Hose is the firefighter’s lifeline—whether it’s 1½-inch, 1¾-inch, or 2½-inch attack line or 4-inch, 5-inch, or 6-inch large-diameter hose (LDH) supply line. Attack lines may get most of the attention during a structure fire, but it’s the LDH supply lines that make their prolonged use possible, essentially serving as above-ground water mains.
Doug Bonney, director of sales and marketing for Key Hose, says his company has seen a migration in LDH hose use from rubber covered supply hose to woven double-jacket products. “Our ECO-10 supply hose is a lightweight, double-jacket construction, combining premium ring-spun staple and filament polyester fibers over a thin-wall, high tensile [ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM)] rubber liner,” Bonney says. “The outer jacket is mildew-resistant and available with Key-Lok, a polyurethane-based polymer impregnation for abrasion and moisture resistance.” ECO-10 is available in 3-, 4-, and 5-inch sizes in 300-pounds-per-square-inch (psi) service test pressure and 800-psi burst test pressure.
1 The Pro-Flow LDH supply line hose made by Key Hose is shown supplying a pumper at a fire scene run by River Vale (NJ) Fire Department. (Photo courtesy of Key Hose.)
Key Hose also makes Pro-Flow LDH in 4-inch and 5-inch sizes, Bonney points out. “Pro-Flow is lightweight, heat-resistant, and ozone- and chemical-resistant,” he says. “The nitrile/PVC through-the-weave design allows the hose to expand under pressure, decreasing friction loss and increasing water flow. It’s thin-rib rubber outer cover offers increased resistance to impact, punctures, and abrasions; is maintenance-free; and doesn’t require any drying.” Key Hose’s Pro-Flow HP LDH has the same characteristics as Pro-Flow, Bonney notes, but is a high-pressure LDH supply hose with a 300-psi service test pressure.
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NORTH AMERICAN FIRE HOSE
Mike Peterson, senior sales manager for North American Fire Hose Corp., says North American makes four types of double-jacket LDH: Poly-Tuff 600™, a polyester double-jacket rubber-lined hose; Poly-Flow 600™, with a polyester double-jacket exterior and thermoplastic liner; Dura-Built 600™, a nylon double-jacket hose that’s rubber-lined; and Tri-Flow 600™, a nylon double-jacket hose with a thermoplastic liner. Each of those LDH varieties has a 300-psi service test pressure and 600-psi acceptance test pressure and is available in 4- and 5-inch sizes.
2 North American Fire Hose’s Dura-Built 600™ LDH, a nylon double-jacket hose that’s rubber lined, is shown connected to a Santa Barbara (CA) Fire Department pumper. (Photo courtesy of North American Fire Hose.)
“Poly-Tuff 600 features Poly-Cord™ ring-spun polyester warp yarns combined with filament polyester filler yarns and is available with our Ultra-Shield™ high-performance polymeric coating applied to seal each fiber in the bundle, further improving abrasion resistance, reducing moisture and chemical absorption, and providing vivid color-coded identification,” Peterson says. The EPDM rubber lining is unaffected by ozone deterioration, he notes, and is one component in the Friction Fighter System™ “that creates an extremely smooth waterway surface, thereby reducing friction loss and significantly improving nozzle performance. The Dura-Bond™ vulcanized fusing system, which creates both a mechanical and chemical permanent bond between the EPDM lining and the inner jacket, eliminates the possibility of delamination.”
Poly Flow 600 LDH has many of Poly-Tuff’s features, Peterson says, and its Dura-Thane™ polyurethane inner lining makes it extremely lightweight and compact. It loads more tightly and requires less hosebed space, he adds, while at the same time providing more pressure capability, maneuverability, and flexibility.
North American’s Dura-Built 600 LDH features “exclusive Dura-Cord® advanced air-textured nylon 6-6 continuous lament warp yarns, resulting in toughness, abrasion resistance, cut resistance, tear strength, and heat resistance when compared to competitive nylon, spun polyester, or lament polyester warp constructions,” according to Peterson. It has Ultra-Shield high-performance polymeric coating seals, an EPDM rubber lining, the Friction Fighter System, and a Dura-Bond vulcanized fusing system.
The company’s Tri-Flow 600 uses Dura-Cord Nylon 6-6 continuous lament warp yarns, Ultra-Shield polymeric coating seals, a Dura-Thane polyurethane inner lining, and the Friction Fighter System. North American also makes Hi-Flow 400™ LDH, a nitrile rubber through-the-weave construction encapsulated in a nitrile rubber compound to provide good heat and chemical resistance in 4- and 5-inch sizes with a 200-psi service test pressure and 400-psi acceptance test pressure.
Mike Woods, director of sales for All-American Hose, says his company makes a variety of LDH in both double-jacket polyester and nitrile rubber versions in 4-, 5-, and 6-inch sizes under the Snap-Tite and Ponn brands. All-American makes Snap-Tite TPX Hose, a three-ply nitrile rubber LDH with a ribbed cover and smooth nitrile liner that are extruded independently. “The cover is inserted inside the tight-weave polyester reinforcement, vulcanized, then turned inside-out,” Woods says. “The liner is then inserted, and the hose is vulcanized a second time to form a bond of all three plies, guaranteeing a consistent, compact hose wall. This makes the lightweight TPX more resistant to puncture and easier to pack and store, requiring less hosebed space than typical extruded hose.”
