Harnessing technology for fire sprinkler corrosion mitigation.
General Air Products has partnered with Cortec to develop a vapour phase corrosion inhibitor (VpCi) delivery system for corrosion mitigation of fire sprinkler systems. General Air Products calls this new Vapor Pipe Shield “a game-changing innovation in corrosion prevention technology for dry [and] pre-action fire sprinkler systems.” Cortec says it is excited about the opportunity it opens for facility engineers and consulting engineers to apply the benefits of VpCI technology
to critical fire suppression systems.
A more dependable alternative to nitrogen purge solutions
The Vapor Pipe Shield is a convenient, more dependable alternative to nitrogen blanketing or dried air for protection of fire sprinklers against corrosion. It relies on Cortec VpCI technology – vapour phase corrosion inhibitors that create a protective molecular shield on the inside of the sprinkler piping system. No special equipment is required; the cartridge is compatible with standard sprinkler setups and is easy to install between the air compressor and the piping. Compressed air initially helps the vapour phase corrosion inhibitors diffuse throughout all branches of the piping system to form an active layer of protection on metal surfaces. Since these vapour phase corrosion inhibitors continue to protect as long as the system remains closed, corrosion mitigation does not depend on a constant source of electricity. That means a failed air compressor, nitrogen generator, or power source does not equal failed protection or require complete reapplication. vapour phase corrosion inhibitors also protect in the presence of residual moisture and oxygen.
Patenting, testing and certification
By drawing on its expertise in compressed air and nitrogen purge systems for fire sprinklers, General Air Products was able to bring to life the technology envisioned in one of Cortec’s latest patents. Vapor Pipe Shield technology follows one of the patent’s two recommendations for distributing Cortec vapour phase corrosion inhibitors throughout the system. General Air Products reported that preliminary testing of the Cortec inhibitor treated sample showed better protection than samples treated with (1) nitrogen and (2) compressed ambient air. General Air Products also evaluated the speed of VpCI vapour migration throughout a dry sprinkler piping system test rig and determined that full distribution and protection could be achieved within one week of installation. Further validation testing continues. Most recently, the product received UL certification for use in dry fire sprinkler systems, overcoming the last major hurdle to bring Cortec’s patented technology to market.
A new era for fire suppression
This collaboration represents years of R&D used to bring technology to a market that stands to benefit in terms of cost, convenience, and effective protection. It is another step forward in what may become the next big trend in fire sprinkler protection.