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Basic Sprinkler Testing to

Differentiate High Quality Sprinklers from Low


Quality Sprinklers
Paris Stavrianidis
General Manager

Many Standards Similar Basic Tests

Tests for Sprinklers


Assembly Load / Frame
Strength

Vacuum

Rough Use and Abuse

Strength of Heat Response


Element

High Ambient Exposure

High Temperature Exposure

Leakage

Discharge Coefficient

Freezing

Hydrostatic Strength

Moist Air Exposure

Minimum Operating
Pressure

30-Day Leakage

Corrosion Salt Spray

Process Residue

Water Hammer

Corrosion Stress Cracking

Conductivity

Operating Temperature

Corrosion Carbon Dioxide /


Sulfur Dioxide

Sensitivity

Hang-up of Operating Parts

Corrosion Hydrogen Sulfide

Water Distribution

Strength of Deflector

Vibration

Crib Fire/Large Scale Fires

Tests for Sprinklers


Assembly Load / Frame
Strength

Vacuum

Rough Use and Abuse

Strength of Heat Response


Element

High Ambient Exposure

High Temperature Exposure

Leakage

Discharge Coefficient

Freezing

Hydrostatic Strength

Moist Air Exposure

Minimum Operating
Pressure

30-Day Leakage

Corrosion Salt Spray

Process Residue

Water Hammer

Corrosion Stress Cracking

Conductivity

Operating Temperature

Corrosion Carbon Dioxide /


Sulfur Dioxide

Sensitivity

Hang-up of Operating Parts

Corrosion Hydrogen Sulfide

Water Distribution

Strength of Deflector

Vibration

Crib Fire/Large Scale Fires

Basic Characteristics to Evaluate


Materials of construction
Frame
Deflector

Operation

Leakage
Operating pressure
Operating temperature
Hang-up of operating parts
Sensitivity (RT)

Water discharge
Discharge pattern
Discharge coefficient

Fire Tests

Basic Characteristics to Evaluate


Materials of construction
Frame
Assembly load / frame strength test
High temperature exposure test

Deflector
Corrosion stress cracking test
Strength of deflector test

Materials of Construction
Test:
Assembly load / frame strength

Purpose:
Measure the load placed on the frame
from the sprinkler assembly process
Ensure the frame is strong enough to
bear the load for the life of the sprinkler

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Premature operation of sprinkler
(broken frame)
Sprinkler leakage (cracked or elongated
frame)

Materials of Construction
Test:
High temperature exposure (800 oC)

Purpose:
Ensure quality brass is being used in the
sprinkler
Ensure sprinkler is free of any casting porosities

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Premature operation of sprinkler (broken frame)
Sprinkler leakage (cracked or elongated frame)

Materials of Construction
Test:
Corrosion stress cracking
Exposure to moist ammonia vapors (10 days)

Purpose:
Ensure that the deflector material has not been
over-stressed during the forming process
Ensure quality brass is being used in the sprinkler

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (deflector breaking during
discharge)
Poor water distribution (deflector breaking during
discharge)

Materials of Construction
Test:
Strength of deflector

Purpose:
Ensure that the attachment of the deflector to the
frame is robust enough to survive discharge
Ensure quality brass is being used for the deflector
Ensure that the deflector material has not been overstressed during the forming process

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (deflector deforming and / or
breaking)
Poor water distribution (deflector deforming and / or
breaking)

Basic Characteristics to Evaluate


Operation
Leakage
Leakage test

Operating temperature
Liquid bath test

Hang-up of operating parts


Lodgment test

Sensitivity
RTI test

Test:

Operation

Leakage

Purpose:
Ensure that the sprinkler will not leak

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (leaking water
prevents sprinkler from operating)
Water damage (from leaking sprinkler)
Dry system flooded (from a sprinkler
leaking air)

Operation
Test:
Operating temperature (liquid bath)

Purpose:
Ensure the operating temperature of the sprinkler

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (sprinkler operation delayed due to
high operating temperature water demand exceeds
design)
Premature operation of sprinkler (ambient
temperature exceeds operating temperature of the
sprinkler)

Operation
Test:
Lodgment (hang-up)

Purpose:
Ensure that all the parts of the sprinklers will
not become lodged
Ensure that the water distribution
will not be disrupted

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (water distribution fails to
get water where it is needed)
Uncontrolled fire (lodgment causes water to
spray on adjacent sprinklers causing skipping
and increased fire growth)

Operation
Test:
Sensitivity (RTI)

Purpose:
Ensure the response time of the sprinkler
is within the prescribed limits
Fast Response RTI range: 35-65 (ft-sec) (19-36 (m-sec))
Quick Response RTI range: 0-90 (ft-sec) (0-50 (m-sec))
Standard Response RTI range: 145-635 (ft-sec) (80-350
(m-sec))

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (excessive sprinkler
operations due to slow sensitivity
water demand exceeds design)

Basic Characteristics to Evaluate


Water discharge
Discharge pattern
Water distribution test

Discharge coefficient
Discharge coefficient (K-factor) test

Water Distribution
Test:
Discharge pattern

Purpose:
Ensure water is evenly distributed under the
sprinkler
Ensure that the water distributed under the
sprinkler meets minimum requirements

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (water pattern fails to
deliver water where needed)

Water Discharge
Test:
Discharge coefficient (K-factor)

Purpose:
Ensure the correct flow rate of water is
achieved at a given pressure

Consequence of bad sprinklers:


Uncontrolled fire (quantity of water is not
sufficient for the occupancy)

Conclusions
Basic testing will evaluate
gross function of sprinklers
but it does not replace complete testing and certification
Minimal amount of equipment is
needed to perform basic testing

Sprinklers can only control fires


if they work properly
when called upon to do so

Tests for Sprinklers


Assembly Load / Frame
Strength

Vacuum

Rough Use and Abuse

Strength of Heat Response


Element

High Ambient Exposure

High Temperature Exposure

Leakage

Discharge Coefficient

Freezing

Hydrostatic Strength

Moist Air Exposure

Minimum Operating
Pressure

30-Day Leakage

Corrosion Salt Spray

Process Residue

Water Hammer

Corrosion Stress Cracking

Conductivity

Operating Temperature

Corrosion Carbon Dioxide /


Sulfur Dioxide

Sensitivity (RTI)

Hang-up of Operating Parts

Corrosion Hydrogen Sulfide

Water Distribution

Strength of Deflector

Vibration

Crib Fire/Large Scale Fires

Large Scale Fire Testing

Average Gross Risk Loss per $100 TIV

Unsprinklered

2.3x worse

2.6x worse

4.9x
worse

6.3x
worse

5.0x
worse

5.9x
worse

6.2x
worse

6.3x
worse

Sprinklered

5.5x
worse

7.2x
worse

Merci

Danke

Gracias

Thank You

Obrigado

Grazie
Dank u