Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
This chapter shall apply to palletized, solid- piled, bin box, shelf, or back-to-back shelf storage of plastic and rubber commodities. The requirements of Chapter 12 shall apply unless modified by this chapter.
The design of the sprinkler system shall be based on those conditions that routinely or periodically exist in a building and create the greatest water demand, which include the following:
  1. Pile height
  2. Clearance to ceiling
  3. Pile stability
  4. Array
For the storage of Group A plastics stored 5 ft (1.5 m) or less in height, the sprinkler design criteria for miscellaneous storage specified in Chapter 13 shall be used. The protection criteria in Chapter 13 shall be acceptable for storage of Group A plastic commodities up to and including 5 ft (1.5 m) in height. (See Table 13.2.1 for specific Group Aplastic storage height protection criteria.)
Protection for plastic and rubber commodities shall be in accordance with Section 15.2. The decision tree shown in Figure 15.2.2 shall be used to determine the protection in each specific situation, subject to the following limitations:
  1. Commodities that are stored palletized, solid piled, or in bin boxes up to 25 ft (7.6 m) in height.
  2. Commodities that are stored in shelf storage up to 15 ft (4.6 m) in height.
  3. Commodities that are stored using back-to-back shelf storage up to 15 ft (4.6 m) in height. The minimum aisle width shall be 60 in. (1524 mm). The design criteria shall be in accordance with Table 15.2.2. The back-to-back shelf shall have a full height solid vertical transverse barrier of 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) plywood or particleboard, 22 gauge sheet metal, or equivalent, from face of aisle to face of aisle, spaced at a maximum 45 ft (13.7 m) interval. The transverse barrier shall be permitted to terminate at the longitudinal barrier.

Table 15.2.2 Back-to-Back Shelf Storage of Cartoned Unexpanded Group A Plastics

Storage Height Ceiling Height Protection
ft m ft m
Over 5 up to 8 1.5/2.4 Up to 14 4.3 Ordinary Hazard Group 2
Up to 12 3.7 Up to 15 4.6 0.45 gpm/ft2 over 2500 ft2 18.3 mm/min/232 m2
Up to 12 3.7 Up to 30 9.1 0.6 gpm/ft2 over 2500 ft2 24.5 mm/min/232 m2
Up to 15 4.6 Up to 30 9.1 0.7 gpm/ft2 over 2500 ft2 28.5 mm/min/232 m2

Note: Cartons that contain Group A plastic material are permitted to be treated as Class IV commodities under the following conditions:

(1) There are multiple layers of corrugation or equivalent outer material that would significantly delay fire involvement of the Group A plastic.

(2) The amount and arrangement of Group A plastic material within an ordinary carton would not be expected to significantly increase the fire hazard.

FIGURE 15.2.2 Decision Tree.

Factors affecting protection requirements such as closed/open array, clearance to ceiling, and stable/unstable piles shall be applicable only to storage of Group A plastics. This decision tree also shall be used to determine protection for commodities that are not wholly Group A plastics but contain such quantities and arrangements of the same that they are deemed more hazardous than Class IV commodities.
Group B plastics and free-flowing Group A plastics shall be protected in the same manner as a Class IV commodity. (See Chapter 14 for protection of these storage commodities with spray sprinklers.)
Group C plastics shall be protected in the same manner as a Class III commodity. (See Chapter 14 for protection of these storage commodities with spray sprinklers.)
Design areas and densities for the appropriate storage configuration shall be selected from Table 15.2.6(a) or Table 15.2.6(b) as appropriate.

Table 15.2.6(a) Design Densities for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, or Shelf Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities (U.S. Customary Units)

Maximum Storage Height (ft) Roof/Ceiling Height (ft) Density (gpm/ft2)
A B C D E
>5 to ≤12 Up to 15 0.2 EH2 0.3 EH1 EH2
>15 to 20 0.3 0.6 0.5 EH2 EH2
>20 to 32 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.45 0.7
15 Up to 20 0.3 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.45
>20 to 25 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.45 0.7
>25 to 35 0.45 0.9 0.7 0.55 0.85
20 Up to 25 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.45 0.7
>25 to 30 0.45 0.9 0.7 0.55 0.85
>30 to 35 0.6 1.2 0.85 0.7 1.1
25 Up to 30 0.45 0.9 0.7 0.55 0.85
>30 to 35 0.6 1.2 0.85 0.7 1.1
Notes:
(1) Minimum clearance between sprinkler deflector and top of storage shall be maintained as required.
(2) Column designations correspond to the configuration of plastics storage as follows:
A: (1) Nonexpanded, unstable
(2) Nonexpanded, stable, solid unit load
B: Expanded, exposed, stable
C: (1) Expanded, exposed, unstable
(2) Nonexpanded, stable, cartoned
D: Expanded, cartoned, unstable
E: (1) Expanded, cartoned, stable
(2) Nonexpanded, stable, exposed
(3) EH1 = Density required by Figure 13.2.1 for Curve EH1
EH2 = Density required by Figure 13.2.1 for Curve EH2
(4) Roof/ceiling height >35 ft is not permitted.

