Research Campus

Research is essential to the development of our engineering services. As a member of the FM Global Group, AFM enjoys the collective expertise of the scientists and researchers at FM Global Research Campus. Our scientists and loss prevention engineers study every facet of fire and explosion as well as natural hazards and electrical ignition sources to better understand the hazards that exist in commercial and industrial properties.

At our state-of-the-art research facility, we recreate nearly every property hazard imaginable to understand the risks and potential losses that threaten client facilities. The data gathered from these experiments is then used to develop the property loss prevention guidelines, risk improvement recommendations and solutions that ultimately reinforce the resilience of our clients.

Learn more about what goes on inside the labs of the FM Global Research Campus and how it benefits our clients.

Hydraulics Lab

In the event of fire, adequate sprinkler protection can prevent devastating loss. The engineers and technicians at our Hydraulics Lab rigorously test fire protection system components and related devices—such as sprinklers, fire pumps and valves—to establish performance criteria for cost-effective, adequate and reliable fire protection.

Electrical Hazards Lab

Nearly every business faces risks associated with electrical hazards. Electrical ignition sources are one of the leading causes of fire and explosion—especially in facilities containing flammable gas, liquid or combustible dust. In our Electrical Hazards Lab, we test electrical equipment under fault conditions to determine threat of ignition or combustion to help protect against explosion or other catastrophic loss.

Natural Hazards Lab

In the Natural Hazards Lab, engineers and scientists replicate windstorm, hail, flooding and earthquake to study threats posed to buildings and equipment. Our researchers replicate the toughest weather phenomena to understand what causes building materials to fail and find better ways to design facilities to withstand severe acts of nature. For example, our debris cannon shoots planks to test the impact resistance of doors, windows and walls, and our shake table replicates the effect of an earthquake on items such as boxes in warehouse storage. What we learn in this lab paves the way for sensible solutions, smarter engineering standards and improved property loss prevention practices for our clients.

Fire Technology Lab

FM Global's Fire Technology Lab is the centerpiece of the Research Campus. Spanning 108,000 square feet (10,000 square meters), it is the largest facility of its type in the world. Here, we study fire's effect on structural integrity, test sprinkler protection, measure combustion and test the flammability of everything from building materials to warehouse storage configurations. Our researchers and engineers study how fire behaves to develop property loss prevention solutions that help minimise operational downtime, supply chain interruption and loss of market share for clients who experience a fire-related loss.