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3D F IREFIGHTING

INFORMATION GUIDE

SOG4242/2006/11
3D WATER-FOG v STRAIGHT STREAM
Date: 16 May 2006

SOG4242/2006/11

Warning: It should be made clear that the tech-


niques and methods used to improve fire condi-
tions presented throughout this document re-
quire extensive practical training by qualified
Fire2000 instructors and any attempt to follow
this style of firefighting without such training The purpose
Bursting of SOG4242/2006
straight is tothe
stream patterns into provide
over-
may be ineffective and potentially dangerous • 3D water-fog will
head has of
a series been said to
tactical offer an guidelines
operating effective tactic
thatin outperform a bursting
controlling flashover conditions. However, is straight stream in cooling
will enable limited staffed crews to deal with the overhead
this approach as effective as bursting a 3D fog-
small scale structural fires (up to two storeys) • The basis of these tactics
pattern into the overhead? Not if you want to be
can easily be taught in 15
safely and
sure that effectively.
overhead Identifying
is effectively and manag-
secured! minutes!
ing risk are the key aims of this ten docu-
• 3D water-fog tactics are
ment150SOG. ‘Rapid Response’; ‘Quick Hit’ &
o C SPIKES not training intensive

‘Fast Attack’ strategies are encouraged. • Steam expands at 1600-1


low down in the room but
near the ceiling the
It has been demonstrated that at least 14-16 expansion ratio may be as
firefighters are needed on-scene
600oto
to achieve
450o C a high as 5000-1
700

100% grading on the Critical Task Perform-


600
• Fire gases actually
500
contract as they are
ance Index. (CTPI) on an initial low-rise re-
400

300
cooled and this
200 contraction will serve to
sponse to a structure fire. 100 counter the expansion of
FDIC ATLANTIC 2006
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3D FIREFIGHTING
water vapour
Limited staffed crews achieve the following
• The humid environment
500o C SPIKES
performance gradings on the CTPI - created by a series of 3D
I N F OR MAT I ON G U I DE nozzle bursts serves to
‘inert’ the overhead just
• 5 Firefighters—63% effective prior to any venting
3 D FIREFIGHTING OF F E R S A S AF E A N D action
EFFECTIVE MEANS OF SECURING THE • 4 Firefighters—57% effective
700o to 200o C
O V E RH E A D D U RI N G T H E E N T R Y & APPROACH
8 00
T O A C O M P A R T M E N T F I R E — H O WE V E R I T
RE Q U I RE S T R A I N I N G B Y Q U A L I F I E D & • 3 Firefighters—47% effective
7 00
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A P P RO V E D I N S T R U C T O RS 5 00
4 00
Targeted training may increase performance
3 00 Firetactics.com
2 00

Email: training@fire2000.com capability on the CTPI of limited staff crews.


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FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING
3D FIREFIGHTING
3D Water-Fog versus
Straight Stream Cooling
Firetactics.com
Info@fire2000.com

There is a common mis-


conception that a series of
150o C SPIKES
short nozzle bursts from a
straight stream pattern will
cool super-heated fire
gases in the overhead just
as effectively as bursting
or pulsing fog pattern.
It is a fact that this is not 600o to 450o C
the case at all! Several 700
scientific research projects 600
have produced evidence to
500
suggest that 3D pulsing
400
fog patterns offer the most
3D Water-Fog Tactics

300
practical method of cool-
ing gases in the overhead, 200

whilst still maintaining the 100

thermal balance in the 0


FDICATLANTIC2006 3D FIREFIGHTING
compartment.
3D FIREFIGHTING - WWW.FIRETACTICS.COM

The computer aided


graphic (right) of actual to 450o C on each burst that a larger series of 500o
bursts of 3D water-fog and immediately rises C spikes sees the tempera-
show temperature spikes again to the 600o C level. ture bouncing backwards
of 150o C as each one sec- When compared to the and forwards between
ond burst at 360 LPM spikes produced by one 700o C and 200o C.
reaches the gases. The second bursts from a 360
Surely then the straight
ceiling temperature in the LPM straight stream pat-
stream performs better?
overhead drops from 600 tern (below) it can be seen
Read on!

