Like many other products around the world automatic fire sprinkler systems must comply with an international performance standard. In their case it is called ISO 6182. If the system doesn’t comply then it can’t be installed into buildings, structures, vessels, factories, etc. In this market there are also two huge underwriting companies which insure buildings or structures when they use a properly accredited fire sprinkler system. They are FM Global and UL. Obviously it is in their best interests to be 100% certain that the system protecting their asset will work properly when required. Such is the influence of these companies that manufacturers develop their fire safety products to specifically meet the ISO and the FM/UL benchmarks.
There are a number of procedures which allow manufacturers to know when their systems meet the correct standards, such as the "plunge test”. This complex scientific test determines Response Time Index (RTI) and the Conductivity Factor (C Factor). The RTI and C Factor together predict the response time of the sprinkler system in fire environments defined in terms of gas (air) temperature and velocity versus time. Armed with this data, fire suppression system design engineers can develop more effective sprinkler systems. Carrying out the plunge test requires sophisticated laboratory equipment: a unique designed tunnel with electronic heating and fan components. There is only one company in the world which manufactures the RTI Plunge Test Tunnel (as used by FM Global) and that is us. Archer.