Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.
FIRE NOZZLE SYSTEM
Field of Invention
The present invention relates to a nozzle system for removing
or displacing smoke, heat, flames or gasses from a structure in
significant volumes, more particularly, the present invention
relates to a nozzle system incorporating a multiplicity of nozzles
arranged to entrain gas into the flow of liquid (water) droplets.
R~ .V~-~ of the Invention
Fire fighting techn;ques have become more effective in recent
years with the use of more efficient pumps, fire nozzles, contained
breathing apparatus and high lift ladders, etc. During this same
time period however, fighting fires in a building or any contained
area (i.e. aircraft, ship, mine shaft, etc.) has presented many
more hazards and complications.
Search and rescue techniques employed in burning buildings are
often dangerous. Self contained breathing apparatus does allow
fire fighters to enter a firesite filled with dense smoke for a
limited time. Apart from the fact that the face masks often fog
over on the inside, dense smoke usually makes visibility almost
impossible. Being unable to see in unfamiliar surroundings,
knowing that lives may be at stake, and having to contend with
unexpected hazards, extreme heat and a limited air supply, makes
this procedure very hazardous.
U.S. patents 4,703,808 and 4, 779,801 issued November 3, 1987
and October 25, 1988 respectively to Mr. O'Donnell, recognize and
address the fact that water from a pressure nozzle is capable of
removing smoke from a building. Mr. O'Donnell's smoke eliminator
is designed to position a standard "fog nozzle" into, for example,
an upstairs window of a building. The suction created by the
nozzle removes some of the smoke and heat from the building.
Limitations to the effectiveness of this device include the need
for a window to be of an appropriate height, size, and
accessibility for the smoke eliminator to be used. To accomplish
the optimum air flow (suction) from a window using a "fog nozzle"
requires the nozzle be exactly positioned within the frame. Tests
show that a standard " fog nozzle" does not accomplish nearly the
air movement possible from a high pressure water source (i.e. a
Fans are sometimes used to help remove smoke from a structure.
Strict limitations to the use of fans in initial ventilation
procedures are advised. High speed fan blades can be hazardous,
motorized equipment can overheat or explode when placed near
excessive heat and a fan could introduce too much oxygen and air
movement causing the fire to spread.
Containment and extinguishment of an out of control fire often
take place simultaneously, and is obtained by spraying water on
combustible exposures, cooling down of explosive hazards (i.e. gas,
chemical containers), etc. These procedures are usually carried
out using an adjustable nozzle on a fire hose. The current
methods, using water to cool down and saturate combustible
materials, sometimes referred to as surround and drown techniques,
have not changed much over the years.
Brief Description of the Present Invention
It is an object of the present invention to provide a nozzle
system particularly adapted for moving large volumes of gases and
heat such as flames, smoke, toxic and explosive gases, air, etc..
It is the object of the invention to be effective in either
two modes. One as an extraction device, ie. using suction to
remove large volumes of gasses, flames, smoke, etc. from a
structure, or, as a positive pressure device by using pressure to
displace gasses, flames, smoke, etc. with large volumes of fine
susp~n~e~ water droplets or steam, and air.
2 1 68376
Another objective of the invention is to aid in fire
extinguishment and the cooling of hot or explosive gases in either
of the aforementioned modes.
Broadly, the present invention relates to a nozzle system
comprising a manifold defining a main plane of the nozzle system,
a multiplicity of spray no2zles connected to and arranged in a
pattern on the manifold, each of the spray nozzles constructed to
form a divergent spray composing of mist forming liquid droplets
travelling at a velocity sufficient to entrain a significant amount
of gases, each of the spray nozzles aimed to form part of a pattern
configured so that peripheries of adjacent sprays converge to
substantially fill an area having a periphery in an imaginary
target plane spaced from the manifold and positioned between 20 to
150 cms of the main plane. The target plane is located within an
area substantially parallel to the main plane in the direction of
the projected sprays from the nozzles.
Preferably, the manifold will define a substantially annular
Preferably, the annular passage will trace the path of a
rectangle in a the main plane.
Preferably, the main and target planes will be spaced between
20 and 60 cms.
Preferably, the nozzle disperses water in the form of a fine
Preferably, the droplets will have a maximum ~ ion
sufficiently small that they tend to remain suspended or
evaporated in the moving gasses generally less than 1500
microns and preferably less than 500 microns.
Preferably, the nozzle sprays the the droplets with a high
component of velocity as related to the water pressure
supplied to the nozzle.
Preferably the system is supplied with water at a pressure
greater than 700 kps.
