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Fire system age rule

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On 1/11/2020 at 11:15 AM, jlucas said:

I searched and did not find anything so forgive me if this has been discussed.  I just sent this to the board.

 

Mike (& all),

I'm all for increased safety but I can't but be appalled new "service life" requirement for fire systems.
"Systems shall have a maximum field service life of 6 years (SFI) or 10 years (FIA) from the original date of installation."
 
What evidence is this based on?  I've been racing for 20 years and I have never see a fire system issue due to age if the bottles have been serviced.  BY FAR the issues are with poor installation or lack of driver familiarity with how to properly engage the system. 
 
Please help me understand how this type of 6 year limitation can be justified!
 
 
Anyone else think 6 years is a ridiculous rule?
Jeremy

Multiple cases of fire system pick up tubes rubbing completely through the fire bottle wall.

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On 1/11/2020 at 2:55 PM, MR2 Biohazard said:

Do other organizations apply a certain amount of years? Pondering if this is a CC only rule? 

All other sanction bodies follow DOT regulations.

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1 hour ago, Bill Strong said:

 

Maybe it has to do with the SFI and the FIA? Read below. I also included links to the SFI and FIA documentation. Being an engineer, I figured you would like to see facts.

 

Service Due Date and Recertification

SFI and FIA both require the bottles to be recertified every 2 years. The recertification must be performed by the manufacturer or their authorized representative. This can take a few days (plus travel time back and forth). It is important to plan for this downtime and to incorporate it into your racing schedule.

Bottles that are past their mandatory service date cannot be recertified or refilled. This doesn't mean that a bottle that expires on Monday has to be discarded on Tuesday, but it does mean that if you ignore the mandatory recertification schedule, we can't help you.

Total service life from the date of installation is currently limited to 6 years for SFI systems and 10 years for FIA systems (assuming timely recertifications). When the bottle reaches the end of its service life, you will need to buy a replacement bottle.

SPA requires the same 2-year service interval / 10-year life span for their non-certified systems as for their FIA systems.
 

 

SFI 17-1  -  https://www.sfifoundation.com/wp-content/pdfs/specs/Spec_17.1_042018.pdf

On-Board Fire Suppression Systems shall be inspected for recertification at least every two years after the date of original certification or as specified by the certifying manufacturer. When a unit is determined to be acceptable for continued service, a new conformance label marked with the inspection date shall be used. In-field recertification is permitted, but ONLY by the original manufacturer or its authorized agent. Mailing of certification labels to customers is strictly prohibited. Systems shall have a maximum field service life of 6 years from the original date of installation. At the end of the 6-year period, all systems must be returned to the manufacturer or a certified recycling service center for lawful disassembly, recycling and decommissioning. No system may be refilled more than 6 times during its 6- year field service life.

 

FIA STANDARD FIA 8865-2015https://www.fia.com/file/78435/download/9191 

 

9. VALIDITY The extinguisher system shall be serviced every two years. For example, an extinguisher system manufactured on 1 January 2014 will be "Not valid after January 2016". Whenever the extinguisher system is serviced in accordance with Article 10, the manufacturer or their official must replace the maintenance label with a new one. 10. MAINTENANCE Extinguisher system contents shall be replaced.
Body shall be examined for signs of corrosion, abrasion and paint finish. Should the maintenance engineer decide that the body has been subject to corrosion or exhibits abrasions that may affect performance, the body shall be discarded. Extinguisher systems with poor paint finish should be refurbished. The interior of the body must also be inspected for signs of damage or corrosion. All seals should be replaced. The operating head should be cleaned and tested and repaired or replaced as necessary. Nozzles should be checked for damage/possible blockage/corrosion. They shall be tested to ensure that they are in good working order. A new marking as shown in Figure 4 shall be put in place.
Figure 4
Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 8.54.40 AM.png

 

 

 

Maybe i missed it.  Where does the fia say 10 years?

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On 1/11/2020 at 3:06 PM, jlucas said:

I have never seen it with another organization (and I'm a NASA tech inspector)

Look up your DOT rules on cylinder inspection.  Hydros are expensive.

