US 2361980 A
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I. L. TIRRELL METHOD AND MEANS FOR EXTINGUISHING FIRES Nov. 7, 1944.
Filed July 5, 1941 INVENTOR. 55ml Wea-u.
"mM/am Patented Nov. 7, 1944 METHOD AND MEANS FOR EXTINGUISHING FIRES Leslie L. '.Ilirrell, Benton Harbor, Mich.
Application .lilly 5, 1941, Serial No. 401,172
12 claims. (cr. 169-15) This invention relates to a method and means for extinguishing res, and' particularly to a method of this character utilizing chemicals adapted to smother a lire.
The two principal methods of extinguishing a fire which are now in common use are: to project a stream of water under a high pressure upon a burning object to quench and extinguish the llame; and to deposit a foam upon a burning object to blanket the same and smother the fire. Each of these two methods has definite limitations. Thus, the use of water usually entails substantial water damage to that portion of the must be able to approach closeto a lire in order .2
to properly and effectively apply the chemicals to a burning object in a manner to blanket the object and smother the flame. Also, itis difficult to effectively blanket a fire in a rubbish pile, coal pile, or the like, where the lre is deep therein, with conventional foam apparatus, because the foam does not penetrate to the seat of the fire. Additionally, present foam materials do not have sufficient toughness and tenacity to resist "blow holes resulting from pressures within the burning object, and to adhere to burning object.
'Ihe primary object of this invention is to provide a method of mixing, under high pressure, two chemicals which are adapted to react to form a re smothering foam, and of discharging the mixturewhile the same is still in liquid form.
A further object is to provide a method land means by which foam generating liquids may be projected into a re from a point remote from the iire.
A further object is to provide a novel nre iighting chemical compound composed of constituents which react to generate a re smothering foam at a predetermined measurable time after the constituents are mixed to facilitate projection thereof in a liquid stream and penetration of the burning object before foaming.
A further object is to provide a ilre extinguishing chemical compound which will require apredetermined interval of time for the generation of foam after mixing thereof, which forms a tough and heavy foam, which will effectively adhere to a burning object to smother combustion, and which resists freezing at temperatures substantially below the freezing point of water.
A further object is to provide a foam generating fire fighting chemical compound which has suiiicient body, lre resisting properties, and tenacity to form a fire preventing coating when dry.
A further object is to provide a method and `means by which a chemical is projected in liquid form onto a fire to quickly reduce the temperature of the burning object, and wherein the liquid foams at a predetermined time after its mixture and deposit on and penetration into the burning object to completely extinguish the remainder of the lire by smothering it with foam.
A further object is to' provide a method for quickly, effectively, and completely mixing two chemicals in accurately determined proportion while the same are subjected to high pressures.
Other objects will be apparent from the drawing, description, and appended claims.-
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of the complete apparatus for the practice of my method.
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the nozzle employed to mix and project chemicals pursuant to my method.
Referring to the drawing, which illustratesthe preferred embodiment of the invention, the numeral III designates a container for one of the liquid constituents of my improved fire fighting chemical compound which will be described hereinafter. Containerl I0 has arranged therein an agitator II by means of which the chemicals therein 'are maintained in uniformly mixed condition. Suitable means, in the nature of a pump or compressor I2, is associated with the container III for the purpose of subjecting the liquid contents of the container I0 to a high pressure. The pressure to which the contents of container In is subjected is preferably approximately 600 pounds per square inch, although this pressure may vary in the range of from 500 to 1000 pounds per square inch. The container I0 is provided with a flexible discharge conduit or the like I3 adapted for connection at I4 with nozzle I5.
