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    Default Aspirating sprinkler heads

    Anyone out there have experience with aspirating sprinkler heads for foam production in an industrial setting? Fixed installation of sprinklers to produce AR-AFFF finished foam for protection of methylhydorsilane storage. Info such as head pressure and flow to optimize the foam production using 3% AR-AFFF through an eductor feeding the fixed installation.

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    What size are the containers

    Are they inside or out

    What kind of facility are they at

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    Suggest you get the msds from the place using/ storing it to see what it actualy says

    This one does not look to bad except for the possible acid release

    http://www.cnf.cornell.edu/msds/meth...est(50529).pdf

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    fire49: The MSDS is available and in our response sog's. I am looking for practical experience with supplying the installation having to pump to a fixed system through an eductor. I understand how to supply a hand line with a proper foam solution, but am concerned that without the correct flow rates on the heads, the amount of aspirated air entraned by the sprinkler heads will not be enough to provide the needed amount of finished foam. This expansion ratio also greatly affects the amount of foam concentrate that needs to be carried on the engine supplying the sprinkler. In addition to the expansion ratio, there is the problem of achieving the correct flow rate and drop across the eductor. Back pressure on a hose line can be calculated using friction loss formulas and nozzle design pressures, but I am unsure of the pressure curve of the aspirating sprinkler heads. The Ansul information on the net is very minimal, and does not provide any flow rate - pressure - aspiration data. I am also unsure as to what manufacturer provided the present heads. Just looking for anyone with experience with this type of fixed installation.

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    So let try to understand the set up

    Are the sprinkler heads open or closed ?

    You bring the pump?

    You bring the educator?

    You bring the foam?

    Once again is this inside a building or outside?

    What size are the containers ?

    Do you know how old the system is?? Roughly

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    Quote Originally Posted by KuhShise View Post
    I understand how to supply a hand line with a proper foam solution, but am concerned that without the correct flow rates on the heads, the amount of aspirated air entraned by the sprinkler heads will not be enough to provide the needed amount of finished foam. This expansion ratio also greatly affects the amount of foam concentrate that needs to be carried on the engine supplying the sprinkler. In addition to the expansion ratio, there is the problem of achieving the correct flow rate and drop across the eductor. Back pressure on a hose line can be calculated using friction loss formulas and nozzle design pressures, but I am unsure of the pressure curve of the aspirating sprinkler heads. The Ansul information on the net is very minimal, and does not provide any flow rate - pressure - aspiration data. I am also unsure as to what manufacturer provided the present heads. Just looking for anyone with experience with this type of fixed installation.
    This will almost certainly be an engineered system with designs and flow requirements on file. Have you talked to the building owner? There should be at least some design information in the sprinkler room -- at least enough to identify the design standard used and the designer.

    A facility with that level of specialized fire control systems also probably requires a fire management plan of some sort. Do they have one? What does it say about the system? Have you contacted your local Fire Marshal's office (or whoever inpects the system in your jurisdiction)?
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 05-15-2011 at 02:31 PM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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    System, as far as I can tell was installed without a whole lot of communication between the FD and the industry. It is a dry system with open heads (4) arranged to protect a storage area of about 30 by 40 inside an ordinary construction. Concrete block with steel bar joist and rubber covered steel deck roof. FD is expected to supply the siamese with foam solution, but there is no volume or pressure specified. In discussing this with the chief at the time of construction, the FD was simply told to feed the system with the foam solution. No pressures or volumes specified. We carry 95 gpm in line eductors with 1 1/2" NH threads. We have one engine with an around the pump proportioner, but it is only for class A foam at 0.1% wildland use. The process is a closed system with vapor recovery, so it is well contained from the process standpoint. The operation is being considered for expansion, but the storage area will remain the same. I understand the hazard involved with a vapor escape, and the first due is equipped with adequate B/A to ensure crew & P.O. have B/A available. I have not been privy to the operation, so hesitate to answer on size of the containers. From some discussions, the containers are moved by fork lift, so I assume 3 to 4,000 lbs. Original system has been in place for about 10 years

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    Quote Originally Posted by KuhShise View Post
    Original system has been in place for about 10 years
    That's not all that old a system. Somebody at the plant should at least know who designed it and what standard it was designed to.

    Are there fire codes in force in your jurisdiction? If so, what are they and who enforces them?

    If the owners can't provide design specifications, the realistic alternative is to require them to provide a system analysis by a licensed engineer familiar with this type of system. It isn't up to you as the fire department to guess how to support a non-standard system with no design specifications available to you.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Hate to say it but sounds like some one installed some pipe and stuck heads on them, with no design criteria


    The sprinkler head should have markings on it at least who made it

    So no pre plan / walk thru of the building.?? Done lately

    I think I would want to know a lot more about what is inside
    How stored container size what other nasty things processes going on


    Is the rest of the building sprinkled ??? More then likey not
    Last edited by fire49; 05-16-2011 at 02:52 PM.

