Mining Publication: Effect of Pressure on Leakage of Automatic Sprinklers
The U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a study to determine if commercially available automatic sprinklers could withstand the high static pressures in deep underground coal mines without leaking and if exposure to the mine environment affected their leak pressures. New sprinklers and sprinklers exposed to the mine environment were subjected to increasing pressures until leakage occurred. The average leak pressures of the new sprinklers ranged from 640 to 2,300 psig and were significantly different for sprinklers from different manufacturers and for different types of sprinklers. Generally, standard-response sprinklers withstood higher pressures than fast-response sprinklers. The results indicated that most commercially available sprinklers would withstand the high static pressures in deep underground coal mines; however, they would not provide the same reliability and safety factor as sprinklers used aboveground at or below their rated pressure of 175 psig. The average leak pressures of the sprinklers exposed to the mine environment ranged from 740 to 1,180 psig. The mine environment affected the ability of 66% of the sprinklers to withstand high static pressures. New sprinklers were also evaluated at pressures of at least 500 psig for 30 days to determine their ability to withstand long-term exposure to high static pressures; no leakage was observed.