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Fire’s New Foe

CFX offers all the benefits of halon, without the danger of personal injury

By Cam Benty

Face it, halon is bad for drivers and racecars. But fire is worse, and up until now there has been little choice in the matter. To save lives, halon is the answer.

But CFX (Compressed air foam) offers a unique chance to change all that. With a new delivery system created by EP Industries in El Segundo, CA ( CFX offers all the benefits of halon but without the damaging effects.

“I could literally foam an entire car with CFX and never hurt the vehicle,” says CFX system builder Eddie Paul. “It would be just like a giant engine degreaser. Once the foam evaporates, there is no affect on the vehicle. Best of all it is completely non-toxic to the driver of the car.”

The CFX delivery system, designed by EP Industries, involves a high volume pump patented by Paul that delivers the compressed air foam solution through a fire hose. Both small freestanding portable units and larger truck mounted systems are available. The result is instant delivery to the source of the fire.

“We have been building pumps for the forest service and other private fire departments for the past 12 years,” says Paul. “Our individual pump system is one tenth the weight of competing conventional systems and are completely portable, incorporating a small gasoline engine or r 12 volt DC motor that allows it to be carried right to the source of the fire.”

Part of the beauty of the system is also the limited amount of actual water required to make it work. With five gallons of water, the EP Industries CFX unit can generated more than 100 gallons of compressed air foam retardant, far more than required to put out any fire. Best of all, it works on any kind of fire including methanol, jet fuel and nitro methane. In US government testing conducted in Washington, D.C., the CFX system exceeded every challenge and regulation for fire system compliance.

“The foam is extremely versatile. We have yet to find a fire that we can’t put out as quickly [and generally faster] than any other type currently approved fire extinguishing system,” says Paul. “The hardest part is getting the public and other agencies to realize we have a system that works as well or better than what they have currently, plus the added benefits of not harming racecars or their occupants and costing the same or less than what they have right now. With so many positives, it is hard for many people to believe the story behind CFX.”

With 12 years of CFX experience, Paul has been working on developing an in-car CFX system that would extinguish racecar fires. The system would incorporate an EP Industries pump that is triggered by a self-contained battery driven system to deliver the foam. The completely non-toxic nature of the foam would extinguish the fire like halon with no ill effects to the driver.

“I have created a similar system for the marine industry where fire safety has always been an issue,” says Paul. “Because of the corrosive nature of the marine environment, pressurized fire extinguishers are dangerous, but up until now there has not been an alternative. My self-contained extinguisher is not pressurized until you open the nozzle. Then it works like a conventional extinguisher except that it last six minutes rather than the 20 seconds you get from a regular extinguisher. Plus the bottle is made from plastic which is safer and lighter than aluminum or steel units.”

Plus it's safe for marine life – What a bonus.


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