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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


Vacuum Rough Use and Abuse
Strength
Strength of Heat Response
High Ambient Exposure High Temperature Exposure
Element
Leakage Discharge Coefficient Freezing
Minimum Operating
Hydrostatic Strength Moist Air Exposure
Pressure
30-Day Leakage Corrosion – Salt Spray Process Residue
Water Hammer Corrosion – Stress Cracking Conductivity
Corrosion – Carbon Dioxide /
Operating Temperature Sensitivity
Sulfur Dioxide
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


Vacuum Rough Use and Abuse
Strength
Strength of Heat Response
High Ambient Exposure High Temperature Exposure
Element
Leakage Discharge Coefficient Freezing
Minimum Operating
Hydrostatic Strength Moist Air Exposure
Pressure
30-Day Leakage Corrosion – Salt Spray Process Residue
Water Hammer Corrosion – Stress Cracking Conductivity
Corrosion – Carbon Dioxide /
Operating Temperature Sensitivity
Sulfur Dioxide
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 over-
stressed 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
Operation
• Test:
– 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)½ (19-36 (m-sec)½)
– Quick Response RTI range: 0-90 (ft-sec)½ (0-50 (m-sec)½)
– Standard Response RTI range: 145-635 (ft-sec)½ (80-350
(m-sec)½)
• 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


Vacuum Rough Use and Abuse
Strength
Strength of Heat Response
High Ambient Exposure High Temperature Exposure
Element
Leakage Discharge Coefficient Freezing
Minimum Operating
Hydrostatic Strength Moist Air Exposure
Pressure
30-Day Leakage Corrosion – Salt Spray Process Residue
Water Hammer Corrosion – Stress Cracking Conductivity
Corrosion – Carbon Dioxide /
Operating Temperature Sensitivity (RTI)
Sulfur Dioxide
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

5.0x 5.9x 6.2x 6.3x 5.5x


4.9x 6.3x worse worse worse worse worse
worse 7.2x
2.6x worse worse
2.3x worse worse
Sprinklered
Merci Danke
谢谢 Gracias

Thank You
ありがとう
Obrigado
Grazie
Dank u

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