BP Slide Rules

International energy giants, BP have teamed up with IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) to publish two slide rules, designed to help with the estimation of foam application rates and thereby reduce the dangers of tank fires.

Covering both metric (SI) and imperial units (US), the rules are ideal for tank designers, fire-fighters and fire brigade officers. The rules are part of BP and IChemE’s Process Safety publications range and should be used in conjunction with Liquid Hydrocarbon Tank Fires: Prevention and Response.

The first rule enables the user to estimate the application flow, and foam and water quantities required for a full surface tank fire using mobile, or fixed fire fighting equipment.

The second rule enables the user to estimate the flow, foam and water quantities for a rim seal fire using fixed fire fighting equipment, based on the tank diameter and a bund (dike) fire, based on the spill surface or bund surface on fire.

Relatively few people have had direct experience in fighting tank fires yet their potential for devastation was brought to the public eye in December 2005. 20 tank fires in Buncefield, UK led to the biggest post-war fire in Europe, needing 15 million litres of water – 32,000 per minute and 250,000 litres of foam to extinguish the blaze.

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