• Standards and watermist testing

Standards and Compliance

Automist Smartscan® meets the requirements found in the International Building and
Fire Code (2015), Section 904.11 "Alternative Automatic Fire-Extinguishing Systems" and
defined in Section (also IFC and IBC 902.1) of General Definitions and as locally required by
Fire and Building Officials according to the listing (LABC EWS534 - UK).


Section 904.11:

"Automatic Water Mist System. A system consisting of a water supply, a pressure source, and a distribution piping system with attached nozzles, which, at or above a minimum operating pressure, defined by its listing, discharges water in fine droplets meeting the requirements of NFPA 750 for the purpose of the control, suppression or extinguishment of a fire. Such systems include wet-pipe, dry pipe and pre-action types. The systems are designed as engineered, pre-engineered, local-application or total flooding systems."

Chapter 5 of NFPA 750 requires that:

"the design of a water mist system must be based on results of comprehensive fire tests, conducted by an internationally recognized laboratory. This performance-based approach obligates manufacturers to test and demonstrate their systems’ performance. The tests need to confirm that compartment size, ventilation, obstructions, fuel quantities and other features of the application match the assumptions in the test protocol."

To demonstrate how Automist is fit for purpose, Plumis carried out extensive fire and technical testing at Exova Warrington UKAS Laboratory in the UK.

The Smartscan qualifies by meeting the performance criteria in the relevant code of practice for fixed water mist fire protection systems: BS 8458: 2015 (BSi Verification Certificate - VC 656504), the UK equivalent to UL 2167-2004. These tests include open rooms and ventilated scenarios.

The development of Automist Smartscan was steered by computational fluid dynamics modelling by the University of Greenwich’s Fire Safety Engineering Group. Once the design was finalised it was extensively tested and proven to deliver performance superior of the requirements of the British Watermist Standard (BS 8458), and even the performance of the widely used sprinkler standard (BS 9252). Aware of the need for evidence, Plumis have pushed the Smartscan’s limits beyond the bare minimum, challenging it in many additional tests to suppress or extinguish fires in any position (even difficult fires directly under the nozzle or hidden by furniture) and in a variety of draught conditions.

Watch videos of the award-winning system in action

 

The FCC mark is a certification mark employed on electronic products manufactured or sold in the United States which certifies that the electromagnetic interference from the device is under limits approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

Factory Production Control

Automist pumps and Smartscan heads are fully tested and validated for electrical and electronic integrity and operation; water flow; over-pressure safety switch operation and correct operation of controls, actuators and sensors. Each carries a serial number which is logged in production and also by the installer on site so that they are fully traceable.

ISO 9001:2008

Third Party Certification by BRE Global UK have established Plumis Inc have complied with the Quality Management Systems requirements of ISO 9001:2008 for the design, manufacture and supply of water mist fire suppression systems. Quality Management System certification enables us to demonstrate our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, as well as continuously improving our company's operations. The internationally recognised quality management system standard is the preferred solution for organisations worldwide.

A Failure Mode and Effect Analysis document was prepared for Automist Smartscan. It allowed us to examine all potential sources of failure so that they could be anticipated and effectively addressed. System-level performance objectives (for example, to suppress fires in worst-case conditions) were also derived from this approach. The UL 2167-2004 Water Mist Nozzles for Fire Protection Service process was used to identify tests and procedures for component validation, while BS 8458:2015 and BS 9252:2011 were used as the basis for fire performance validation. The relevant UL 2167 tests have therefore been incorporated into this product design and validation methodology.

To demonstrate performance beyond BS 8458:2015, Plumis is seeking UL Listing against UL 2167-2004 Water Mist Nozzles for Fire Protection Service. This internationally recognised certification process tests reliability as well as fire performance.

Under the standard, Automist Smartscan is defined as a sidewall, open nozzle, pre-engineered water mist system for residential applications. The relevant extracts are:

5.14 m) Sidewall – A nozzle which is designed to be installed adjacent to a wall.

5.14 i) Open – A nozzle without a thermosensitive element which discharges water mist.

5.19 PRE-ENGINEERED WATER MIST SYSTEM – A system having predetermined flow rates, nozzle pressures, volumes, discharge patterns, and spray flux densities. These systems have specific pipe sizes, pipe lengths, flexible hose specifications, number of fittings, and number and type of nozzles prescribed in the manufacturer design and installation instructions.

The relevant clauses from UL 2167 standard are set out below. OK means that the Automist Smartscan has been successfully tested or verified.

UL 2167 Clause

Pass?

Comment

6 – General Construction

OK

(6.2 and 6.5 not relevant because they only apply to open nozzle systems)

7 - Strainer and Filter

OK

(In section 8.4, only the Residential – Section 44 - tests are being targeted)

8 – General Performance

OK

 

9 – Water mist Nozzle Requirements

OK

 

10 - Exposure Tests on Nozzles Incorporating Polymeric Gaskets

n/a

Tests to be carried only as part of UL Listing (certification). Domestic environments at 1.4m is not considered an environment highly susceptible to corrosive atmospheres.

13 – Water Flow Test

OK

 

15 – Water Droplet Size and Velocity

OK

Positions are customised for the horizontally oriented, 65° vertical spray fan, so that nozzle changes can be shown to provide equivalent spray characteristics.

17 – Deflector/Orifice Assembly Test

OK

 

25 – Corrosion Tests

n/a

Tests to be carried only as part of UL Listing (certification). Domestic environments at 1.4m is not considered an environment highly susceptible to corrosive atmospheres.

31 – Heat Resistance

OK

Tested under realistic fire conditions

32 – Vibration

OK

 

33 – Rough Usage Test

OK

 

34 – Impact Test

OK

 

38 – Clogging Test

OK

 

44 - Residential Area Fire Tests

OK

Smartscan has been tested against the similar BS 8458, which is narrower in scope (does not currently include pre-engineered systems) and has more onerous fire performance tests (including forced ventilation and no doorway lintels) than UL 2167. These have been run in Exova Warringtonfire and passed successfully.

49 - Design and Installation Instructions

OK

 

50 - Water Mist Nozzle Marking

OK

 

This approach is acceptable when the alternative complies with the intent of the prescriptive requirements and is consistent with those requirements in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety. Compliance with the specific performance-based provisions (performance based design) of the International Codes shall be an alternative to the specific requirements (prescriptive) of the codes.

A performance based design is defined as: “An engineering approach to design elements of a building based on agreed upon performance goals and objectives, engineering analysis and quantitative assessment of alternatives against the design goals and objectives using accepted engineering tools, methodologies and performance criteria.”

In the NFPA codes, this approach is known as “equivalencies” which also specifically recognize the use of the performance based design approach.

This chart demonstrates how the Automist suppression system meets the performance design objective to limit the temperature of the fire room to provide time for occupants to escape and reduce the risk of room contents being damaged by the fire. A typical temperature limitation for tenability is 392°F six feet above the floor, and exclusive of the area immediately surrounding the fire. This limitation allows for people to duck or crawl out of a room under the hot gas layer.

Automist activates with a heat detector which typically has a significantly faster response time than a fusible link or glass bulb used by traditional sprinklers. This faster response time allows automist to supply water to the source of a fire in half the time of a sprinkler system. The much shorter time has a significant impact on the tenability of the room. The highest temperatures recorded were on the order of 125° F at the ceiling, well below the design objective of 392°F.

See the Technical Information for additional data at testing at Exova Warringtonfire UK. These tests also measured temperatures at various heights and locations in the room for several different fire scenarios.