 

11 hours ago, Slugworks Paul said:

I would imagine most (if not nearly all) incidents with suppression systems are installation or equipment error outside the extinguisher, unless it lost pressure which obviously is easy to inspect.

NFPA requires only testing/recharging portable dry chemical extinguishers every 12 years and they can be re-used for a very long time if they pass the test and check out visually. NFPA governs the fire fighting industry. 

I don't necessary blame Champcar as they are following SFI/FIA standards but as with many safety items the requirements in racing are excessive and it seems to me there's no need to comply strictly with SFI/FIA as just a few years ago we didn't even need these things. Maybe it has to do with some of our series sponsors?

Paul if a sanction body enforces the rules/guideline laid down by the SFI Organization their legal group will provide free legal defense for the santion body in a liabiliy lawsuit where a SFI certified equipment could be involved.  If the santion body does not follow, then SFI provides legal services against the sanction body.

 

On another legal issue, with your mention of sponsors and quite a few additional statements you have made in print, you are walking a fine line. 

 

How do you sue for slander?
 
To prove prima facie defamation, a plaintiff must show four things: 1) a false statement purporting to be fact; 2) publication or communication of that statement to a third person; 3) fault amounting to at least negligence; and 4) damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement.
The cost to file a defamation lawsuit is very low.  To defend yourself in civil court even if you are not proven guilty of prima facie defamation might just exceed a years worth of racing.

 

 

 

 

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Paul that is over the line.  We don't build rules to benefit sponsors and your suggesting it is pretty crappy.  

Edited by Jer
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I have a call into Lifeline USA. They are going to help me find the documentation for the ten year requirement. 

 

35 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Maybe i missed it.  Where does the fia say 10 years?

 

I have a call into Lifeline USA. They are going to help me find the documentation for the ten year requirement. 

 

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Luck Dog Racing League now requires the certifications and inspections which is the same as what we have in place.
 

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 11.18.26 AM.png

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I’m just sad that I bought a brand new fire suppression system two years ago by a former “Champcar” sponsor that isn’t FIA/SFI approved. Now that I have to buy a new system this year, it probably means our team will make it to one less race. Wonder what the value of a used suppression system is...

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FYI. this was added to the 2019 rules in 2018 to give you guys plenty of heads up.

3 minutes ago, cowboys647 said:

I’m just sad that I bought a brand new fire suppression system two years ago by a former “Champcar” sponsor that isn’t FIA/SFI approved. Now that I have to buy a new system this year, it probably means our team will make it to one less race. Wonder what the value of a used suppression system is...

 

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8 minutes ago, cowboys647 said:

I’m just sad that I bought a brand new fire suppression system two years ago by a former “Champcar” sponsor that isn’t FIA/SFI approved. Now that I have to buy a new system this year, it probably means our team will make it to one less race. Wonder what the value of a used suppression system is...

Dont be sad the new unit  might save your  life dude!  Install the old system for a engine system back or fuel cell backup.  That way it has some serious value.

Edited by National Tech
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5 hours ago, National Tech said:

If a sanction body enforces the rules/guideline laid down by the SFI Organization their legal group will provide free legal defense for the sanction body in a liability lawsuit where a SFI certified equipment could be involved.  If the sanction body does not follow, then SFI provides legal services against the sanction body.

 

 

Emphasis on "against" is mine. This is one of the scariest things I've read lately. There my friends, is why these rules get implemented.

 

Edited by tommytipover
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1 hour ago, Jer said:

Paul that is over the line.  We don't build rules to benefit sponsors and your suggesting it is pretty crappy.  

Glad to hear that, and I trust you are correct. I have removed that comment from my post, it is out of line.

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10 hours ago, Jer said:

Paul that is over the line.  We don't build rules to benefit sponsors and your suggesting it is pretty crappy.  

 

Wilwood calipers get a break in the rules.

