How do firefighters put out a blaze when they can’t reach the flames?
in which’s the challenge firefighters confronted in 2008, when a B-2 Stealth Bomber crashed on the runway at an American airbase in Guam.
The crew successfully ejected, however the hugely expensive aircraft was completely destroyed by a fire in which burned deep within its wreckage.
“The firefighters had difficulty getting through the composite layers of the aircraft skin to fight the fire,” U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Scott Knupp told sy88pgw.
The loss of the aircraft prompted the Air Force to search for a solution.
“We were looking for some type of technology out there in which could help us penetrate through [to] hard-to-reach spaces to get water onto the fire,” said Knupp.
Air Force firefighters today use a system called PyroLance — a firefighting “gun” in which can blast through steel, brick or concrete walls, in addition to even bullet-resistant glass.
The hand-held device uses a mixture of pressurized water in addition to granite material to pierce a six millimeter-wide hole through obstacles.
Once the ultra-high pressure spray penetrates the surface, the PyroLance nozzle continues to pump a fine mist of micro droplets into the enclosed space, lowering the temperature coming from around 1,500 F to 0 F in less than a minute.
Using ultra-high pressure (UHP) technology to put out fires isn’t completely new in itself. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida began researching in addition to testing UHP inside the mid 2000s.
in which found in which water pumped at higher pressures produces millions of micro water droplets. in which spray extends across a greater surface area, helping extinguish fires faster while using less water.
however PyroLance president Scott Alexander said his company is actually the only one in which uses the technology to penetrate a barrier in addition to extinguish a fire.
PyroLance began supplying the U.S. Air Force 5 years ago in addition to the technology has also been adopted by the U.S. Navy, as well as numerous airports in addition to fire services around the planet.
The system costs coming from $15,000 to $80,000, in addition to the company hopes to sell 350 units at home in addition to abroad over the next year.
Alexander said in which one of the biggest challenges his company faces is actually convincing firefighters in which in which isn’t trying to eliminate their jobs or “take the fun out of firefighting.”
He said the company wants to reduce firefighters’ exposure to intense heat, deadly backdrafts in addition to toxic smoke environments.
“The reality is actually we’re trying to keep them safe,” he said.
sy88pgw (London) First published February 5, 2018: 10:36 AM ET