Table 15.2.6(b) Design Densities for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, or Shelf Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities (S.I. Units)

Maximum Storage Height (m) Roof/Ceiling Height (m) Density (mm/min)
A B C D E
>1.5 to ≤3.6 Up to 4.6 8.2 EH2 12.2 EH1 EH2
>4.6 to 6.1 12.2 24.4 20.4 EH2 EH2
>6.1 to 9.8 16.3 32.6 24.4 18.3 28.5
4.6 Up to 6.1 12.2 24.4 20.4 16.3 18.3
>6.1 to 7.6 16.3 32.6 24.4 18.3 28.5
>7.6 to 10.7 18.3 36.7 28.5 22.4 34.6
6.1 Up to 7.6 16.3 32.6 24.4 18.3 28.5
>7.6 to 9.1 18.3 36.7 28.5 22.4 34.6
>9.1 to 10.7 24.4 49.0 34.6 28.5 44.8
7.6 Up to 9.1 18.3 36.7 28.5 22.4 34.6
>9.1 to 10.7 24.4 49.0 34.6 28.5 44.8
Notes:
(1) Minimum clearance between sprinkler deflector and top of storage shall be maintained as required.
(2) Column designations correspond to the configuration of plastics storage as follows:
A: (1) Nonexpanded, unstable
(2) Nonexpanded, stable, solid unit load
B: Expanded, exposed, stable
C: (1) Expanded, exposed, unstable
(2) Nonexpanded, stable, cartoned
D: Expanded, cartoned, unstable
E: (1) Expanded, cartoned, stable
(2) Nonexpanded, stable, exposed
(3) EH1 = Density required by Figure 13.2.1 for Curve EH1
EH2 = Density required by Figure 13.2.1 for Curve EH2
(4) Roof/ceiling height >35 ft is not permitted.
The ceiling-only protection criteria specified in Chapter 17 for rack storage of plastic and rubber commodities shall be permitted to be used for solid-piled and palletized storage of the same commodity at the same height and clearance to ceiling.
For Table 15.2.6(a) and Table 15.2.6(b), the design areas shall be as follows:
  1. The area shall be a minimum of 2500 ft2 (232 m2).
  2. Where Table 15.2.6(a) and Table 15.2.6(b) allow densities and areas to be selected in accordance with Curve EH1 and Curve EH2 of Figure 13.2.1, any density/area from the curves in Figure 13.2.1 shall be permitted. When selecting a point from the EH1 or EH2 density/area curves of Figure 13.2.1, the following area reductions shall be permitted:
    1. For K-8.0 (115) sprinklers used with Curve EH1, the design area shall be permitted to be reduced by 25 percent, but not below 2000 ft2 (186 m2), where high temperature sprinklers are used.
    2. For K-11.2 (160) or larger sprinklers, the design area shall be permitted to be reduced by 25 percent, but not below 2000 ft2 (186 m2), regardless of temperature rating.
  3. For closed arrays, the area shall be permitted to be reduced to 2000 ft2 (186 m2).
Interpolation of densities between storage heights shall be permitted.
Densities shall be based on the 2500 ft2 (232 m2) design area.
Interpolation of ceiling/roof heights shall not be permitted.
For storage of Group A plastics between 5 ft (1.5 m) and 12 ft (3.7 m) in height, the installation requirements for extra hazard systems shall apply.
Protection of palletized and solid-piled storage of unexpanded and expanded plastic and rubber commodities shall be in accordance with Table 15.3.1.

Table 15.3.1 CMSA Sprinkler Design Criteria for Palletized and Solid-Piled Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities

