CONSTRUCTION WORLD – JULY 2017
Innovative surfactants developed by I-CAT boost the fire-extinguishing and dust-suppression capability and effectiveness of water. Known as iFire and iMist respectively, these new products are the end result of extensive research and development.
The macromolecules function as an active surface agent to lower the surface tension of water and other liquids, Lourens Jansen van Rensburg, Marketing Director, explains. The properties of the liquid in question are effectively manipulated in order to reduce the magnetic charge of the constituent particles, thereby reducing the surface tension.
“iFire is an ideal water-treatment agent to improve the wetting capability of water which, in turn, enhances its firefighting capability’,’ Jansen van Rensburg stresses. It also results in a dramatic reduction in the quantity of water used, thereby contributing to the conservation of this scarce resource.
On the other hand, iMist results in water being adsorbed faster by substrates. This significantly improves the dust-suppression capabilities of water, as well as reducing the quantity of water needed for effective dust suppression.
The application of wet dust suppression requires the formation of liquid films to increase the adhesion of dust particles by means of hydrogen bonding. The resultant large surface area adsorbs on the dust particles spontaneously and efficiently. Applications include iMist being used as an additive to dust mist systems, dust cannons and sprayers, and also for road-dust suppression.