Fire retardant line hoses for forestry fire-fighting applications
The project aimed at producing a novel fire-fighting hose system for forestry applications able to provide enhanced versatility, efficiency, and safety of firefighters in their forestry protection action plans, increasing the direct fire resistance and maintaining the actual mechanical properties of the hoses. The main objectives of the project were to increase the fire resistance of the hose by developing a new rubber formulation and also to design a new hose-coupling able to reduce the charge loss, increasing the usability and to develop a thermal barrier coating for it.
9 European partners collaborated in the project: 3 research laboratories (Qinetic, from United Kingdom, FIACTU/NTUA, from Greece and Inspiralia from Spain) and 6 companies (Elastorsa, rubber blending manufacturer in Spain; Europrotec, polyester textile supplier in France; Laviosa, additives supplier in Italy; Quay Surface, coating supplier in United Kingdom; Rauplan, couplings design and manufacturer in Finland, and Productos y Mangueras Mesa, Spanish Hose Manufacturer).
Inspiralia’s Advanced Materials Group contribution to the FIRELI project by studying the effect of FR fillers on the rubber (PVC/NBR) and by analyzing the fire retardancy and rheology of the formulations. Under the FIRELI project, significant increases in fire resistance above 300% over the present 1 min at 350ºC were achieved, in addition to good mechanical properties and processability.
The contribution of Inspiralia’s Computational Engineering Group consisted in the design of a new hose-coupling with a smooth design, easy to connect by a 20º turn, which prevents jamming and admits wiring, metal clamps or a special bracket design within the project.