Fire accident from fuel sources or flammable liquid in industry levels are much more destructive than regular fire in households because of the larger amount of flammable substances including other chemical compounds that may lead to explosion. Fire extinguisher is preliminary required to put off the fire since the beginning once the flames started in order to prevent damage expansion to assets and lives in the area. This article will help one understands foam extinguishers that are one of technologies in fire for circumstances of petrochemical industry to reduce loss and damage in fire.
Understanding Foam Extinguisher
Once spray foam extinguisher to fire on flammable liquid, it is noticeable that foam covers above the fire area and able to put off the fire instantly because the foam is small particles which is surfactant solution that formed into steady foam layers; air therefore cannot penetrate through fuel and flames.
Foam extinguisher has less density than water and oils, so it can cover in horizontal and float above flammable liquid. Foam are freely moved along the surface of flammable liquid in order to remove air and prevent flames to interact with fire in the area. Moreover, it helps to obstruct flammable air from spreading along with the wind and reduces heat.
Quality of Foam Extinguisher
1. Knockdown speed and spreading rate
Once spray the foam on fire from flammable liquid, foam must cover surfaces of flames at speed and spread to cover all fire throughout. If sprayed and found out that flames have reduced meaning that the performance of foam is at standard and must able to spray into foam layers.
2. Heat resistance
Heat from burning are not the only contributors to flames, but also from other factors such as flammable vapour and hot surfaces of objects around the fire which all are continuously result of extinguish of the spreading flames. Therefore, foam extinguisher must be heat resistance in order to resist negative effects of heat.
3. Fuel resistance
Quality foam extinguisher must contain durable film layers in order to prevent flammable liquid to steep in especially Hydrocarbon and Petrochemical. If foam is mixed with aforementioned substances, foam will lose its quality to control fire.
4. Control Flammable vapour suppression
Quality of Foam extinguisher, apart from covering the surface of flames, it should control flammable vapour suppression underneath that is ready to catch into flames once again when in contact with air. Therefore, foam extinguisher should suppress flammable vapour to react with air.
5. Alcohol resistance
Some types of flammable liquid contain alcohol or solvent with polarity which able to dissolve in water which is a compound of foam extinguisher. Once alcohol is dissolved in water of foam extinguisher, it turns into flammable liquid and starts the flame all over again. Therefore, foam extinguisher must be alcohol resistance to prevent fuel to blend with water.
Why petrochemical industry should give importance to Fire and Safety Prevention System?
In other industries or buildings, once on fire, it can be contained faster than in petrochemical industries because types of fuels in buildings are less in amount and fire would not be as hazard as those in petrochemical industry. Also, it is able to identify types of fire (link) clearly so that installation of fire extinguisher can take place for each particular fuel.
However, in petrochemical industry, it is more challenge in terms of control each type of fire because in petrochemical industry, there are several types of fuel at large quantity; especially chemical substances that are flammable. They could be acid, corrosive, or mixture. In addition, there could be many types of flammable liquid that is a great source of fuel. Apart from massive fire, destructive explosion could occur. Extensive petrochemical industry uses a sum of staffs in order to control machinery inside the plants. In some areas, machines work automatically where security is being monitored closely. Although security is tight and consistency maintained, fire may start accidentally and may cause damage to lives and assets if there is no proper Fire and Safety Prevention System that can control the accident.
Fire and Safety Prevention System in Petrochemical Industry
In petrochemical industry, there are two main kinds of fuel which are
- Pressure-fed fires which are fuel that generated from gas pressure and high pressure of flammable liquid.
- Fuel in-depth fire are fuel in flammable liquid form which are commonly seen in factories and usually stored in large quantity.
Fire and Safety Prevention System in industrial must equipped with water extinguisher, gas extinguisher, foam extinguisher because the fire that may happen in factories could be varied therefore, all types of fire extinguishers must be on hand. Nevertheless, foam extinguisher system is one of the keys to control the fire in petrochemical industry effectively. Because of its performance to put off fire on flammable liquid and able to control flammable vapour before the fire expand to other areas rapidly. Flammable liquid are kept in quantity and the foam extinguisher can practically put off fire started from this type of fuel effectively.
Aforementioned reasons show performance and ability of foam extinguisher that can put off fire including flammable vapour on flammable liquid effectively. Petrochemical and other industries contain flammable liquid on hand in large quantity. Although Fire and Safety Prevention System might be well planned by other engineering solutions, having high performance foam extinguisher
If you have any inquiry in regards to foam extinguisher, please do not hesitate to contact us here. We have an expert who directly takes care of fire prevention system to service you.
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