Fires destroy between 200K and 600K hectares of forest every year in the EU-15, accounting mainly for the Mediterranean countries (Greece, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain), and costing the European economy between 200 and 600 million Euro per year, and a number of live loss. Direct earth fire combat using hoses is a key method used for fighting fires in forestry environments, often used in conjunction with air fighting and other methods. Given the unpredictability of fire in natural environments, versatility and safety are key element to de successful action of the fire brigade. Currently used fire hoses cannot resist more than 1 minute to a direct fire of 350C, resulting in many cases in hoses burning as a consequence of now fire start ups. This has shown dramatic consequences in fire-fighter´s safety, as well as a decrease in the versatility and efficiency of direct fire combat action plans. The project aims to produce a novel fire-fighting hose system for forestry applications able to provide enhanced versatility, efficiency and safety of fire-fighters in their forestry protection action plans. The hose system will be made of a novel rubber formulation based on PVC/NBR using intumescent additives and fire-resistant components, particularly based on nano-clay inclusions. The hose will provide enhanced fire resistant properties, aiming at increasing current performance by 5 to10 times, while retaining similar mechanical specifications as currently exiting products in the market (weight, service pressure, curvature radius, min temperature, and resistance to abrasion, chemicals, hydrocarbons and ozone) The innovation is expected to impact in other applications for fire-resistant rubbers such as civil, industrial and military. From the scientific point of view, we expect this programme to make a contribution to the understanding of fire resistant composite sciences.
Field of science
- /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/forestry
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
BH17 0UJ Poole
GU14 0LX Farnborough