As a part of the Passive Fire Protection course, we had a visit to PROMAT facility. PROMAT is a market leader in passive fire protection, they are presented in 43 countries and Belgium is one of them. PROMAT develops new products, new generation of existing products and improves the quality of products manufactured in different factories around the world.
We had a lecture on the Compartmentation as a part of our Passive Fire Protection course and after it – a tour around the PROMAT facility.
We were guided through the quality lab and the industrial building, where we’ve seen some products manufacturing and also we witnessed some products testing. One of these tests was the use of intumescent paint for the fire fighting. Two tubes were set on fire. One was completely protected by carbon intumescent material. The material swallowed up when the ignition inside the tube started, preventing the tube from burning down. Uncovered tube totally burned.
For the Active Fire Protection I: Detection and Suppression class we had two visits in one day. In the first half of the day we have visited LANXESS – a leading specialty chemicals company.
The purpose of this visit was to see and to understand how gas extinguishing systems work in the facilities of such scope. Pictures were not allowed to be taken in that facility, but for your understanding we looked somehow like this:
After chemistry facility we went to the Katoen Natie, a factory to conserve and restore drawings. The protection of the pieces of art is always a challenge for fire safety engineer. For this storage water mist extinguishing system was chosen to prevent the fast spread of fire and destruction of drawings by water.
Unfortunately, pictures were also not allowed there. That is due to the fact that in the storage we have visited, paintings of such famous artists as Rubens are stored and museum workers do not want people from the outside see them.
So, why do we love industrial visits so much? Well, I would say that it is due to good organization of these trips (transport and lunch are provided in the most of the cases), atmosphere of the “school trip” and full immersion in the industrial process.
These trips are one of the things I will desperately miss after the end of IMFSE program.