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Drop Size Measurements in a Fire Sprinkler Using an Agricultural Testing Method.

pdf icon Drop Size Measurements in a Fire Sprinkler Using an Agricultural Testing Method. (268 K)
Blevins, L. G.; Oliphant, J. C.

NISTIR 6242; October 1998.

National Institute of Standards and Technology. Annual Conference on Fire Research: Book of Abstracts. November 2-5, 1998, Gaithersburg, MD, Beall, K. A., Editor(s), 25-26 pp, 1998.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB99-102519


fire research; fire science; fire suppression; sprinklers; drop sizes; test methods; size distribution; computer models


The NIST Industrial Fire Simulation (IFS) computer model is being adapted to predict the interaction between sprinklers and fires at realistic scales. The new formulation relies on a sprinkler submodel calibrated with experimentally measured water drop size distributions. Measuring drop sizes for large scale fire sprinklers is challenging because the range of diameters is large and instruments must be protected from flowing water. Agricultural researchers experience similar challenges in studying crop-irrigation sprinklers. They are interested in measuring drop size to optimize the uniformity of a sprinkler's ground application rate, and have methods in place to perform the measurements. Because many agricultural sprays are similar in drop size and flow rate to those from large fire sprinklers, NIST is exploring the possibility of applying agricultural measurement methods to fire sprinklers in support of the IFS effort. Initial findings of the investigation are reported here.