The Performance of Automatic Sprinkler Systems in the Extinguishment of Incipient Conveyor Belt Fires Under Ventilated Conditions

Smith, A. C. ; Lazzara, C. P. ; Pro, R. W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
The U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of automatic water sprinkler systems in the extinguishment of incipient conveyor belt fires under ventilated conditions. Large-scale experiments were conducted using a double strand conveyor belt configuration. Standard response, pendent-type sprinklers, with activation temperatures of 100°C, were installed above and between the two strands of belting, in accordance with Federal standards for sprinkler system installations in belt drive areas. Experiments at airflows of 1.1 and 4.6 m/s showed that the sprinklers activated later, the peak heat release rate was larger, and more betting was consumed at the higher airflow. In experiments with 74°C, fast response, directional 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 bett consumed was slightly higher at the lower airflow. Experiments were also conducted with 100 °C, standard pendent sprinklers installed above the top belt, in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 123 for sprinkler system installations in conveyor belt drive areas in underground coal mines. In these experiments, the heat release rate and amount of betting consumed was larger at the higher airflow.
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