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Minimax fire protection trough BWCon 1,400
December 14, 2021 - Technologies

Certified Fire Protection for IBCs and Storage of Flammable Liquids

When IBCs replaced traditional steel drums and metal tote tanks for transporting and storing highly flammable hazardous materials in the mid-1990s, a new set of fire risks emerged.

IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Container) are large cuboid containers for liquid and free-flowing substances. When they replaced traditional steel drums and metal tote tanks for transporting and storing highly flammable hazardous materials in the mid-1990s, a new set of fire risks emerged. John LeBlanc, Vice President and Senior Engineering Technical Specialist in FM Global's Chief Engineer's Group, recalls, “Suddenly, we jumped from 55 gallons in a steel drum to 275 gallons or more in a plastic container."

‘Unmanageable risk’
In the event of a fire, an IBC can melt, thereby leaking liquid. When an intermediate bulk container (IBC) filled with flammable liquid leaks, insurance companies refer to it as an ‘unmanageable risk’. With a filling volume of 1,000 liters, an area of about 330 m² would be covered with 3 mm of flammable liquid.

What complicates matters further is the fact that while the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved IBCs for transporting flammable liquids, many assume that this approval also applies to storage.

U.S. property insurer FM Global, with its certification company FM Approvals, has addressed this issue and recently featured three products in IFP Magazine that significantly mitigate IBC fire hazards. Among them is the Minimax BWCon 1,400 FM fire protection trough that was certified by FM Approvals in 2018:

The Minimax fire protection trough is made of steel and has an integrated flame arrester. In the event of a fire, the burning liquid runs through this filter mat into the collection trough below. This combination prevents the uncontrollable spread of liquid and fire. The fire can then be extinguished, e.g. by a sprinkler system or the plant fire department, before the event develops into a major fire that threatens the existence of the plant. The tank has a total capacity of 1,400 liters. In addition to the 1,000 liters of flammable liquid from the IBC, another 400 liters of extinguishing agent can be held. This volume would be introduced by a sprinkler system during an approximate 20-minute period to extinguish the fire.

Besides the fire protection trough, FM Global certified the double-walled composite IBC from the German manufacturer Schütz in 2020 and the floor system from Houston, Texas-based Safespill back in 2017. The concept is derived from a drainage system used for helicopter landing pads in offshore oil platforms. In 2020, an enhanced version was certified for large applications such as aircraft hangars and distribution centers.

The recently introduced "LiquidProtect" sprinkler system from Minimax is not yet FM-approved but already recognized by VdS. It was developed specifically for the protection of flammable liquids in IBCs and drums stored in racks. Minimax thus provides an effective and reliable solution for the protection of flammable liquids.

Rich Ferron of FM Approvals sums up, “It has taken quite a while, but we now have FM-approved products that FM Global can recommend to its clients and that anyone in the world can purchase to address the very real fire risks associated with using IBCs in industry.”

Source: https://ifpmag.mdmpublishing.com/new-solutions-help-solve-the-fire-risks-posed-by-ibcs/

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fluorine-free foam extinguishing agent
August 18, 2021 - Technologies

New Fluorine-free Foam Extinguishing Agent

Minimax switches thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Fire Protection Systems to Fluorine-free Foam Concentrate

In May, Minimax and its competence team ‘Steel’ carried out a series of tests with fluorine-free foam concentrate at MPA Dresden GmbH, an independent fire protection competence center. The reason for the efficacy tests, which were supervised by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH, was conducted at the request of our customer thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG to convert its extinguishing systems to a fluorine-free extinguishing foam. All the tests were successful, and VdS approved the use of the new, 1% fluorine-free foam extinguishing agent for the protection areas and system types concerned. 

