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The Importance of MIC Shield for Protecting Fire Sprinkler Pipe

Fire protection systems are the most critical systems of any building. From a protection standpoint, fire sprinkler pipe helps ensure that when the need arises, water will flow and spray from the system properly.

However, if the pipe is compromised in any way it’s not always possible for this to happen. And while there are several regulations that fire protection systems must meet or exceed to stay up to code, it doesn’t mean that the pipe isn’t susceptible to elements that can compromise its performance and increase corrosion. One element that has the ability to significantly cause corrosion of fire sprinkler pipe, and thus decreasing its effectiveness, is MIC.

Throughout this blog post, we’re going to review what MIC is, how it affects fire sprinkler pipe and how you can help prevent it from forming.

Let’s get started!

What is MIC?

MIC is the acronym used for microbiologically influenced corrosion, a problem for the long-term health of fire sprinkler and standard pipes. MIC is caused when unseen biological organisms called microbes gather to accelerate corrosion on the surface of alloys including copper, ductile iron, steel, and stainless steel.

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Globalizing the Fire Sprinkler Business

Globalizing business was the common thread laced throughout the North American Fire Sprinkler Expo™.  The inaugural event, hosted by the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) in conjunction with the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA) and the newly formed Mexican Fire Sprinkler Association (AMRACI), provided excitement and opportunity for those looking to extend beyond the borders.

In a statement, NFSA’s new president, Russ Fleming, said: “I am absolutely delighted that both CASA and AMRACI have agreed to partner with NFSA to host what will be the first ever North American Fire Sprinkler Expo. By bringing together fire sprinkler industry interests from all over the continent for the NFSA Annual Seminar and North American Fire Sprinkler Expo, for the very first time in the history of the industry we will have created a unique opportunity for contractors, suppliers and manufacturers from all over the continent to meet in one place to network, conduct business, discuss issues of common interest and to learn from the industry’s foremost authorities.”

While some contractors’ spoke of a sluggish market and a lack of prospects, the formation of the International Fire Sprinkler Association, may provide untapped opportunities. The Wheatland booth was no exception to this growing trend, as groups of people from South America flocked to our booth with interest in our products. Wheatland plans to become an IFSA member, as to give back to an industry that is key to our business. 

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Do you Design or Install Fire Protection Systems? You May Face New Risks

Steel pipe in sprinkler systems has been used for over 100 years without the kinds of cautions and warnings that CPVC pipe carries. Today, some CPVC have abdicated compatibility testing, leaving it to third party testing agencies.

Any contractor or engineer who designs or installs fire protection systems must understand the implications of the most recent changes to manufacturer certification criteria.

Effective January 1, 2013, some CPVC manufacturers are no longer listing steel pipe in their compatibility certification programs. Previously, CPVC manufacturers were responsible for testing and certifying the compatibility of their product for use in fire protection systems.

Why risk fire safety…or the reputation of your business…or your customer’s peace of mind…when you can be 100 percent compliant with 100 percent steel?

Let’s face it: the perfect job for a contractor is to get on, get out and be comfortable knowing that the job is protected by steel with a proven track record of compatibility with all of the typical ancillary products used in a system. This allows the contractor a competitive edge in not being tied to specific products that have to be specially tested as compatible with plastic pipe as you do with CPVC.

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