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Article: Marioff HI-FOG high-pressure water mist to increase firefighting capabilities in bulk handling industry
11 October 2021

In marine applications, Marioff is widely recognized for its HI-FOG® high-pressure firefighting expertise. Many decades of field experience and full-scale fire testing have resulted in a long list of patented and approved firefighting components and solutions for many applications on board marine vessels. As high-pressure water mist is safe for humans and the environment and can be released instantly, HI-FOG high-pressure water mist is seen as the preferred firefighting technology in marine segments such as cruise ships, ferries, naval ships, superyachts, offshore, LNG and cargo vessels.

In the bulk handling industry, Marioff is increasing the firefighting capabilities across the global self-unloading fleet. The Marioff scope includes fire detection and fixed HI-FOG fire protection of internal conveyor belt spaces (tunnels and c-loop), installation and integration with the shipboard power management system.

Considering previous bulk carrier fires, including Halifax (1993), Ambassador (1994), Yeoman Bontrup (2010), Spencer Gulf (2017), Iron Chieftain (2018), Donnacona (2020), St Clair (2020) and Roger Blough (2021), Marioff is raising awareness and promoting increased safety standards and regulations for this vessel type.

Typically, one failed bearing is enough to ignite a rubber conveyor belt in the internal cargo handling space, creating risk to human health, environment, reputation and business continuity. Reported property losses in the fires mentioned above vary between $20 million and more than $150 million. (Sources: National Transportation Safety Board Marine Accident Brief, No.: DCA19FM020 and Sturgeon Bay Fire Dept., FDID 15070)

The effectiveness of the shipboard fire response depends on early detection and instant extinguishing at the source. The current methods for detection and suppression on board most self-unloading vessels are insufficient.

Full-scale conveyor belt fire testing revealed that because of the rapid fire knock down property of the very fine water mist produced by the HI-FOG system, all temperatures registered below 100° C in under 15 minutes.

Unlike gas solutions, water mist is safe to use when personnel are within the protected space. It is the ability to instantly release the HI-FOG system, that is crucial in case of fire. There are various ways to activate the system: automatically by the detection system, remotely from HMI screens at workstations or manually at the section valves. Additional user interface screens are installed in the cargo control room and the engine control room.

Stainless steel type approved HI-FOG spray heads, tubes and section valves are strategically installed in tunnels and c-loop conveyor systems. The firefighting time is extended by using two water sources, fresh water as a primary source and sea/lake water as a secondary source. After the fire is under control or extinguished, the HI-FOG system can be reset, and is again ready to protect the vessel and crew.

High-pressure water mist is deployed to all internal conveyor systems. The very small droplets yield a very large total water surface area. This provides efficient cooling of the fire and surrounding areas and gases.

The efficiency of the HI-FOG system is based on three aspects:

  • Cooling the fuel source.
  • Displacing oxygen from the seat of the fire, thus suffocating the flames.
  • Blocking radiant heat to prevent the fire from spreading.

The article is originally published in the Dry Cargo International magazine.

Marioff water mist sprinkler