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Fire explosive suppressant foam for fuel tanks


Thruster87
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THE first explosive suppressant foam has been fitted in the fuel tanks of C-130 aircraft to protect both the platform and the people who operate them.

 

The first installation took place at RAAF Base Richmond on December 10 when the foam was fitted to a C-130J.

 

Squadron Leader Cameron Leslie, from Aerospace Development’s Aircraft Survivability Directorate, said the foam acts as a physical barrier in the event of a fuel fire or explosion.

 

“A fuel tank contains a mix of liquid and fuel-laden vapour. As fuel is used, the level of vapour in the tank increases. Possible ignition of the fuel liquid following an incident is not the problem, but the vapour is an explosion risk,†SQNLDR Leslie said.

 

The foam is fitted to fill the entire tank space and contains the liquid fuel and the vapour. In the event of an explosion, the foam helps absorb the explosion and inhibits the spread of fire.

 

“Fitting of the foam to the first aircraft was conducted by a combined team of Australians and overseas personnel from the USAF at Warner-Robins AFB Georgia, and Lockheed Martin from Marietta Georgia. The modification to the first Hercules late last year occurred in a better than expected timeframe and deserves a pat on the back for the people involved,†SQNLDR Leslie said.

 

The flexible foam blocks are manufactured from polyurethane and are similar in appearance to that found in packaging, though coarser and more durable.

 

 

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