Steel industry services company, Australian Steel Mill Services, approached Delta Fire looking for a fire suppression system to protect their heavy vehicle operators.
At Australian Steel Mill Services, they collect and treat molten slag from the blast furnace and the steel making processes and are responsible for the processing and marketing of approximately 1.2 million tonnes of slag per year.
The company uses huge slag pot carriers and wheel loaders, while the majority of fire suppression systems for these large vehicles protect the vehicle itself, Australian Steel Mill Services needed to also protect the vehicle operator.
Operating these vehicles is a high-risk activity where the driver is continuously exposed to the risk of an engine fire or tyre fire and the threat posed by the presence of superheated molten slag. By the time a fire erupts in these environments, a vehicle operator can quickly become trapped in the cab.
Delta Fire was commissioned to provide a system to protect the driver in this environment and create a protected and safe exit route from the cab.
Delta Fire installed a system called Arctic Fire TES, which comprises several elements and uses a liquid fire extinguishing agent that emulsifies and cools heated materials more quickly than either water or conventional foam.
This suppression agent is stored in a cylinder and, on discharge, is sprayed throughout the cabin area, coating the vehicle operator from above and below. It knocks down the flame and prevents ignition of clothing, eliminates the heat, cools superheated objects and surfaces, and reduces smoke in the cabin area.
It also minimises the prospect of injury from flames or radiant heat should the emergency necessitate the operator having to exit the vehicle. Objects wetted with the agent will not support combustion and, most significantly, the agent is non-corrosive, non-staining and is safe when sprayed directly onto the vehicle operator.
An “escape component” is part of the solution, incorporating an escape hood and exit path spray. The escape hood provides the operator with clean breathable oxygen, withstanding temperatures of up to 1000 °C for a sufficient period of time to enable him or her to safety exit when in close proximity to excessive heat or flames. The Arctic Fire TES exit path suppression agent spray is designed to provide a designated escape path or “safe corridor” to allow the operator to safely leave the vehicle.
Delta Fire’s solution in addition to providing operator safety was also used to provide fire suppression for the vehicle’s engine compartment and any areas susceptible to damage from radiant heat or at risk of ignition. As a tyre spray component option is available that will wet the rubber tyres of the vehicle, extending tyre life by reducing the damage caused by charring and flame contact.