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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/898

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Asphyxiating a Fire with Sulphur

An apparatus which protects a ship against flames and assures it a clean bill of health

���The fire-extinguishing and fumigating apparatus installed in the Minnesotan. After and forward main discharge-pipes connect with branch pipes which lead to eacli compartment of the vessel

��0\ II of ilic- lessons learned in figiiting -.liip fires is that the ideal form of extinguisher in an enclosed space like the hold of a ship is a gas which dis- places the air by its own specific gra\ity, and is itself a non-supporter of combustion. This gas is found in sulphur dioxide, made when needed from ordinary commercial sulphur. Engineers and scientists ha\e recognized it for years as a fire-e.\tingui> On the other iiand, as a efficient gas for fumigat- ting purposes, its \aiue has been admitted for some two tiiousand years. It would seem, therefore, that an ap- paratus devised to utilize the gas.as i)olh a fire-extinguisherand fumigator aboard ships would meet with great success.

Such an apparatus has been installed on the .Xmeric.in-I iawaii- an steamship Miuiie- sotan. It consists essentially of a fur- nace, a blower and an engine. The furnace is built on the principle of a marine boiler. Sulphur is admitted into the melting pot through the top, and compressed air is |)umped directly into the furnace. The gas fr)rmed from the air an<l suli)hur is convi'scil from the top of the furnace back and forth through tul)es siMTounded by circul.iting water. This cools the gas, after wiiich it is tlisch.irged through a pipe, and carried to its destination utuler pressure. I-'urlher- more, the gas can be Tu.nle nl .1 <|u.ility or

���The furnace is built on the principle of a marine boiler. Sulphur is admitted through the top, and the gas is conveyed through tubes

��density to suit a fire-extinguishing or a fumigating case.

The gas machine is placed in a steel deckliouse on the upper deck just abaft the smokestack. From this point after and forward main di.scharge-pipes connect with branch pipes which, in turn, extend to w ithin two feet of the floor of each hold in the vessel. All the branch lines are lied by manifold \al\-es, lat the gas ma\- be forced to an\- one of the several ompartments.

.All of the piping is of gah'anized iron. Fittings are avoided wherever possible, bentis being substitu- It'd. While a separ.ite pipe line lor the gas is usualK- ]iro\ ;ded, a combined gas and steam installation has been worked out on the M ill lie solan . However, all pockets where condensed steam could collect h,i\e been eliminated, and there is alw.i\s a free How of water to the drains pro\ided, so as to keeji the pipes as dr\' as possible for the gas.

One \;i'r\- im))ort.int fe.iture of the appa- r.itus is .1 |)ro\ision w hicli kei'ps the gas from beini; dr.iwn from the ni.ichine through the pumping .ipp.ir.itus. Onl\' .lir is pumpe<!, and th.it into the furnace where the gas is gi'nerated. The g.is does not come into contact with the blower outfit at any time <!in'ing the oper.ition of the .ipp.ir.itiis, either in tiri'-lighling or fumig.itin;;.

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