Have you ever seen a raging diesel pit fire extinguished within four seconds? International Fog Inc. proved that its 2? inch nozzle can do just that. Is it possible for two people to easily manage a nozzle and hose? International Fog nozzles make it possible.
LSU Fire and Emergency Training Institute (LSU FETI) hosted International Fog Inc. to demonstrate the capabilities of their unique nozzles. They tested a fixed system setup, two styles of their 1? inch nozzle and their new 2? inch nozzle.
Eugene Ivy, president of International Fog Inc. (IFI), started a day of demonstrations with his containment system arranged around a series of flanges. The simulation represented setting up a sprinkler system for hot areas inside refineries and pump stations. The system would contain the fire in an eight foot square area, allowing a firefighter to access and shut the valve, he said. In reality, the system would be installed to the existing sprinkler system.
After testing the water pressure to make sure that the plastic, simulated containment system was ready to go, gas emitting from the flanges caught fire. The fog system activated, and as the fire heated the water, it created steam that looked like a fog. The process put the fire out in a matter of seconds. The plastic, simulated fixed system piping was unharmed.
"[The fire] intensifies and gets bigger," Ivy said. "It atomizes the water, and it starts to heat the water and turn it into steam. That's why it starts smothering it down - cooling it also. The main thing is to contain that fire right there and not let it get into other areas so you can shut the system down."
Since that was such a success, they decided to try a new test on the fixed system involving a three valve blowout on an LPG tank. Eugene viewed it as an opportunity to see how the containment system did and to spin his own evaluation. Serving as the second test, the fixed system was set up around the valves at the base of a tank. The water pressure was checked and the fire started on three valves at one time. The system went off without a hitch, and the intense fire - once again - was eliminated in just a few seconds.
Russell Gibson, CEO for IFI, said, "We started off with an LPG fire on this thing, cranked it up to about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit coming out at the end of the valve like a valve blowout. We kicked in our containment system at 150 psi to start with, controlled the fire inside of the envelope. They started having a little bit of leakage on it, so they bumped it up to 200 psi on it. Once we got 200 psi, we started our steam conversion. You noticed the fire wasn't coming out of it any longer, and it started converting to steam and cooling it. You can see the fire wavering down. It has to have the steam conversion factor. Once the steam starts to produce itself, then you get the cooling of oxygen. The fire extinguishes itself as the steam both cools the fire down and deprives it of oxygen. Eugene [Ivy] was able to walk right around it - within two or three foot of it."
For the third trial, IFI developed two teams to take on a valve fire with two nozzles. Approaching the fire, two teams worked together to put the flames out using two 1? inch nozzles. The drill was deemed another success.
"We're just trying to demonstrate fight smarter instead of harder," Ivy said. "As a matter of fact at the show in Beaumont, Louis received a phone call from his chief. They had three structures on fire. They used the First Attack Nozzle. They knocked all three fires down before the second truck even got on the scene. So, basically on a limited crew, we're just trying to show that using a good nozzle for a good first attack makes the difference."
The last tests of the day that Industrial Fire World witnessed were diesel pit fires. Richard Browning, Manager of LSU FETI, said, "This is a round tank scenario with diesel fuel. It gives you a scenario of a spill fuel or a tank fire."
Using a 1? inch nozzle, the fire went out in only 13 seconds. Ivy was ready to show off his new toy.
"We've got a flowing pit fire over here," Ivy said. "It's a diesel pit, and we're going to use a 2? inch nozzle, which we call the Monsoon. And we're going to use it strictly on this one tank or one pit and see how it works."
Despite the fact that LSU FETI had recently added an inner ring to the pit to make it more difficult to smother a fire, the Monsoon effortlessly depleted the flames. The fire temperature maxed out the thermo-sensor before dropping to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. What was the kicker? It happened in four seconds.
The Monsoon nozzle uses a rotor with a high, wide pattern to create a forward push. "A little bit harder to handle with that 2? inch hose on it, but still one firefighter can sit there and handle that nozzle. It just needs an extra man to help him move the hose around to get in position," Gibson said.
The nozzle allows the user to control it with very little effort. In fact, the Monsoon lay on the ground with water pressure pouring through it, but it never went out of control. It was similar to laying a garden hose on the lawn while the faucet water ran through it.
Gibson said, "The whole idea behind this invention was atomizing water and getting it in a fine drop that was coming out quickly so that it would eat the temperature up. It's got a really good cooling process to it."
Designed to give firefighters immediate access into a structure, Ivy initially designed a nozzle with a stainless steel piercing tip that creates a fog from the rotating fog nozzle simultaneously converged on the blaze. This system creates a steam that looks like a mist or fog, which absorbs and extinguishes the fire in a decreased amount of time when compared to other systems. Selected by Shreveport Regional Airport, the IFI flat-lined nozzle has been retro-fitted for a snozzle truck. It has also been tested on cargo containers and for piercing the panel in four hits using only the fire fighter's arm strength.
Since Ivy first invented that nozzle, he has developed others that meet the needs of firefighters in municipal and industrial settings. Ivy said that the IFI nozzles are not the perfect, do-all nozzles, but they're trying to give firefighters confidence in their capabilities based on the manpower and water supply available at the scene. Visit www.infog.us for information about IFI products and information.