Legal background
Time is of the essence: On April 8, 2020, the EU Regulation 2020/784 was passed, further restricting the use of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). Admittedly, firefighting foams are still considered to have a special status because every fire that can be prevented means that other, incalculable environmental damages are averted. The transitional period until July 4, 2025 still applies to fire extinguishing foams that are already filled in existing systems or mobile extinguishing equipment. From this date onwards, mixtures or products must not contain more than 25ppb (=μg/kg) of PFOA or a total of more than 1000ppb11 (=1ppm=1mg/kg) of all precursors. PFOA foams will no longer be allowed for educational purposes, and for testing only if there is a possibility of capturing all releases. As early as January 1, 2023, use will only be permitted at sites where all releases can be captured. 

What needs to be done?
As a result, many operators are concerned about the future of their fire protection facilities and would like to see a switch to fluorine-free foams. However, a number of requirements has to be considered in terms of the switchover: The VdS recognition for the use of foam extinguishing agents in water extinguishing systems according to VdS CEA 4001 and VdS 2109 always refers to the recognized foam agent and defined applications. If the intended area of application (type of system / fire load) is not already covered by the proof of effectiveness from the acceptance procedure, additional proof of efficacy needs to be provided. In this case, the foam concentrate was already certified for risks associated with plastics. The testing has since been carried out for certain flammable liquids. 

Tests
In May, Minimax conducted extinguishing tests for thyssenkrupp Steel Europe at MPA Dresden GmbH. The parties involved were VdS Schadenverhütung as the testing and certification institution, the risk manager, the foam agent manufacturer Dr. Sthamer, the operator, and Minimax with its competence team ‘Steel’ and the extinguishing system management ‘Water’. 

The configuration of the tests was prepared at length and tailored to the specific application. For the tests, Minimax installed both a deluge system and a water mist suppression system matching the real conditions of the existing system in terms of sprinklers, operating pressures and distances to the fire object. The extinguishing of three selected flammable liquids was tested, each using water and foam extinguishing agents. 

Successful result
The effort was worthwhile: VdS approved the tested foam agent for use in the given types of systems in combination with the three examined flammable (hydraulic) liquids and for use in accordance with the protection concept as per VdS CEA 4001 (sprinkler systems), VdS 2109 (deluge systems) and VdS 2108 (low expansion foam extinguishing systems). 

For Marcel Esper, Head of the Minimax competence team ‘Steel’, and Thorsten Gieseke, Minimax suppression system manager, the results of the extensive extinguishing tests are even more far-reaching: "Beyond the approval, we gained a lot of additional knowledge that we will take into account for the further procedure with fluorine-free foam agents." The competence team ‘Steel’ is the specialist for stationary fire protection in the steel industry, providing single-source support in the Ruhr region for the plants of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, among others. 

For thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, the switch to fluorine-free foam concentrate is a particular concern, both to ensure fire protection and, at the same time, to contribute even more to environmental and water protection. The fact that this can be achieved with comparatively little effort means enormous potential savings for the customer. Converting the plant would incur costs and, on the other hand, production would be impaired during conversion periods.

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RWM DIGITAL SERIES - 20 May 2021 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (BST) | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (MET)

Digital format of the leading trade fair for recycling, materials and waste management

As part of the RWM DIGITAL SERIES, a digital format of the leading trade fair for recycling, materials and waste management, on 20 May Jan Weimann (Minimax) introduces Minimax's high-performance firefighting turbine MXOne. He will show video footage of extinguishing tests in our Fire Protection Research Center. During the lecture and afterwards you can ask questions via chat.

Certain remote, hard to reach or large areas in the industry, energy or infrastructure sector cannot be covered in an efficient or economical way by conventional fire protection systems. MXOne uniquely meets the demands posed by special fire risks in numerous industry and risk areas, both inside and outside buildings – incl.: Recycling operations, Wood-processing industry, Chemical plants/refineries, Airports/hangars, Substations/transformers.

20 May 2021 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (BST) | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (MET)
Register now for free:
https://www.rwmexhibition.com/rwm-digital/rwm-digital-spotlight#/

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Fendium mit Red Dot Award
April 13, 2021 - Technologies

Minimax receives Red Dot Award for polymer-enhanced Fendium pipe

Fendium: Award-winning Surface Refinement

Once again, a Minimax product has been honored by the Red Dot jury. This year, Minimax received the coveted award in the “Materials and Surfaces” catgeory for the innovative Fendium pipe system. 