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Great thread.  I love that people are engaged and reading - which makes this a great opportunity to educate and discuss some of the misconceptions or possibly outdated information.  As adoption of fire systems is spreading quickly across road racing and the racing community in general, the information really isn't out there, and technology is changing - certainly at the higher levels there are some pretty awesome innovations that have dramatically improved efficacy, but even in standard systems things are changing and developing.

 

I'm replying here as someone in the racing industry for over 20 years, and we are the North American arm of Lifeline Fire Systems.  Those that know me will confirm I think that our approach is always to provide a quality product and the knowledge to use it most effectively, and we approach Lifeline the same way.  We sponsor Champcar because I feel like there is a need for our product and we had the opportunity to be involved and help racers, prevent injury, and save lives - and I am 100% confident we do.  Champcar makes their own rules and there is zero pressure from us on anything - we are here to educate racers, educate staff, and provide a quality product that we certainly hope you would consider.  I have experience at the manufacturer level with fire systems for about 5 years and I have real-life examples to support some things I'll lay out below - these aren't opinions.   

 

And kudos to Champcar for holding a standard that keeps their racers safe.  I've seen some fires at Champcar races - if you haven't seen one yourself, it wouldn't take much asking around to learn of a few - it happens.  The racing industry and sanctioning groups are making our sport safer - and it's a good thing, and that's what the recent round of rules do.  I'll explain more below with some examples and questions, which I appreciate you all for providing! 

 

On 1/11/2020 at 11:15 AM, jlucas said:

What evidence is this based on?  I've been racing for 20 years and I have never see a fire system issue due to age if the bottles have been serviced.  BY FAR the issues are with poor installation or lack of driver familiarity with how to properly engage the system. 

 

I've also raced for over 20 years a pretty solid amount, and even in my span I've only used a fire system in my car in need twice, seen first hand at speed on track about 4 uses, been at the track for a bunch more, and have gotten the weekend reports of more, some with injuries and only a few fatalities.  But I still would also say I've rarely seen first hand the system fire in need (the 2x in my car?), and probably a much greater number of accidental discharges in the paddock.  I agree that install is a factor and drivers have got to know how to use them.  But I have seen systems that would never discharge to put out a fire due to internal issues, loss of contents from freezing or a cracked seal on a design I wouldn't touch, previous misuse, etc - but they are certainly out there, these systems wouldn't have worked if needed, and I'm not the guy that would risk being in the intersection of the "I need it now" and "It's not working" subsets.

 

Also keep in mind that if you're like me, 20 years ago you had a Halon system and while an effective agent and pretty inert in a bottle, it isn't great to breathe for the driver activating it and pretty bad for the environment so we don't do that anymore - technology has changed and half of your years are now out the window as data points.  AFFF is the most prevalent modern system due to cost-effectiveness - the failure modes are the mixture breaking down and forming a crystalline structure on the diptube that prevents flow, rust or corrosion inside the bottle from the fancy FIA-spec diptube (that is flexible enough to empty bottle contents in whatever orientation the car comes to rest) moving around inside the bottle, gauge failure or damage, and diptube deterioration.  Novec is more benign, but still subject to some of the same failures.  And of the bottles we service, its not a small percentage that require some attention.

 

On 1/11/2020 at 11:41 AM, Black Magic said:

The refiller will stop recertification of bottles after a certain age, as the hydro test makes it less economically feasible. Depending on sale price it might be just as cheap to get the whole system at that point, in particular if you use the plastic tube type. 

 

For you own safety make sure the nozzle size and count matches the bottle. I am contemplating using an old out of spec system as an engine only "backup" suppression system that could be used to put out an engine fire without popping the main fire system (and spraying you inside the cab).   

 

Notes this brings up:

  • The tube that looks like plastic in our systems (and I think most/all others) is Dekabon - PE sheathed aluminum with big UV and corrosion resistance, and easier to use than aluminum tubing - it's quality, not cheap :)
  • The nozzles need to match the exact spec the system was design for - diameter (of tubing), flow rate, spray pattern.  A lot of things look the same, but there's certainly a range in our Lifeline systems to achieve a desired result with a system (which also includes the bottle contents and pressure spec).  
  • We strongly suggest Novec systems these days and our entry level is pretty cost effective - not cheap, and certainly you can buy cheaper agents.  Novec is a 3M product that is non-conductive (won't damage electronics you spray it on), safe enough that you could drink it and certainly breathe it, and it comes out as a gas so no cleanup.  Plus it is a 3-dimensional agent that chemically reacts with the fire and doesn't have to cover and smother like AFFF - so your chances of putting out the fire fast just went up.  Preventing injury (and out of work, hospital bills, lingering effects) oddly isn't something a lot of racers buy into, but it might also save your car if you put more value in that than yourself.  

