from serial sections (e.g. Westok beams, or serial sections with holes cut directly in them), to complement the previously implemented welded plate cell beams. Users can set the hole type and size, the failure temperatures, the section factors, and the web post width or hole spacing directly on the canvas.
  • Increased flexibility added on length of cell beams when the failure criteria are given during import (but the 3m-30m limit still applies for temperature calculations)
  • Bugs fixed that could prevent saving of complex cellular beams, and could cause Quantifire to display the individual CB area instead of the total
  • UL jet fire certificates that consider erosion thickness as a function of the total fire duration (in addition to the Tcrit and JF duration) can now be handled
  • Version fixes a bug that can cause cell beam bottom tees to be incorrect after import (released 2021-05-30)

  • A Eurocode method for calculation of class 4 sections has been implemented. NOTE: it is currently undergoing a 3rd party verification study and use of the method is not recommended at this time, please await further confirmation
  • The method of calculating the web section factor of cell beams now has two options, which will give different results for asymmetric beans. Previously the minimum web thickness was taken, now the average is taken by default (this can be changed in the advanced settings).
  • New type of custom section added: I and RHS beams with shelf angles and with shelf plates
  • Cruciform sections dimensions can now be quickly based on serial I-sections
  • The two main methods of editing the MTO (pen mode and change-all) have been modified for re-calculation of 4 sided beam Tcrit values: they no longer adopt the conservative approach only, but now use the full-lateral-restraint setting to determine the appropriate temperature. See the users manual for more detail.
  • Import canvas consolidation improved to now handle individual length, area and weight columns (not just total columns as before)
  • Optimiser bug fixes: fabricated hollow sections now giving correct section factor and weight (weight was showing as 0 before), number of coats calculation corrected
  • Entering search text for sections now sets the sides options and use automatically if a category is typed (e.g. “shs 100×5”)
  • Bug fix whereby the first section entered as a composite beam could go in as non-composite
  • The get-started screen can now show messages to alert users to bug reports or new features

PFP Specialists welcomes new colleagues

Michael McRae
Martin Greaney

PFP Specialists is pleased to welcome new team members in January 2020.

Michael McRae joins the company as a Junior C# developer, working with Software Developer Martin Greaney.

The administrative side of PFP Specialists is also bolstered by the arrival of Joy Bradley as HR Manager and Laura McRae as Business Administrator.