Fendium is a polymer-enhanced steel pipe, coated on the outside and inside with a special polymer that protects against corrosion. In contrast to a painted or powder coating, this polymer protection is built up in a multi-step chemical process. Independent research has confirmed that the polymer achieves extremely high resistance to corrosive influences. Fendium is approved by VdS Schadenverhütung and certified by FM Global. This means that it can be used for nearly all water extinguishing systems.

Michael Steinhoff, Technical Product Manager at Minimax Viking Research & Development GmbH, sees the Red Dot Award as confirmation of the concept: "It was an interesting journey – from the idea to realization and series production. Finally, we created a product, unique on the fire protection market, offering numerous advantages. Apart from the process we developed and now apply, there is currently no alternative process known to coat pipes industrially from the inside. The Red Dot Award in the "Material and Surfaces" category confirms the uniqueness of our product."

Sustainability through a longer service life
When used as intended, Fendium pipes have a significantly longer service life than pipes that have not been treated on the inside.

Consistent higher safety level
In standard pipes, corrosion can lead to rough surfaces, encrustations and deposits which, in turn, increase pipe friction and reduce the free cross-section of these standard pipes. With their internal and external corrosion protection, Fendium pipes increase the effectiveness and reliability of extinguishing systems over the long term and reduce the risk of nozzles becoming clogged up.

Greater efficiency
The low pipe friction offered by smooth Fendium pipes even makes it possible, in many cases, to use smaller nominal diameters or smaller pumps. The advantages include weight savings, easier installation and reduced space requirements.

More information: https://www.minimax.com/int/en/technologies/piping/fendium-pipes/

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firefighting turbine
December 1, 2020 - Technologies

MXOne High-Performance Firefighting Turbine

Innovative fire protection using water mist from a safe distance

Today, Minimax is launching the extinguishing turbine MXOne. This unique system has a 360° operating range and enables the highly precise application of water mist from a significant and safe distance. In the event of a fire, the water mist absorbs a huge amount of energy, cools particularly effectively and reaches hidden fire sources better than classic monitors. It binds flue gases, pollutants and odors, and is able to exert its efficiency quickly over large areas. The effectiveness of the turbine has been examined and confirmed in full-scale fire trials conducted by independent bodies, including DMT.

MXOne can be operated with potable water, seawater and with/without foaming agents. Spray patterns can range from a fine water mist to a full jet. The firefighting system reaches a flow rate of up to 4,000 liters per minute. MXOne can be aimed at a hot spot either fully automatically or manually via remote control. Thanks to a smart operating system, a single turbine can supply water alternately to two or more neighboring areas. Consequently, several fires can be fought in parallel, or nearby facilities threatened by fire can be specifically cooled in a targeted manner. The turbine can be easily integrated into existing plants and is suitable for use in areas with temperatures ranging from -15°C to +55°C.

A decisive innovation: throw distance
MXOne has the unique ability to fight a fire with water mist from a significant distance. The turbine is able to offset the susceptibility of small droplets to external factors such as crosswinds or headwinds using a smart control system and activating a supporting air stream. Furthermore, the system can be flexibly adapted to meet almost any challenge posed by different fire scenarios.

Efficient firefighting with water mist
When extinguishing a fire with water mist, the water is atomized under high pressure, meaning the smallest of water droplets and a larger reaction surface are formed that absorb heat. When water evaporates, its volume is increased many times over, thus displacing the oxygen at the source of the fire. The smothering effect fights the fire directly. The cooling aspect of the water mist protects people and property from the effects of heat. The volume of water consumed during the firefighting effort as well as the consequential damage caused by the water are extremely low.

Maximal flexibility in positioning and application
The control and direction of the extinguishing turbine can be done fully automatically, as follows: Information from at least two fire detectors (e.g. UniVario industrial fire detectors or infrared cameras) is assessed in the fire alarm and control panel and the location of the source of the fire is accurately determined before MXOne is activated. Alternatively, manual control of the turbine is always an option. Both stationary and mobile control variants can be implemented according to the operator's requirements.

