Piercing Rod Operation
As soon as a potential hot spot is reported, it must be located and the temperatures recorded. The hotter the fire, the more advanced and dangerous the fire is. In a confined space, like a bunker or silo, hot spots can lead to explosions, so it is critical to understand how progressed the hot spot is and plan a course of action.
Secondary explosions are always a great concern, so it is critical the area be prepared before a piercing rod operation begins. Generally, this begins with a thorough washdown of the entire area near and above the silo. The piercing rod kits come with a rotating spray nozzle that can be mounted on the piercing rod to gently clean the inside of the silo to remove any fugitive dust. Water should never be streamed during washdown. Stirring up dust can lead to an explosion.
By using a thermal imaging camera from multiple directions, you can approximate where the fire is located. A trained piercing rod team can then aim towards the hot spot, adding one 5-foot Add-A-Section at a time. The 1% F-500 EA solution is injected as the rod is inserted. The thermal imaging camera can monitor the team’s progress and even view the cooling hot spot after a successful injection of F-500 Encapsulator Agent. If the hot spot has not been totally eliminated, the piercing rod is withdrawn, by removing the 5-foot Add-A-Sections and reinserted at a better angle.
F-500 Encapsulator Agent reduces the surface tension of the water making it more efficient at penetrating powders and granulars. As it approaches its target, the F-500 EA cools the area, eliminating the fire and removing all potential for reignition. F-500 EA also interrupts the free radical chain reaction, so smoke is quickly reduced, increasing visibility.
Hazard Control Technologies not only provides the equipment and chemical agent to mitigate these fires, but can also provide consulting services before an event occurs and training targeted to every plant employee and specific piercing rod training for the plant fire brigade or local fire department. In case of an event, HCT can provide an experienced, on-site Incident Management Response Specialist to advise how to safely mitigate your silo or stockpile fires.
Having a Piercing Rod System available can quickly and safely remove the threat from a hot spot, well before it escalates into an explosion. A little investment can prevent a catastrophic loss of equipment, structures and downtime and reduce the threat to personnel.
FLIR® is a registered trademark of FLIR Systems, Inc.