The umlaut AG, which is located in Hamburg, assembles their halon‑free HAFEX fire extinguishers with an individually developed TEPRO® bracket. The global full‑service company umlaut AG offers technological and organisational consulting and implementation services for sectors such as the international aerospace industry.
Halon gas has been used in portable handheld fire extinguishers in aircraft since the 1960s.
Following its classification as a CFC gas, which depletes the ozone layer, the use of halon fire extinguishers has been prohibited throughout the EU since 2004. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have also stipulated that as of mid-2019, all newly registered wide-body aircraft must be equipped with environmentally friendly fire extinguishers and all existing aircraft must be retrofitted by 2025.
This was motivation enough for well-known manufacturer umlaut to develop a halon-free alternative. The result was HAFEX: the smallest, lightest and most versatile environmentally friendly cabin fire extinguisher.
It also needed to be versatile in terms of installation options. It was therefore created as a drop‑in alternative that could be used on existing mounting points for typical halon fire extinguishers in all civil aircraft types. It is compatible with the different mounting types used by all large aircraft manufacturers. In some aircraft types, the drop‑in feature is not needed, since the current brackets are sufficient.
For deliveries of fire extinguishers in the United States, for example, it is mandatory to always include a bracket. This law is defined by the American organisation Underwriters Laboratories, which certifies products regarding safety. However, the previously used brackets were heavy and made of metal screws covered with rubber, which were screwed together in a complicated way.
To continue the HAFEX success story, a new bracket needed to be developed. It had to be highly resilient, easy to assemble and lightweight, as well as being a compatible component within the full HAFEX package.
It was the right time to speak to Böllhoff, the joining experts. The Hamburg-based company soon discovered the great potential of the Böllhoff TEPRO® product group for their own project.
Böllhoff and umlaut worked closely together to create a new custom bracket. Whether shape, colour or function – all customer requests were taken into account during development. To ensure efficient production, the bracket was optimised in terms of injection moulding. All project phases were closely supervised.
The newly developed, one-piece plastic TEPRO® bracket is high-strength, recyclable and lightweight.
5,000 units will be delivered to Hamburg per year in future and, in combination with the HAFEX fire extinguishers, will ensure your safety.