More details

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The Federal Association of Technical Fire Protection (bvfa) presents the "Sprinkler Protected" Award
September 29, 2017 - Technologies

Elbphilharmonie: Dependable fire protection is bon ton

A landmark building and an important new place for music lovers has been created in the central port of Hamburg.

The Elbphilharmonie is set to attract local concertgoers and members from the music industry as well as visitors from around the world. Thus, dependable fire protection for this new landmark is paramount. HOCHTIEF commissioned Minimax with the installation of sprinkler systems, hydrants and monitoring systems. We accepted the complex and demanding large-scale project and Alfred Neumann and his team from the Minimax Reinfeld office successfully implemented it. 4 sprinkler pumps, 2 storage vessels, 6 hydrant pumps, 3 surveillance control centers, 23 alarm valve stations, 120 Zonecheck detectors, 195 hydrant cabinets, 13,000 sprinklers, 16,200 meters of main and distribution pipes and 41,000 meters of string pipes ensure safety in the Elbphilharmonie.

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Self-monitoring of detector optics in spark detection

A world first: the UniVario YMX5000

Self-monitoring of detector optics in spark detection

The UniVario YMX5000 series offers new possibilities in spark detection in the wood-processing industry: for the first time there is a cyclic optics monitoring of all sensor units, as well for spark detectors. A new feature is that this detector series is suitable for extreme temperature ranges, and thanks to its modularity offers maximum flexibility in use.

The detection system of the UniVario YMX5000 series consists of a control unit with three connectors for remote sensor units. The electronics of the evaluation unit is self-monitoring, displays for example alarms or faults, and thus offers extra functional safety. The sensor units are connected to a control unit and allow dependable detection wherever there is an increased fire risk from sparks. The spark detection system is audited and approved by VdS.

New standards for additional safety: Self-monitoring in spark detection

Self-monitoring of optics has since become standard in flame detection. The UniVario YMX5000 system has succeeded for the first time in the world in transferring this standard to spark detection. At cyclic intervals the optics are monitored with regard to contamination or damage - a functionality that again significantly increases the operation safety of the system in the sometimes harsh areas of deployment in a wood-processing plant.

Extreme temperatures: From ice-cold to hot

The UniVario YMX5000 system is suitable for applications in extreme temperature ranges. The corresponding FUX sensor unit can even be used without fiber optic adapter at temperatures from -40°C to 105°C. The sensor units will be also available in an “Ex” version for use in explosion-hazard zones in Ex zones 1, 2, 20, 21 and 22.

Minimal downtimes: Easy, secure and long-lived system

Installing the sensor units is simple and safe thanks to the single-hole mounting with bayonet locking. The flush wall connection within transport- or suction channels minimizes the wear of the optics and guarantees a long lifetime. Possible air flushing does not affect the 120 degree viewing angle of the sensor system. Maintenance, for example for defective optics, is particularly easy thanks to a quick-change replaceable optics, so downtimes can be reduced to a minimum.

Minimax will be displaying the new UniVario YMX5000 detection system as a world first on the occasion of LIGNA 2017. In addition to this visitors to the Minimax trade stand at LIGNA can find out more about Minifog PressProtect, a solution for the protection of industrial presses, DryerProtect, the combined fire detection-, water mist- and spark extinguishing technology for driers, thermography systems and the Inveron hazard management system.

LIGNA 2017, Stand C24 in Hall 26

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Innovative company with awarded nozzle
September 28, 2016 - Technologies

Innovative company with awarded nozzle

The extremely flexible and economic VN nozzle has been awarded the Security Innovation Award.

In the VN nozzle the screens are not a fixed component of the product. Depending on the extinguishing agent throughput required, an appropriate screen is only inserted during installation. For subsequent changes in the performance requirement only the screen needs to be changed, not the entire nozzle. This makes the VN nozzle an extremely flexible and economic solution.

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