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Case study: Fuchs Lubritech

Fire Protection for Automated High-bay Warehouse for Hazardous Materials

Safe storage of hazardous materials is a top priority for lubricant manufacturer Fuchs Lubritech GmbH. The diversity of the hazardous substances stored and the overall high fire risk place special demands on fire protection. Firefighting is severely limited by, among other things, the risk of poisoning and the release of hazardous substances in the automated high-bay warehouse. Fire protection concepts that reduce the hazard potential from the outset have proven effective for hazardous materials warehouses. Therefore, WAGNER has developed an individual protection concept for the high-bay warehouse at the company headquarters in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Fire Protection Concept Protects Hazardous Materials Warehouse from Fire

About the Project

In cooperation with Fuchs Lubritech and VdS-Schadenverhütung GmbH, WAGNER developed an effective fire protection concept that complied with the protection goals and considered the fire risks in order to effectively protect the  42,600 cubic meter hazardous materials warehouse. The protection concept provides for a combination of two fire protection systems: active fire prevention with oxygen reduction and a CO2 extinguishing system.

About the Customer

Fuchs Lubritech is the world's leading manufacturer of specialty lubricants and release agents for industrial applications. The range includes more than 1,000 specialty products such as concrete release agents, bonded coatings and adhesive lubricants.

Risk Analysis

  • Stored goods
    Stored goods are flammable, easily to extremely flammable or even self-igniting. In addition, it often has oxidizing or explosive properties.
  • Hazardous materials
    Various hazardous substances with sometimes very different fire protection requirements are stored in the high-bay warehouse without spatial separatio
  • Environmental damage
    A Fire can cause severe environmental damage due to toxic combustion residues and fire gases.
  • Fast spread
    Rising fire gases ignite higher goods and smoke as well as soot also contribute to the contamination of the goods.

Protection Goals

  • Avoid fire
    The development of a fire should be prevented from the outset.
  • No damage
    The fire damage and its consequential damage to people, goods and the environment should be minimized.
  • Delivery capability
    The ability to deliver and the flow of goods are to be maintained.

Oxygen Reduction with OxyReduct® in Combination with a Carbon Dioxide Dissolving Lake

The OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system for fire prevention permanently ensures a reduced oxygen level of 13.5% by volume in the automated hazardous materials warehouse. For this purpose, nitrogen is introduced into the protected area in a controlled manner. In this way, the oxygen content is reduced to a previously defined level below the ignition limit of most of the materials in the warehouse and continuously maintained at this level. The development or spread of fire can be almost completely ruled out.

For the residual risk, TITANUS® air sampling smoke detectors actively sample the air in the protected area and thus detect a fire in its early stages.

As soon as the aspirating smoke detectors detect smoke development, the FirExting® CO2 gas extinguishing system is triggered. In the event of an alarm, the extinguishing system builds up an approx. 5 meter high extinguishing lake with the inert gas carbon dioxide. This then contains an oxygen concentration of 8% by volume. For this reason, particularly highly flammable and hazardous substances are only accommodated in the lower area of the warehouse.


Customer Benefits

  • No rebuild
    Further structural measures to store goods of different hazardous material classes in different rooms are not necessary.
  • Effective
    The carbon dioxide extinguishing lake fights a fire particularly effectively at an oxygen concentration of 8% by volume.
  • Gentle
    Oxygen reduction prevents most substances from burning on their own. The nitrogen introduced is non-toxic and inert.

Further Information

When dealing with hazardous substances, there are various laws and regulations for companies such as the Technical Rules for Flammable Liquids, the Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances, the Chemicals Act and the Hazardous Substances Ordinance. VdS guidelines regulate, among other things, the use and storage of flammable substances in fire protection-separated areas. The fire protection concept applied at Fuchs Lubritech complies with these guidelines and laws.

Active Fire Prevention in Combination With a CO2 Extinguishing Lake

In the automated hazardous materials warehouse at Fuchs Lubritech, a fire protection solution consisting of oxygen reduction in combination with a CO2 extinguishing lake is used. Learn more in our application report.

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