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Flowmatic, a whole new generation of fire hose nozzles for the war on fire!


If the market for fire hoses in recent years has shown little in the way of innovation, now the arrival of Flowmatic from LEADER is set to change that. Offered with a body in Fibertech® composite, a real technical evolution, flames will now know a new enemy!

To fight fire effectively, each fireman must have the very best of material at his disposal. In fact, the quality of his intervention and, of course, his safety depends completely on the tools he has to hand.

The Research and Development team at LEADER have studied in depth today's usage situations and the current constraints around fire hoses and nozzles and now offer a broad range of nozzles, in order to answer the many operational challenges they have identified.

LEADER has developed four different families of fire hose nozzle.

- Selectable variable flow nozzles
- Automatic nozzles
- Automatic nozzles with low pressure mode
- High pressure automatic nozzles

Here we have tested Flowmatic – automatic nozzles – for you.

Informed by their frequent exchanges with the fire fighting profession, the manufacturer first of all wanted to offer a nozzle with an aluminium body. This choice aims clearly to reassure buyers who appreciate the advantages of this well known material.

For others who are looking for this same kind of technical specification but are not wedded to the same material, the R&D team at the French manufacturer has now also developed a fire hose nozzle with a body formed from a composite material – the only one of its kind currently on the market. This glass fibre based composite gives an extremely resistant material whose properties are similar to those of aluminium.

When made in this composite, the body of the fire hose nozzle gives an impressive combination of lightness and resilience. It is lighter than brass and aluminium and at the same time shows stronger resistance to the corrosion which is often encountered during fire fighting, as a result of extended periods in a saline environment or in use with foam concentrates.

A first sight there is little difference to make out between these two models – however the model on the top is in the composite material and the model on the bottom in aluminium. The wide bumper and two notches allow the user to identify and select, even with their eyes closed, the different streams, the jet for attack or the spray for protection; an undeniable plus when in difficult conditions. Over to the right, the jet is straight, while the purger is activated when you turn the head all the way to the left.

The composite also shows high thermal resistance – there is no deformation of the mass at high temperatures – unlike aluminium. Likewise thermal insulation as the insulated fibre in cold usage conditions naturally insulates the user from the cold.

The design of the handle is also remarkable – whether in aluminium or composite Fibertech®, the easy to grip, flow-control handle is ergonomically designed to offer a very natural ‘fit’ for the hand. It is also wide enough to be held even when wearing very large fire fighters’ gloves and it is easy to switch between the five different flow settings. It really is very simple to handle even under high pressure and therefore minimises user tiredness and allows for rapid and easy opening and closing, so you can master the pulsing technique. The stainless steel slide valve allows for very controlled, precise management of both the flow and also the movements of the jet stream.

Spray teeth make for a fog of very fine droplets for a protective spray. These teeth are largely unbreakable, as they are protected by a bumper made of polyurethane, resistant to high temperatures or to hydrocarbons and other aggressive chemicals.

It is also easy to employ the diffused attack jet and it holds a good, compact shape in use, which offers very good coverage scope. It holds its shape and structure even through a range of movements. This is largely down to the slide valve, which enables highly controlled, precise attacks through the suppleness of its operation. Its angle could perhaps be a little more concentrated, in order to adapt even better to current techniques in fire fighting but happily the Flowmatic has been developed to allow you to adjust the stream. In a quarter turn you switch easily and rapidly to a straight stream. The handle is easy to use and the stream can be held very straight. These two fire hose nozzles are two tools which respond perfectly to today's needs in the war on fire.

It enables highly controlled, precise attacks.

OUR VERDICT

Once again LEADER has shown its ability to innovate in making proprietary fire hose nozzles and, in introducing these new materials, has the courage to challenge today's techniques and attitudes. The Flowmatic is both a design success and a technical success, with a nozzle remodelled and adapted to the realities of use today. Easy to handle and well balanced, the Flowmatic, be it in aluminium or in the new Fibertech® composite, works in harmony with the fire fighter to enable him to react to the least need. The nozzle offers an excellent quality of stream while at the same time allowing the fire fighter to keep a firm hold and very easily adjust the stream. Further, we hear that the manufacturer will shortly come with further innovations to the diffused stream of attack.

The composite body, in a matt colour, is really quite beautiful to look at. The head of the nozzle has a strong grip, allowing for good handling, even in difficult conditions, when the fireman's gloves are wet for example. Sign of real modernity, the head is engraved with a unique code, allowing each individual unit made and sold to be tracked right from manufacture all the way through to after sales service. Around the lever on the adjustable flow handle, the robust and chunky design protects the part, to avoid it deteriorating over time.

More information: http://www.leadernorthamerica.com/

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