A Fire Protection Solution for Industrial Exhaust Systems in Corrosive Service

  • February 13, 2013
  • 11:45 AM - 2:00 PM
  • DoubleTree Hotel - Westminster, CO


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Larry Moore, PE,  Assistant Vice President, Pincipal Engineer, Mining and Metallurgy, FM Global

Large industrial emission systems are in use in power generation, pulp and paper, chemical processing, metallurgical refining and steel making facilities. Today’s modern exhaust systems are often constructed of corrosion resistant but combustible glass fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) and feature plastic vessels and large diameter connecting ductwork. These systems handle gases which can produce sulfuric, nitric and hydrofluoric acid mists and up until recently no fire protection system installed internally could resist the severe corrosion effects for any length of time. Thus – even though many fires have occurred – there has been no economical or viable method for providing internal fire protection.

To remedy this FM Global Research initiated a project to develop a prototypical corrosion resistant fire protection system suitable for installation in industrial waste emission systems. The project first identified possible corrosion resistant metal alloys. Tasks included installing alloy coupons inside actual exhaust system and leaving them in place for six months or longer. The coupons or remnants thereof were removed and lab evaluated. Ultimately several suitable metal alloys were identified and nozzles manufactured. Field tests of a prototypical suppression and detection system were conducted in a plastic exhaust system at a steel mill. An FM approval standard was subsequently issued and a sprinkler manufacturer is currently developing an approved system for use in client facilities by mid 2013.

The talk will cover example fire losses in industrial exhaust systems and some specifics of the FM Global research project. A prototypical fire protection solution will be shown.

Larry Moore joined FM Global (then Factory Mutual Engineering) in 1969 as a consultant engineer in Chicago.  He has worked in the Seattle office where he was Chief Engineer and in the corporate offices in New Englandwhere he was vice president of Factory Mutual Research Corporation, Standards Division. Moore currently resides in the foothills near Boulder, Colorado but continues to work for the corporate offices. As of early 2013 he has completed 44 years with FM Global. He often travels internationally and has been to an estimated 70 foreign countries.
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