Preferably the system is built of materials to withstand high
water pressure, temperature and impact.
Brief Description of the Drawings
Further features, objects, and advantages will be evident from
the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of
the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying
drawings in which;
Figure 1 is a schematic illustration of one form of the
invention mounted on an articulated mounting frame lockable in
Figure 2 is a section along the lines G-H in Figure 1,
schematic illustrating manifolds and nozzles.
Figure 3 is a schematic illustration simiIar to Figure 1 but
showing the nozzle system of the present invention mounted at the
top of a ladder and positioned within an opening (window opening)
of a building.
Figure 4 is a cut away plan view of the arrangement shown in
Figure 3 showing the forward and rearward spray.
Figure 5 is a schematic illustration of the angular position
of a nozzle of the main manifold and the conical spray emitted
Figure 6 is a schematic illustration of manually aimed and
carried nozzle system of the present invention.
Figure 7 is a schematic illustration of an adjustable
manifold, used in the present invention
Figure 8 shows a preferred nozzle for use in the present
invention with an exploded view of the parts.
Figure 9 shows a typical layout of nozzles on a
rectangular ~h~pe~ manifold showing one angle of the selected
Figure 10 shows a preferred spray pattern on a target plane
substantially parallel to the plane of the manifold of Figure 9 and
positioned on the line C-D in Figure 13 ( 30 cms downstream of the
main plane A-B in this specific example).
Figure 11 is a side view perpendicular to the line M - N of
Figure 12 shows schematically the angular orientation of the
nozzles viewed perpendicular to the line K-L which extends parallel
to the main plane A-B cont~;ni~g the manifold.
Figure 13 illustrates the forward motion of the gases as
induced by the flow of the sprays from the nozzles of the nozzle
Description of the Preferred ~mbodiments
In the embodiments illustrated in Figures 1 to 5 the nozzle
system of the present invention generally indicated at 10 is
composed of a multiplicity of discrete nozzles 11 connected to and
arranged in a specific pattern on a manifold 18. The nozzles 11
are aimed in specific directions as will be described hereinbelow.
In the illustration in Figure 3 the nozzle system 10 is mounted
within an opening or frame 12 (for example a window or door frame)
in a position to function as an ejector for extracting gases from
inside of the building or the like 14, out through the frame
opening 12 in the direction of the arrow 16 to entrain gases from
within the building and ejecting them to the outside.
In a preferred application of the invention the nozzle system
10 will be positioned into the opening 12, so that the peripheries
of the combined spray patterns from the nozzles substantially fill
the opening 12, the opening 12 functions as a cowling around the
sprays formed by the nozzle system in a manner to increase the
effectiveness of the nozzle system 10 in ejecting gases through the
In the system illustrated in Figures 1 to 5 the nozzle system
of the present invention is formed by a substantially
rectangular manifold 18R mounted on a multi-link articulated frame
20 the links of which may be relatively moved and locked in
position so that it can be configured to position the nozzle system
10 as desired, for example, within an opening 12 form in a variety
of different stru~Lu~es. Water is delivered to the manifold 18R by
a fire hose or the like 22.
In this embodiment, a nozzle system 10 may include a circular
or rectangular manifold 18 (or any other suitable shape) is
provided with a second manifold 34 positioned on the rear side of
the manifold 18 and provided with the second set of nozzles, 2 of
which are indicated at 36. These nozzles have a totally different
function that the nozzles 11 and may be any selected type of nozzle
for example a water curtain forming spray 38, spraying water
rearward relative to the direction 16 i.e. in toward the inside of
the building as opposed to towards the outside of the building.
These sprays 38 may be arranged in any suitable pattern and are
int~n~e~ to act primarily as cooling spray and thus may be directed
in any a~p~op~iate direction e.g. may be directed at the supporting
structure for the nozzle system 10 and are not int~n~ed to
interfere with the eduction of gases from within the building by
the nozzle system 10. The sprays 38 cool the entrained gasses and
thus tend to protect the main nozzle system 10 i.e. the manifold
18, connecting hoses, nozzles, mountings etc.
The flows of water to the two manifolds 18 and 34 are
preferably independently controlled by a suitable valve system
shown as 25.