 

On 1/11/2020 at 2:09 PM, wvumtnbkr said:

You make a good point!  I had a brand new 4l bottle in my car at Charlotte.  I had 4 or 5 nozzles (whatever the kit came with).  When I pulled the handle, it kinda oozed out.  It definitely did NOT spray like I thought it should.  

 

I think I had too many nozzles.   Gonna use less and place them better for this build.

 

NO!!!!  This is an incorrect learning outcome!  Kits MUST be installed per the installation manual - that's how they passed the certification tests and how they should be most effective.  It will specify number and placement of nozzles.  I suspect your issue was likely poor tubing installation.  If you're using the Dekabon, it has to be fully and squarely seated in the nozzle or union.  If not, the system doesn't build pressure (think water hose without your thumb over it) and fizzles like yours did.

 

On 1/11/2020 at 2:45 PM, jlucas said:

The bottle doesn't really wear out, certainly not in 6 years.  You already have to get it refilled/certified every 2 years.  Now they want you to replace it after 6 if I'm understanding it correctly.

 

It definitely can (see above) deteriorate.  We see rust and corrosion inside bottles and that compromises them.  6 months is DOT only, but if you're an FIA buyer, you can get more depending on brand - with Lifeline the number is 10 years.

 

And I really don't understand the massive stumbling block here.  If you've been in racing for 20 years, you would just be stepping up to purchase your second empty replacement bottle (because the contents and parts come with your two year service) - at a little over $100, you spent about $10/year.  But safety and racing will evolve - we can't fill the Halon system you bought 20 years ago, so at some point you would have upgraded to an AFF, Novec, or similar, so we're down to only one purchased bottle due to expiration.  And the number of us making a purchasing decision now and concerned about the effect on the same system and car (and driver) 20 years later is just not a common thing.  It sounds like it when you hear it initially, but I really don't think once you think it out that it is?

 

On 1/11/2020 at 3:06 PM, jlucas said:

I have never seen it with another organization (and I'm a NASA tech inspector)

 

As I mentioned initially, safety is improving in many aspects of motorsports.  Fire systems are becoming required because they save lives - a few pretty unfortunate examples of when they could have from the last handful of years.  We've been required to have them in BMW CCA for a decade or more, and Champcar was an early adopter for the low-buck series, and they have almost all followed suit.  NASA and SCCA are notable in their reluctance to mandate systems due to the risk fo threads like this one and adding expense "unnecessarily" (anyone that's been in a fire wouldn't call them unnecessary) to their customer that might drive them into the other group's arms.  Requiring that they are serviced properly and maintain their functionality is something that shouldn't be foreign to any racer of cars.  The specific requirements that dictate that will spread once the systems themselves do, but I'm not surprised that in NASA currently the requirements for a non-required system aren't common knowledge.

 

On 1/11/2020 at 7:19 PM, wvumtnbkr said:

Good point about fia.   Mine is fia.  To be clear, I wasn't complaining.  I was curious.

 

I just looked at my bottle.  It has a sticker (that gets replaced) that says date of manufacture as 4/2019.  The bottle is also stamped....  10/2018.  Hmmm.

 

We make our FIA bottles but others don't, and SFI bottles are by definition outsourced.  Bottle manufacture date isn't necessarily the same as fire system manufacture/assembly date.

 

On 1/12/2020 at 10:34 AM, Bill Strong said:

As a car builder, it's just another number added to the cost of racing.

 It sucks. But, having to replace out of date perfectly good belts, seats, nets, and fuel cells is just part of Racing.

