To start with, what are fire hoses made of?
In the past, cotton was the most common fiber used in fire hoses, but most modern hoses use synthetic fiber like polyester or nylon filament. Additional strength and improved abrasion resistance are provided by the synthetic fibers.
The fiber yarns can be left natural or dyed in a variety of colors.
Synthetic rubbers are used in coatings and liners, offering varying levels of resistance to chemicals, temperature, ozone, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, mold, mildew, and abrasion. For particular applications, various coatings and liners are selected.
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Table of Contents
What Is Fire Hose?
A fire hose is a high-pressure hose used to extinguish fires by carrying water or another fire retardant (such as foam). It can be permanently connected to the standpipe or plumbing system of a building indoors or attached to a fire engine or water pump outdoors. A fire hose can typically withstand working pressures of 8 to 20 bar (800 to 2,000 kPa; 116 to 290 psi), and it can withstand bursting pressures of up to 72 bar (7,200 kPa; 1,036 psi).
A fire hose is made up of one or more layers of woven fabric that has been rubber or PVC impregnated. Abrasion resistance and UV light resistance are features of the outer layer. A liner that is compatible with the materials being transported (water, foam, fire extinguishing agent) makes up the inner layer.
Fire hoses are produced in a variety of diameters. The most popular sizes are 25 mm (1 mm), 38 mm (1.5 mm), 50 mm (2 mm), 65 mm (2.5 mm), 80 mm (3 mm), and 100 mm (4 mm). The hose can be any length, but is typically between 30 and 50 meters.
Raw Materials Of Fire Hose
In the past, cotton was the most popular natural fiber used in fire hoses, but most contemporary hoses use a synthetic fiber like polyester or nylon filament. The synthetic fibers add strength and offer better abrasion resistance. The fiber yarns can be dyed a variety of colors or left their natural state.
Styrene butadiene, ethylene propylene, chloroprene, polyurethane, and nitrile butadiene are a few examples of synthetic rubbers used in coatings and liners. These substances offer varying degrees of resistance to chemicals, heat, ozone, UV rays, mold, mildew, and abrasion. For particular applications, different coatings and liners are chosen.
The interior steel wire helix of a hard suction hose is enclosed by several layers of rubber and woven fabric. A thin polyvinyl chloride cover with a polyvinyl chloride plastic helix is used on some very flexible hard suction hoses.
While hardened aluminum connections are more frequently specified due to their lightweight nature, brass hose connections are also an option.
Design Of Fire Hose
A fire hose with fabric covering contains one or more layers of woven fabric as reinforcement. Single jacket hose, which only has one layer, is used in applications where weight savings are crucial or where infrequent use is predicted for the hose. A single jacket forestry hose is lightweight. Due to its infrequent use, an industrial fire hose only has one jacket. A hose with two layers is known as a double jacket hose and is used in situations where weight is not as important and where the hose is anticipated to be used frequently and under challenging conditions, such as in urban fire service.
A thin-walled extruded tube of rubber or another elastomer material is typically bonded to the inside of a jacketed hose to serve as its lining. This stops water from penetrating the hose jacket. Some forestry hose is constructed with a rubber liner that has holes punched through it to allow a small amount of water to “weep” through the jacket, protecting it from embers that might otherwise burn the hose.
Through-the-weave extrusion is a different way to construct fabric hoses. This design uses a rubber extruder to feed a single fabric jacket through.
The filler bobbins wind the filler yarn through the warp yarns in a circular motion as the loom opens. The outer and inner jackets are woven in different directions. If the outer jacket needs to be coated, it is drawn through a tank that contains the coating substance.
inside and outside of the fabric with a rubber compound to form both an inner liner and an outer coating at the same time. To create an interlocking bond, the rubber is forced through the jacket weave and into the extruder. Larger-diameter supply hoses typically use this construction because it results in a lighter-weight hose.
How Does A Fire Hose Operate?
A fire hose operates on a very basic concept. The fire is put out by utilizing the power of water. A pump forces water into the hose, where it is released at high pressure through the nozzle. The force of the water jet disperses the fire’s structure and extinguishes it.
An effective connection between a fire hose and the water supply is necessary. The hose is typically attached to a water pump or fire hydrant. Water is supplied to the hose by the hydrant, and the pump raises the water’s pressure so that the nozzle can be reached.