The second embodiment of the present invention as illustrated
in Figure 6, the nozzle system 10 is in the form of a substantially
circular manifold 18C and is intended to be hand held for directing
large volumes of water in mist sized droplets (less than 500
microns) from the nozzle system 10 either toward the fire or in any
selected direction. In this embodiment water from the fire hose 22
passes through a valve system 24, the opening of which is
adjustable, i.e. the amount of liquid flowing into the nozzle
system 10 is adjusted by a positioning of the handle 26 as
indicated by the arrow 28. If desired, a suitable locki~g system
may be provided which is unlocked or locked by twisting as
indicated by the arrows 30 to fix the handle 26 and thereby the
opening of the valve system 24. This valve system 24 further
includes a handle 32 to grip and ~POL~ the nozzle system 10.
A third embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in
fig. 7 the nozzle system 18A has adjustable sections 44 which
rotate inside corner mounts 42. This action provides a component
of focus or adjustment to the direction or coverage of the combined
mist sprays. Water is supplied to the nozzles 11 through the inlet
pipe 48 and distributed to the corner mounts 42 through the
diagonal support pipes 46, then into sections 44. The corner
mounts 42 encompass swivel seals 43 which allow the inside sections
44 to turn on a central axis, by rotating the section with the grip
The size and shape of the manifold 18 will be determined by
the type of application, and the location at which the Fire Nozzle
System is used. For example a hand held positive pressure device
could have a circular or hexagonal manifold 18, 30 cms across,
while a system for extracting gasses and built into a mine shaft
could use a square manifold 10 feet across. The same basic
principles apply in both of these examples.
Generally the nozzle uses with the present invention must
produce small water droplets, by which it is intended having a
maximum dimension such that the water droplets from the nozzles
tend to remain suspPn~o~ or evaporate in the moving gases. The
nozzle 11 illustrated in Figure 8, provides a conical spray having
a cone angle of ~ with the spray being made up of a plurality of
minute water droplets preferably having a maximum ~ eion of no
more that 1500 microns and most preferably less than S00 microns.
It is important that the nozzles 11 project the fine mist
sprays at high speed. Several factors affect the discharge speed
from a nozzle including the water pressure, orifice size, the angle
of the spray, resistance inside the nozzle and airflow resistance
outside the nozzle. To insure the droplets of fine mist sprays
generated in the nozzles 11 have the required velocity a water
pressure inside the nozzle of more than 345 kilopAec~ls is de_ired
with the preferred pressure greater than 480 kilop~cc~ls (water
under pressure of 690 kilopAecAls is found to be discharged from a
nozzle at speeds of about 128 kilometers per hour or 3600 cms per
A nozzle suitable for use in the present invention will
3S typically be constructed as illustrated in Figure 8 and will
2 1 68376
include a housing 50 which cont~ini ng a screen or the like 52 to
eliminate the large particles of dirt or the like. A diffuser 54
formed with angled slots 56 sh~re~ to cause the water passing
therethrough to form a spiral or helical pattern after it leaves
the passages 56 and is provided with a central pin jet reducer
having an end cap 60 that is received within a suitably contoured
spray disk 62 having an orifice 64. The clearance between the cap
60 and the orifice 64 is set to obtain the re~uired droplet size
the water spray issuing from the nozzle 11. A clearance of about
0.010 inches has been found satisfactory.
A suitable cap 66 with internal threads cooperates with the
thread 68 on the fitting 50 to clamp all of the parts 52, 54, 62 in
position and form the nozzle structure.
The example of the present invention shown in Figure 9 is
composed of 32 nozzles. The nozzles around the outside of the
rectangular manifold 18 are designated as nozzles 01, 02, 03, etc.
to 016, those in the middle of the manifold are designated by the
numbers Ml, M2, M3,...M12 and those positioned adjacent to the
centre of the manifold 18 are via the designations Cl, C2, C3, and
C4. Thus in the illustrated system, there are 16 outer nozzles, 12
middle nozzles and 4 central nozzles positioned in a selected
pattern and aimed in selected directions as will be described
Each of nozzles 11 preferably will generate a substantially
conical spray about its conical axis V (see Figure 5). The cone
angle ~ (see Figure 13), for the outer, middle and centre nozzle
will normally be in the range of 20 to 90 . The smaller the
angle ~, the greater the velocity component in the direction of the
axis V. The cone angle ~ will thus be selected for the various
nozzles in part based on the desired velocity of the droplets in
the direction of the axis V.
