24 Nov 2008

FlexHead® recently completed full scale seismic qualification testing at the Structural Engineering Earthquake Simulation Laboratory located at the University at Buffalo using the International Code Council Evaluation Services (ICC-ES) testing standard “ICC AC-156 Seismic Qualification Testing of Nonstructural Components”. A fire sprinkler system was installed pursuant to NFPA13 requirements and FlexHead®s were connected to the branch lines and installed in suspended ceilings meeting code requirements for Seismic Design Category C and Seismic Design Categories D, E&F. The suspended ceilings were then subjected to the seismic accelerations determined for each Seismic Design Category. The flexibility of the hose allowed independent movement between the ceiling and sprinkler system, allowing the sprinkler head to move with the suspended ceiling without causing damage to the sprinkler system.

This was the FIRST time a sprinkler component has been successfully tested in accordance with the acceptance test criteria of the ICC-ES and is the ONLY flexible sprinkler connection to satisfy these testing requirements. “I am very pleased with the results and excited about the benefits these products offer in seismic areas” said Robert E. Bachman, immediate past Chair of ASCE 7 Seismic Task Committee. Bachman further noted “An observed mode of failure in a seismic event is the breaking of threads at the tops of sprinklers penetrating a ceiling. These products can eliminate this type of failure and fully satisfy the seismic provisions of the International Building Code (IBC) that reference ASCE 7.”

More than 90% of the states in the U.S. are adopting the IBC that addresses, among other things, the installation of fire sprinkler systems in areas of moderate and high seismicity. In areas of high seismicity, sprinkler heads must have a 2 inch oversized ring, sleeve, or adaptor through the ceiling to allow for free movement of at least 1 inch of ceiling movement in all horizontal directions. FlexHead® sprinkler connections provide characteristics that exceed these code requirements while eliminating the need for an unsightly oversized ring. The flexibility of the hose allows the sprinkler head to move with the ceiling in any direction during a seismic event, preventing damage to the sprinkler system.

See our Seismic Qualification Testing here, or read more about how

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FlexHead® Industries
160 Frenchtown Road
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Toll free: 800-829-6975
Local: 508-893-9596