1. #1
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    Default CAFS Nozzle Selection & Pressure

    Looking for help from those of you out there using CAFS.

    About 3 months ago we took delivery of a new engine with a CAFS system on it.

    Prior to the truck being delivered, I did as much research as possible and chose to purchase Akron Pyrolite Shutoffs with 1 3/8" Blitz Tips on them. Much of this research was from questioning other departments using CAFS as well as reading threads on this site.

    After the truck was delivered and we had our training by the vendor, he told us to run the CAFS at approximately 100psi thru the smooth bore nozzle. The problem we are having is that the nozzle and hoseline is WAY too hard to handle and we are concerned about our members being hurt trying to fight the line.

    We have since tried to use fog nozzles with the CAFS (the old Turbojets we took off the old engine) with reasonable results - we are still getting a good enough CAFS out of the fog nozzle to have foam that will stick when applied and the nozzle is MUCH easier to control. I know that theoretically that the fog nozzle should be breaking up the CAFS bubbles, however, like I said it is working to a level that would be okay for interior operations.

    We are looking to demo the TFT CAFS Force nozzle to see if it works better than either of our other options.

    My questions are:

    1. What type of nozzle are you using with CAFS for interior ops?

    2. What is your normal operating pressure for CAFS with the above nozzle?

    3. Have you had any experience with the TFT CAFS Force nozzle ?

    Thank you for your help with this.

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    100 PSI thru a handline smooth bore is a lot to handle, then you add the air? No wonder you have a hard time with it. Something seems to be confused. Perhaps he ment to run at 100cfm of air? I was always told (I'm no expert with this' so just passing it on) to run what you always ran, then add the air to it. So it would go like 50 PSI at the nozzle for the smooth bore, then add the flow of air for the mix of foam you want.

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    We are using Akron Saberjets with 15/16 waterways, and Akron 13/8" smooth bore and are operating around 90-100 psi on 13/4" lines with about 45 cfm115-135 gpms with the smooth bores we have 11/8 tips but those usually come off.
    90-100 is about all you want on the line for interior firefighting and if you are standing up it can be a bear, nozzle man is taught that they can keep a leg over the line to help hold it.
    On the other hand you don't want to run at much less then 90 psi or you will get kinking.
    As for using fog nozzle's try in live fire situations you are still better then plain water But the smoothbore Eats Fire and has a quicker knockdown time and can give a much better blanket, and will be better at Painting the surfaces on fire attacks

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    I spoke with a TFT rep, as we are still on the fence about the nozzle type.

    We used to run (pre-cafs)with TFT mid-matic nozzles, no smooth bores. So, the question is do we run something new on the cafs lines and go back on 30 years of fog nozzle usage.

    I had concerns about introducing a whole new nozzle and the associated changes to fire attack.

    So, this is what we asked the TFT Nozzle Rep.

    "If the smooth bore is 100% effective with CAFS, how effective is the CAFS force nozzle (which is bored out to enhance bubble delivery compared with a similar fog nozzle like the mid-matic)?" Answer was about 80%.

    Next question, was compared to a regular TFT like the mid-matic. Answer 75%.

    ------

    So, next question, (which the CAFS purist doesn't want to hear): For structural firefighting, just how critical is that loss???

    For us, I think we'll keep the TFT Mid-matics and sacrifice the small amount of loss that we would see. Some smooth bore will be available for dry foam applications (which are very rare for us).

    We will still have the advantage of the CAFS, but will also have a nozzle that our firefighters have a long history using and are comfortable with. I can't say that at some point this will not change, but I don't want to pull the rug out from under them and have them have to consciously think about what has been routine.
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    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Hi boog8591,

    The nozzle reaction with a straight bore is greater is on a CAFS line, however the solution to this problem is not to switch to a fog or a TFT CAFS Force nozzle. Any nozzle that breaks up the the stream or "POPS" bubbles will ruin the CAFS product and reduce your fire knockdown power in an interior attack situation. For handlines 100psi Max is recomended however, as captaincvfd stated if you go much below 90 psi main pump discharge pressure, kinking may become a problem. So to answer your questions:

    1. What type of nozzle are you using with CAFS for interior ops?
    Straightbore ,15/16" tip on a 1 3/8" ball valve, with a pistal grip, on a 1 3/4" and 2" line.