Container I6 serves to receive a second liquid chemical adapted to react with the chemical in container I0- and of a character to be described. A sealed tank I1 adapted to contain carbon dioxide under pressure and in liquid form is juxtaposed to and connectedlwith container IS 'by a conduit I8 which extends through the top of container I6 and terminates in an annular discharge portion adjacent the bottom of container i6. A regulating valve I3 isinterposed in conduit I3 for controlling the quantity and pressure of the carbon dioxide discharged into container i6 through conduit I3. The valve is normally adjusted to regulate this pressureA at about 50 pounds per square inch, although this pressure may Vary in a range from 40 to 100 pounds per square inch according to the pressure applied on the contents of container IIB. A iiexible oonduit 2li connects the upper end of container I3 with the nozzle I5.
posite end projects a reducedsize elongated tube 29. Tube 29 projects into the tubular body 33 the forward end of jet 43. ASleeve 58 is provided with a plurality ofcircumferentially spaced apertures 55 adapted to register with the openings 5I, in chamber 48. At its forward end sleeve E3 mounts xedly an enlarged collar 66' which is .internally screw threaded for engagement with external screw threads on the socket 52. A mouth element 51 is nxedly mounted on the outer end of the collar 56 and has an outwardly daring mouth opening extending outwardly complementary to the flared -mouth of the socket 52 arid receiving bame 53. An interior circumferential groove 58 is formed between collar 56 and mouth' 51 to receive the outer -end of'tongue 54 of bafof a branch tting. A branch 3! projects from the intermediate portion of fitting for connection with the line I3 from container I0. Tube 29 has an enlargement 32 formed intermediate its ends and externally screw threaded to nt within a sleeve `33 threaded within the tubular body 30 of the branch fitting. The inner end of sleeve 33 bears against a compression gasket ring 3d encircling tube 29 and bearing against a shoulder 35 formed in tubular body 33 at a point between the end of sleeve 33 and the branch passage 3I, for the purpose of sealing one end of said branch fitting.
Tube 29 flxedly mounts an annular valve member 36 adapted to be positioned adjacent the rear tubular end 31 of a jet member 38v threaded in the outer or forward end of body 3l) of the branch fitting. Jet 38 has a bore 39 extending approximately one-half the length thereof and of a diameter to provide a substantial clearance between the same and the tubular member 29 extending therethrough. A suitable guide ring 40 encircles tube 29 and has spaced, longitudinally extending,
radial ribs 4I bearing against the inner walls of the tubular portion of jet 33 to position. tube 29 fle 53.
Container I3 is filled with a liquid formed by mixing bicarbonate of soda with powdered'sodium chloride in water, in the proportion of one pound of bicarbonate of soda and one pound of sodium chloride in one gallon of water. The compressed carbon dioxide in 'tank I1 which is preferably in liquid form, passes into container I6 in gaseous form and at a pressure regulated by valve I9 when said valve is opened. The carbon dioxide discharging into container I6 continuously agitates the chemicals insaid container, partially mixes therewith to saturate the water therewith, and subjects the contents of container I6 to desired discharge pressure, such as a pressure of pounds per square inch.
The chemical compound in container I0 is formed by mixing, in one gallon of yvater, from 4o approximately four ounces ofv sulphuric acid to in centered relation thereto without materially. f
interfering with the iiow of liquid around tube 29 and through. the jet 38. The forward end of which the and the forward end i6 of said bore is of reduced' or Venturi proportion. An elongated cylindrical member 41 is secured at its rear end to thefront of the jet 43 vand has an enlarged chamber 43 into which the mouth of jet 43 extends. A tapered bore 49 is formed in the intermediate vpor i tion of cylindrical member 41, and a restricted forward bore portion communicates with tapered portion 49. A plurality of openings 5I 'are provided in member 41 in -circumferentially spaced relation for the admission of air into 'the chamber 48 adjacent the mouth of the outer jet.
A cylindrical socket member 52A is flxedly secured-to and is aligned with the cylindrical membe'r 41. Socket 52 tiltably mounts a baille 53 provided with a laterally projecting tongue 54. A sleeve 56 rotatably encircles the member 41 and 200 gallons of water. However, the amount of sulphuric acid used may vary from two ounces qto six ounces per 200 gallons of water, The mixture in container. Il) is continuously stirred by agi:- tator Il to keep the mixture uniform.
