For more than 20 years, water-based systems for fire protection have been very popular. While the fire sprinkler system still works fine, a better approach seems to be in the bag. That is the water mist fire protection system. Even though both systems work with water, experts believe the latter can transform fire protection systems. The water mist systems work with an entirely different manufacturing standard compared with the water fire sprinkler system.
In this article, you will see what the water mist systems are and how they differ from water sprinklers. You will also find out the working principles behind these devices and many more. Keep reading to find out more!
What is a Water Mist System?
A water mist fire protection system is a system that protects you from fires using fine water sprays. These fine water sprays can control and extinguish fires in three ways.
- First, the mist cools the flame and the gasses in the environment through evaporation.
- Similarly, through evaporation, the mist can displace oxygen. As a result, combustion stops.
- The small droplets of water also reduce the effect of the ambient heat.
The water mist system differs from water fire sprinkler systems in the size of water droplets used. While both systems use water, water mist systems have smaller droplets that are less than 100 microns each in size. In comparison, that is one-fifth the size of droplets made in water sprinkler systems.
For fires to happen, three things must come together; fuel, oxygen, and heat. Fire sprinklers in an attempt to quench fires, drench them and the environment. As a result, it removes heat, and it potentially reduces the power of the burning fuel. On the other hand, water mist sprinklers work by cooling the room and replacing the oxygen needed for burning.
The water droplets from the water mist system form a large surface area that can reduce the environment's temperature. As these droplets meet with hot air, they evaporate, and they become steam. This steam is what creates the mist that the water mist fire protection system emits.
What are the Benefits of a Water Mist over a Regular Fire Sprinkler?
So why use a water mist system when the regular fire sprinkler system works just fine? There are several reasons why the water mist system works better than the fire sprinkler system. The majority of the reasons lie in the working principle of both devices. The following are reasons why water mist systems are better than fire sprinkler systems:
- Cooling is faster with water mist systems. That is because steam can absorb more heat per time compared to water in a liquid state.
- Water sprinkler systems, in contrast, waste lots of water compared with water mist systems.
- Due to the heavy water usage, sprinkler systems would require a lot of clean-up after use. On the other hand, water mists systems do not leave behind so much water damage and need less cleaning after use.
- Fire sprinklers have limited uses when it comes to fires. That's because they only quench fires by diluting or wetting the source of fuel. Water mist systems, on the other quench fires with fast water vaporization. With the mist sprinkler system, steam displaces oxygen and fuel vapor while wetting the fuel surface at the same time. All these make the mist system more effective compared with fire sprinklers.
- Unlike other gaseous fire extinguishers like Halon, water mist systems are safe for the environment.
- Compared with dry chemicals, water mist systems are less expensive.
How Popular are Water Mist Systems?
According to the National Fire Protection Association of the United States, water mist systems can control the following types of fires:
As a result, you will find these devices in many familiar places. These include museums, gas stations, railway tunnels, and many more. Water mist systems are also used in protecting artwork since they do not apply too much water that can cause damage.
Generally speaking, here are some popular places and businesses where the mist systems are in use at the moment:
- The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C
- Marriott, the third-largest hotel in the world
- Carnival Cruise Line
Contact the Fire Sprinkler Professionals
Want to know more about water mist fire protection systems and whether they might be a good fit for your business's needs? Contact the fire protection professionals at Koorsen today for all of your fire sprinkler needs. We have over 75 years of experience in the fire protection business. Let us protect and secure your business today!