 

And having seen fire systems that failed to work at ChampCar events, I work say it's a good idea 

 

And with all due respect - if we could say absolute certainty that these systems were "perfectly good" in a certain time span they wouldn't likely be replaced.  But since things deteriorate through environment, time, and use, standard get applied.  Even having used fire systems for 20+ years (I installed my first Halon in 1997), I can confirm that I am still in no way qualified to look at a system and tell you it is perfectly good or not - even now that I know these systems quite well, only one of our trained staff would make that declaration - and slap it on the bottle. 

 

I can also say that with our use of belts as an example, even with a 5 year FIA cert, we end up replacing in ~1.5 years due to number of adjuster cycles that wear the webbing to the point it won't pass our tech.  Imagine that - only 1.5 years out of a 5 year product!!  But different users and environments wear things differently, and the certifications do their best to account for that in a reasonable manner.

 

On 1/13/2020 at 11:36 PM, Slugworks Paul said:

I would imagine most (if not nearly all) incidents with suppression systems are installation or equipment error outside the extinguisher, unless it lost pressure which obviously is easy to inspect.

NFPA requires only testing/recharging portable dry chemical extinguishers every 12 years and they can be re-used for a very long time if they pass the test and check out visually. NFPA governs the fire fighting industry. 

I don't necessary blame Champcar as they are following SFI/FIA standards but as with many safety items the requirements in racing are excessive and it seems to me there's no need to comply strictly with SFI/FIA as just a few years ago we didn't even need these things.

 

Some good points to discuss here:

  • Installation error is an issue (please read and follow the manual!!), but bottles are an issue - that's why they are a part that needs to be inspected!  How does one inspect pressure?  Look at the gauge - but those fail and freeze with corrosion - not uncommon.  You could weigh contents but no one takes the bottle out to do that, and it still doesn't tell you it's under pressure.  There was a system on the market that would freeze (we use antifreeze in all markets - not every manufacturer does) and break a seal which would let the fluid out and the system suddenly had no contents - even though it visually it appeared to and the unpunctured CO2 cartridge clearly had pressure - right?
  • NFPA is not relevant here, and drychem is the perfect example!  Great extinguishant, but put it in a racecar and it packs down like concrete - even after 2 years in a car with moderate use, good luck getting anything out of that bottle.
  • I strongly propose that they aren't excessive - they are reasonable based on observations - with enough sample size you might agree.  And just because we didn't need it a few years ago is NOT what we do in racing.  If it was, we wouldn't be using a HANS which definitely saves lives and injury, we'd be OK with x number of F1 deaths per year (that wasn't so long ago), and there would have never been a need to consider something better than a leather helmet - thats all they need a few years before if that!  Tongue in cheek, but we are in a dangerous sport and I am often baffled by people who often have to show up to work the next day who so strongly resist progress allowing them to do so.
13 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Maybe i missed it.  Where does the fia say 10 years?

12 hours ago, Bill Strong said:

I have a call into Lifeline USA. They are going to help me find the documentation for the ten year requirement. 

 

 

Thanks for calling us Bill and getting to the root of it!  I think that Lifeline and one other brand represent 95% of the FIA systems in the US market, and we both require a 10 year replacement on our bottles - to the point that it became the assumed standard.  There's actually no regulation about the life cycle of the bottle, just the 2 year service interval, but the replacement interval is left to the manufacturers of the fire systems for FIA systems. We base our 10 year requirement from the following:

  • Experience - what we've seen after years of use. We're also able to accelerate the life of a bottle based on programs in testing. Think of a machine that's a cross between a paint shaker and a moving, simulation rig.
  • Bottle recommendations and guidelines based on testing of and by bottle manufacturers
  • We don't know the exact history of each bottle once it leaves our hands. Servicing every 2 years allows us to check bottle integrity, make sure it will operate correctly, and after 10 years has been through a significant amount of stress that we recommend it be replaced and won't service after that.
  • The integrity of the bottle can be affected by the internal dip tube, over years of vibrations and depending on the environment, can accelerate the life of a cylinder with the metal beating and vibrating against the cylinder wall. (And one might say to get rid of the metal, weighted dip tube, but that performs a significant function during a rollover).
12 hours ago, National Tech said:

Dont be sad the new unit  might save your  life dude!  Install the old system for a engine system back or fuel cell backup.  That way it has some serious value.