When the mixture in container I0 is subjected toa high pressure, for example va pressure of 600 to '100 pounds pei. square inch by pump I2, for
discharge through line I3 to nozzle I5; and .the vmaterial in container I6 is subjected to-a lower pressure, for example 50 pounds per square inch, and is discharged through conduit 20 to nozzle I5 of the construction illustrated wherein a negative pressure or suction effect is created by the action '55 of intertting jets 29 and 38 and of venturi under the inuence of the high pressure stream, `to supplement the low positive pressure; the two chemical compounds may be mixed within the nozzle in desired proportions to each other. The
@0i preferred proportions' of these two chemicals is one part of the compound from container IB to from four to six parts of the compound from container Ill.4 This proportion is controlled by adjustment of the valve I9 regulating the pressure 4on the contents of container I6. I
. The` mixture from container I IlA is passed through the iet 38 in the form of a hollow annular stream, while the material from container II passes through the tube 2,9 in a solid stream im pinged and encircled by the annular stream. -The chemicals are quickly, completely and effectively mixed or commingled within the mixing chamber v charge, and the deection thereof by tapered bore portion I and Venturi bore 46. Air is then entrained in the liquid mixture at chamber 48, and the mixture is projected from the nozzle in any suitable or desired stream or spray. governed by the position of baille 53 in the mouth of the nozzle.
The final chemical mixture is so proportioned that it will Vfoam at a predetermined time after its mixture in the nozzle, and preferably from 1% to 4 seconds after mixture. The time required .for foaming is controlled by the amount of sultioned. Use of a smaller quantity of sulphuric acid will increase the time interval before foam- Y ing, Vand use Yof aiarger quantity of the acid will reduce the time between mixture and foaming. However, if the pressures cited are materially altered, a proportionate change of the amount of acid will `be required. Also, a greater amount of acid is required in cold weather to speed eiIervescence. t
The use of soy beanilour in the mixture is important because it acts as a spreading agent and increases the catalytic or uniting action of the mixture. The soy bean our also imparts tough# ness and tenacity or adhesion to the foam.
'I'he calcium chloride in the mixture constitutes an anti-freeze agent and also serves to make the foam heavier and slower in generation. The retarding or slowing action of the calcium chloride upon the foaming reaction is overcome or controllably compensated by the amount of sulphuric acid used.
The mixture` has the additional property that, when dry, it will forma fire preventing coating,
Awhereas the usual materials employed to form foam for lighting fires will burn when dry. or will form a powder having no cohesion or body.
The construction of the nozzle as aforesaid accommodates the use of high pressure and the mixture of the constituent liquids uniformly and in desired proportion. Also, the nozzle eiects the complete mixture of the two chemicals in a very short period of time. i. e., a minute fraction of a second; permits the entrainment inthe liquid mixture of a quantity of air ample to produce a foaming action, i. e., volume of air equal to the volume of liquid: and permits discharge of the mixture in liquid form from the nozzle, sothat it may reach the burning object and penetrate therein under high pressure, while still in liquid form. The foam'is formed after the liquid strikes the burning object, i. e., from l/z to 4 seconds after its mixture in the nozzle, whereby the liquidV foam instantaneously upon` mixture and hence can be applied only from a position close to the seat of the ilre and within the area in which the greatest heat radiates from the iire.
It will be understood that the proportions of the constituent chemicals may be varied from those stated herein depending upon the conditions encountered. Thus, the calcium chloride may be used within a range of one to four pounds.` In lighting fires at temperatures below freezing the quantity of calcium chloride used is at or near the upper limit of four pounds to impart anti-freeze properties to the mixture. Also, the amount of sulphuric acid may be varied, with increased amounts accelerating the foaming of the liquid after mixture or overcoming sluggishne of the foaming reaction in cold weather. i'
Many farmers now have spraying equipment generating pressures ranging from 500 to 1000 pounds and mounted on a trailer to be drawn by a tractor. Such spraying equipment can be utilized to practice my method by simply mounting on the trailer a unit comprising container I6 and charged tank Il, lling the tank of the sprayer with the other liquid, and connecting the mixing nozzle to the two containers. Thus, the farmer would be equipped with an effective lireghting apparatus which would be conditioned ger of freezing; and a supply of the other liquid n could be mixed either with or without the acid,
' rately supplied to the tank in an amount as rewill have an opportunity to reach or penetrate to the flame to materially reduce the temperature of the burning object, and to quench the name by the flame-smothering action of the foam. 'I'his combined cooling and smothering action facilitates complete extinction of a fire much quicker than usual foaming mixtures and apparatus, and the penetration insures that foam will reach the seat of the ilre. 'even in a deep burning `rubbish pile or the like. Additionally, the ability to project the chemical in liquid form permits the operator to station himself' at a substantial distance from the nre and out of the range of the greatest heat thereof.- Thus, the operator can accurately direct the liquid mixture into the vital points of the fire, and the high pressure employed provides a long traiectoryfcr theliquid mixture. This is a great advance over present foam equipment, since present foaming mixtures usually quired by weather or other conditions.