Straight Stream Nozzle Bursts Create 500o C


Spikes and Force Steam down on the Operator
Superheated Steam 500o C SPIKES

Even though the straight stream pattern offers


surprisingly greater cooling effects than the
fog pattern above, the massive 500o C spikes
700o to 200o C
force excessive amounts of super-heated steam 800

down onto the nozzle operator. Greater con- 700


600

trol is needed in placing the water where it will 500


400

have a more uniform effect in the overhead, 300


200

producing a better cooling gradient. This is 100


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only possible with a pulsing 3D fog pattern. FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING

Learning Outcomes:
Special points of interest:
1 Straight stream versus 3D Fog in cooling
• 3D water-fog is NOT an alternative to direct
2 attack using straight streams
Gaseous phase versus Fuel phase cooling
• Appreciate at all times the objectives and
3 Avoiding Superheated Steam limitations of 3D water-fog tactics
• Whilst the basics of nozzle pulsing can be
4 Steam expansion versus fire gas contraction taught to firefighters in just 15 minutes, more
advanced compartment entry and approach
5 Compartment cooling gradients tactics will take several hours training.
6 Typical temperatures in the overhead • 3D Fog outperforms a straight stream when
cooling the overhead.
7 How the spikes can upset thermal balance
The Greatest Cooling Power of Water Exists at 100oC where
Liquid turns to Vapour - Will it Cause problems?
The cooling power of water is approxi-
mately the same per degree in both a liquid
or vapour state at around 4kJ/kgoC. In the
diagram (right) it can be seen that 0.34MJ of
heat is absorbed by water being heated from
18oC to 100oC. In it’s vapour (gaseous) state
approximately 0.8MJ of heat is absorbed
from 100oC to 300oC. However, the massive
cooling power of water during its transition
from liquid to vapour phase at 100oC is
around 2.3MJ.

As water strikes a hot surface it will absorb


heat two dimensionally. If the heat is suffi-
cient the water will turn to vapour at 100oC.
However, any cooling after this stage occurs
mainly in the gaseous phase (hot gases) as
the water itself is three-dimensional, in its
vapour phase.

Any problems associated with super-heated


water vapour flashing down into the lower
regions of a room depends on the amount of
water used and the temperature of the gases.

3D Water-fog Evaporates in the 300o C to 400o C Range as


opposed to Straight Streams which Evaporate at the Ceiling!
• The greatest evaporation of a • If water droplets are too fine will penetrate higher in the com-
burst of water-fog droplets be- they will evaporate immediately partment before evaporating
gins just after it leaves the noz- on leaving the nozzle and this fully at higher temperature
zle effect may be most
• The ideal evapo-
uncomfortable for
• The evaporation of a burst from the nozzle opera-
ration occurs with me-
‘Evaporation ratios at dium sized droplets in
a straight stream occurs nearest tor!
the ceiling as water in a solid the ceiling are often in the 300-400o C range
cone is not easily evaporated • Where water drop- excess of 5000-1 where steam expansion
until it strikes a surface and lets are too large, causing super-heated is around 2700-1 and
breaks down into smaller parti- or are extreme in easily countered by fire
steam to flash down’ gas contraction.
cles. their velocity, they

Fine droplets evaporate too near the operator; Straight streams


evaporate at the ceiling; Medium droplets evaporate at 350o C
2000-1 2700-1
800oC

300 - 400oC 5000-1

200 - 300oC

FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING

Page 2 3D WATER-FOG TACTICS


As Steam Expands within the 3-400o C Range the Contraction
of Fire Gases is even Greater in the Overhead.
The water from a fire stream
evaporating in the overhead will
cause water vapour (steam) to ex-
pand. The amount of steam de-
pends on where the evaporation
occurs with the greatest expansion
occurring as water reaches the
upper portions of the room, due to
the highest heat conditions exist-
ing there.
The effect of evaporation occur-
ring lower down in the room (at
temperatures around the 3-400o C
range, means that the contraction
of the gas layer is GREATER than
the steam expansion. Of 2700-1.
Therefore the actual room pres-
sure is lowered and the steam ex-
pansion is countered. What is left
is cooled ‘humidity’, which also
has the added effect of ‘inerting’
the overhead gas layers.