When the nozzle is opened after the hose has been attached to the water supply, high pressure water is released. The force of the water jet causes the fire’s structure to collapse, putting out the fire.
Pros And Cons Of Fire Hose
Pros Of Fire Hose
Using a fire hose has a lot of benefits. Firstly, it is a very effective way to extinguish a fire. The fire’s structure is dismantled and it is quickly extinguished by the high-pressure water jet. Secondly, it is very versatile and can be used in various situations. It can be used to put out fires of all kinds, including electrical and liquid fires. Thirdly, it is very easy to use. All you have to do is turn on the nozzle and attach the hose to the water supply. Fourth, it is incredibly transportable and can be carried to the fire site with ease.
Cons Of Fire Hose
Using a fire hose has some drawbacks as well. The fact that it takes a lot of water to put out a fire is one of the main drawbacks. If the water supply is scarce, this might be an issue. Another drawback is that it performs poorly in strong winds. It loses effectiveness if the wind blows the high-pressure water jet away from the fire.
Different Fire Hose Fabric For Different Jobs
Non-collapsible (rigid) supply hoses have an outer layer of rubber, layers of fabric and occasionally wire mesh reinforcement, as well as a rubber lining. Some hose varieties use plastic mesh material rather than wire for increased flexibility. Using fire hose material that has been impregnated with polymer reinforcers will increase its strength, heat resistance, and pressure capacity. The types of hose are referred to as “hard” or “soft” because these additives alter how flexible they are.”
Each one in the field has advantages. Fire hoses made of woven fabric or that have been impregnated make good choices because they are soft and manageable, making them suitable for frequent use and quick deployment. Hard hoses have the benefit of not collapsing, which is important in locations where the water supply is not pressurized.
Fire Hose Material Based On Water Source
Municipal water is readily accessible at standard pressure in urban areas in the event of a fire. Because the water will be under full pressure as soon as it leaves the supply valve, a fire hose made of soft fabric can be used in this situation.
A lake or river might be the most readily available source of water if a fire breaks out in a rural area. Firefighters can use a hose to pump water out of a lake, but if they use a collapsible hose, the natural pressure above the hose will cause it to collapse. Here, a non-collapsible fabric firehose is required so that it will maintain its shape when submerged.
Types Of Fire Hoses
Suction hoses are the toughest kinds of fire hoses. They tend to be rubber-coated and only moderately flexible. They are employed to remove water from ponds, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water that are not under pressure. Usually, they are 10 feet long.
These hoses typically have a thick rubber coating. They can fight small fires and are more adaptable. Usually, they are 100 feet long.
These flexible hoses have a fabric covering. They are created to be more lightweight and portable because they are used to put out outdoor fires. They are typically 100 feet long.
Supply & Relay Hoses
These hoses are big and covered in fabric. The typical “fire hose” you see coiled on a fire truck and attached to a fire hydrant is used to transport water to fight indoor and outdoor fires. Usually, they are 100 feet long.
While still being extremely flexible, these hoses can withstand greater pressure. They are smaller and shorter, usually only 50 feet long.
Most companies that keep a fire hose on hand might find it useful to have Attack hoses connected to an internal water supply or forestry hoses for outdoor property areas. You can start thinking about the appropriate fire hoses by taking into account the particular fire risks that your company faces and your fire suppression system.
Do Fire Hoses Need Maintenance?
Yes, fire hoses require routine maintenance, including cleaning, inspection, and any necessary repairs, just like any other piece of equipment, particularly emergency response equipment.
When fire hoses are used, some of the most frequent issues can arise. Remaining water can corrode metal nozzles and attachments or damage the hose’s materials if it is not thoroughly cleaned and dried. Have a certified technician regularly check and certify that the fire hoses on your property are safe and prepared for use, even though they have been treated to prevent this and increase their lifespan.
The Manufacture Process
Typically, fire hose is produced in a facility that focuses on offering hose products to municipal, industrial, and forestry fire departments. Here is a typical process flow for making a double-jacketed, rubber-lined fire hose.
