During this morning’s session at the Research Foundation’s Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium (SUPDET) in Orlando, three speakers presented the latest thinking on sprinkler protection technologies and challenges.
Wes Baker, Senior Engineering Technical Specialist at FM Global, presented an overview of Chapter 21 in the 2013 edition of NFPA 13, Standard on the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. The intent of this chapter is to provide alternative protection options to those found in Chapters 12-20 based on sprinkler characteristics (K-Factor, orientation, RTI rating, sprinkler spacing type, and temperature rating).
Scott Futrell of Futrell Fire Consulting and Design
In his presentation on “Fire Sprinkler System Reliability: Arguments Regarding the Use of CPVC in Fire Sprinkler Systems”, Scott Futrell of Futrell Fire Consulting and Design, spoke about the risks and reliability of CPVC (Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride) piping. He said NFPA 13 has allowed the use of nonmetallic piping since 1984, and maintains that handling, installation, outside influences, contractor decisions and end-user choices all have impacts on the life expectancy of CPVC pipes and fittings. Read an abstract of his presentation.
Joseph Scheffey of Hughes Associates, spoke about the “Evaluation of Water Additives for Fire Control and Vapor Mitigation”. He said that various water additives are available in today’s marketplace that claim to provide advantageous performance characteristics for fire control and vapor mitigation. Of particular interest are additives that report to provide superior fire suppression capabilities through emulsification or encapsulation. Read an abstract of his presentation.
Related: A Fire Protection Research Foundation project has been established to provide a comprehensive evaluation of water additives with the intent to clarify the fire protection benefit of using water with additives for fire suppression versus water without additives. This project directly relates to the requirements of NFPA 18A, Standard on Water Additive for Fire Control and Vapor Mitigation. Read the project summary.