Reliable and Efficient Fire Truck Compressors

Compact and Economical Compressors for CAFS Enabling Highly Effective and Resource-Saving Fire Suppressing

The choice of the right compressor solution is key for the proper operation of Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS) that are a highly efficient tool used in the firefighting industry. Ingersoll Rand OEM Solutions offers a range of self-contained compressor packages designed for CAFS and other fire and rescue applications.

How Do CAFS Work?

Whether installed on fire trucks, integrated into hybrid units, or used in portable configurations, CAFS represent a significant advancement in firefighting technology and have already become a standard element of modern firefighting equipment. These systems are able to quickly and effectively suffocate fires while conserving water and minimizing environmental impact.

compressed-air-foam-systems

A CAFS creates foam by combining three key ingredients: water, a foam concentrate (or foaming agent), and pressurized air. The process begins by mixing a foam concentrate with water to create a foam solution. Next, pressurized air is introduced to the mixture in a mixing chamber, causing the solution to expand and transform into a stable, high-quality foam.

This foam is expelled through hoses or nozzles, allowing firefighters to direct it precisely to the needed area, making CAFS highly efficient in targeting the base of the flames. Once applied, the foam spreads over the fire, effectively isolating it from its oxygen supply. The main advantages of using CAFS include:

  • Water Conservation: CAFS use significantly less water than traditional water-based firefighting methods.
  • Efficiency: The foam from a CAFS can cover a larger area more quickly than water can, providing rapid fire suppression.
  • Penetration: The low surface tension of the water-foam solution allows it to penetrate burning materials more effectively than water alone.
  • Post-Fire Security: The foam blanket that a CAFS creates can prevent re-ignition by isolating hot surfaces and any potential fuel sources from the oxygen in the air.
  • Versatility: Different types of foam concentrates can be used with CAFS to address various firefighting needs, including fires involving flammable liquids or electrical fires.
  • Limited Environmental Impact: Foam mixtures used in CAFS are often biodegradable, reducing environmental impact compared to some chemical fire suppressants.

Main CAFS Compressor Requirements

A Compressed Air Foam System relies on a compressor as one of its main components, providing the necessary pressurized air for foam creation. Additional components include control systems for foam management, valves for flow regulation, a water pump for solution pressurization, and a mixing device that precisely mixes the foam concentrate with water.
The main requirements for a CAFS air compressor include:

  • Reliability: The compressor must perform consistently under various conditions without failure, as it is a critical link in the firefighting process.
  • Ease of Use: The compressor should operate within certain angularity limits, often up to 15 degrees, to allow for operation on uneven terrain without compromising performance.
  • Compact Footprint: Considering the limited space on fire apparatus, the compressor should have a compact design to fit alongside other essential equipment.
  • The Right Pressure Capability: Typically, a CAFS compressor should be able to offer pressures of around 10 bar to ensure adequate foam expansion and delivery distance.

Ingersoll Rand Compressors for Fire Trucks

The Ingersoll Rand OEM Solutions portfolio includes a range of CT-Series self-contained compressor packages that offer the utmost reliability and efficiency in CAFS applications. These compressors, which can also be utilized for charging the tanks in firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), provide you with key advantages such as:

  • A steep operation inclination angle
  • A compact design allowing for use in numerous applications
  • Cleaner air with the Tempest oil separation feature
  • Reduced after-treatment requirements
  • Economical air production with the Enduro Air End