FBC™ System Compatible Program Expands with New Antifreeze Solution Offering

CLEVELAND, August 6, 2013 – The Lubrizol Corporation’s CPVC business segment announces updates to its FBC™ System Compatible Program including a refreshed website, changes to the Other Compatibility Concerns Page and the Incompatible Products List.

Designed to improve user navigation, the fbcsystemcompatible.com website makes it easier for plumbers, contractors, engineers and other professionals to identify chemically compatible products for use with FlowGuard Gold®, BlazeMaster® and Corzan® CPVC piping systems. Visitors to the website can quickly search for compatible products using the FBC System Compatible product finder, helping to eliminate the guesswork associated with chemical compatibility.

Changes to the Other Compatibility Concerns Page are as follows:

  • Antimicrobial statement as of August 6, 2013

Lubrizol’s position regarding the chemical compatibility of antimicrobial coated pipe when used with BlazeMaster® CPVC pipes and fittings has been that before using any coated steel pipes with an antimicrobial coating, installers should check with the manufacturers of the steel pipe and/or the manufacturers of the antimicrobial coating. In response to numerous industry inquiries, Factory Mutual (FM) modified their nonmetallic (FM 1635) and steel pipe (FM 1630) standards to include testing that demonstrates the chemical compatibility of nonmetallic fire sprinkler pipe with coated steel sprinkler pipe. This evaluation is a requirement for both types of pipe that are FM approved. Installers should look for results of testing in accordance with the FM protocols to ensure the compatibility of any coated steel pipes they might use with BlazeMaster® CPVC pipes and fittings. Additionally, Lubrizol recommends that Allied Steel pipe coated with ABF II not be used in BlazeMaster CPVC systems.

This has been Lubrizol’s position for years. Beginning in 2008, Lubrizol noted that industry concerns were being expressed about antimicrobial coatings, and at that time Lubrizol stated that the Allied ABF II antimicrobial coating “would not be classified as compatible with CPVC if it were applied directly to the CPVC.” But Lubrizol began at that time to conduct testing that tried to duplicate a real world level of migration of the ABF II coating to CPVC. The testing did not show a consistent pattern which would indicate a pervasive problem. Nevertheless, in January 2009, Lubrizol said: “Lubrizol recommends that only non-coated steel piping be used with BlazeMaster® fire sprinkler systems and that aftermarket coating not be used, unless the coating being used, whether applied by the manufacturer or otherwise, has been added to the FGG/BM/CZ™ System Compatible Program.” Lubrizol’s recommendation has continued from that time to the present. Lubrizol has never recommended the use of ABF II coated pipe with BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe and fittings.

  • Polyurethane (Spray-On) Foams update:

In understanding spray polyurethane foams there are two general areas of concern for CPVC pipe and fittings: (1) chemical compatibility and (2) potential damage to pipes and fittings due to high exothermic temperatures during installation. These spray polyurethane foams have different cell structures, different flame retardants, reach different curing temperatures and require different installation thicknesses to obtain the required r-value. All of these factors must be considered when using spray foams.

In 2009, Lubrizol assisted the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) to determine if chemical compatibility issues exist with FlowGuard Gold®,BlazeMaster® and Corzan® CPVC pipe and fittings. SPFA findings, although not comprehensive, conclude that those spray polyurethane foams tested did not pose a chemicalcompatibility problem. In addition, Lubrizol is unaware of a CPVC failure that was the result of chemical incompatibility with properly mixed and applied spray polyurethane foams. When two-component foams are improperly mixed and there is an excess of either component present on the piping, compatibility problems may arise from the unreacted excess. For more information on the SPFA testing, please contact them at (800) 523-6154 or visit their web site at www.sprayfoam.org. With respect to chemical compatibility, one must always check with the spray foam manufacturer to have them provide assurance that the formulation that they are manufacturing is not incompatible with CPVC.

In a separate, unrelated study also in 2009, Lubrizol conducted testing with a manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam to better understand the effects of high exothermic temperatures on FlowGuard Gold and BlazeMaster CPVC pipe and fittings. These findings demonstrated that temperatures can exceed the softening point of dry CPVC pipe and fittings.

