Guidance on design, selection and installation of vents to safeguard the structural integrity of enclosures protected by gaseous fire-extinguishing systems

This document provides guidance on fulfilling the requirements contained in ISO 6183:2009, 6.4.1 and 7.4.1 and ISO 14520-1:2015, 5.2.1 h and 5.3 h, in respect to over and under pressurisation venting and post discharge extract. It considers the design, selection and installation of vents to safeguard the structural integrity of enclosures protected by fixed gaseous extinguishing systems and the post discharge venting provisions where used.

Lignes directrices pour la conception, la sélection et l'installation d'évents pour préserver l'intégrité structurelle des enceintes protégées par des systèmes fixes de lutte contre l'incendie à gaz

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Published
Publication Date
17-Dec-2018
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
01-Nov-2018
Completion Date
18-Dec-2018
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ISO/TS 21805:2018 - Guidance on design, selection and installation of vents to safeguard the structural integrity of enclosures protected by gaseous fire-extinguishing systems
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TECHNICAL ISO/TS
SPECIFICATION 21805
First edition
2018-12
Guidance on design, selection and
installation of vents to safeguard the
structural integrity of enclosures
protected by gaseous fire-
extinguishing systems
Lignes directrices pour la conception, la sélection et l'installation
d'évents pour préserver l'intégrité structurelle des enceintes protégées
par des systèmes fixes de lutte contre l'incendie à gaz
Reference number
ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
ISO 2018
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2018

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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Symbols and abbreviated terms ........................................................................................................................................................... 2

5 Use and limitations ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

6 Safety ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

6.1 Structural safety ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

6.2 Personnel safety ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7 System design — Pressure-relief venting ................................................................................................................................... 4

7.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7.2 Extinguishant characteristics ..................................................................................................................................................... 4

7.2.1 Pressure graphs ................................................................................................................................................................ 5

7.3 Enclosure characteristics ............................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.4 Pressure-relief vent paths ............................................................................................................................................................. 7

7.5 Types of pressure-relief vents ................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.5.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.5.2 Gravity vents ........................................................................................................................................................................ 7

7.5.3 Counter weighted flap vent..................................................................................................................................... 8

7.5.4 Electrically operated vents ...................................................................................................................................... 8

7.5.5 Pneumatically operated vent ................................................................................................................................ 9

7.5.6 Vent accessories ............................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.6 Pressure-relief vent characteristics ...................................................................................................................................10

7.6.1 Vent efficiency .................................................................................................................................................................10

7.6.2 Minimum opening pressure ................................................................................................................................11

7.6.3 Minimum closing pressure ...................................................................................................................................11

7.6.4 Fire rating............................................................................................................................................................................11

7.7 Vent location and mounting ......................................................................................................................................................11

7.7.1 Vent location .....................................................................................................................................................................11

7.7.2 Vent mounting .................................................................................................................................................................12

7.8 Pressure-relief vent area calculations ..............................................................................................................................13

7.8.1 Use of agent-specific equations ........................................................................................................................13

7.8.2 Vent area requirement (non-liquefiable gases and CO ) ...........................................................14

7.8.3 Vent area requirements (liquefiable gases) ...........................................................................................18

7.8.4 Leakage .................................................................................................................................................................................22

7.9 Cascade venting calculations ...................................................................................................................................................23

7.9.1 Example calculation 3 ........................................................................................................................................... ....24

7.9.2 Cascade vent arrangements ................................................................................................................................25

7.9.3 Venting into adjacent enclosures ....................................................................................................................26

8 System design — Post discharge venting .................................................................................................................................28

9 Acceptance ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................28

10 Service and maintenance ..........................................................................................................................................................................28

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................30

© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso

.org/iso/foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 21, Equipment for fire protection and fire

fighting, Subcommittee SC 8, Gaseous media and firefighting systems using gas.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/members .html.
iv © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
Introduction

The guidance presented here is based on the results of a joint research program conducted in 2006 and

2007 by several fire protection system manufacturers and interested parties. The program of work

consisted of several series of tests to evaluate the peak pressure response and pressure-relief vent

area effects for each agent addressed in this document. The key data used in the development of this

document were the values of peak enclosure pressure response (PMAX) at each value of the volume-

normalized pressure-relief vent area of the test enclosure, hereinafter referred to as the “leakage-to-

volume ratio” or LVR. Other test parameters (enclosure temperature, agent quantity, discharge time,

and humidity) were held constant or varied in a specified manner. For each test series employing a

single agent, the several pairs of LVR and resultant PMAX values were graphically analysed and a best-

fit correlation curve was determined.

