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Case Study: U.S. Air Force Fire Research Lab, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida

How does the U.S. Air Force Fire Research Lab use a remote-controlled monitor from Akron Brass? Read our case study to learn!

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Fire Research Group at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, is responsible for developing new equipment and techniques to meet the Air Force’s continually changing firefighting needs around the world. One of the group's most exciting and promising projects has focused on developing a new method for fighting flammable liquid fires using high-pressure foam.

The AFRL Fire Research team discovered that applying the foam at high pressures made a tremendous difference in fighting flammable liquid fires (see Figure 1). This is possible because of a combination of flame shear, penetration, cooling, and application of a surfactant spread to prevent re-ignition. The team has been able to achieve the same stream reach and extinguishing capabilities as standard foam solutions, but with lower flow rates and much lower water consumption.

The lab started the project in 2002 and quickly discovered that applying Class B foams at pressures up to 1,200 psi could significantly reduce the amount of agent needed. Within a year, a small prototype unit was shipped to Iraq for field tests.

In 2007, the project was in its fifth year and still showed great promise. The lab had scaled up the system for full-size Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) units and was continuing its development efforts to optimize the design.

Working with the Fire Research Group since the beginning of this project. Akron Brass has designed a remote-control monitor, monitor nozzle, and handline nozzle to handle the high-pressure foam streams. As the ARFL design evolved to larger units, Akron produced new prototypes for evaluation.

Although the concept is still in development, one of the implications for aircraft rescue and firefighting applications may be the ability to handle larger fires with fewer or smaller ARFF units (see Figure 2). There may also be applications in the industrial, wild land, and structural firefighting fields.

According to the Fire Research Group’s team members, this is an incredible project with great potential for the Air Force and other fire agencies.

The use of the name or mark of any specific manufacturer, commercial product, commodity, or service in this publication does not imply endorsement by the Air Force Research Laboratory or the United States Air Force.

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