Fire safety spray systems can be found in various industries, but fire safety itself is a specialized engineering field. There are two key spray applications in fire safety: fire prevention and fire suppression.
Fire prevention systems aim to reduce the risk of a fire or explosion by increasing the moisture in the air or on a surface, thereby reducing the combustibility of the environment.
To reduce the risk of explosion caused by the electrostatic charging of airborne dust particles, a fine mist of water is sprayed. However, in cases where the material being protected cannot get wet, low flow rate spraying with fine atomization is required. The PJ series of low-flow rate misting nozzles are often suitable for such anti-static applications.
In applications where wetting is possible, fire prevention systems will deliver a small amount of moisture to the item to reduce the risk of fire. Care must be taken to ensure that water doesn't build up, so controlled and metered spraying is essential. For instance, if combustible material is moving on a conveyor belt, a series of flow-rate flat fan nozzles would be appropriate.
Anti-Static Tank Cleaning
Many tank cleaning nozzles use rotation to create a high-impact spray around the tank. However, rotational metal tank cleaning nozzles may be limited in use if the tank contains potentially hazardous fumes.
Fire suppression systems are designed to help put out fires once they have started. There are two methods for doing this: misting replacement systems and soaking/sprinkler systems.
Misting Replacement Systems
In misting replacement systems, a fine spray is applied to the fire. The heat from the fire quickly evaporates the fine droplets, displacing air and suffocating the fire. For this system to work effectively, very fine droplets must be achieved. Misting nozzles are typically suitable for this application.
In soaking/sprinkler systems, water (or other fire retardants) is applied directly to the fire, taking the heat out and suppressing the fire. The sprays required typically contain a combination of small and larger droplets, with the smaller droplets providing greater extinguishing power by removing heat from the fire more quickly, and the larger droplets providing penetration into the fire. Without the larger droplets, the fine droplets may be blown away by heat flows and fail to act.
In fire protection systems, large volumes of liquid must be delivered quickly, so drop size is minimal.
For more details on fire prevention and fire suppression spray systems, visit our Fire/Blast Prevention Systems Applications page.
Resource insurance refers to the use of nozzles in certain situations to protect critical assets from the effects of fire, without attempting to extinguish the fire itself. These assets may include fuel tanks that could pose a risk of explosion if heated, or the nozzles may be used to create a "water corridor" to provide a safe escape route for individuals trapped in a fire zone. Nozzles suitable for these applications typically have a relatively high throw range and a more focused cone.
When designing a rain system, the primary consideration is delivering a large volume of liquid to the target area quickly and consistently. This requires high throughput nozzles rather than precise, evenly distributed sprays or finely atomized mists. Twisting design nozzles are an excellent choice because they can deliver thousands of liters per minute. The uneven spray pattern they produce is not relevant for rain systems.