The LVR vs. PMAX correlation curve for each agent or system forms the basis of the associated equations

in cases where discharge of the agent results in cooling the air temperature below its dew point. (See

Humidity effects and humidity correction factor below.) In most cases, only halocarbon agents cause

sufficient cooling to cause humidity related effects on the peak enclosure pressure. Thus, a correction

for humidity effects is included in the equations for estimating vent area and maximum pressure on the

discharge of the following agents:
— FK-5-1-12
— HFC-23
— HFC-125
— HFC-227ea

The humidity corrections used in this document are based on the results of tests conducted with HFC-

227ea at different conditions of humidity.

The resulting values for humidity correction will be assumed to be equally applicable to the agents FK-

5-1-12, HFC-125 and HFC-23 until further data or analysis indicates otherwise.

The correlations of LVR to maximum negative pressure and maximum positive pressure were based

on test work performed in a test chamber at a relative humidity (RH) of approximately 38 %. If the RH

in a protected enclosure differs from 38 % then a correction to the estimated maximum negative and

positive pressures may be required. See 7.8 and 7.9 for further information on the effect of humidity. The

temperature of the test enclosure was 21°C (nominal) for all tests that form the basis of the estimating

methods given in this document.

In conducting the research program, described above, a large number of different venting arrangements

were created in the test enclosure. The equivalent leakage area (ELA) for each test was determined by

a “door fan test” and data analysis. The average enclosure pressure in effect during the many door fan

tests varied from test to test. All values of ELA were normalized to an equivalent enclosure differential

pressure of 125 Pa. The resulting enclosure correlations of peak pressure vs. LVR, and any resulting

estimate of enclosure pressure-relief vent area, reflect a pressure-relief vent area calculated at an

effective enclosure pressure of 125 Pa for a vent with discharge coefficient of 0,61.

The effectiveness of a gaseous total flooding firefighting system depends, in part, on retention of the air-

extinguishant mixture within the protected volume for a period of time. Retention of the extinguishant-

air mixture requires that gas exchange (“leakage”) between the enclosure and the ambient environment

be restricted. In order to limit the rate of gas exchange the enclosure boundary should have a high

degree of integrity. To put it another way, the sum total of the areas of the various penetrations in an

enclosure’s bounding surfaces should be low, at least during the gas-retention period (hold time) after

the end of extinguishant discharge.

Addition of a gaseous firefighting extinguishant to an enclosure having limited pressure-relief vent area

will naturally result in a change of pressure therein. If the enclosure is sealed too tightly during the

extinguishant discharge, i.e., too little pressure-relief vent area, the pressure change could exceed the

© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved v
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)

structural strength of one or more of its bounding surfaces — windows, doors, walls, ceiling. Conversely,

if the enclosure has too much pressure-relief vent area then gas exchange with the ambient atmosphere

will occur rapidly, leading to short retention time of the extinguishant within the protected volume.

Thus, the use of gaseous firefighting systems should address two performance considerations:

a) Pressure management within the protected volume during the period of extinguishant

discharge, and

b) Retention of the extinguishant-air mixture within the enclosure for a specified period of time after

the completion of the discharge.

This document provides guidance for limiting pressure extremes in an enclosure during the discharge

of a clean agent fire extinguishing system. This document does not provide the information necessary to

determine all of the requirements related to the design, installation, service, maintenance, inspection,

test, and/or requalification of fire suppression systems.

Some limitations and restrictions apply to the use of the equations contained in this document. Please

refer to the text and notes that follow.

The information in this document does not supersede the manufacturer’s guidance. The information

contained in this document is presented as supplementary to the guidance provided by the respective

system manufacturers. Guidance from the system manufacturer should always be followed and used

for purposes of system design, installation, operation and maintenance.

It has been assumed in the preparation of this document that the execution of its provisions is entrusted

to people appropriately qualified and experienced in the specification, design, installation, testing,

approval, inspection, operation and maintenance of systems and equipment, for whose guidance it has

been prepared, and who can be expected to exercise a duty of care to avoid unnecessary release of

extinguishant.
vi © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
Guidance on design, selection and installation of vents to
safeguard the structural integrity of enclosures protected
by gaseous fire-extinguishing systems
1 Scope

This document provides guidance on fulfilling the requirements contained in ISO 6183:2009, 6.4.1 and

7.4.1 and ISO 14520-1:2015, 5.2.1 h and 5.3 h, in respect to over and under pressurisation venting and

post discharge extract.