Prepare The Yarn
- A hose jacket is made of two different fiber yarns that have been woven together. The warp yarns, which run lengthwise down the hose, are typically created from spun polyester or filament nylon. They create the inner and outer surfaces of the jacket and give the hose abrasion resistance. After the outer jacket has been coated, it is placed in an oven to cure and dry the coating. The rubber liner is extruded. To make the hose, jackets and liner are connected. provide strength to resist the internal water pressure. An expertly prepared batch of spun polyester warp yarns is sent to the hose plant by a yarn producer. No additional planning is required.
- To create filler yarns, the continuous filament polyester fibers are bundled into a bundle of 7–15 fibers and twisted on a twister frame. The yarn is then wound onto a spool known as a filler bobbin after being plied and twisted.
Weave The Jackets
- The warp yarns are staged on a creel so they can be fed lengthwise through a circular loom. The filler yarn is wound onto two filler bobbins and placed inside the loom.
- The filler yarn is wound in a circle through the warp yarns as the loom opens. Following the passage of the bobbins, the loom crisscrosses each pair of adjacent warp yarns in order to sandwich the filler yarn in between them. As the lower end of the jacket is slowly drawn through the loom, the filler yarns are still being tightly spiraled around the jacket’s perimeter by the bobbins as the weaving process continues at a high speed. The woven jacket is wound flat on a take-up reel.
- Separate threads are used to weave the inner and outer jackets. To fit inside the outer jacket, the inner jacket has a slightly smaller diameter than the outer jacket. The length of the jacket may be woven in batches of several thousand feet, depending on the anticipated demand. The two jackets are checked before being put in storage.
- If the outer jacket needs a coating, the coating material is applied, and the outer jacket is drawn through a dip tank filled with it before being passed through an oven where the coating is dried and cured.
Extrude The Liner
- Blocks of uncured, softened, sticky rubber are fed into an extruder. In order to create a tubular liner, the rubber is warmed in the extruder and forced through a gap between an inner and outer solid circular piece.
- The rubber liner is then heated in an oven where vulcanization, also known as curing, takes place. The rubber becomes strong and flexible as a result.
- The uncured rubber is formed into a thin sheet and wrapped around the exterior of the cured liner as it travels through a rubber calendar, also known as a rubber processing device.
Form The Hose
- The liner and jackets are trimmed to the correct length. A liner is placed inside the outer jacket before the inner jacket.
- Each end of the assembled hose is fitted with a steam connection, and pressurized steam is then injected inside it. Thus, the thin sheet of uncured rubber vulcanizes and vulcanizes against the inner jacket, causing the liner to swell up against the inner jacket and bonding the liner to the inner jacket.
- The metal end connections, also known as couplings, are connected to the hose. A rubber liner is inserted into the inner ring of each coupling, and the outer portion is slid over the outer jacket. The ring is stretched by inserting an expansion mandrel inside the hose. As a result, a seal is created all the way around the hose between the jackets and liner squeezed between the coupling’s outer ring and serrations.
Pressure Testing The Hose
- Each length of newly manufactured double jacketed, rubber-lined attack hose is required to undergo pressure testing to 600 psi (4,140 kPa) standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, though most manufacturers test to 800 psi (5,520 kPa). The fire department tests the hose to 400 psi (2,760 kPa) once a year after delivery. It is checked for leaks and to see if the couplings are securely fastened while the hose is under pressure.
- The hose is drained, dried, rolled, and shipped to the customer following testing. See more about What Is The Standard Garden Hose Size?
Rolling Fire Hose Methods
Rolling fire hoses involves one of three techniques: the basket weave, figure eight, and spiral.
- All types of fire hoses are constructed using the most popular technique, the basket weave. It is quick to roll and simple to pick up.
- The figure-eight is more challenging to learn and is used for hoses with a larger diameter. Compared to a basket weave, it rolls more slowly.
The most challenging to master is the spiral, which is used for hoses with smaller diameters. It is the method with the slowest roll.
Whatever approach you go with, practice will help you roll the hose quickly and effectively.
Before going on duty to fight fires, every firefighter must complete extensive training. Learning how to roll a fire hose is a part of that training. Depending on the circumstance, a hose can be rolled in a variety of ways.
Though some of these techniques can be learned on the job, it is best to be familiar with the ones used by your firehouse to ensure that you adhere to protocol.
