Performance of Automatic Sprinkler Systems for Extinguishing Incipient and Propagating Conveyor Belt Fires Under Ventilated Conditions
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines evaluated the effectiveness of automatic water sprinkler systems on the suppression of incipient and propagating conveyor belt fires under ventilated conditions. Large-scale experiments were performed at airflows ranging from 1.1 to 4.6 m/s. In incipient fire experiments with 100°C, standard-response sprinklers installed above and between the belts, the sprinklers activated later, the peak heat release rates were larger, and more belting was consumed at the higher airflow. In similar experiments with 74 °C, fast-response sprinklers, the sprinklers activated at the same heat release rate for both high and low airflows, but the peak heat release rate and amount of belting consumed was slightly higher at the lower airflow. In incipient fire experiments with sprinklers located only above the top belt, the heat release rate and amount of belting consumed was larger at the higher airflow. The propagating fire experiments showed that sprinklers located above and between the belts were effective in stopping flame propagation. Peak heat release rates and amount of belting consumed were larger at the higher airflows for both the 74 °C, fast-response and 100 °C, standard-response sprinklers. The sprinklers were equally effective at each airflow.
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