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Tulsa-based SpectrumFX takes fire-suppression technology to market

Innovations columnist Rex Smitherman writes about Tulsa-based SpectrumFX and its fire-suppression technology.
By Rex Smitherman Published: November 20, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks, Kent Faith, founder and CEO of SpectrumFX, was awarded OCAST Technology Business Finance Program financing, received his first two purchase orders, and presented SpectrumFX's unique technology to a 100-plus person international audience.

He also put an 1,800-degree blowtorch to his hands and arms without suffering the slightest burn.

Faith's skin was coated with Firebane, a fire-suppression agent that suppresses all types of fires. Tulsa-based SpectrumFX is licensed to sell Firebane to the civil aviation industry and is targeting other commercial markets.

“No other fire extinguishing agent does what we do,” Faith said.

“We can provide a unique solution to environments of extreme danger to life and property from lithium battery and molten metal fires, including airplanes, NASCAR events, data centers and the oil industry.”

Halon, the most commonly used fire-extinguishing agent in aviation, doesn't completely extinguish molten metal fires, depletes the ozone and can cause human illness.

The onboard protocol for commercial aircraft is to use halon supplemented by a nonalcoholic liquid, such as water, coffee, or soda, to extinguish the fire.

“We have developed the LIFE kit (Lithium Fire Extinguishing) for commercial aviation, which can supplement halon to fully extinguish lithium battery fires,” says Faith, a commercial pilot who understands firsthand the potential risk and impact of fire incidents inside a jet.

Almost all personal electronic devices carried by passengers are powered by lithium batteries, so there are hundreds of these batteries on most commercial aircraft.

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The FAA estimates that lithium battery fires onboard cargo planes will cost $39.5 million per year in damage.


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