Our primary objective was to deliver a fire suppression system for a settler that would not only meet Factory Mutual approval but also enable a swift resumption of operations following a fire incident. The key challenge was to design an extinguishing system that would act quickly enough to prevent the collapse of the settler’s roof and prevent fire spread to other parts of the SX plant. Additionally, the system needed to be installed without disrupting production.
Considering the rapid flame spread across the surface of the organic solvent, it was estimated that the entire settler would be engulfed in approximately 16 seconds in the event of a fire. With this in mind, it became evident during the early stages of the concept design that traditional low expansion foam deliveries would not achieve the necessary suppression performance. An overhead foam deluge system would impose an excessive load on the existing roof structure, and spray nozzles would be prone to blockage.
To overcome these challenges, a combination of flame detection technology and medium expansion foam was deemed the ideal delivery method. This approach offered reliable performance while allowing for installation, servicing, testing, and cleaning from outside the settler, without causing disruptions to production or requiring extensive hot work.
By integrating flame detection technology, the fire suppression system could rapidly detect flames and trigger the release of medium expansion foam. This foam, when deployed, would cover approximately 95% of the settler’s surface area within 30 seconds of ignition. This quick response time and effective foam coverage significantly reduced the risk of roof collapse and minimized the potential for fire spread to adjacent areas of the SX plant.
Our commitment to meeting Factory Mutual approval standards ensured that the fire suppression system was designed and implemented to the highest industry standards. The chosen approach not only met the required performance criteria but also provided the necessary flexibility for ongoing maintenance and cleaning, all while preserving uninterrupted production.
By selecting the optimal combination of flame detection and medium expansion foam, we successfully addressed the unique challenges posed by this project. The result was a reliable and efficient fire suppression system that met Factory Mutual approval and enabled a swift return to service in the event of a fire. Our dedication to innovative solutions and commitment to minimizing disruptions to production underscore our expertise in providing effective fire engineering solutions.