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A SME from Germany is focussing on mechanical engineering. For several years, the SME was involved in a R&D project. The research product is a rescue system for buildings and architectural constructions from a height of about 100m/328ft and enables to an evacuation of up to 30 people per minute. Partners are sought for a research or technical cooperation agreement and/or a manufacturing agreement.
The rescue system was developed by a SME in Saxony, Germany. The evacuation system consists out of five elements: an evacuation hose, valves, springs, floor anchorage, and an evacuation slide/emergency chute.
Description of each element:
Evacuation hose: The evacuation hose is the principal item in the rescue system. Over the course of the project phase, six different hoses were tried out at a test station. For the effective testing of the hoses, a 24m (79ft) high scaffold tower was built and technically equipped/furnished to be a test station. The objective of these tests was to examine the influence of different parameters on the braking action. The result is a verifiably reliable and functioning evacuation hose.
The fundamental requirements of the hose are:
- Fire-resistant up to 400°C (752 °F)
- Slow persons down to less than 3m (9.84 ft) /second
- Smoke proof
Valves: To use the air, which is eliminated, from chambers, the use of backpressure valves in the intermediate shelves is necessary. These guarantee that the air is directed into the next chamber unfailingly before the body passes. A variety of designs was tested, including off-the-shelf ventilation flap valves, nautical blow-up valves and different in-house constructions.
The valves have the following requirements:
- Good responding qualities (meaning that the valve already shuts with minor variations in pressure)
- Very flat design so that the hose can be folded at a later time
- A high rate of air flow
- Not sensitive to creases in the intermediate shelves
- Leak proof, even with low pressure
- For installing vertically, whereby it needs to be sealed at the top
- No, or very little “clacking” or swaying
Springs: The evacuation hose retains its shape through the circumferential direction of the coil springs attached to the outer side. This ensures that the pretension has an effect on the inner hose. Since the spring can only be inserted into the channel bit by bit, the connection between these springs is of particular importance.
Floor anchorage: An abutment on the ground is a fundamental prerequisite in order to stretch the ropes. This is implemented through the floor anchoring system described below. The bulk of the tensile rope’s weight is set at 5 tons.
- Reliable and resilient non-electrical locking of the tensile rope weight in the funnel
- Unauthorized layers of the tensile rope weight, resulting in toppling over or the like, are to be avoided at all costs
- Manual release of the lock must be possible
- Protected against parked vehicles or the like
- Safeguarded so that people cannot fall in
A coat of neither ice, snow, sand nor standing water may handicap the functions of the floor anchoring system.
Evacuation slide/emergency chute: To guarantee a “gentle” landing on the ground, an evacuation slide is located at the end of the evacuation hose.
The slide is designed in such a way that when the feet hit the slide, it drops and the person lands safely on the ground with their feet first.
- The top part of the slide must be shaped in such a way that people cannot fall out of it
- The slide must fit into a case
- The slide must be able to fit into the hose area between the tensile ropes (1780mm or 70 inches)
- After the slide has borne the weight of one person, it must be able to return to its starting position and form on its own
- The slide must be in close proximity to the hose
The demand on production competences for the realization of a manufacturing agreement are described above. A technical cooperation refers to the clarification of relevant certification. A research cooperation agreement is sought for further development of particular materials.
Partners are sought that are able to support the project with R&D and certification competences. Further, there is a need for production capacities within the framework of a research or technical cooperation agreement.
The fire disaster at the Grenfell Tower in London displays the relevance of such an evacuation system.
Type: SME, MNE; Certification agencies
Activity: Certification, fire protection, construction, architecture, urban and infrastructure planning
Research cooperation agreement: Improvement of existing materials
Technical cooperation agreement: Support to realize relevant certification procedures.
Manufacturing agreement: Production of a pilot series.
Special Offshore Application Option:
One million people around the world are working on more than 2,800 offshore platforms. In case of an accident, you often find leak of deadly gases that complicates the evacuation of workers extremely.
The rescue system is able to evacuate a large amount of people within a short time. With the globally unique special airtight tubes, there is protection against toxic gases, such as methane and sulphuric acid.