ASTM #84, “Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials”, was adopted as a product test by CTI and has presented inaccuracy in characterizing the risk level of a cooling tower fill in sustaining a fire. The gas burner does not represent a common fire source in a cooling tower and the ceiling horizontal burning does not represent typical cooling tower fill burning behavior. In this paper, we present a series of novel test methods that are accurate in characterizing the fire resistance of a cooling tower fill. The most common sources of ignition in cooling towers are burning plastics or extremely high temperature metals. In the proposed test methods, burning polypropylene (PP) and stainless steel plate at 1100C were applied to the top of cooling tower fill samples. The weight loss of media, burning time, and propagation of the flame were recorded to characterize the fire resistance of the product.

17-15: Novel Methods to Characterize Cooling Tower Fill Fire Resistance

  • Jia Shen and Karl Koch, Brentwood Industries Inc.