The nozzles 11 are aimed in specific directions relative to
the main plane A - B of the nozzle system (see Figure 13) i.e. the
plane in which the manifold 18 is as positioned, (parallel to the
line K -L). The main plane A - B is substantially perpendicular
to the direction 16 leading out of the building and the angles are
measured in planes parallel to the line K - L (Figure 12) between
the main plane A-B and the axis V of the respective nozzle being
Figures 11 and 12 show samples of the angle selected nozzles
shown from two views as seen in Figure 9. The line M-N is a side
view of the manifold 18, showing nozzle angles B1. The line K-L is
showing the second angle B from a cross section of the same side of
The angles B and ~1 will be selected to produce the desired
spray pattern as will be described below and will normally be in
the range about 30 to 150 . In the specific example shown angle
B1 the nozzles 015, 01, and 013 are 90 , 140~, and 140 ,
respectively and the angle B of nozzles 016, M12 and Cl are 40 ,
70 and 110 respectively.
The nozzles are positioned on and spaced around the manifold
18 which defines a main plane A-B and are aimed at an imaginary
target plane C-D by pointing each nozzle at a selected compound
angle relative to the manifold 18. The size and position of the
imaginary target plane C-D is determined by several factors,
primarily the size of the manifold in relation to the required
total angle of coverage from the combination of sprays. A
requirement of a wide angle of spray coverage will determine that
the target plane is larger than the manifold 18. Conversely, if
the manifold 18 is positioned within the opening, i.e. an
extraction duct, which was substantially the same dimension as
manifold 18 then the target plane C-D would be smaller than the
manifold. Other factors that effect the size and position of the
target plane include, the cone angle of individual sprays, the
number of nozzles on the manifold and the spacing of the nozzles.
It has been determined that the effect of multiple nozzles
projecting a fine water spray in the desired pattern to
substantially fill and combine within an imaginary target area, is
to entrap gasses within the water droplets 40 and move the mixture
in one general direction 16. In the illustration of Figure 10
2 1 68376
showing the general area filled by the sprays from the various
nozzles as numbered in Figure 9, the areas of the individual sprays
have all been shown circular for simplicity, but most, if not all,
will form an elliptical pattern at their position in initial
contact in the plane C-D.
It is important that the pattern and angles at which the
nozzles 11 are arranged about the manifold 18 direct the conical
sprays so that their adjacent peripheries converge as above
described. It should be noted that the adjacent spray patterns
continue to mix and overlap after reaching the point of converging,
giving the target plane C-D a depth of a third dimension in some
The point at which the adjacent peripheries of the conical
sprays converge will be of a distance in the range of 10 to 60
inches from the main plane A-B, preferably this distance is 10-25
It is estimated that there will generally never be less than
approximately six nozzles in any such patterns and generally the
number of nozzles will exceed 10.
In the disclosed embodiments the nozzle system 10 has
either been shown as hand held or temporarily positioned in an
op~n;ng. It will be apparent that the system could be permanently
mounted or mounted to be swung into position in a passage or
opening in a building and the system be designed so that the area
in the plane C-D is substantially filled by the sprays which
substantia~ly corresponds with the cross sectional area of the
passage or opening (see for example the proximity of the sprays to
the frame in Figure 4).
In those applications where a portable unit is used it is
preferred to position the nozzle system so that the sprays are
directed to substantially fill the opening in which the nozzle
system is being positioned.
A prototype of the present invention was built in the form
illustrated in Figures 1 and 4 using nozzles of the type
2 1 68376
illustrated in Figure 8 and wherein the 32 nozzles were aimed to
form the pattern shown in Figure 10 in a C-D plane positioned 30
cms from the A-B plane of the prototype manifold. The dimensions
of the manifold 18R was about S5 cms square and the nozzles in each
set where spaced about 8 cms apart.
The prototype manifold was supplied by a pump pumping about
280 litres of water per minute at a pressure of about 600
To test the nozzle system flames and smoke were produced
adjacent to one end of a 4 foot long 4 foot square tunnel and the
prototype nozzles system was positioned at the opposite end of the
tunnel which was about 10 feet from the fire producing the smoke
and flames. The nozzle system easily sucked substantially all the
smoke (and flames) through the tunnel and ejected the smoke at the
lS opposite side and away from the test area. The system developed
flow through the tunnel at about 12 miles per hour and moved about
lS,000 cubic feet of gasses per minute.
The nozzle pattern was then altered by changing the angles of
the nozzles or reducing i.e. blocking off some of the nczzles of
the system so that in either case (re-aiming or reducing the nunber
of nozzles) the sprays did not converge and substantially fill the
area in the plane C-~. Invariably the resultant flow through the
tunnel was significantly reduced, in some cases to as little as 25%
of the flow obtained with the unaltered prototype.
Having described the invention, modifications will be evident
to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the
invention as defined in the appended claims.