Particle Size

Why Small is Beautiful

Common to all Concept standard smoke generators is our incorporation of precision machined, specially treated steel heat exchanger blocks, in which the smoke fluid is vaporised.

What sets us apart?

At the heart of all Concept mains powered smoke generators is a heat exchanger block which is machined to tolerances that are measured in microns. This approach results in a consistency of smoke quality and smoke particle size that is unmatched by other manufacturers.

That may seem academic, but if you take the adjacent picture as an example, if the particle on the right was a 0.2 micron Concept particle, the one on the left would be just over 1.5 micron diameter. That’s fairly typical of our competition, who generally produce fog particles 1 – 5 micron diameter using cast or platen type heat exchangers.

This compares with a typical particle size of just 0.2- 0.3 micron mmd for the vast majority of our smoke systems, be they water or oil based.

The general benefits of producing such a consistent and clearly defined particle distribution are:

  • the smaller the particle size of the smoke, (or more accurately fog) the smaller the amount of chemical is required within the atmosphere to achieve any given visibility. This can have a significant effect on running costs for heavy users of artificial smoke (fire brigades etc.)
  • the less the amount of chemical in the atmosphere, the safer the smoke if measured in terms of relative Occupational Exposure Levels.
  • the smaller the particle size of the smoke, the lower its settling velocity (the rate at which a particle will fall, due to gravity). A smoke particle of unit density, 0.2 micron in diameter, will fall at 8mm /hr, compared to a 2 micron particle, which falls at 468mm/hr. In essence this means that the smaller the particle of smoke you produce, the less chance there is that deposition of smoke particles will occur.
view of sectioned block
particle size comparison
thermal generator

Concept's expertise in our field means that we actually produce systems specifically designed to fulfil the requirements of BS 5295/EN-ISO 14644-3 Section C.6.3, for the testing of HEPA filters in the nuclear, chemical and pharmaceutical industries Concept also have personnel registered with the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) for site work at nuclear establishments.

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Confined Space Rescue Program Manager - North Tree Fire

ViCount use in Hot Fire Trainer

The machine has performed flawlessly up to this point and I purchased the machine from you at least six or seven years ago.

I have to confess I have never cleaned the orifice with the drill as you mentioned.

Actually, after the install, I have never worked on the machine again which, I am sure, is at least neglect on my part.

We originally had two smoke generators in the trainer, one fore and one aft.   The other machine (not Concepts) is quite a bit older
and it quit about two years ago but we found that the ViCount generated so much smoke we did not really need two machines.

The machine is protected from the heat of the trainer by a bulkhead with a port for the smoke to get through.

To give you an idea of the efficiency and quantity and the character of the smoke, the ceiling temperature inside the trainer as verified by two gauges reaches about 1300 degrees F. The smoke level inside the trainer is maintained quite adequately from the floor to about the
four and one half foot level but not much higher due to the temperature. We have found that it burns off at about 450 degrees F (230C).

Your smoke machine has trained hundreds of line Firefighters from all over the US including from major metropolitan Fire Departments such as Los Angeles County Fire, Pasadena Fire, San Jose Fire, Las Vegas Fire, Oakland Fire, Berkeley Fire, Sacramento Metro Fire, Cal Fire, and many federal agencies as well.

The training and experience those fire fighters receive in the intense heat and disorientingly smoky environment the ViCount helps create has without question saved lives and injuries as well as millions of dollars of property damage that may have occurred without the level of training
the ViCount helps provide.

Thank you for your help and support.

Best regards,

Mitch Ward CIHM
NorthTree Fire
Confined Space Rescue Program Manager