This study found that, for the products tested, the spray pass thickness of the manufacturer's nominal two pound density spray polyurethane closed cell foam should not exceed a maximum of two inches per single pass. Lubrizol also found in this study that repeated two inch passes (layers) separated by 10 minute intervals provided sufficient time for the spray polyurethane foam to cool. For the manufacturer's nominal half pound density spray polyurethane open cell foam, Lubrizol found that spray pass thickness should not exceed a maximum of six inches per single pass. Heat generated and trapped inside foam layers applied too thickly may cause ballooning of pipe or excess flexural stresses on pipe and fittings due to thermal expansion.

Because polyurethane spray foams' resulting exothermic temperatures and chemical compatibility characteristics can vary to some extent, Lubrizol recommends that you consult with the manufacturer of the polyurethane spray foam to be installed.

  • Addition of a new category named “Metal Piping Connected to or Installed Alongside CPVC Piping”. Removed the “Molten Solder and Solder Flux” and “Residual Oils (Including Cutting Oils) with Steel Pipe” categories and incorporated their contents in to the new category.

Metal piping connected to or installed alongside CPVC piping
CPVC may be damaged by torches and/or chemicals used to install metal piping. When metal piping is installed in proximity to CPVC piping systems, care should be taken to protect the CPVC from burning with torches or contact with molten solder and solder flux, as well as incompatible thread sealants, leak detectors, lubricants, or other chemical products which may be used on metal piping.

Transitions from steel pipe to CPVC pipe can be made through a variety of methods such as threaded connections, flanges, and grooved adapters. Occasionally the steel pipe may contain residual oils that were used to aid in the cutting process. Some of the oils used for this purpose, especially those marketed as “environmentally friendly” or “vegetable based”, may be incompatible with CPVC. These cutting oils should be removed from the steel pipe prior to connecting to CPVC pipe. If a cutting oil is used, consult with the manufacturer of the cutting oil for a specific recommendation as to compatibility with CPVC. Those cutting oils which are listed in the FBC System Compatible program have been tested and confirmed to be compatible with FlowGuard Gold®, BlazeMaster®, and Corzan® CPVC.

Dye penetrants used to test the quality of welds in metal piping may contain plasticizers or other chemicals incompatible with CPVC. Dye penetrants left on the inside surface of welded metal pipes may later wash into CPVC piping connected to it. This situation could create environmental stress cracking in CPVC wherever collections of the penetrant chemical might lodge. These penetrants should be removed from the steel pipe prior to connecting to CPVC pipe or the manufacturer of dye penetrant should be consulted with regarding recommending proper penetrant for use with steel / CPVC piping systems.

  • The Incompatible Product list has been updated to include SOS Teflon Pipe as of July 30, 2013.

The FBC System Compatible Program serves the industry with active use in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, 25 European countries, the United Arab Emirates, India and China. (Footnote: Users should be aware that other standards exist or are being developed to serve the industry, such as FM 1635, Approval Standard for Plastic Pipe and Fittings for Automatic Sprinkler Systems.)

While consulting directly with the manufacturer of the ancillary products is always a good practice, the FBC System Compatible Program assists in the effort to eliminate guesswork associated with identifying chemical compatibility. Products accepted into the program are given the right to display this FBC System Compatible mark on their labels. Once this mark has been applied, it demonstrates the ancillary product manufacturer’s commitment not to make changes to the formulation of the product without advance written notice and retesting.

It is important to note, however, that not all CPVC products are identical. Different CPVC products may vary in molecular weight, chlorine content and compound additives. As a consequence of these variables, the FBC System Compatible Program can only help determine chemical compatibility with the aforementioned Lubrizol brands.

To learn about all the chemically compatible products in the Program, call 1-855-735-1431 or visit fbcsystemcompatible.com.

FlowGuard, BlazeMaster and Corzan are registered trademarks of The Lubrizol Corporation.