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Delivery System and Compatible Chemicals for Rapid Collapse of Hi-EX Foam

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials 

OBJECTIVE: Environmentally benign material that rapidly collapses foam, is non-injurious to military assets or personnel, and cleans up with foam after a release event; delivery system for said composition must integrate with the hi-EX foam sprayer system. 

DESCRIPTION: Accidental Hi-EX foam releases in hangars have killed and injured personnel. In 2014 an accidental release of foam killed two contractors at Eglin AFB, FL. Hi-EX foam is necessary to put our hangar fires, as there is no practicable substitute currently on the market to replace it for hydrocarbon fires. Therefore, there is need for a technology that rapidly (20 or more feet of foam within 3 minutes) collapses the foam without damaging military assets or poisoning personnel, is environmentally friendly (i.e. biodegradable, non-persistent in the environment, and non-toxic) and is easy to clean up. The current state-of-the-art is to spray the foam with water to dissipate it, or waiting for the foam to break down on its own. Each is unacceptably slow. The delivery system for this material must be compatible with current technology. Hi-Ex foam is generated in specialized systems that are so deployed as to evenly cover the hangar with foam when deployed. The delivery system of the chemical should 1) also evenly cover the hangar, to evenly collapse the foam when deployed, and 2) not interfere with the working of the Hi-Ex foam system or other hangar systems. 

PHASE I: Sample of material that collapses a column of Hi-EX foam at mean rate NLT 6 ft/min. Apply agent to Hi-EX foam from bench-scale prototype delivery system. For any component not known to be environmentally benign, offeror shall provide lab data (e.g., LD50, IC25, BOD, COD, environmental persistence and breakdown products, etc) identifying potential environmental impact of material. Corrosivity or other degradation of typical hangar materiel or staff is unacceptable. 

PHASE II: Assemble and demonstrate a full-size prototype delivery system in a hangar-sized area at Tyndall AFB. Collapse 20 ft of Hi-EX foam in a volume the size of an F-35 hangar in three minutes or less. The foam and chemical remnants should be no more difficult to clean up than a spontaneously collapsed foam 

PHASE III: Market Final product to civil and private aviation for aircraft hangar fire suppression, flammable storage facilities, and emergency management areas. 

REFERENCES: 

1. Weaver, R. “Commander Directed Investigation Findings and Conclusions Concerning Eglin AFB Accidental High Expansion Foam Discharge and Fatality,” Eglin Air Force Base, Florida (undated.); 2. NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars; 3. NFPA 11 A, Standard for Medium- and High-Expansion Foam Systems

KEYWORDS: Hi-Ex Foam, High Expansion Foam, Hangar, Aircraft 

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