    2. What is your normal operating pressure for CAFS with the above nozzle?
    100 psi, main pump discharge pressure, regardless of hose length.

    3. Have you had any experience with the TFT CAFS Force nozzle ?
    Yes and they work poorly like a fog nozzle, they POP bubbles, because it is a fog nozzle.

    Remember one of the things that makes CAFS work so well are the strong, small, uniform bubbles. If you POP them you are not taking advantage of your CAFSystem.

    If you using a minimum of 2 firefighters on the nozzle you should not be having a problem. Make sure the nozzleman is being properly backed up. Training and practice are the key to success.

    Hope this helps,


    Captain Lou
    "GotFoam?"

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    Hi ChiefKN,

    Just curious as to how many interior fires your TFT rep has fought, been on the nozzle and flowed CAFS to make those statements? Keep in mind your TFT rep is a salesman. He wants to sell you something. A simple ball valve with a straight bore tip is less money and requires very little maintenance from the factory after being sold. And his profit is far less. So, why would you settle for something that will give your firefighters less than 100% efficientcy for fire attack? That makes no sense to me.

    Sorry to be so forward, but you are short changing yourself and your firefighters by using anything other than a straight bore nozzle with CAFS.

    Be Safe,

    Captain Lou
    "GotFoam?"
    Last edited by CaptLou; 10-02-2007 at 12:25 AM.

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    We just took delivery of our first engine with a cafs system. Its a Hale Foam Pro with both Class A & B. The nozzle debate has been in full force. All are apparatus have TFT nozzles. I wont even entertain the smooth bore / combination nozzle debate as thats a whole other issue. After quite a bit of research and a little bit of practical trials we will stick with the TFT on the cafs engine. The main reason, at least imo, is consistency across the board and the benifit of having a combination nozzle. IMO having the fog option, which we do not use on fire attack, only a turn away is a great safety benefit. For direct fire attack we teach our members to use a straight stream or very tight fog. We used a smooth bore and TFT head to head on some outdoor training tires and witnessed little difference in preformance. My educated guess is on the typical fires we, and most face, 90% of the time a smooth bore and TFT will preform equally well. As for pressures. During our Hale Training session I was flowing our 100' 1.75" bumper line with a TFT. At 125 PDP I was flowing 140gpm / 70 CFM at 0.5% foam mixture The Max PDP when in foam mode is 150psi though in reality that can be exceeded a little bit. The number is a result of the compressor capailities. So I suspect on our 150' and 200' 1.75" cross lays we will obtain similar flows with the PDP upped to 135-140 PDP. I will have to test those lines individual to determine the exact flows at different PDP's prior to the engine going in service. As for the Hale foam pro system I must say it looked overwhelming staring at that crowed pump panel but in reality its very user friendly and simple. Put it in pump and it defaults to the perfect settings for structural attack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptLou View Post
    Hi ChiefKN,

    Just curious as to how many interior fires your TFT rep has fought, been on the nozzle and flowed CAFS to make those statements? Keep in mind your TFT rep is a salesman. He wants to sell you something. A simple ball valve with a straight bore tip is less money and requires very little maintenance from the factory after being sold. And his profit is far less. So, why would you settle for something that will give your firefighters less than 100% efficientcy for fire attack? That makes no sense to me.

    Sorry to be so forward, but you are short changing yourself and your firefighters by using anything other than a straight bore nozzle with CAFS.

