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Tank fire resistance test
POWERFUL PERFORMER: Pioneer steel tanks with aqualiners stood up
well to exhaustive tests.
ARECENT project involving
the Bushfire Cooperative
Research Centre and the
CSIRO has shown the different
level of effectiveness and per-
formance by different types of
tanks in the defence of homes
The research investigated the
effects of typical Australian
bushfire exposures of
residential and commercial
water tanks of steel and plastic
Results from this investigation
will be used to influence how
building codes and planning
guides are developed,
particularly in high risk areas,
and help to provide advice to
property owners on the level of
risk their homes and
Of the different materials
tested, spiral round steel tanks
performed best under all
exposure conditions. All steel
manufactured tanks maintained
structural integrity when given
a 30 minute flame immersion
test, which simulated an
adjacent structural fire.
Steel construction tanks with
aqualiners also maintained
structural integrity, with the
liner proving capable of
retaining water during and after
the fire-front -- essential for the
protection of property in the
event of a fire.
Polyethylene tanks suffered
considerable distortion during
the tests, with some tanks
splitting and melting.
The accompanying table
shows the levels of exposure
used in the tests, and the results
LEVEL OF EXPOSURE
CONVENTIONAL STEEL CONSTRUCTION PIONEER GALAXY STEEL WITH
1. LITTER IGNITED
Leaf Litter placed typically around the base
of the tank and ignited to investigate and
observe the influence of small amounts of
leaf deposition during the fire event.
No structural damage or water loss recorded No structural damage or water loss recorded Small ignition of tank around base,
combustion of polyethylene to a
depth of 20mm in one localised area.
Indication of possible risk
when fuel accumulation is higher.
No loss of water recorded.
2. LITTER IGNITED + PRE-RADIATION
Typical of an advancing bushfire occurring on
a fi re danger day of FDI* 40 but with
sufficient clearing to avoid direct flame
contact with the tank.
No structural damage or water loss recorded. No structural damage or water loss recorded. Tank melted and deformed to level of water,
some leaks from bottom of tank detected,
front surface involved in flaming combustion.
Findings indicate plastic tanks
require clearance zone of around
30 metres, free of excess leaf build
up, combustible material or other
3. SIMULATION OF STRUCTURAL FIRE
Full continuous flame immersion for a period
of 30 minutes.
Designed to simulate a worst case
Scorching of the tank, no structural damage.
Small leaks recorded at a rate of less than 2
litres per minute only recorded after a 30
minute flame immersion.
Small loss of water over the top of the liner,
tank maintains its structural integrity in 30
minute flame immersion.
Tank split and collapsed, emptying itself and
melting down. Complete failure of the tank
ARE YOU PREPARED?
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The Engine, Pump & Power Co.
300 Cormack Road
South Australia 5013
Fax (08) 8359 6950
GENERATORS • PUMPS • ENGINES
TEL (08) 8349 7733
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