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    Any chance of putting it (the system) on a flow meter and doing a live flow test? Not with foam but just to establish flow rates. I'm guessing ideal conditions would require 100 psi at the head, not sure how you would do that unless you screw a inline guage behind the head. Luck with that, interested to find out what you do. If you need a flow meter, give me a call. I can shoot one up to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck_3 View Post
    I'm guessing ideal conditions would require 100 psi at the head.
    "Guessing" is no way to run an engineered fixed supression system.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KuhShise View Post
    System, as far as I can tell was installed without a whole lot of communication between the FD and the industry. Have you checked with the local Code Enforcement Office and/or the Fire Marshal's office? All commercial building plans are required to be kept on file (forever) by Pa. State Law. Perhaps the Code Official and/or the FM have some knowledge of the system. It is a dry system with open heads (4) arranged to protect a storage area of about 30 by 40 inside an ordinary construction. Concrete block with steel bar joist and rubber covered steel deck roof. FD is expected to supply the siamese with foam solution, but there is no volume or pressure specified. In discussing this with the chief at the time of construction, the FD was simply told to feed the system with the foam solution. No pressures or volumes specified. We carry 95 gpm in line eductors with 1 1/2" NH threads. We have one engine with an around the pump proportioner, but it is only for class A foam at 0.1% wildland use. The process is a closed system with vapor recovery, so it is well contained from the process standpoint. The operation is being considered for expansion, but the storage area will remain the same. I understand the hazard involved with a vapor escape, and the first due is equipped with adequate B/A to ensure crew & P.O. have B/A available. I have not been privy to the operation, so hesitate to answer on size of the containers. From some discussions, the containers are moved by fork lift, so I assume 3 to 4,000 lbs. Sounds like "totes" of foam. Original system has been in place for about 10 years
    I would immediately find any and all documents on the existing system through the FM's Office and the Code Official. Was it designed, installed and inspected properly? Was there an acceptance test? If you can find nothing, then I would politely ask the Business Owner to hire a Fire Protection Engineer (registered in the Commonwealth of Pa.) to conduct a full evaluation of the system for both design compliance and system function testing. If the property owner refuses, then have the Fire Marshal's Office tell them to have it done, especially if there are no valid permits for the system. If the system is not up to par, it is up to the property owner to bring it up to date. Have the FPE design corrections into the system, or a new one alltogether, and have the system altered or rebuilt under a building permit so that it is done correctly and under the supervision of Code Enforcement and/or the FM's Office.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 05-16-2011 at 05:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    "Guessing" is no way to run an engineered fixed supression system.


    Looking at what K has already written, Does this sound like an engineered system to You?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck_3 View Post
    Looking at what K has already written, Does this sound like an engineered system to You?
    Quite possibly a badly engineered system but an engineered system nonetheless.

    The long and short of it is that figuring out how to operate it isn't the FD's job. (Nor is the typical FD competant to figure it out even if it was thier job...) It's up to the building owner to come up with credible design specs on the system that should include parameters for supplying the system.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    If you can find nothing, then I would politely ask the Business Owner to hire a Fire Protection Engineer (registered in the Commonwealth of Pa.) to conduct a full evaluation of the system for both design compliance and system function testing.
    Bingo!
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    sorry for the choppy cut and paste



    NFPA 16 provides specific wording required on the placard of the fire department connection
    installed on the system. There are to be pumping pressure instructions to the fire department so the foam
    concentrate is not exhausted prematurely in the event of a fire.






    NFPA 16
    NFPA 16 is the Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray
    Systems. In simpler terms, it is the standard for closed head and deluge foam/water sprinkler systems.
    NFPA 16 has general requirements regarding the foam sprinkler riser components, such as where system
    isolation valves and foam solution test connections are located. The location of these valves is dependent upon where the foam proportioning device is installed. If the proportioning device is located upstream of
    the sprinkler riser valve, the system isolation and solution test valve are located upstream of the sprinkler
    riser valve. If the proportioning device is located downstream of the sprinkler riser valve, the system isolation
    and solution test valve are located downstream of the sprinkler riser valve.
    NFPA 16 provides specific wording required on the placard of the fire department connection
    installed on the system. There are to be pumping pressure instructions to the fire department so the foam
    concentrate is not exhausted prematurely in the event of a fire.
    NFPA 16 prescribes the minimum design area for a closed head foam water sprinkler system is
    5000 sq. ft. The minimum density indicated in NFPA 16, regardless if it is closed head or deluge is .16
    gpm per sq. ft. It should be noted that, again, this density is for hydrocarbon or non-miscible liquids, where
    miscible liquids are present (alcohol resistant foam concentrates must be used), the foam concentrate
    manufacturer must be consulted for the minimum required density for the specific fuel and specific sprinkler
    head utilized with the specific alcohol resistant foam concentrate.
    NFPA 16 provides information regarding the calculation method utilized for foam concentrate lines.
    Where a standard AFFF foam concentrate is utilized, the Darcy or Fanning formula of determining pressure
    loss in the concentrate piping must be used. The piping discharging foam solution does not require a special
    formula, other than Hazen-Williams. Alcohol resistant foam concentrates are pseudo plastic and have
    different viscosities and varying shear rates. Where alcohol resistant foam concentrates are utilized, the
    specific manufacturer of the foam concentrate must provide pressure loss values for different concentrate
    pipe sizes.
    NFPA 16 limits the area of coverage of a sprinkler to 100 sq. ft. on a foam/water sprinkler system.
    Other standards that utilize sprinklers on foam systems will take precedence over this requirement, so it is
    important to research the specific standard.
    NFPA 16 requires a minimum duration of foam concentrate of 10 minutes. Again, other standards
    specific to a hazard or storage arrangement will take precedence, so specific standard research is
    required.

