Plastic Sprinkler Pipes? You need to know this!

Hi everyone!  I had the pleasure of speaking to a great group of fire fighters yesterday and in our discussion it became apparent that I needed to share this information with the rest of you, so here it is!

If you have a project that is using plastic sprinkler pipes you need to check this link.  It will give you a list of materials that are “non-compatible”.  Many of them will (over time) etch holes in the sprinkler pipes.  There are a number of products, but since we talk about firestop here you need to know that there are three firestop materials that have compatibility concerns.  If it is useful to know the other materials, please review the list and refer back to it regularly as it is updated on an as needed basis.

A basic explanation of the problems non-compatible materials can cause:

“Amorphous polymers like CPVC derive their strength from the fact that they are long chain-like molecules all tangled together. A failure of the plastic occurs when enough chains break or become disentangled that a breach develops in the solid polymer. This breakage and/or disentanglement can be caused by strong mechanical stresses (e.g., impact damage), strong chemical effects (e.g., solvation or plasticization), or frequently some combination of moderate levels of both. Only a relatively small number of chemicals are capable of achieving disentanglement of the polymer chains all by themselves without the assistance of some mechanical or other external force being exerted on the plastic as well. When both chemical effects and external mechanical forces are needed to contribute to overcoming the strength of the material, the mode of failure is known as environmental stress cracking.”

This was pulled from the Lubrizol website and you can read the rest of the publication here by downloading the file on the right hand side.

If you have any questions, about this its probably best you contact Lubrizol directly.  If you have questions about firestop, you can always reach out to me.  Enjoy the rest of your week and as always, keep “Saving lives for the Life of the Building!”tm