The most commonly used pipe for sprinkler systems installed in the UK is manufactured from chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, widely known as cPCV. Although derived from PVC, cPVC has improved heat resistance and increased flexibility. This makes it an ideal product for sprinkler pipe manufacture.
Sprinkler pipes, by their nature, will pass through compartment walls and floors throughout a building, therefore, when passing through fire rated walls and floors they need to be supported with fire stopping products. However, most of the products currently available in the market have a deleterious effect on cPVC, meaning they eat into the surface of the pipe and after a relatively short time they can cause the pipe to fail. This is very alarming, especially as the pipe is designed to save both lives and property and could potentially have catastrophic results.
With Approved Document B calling for residential sprinklers to be fitted in developments over 18 metres, and many commercial developments seeing sprinklers as an absolute necessity within their fire strategy, the growth of this market is substantial.
GRAPHITE BASED TESTS
To date, the only products tested and approved in the UK for sealing gaps around the pipes without causing any issues with the pipe’s durability are graphite based intumescent sealants. And in comparison to standard acrylics, these are expensive.
PROTECTA FR ACRYLIC TESTS
Polyseam is the first manufacturer to have successfully tested a non-graphite based acrylic on a cPVC sprinkler pipe. Chemical tests for sealing cPVC pipes carried out by Intertek on the brand Protecta – FR Acrylic product concluded: “Analysis of sub-surface material from underneath the sealant exposed region of the pipe, showed no difference in composition to that of the sub-surface material of a non-sealant exposed region of the pipe. Meaning there is no evidence of significant levels of migration of components from the sealant into the bulk material of the pipe side-wall”.
Put simply, the product causes no deleterious effect on the cPVC pip pipe (supported by mechanical testing evidence) and therefore offers a comprehensively fire tested solution at a substantially reduced price.
Protecta FR Acrylic If you have any questions about this product or need some help with a project, please contact our technical department for some free advice.