    Be Safe,

    Captain Lou
    "GotFoam?"
    I'm certainly not going to defend a TFT rep or any other rep's experience! LOL

    I am familiar with your background and understand that you are certainly qualified to comment, so I appreciate your response.

    We have three engines, only one has CAFS. We have used fog nozzles since before I was even born. To put smoothbore on one of the engines has me concerned. Our firefighters are not used to it, have years and years of experience with fog nozzles...

    Can you point me to a study of the efficiency of a fog nozzle as opposed to a smooth bore nozzle when using CAFS on a residential structure fire? Anectdotal evidence is fine, but scientific evidence is even better.

    I understand that using a fog nozzle will result in some bubbles being disrupted (popped), but surely not all. What percentage would you say are affected?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Hi ChiefKN,

    What must be understood, is that when fighting a fire with CAF you are attacking the fire in a different way. The attack and results of the attack are based on the air "BUBBLES" carrying the water. As the bubbles POP they immediately start to absorb the heat. There are millions of them. They POP at approximately 170 degrees. There are many opinions as to how many bubble are made from a single drop of water, but it falls somewhere between 3 and 7 bubbles per drop of water, and each bubble is absorbing heat as it POPs. As the bubbles POP they not only absorb heat but due to the Class A foams appetite for carbon it starts to pull the particles of carbon from the smoke. Once the bubbles get to the surface it continues to cool and extinguish the fire.

    The secret or "magic" of CAF are the BUBBLES. And because a CAFSystem can produce millions of very strong, small, uniform bubbles, the results of the fire attack are such that cooling and extinguishment happens very quickly and fast.

    So, as I have always stated and you have acknowledged, a fog nozzle will pop bubbles. As to how many of the bubbles are popped, I don't know and I don't believe there has ever been a study along these lines. What I do know is that when I have tried to extinguish a structure fire, interior attack with CAF flowed thru a fog nozzle it has worked. The fire has gone out and the temperature has dropped. And I used less water overall compared to a water only attack. So, it is safe to assume that a fog nozzle does work with CAFS.

    I also know that when I've fought the same fire with CAF flowed thru a straight bore nozzle the fire has gone out and temperature has dropped. And I used less water overall compared to a water only attack.

    So what is the difference if both nozzles can cool and extinguish in a CAF attack compared to water only? The difference is the time it takes to complete the mission. To cool and extinguish the fire with a straight bore nozzle flowing CAF is about 2 to 3 times faster and total water used is much less than the fog nozzle attack with CAF. I am still using the exact same amount of manpower to accomplish the mission of extinguishment except I am doing it in about a 3rd the time. That is less time in harms way. Less "exposure" time to the hazards. Less strain and work for my firefighters. That is why I said you are short changing yourself by using a fog nozzle for a CAF interior attack. Your firefighters are working as hard as mine but yours are working for a longer period of time.

    I would ask you to do a study on how many bubbles are actually popped with a fog nozzle flowing CAF. My guess would be all of them. But what I do know is that the fire goes out noticeably faster and the temperature drops much quicker when I've attacked a fire with CAF flowing thru a straight bore nozzle with a 15/16" tip on it compared to a fog nozzle flowing CAF.

    Hope this helps.

    I do have a question or two for boog8591. What size hose line are using in your example? What do you mean by an Akron ball valve with Blitz tip? A Blitz tip to me is something similar to a single 2 1/2" line with an unmanned ground monitor as the nozzle. I'm just trying to better understand your issue.

    Be Safe,

    Captain Lou
    "Got Foam?"

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    Default Nozzles

    Capt. Lou - we are using what Akron calls the blitz tip (#1499) - it is simply a 1 3/8" tip that is screwed onto a shutoff. You did our training and I believe we had them when you were out.

    I understand the concepts of CAFS, but the issue for me is still the reaction of the nozzle both when opening it and during attack. The men find it much harder to handle than what they were used to with plain water and the fog nozzle.

