Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Marshall Lee McFarland
Compressed air foam firefighting technology has been purchased by a number of urban fire departments in the United States. These departments have curtailed their use of these systems until potential safety hazards associated with the use of compressed air foam systems in interior structure fires are evaluated. This project is part of a greater effort to evaluate the efficacy and practicality of compressed air foam systems for use in structural firefighting. This project focused on developing test apparatuses and test methods for measuring the following safety-related parameters: 1.) nozzle reaction force of a fire nozzle, 2.) the force required to kink a fire hose, 3.) fire stream throw and distribution, and 4.) friction forces between wetted surfaces. The test apparatuses and test methods developed were then used to measure these four parameters for water and compressed air foam. Results of tests for water and compressed air foam were then compared.