Zaragoza Center, the vehicle research institute based in the town of Pedrola, has recently commercialized a fire blanket designed to put out fires in cars of any kind without using water.
It is a kind of cover that completely covers the vehicle and that it is made of materials based on those that incorporate space shuttles to ensure that they do not burn when they enter the atmosphere, explains Enrique Chacón, industrial engineer and head of Business Development at Centro Zaragoza.
“It is made of quartz and is covered with silicone to facilitate its handling”, says the expert, who emphasizes that this extinction system is the result of the collaboration between Centro Zaragoza, the Norwegian company Bridegehill and the Firemen of the City of Zaragoza, which recently tested the fire blanket successfully.
The key to the product is that it completely interrupts the supply of oxygen to the fire, while isolating it from the environment, so that it prevents the spread of toxic smoke resulting from combustion. “When the vehicle is covered, the fire does not receive oxygen and is suffocated“, insists Chacón, who says that the great advantage of the new blanket is that, in a matter of seconds, it ends with the emission of toxic substances and pollutants, both those derived from smoke and those that the water would carry if used in extinction and then penetrate the subsoil.
“It is a system totally environmentally friendly, that is another of its undoubted advantages, “says the head of Business Development at Centro Zaragoza.
Another notable feature of the blanket is that it is designed for all types of vehicles, not exclusively electric vehicles, although these receive special attention due to the risk of thermal leakage of their rechargeable batteries.
They have been designed two different versions of this product. One of them is the professional fireproof blanket, that is, for equipment that intervenes in an emergency. The cost of the unit is 1,990 euros plus VAT.
It’s about a price more than affordable if one takes into account that the same case can be used fifty times. Hence, fire stations are the users that will be most benefited by a technical advance that simplifies their task and improves the result of the intervention.
Another variant of fire retardant canvas is the one that is used for a single use. It sells for 990 euros plus VAT and is intended for places where numerous vehicles are parked, be they repair shops or parking lots.
A blanket with these qualities, by stopping combustion dry, can prevent a burning car from generating a chain fire spread from vehicle to vehicle. In this sense, it is very suitable for professionals in the automotive world, since they can take measures before even the arrival of firefighters. There are also two by two meter blankets that are intended to protect battery assemblies.
Nowadays, the fire blanket is in a crucial phase of launch and at the beginning of its commercialization in Spain. For this reason, Centro Zaragoza and Bridgehill will participate, from February 25 to 28 of this year, in the International Security Fair (SICUR), which will take place at the Ifema site, in Madrid.
The introduction of this new safety element is accompanied by a training program focused on the safe handling of electric vehicles. The students come mostly from workshops, assistance services and intervention teams in case of emergency. All these groups have in common to be the first to act before a wrecked vehicle.
Control of material and bodily damages
The objective of Centro Zaragoza is the investigation for the management and control of material damages, as well as the prevention of bodily damage within the automobile insurance. Likewise, the entity encourages all kinds of initiatives to improve road safety. The Zaragoza Center is an institute for research on vehicles. It is financed by 10 insurance companies that represent 65% of car insurance premiums in Spain and more than 30% in Portugal.