Material Science & Fire Dynamics
Developing FireGuardia’s non-toxic firefighting compound and passive delivery system encompasses the complexities of fire dynamics combined with the challenges of material science. FireGuardia’s Chief Scientist has much to consider as described below.
Safe & Effective Chemicals
After the fortuitous discovery of a fireproof material, while researching a rice-based substitute for Styrofoam, we investigated and identified compounds that are environmentally safe and effective in suppressing fire. We screened many chemical formulations to determine their fire suppression capabilities, making sure they do not produce toxic byproducts or present carcinogenic or mutagenic risk.
One of our main objectives is to create fireproof materials with limited environmental impact throughout its lifecycle -- from production to disposal. The diminished carbon footprint is accomplished by using renewable and biodegradable materials that minimize environmental pollution and promote sustainability.
We envision and are designing a manufacturing process that can produce our firefighting compound on a large scale at a reasonable cost. Due to our formulation, there are many sources of raw material making our formulation cost-effective compared to existing fire retardant agents.
Once we identified a safe and effective compound, we verified its compatibility with a wide range of materials commonly found in households, such as fabrics, plastics, and electronics. Compatibility testing is essential to avoid damage or degradation of materials during firefighting operations.
& Safety Standards
The use of a natural, non-toxic compound enhances our compliance with regulatory standards and safety requirements for firefighting compounds. We will conduct thorough testing and evaluation to obtain all necessary approvals and certifications for our commercial applications.
The compound must maintain its effectiveness when exposed to the high temperatures of fire. The firefighting compound should be consistent and reliable during its application and be able to extinguish different types of fire.
Ignition & Combustion
House fires typically begin with ignition materials such as wood, fabric, or paper exposed to a heat source. The source may result from a variety of circumstances including electrical short circuits, kitchen accidents, faulty appliances, heating appliance misuse, heat source carelessness, and criminal arson. Or, combustible material takes on fire due to a reaction between the combustible materials and the oxygen in the air -- increasing heat, and gases in the forms of carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
Our fire protection system mimics the human immune system, constantly monitoring for possible attacks, and as soon as a threat is detected, protocols are activated. When a fire threat is confirmed, as in our product, a chain reaction begins with a discharge of CO2 propelling a blast of FireGuardia compound from the device covering the combustible material and producing additional CO2 upon contact with the flames. Since CO2 is an inert gas, it displaces oxygen, reducing its concentration near the fire. The depletion of oxygen and the cooling effect of the expanding CO2 arrests the rapid combustible oxidation process and extinguishes the fire on contact.
Propagation & Growth
As fire becomes self-sustainable, it propagates and spreads to adjacent combustible materials. The spread of fire is exacerbated by the extra heat and fueled by the combustible materials, oxygen present in the surrounding air, and the chemical reactions.
With the CO2 serving as a propellant, our compound blankets the combustible and flames, producing more CO2 on contact with the fire. The extra CO2 production displaces the oxygen present in the air, reducing the oxygen concentration below the level required to sustain combustion and interrupting the combustion process. This oxygen deprivation inhibits the chemical reaction necessary for the fire to continue burning.
As the combustibles burn a pyrolisis process takes place. Heat breaks down combustible materials into gases, aerosols, and particulate matter. The particulate matter, depending on the combustible burning, may contain carcinogens, asphyxiants, and mutagens.
As CO2 primarily acts through oxygen displacement, it also has a cooling effect on the fire by absorbing heat. As the gas expands rapidly, it absorbs heat from the surroundings, including the flames and combustibles. The depletion of oxygen and the rapid cooling effect of the expanding CO2, extinguishes the fire automatically.