IBCs with aqueous solutions

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Fire Performance of Ordinary, Non-listed and Non-metallic IBCs with Aqueous Solutions of Flammable and Combustible Liquids"
Author: P. Hooker, G. Atkinson, G. Burrell, J. Fletcher, Health & Safety Laboratory
Date of issue: April 2012


As part of the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s mission to develop data to support NFPA technical committees, two previous research studies on IBCs with flammable and combustible liquids have been conducted. Each has provided information which is referenced in NFPA 30; however, the proliferation of IBCs used for storage in violation of NFPA 30 continues. There are several strategies which have been discussed by the members of NFPA 30 and others to address this situation, including increased enforcement of NFPA 30, education programs, development of new IBC technology, etc. There is a general agreement that a common understanding of the range of liquids that can be stored in ordinary non listed, non-metallic IBC’s to meet the requirements of NFPA 30 is an important element.

The objective of the project is to develop credible independent data to support a low fire hazard designation (in consideration of NFPA 30) for a group of commonly used aqueous liquids and emulsions that may exhibit a flash point, though containing high concentrations of noncombustible substances. The consideration is storage of such mixtures in non-listed composite IBCs in a manner that will be recognized by NFPA 30 as "protected storage."

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