 

100%.  But note that most systems that meet Chumpcar requirements are effective for both engine and cockpit, and some will also cover a fuel cell.  Whatever the installations instructions require for your primary system - use it for that because it's the one you will certify and ensure is in good working order!

 

And one more note - while we are inspecting things - the one thing that you should be inspecting yourself (no certification, but I'm sure you've all been doing this without that requirement?) is the pull handle/cable assembly.  Depending on storage environment, geography, rain races, etc, these things corrode over time and can freeze in the sheath, rendering them useless.  While your bottle is out being recertified, you have a perfect opportunity to test these pull cables for function, spray in some dry lube, or replace if needed.  Everything on a racecar deteriorates and needs maintenance, and the parts designed to safe your life should be at the top of that list!

 

Thanks for the long read if you made it here.  If you have questions or comments, let's hear 'em.  We are here to educate not argue, but if we can do the former, we always appreciate the opportunity.  And feel free to reach out to us (ask for Brandon - he's better at this than I am - http://www.lifeline-fire.com/).

 

And while still not officially announced, our Lifeline certificates given at every race on the 2020 schedule will be a new format that will almost completely cover the cost of your required 2 year recertification, so one team per race will lose the opportunity to complain.  Thank you all for having us as a partner in your series and racing!

 

James

 

 

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9 hours ago, Grufton said:

 

Wilwood calipers get a break in the rules.

 

Wilwood calipers get a brake every place they stop.

 

Sorry not sorry.

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7 hours ago, jamesclay said:

 

Notes this brings up:

  • The tube that looks like plastic in our systems (and I think most/all others) is Dekabon - PE sheathed aluminum with big UV and corrosion resistance, and easier to use than aluminum tubing - it's quality, not cheap :)
  • The nozzles need to match the exact spec the system was design for - diameter (of tubing), flow rate, spray pattern.  A lot of things look the same, but there's certainly a range in our Lifeline systems to achieve a desired result with a system (which also includes the bottle contents and pressure spec).  
  • We strongly suggest Novec systems these days and our entry level is pretty cost effective - not cheap, and certainly you can buy cheaper agents.  Novec is a 3M product that is non-conductive (won't damage electronics you spray it on), safe enough that you could drink it and certainly breathe it, and it comes out as a gas so no cleanup.  Plus it is a 3-dimensional agent that chemically reacts with the fire and doesn't have to cover and smother like AFFF - so your chances of putting out the fire fast just went up.  Preventing injury (and out of work, hospital bills, lingering effects) oddly isn't something a lot of racers buy into, but it might also save your car if you put more value in that than yourself.  

 

 

 

 

James, 

 

What is the service life of the Dekabon? Is it something guys would need to replace each time the system needs a recert? Is the temp service limit roughly that of other polyurethanes (250-300F), or with the aluminum core is it much higher? I always stayed away from it and ran metal tube, assuming the tubing was the only reusable option that could be run close to exhaust. I also didn't know they were aluminum cored, which would make me feel alot better. 

 

How do FE-36 vs Novec compare? I run FE-36 due to convenience, used Nascar systems are everywhere here, but if I had to buy a new system I would be curious what the advantages are.  

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11 hours ago, Grufton said:

 

Wilwood calipers get a break in the rules.

  NO, you get a break for using their product.

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26 minutes ago, Ray Franck said:

  NO, you get a break for using their product.

 

Either way, it's preferential treatment that benefits a sponsor.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with it in this specific example.  But don't claim it's not happening, and the club should accept at least a small amount of scrutiny if folks wonder if it's buried elsewhere in the rules as well.

Edited by Grufton
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2 hours ago, Ray Franck said:

  NO, you get a break for using their product.

 

I'd argue anyone who uses their product gets a brake......

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Thank you for the explanation @jamesclay!

