GASEOUS CYLINDERS LEAK

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  • We still maintain units built 20 years ago
  • Extend trade-in credits - replace old units for new
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  • Be a life-safety technology partner – Permalevel™
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Coltraco manufacture Ultrasonics That Work

GASEOUS CYLINDERS LEAK

Leakage of fire suppression agents from gaseous extinguishing systems remains an ongoing and complex problem. Coltraco Ultrasonics has smart Safesite® solutions to identify leakage.

Offshore oil and gas companies are still haunted by the blaze and explosion that destroyed the Piper Alpha oil production platform in July 1988, causing the deaths of more than 160 personnel aboard the structure – a tragedy that resulted in some much-welcomed ‘toughening up’ of offshore safety requirements.

All the same, fire-related incidents still occur aboard many offshore assets, putting the burden on owners and operators to ensure that safety standards do not slip. A solution to this is Coltraco’s ultrasonic level indicator, varying from business to business. This burden becomes more onerous when one considers that the majority of offshore companies are scaling back their budgets at present, as well as warm-stacking and cold-stacking some of their most valuable vessels and rigs.

However, companies have a duty to ensure the protection of personnel, as well as a natural incentive to safeguard some of the most expensive assets to be stationed at sea – as well as their own reputations – and fire safety is a factor that simply cannot be neglected. This is not purely a problem for the offshore sector but a study conducted by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency has revealed that, between 2004 and 2010, 800 fires were logged in European waters, approximately 10% of which were classed as ‘serious’ and 25% of which required external assistance to successfully extinguish.

Agent leakage

While keeping this in mind it should never be ignored how destructive the fire can be when the fire suppressing cylinders are either partially or fully empty. It is always recommended to have ultrasonic leak detector on board to avoid running out of fire extinguishing agent on time of emergency. Reviewing the scenario, CEO – Carl Hunter remarked this situation which is commonly faced in following words;

 “Anywhere between one-in-ten to one-in-five cylinders, when inspected, have been found to be partially or fully empty. We hear about on-board fires and vessels reporting that the extinguishing installations ‘failed’ to put out the blaze – but failure would have been impossible had these installations been checked to ensure they were full.”

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for gaseous extinguishing agent to leak from these cylinders. “This is to be expected when such fire-fighting equipment is stored on land, let alone aboard a vessel for 365 days a year,” says Hunter. In an offshore environment, fluctuations in temperature (especially if an offshore asset is transferred between climes as disparate as those of the North Sea and offshore Brazil) and structural stress can acerbate damage of the cylinders’ seals and cause accidental discharge of the extinguishing agent.

“Gaseous extinguishing systems are highly pressurised. The risk of leaking and discharging is accepted as part of their use in the regulations that demand their upkeep.”

- Hunter

The result? A depleted cylinder, containing only half of its allocated agent, runs out of the substance before the fire is properly suppressed. Subsequently, the fire rages on, destroys the area and possibly spreads to other sections of the vessel – or even produces an explosion. Later, in the post-incident analysis, the cylinder is incorrectly judged as to have ‘failed’. It is always suggested to install monitoring system along when setting up a suppressing agent such as Novec 1230 gas suppression system.

 

CEO Message

Integrity and Science Key to Our Culture of Performance

Dear Coltraco Customers, Strategic Partners and Distributors,

Integrity is our defining value. Performance is its consequence. We understand that our customers have choices, and how we perform determines whether customers choose us. Coltraco’s Code of Ethics does not merely require compliance with laws. It embodies a Commitment to positive behaviours that build trust, promote respect, operate with distinction, with courtesy and global levels of performance, demonstrating our integrity and delivering customer performance.

We honour our commitments, communicate transparently, and act with honour. Ethics are the foundation of our performance culture and our science-based approach. We lead in specific technologies delivering the watertight integrity monitoring of marine structures and the monitoring of fixed liquefied gaseous fire extinguishing systems and the room integrity of protected space to ensure agent hold-times post-installation. We show this by our understanding of the science in them and the mathematics that explain them.

I would like to thank you for your business and for the relationships with our Customers, Strategic Partners, Distributors and ODAs who we value so highly.

My kindest regards,
Carl

Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter BA(Dunelm) Hon DSc FRINA FIMarEST MRAeS
CEO & Managing Director
Coltraco Ultrasonics Limited
46-47 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2SA
United Kingdom

Tel:  +44 20 7629 8475
Fax: +44 20 7629 8477

Call Now : +44 207 629 8475

 

References in PDF Format

 

Underwriters LaboratoriesUnderwriters Laboratories

 

Reference Alpha Fire UK Portalevel MAX Sept 2012

Reference Portascanner-II CSD MOD Albion and Bulwark

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