Fires fog off with water mist tech

25 July 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201810940

Disaster Management
Fire Protection
Forestry, Pulp & Paper
Occupational Health
Petrochemicals

FOGMAKER South Africa will conduct live live demonstrations of its triple-action fire-suppression system at the upcoming Electra Mining Africa 2018 expo, being held at Nasrec, Johannesburg from 10 to 14 September.

Engineered to fit in most engine compartments, Fogmaker uses the power of water in the form of high-pressure mist (50-micron droplets) to eliminate oxygen, heat and fuel, thereby effectively suppressing the fire in seconds.

According to Managing Director John Russell, mining contractors are under pressure from mining houses to have their machines fitted with fire prevention systems.

Fires fog off with water mist tech

“When it comes to choosing the right technology, we are seeing a distinct move by both mining companies and contractors to adopt water mist technology as the preferred fire suppression system. In fact, two blue-chip mining companies have decided to change to water mist technology from powder or foam as the preferred fire extinguishing method,” Russell said.

“They are recognising the numerous advantages offered by this type of system related to extended life cycle, low total cost of ownership, and, most importantly, safety. Furthermore, in addition to fast and efficient fire suppression, the low maintenance system prevents reignition and is easy to clean up and reset after discharge.”

Russell describes the low-weight, low-maintenance Swedish-manufactured Fogmaker system as “simplicity itself”. The system makes use of the purest extinguishant, water, combined with 3% Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), to attack all three components in the fire triangle namely heat, oxygen and fuel. “We call this Fogmaker’s triple action effect.”

Using high-pressure (100 bar) water mist, the system effectively suppresses the fire and cools down the compartment to prevent reignition. Russel points out that the use of water in the form of mist (50-micron droplets) presents an additional firefighting benefit that no other fire-fighting agent has.

“The significant number of droplets together with the large combined surface area effectively blocks radiant heat by absorbing and scattering heat radiation, which helps to reduce fire damage within the engine compartment.

As there is no powder or mess to clean-up after actuation, resetting of the released Fogmaker suppression system is easier and faster than powder or foam suppression systems. “After a discharge, it’s a simple matter of replacing the detector hose and refilling the piston accumulator, thus keeping costs and downtime to the absolute minimum,” said Russell.

Every diesel engine-operated machine presents a potential fire risk, with implications for people safety, uptime and productivity as well as repair and replacement costs. This automatic fire suppression system is therefore ideally suited to any industry where diesel machines are being operated. Russell confirmed the recent roll out of 50 Fogmaker fire suppression units for fitment to a fleet of above-surface mining machines to a large mining contractor operating at a diamond mine who had lost machines to fire in the past.

“We have also noted a growing demand for an automatic fire suppression system in the local forestry industry. The Fogmaker system is suited to most forestry machines and we are proud of the fact that it is the standard OEM fire suppression system on the AHWI mulcher. We have also been receiving requests from mines and ports for installation of the Fogmaker system in containerised generator sets.”

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