In nearly all types of property, automatic fire sprinkler systems are retrofitted or installed, from offices to hotels to single-family homes. So the fire sprinkler pipe material must be easy to install, versatile, reliable, and also cost-effective for meeting the needs of the diverse market. Conventionally steel has been the most preferred material for fire fighting pipelines for sprinklers but still, thermoplastic pipes are now dominating other light-hazard categories and residential areas. But with so many choices lying in the market right now, it is really hard to determine which one is the best choice for firefighting pipe material. In this blog, we will be helping you out to make your decision.
Steel is dominating the market of fire sprinklers in the market, but corrosion is a serious concern
Since the very first fire protection systems were installed, the durability, strength, and extreme resistance to heat exhibited by black steel has made it the undisputed leader of the fire sprinkler pipeline industry. Having a melting point that ranges between 2,600°F and 2,800°F (1,427°C and 1,538°C), steel pipes can withstand the heat of a burning building and keep the water flowing onto a fire. For all types of fire protection systems, steel pipes are suitable. It can be easily bent, formed and fabricated which enables it to be manufactured into several shapes, sizes, and configurations. It also has the lowest thermal expansion coefficient among all the fire sprinkler pipe materials. How the size of an object changes with temperature change is described by this coefficient. For example, a 100-foot section of steel pipe when heated from 40°F to 120°F, will only expand 0.63 of an inch which minimizes the requirement for expansion joints and loops. While copper has the next best thermal expansion co-efficient, it is still 1.5 times higher. There are again some other benefits of steel. Extended exposure to ultraviolet light has no impact on its mechanical properties or performance. It can also be painted with no adverse effects. This extreme rigidity and strength mean that stepping, dropping or banging steel pipes during installation will not easily cause any kind of damage that can be a real concern with CPVC. Rigidity is also important as it determines the distance between the hangers during installation. More hangers require more flexible materials which up the cost of that component of an installation.
Steel pipes again boast a major drawback which is that they are highly susceptible to corrosion and more than any other fire sprinkler pipe material and the damage can begin as soon as a system is installed. The presence of oxygen, water, and metal makes the ideal breeding ground for rust. This also makes way for microbiologically induced corrosion which allows bacteria to colonize the internal surfaces of steel pipes. Corrosion prompts costly service calls for fixing obstructed pipelines, repair of leakage from holes, and removing loose scales or rust which clogs sprinklers and valves and degrades the flow characteristics of the system. The susceptibility of steel to corrosion caused pitting and buildup earn it the lowest hydraulic C-factor that measures the roughness on the side of pipes and its ability to impede water flow. It left untreated, corrosion makes way for leaks or accidental sprinkler discharges which potentially causes tens of thousands of dollars in water damage to the property the system was meant for protecting. It can cause fire sprinklers to fail during a fire too.
All of these problems can be put to an end with DI Pipes and Fittings. Ductile Iron requires very little maintenance once it’s installed and is designed to last at least 100 years. Having around 98% recycled content, Ductile Iron Pipe is itself a 100% recyclable material. Lower costs from increased flow capacity lead to significant energy savings during the pipe’s lifetime in service. Ductile iron is very strong and can withstand the most severe conditions, from high-pressure applications to heavy earth and traffic loads, to unstable soil conditions. With Dutco Tennant LLC you can learn about the best fire fighting pipeline material which can suit your project requirements. With us you will Frischhut’s amazing range of products delivered.