3 Kryptonite LDH is a polyurethane hose made by All-American Hose under the Snap-Tite brand. (Photo courtesy of All-American Hose.)
All-American also makes Snap-Tite ATX LDH, which is manufactured in a similar process as the TPX but in a heavier gauge so that its stronger jacket increases the service test pressure to 300 psi instead of the 200 psi for the TPX version. Woods notes, “ATX’s nitrile rubber cover greatly increases abrasion resistance and provides long service life, and the tightly woven reinforcement resists puncture.”
Snap-Tite HFX LDH has a nitrile through-the-weave, rubber-covered hose design using both polyester and nylon 6.6 yarn in the reinforcing jacket. “Under pressure, the polyester keeps the hose from ‘snaking,’ ” Woods points out, “where the nylon allows for controlled dilation, reducing friction loss, and generating higher flow rates. A special rubber compound creates a tough cover that resists heat, abrasion, snags, and hot embers.” Snap-Tite Kryptonite LDH, made in 4- and 5-inch diameters, is extruded through-the-weave polyurethane hose that doesn’t absorb carcinogens and can be easily washed off, repacked, and put away for the next use, Woods says. Kryptonite is available in 100-foot lengths, either in hi-viz green or blaze orange.
All-American also makes a polyester double-jacket supply hose called Conquest (FC) under the Ponn brand, Woods says. “Conquest has a patented through-the-weave extruded polyurethane liner with a smooth surface that delivers maximum water flow,” he says. “Conquest logs friction loss reductions of more than 50 percent compared to other hose designs, delivering more water at standard operating pressure. The outer jacket is 100 percent high-tensile-strength ring-spun polyester, and the Dura-Cote treatment increases abrasion resistance to more than 50 times that of uncoated hose, increases burn resistance by 500 percent, virtually eliminates water pickup, is resistant to petrochemicals, and extends the life of the hose.”
MERCEDES TEXTILES LTD.
Jamie Emblem, Northeast region salesman for Mercedes Textiles Ltd., says his company makes MEGAFLO® in 4-, 5-, and 6-inch sizes with a 300-psi service test rating. “It’s our most popular double-jacket LDH hose, with an extruded through-the-weave Mertex® liner instead of a glued liner,” Emblem points out, “allowing for very low friction loss and low elongation. MEGAFLO also packs a lot better than rubber products because our patented Breather Technology allows air to escape between layers, which also creates superior strength and increases flexibility.”
4 Mercedes Textiles’s 6-inch MEGAFLOW LDH is shown connected to this industrial pumper at a refinery in New Jersey. (Photo courtesy of Mercedes Textiles Ltd.)
Mercedes Textiles also offers Highwater Hose Deluge™, a rubber nitrile rubber-covered LDH using through-the-weave liner technology. “These products are fabricated using superior quality synthetic yarns and covered with specially blended nitrile rubber, resulting in a hose capable of showing exceptional strength and resistance within any hazardous environment,” Emblem says. “A Highwater hose demonstrates superior resistance to cuts and abrasion, high heat, and has the ability to remain flexible in low temperatures.”
Chris Joines, general manager of Firequip, notes that Firequip makes two types of LDH in cloth jackets: Attack Lite Nylon and Attack Lite Poly. “Attack Lite Nylon uses a nylon jacket and is available with either an EPDM lining or a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) liner,” Joines says. “It’s available in 4-inch and 5-inch sizes.” Firequip’s Attack Lite Poly is available in 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7½-inch diameters, he notes, with 5-inch being the most popular. Attack Lite Poly has a polyester double jacket and is available with either EPDM or TPU liners.
5 Firequip makes Full Flow LDH in 4-, 5-, and 6-inch sizes at a 300-psi service test pressure. (Photo courtesy of Firequip.)
Firequip also makes two rubber-jacket LDH models: Hydro Flow and Full Flow. Hydro Flow is available in 4-, 5-, and 6-inch sizes. “The 5-inch has a 225-psi service test pressure and is available in a high-pressure version with a 300-psi service test pressure,” Joines says. “The 4-inch has a 250-psi service test pressure, while the high-pressure 4-inch version has a 300-psi service test pressure.” Firequip’s Full Flow LDH is rubber jacketed and TPU extruded through-the-weave lined, available in 4- and 5-inch diameters.
Toby Mathews, president of MaTex Hose, says his company makes MaTex Nitrex Fire LDH, a rubber-covered nitrile supply hose with a 225-psi service test pressure. “It’s a nitrex/PVC through-the-weave rubber-covered construction that gives good resistance to abrasion in a standard rib pattern and excellent abrasion resistance in a HD rib,” Mathews says. “Nitrex Fire LDH has a high resistance to oil, gasoline, and a wide range of chemicals, and it is very resistant to both contact and radiant heat.” The LDH is available in 4-, 5-, and 6-inch diameters.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.