March 22, 2019
By Alan Fulton
TRUSSVILLE, ALA. — At Amerex, we’re constantly innovating to meet customers’ needs by listening and improving our products. Quality, service and innovation are at the forefront of our operation. Amerex has developed and implemented a new corrosion-resistant paint process for all vehicle systems agent cylinders, nitrogen cylinders and their brackets by infusing zinc into the primer coat. While this product improvement doesn’t affect the extinguisher price, it will better protect the agent cylinders. Now available, these high-performing extinguishers serve our on-road vehicle systems and Kodiak off-road vehicle systems found in the transit, mining, waste management, agriculture and forestry industries. This strategic product improvement will protect these critical components against corrosion from hazardous materials that can eat paint away.
We strive to deliver the best in service and product development, updating features when needed because our customers’ needs and best interests are important to us. This environmentally friendly and innovative paint process provides a more effective solution for rugged markets such as waste management and city transit that demand advanced corrosion protection. These are the areas we expect to see the biggest improvement. In landfills, waste residue from the markets served can over time combine and break down. This process can cause significant damage to the agent cylinders found on the waste vehicles. It’s our goal to minimize these risks for our customers wherever possible. The new formula with the zinc-based primer provides extra corrosion protection for these vehicles that are exposed to harsh materials. Paint can also be chipped over time from handling heavy debris, exposing the primer coat. This new paint further protects the integrity of the agent cylinders, enabling them to last longer and power through the everyday dirt and grime they experience. Another area we’re seeing corrosion is with city buses in the Northeast. Specifically, in the winter, agent cylinders that are mounted close to the ground to the undercarriage of transit buses corrode from salted roads. After roads have been salted for snow, the salt lingers and is reactivated when roads melt and refreeze, and especially so if it rains. This creates a saltwater bath on the agent cylinders. These vehicle systems need to be protected from outside terrain and conditions.
By introducing this more corrosion-resistant primer, customers will benefit from a better, longer-lasting product at the same price. We’ve seen the effects of agent cylinder corrosion on these vehicle systems ourselves, and it has motivated us to innovate and create a solution to fulfill this need. While there’s not a noticeable physical difference in the agent cylinders, their lifespan will be substantially improved. Once applied to the cylinder, the zinc-based primer adheres in the paint oven at our production plant, resulting in a more corrosion-resistant paint finish. Development of the new paint process began more than a year ago, and since then, Amerex has spent thousands of hours researching and testing it. These agent cylinders have undergone strenuous testing and are ready to serve our customers in the field. Improving the longevity of our vehicle system extinguishers reinforces the Amerex mission to serve, innovate and constantly improve the quality of our products. Vehicle fire suppression systems are vital to the mass transit, mining, forestry, agriculture and waste management industries. The ever-present dangers make having the proper fire system on the vehicle so important. Learn more about our vehicle systems here.
Alan Fulton is the Vehicle Systems Product Manager for Amerex. Alan has been a part of the vehicle systems team for 27 years and the past 23 years have been as product manager. From his vast experience in the industry, Alan has seen it all. His industry knowledge plays a key role in our product development efforts at Amerex.
McWane, Inc. is a family-owned business based in Birmingham, Alabama, with companies across the United States and the world. At the McWane Family of Companies, we cast ductile iron products--including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings, and plumbing products--manufacture fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, steel pressure vessels, and build network switches and monitoring equipment. We are the leader in delivering clean, safe drinking water around the world while focusing on the safe, environmentally-friendly manufacturing of our products. With more than 6,000 team members McWane has a longstanding commitment of support to the communities where we live and work.