    We have been playing with the fog nozzle with CAFS and honestly cannot see much difference in the final product - it may be a little more runny but it is still able to stick to things and we are able to paint with it. I am sure we are breaking some of the bubbles but definately not a majority of them. With the fog nozzles we are much more able to control the nozzle.

    We put the fog nozzles on the shutoffs so that we can take the fog nozzle off if need be and run thicker CAFS straight out of the shut off if needed.
    Last edited by boog8591; 10-02-2007 at 11:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boog8591 View Post
    Capt. Lou - we are using what Akron calls the blitz tip (#1499) - it is simply a 1 3/8" tip that is screwed onto a shutoff. You did our training and I believe we had them when you were out.

    I understand the concepts of CAFS, but the issue for me is still the reaction of the nozzle both when opening it and during attack. The men find it much harder to handle than what they were used to with plain water and the fog nozzle.

    We have been playing with the fog nozzle with CAFS and honestly cannot see much difference in the final product - it may be a little more runny but it is still able to stick to things and we are able to paint with it. I am sure we are breaking some of the bubbles but definately not a majority of them. With the fog nozzles we are much more able to control the nozzle.

    We put the fog nozzles on the shutoffs so that we can take the fog nozzle off if need be and run thicker CAFS straight out of the shut off if needed.
    We also noted the nozzle reaction... guys were saying, "we find it hard to walk with the nozzle open."

    My response was, why are you standing and walking? How would you be using the hoseline if it was water and not cafs? Answer: You'd be crawling, stop, open the nozzle, hit the ceiling, close nozzle, move, stop, open the nozzle...

    Once they got down on the ground and worked the line like they would in a structure, it wasn't nearly as bad. I think the sound it makes was throwing them off and they were perceiving more reaction than there was (although there is more, it's manageable).

    Lou, thanks for your information. I'll try to book more "burn building" time and see if we can't do some comparison.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Hi All,

    This is turning out to be a good discussion and sharing of information about nozzles and CAFS.

    With regards to bubbles being formed from a fog nozzle flowing CAF. Lets think about what is happening here. Our CAFSystem is making these beautiful small, strong, uniform bubbles, and when it gets to the fog nozzle what happens? First lets answer “what is a fog nozzle designed to do?” It is designed to take a solid stream of water and break it up into tiny droplets of water. When the CAF bubbles passes thru the fog nozzle they pop or are shredded apart. However, this is a fog nozzle and we do get agitation within the stream as solution leaves the nozzle, since air is being drawn into the stream. So bubbles are being re-manufactured. The bubbles generated by a fog nozzle flowing CAF are nowhere near the quality and quantity of those that made by the CAFSystem, but they are bubbles. Are they working for us? Yes they are. But nowhere near as efficient as the bubbles that are coming out of the straight bore tip that have been made from a CAFSystem. As I said in my previous post, you are putting forth the same effort for the fire attack, working hard, but working for a longer period of time when using a fog nozzle with CAF. That is because the quality and quantity of bubbles are not there when flowing CAF thru a fog nozzle. Good quality, small, uniform bubbles are the key to making CAF work on an interior fire attack.

    ChiefKN brings out an excellent point about walking vs crawling. He is correct in stating that you do not normally walk and flow during an interior attack.

    boog8591 I would like to suggest a couple of things. Use a 15/16" or 1" tip instead of the 1 3/8" tip for fire attack. I say this for safety reasons. Just in case the there is a problem on the foam or air side of the operation and are forced to go back to plain water or solution, you are much safer with a straight bore nozzle tip size of 15/16" than 1 3/8". Also try what Captaincvfd said, throttle down to 90 psi and see if that makes it a little easier. Take a look at the gpm gauge to ensure you are flowing around 100 gpm while maintaining a 2:1 ratio of water to air. Make sure your nozzles have a pistol grip too, it will help.
    I have to be honest, my department has been flowing CAF at 100 psi main pump pressure for 8 years now with a 15/16" straight bore tip and yes there is more nozzle reaction with a straight bore nozzle than compared to a fog nozzle but, it has not been uncontrollable or unmanageable. I have found that once you have been on the nozzle, flowing CAF and know what to expect, then there are no surprises.