The method andmeans aforesaid also has the advantages of flexibility. Thus, the tank I1 can be so proportioned as to contain a quantity and pressure of carbon dioxide substantially in excess of that required to exhaust the contents of container i6. IIhen, if a large re is encountered for whose extinction the amount of foaming chemicals available .is inadequate, container l0 can be iilled with water without stopping operation of the device. and the apparatus will feed the water and carbon dioxide to the nozzle to entrain the carbon dioxide in the water. Water saturated with carbon dioxide, though not as eifective as a foam-generating liquid for extinguishing fires, is much more effective than water only, and hence the exhaustion of the foaming chemicals will not be as serious a handicap as exhaustion thereof is in present equipment utilizing the same.
1. The method of producing a foaming fire extinguishing medium comprising the steps of sub- Jecting to a pressure of from 500 to 1000 pounds per square inch a liquid constituting a mixture of from one to four pounds of calcium chloride, approximately one-half pound of a material of the class including aluminum sulphate and potassum sulphate, approximately one ounce of a powdered material of the class including soap bark, licorice root and alfalfa root, and approximately one-half ounce of soy bean our. per gallon of water; subjecting to a pressure of from 45 to 100 pounds per square inch a liquid constituting approximately one pound each of bicarbonate of soda and sodium chloride per gallon of water; adding from two to six ounces ,of sulphuric acid pei- 200 gallons of the first mentioned liquid; discharging said liquids into a mixing chamber in a manner whereby the high pressure liquid .exerts a feeding negative pressure upon the intake of the low pressure liquid, and discharging said liquids from said mixing chamber within a small fraction of the time required to produce foaming tion to form 500 to 1000 pounds pressure, discharging said solutions to a. mixing chamber having a discharge opening in an manner whereby said high pressure solution exerts a suction effect upon the intake of the low pressure liquid, regulating the pressure of the low pressure solution to control the ratio in which said solutions are fed to said chamber, and discharging the mixture from said chamber in a high velocity stream within a small fraction of the time required for reaction thereof.
3. The method of producing a fire extinguishing medium by the use of chemicals, including a saline solution and an activating solution, which react to generate foam in a predetermined length of time, comprising the steps of discharging carbon dioxide under a pressure of from 45 to 100 pounds into the container of the saline solution to agitate, and saturate said solution and discharge it to a mixing chamber, subjecting said activatingsolution to a pressure of from 500 to 1000 pounds and discharging the same into said chamber in a mannento exert a suction eifect upon the saline solution, regulating the pressure of the carbon dioxide to feed one part of the saline solution to the chamber to from four to six parts of the activating solution fed to said chamber. and discharging the mixed solution from said within a predetermined periofd of time, comprising the steps of mixing in the activating solution approximately one-half ounce of soy bean. hour per gallon of solution, mixing the two solutions under a pressure of from 500 to 1000 pounds, adding air to the solutions when mixed, and discharging the mixture under the mixing pressure within a small fraction of the time required for reaction thereof.
'1. The method of extinguishing res by the use of chemicals, including a saline solution and an activating solution, which react to generate foam within a predetermined length of time, comprising the steps of subjecting the saline solution t0 the action of Vcarbon dioxide under pressure of from approximately 45 to 55 pounds to agitate and saturate the solution, discharging the two solutions into a mixing chamber with said activating solution under a pressure from 600 to '100 pounds, regulating the pressure of the carbon dioxide to control the ratio in which the two solutions are fed to the chamber, adding air to the solutions when mixed, and dischargingsaid mixture under the mixing pressure within a small fraction of said` reaction time.
