Auto tarping system has the potential to reduce tarping-related injuries. Therefore, in cooperation with the BC Bulk Haulers Injury Elimination Task Force, FPInnovations reviewed two prototype auto-tarping systems that will work on flow-through type B-trains. Initial observations for these systems were documented in this Info Note
The goal of the project was to develop a new wildland fire sprinkler capable of stream-height adjustment. A Fire Cobra prototype was built base on a design from a team of University of Alberta Mechanical Engineering students. Through field tests, the prototype was inferior and would require additional modifications to become functional.
A modified rainbird sprinkler was tested and it produced 8 m semi-vertical stream. The conclusions reached from the testing included that is possible to use an attachment kit to modify an existing kit sprinkler and farther engineering would be required to provide for a more streamlined kit design capable of sustaining the desired pressure ranges.
Over the course of the project a new industrial sprinkler called the FireBozz was identified in the market place. The legs of FireBozz can be adjusted to change the stream angle height.
A remote control wire rope inspection prototype, using establishment electromagnetic scanning technology, was developed as a method of assessing the condition of cables used in log yarding systems. This electromagnetic wire rope inspection system could result in better utilization of cable life and reduced costs associated with skyline replacement and cable changeover. This report describes the development process and the potential economic benefits of this system.
An effective self-releasing choker hook should improve productivity and safety by reducing both the time to unhook in the landing and the chaser's exposure to hazard. FERIC has developed a modification to the conventional hook configuration and patented a simple, mechanical, self-releasing choker hook for cable yarding. Choker release is activated by the changing direction of pull that occurs when the operator lands the turn and begins to send the rigging back into the cutblock. Field evaluations on cable yarding operations in British Columbia, Washington State and Norway have demonstrated productivity increases exceeding 10%.
Collisions on forest roads pose a threat to other forestry workers and other travellers. To improve driver safety, FERIC designed a warning system based on FM radio that shows considerable promise. This Advantage report presents the successful results of an operational trial, and discusses implementation issues that remain to be resolved.
Interior partition walls for non-residential and high-rise residential construction are an US$8 billion market opportunity in Canada and the United States (Crespell and Poon, 2014). They represent 1.6 billion ft² (150 million m²) of wall area where wood currently has less than 10% market share. To approach this market a new system would be needed to compete against the incumbent system (wood/steel stud plus gypsum). The system would need to have an installed cost before finishing of approximately US$5 per ft² or lower. The system would also need to meet several code requirements for strength, sound transmission and fire resistance (flame spread and burn through). Crespell and Poon further concluded that to be truly transformative, the system would also need to address major trends impacting the building industry including reducing labor, reducing skilled labor, reducing onsite waste, reducing call-backs, and easily recyclable with low environmental impact. A likely market entry point for wood-based interior partition systems may be in taller and larger wood buildings.
Work described in this report investigated the fabrication, installation, acoustic and combustion properties of prototype interior partition wall designs.
Two types of non-structural prototype interior wall panels designated Type A and Type C were installed between two offices in the FPInnovations Vancouver laboratory. Wood sill plates for mounting the prototype panels were fastened to the concrete floor, sides and top of the opening between the two offices to produce a frame for mounting the test panels. Panels were fastened to the frame using dry wall screws. This same method of installation is envisioned in practice. The installation method makes it easy and fast to both install and remove the wall panels.
Acoustic tests showed the difference in ASTC rating measured between a double wall composed of Type A and Type C prototype panels compared with a double wood stud wall with gypsum board faces was approximately 6 ASTC points. A 6 point difference would be clearly noticeable. Although the results of this study are largely qualitative, they suggest that the prototype interior partition panels would have an acoustic advantage compared to stud wall designs.
In a related study summarized in this report, the combustion properties of three prototype interior panel constructions, including Types A and C evaluated in this report, indicated that any of the three types of partition constructions could be used in combustible construction in accordance with Division B of the National Building Code of Canada.
A second related study, also summarized in this report, estimated an installed cost of US$4.07 per ft² including overhead and profit for unfinished panel partitions comparable to panel construction Type C (gypsum/OSB/wood fibre insulation) as evaluated in this study. Thus, there would appear to be potential installed and finished cost advantages for the wood-based panel partitions compared to steel or wood stud walls with gypsum faces.
Other potential advantages of the prototype interior partition panels compared with the most common, currently-used systems (wood/steel stud plus gypsum) include ease and speed of installation, ease and speed of removal, design flexibility, prefabrication including pre-finishing, and easy installation of services.
Based on the positive results of these exploratory studies, further development of wood-based interior partition systems including design, fabrication, installation and in-service performance would appear justified. Knowledge of the products and testing methods developed in these studies would be expected to speed further development.
Innovation in hotspot target equipment used for Infrared (IR) testing reduces risks and logistical challenges. This InfoNote describes the development of a new hotspot prototype for use at the IR grid in Hinton, Alberta.