Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
Automatic fire nozzle with higher thermal resistance
Published:  07 November, 2017

A firefighting manufacturer has launched a new automatic fire nozzle with a composite fibre body for greater resistance against extreme heat.

French firefighting equipment supplier Leader currently makes four types of firefighting nozzles: selectable variable flow nozzles; automatic nozzles; automatic nozzles with low-pressure mode; and high-pressure automatic nozzles. The company’s R&D team conducted an in-depth study into the modern usage of fire hoses and nozzles, and their constraints.

The new nozzle is an addition to Leader’s Flowmatic automatic nozzles, and is the only nozzle in the range that comes in a composite version – in fact, the company believes it is the only composite nozzle currently on the market. The fibre-glass based material makes it highly durable, with similar properties to aluminium.

‘Initially, based on our conversations with firefighters, we planned to produce this nozzle in an aluminium version only,’ says Jeremy Delerue from Leader. ‘The advantages of aluminium are well-known in the fire sector. However, our R&D team also developed the nozzle with a composite body that offers the same kind of technical specification as aluminium but with some added benefits.’

The use of the composite material gives the nozzle a combination of lightness and resilience – it is lighter than brass and aluminium while also being more resistance to the type of corrosion that most often occurs with firefighting equipment, which is caused by extended exposure to a saline environment or from use with foam concentrates. It is equal to aluminium in terms of durability, mechanical strength, and chemical resistance.

The Fibertech composite material also has higher thermal resistance and shows no deformation of the mass at high temperatures, unlike aluminium. In addition, the material naturally insulates the user from the cold and offers improved electrical insulation for the nozzle operator.

The wide bumper and two notches enable the user to identify and select – by touch alone if necessary - the different streams: straight stream or spray. The head of the nozzle has a strong grip to allow for good handling, even in difficult conditions such as when a firefighter’s gloves are wet, and the lever on the adjustable flow handle is robust and chunky.

The handle design is a key aspect of the nozzle. Whether in aluminium or Fibertech, the easy-to-grip, flow-control handle is ergonomically designed to offer a natural fit for the hand. It is wide enough to be held in a gloved hand and is easy to switch between the different flow settings.