Storage Arrangement Commodity Class Maximum Storage Height Maximum Ceiling/Roof Height K-Factor/Orientation Type of System Number of Design Sprinklers Minimum Operating Pressure
ft m ft m psi bar
Palletized Cartoned unexpanded plastics 20 6.1 30 9.1 11.2 (160) Upright Wet 25 25 1.7
16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 16 1.1
25 7.6 30 9.1 16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 16 1.1
30 9.1 35 10.7 19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 25 1.7
35 10.6 40 12.1 19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 30 2.1
Solid piled Cartoned unexpanded plastics 20 6.1 30 9.1 11.2 (160) Upright Wet 15 50 3.5
16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 16 1.1
25 7.6 30 9.1 16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 16 1.1
30 9.1 35 10.7 19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 25 1.7
35 10.6 40 12.1 19.6 (280) Pendent Wet 15 30 2.1
Palletized Exposed unexpanded plastics 20 6.1 30 9.1 11.2 (160) Upright Wet 25 25 1.7
16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
25 7.6 30 9.1 16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
Cartoned or exposed expanded plastics 18 5.5 26 7.9 11.2 (160) Upright Wet 15 50 3.5
16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
Solid piled Cartoned or exposed unexpanded plastics 20 6.1 30 9.1 11.2 (160) Upright Wet 15 50 3.5
25 7.6 30 9.1 16.8 (240) Upright Wet 15 22 1.5
Protection shall be provided as specified in Table 15.3.1 or appropriate NFPA standards in terms of minimum operating pressure and the number of sprinklers to be included in the design area.
Where CMSA sprinklers are installed under open wood joist construction, their minimum operating pressure shall be 50 psi (3.4 bar) for a K-11.2 (160) sprinkler or 22 psi (1.5 bar) for a K-16.8 (240) sprinkler.
Where each joist channel of open wood joist construction is fully firestopped to its full depth at intervals not exceeding 20 ft (6.1 m), the lower pressures specified in Table 15.3.1 shall be permitted to be used.
For the purpose of using Table 15.3.1, preaction systems shall be classified as dry pipe systems.
Building steel shall not require special protection where Table 15.3.1 is applied as appropriate for the storage configuration.
Protection of palletized and solid-piled storage of cartoned or uncartoned unexpanded plastic and cartoned expanded or exposed expanded plastic shall be in accordance with Table 15.4.1.

Table 15.4.1 ESFR Protection of Palletized and Solid-Piled Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities

Storage Arrangement Commodity Maximum Storage Height Maximum Ceiling/Roof Height Nominal K-Factor Orientation Minimum Operating Pressure
ft m ft m psi bar
Palletized and solid-piled storage (no open-top containers) Cartoned unexpanded plastic 20 6.1 25 7.6 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 35 2.4
22.4
(320)
Pendent 25 1.7
25.2
(360)
Pendent 15 1.0
30 9.1 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 35 2.4
22.4
(320)
Pendent 25 1.7
25.2
(360)
Pendent 15 1.0
35 10.7 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 75 5.2
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 35 2.4
25.2
(360)
Pendent 20 1.4
40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 25 1.7
45 13.7 22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 40 2.8
25 7.6 30 9.1 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 35 2.4
22.4
(320)
Pendent 25 1.7
25.2
(360)
Pendent 15 1.0
32 9.8 14.0
(200)
Upright,/pendent 60 4.1
16.8
(240)
Upright,/pendent 42 2.9
35 10.7 14.0
(200)
Upright or pendent 75 5.2
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 35 2.4
25.2
(360)
Pendent 20 1.4
40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 25 1.7
45 13.7 22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 40 2.8
30 9.1 35 10.7 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 75 5.2
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 35 2.4
25.2
(360)
Pendent 20 1.4
40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 25 1.7
45 13.7 22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 40 2.8
35 10.7 40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 25 1.7
45 13.7 22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 40 2.8
40 12.2 45 13.7 22.4
(320)
Pendent 40 2.8
25.2
(360)
Pendent 40 2.8
Exposed unexpanded plastic 20 6.1 25 7.6 14.0
(200)
Pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Pendent 35 2.4
30 9.1 14.0
(200)
Pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Pendent 35 2.4
35 10.7 14.0
(200)
Pendent 75 5.2
16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
25 7.6 30 9.1 14.0
(200)
Pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Pendent 35 2.4
32 9.8 14.0
(200)
Pendent 60 4.1
16.8
(240)
Pendent 42 2.9
35 10.7 14.0
(200)
Pendent 75 5.2
16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 50 3.4
25.2
(360)
Pendent 50 3.4
30 9.1 35 10.7 14.0
(200)
Pendent 75 5.2
16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 50 3.4
25.2
(360)
Pendent 50 3.4
35 10.7 40 12.2 16.8
(240)
Pendent 52 3.6
22.4
(320)
Pendent 50 3.4
25.2
(360)
Pendent 50 3.4
Cartoned expanded plastic 20 6.1 25 7.6 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 35 2.4
30 9.1 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 35 2.4
25 7.6 30 9.1 14.0
(200)
Upright/pendent 50 3.4
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 35 2.4
32 9.8 14.0
(200)
Pendent 60 4.1
16.8
(240)
Upright/pendent 42 2.9
Exposed* expanded plastic 25 7.6 40 12.2 25.2
(360)
Pendent 60 4.1
* Applies to closed array storage only.
ESFR sprinkler systems shall be designed such that the minimum operating pressure is not less than that indicated in Table 15.4.1 for type of storage, commodity, storage height, and building height involved.
The design area shall consist of the most hydraulically demanding area of 12 sprinklers, consisting of four sprinklers on each of three branch lines.
A reduction in ceiling density to one-half that required for Class I through Class IV commodities, idle pallets, or plastics shall be permitted without revising the design area, but the density shall be no less than 0.15 gprn/ft2 (6.1 mm/min).
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