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Cloth or Fabric Hoses for Special Applications

A fire hose is a high-pressure hose that carries water or fire retardant foam to a fire to extinguish it. Outdoors this gets attached to a fire engine or hydrant, and indoors it can be permanently attached to the plumbing system. Earlier cotton was the most common natural fiber used in fire hoses but modern hoses use synthetic fiber like polyester or nylon filament.

These synthetic fibers provide additional strength and better resistance to abrasion. The fiber yarns are dyed in various colors or may be left natural. Coatings and liners include synthetic rubbers such as styrene butadiene, ethylene propylene, chloroprene, polyurethane, and nitrile butadiene. These compounds provide varied degrees of resistance to chemicals, temperature, ultraviolet radiation and abrasion.

Different coatings and liners are chosen for specific applications. Hard suction hose consists of multiple layers of rubber and woven fabric encapsulating an internal helix of steel wire. Some very flexible hard suction hose uses a thin polyvinyl chloride cover with a polyvinyl chloride plastic helix. A fabric-covered fire hose has one or more layers of woven fabric as a reinforcement material.

A hose with one layer is called single jacket hose and is used where light-weight is important or where the hose is expected to have infrequent service. A forestry hose is single jacket for light-weight. An industrial fire hose is single jacket because it sees infrequent use. A hose with two layers is called a double jacket hose.

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