8. Means for extinguishing lires comprising a saline solution including sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride and an activating solution mixed in the. proportion of 1 part of saline solution to from 4 to 6 parts of activating solution, to generate foam, said activating solution containing a material of the class consisting of soap bark,
mixing chamber within a small fraction of the time required for reaction thereof.
4. The method of producing a re extinguish- `ing medium by the use of chemicals, including a l saline solution and an activating solution, which react to generate foam in a predetermined length of time, comprising the steps of adding to and mixing with the activating solution an inert antifreeze agent and a quantity of acid to at least partially counter-balance the retarding eiect of the anti-freeze agent upon the reaction of the activating solution with the saline solution, mixing the two solutions under pressure in a range of from 500 to 1000 pounds in the proportion of parts of activating solutio and depositingsaid mixture upon a iire in liquid form within a fraction of said time of reaction.
5. The method of producing a nre extinguishing medium by the use of chemicals, including a saline solution and an activating solution, which react to generate foam in a predetermined length of time, comprising the steps of mixing with the activating solution from lto 4 pounds of calcium chloride pergallon and from l to 3 ounces of sulphuric acid per 100 gallonsof solution, mixing the two solutions in the ratio lof l part of saline l solution to from 4 to 6 parts of activating soluvone part of saline solution to from four to six 6. The method of extinguishing res by the use of chemicals, including a saline solution and an activating solution, which react to generate foam licorice root and alfalfa root, a material of the class consisting of aluminum sulfate and potassium sulfate. from 1 to 4 pounds of calcium chloride per gallon of solution to prevent freezing and retard generation of foam, and from 1 to 3 ounces of sulphuric acid per gallons of solution to partially overcome the retarding effect of the calcium chloride upon the reaction between the solutions.
9. Means for extinguishingres comprising a salinesolution including sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride and an activating solution mixed together with a small quantity of an acid in the proportion of l part of saline solution to from 4 to 6 parts of activating solution to generate foam, said activating solution containing a material of the class consisting of soap bark, licorice root and alfalfa root, a material of the class consisting of aluminum sulfate and potassium sulfate, and approximately A ounce of soy bean ilour per gallon of solution to impart cohesivev properties and toughness to the foam.
l0. Means for extinguishing fires comprising a saline solution including sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride and an activating solution mixed` and retard generation'of foam, and from 1 to 3 A ounces of sulphuriq'acid per 100 gallons of solution to partially overcome the retarding effect of the' calcium chloride upon the reaction between the solutions, and substantially 1/2 ounce of soy bean flour per gallon of solution to impart cohesive properties and toughness to the foam.
11:: Means f or extinguishing res comprising a saline solution and an activating solution mixed .in the proportion of i part of .saline solution to from 4 to 6 parts of activating solution to` gencrate foam, said saline solution containing substantially one pound each of sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride in one gallon of water, said activating solution containing from one to four pounds of calcium chloride, substantially onehalf pound of material of the class consisting of aluminum sulphate and potassium sulphate, substantially one ounce of a foaming agent of the class consisting df soap bark, licorice root and alfalfa root in powdered form, and substantially one-half ounce of soy bean iiour in one gallon of water, and from one to three ounces of sulphuric acid per one hundred gallons of solution.
` 12. Means for extinguishing tires comprising a saline solution and an activating solution mixed in the proportion of 1 part of saline solution to from 4 to 6 parts of activating solution to generate foam, said saline solution containing substantially one pound each of sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride in one gallon of water, said activating solution containing from oneto four pounds of calcium chloride, substantially onehalf pound of material of the class consisting of aluminum sulphate and potassium sulphate, substantially one ounce of a foaming agent of the class consisting of soap bark and, licorice root in powdered form, and substantially one-halt ounce of soy bean our in one gallon of water, and from one to three ounces of sulphuric acid per one hundred gallons of solution, said Sahne solution, being saturated with carbon dioxide gas.
LESLIE L. TmREIL.