Christopher Mealy and Joseph L. Scheffey of Hughes Associates, Inc. authored the Fire Protection Research Foundation's latest report, titled "Assessing the Hazards and Protection Schemes Related to IBC’s in Operations Scenarios – Ph. II Testing.”
NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code provides specific guidance for both containment and fire protection of Listed IBCs containing flammable and combustible liquids in storage configurations. However, a common usage scenario involves the use of non-Listed, composite IBCs containing flammable/combustible liquids in operations scenarios. The code does not provide specific fire protection criteria for these applications.
In 2011, the Foundation initiated a research program to investigate the hazards of combustible liquids in composite intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) in operations scenarios. Both passive and active fire detection/suppression systems were considered when identifying potential mitigations strategies. The report concluded that the hazards associated with the use of composite IBCs in operations scenarios were severe and recommended that several different mitigations strategies be explored via full-scale testing. The use of a passive cellular glass insulation material, combined with a containment vessel, was identified as a potentially effective strategy.
This project outlines the results of Phase II program to address recommendations related to this passive approach made in the Phase I report and build on the findings of the report through full-scale testing.