It considers the design, selection and installation of vents to safeguard the structural integrity of

enclosures protected by fixed gaseous extinguishing systems and the post discharge venting provisions

where used.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— IEC Electropedia: available at https: //www .electropedia .org/
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https: //www .iso .org/obp

NOTE For the purposes of this document, the term “bar” signifies “gauge”, unless otherwise indicated.

Concentrations or quantities expressed in percentages (%) signify by volume, unless otherwise indicated.

3.1
back pressure
pressure downstream of a vent
3.2
fire damper
device designed to prevent the spread of fire
3.3
free pressure-relief vent area
sum of the free pressure-relief vent areas of the pressure-relief vents provided

Note 1 to entry: This is determined by the gross pressure-relief vent area x the vent efficiency.

3.4
gross pressure-relief vent area
total area of the pressure-relief vent
3.5
negative pressure

pressure in the protected room which is lower than the pressure immediately outside the enclosure

boundary
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
3.6
peak pressure

The maximum pressure (positive and negative) generated within a an enclosure caused by the discharge

of the gaseous agent
3.7
positive pressure

pressure in the protected room which is higher than the pressure immediately outside the enclosure

boundary
3.8
enclosure strength
specified differential pressure limit for the protected enclosure
3.9
pressure-relief area
sum of the free pressure-relief vent area and the enclosure leakage area
3.10
pressure-relief vent

device that provides a flow path through an enclosure boundary to limit the pressure therein

4 Symbols and abbreviated terms
2 2

A pressure-relief vent area to limit negative pressure to a specified P , cm (in )

N N
2 2

A pressure-relief vent area to limit positive pressure to a specified P , cm (in )

P P
C agent design concentration, in percent by volume
M is the molecular weight of air = 0,029 (kg/mol)
AIR
M molecular weight of the agent, (kg/mol)
AGT
Q minimum design quantity of agent (kg)
P pressure (Pa)
P negative pressure, psf (Pa)
P positive pressure, psf (Pa)
P and P represent either
N P
— Design pressure limits for estimating A or A , or
N P
— Estimates of maximum values of P or P for given values of A or A
N P N P
R gas law constant, 8,314 (J/mol-K)
% RH relative humidity in hazard space at 21 °C (70 °F), %
s specific volume of the agent at the design temperature (m /kg)

s specific volume of the homogenous agent-air mixture (m /kg), which is the inverse of the

density
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
t agent discharge time, s
V volume of the protected space (m )
ρ agent-air mixture density at the specified temperature and pressure (kg/m )
5 Use and limitations

This document is for the use by those competent in the design, installation, servicing and maintenance

of fixed gaseous firefighting systems. It also serves as guidance for those involved in the design,

construction and operation of buildings in which such systems are installed.

It does not replace the need for the person responsible for the design, construction and operation of the

building to fulfil their obligations in respect to providing adequate structural provisions.

There may be other trades and services involved in the complete system and the document is limited to

providing the guidance outlined in the document and does not purport to be expert in all areas.

After applying the enclosure peak pressure and pressure-relief vent area analysis of this document, the

user may conclude that an enclosure may require additional pressure-relief vent area in order to avoid

exceeding specified maximum pressure values upon discharge of a gaseous agent system. If that is the

case, it is recommended that the user advise the supplier of a supplemental venting device that such

device be specified and selected by use of this document.

The maximum pressure developed in an enclosure on discharge of a clean agent fire extinguishing

system is affected by several characteristics of the system itself and the enclosure being protected. Of

particular importance are the thermodynamic properties of the agent and the discharge characteristics

of the hardware. Each of the following sections contains correlation equations that are specific to the

agent type and manufacturer’s hardware. The equations can be used to make estimates of the following:

a) enclosure pressure-relief vent area given a specified enclosure pressure limit;

b) maximum positive or negative pressure developed in an enclosure given a stated or calculated

pressure-relief vent area.

NOTE The formulae in this document for halocarbon agents have a limited range of applicability based on the

parametric limitations of the data from which they were derived. Table 1 indicates the applicable limits of design

concentration, discharge time, and enclosure pressure response for the use of this document. The maximum

peak pressure estimates (both positive and negative) based on data obtained for each agent are given in Table 1.