For Storage Purposes
The straight roll is one of the most fundamental ways to roll a fire hose. When the hose is put in storage at the firehouse or loaded onto the back of a fire truck, this method is typically employed. Lay the hose flat on a spotless surface and roll it that way.
Then, start rolling the male coupling, or the end of the hose that connects to the water source, toward the other end. Check to see if the coil is wide enough for you to place your fingers in the center.
Keep the edge of the roll aligned with the remaining hose as it gets bigger. According to the state of Illinois’ firefighter protocol, this will assist in keeping the roll uniform. Lay the roll flat on the ground once you have finished it. After that, press any protruding coils down with your foot.
For Direct Use
The donut roll method functions best when the hose is going to be deployed immediately for use. This technique makes it simpler for the hose to roll out and to connect to other couplings. The hose laid flat and twist-free, just like the straight roll technique.
Then, fold the hose in half, placing the male end on top and positioning it about two feet from the opposite, or female, end. The folded end should be used to finish the roll. After you’re done, double-check your work to make sure the male coupling is still inside the roll and the female coupling is a few feet in front of it.
Additional Methods For Firehose Rolling
The two most popular rolling techniques among firefighters are the donut roll and the straight method. For some circumstances, though, other approaches might be preferable. For hoses that are roughly 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches thick, for instance, the twin donut roll works well. Laying the hose’s two ends side by side will accomplish this.
In order to create two side-by-side rolls, roll the hose up from the fold side. This is how to do it, according to the Prichard-Murray Volunteer Fire Department in Idaho. It will be smaller and easier to carry because the end fold will be more compact.
History Of Fire Hose
In the late 1600s, fire hoses were first developed in Holland. They were constructed from numerous leather strips that were stitched together to form long tubes. Though they were bulky and heavy, these were still preferable to the bucket brigades that came before them. Up until the 1890s, when woven linen hoses began to take their place, various types of leather hoses were still in use. Once the hose was completely saturated, the linen weave would swell just enough to keep the majority of the water moving. Although these linen hoses were lightweight, they leaked and could rot.
All hoses made today are composites. The majority have a rubber outer or jacket with a woven structural core or core. For various situations and activities, they have various designs. The hose that we collect and that is currently in use by the London Fire Brigade is made up of a core made of woven nylon and a jacket made of nitrile rubber that has been extruded through and around the core. 95% of the hose we collect is red, just under 5% is yellow and occasionally we will bring home a black or blue hose. Since the black and blue are so uncommon, we only ever use them to make cufflinks. The majority of our red layflat hoses have a 10 cm diameter. Although the hose appears round when it is filled with water, it flattens out to a 10 cm width when it is empty, making it simpler to roll, store, and carry. This property is known as being “layflat.”
To ensure that it can carry out its function, hose is made of two layers: nylon and rubber. The nylon is woven into a tube that is as long as the hose itself and has no seams or joins. The structural integrity of the hose is ensured by this nylon component, which prevents the hose from bulging, bursting, or kinking even under extreme water pressure. Nitrile rubber that has been vulcanized is heat and water resistant. It has ridges on its outside face to protect the hose when it is dragged through glass or other hazardous situations, and it has a dimpled inner surface that resembles a golf ball to help water flow through the hose quickly.
Reusable couplings are found at the ends of hoses, and since they are reusable, we hardly ever collect them. Even when a hose breaks, the metal ends of our hoses can be reattached to new hoses because they are made of cast aluminum. Only when they are irreparably damaged do we collect them. Contrary to hoses, these couplings are easily recyclable and can be turned into new aluminum products, but by carefully cleaning, polishing, and preserving each set, we can accomplish two wonderful things. First, by lovingly repurposing them into candlestick holders, we can give them a second life (reuse is always preferable to recycling), and second, we can benefit our partners in the fire service and the Fire Fighters Charity by raising much more money than just the value of their straight scrap metal. They also supposedly make wonderful wedding presents, so we’ve been told…
It is insufficient to keep your property secure to have a fire hose inside of a cabinet that is directly connected to the piping of your building. Fire extinguishers, a sprinkler system, a number of fire alarms, and other components of a larger fire suppression system, in addition to fire hoses, may be present. Fire hoses can be a special tool that few people know how to use as part of your overall fire protection.
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