(109b) Pilot Testing of Fire Protection in Extremely Corrosive Industrial Duct Environments | AIChE

(109b) Pilot Testing of Fire Protection in Extremely Corrosive Industrial Duct Environments


Su, P. - Presenter, FM Global

Pilot Testing of Fire Sprinkler System for Extremely Corrosive Industrial Duct Environments

Paul Sua,*, William W. Doerra, J.C. Harringtona, David B. Fullera, and Jon M. Barnab

aFM Global, Norwood MA, 02062 USA

bFM Global, North Olmsted OH, 44070 USA

*Corresponding author: pocheng.su@fmglobal.com

Due to the extremely corrosive environments (e.g., acid fumes like HNO3, HCl, H2SO4, and HF/HNO3) inside many combustible exhaust ducts (e.g., ducts made with fiberglass reinforced plastic [FRP], polypropylene [PP], or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride [CPVC]), sprinkler systems have not been successfully designed and installed to protect against fires originating within these ducts.1,2 These exhaust ducts can be found in metallurgical smelters, steel mill pickling lines, power generation plants, semiconductor fabrication facilities, pulp and paper plants, and chemical processing facilities. Damage to the exhaust ductwork system caused by fire can lead to interruption of plant operations for an extended period, with substantial financial losses. Research has been performed to evaluate the corrosion resistance properties of various materials and coatings such that corrosion resistant sprinkler nozzles and fire protection hardware can be developed for use in these flammable exhaust ducts and other corrosive industrial environments. Pilot testing of a new fire sprinkler system was conducted to protect the FRP duct at an HF/HNO3 pickling operation. Based on previous laboratory and in-situ field tests,3 this fire sprinkler system was composed of corrosion resistant sprinkler nozzles, linear heat detector, flexible mounting connections, sprinkler piping, and controls. Pilot testing results have led to development and recommendation of a new fire protection system capable of protecting combustible exhaust ducts from fire within extremely corrosive environments.        

Keywords: fire sprinkler system, corrosive environments, exhaust duct.


  1. FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet, 7-78, “Industrial Exhaust System,” 1-17, September 2011.


  1. Understanding the Hazard, “Fire in Industrial Exhaust Systems,” FM Global, Johnston, RI, 2006.


  1. Su, P. and Doerr, W. W., “Fire Protection for Extremely Corrosive Industrial Duct Environments,” Process Safety Progress, Vol. 29, No.1, 70-78, 2010.


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