Boundary and compartment cooling tests were conducted on the NRL fire research vessel, ex-USS SHADWELL. These tests were part of a series of tests under the Internal Ship Conflagration Control project. A dock assembly was exposed to a post-flashover fire exposure for 20 minutes. After this exposure, the deck was cooled using manual firefighting equipment. This equipment included standard Navy firefighting nozzles variable steam and all purpose, a small diameter hose and nozzle, and a water motor fan equipped with an experimental water mister. Cooling of the deck was accomplished using both a vertical and horizontal approach. Other variables included the personal protection worn by the firefighters and venting of steam created by boundary cooling. The standard Navy equipment was effective in cooling boundaries. The small diameter hose and water mister were effective for compartment cooling when used in a horizontal approach. Steam burns occurred to protective clothing weak links, including at the hands, neck, and feet. In particular, issues involving firefighters gloves were identified. The times firefighters could stay in the fire area was a function of protective clothing and venting of steam away from the personnel. Personnel improved their performance time by rotating out of the fire area before they were totally exhausted. Based on these tests, improvements to standard Navy firefighting doctrine, tactics, and equipment were recommended. Boundary cooling, Water steam, Post-flashover fires, Navy firefighting, Firefighter protective clothing, Heat stress, Marine fire protection, Gloves, Water motor fan, Heat flux.
Prepared in collaboration with Hughes Associates, Inc., Columbia, MD.