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Rowe CAFS in Blanchat Apparatus

Rowe logoThe CAF system consists of the following components: FoamPro 1601 foam injection system (a separate option), VMAC underhood rotary screw air compressor with 70 CFM at 100 psi and the Rowe Equalizer.

 

The Rowe Equalizer system has a compact design, which allows for easy installation on almost any application.  From wildland to structure fires, the equalizer system has many benefits, including:

 

Simplicity

The equalizer system is the simplest, most dependable foam-generating device on the market. No balancing valves, tweaking, or pressure adjustments. Unlike other systems on the market, the equalizer system generates CAF without the need for balanced water and air pressures. The principles of physics precisely match these pressures during flow. Water pressure can be set from 100 to over 200 PSI while air pressure can range from 100 to 175 PSI without stopping the flow of CAF. CAF is generated inside the equalizer system, and is properly mixed when it enters the hose. There is no minimum hose length needed to mix air and solution water. Just start the pump, turn on the foam proportioner, start the air flow, and CAF is available immediately.

 

Reliability

The Rowe Equalizer is constructed of stainless steel, with no moving parts to wear out. The equalizer system is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. It uses the principles of physics to produce compressed air foam - no balancing valves, pressure adjustments, minimum hose lengths for scrubbing or the need for a scrubber, no tweaking or guesswork.

 

Pump panelEffectiveness

The equalizer system has the ability to produce compressed air foam without water and air pressures being equal. The equalizer system produces Compressed Air Foam with a smaller, more uniform bubble structure than other systems. The smaller the bubbles, the greater the surface area available for heat absorption, and the thicker the blanket for insulating and smothering effect. Thereby, producing a more effective firefighting stream with greater knockdown ability than any other system available.

 

Flexibility

Simultaneous or independent flows of air, water, foam solution water, or Compressed Air Foam are available at any time during operation. Fluctuating pressure from the opening of any line, hydrant or air, will not affect the flow of CAF.

 

Lifetime Warranty

The Rowe Equalizer system foam generating device has a lifetime warranty with the apparatus on which it is originally installed, to be free from defects in materials or workmanship under normal operating conditions. Should the unit fail due to defects in materials or workmanship a replacement unit will be provided at no charge. Labor and additional expenses required for replacement are not covered. Damage due to misuse or neglect will void this warranty. Adjustable models contain “O-rings” that are not covered under the terms of this warranty.

 

CAFS burn 

CAFS Retrofits

Your existing truck can be fitted with the Rowe Equalizer CAF system as long as it has a water pump, foam injection system and an air compressor. Contact us for more information specific to your needs.

 

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Why CAFS is better than water or water / foam solution

The fire triangle illustrates the three elements a fire needs to exist: heat, oxygen and fuel. When fire is burning, it is generating heat. When there is no flame, it is dissipating. Plain water only attacks one side of the fire triangle – heat. When water is sprayed onto a fire, it turns to steam which removes a tremendous amount of heat from the fuel and atmosphere.

 

When foam solution is added to the water, it acts like soap added to water dramatically lowering the surface tension of the water. By lowering the surface tension, a smaller water droplet can be formed which allows these droplets to turn to steam quicker when applied to fire. The smaller the water droplet, the quicker it turns to steam. This also explains the advantage of using a straight stream nozzle to reach into an area and hit an object, bursting the water stream into smaller water droplets allowing them to turn to steam quicker.

 

CAF (compressed air foam) adds a third element to the water / foam solution mixture – air. When pressurized air is added to the mixture, it creates a very small bubble. The smaller the bubble of the mixture, the more surface area of moisture (skin of the bubble) is available to heat up and turn to steam within the mixture. A bubble will get hot and turn to steam faster than a water droplet, while more efficiently using the moisture of the water to cool the fire and atmosphere. A good CAF looks like shaving cream.

 

Additionally, because CAF has the consistency of shaving cream it does not run off quickly. It acts like a blanket covering the fuel. This blanket separates the fuel from oxygen and heat. It attacks the heat in the fuel and atmosphere because the blanket is made up of water bubbles steaming off. It stays on the fuel, cooling it quickly below the flashpoint.

 

CAF attacks all three sides of the triangle at the same time.

  • It consists of small bubbles which turn to steam quicker than water droplets, cooling the fire faster.
  • It acts as a blanket over the fuel, separating the fuel from oxygen.
  • The CAF blanket is made up of water bubbles which stay on the fuel, steaming off to cool the fuel and atmosphere.
  • It more effectively uses water resources, using bubbles instead of just water droplets, which nearly eliminates runoff and water damage.
  • If there is an outgassing concern, the CAF acts as a blanket to hold in the harmful fumes or vapors.

 

An experiment was performed with a superheated room at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of water applied to the room was measured and the room had a center drain to measure water runoff. Plain water, water / foam solution and CAF were all tested with the same conditions. The amount of time to cool the room was recorded. The cooling rate results were as follows:

  • Plain water with a fog nozzle cooled the room at a rate of 4 degrees per second. (The fog nozzle was used to make the water droplets as small as possible)
  • Water / foam solution with its decreased surface tension cooled the room at a rate of 12 degrees per second.
  • CAF cooled the room at a rate of 38 degrees per second.

 

The effective water usage results were as follows:

  • Plain water used roughly 3% of the water applied to the room.
  • Water / foam solution used roughly 9% of the water applied to the room.
  • CAF water usage couldn’t be measured because there wasn’t any runoff out of the room.

 

To summarize, for every 1000 gallons of plain water sprayed into a room, only about 30 gallons actually get used to cool the fire and atmosphere. For water / foam solution, the actual water usage rises to just 90 gallons. The rapid knockdown and minimal water damage that CAFS (compressed air foam system) provides is far superior to plain water or water / foam solution.

 

A fire truck with 500 gallons of water and CAFS has more firefighting capability than a fire truck with 5000 gallons of plain water and any size pump in a structure type fire. CAFS has the capability to knockdown fires quicker with minimal water damage than would be possible with plain water or water / foam solution which is very desirable from the standpoint of home and business owners. For instance in an attic fire, the water damage is dramatically minimized as opposed to plain water because there isn’t water and mineral residue draining through all the floors to the lowest level due to minimal CAF runoff. CAFS gives the fire department and the community it’s protecting an incredible safety and tactical advantage over traditional plain water or water / foam solution methods.

Why Does CAFS Work?

 

The Advantages of CAFS

 

Types of Foam

 

Foam Nozzles

Enid, OK CAFS Demo

 

Sunnyside, AZ Structure Burn with CAFS

 

Arkansas RVFA CAFS Demo

 

Oldsmobile CAFS Burn at Blanchat

 

Martensville, SK CAFS Demo

 Blanchat Mfg., Inc.

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