PHOS-CHeK offers two Gels to the Australian market, Insul-8 liquid concentrate and AquaGel-K dry granular. These water enhancers have unique properties which make them ideal for fire suppression use in many wildfire situations.
PHOS-CHeK Gels are Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP). Depending on the concentration and water quality, water can be thickened or ‘enhanced’. Gel concentrates can be educted, proportioned or batch mixed.
Direct fire suppression from Ground based equipment, such as Tankers or Slip-ons, with Gel, can provide benefits. Water efficiency is greater with a thickened product, as water runoff is diminished from the seat of the fire and wetting will last longer than water alone. Mix ratios for this application are typically at the low end, say 0.1-0.3%
For aerial application, we have determined mix ratios that absorb all the free water. This provides for increased target control (reduced drift), better-controlled evaporation in advance of the fire, controlled evaporation on the fire, and increased cooling and wetting time on the fuel. AquaGel-K is recommended for aerial use in direct attack for fire suppression. When AquaGel-K is mixed, the granular crystals swell, absorbing water. This larger droplet size gives a much better recovery rate on the ground than water or un-thickened products.
For structural protection, mix ratios are generally the highest, as we try to achieve a thickened gel that can adhere to and insulate a Structure for a period of time. Insul-8 is recommended for this application as it is possible to develop coatings of several inches on most vertical surfaces with little slumping.
PHOS-CHeK Gel products have been tested and approved for use by the USDA Forest Service as a water enhancer. The Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC), a peak body of all Fire Authorities in Australia, recognizes these standards and produces a Qualified Products List. Approved products must satisfy criteria addressing environmental, corrosion and human health effects. We are committed to providing fire fighters with the safest, most effective, and environmentally friendly products available.