The International Water Mist Association (IWMA) introduced The Matrix to their webpage at www.iwma.net. The document is a visualization of all current water mist applications and associated fire test protocols that have been published by certification/test agencies. IWMA board member Jonathan Carpenter of FM Approval explains: “The intent is to showcase that water mist systems are a fire protection option in many applications that have avenues for testing and certifications from third party agencies.”
The Matrix lists applications where water mist is a fire protection option for different hazards and occupancies, in both land and marine segments, and the associated fire test protocols available for each. It will be useful for all parties involved in the fire protection industry, particularly for those not directly involved such as insurance companies, architects and end users.
The Matrix will be updated quarterly or more frequently based on the amount of requests and changes in the industry.
Member of the board Alex Palle of VID Fire-Kill says: “We have now made it easier to define which solutions are suited for a given risk – knowledge that typically can be found in codes and standards covering more standardized firefighting technologies, but for water mist has been difficult to describe as each water mist solution is somewhat unique.”
About the Matrix
The Matrix is based on the known facts of water mist usage in different industries; Marine, Commercial buildings and Industry including different types of facilities in these customer groups that may require active fire protection where water mist can be solution.
As defined by NFPA750 Water Mist Standard all water mist systems are performance based which means that designs and relevant parameters have to be based on fire testing. These parameters are different by different manufacturers and therefore generalized design guidelines do not exist for water mist in the same way as with traditional sprinklers.
Some requirements for active fire protection might be the same for water mist than what those are for traditional sprinklers like dimensioning area in ordinary hazard categories in building protection and requirements in marine applications. Some others may have very specific application related requirements.
Because of this there is wide variety on specific fire testing procedures with specified test-fail requirements; some are defined by standardization like NFPA and CEN, some by centralized industry organizations like IMO (International Maritime Organization), some by widely recognized approval bodies like FM Approvals, VdS (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Also, national approval bodies may define their own fire test protocols like CCCf in China.
Water mist systems like all fire protection systems are also well regulated to ensure safety in all aspects whether it’s protection of building, industrial process or human lives. All this makes it quite difficult for ordinary people to understand where to use water mist.
At IWMA we believe that this Matrix will increase knowledge of water mist applicability for those that are seeking additional information on these matters.
For more information visit www.iwma.net