Now i'm super curious, I think i'm going to set my 6 year old AFFF bottle off outside to see if it still works..

Edited by Slugworks Paul

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4 hours ago, Black Magic said:

 

James, 

 

What is the service life of the Dekabon? Is it something guys would need to replace each time the system needs a recert? Is the temp service limit roughly that of other polyurethanes (250-300F), or with the aluminum core is it much higher? I always stayed away from it and ran metal tube, assuming the tubing was the only reusable option that could be run close to exhaust. I also didn't know they were aluminum cored, which would make me feel alot better. 

 

How do FE-36 vs Novec compare? I run FE-36 due to convenience, used Nascar systems are everywhere here, but if I had to buy a new system I would be curious what the advantages are.  

 

Jumping in here for James. Dekabon doesn't really have a service life so long as it isn't damaged. If swapping systems it's critical to use the right size (and in general), which means you may need to swap out to ensure this, but so long as it isn't broken, melted, cracked, crushed, etc., it works as long as you need it to. Great practice to inspect routinely (and great to do during your final nut and bolt before your event). And as James said, no better time to do that then when the bottle is out - spray compressed air through and make sure that your getting flow through, and something has accumulated in there such as dirt, insects, spider nests, etc clogging it up.

As for the structure of the tubing, the metal is spiral bound (think like a spring or coil, but much more surface material and closely bound) which allows you to shape it by hand and without the need of special tools or tubing/pipe benders. It has a temperature range of -40F to 212F and we offer (standard on all Novec systems) a heat sheathing that can be ran around it to help increase the temperature range. Note: I would suggest avoiding areas that you know will be super hot, headers or exhaust used as the example here. Our systems, and most others, will show diagrams for how to layout in engine bays - varies depending on nozzle count but certainly wouldn't want it really close to the engine/exhaust/turbo where you get less mist and hits a smaller area. We typically recommend nozzle placement about 6-10" away from where it's pointed to expand the spray and hit more surface. And usually running the tubing is done through the firewall, so in most scenarios, won't get that close to super hot pieces, like the exhaust. Not our image, but great diagram to show the make=up of the tubing we (and others) use.

Image result for dekabon

 

 

FE36 vs Novec: FE36 is the previous iteration of fire suppression gas. It's effective, but requires special handling - required temperature (freezing) levels and pressure to keep it as a liquid, which means extra tooling and storage, etc which translates to more cost. The cost of FE36 has recently increased dramatically, which makes its use less practical. It's also an F-gas, which can leave behind substances in the atmosphere for a long, long time which depletes the ozone layer and has a high global warming potential. All of this means, really, that it's being phased out worldwide. Novec is way easier to store and handle, with no special tooling required. Developed by 3M, it's completely safe for the environment and for you. And you're not losing performance, rather gaining a more cost- and environmentally-friendly investment. The benefits of Novec 1230 over FE36, Halon, Powder, AFFF, etc would be another, probably longer, thread so I will spare anyone who has read to this point, but do welcome any one-on-one or global discussion, even. Feel free to reach out to me on any contact points below.

Brandon Marshall
Brand Manager, Lifeline USA
540.307.4513
brandon@lifeline-fire.com

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3 hours ago, Slugworks Paul said:

Thank you for the explanation @jamesclay!

Now i'm super curious, I think i'm going to set my 6 year old AFFF bottle off outside to see if it still works..

 

Set it off, then open it up and put a boroscope inside the bottle and look at the dip tube.  Different systems will behave differently and not all AFFF systems are created equally (there is a pretty wide range of mix concentrations which also dictate to a degree the effectiveness).  Also note - vibration, like in a powder system, is the catalyst for the crystallization.

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I set my old bottle off before sending back for recertification.  It had more pressure and lasted WAY longer than I expected!

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14 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

It had more pressure and lasted WAY longer than I expected!

 

Sorry. Very off topic buuuut THAT's WHAT SHE SAID. 

 

On topic: If the bottles will be stored below freezing over the winter is it smarter/less risky to go with Novec over anti-freezed AFFF?

 

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