Details

Ground-Breaking Flexible Intumescent

Solutions for Polypropylene Tanks

We are proud to add to our portfolio a Solution for Polypropylene Tanks and Containers. This advancement in fireproofing technology is due to the combined efforts of Global Fireproof Solutions and several other companies in both manufacturing and application. By protecting your tanks with GFS Certified Intumescent Coating ignition can be delayed or prevented, therefore greatly minimizing downtime and damages.

The following image shows an in-progress 'Flame Test' using two intermediate bulk containers. For this test, the containers were placed into shallow trays that were then filled with gasoline and ignited. As you can see the untreated container collapsed completely and in a real-world situation the contents of the container would be spilled into the area, potentially feeding the flames and creating a hazard for fire rescue workers. The treated container, however, was able to maintain significantly greater structural integrity.

Two Polypropylene Totes during a flame test
Untreated Polypropylene Tank (left) and a tank treated by GFS
During and After 30-minute Flame Test

IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers)

An intermediate bulk container (IBC) or IBC tote or pallet tank, is a reusable industrial container designed for the transport and storage of bulk liquid and granulate substances (e.g. chemicals, food ingredients, solvents, pharmaceuticals, etc.).There have been a number of serious recent fires that started or spread as the direct result of the use plastic IBCs for combustible liquids.

Example of a Polypropylene Tank

Global Fireproof Solutions' Industrial Coatings provide a passive fire protection that can greatly reduce the possibility of accidental ignition of a pickle line tank. When subjected to a direct flame, or extreme heat, the intumescent coating expands into a layer of insulating char up to 1 inch thick that provides an effective 30-minute barrier between the flame and the tank material. The coating can be applied to the exterior of new or existing tanks, so it does not react with the liquids contained in the tank.

Sprinklers have traditionally been used to protect pickle lines. However, these systems can be an expensive burden to maintain, and can cause false activations which require operational shutdowns and replacement of the pickle line fluid.

Passively protecting the exterior of the tanks, where they are the most vulnerable, can provide constant protection that sprinklers and foam systems cannot provide.

Example of a Polypropylene Tank

Pickle Line Fires

Pickle line fires have the potential to cause millions of dollars in damage and business interruption. The table below list a few major pickle line fires and their resulting damages.

Event Damage*
12/12/11 $25 million (reduced capacity for 15 days)
12/27/11 Complete loss of line and declare force majeure on deliveries.
5/13/09 $23 million
12/15/01 $78 million
8/14/97 $50 million. Complete pickle line loss and shut down of plant.

Pickle Line Fire Facts

  • Pickle line fires cause millions of dollars in damages and business interruption each year.
  • Hot Work is the primary cause of Pickle Line Fires.
  • Pickle tanks can burn even when filled with water or other non-flammable liquids.
  • Even Fire-resistive polypropylene tanks will melt and burn.
  • Melting polypropylene creates a three-dimensional fire that is extremely difficult to extinguish.
  • Polypropylene has similar burn characteristics to gasoline.

Polypropylene Flame Demonstration

This video burn demonstration shows two samples of polypropylene tank material. The sample on the left has been coated by Global Fireproof Solutions with a flexible Intumescent Coating. The sample on the right has no coating. Propane torch flames at about 2000 ยบ F are applied to the samples. Initially, the coated sample smokes copiously, as the intumescent char is formed. This smoke is non-toxic and provides an early warning for ignition. At two minutes, the uncoated sample is actively melting and burning. In less than 6 minutes, the uncoated sample has burned completely through, and would cause spillage of the tank contents in a real-life situation. The melting plastic is forming a pool fire beneath the uncoated sample, which could be exacerbated by spilled liquids, creating an extremely dangerous situation for firefighters.

30 Minutes Makes a Difference

Global Fireproof Solutions' preferred Industrial Coatings have been laboratory tested and certified to provide a 30-minute fire barrier when properly applied to polypropylene surfaces. This gives time for first responders to remove any flame source and easily extinguish any residual fire.

Because breaching of the tanks is delayed, a three-dimensional pool fire is averted. Damage to the tanks is minimized and down-time can be shortened.

Test Accreditations: Global Fireproof Solutions' preferred Intumescent Coating for Industrial Applications is FireGuard E-84, which is Class A rated and was tested successfully by Guardian Laboratories in accordance with the standards established by:

  • LEED
  • NFPA 255
  • UL 723
  • ASTM E84 and E84 Extended 30-minute Class A

Methods of Application: Applications are generally performed with a commercial grade airless sprayer. The coating is non-toxic and low VOC.

Dry Time: Typically between 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature and relative humidity conditions.

Corporate HQ

Corporate HQ

Phone
(877) 751-0990
Email
info@globalfire.us

South

South

Phone
(407) 900-2951
Mail
south@globalfire.us

Midwest

Midwest

Phone
(312) 646-7399
Email
midwest@globalfire.us

Northeast

Northeast

Phone
(646) 663-7852
Email
northeast@globalfire.us

West

West

Phone
(818) 691-7225
Email
west@globalfire.us