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Failure Analysis

ECS provides evaluation and analysis of corroded fire sprinkler pipe to address two (2) different needs:


  1. Failure Analysis – in this type of analysis a sample of failed sprinkler pipe from a fire sprinkler system that has experienced a leak is dissected and cleaned to determine the most likely cause for the failure (leak).

  2. Useful Life Analysis– in this type of analysis a sample of sprinkler pipe is extracted from the fire sprinkler system to determine the level of corrosion (metal loss) that has occurred as part of a risk evaluation on the system. This type of analysis is generally done as part of a corrosion assessment on the fire sprinkler system to determine which piping must be replaced as part of a remediation plan. The FM Global standards for pipe replacement recommendations are generally used with this analysis.


In both of these evaluations a report containing the following information regarding the pipe sample is generated for the pipe sample that is being analyzed:


  • Pictures before and after dissecting and cleaning
  • Pictures of the point of failure
  • Maximum pit depth of the metal loss
  • Metal loss characteristics
  • Corrosion by-product deposit analysis and elemental composition
  • Most likely cause for the corrosion that has occurred
  • Recommendation for remediation and mitigation


ECS also provides a second type of more detailed failed fire sprinkler pipe analysis that specifically looks for material defect in the manufacture of the fire sprinkler piping:


Metallographic Failure Analysis – in this type of analysis a sample of failed sprinkler pipe is evaluated at the granular level using scanning electron microscopy to look for material defect within a cross-section of the metal itself.


In addition to the information provided in failure/useful life analysis, a metallographic evaluation also includes the following information regarding the metal analysis:


  • Optical and electron microscopy
  • Materials characterization
  • Failure analysis