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The Importance of MIC Shield for Protecting Fire Sprinkler Pipe

on December 7, 2015

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.

How does MIC affect fire sprinkler pipe?

When MIC is present in fire sprinkler pipe, it can leave behind bacteria that can colonize and attack pipe wall integrity, damage water supply, and cause system failure. As the bacteria grow, tubercles can form on the inside of the pipe, affecting water flow. Additionally, these tuberacles can cause the plugging of sprinklers and valves. MIC not only grows in wet systems, but dry ones as well –so no fire sprinkler system is safe unless the necessary precautions are taken.

How can you prevent MIC from forming?

When it comes to MIC forming on your black steel pipe, Wheatland Tube has you covered. Offering an antimicrobial coating called MIC SHIELD, our coating acts as a rinsing agent to limit and inhibit the onset of corrosion from microbes. MIC SHIELD is applied in-line during pipe manufacturing and stands up to all fabrication processes.

While we can’t 100% guarantee that MIC Shield will completely prevent MIC from forming on your steel pipe, it significantly reduces the risk of it. Without the coating, you risk:

  • Having to replace fire sprinkler pipe more frequently
  • Damaged water supply
  • System failures during an emergency

In addition to recommending our MIC Shield coating, we also suggest routine testing of your fire sprinkler system to ensure that it is up to code and will pass the required NFPA 25 obstruction inspection.

Contact us today for more information about MIC Shield or any of our fire sprinkler products.

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