Compartment Cooling Gradients are More Gradual with Fog


US Navy Research 1994 The temperature read ‘’These temperature gradients from ture inversions that
outs (left) are typical serve to make the en-
comparisons between US Navy research in 1994 compare vironment harsh and
bursting straight straight stream bursts (top) to 3D dangerous for the fire-
streams and fog pat- fighters manning the
water-fog bursts (below) showing a
terns at a flow of 360 nozzle.
LPM (100 GPM). more uniform cooling’
These graphs are from
It can be seen that the lower graph of US Navy research in 1994 where fire-
the 3D fog bursts presents a more uni- fighters were given just 15 minutes
FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING
form and gradual cooling effect with- instruction in the 3D application tech-
out major pressure spikes or tempera- niques prior to the trials.

3D Fogging Creates an Inert Atmosphere for Safer Venting


ahead of the Hose-line - Reducing the Likelihood of Flashover
Temperatures at the lowest levels of a A venting action may provide some
room fire are generally within accept- temporary relief until the fire intensi- 1472oF 800oC
able parameters for advancing firefight- fies, feeding on the additional air sup- 1112oF 600oC
ers. However, temperatures around one ply. A venting action may also serve
metre from the floor demonstrate severe 752oF 400oC
to bring air into a rich gas mix, dilut-
conditions with 400o C sometimes ing it sufficiently for a sudden event 300oC
touching helmet tips of kneeling fire- of rapid fire phenomena to occur.
fighters. 200oC
In these conditions firefighters must 3D water-fog can be used to inert the 100oC
either vacate the compartment or take gas layers with controlled humid wa-
FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING
evasive actions to control conditions. ter vapour, just prior to venting.

3 D F I RE FI G HT I N G Page 3
Activity 3D Fog Tactics

3D CFBT
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FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING

How the ‘spikes’ can Upset Thermal Balance & Lower the Smoke
The 3D water-fog operator will
It can be seen how repeated continue to add bursts in series
500 o C SPIKES 500 o C SPIKES

bursts from a straight stream will and with greater effect. The 700 o to 200 o C

serve to upset thermal balance


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smoke stays high, the temperature


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and lower the smoke layer in a


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in the overhead gradually reduces


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FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING

room fire. The massive 500o C and the effect is one of controlled
spikes (top right) where water humidity rather than severe and
evaporates at the ceiling from a scalding steam.
800
700

straight stream causes 5000-1 600

super-heated steam expansion to This humidity serves to ‘inert’ the 500


400

push the smoke down. overhead and makes subsequent 300

o venting actions safer to under- 200

The 150 C spikes produced by a take. The cooling effect with 3D


100
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3D fog-pattern are less likely to fog is more gradual but effective.
FDIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIREFIGHTING

force steam or smoke levels


downwards. At this level of Arguments such as ‘obtaining the
evaporation the contraction of right droplet size is difficult’; or 150 o C SPIKES 150 o C SPIKES

the fire gases actually creates a ‘changing from straight to fog 7 00


600 o to 450 o C

negative pressure and lifts the and back is difficult to teach’; or


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‘training in 3D tactics is time re-


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smoke layer (lower right).


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F DIC ATLANTIC 2006 3D FIR EFIGHTING
FIREF IGHTING

strictive’ are not viable.


What happens in practice is the 600 o to 450 o C
straight stream operator will The simple basics of 3D nozzle 700

600
burst one or two times and be- pulsing can be taught in 15 min- 500

lieve the effect is sufficient, be- utes and they serve to comple- 400

ing unable to add more bursts ment straight stream attack, not 300

200
due to the steam and smoke layer replace it. Several hours are 100

descending. needed for more advanced appli- FDIC ATLANTIC 2006


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3D FIREFIGHTING
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