Caution — It is physically possible to develop pressures greater than those covered by this

document during system discharges.
Table 1 — Summary of equation application limits
Agent Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum Maximum Maximum
agent agent discharge discharge over- under
time time pressure pfs pressure pfs
Conc Conc
(Pa) (Pa)
% vol % vol
FK-5-1-12 4,2 6 6 10 5 (239) 25 (1 197)
HFC-23 18 30 6 10 30 (1 437) n/a
HFC-125 8 10,5 6 10 10 (479) 10 (479)
HFC-227ea 6,25 10,5 6 10 8 (383) 20 (958)
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
6 Safety
6.1 Structural safety

The provision of correctly designed and engineered pressure venting of enclosures protected by

gaseous fire-extinguishing systems is essential in order to prevent the possibility of failure of structural

integrity. This is essential to mitigate forces exerted by the changes in enclosure pressure when gaseous

fighting media are discharged into an enclosure.
6.2 Personnel safety

The operation of pressure-relief vents or extract systems, requires the displacement of mixtures of air/

gaseous media from a protected enclosure to atmosphere or another area not necessarily protected. The

safety issue may arise due to exposures to the extinguishants themselves or products of combustion

and/or extinguishant breakdown products. In addition, any hazards arising from the operation of the

over/under pressurisation vents themselves should be considered.
7 System design — Pressure-relief venting
7.1 General

The basic design principle is to limit the pressure excursions imposed on the structure of the protected

enclosure by the discharge of gaseous extinguishant to that within the limits the enclosure is able to

withstand.

A room integrity test can be used to determine the equivalent leakage area, or simply” vent” area

that exists at the time of evaluation. The methods of this document can use the known or estimated

pressure-relief vent area to estimate the maximum pressure that will be developed on discharge of

a clean agent system. In the event that the estimated maximum pressure exceeds a specified design

threshold, the methods of this document may be used to estimate a pressure-relief vent area sufficient

to limit development of pressure upon system discharge to an acceptable value.
7.2 Extinguishant characteristics

Consideration should be given to positive pressurisation created by all extinguishants and additionally

to negative pressurisation created by some extinguishants as defined in Table 2.
Table 2 — Pressure effects of gaseous extinguishant
Extinguishant name Positive pressure created Negative pressure created
FK-5-1-12 Yes Yes
HFC-125 Yes Yes
HFC-227ea Yes Yes
HFC-23 Yes No
IG 01 Yes No
IG 100 Yes No
IG 55 Yes No
IG 541 Yes No
CO Yes No

NOTE Negative pressure has been observed, with adverse effects. It can occur in certain cases where large quantities of

CO are released into a space having low leakage to ambient.
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
7.2.1 Pressure graphs

The graphs below illustrate the typical pressure excursions that would occur during discharge within

the protected area.
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
a) Inert gas
b) Inert gas (constant low)
c) Halocarbon gas
Key
X1 positive pressure
X2 negative pressure
Y time: (a): inert gas, (b): inert gas (constant flow), (c): halocarbon gas
Figure 1 — Typical pressure excursions
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ISO/TS 21805:2018(E)
7.3 Enclosure characteristics

It is the client’s responsibility and not the fire protection system supplier to determine the room

strength. The client should advise the allowable pressure differential the protected enclosures can

withstand without sustaining damage.

It is generally accepted that that normal masonry construction can withstand 500 Pa, whilst lightweight

structures such as stud partitioning can withstand only 250 Pa. Both figures assume fixings at the

top and bottom. Certain structure types may have even lower limits, particularly suspended ceilings.

However, fire system engineers are not qualified to give guidance on room strengths, so it is up to the

client to provide this information. In the event that the client does not make clear what the allowable

pressure the enclosure will withstand, it is necessary to obtain his acceptance of the figures used.

In view of issues related to enclosures utilising suspended ceilings, it is recommended that protection is

provided to volumes above and below the suspended ceiling where practical.
7.4 Pressure-relief vent paths

It is generally assumed that positive/negative pressure-relief vent paths will lead to/from atmosphere.

Positive pressure-relief vent paths will assist in the safe transfer of the displaced air/extinguishant

volume to atmosphere in the most efficient, uncomplicated manner as well as ensuring air/extinguishant

contaminated with fire by-products also finds a safe route to outside air.

As positive pressure venting may involve the displacement of smoke the possible effect on fire detection

systems along the vent path should be considered.

Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to consider the use of adjacent spaces as the means

to dissipate the press
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