API PUBL 2218 Document Information:
Fireproofing Practices in Petroleum and Petrochemical Processing Plants
American Petroleum Institute
Publication Date: Aug 1, 1999
This publication uses a risk-based approach to evaluate fireproofing needs for petroleum and petrochemical plants in which hydrocarbon fires could rapidly expose structural supports to very high temperatures. Fireproofing can protect against intense and prolonged heat exposure that could cause collapse of unprotected equipment and lead to the spread of burning liquids and substantial loss of property. This guideline specifically addresses property loss protection for pool fires scenarios but not jet fires or vapor cloud explosions. Fireproofing may also mitigate concerns for life safety and environmental impact. Additional fire-resistance measures may be appropriate for fire protection where hazardous chemicals could be released with the potential for exposure of persons on site or outside the plant. Regulatory compliance is not addressed by this publication.
Although widely used, the term “fireproofing” is misleading as almost nothing can be made totally safe from the effects of fire. Fireproofing refers to the systematic process (including materials and the application of materials) that provides a degree of fire resistance for protected substrates. This document specifically addresses fireproofing in process units, especially structural supports and related equipment (such as tankage, utilities and relevant off-site facilities). It does not address fire prevention (which is addressed in API 2001) nor fireproofing of buildings.
Fireproofing is a complex subject; and API Publ 2218 is not a design manual. As a guideline, it doesn’t specify fireproofing requirements applicable to particular units or plants. It should help site management understand fireproofing issues and help them define protection needs and facilitate effective relationships with fireproofing experts, material suppliers, and installers. This publication assists in the evaluation of options available, and where and to what extent fireproofing might be applied to mitigate the effects of a severe fire.
This publication applies to onshore processing plants. Where comparable hazards exist, and to the extent appropriate, it may be applied to other petroleum properties that could experience similar fire exposure and potential losses.
This publication is concerned only with passive fireproofing systems. It does not address active systems (such as automatic water deluge) used to protect processing equipment, including exposed structural steel supports. Fixed water spray systems are the subject of API Publication 2030, Application of Water Spray Systems for Fire Protection in the Petroleum Industry, and NFPA 15, Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection. The general subject of Fire Protection in Refineries is addressed in API RP 2001. API RP 14G, Fire Prevention and Control on Open Type Offshore Production Platforms, provides guidance on general fire protection for offshore platforms, and includes some discussion of passive fireproofing.
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