8 Reasons to Choose BlazeMaster CPVC Over Steel
Until BlazeMaster CPVC® fire protection systems were introduced in 1984 – changing the fire sprinkler protection industry for the better – steel was the material of choice for fire sprinkler system pipe and fittings worldwide. Steel’s strength and resistance to heat made it a logical choice.
Today, however, BlazeMaster CPVC, a lightweight thermoplastic made from a base PVC polymer and fortified with additional chlorine molecules, has become the most specified fire sprinkler pipe and fitting system of its type in the world, due in part to its significant advantages over steel.
The extra chlorine and specialized additive allows the material to withstand intense heat and pressure. But BlazeMaster CPVC also offers the advantages of being lightweight, easy fabrication, flexibility and corrosion resistance. BlazeMaster CPVC stands up to extreme heat and pressure.
It offers an initial cost advantage in that steel prices fluctuate and are typically much higher than that of BlazeMaster CPVC. In terms of cost alone, CPVC allows critical life safety systems to become more affordable, protecting millions of homeowners and building occupants, residences, institutional and commercial buildings, and firefighters.
And that’s only the beginning.
1. Labor Savings - Steel pipe is heavy and usually requires special equipment to move around a job site. That also means two or more installers working in the same area. Not only do BlazeMaster CPVC pipe and fittings weigh significantly less than steel, but one installer can typically complete an entire area alone, saving labor.
2. Material Cost Savings –
Piping and pipe accessories can be more than 60% of the total material cost of a fire sprinkler system, and that’s being conservative. BlazeMaster CPVC pipe and fittings are much cheaper than steel, especially considering that smaller diameter pipe can typically be used (more on that later). Using BlazeMaster CPVC over steel can provide a competitive advantage to contractors when bidding a job and/or even increased profit!
Design and Installation Advantages
3. Flexible Install – Steel pipe is rigid, creating installation issues in tight spaces or hard to reach areas. Unlike steel, BlazeMaster CPVC is malleable and provides more flexibility upon install in those difficult spaces and overall.
4. Easier Fab – Steel pipe requires torches that involve special permitting and can create a fire hazard on the job site. Noisy threading machines are needed to fabricate and connect the system. BlazeMaster CPVC pipe and fittings are joined together with solvent cement and are cut to length without the need for special tools. BlazeMaster CPVC systems are fabricated on the spot, leading to faster installation.
5. Better Hydraulics and Design Advantages – CPVC pipe has better hydraulics than steel pipe, which typically means that smaller diameter CPVC pipe can be used, creating another cost savings. This is proven by the Hazen-Williams Coefficient, an empirical relationship used in the design of fire sprinkler systems that relates the flow of water in a pipe with the physical properties of the pipe and the pressure drop caused by friction. It also allows CPVC piping runs to fit into smaller spatial gaps than steel piping, an added design advantage.
Superior Performance and Ease of Maintenance
6. Corrosion Isn’t a Concern – In steel pipe systems, the combination of water, water treatment chemicals and oxygen may cause corrosion over time that can result in pinhole leaks in steel pipe fire sprinkler systems – potentially in less than two years. Scale build-up, the result of minerals associated with hard water, can attach to steel pipe walls, often near fittings and corners. This can limit the flow of water or, worse, prevent the flow of water entirely. BlazeMaster CPVC will never corrode, allowing safety and peace of mind, and not to mention less service interruptions, for all.
7. No Need for Nitrogen – Corrosion in steel piping fire protection systems has led to the evolution of the nitrogen generating industry and associated hardware, significantly adding to the expense of a steel-based system. The use of BlazeMaster CPVC eliminates the need for nitrogen systems, providing both material and installation labor costs.
8. Easier Maintenance – Corrosion and scale buildup are a primary maintenance concern for a steel fire protection system. Removing the scale can be quite the chore, and depending on the levels of water hardness, may be frequently required. BlazeMaster CPVC resists scaling and corrosion, saving maintenance frequency and costs. In addition, if piping repairs are needed or a sprinkler head or drop needs changed out, BlazeMaster CPVC piping can be easily cut out and replaced with minimal interruption or damage to the property. The building owner and tenants will thank you!
Simply put, BlazeMaster Fire Protection Systems provide peace of mind and help save lives. We have proudly done so for more than 30 years around the world.
To learn more about the advantages of BlazeMaster CPVC compared to steel, download our Steel vs. CPVC Commercial Fire Protection Guide.