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    fire49: Thanks for your input and reference data. I knew I would need to go the the plant and sit down with plant engineering and the plant manager, and was looking for reference materials to prepare myself for the meeting. Was also looking for some practical hands on experience from anyone who had actually supplied this sort of system, ao that any special problems that might be encountered could be addressed when reviewing the system. Still collecting information and ideas concerning this system, so that if a redesign becomes necessary, this time it will be done right with the proper instructions to the F.D. Thanks to everyone for your inputs. I will post results after the system is reviewed and or modified.

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    Chemguard has a lot of info on their website.

    http://www.chemguard.com/about-us/do...ign-manual.htm

    Chemguard make the base componenets used in many mfgs foams. I think that Ansul included.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KuhShise View Post
    fire49: Thanks for your input and reference data. I knew I would need to go the the plant and sit down with plant engineering and the plant manager, and was looking for reference materials to prepare myself for the meeting. Was also looking for some practical hands on experience from anyone who had actually supplied this sort of system, ao that any special problems that might be encountered could be addressed when reviewing the system. Still collecting information and ideas concerning this system, so that if a redesign becomes necessary, this time it will be done right with the proper instructions to the F.D. Thanks to everyone for your inputs. I will post results after the system is reviewed and or modified.
    Kuh, just curious- why are you doing this when the Code Enforcement Official and the Fire Marshal should be????? (or are you the FM?)

    I am a registered Building Code Official in Pa. so if you need any help or guidance feel free to hit me up.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Finally got some valid input about this system. Been a year and a half in the works. !. The deluge system is for control of a fire in the storage area with NO release of the chemical (methylhydrosilane). The MSDS and the info from the manufacturer state "Do Not use water on spills or leaks" It is permissable to use Ar-AFFF foam at an expansion rate of at least 30:1 or greater. There is a venting system with a neutralizier for any accidental release, and the process uses very small quantities of the material with elaborate purging procedures and vapor collection should a release occur. Someone (long since removed from the employ of the company) decided that it would be possible to flood the storage building with foam and simply places a sign at the sprinkler siamese stating that it should be supplied with AR-AFFF foam without consulting the FD as to their ability to perform this feat. Alarms initiate self closing valves on any cylinders that are on line, so this limits the possible problems within the process. We are still faced with possible handling problems, but it would be unlikely to simultaneously have a fire when changing containers. Glad we finally got some answers. FWDbuff... our code enforcement has a hard time looking at residential buildings and checking code compliance.. let alone dealing with chemicals and the resultant production of hazardous vapors. We really need to spend more time examining the MSDS as they are provided and improving communications with our industrial engineers. Quite an enlightening presentation the other night. People & officers making assumptions about how stuff is supposed to work, instead of how it really works.

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    Thanks for then follow up

    Good research

    Nice to know they tried to provide protection

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuh shise View Post
    Finally got some valid input about this system. Been a year and a half in the works. !. The deluge system is for control of a fire in the storage area with NO release of the chemical (methylhydrosilane). The MSDS and the info from the manufacturer state "Do Not use water on spills or leaks" It is permissable to use Ar-AFFF foam at an expansion rate of at least 30:1 or greater. There is a venting system with a neutralizier for any accidental release, and the process uses very small quantities of the material with elaborate purging procedures and vapor collection should a release occur. Someone (long since removed from the employ of the company) decided that it would be possible to flood the storage building with foam and simply places a sign at the sprinkler siamese stating that it should be supplied with AR-AFFF foam without consulting the FD as to their ability to perform this feat. Alarms initiate self closing valves on any cylinders that are on line, so this limits the possible problems within the process. We are still faced with possible handling problems, but it would be unlikely to simultaneously have a fire when changing containers. Glad we finally got some answers. FWDbuff... our code enforcement has a hard time looking at residential buildings and checking code compliance.. let alone dealing with chemicals and the resultant production of hazardous vapors. We really need to spend more time examining the MSDS as they are provided and improving communications with our industrial engineers. Quite an enlightening presentation the other night. People & officers making assumptions about how stuff is supposed to work, instead of how it really works.
    Would love to have been there for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Chemguard has a lot of info on their website.

    http://www.chemguard.com/about-us/do...ign-manual.htm

    Chemguard make the base componenets used in many mfgs foams. I think that Ansul included.
    The link is a good one. There's too much information on it and I have bookmarked it to read it at ease on saturday.

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