    Hope this helps.

    Be safe,

    Captain Lou
    “GotFoam?”

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    Simple suggestion
    Take (1499) tip off get Akron #1430 slug tip Optional15/16" or equil
    You could go with 1" but special order no need
    Move forward
    Smaller tip less nozzle reaction wet CAF easier to handle
    Keep simple
    Stay Safe
    Ray

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    Thumbs up Final Selection

    Well, as an update to this project......

    After trying several different nozzles and looking around at what other local departments with CAFS were using, we settled on the Akron Saberjet 1520 nozzle with 5/8" tip.

    This nozzle still gives us a smooth-bore with the fog option. I realize some of you will say that the 5/8" tip is too small but from the firefighters actually using it they seem to prefer it over the larger tips.

    We will be keeping the shutoffs with 1 3/8" tips in the truck should we need them for shaving cream type foam.

    Thanks for all your input on this and stay safe !!

    Boog

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    Quote Originally Posted by boog8591 View Post
    Well, as an update to this project......

    After trying several different nozzles and looking around at what other local departments with CAFS were using, we settled on the Akron Saberjet 1520 nozzle with 5/8" tip.

    This nozzle still gives us a smooth-bore with the fog option. I realize some of you will say that the 5/8" tip is too small but from the firefighters actually using it they seem to prefer it over the larger tips.

    We will be keeping the shutoffs with 1 3/8" tips in the truck should we need them for shaving cream type foam.

    Thanks for all your input on this and stay safe !!

    Boog
    Do you guys want to buy some? We bought a bunch and will be switching to the CAFSForce nozzles.

    We didn't have a problem with the saberjet, but we didn't like the whole half gate is smooth bore, full open is fog.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Default Saberjets

    While I appreciate the offer, we are buying the dual shutoff models so that the bail only does smoothbore and to use the fog you have to spin the nozzle - it is the 1520 model. We have one currently on our other engine.

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    Default Wrong end of the CAFS

    There are CAFS manufacturers that don't understand how CAFS ACTUALLY works. They build BIG water flowing pumps and can't get the idea that CAFS is a WHOLE new concept of extinguishing fire. I have actually heard one of the manufacturers so called expert say you should use the same water flow and just add little compressed Air. There's your problem.

    I've been using CAFS for more than 30 years and I can tell you for sure that you wasting a lot of water if you try to use 100 gpm tactic. CAFS is at least 4 times more effective than an equal sized water flow. So you need 4 times less water in the hose, and when you get a mix of 25 gpm of water and 150 cfm of air you get an expanded flow of more than 1,000 gpm of foam flow which covers an area of fire very quickly, and because there is not the weight of 100 gallons of water per minute in the hose, you can use the true full bore nozzle without it knocking you all over the place. It's true that it's the BUBBLES that do the work, take the water accellerating tips OFF, stop stripping the CAFS bubbles and put the white stuff on the hot stuff.

    Get the manufacturers to turn down the water volume and let CAFS take over the new tactics that made CAFS what it is. OPEN it UP, don't strangle the CAFS with little bitty nozzles. Heck! our grass rigs we used to call Water Expansion Systems used 1 inch tips on 1 inch booster hoses and we put out house fires with them.

    Hope this helps,
    Mark Cummins
    Invented CAFS while workig for the Texas Forest Service,
    5 Patents issued, they are public domain now, anyone can use them.
    Mark Cummins

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    Default CAFS interior pattern.

    [QUOTE=boog8591;869061]Looking for help from those of you out there using CAFS.

    The problem we are having is that the nozzle and hoseline is WAY too hard to handle and we are concerned about our members being hurt trying to fight the line.

    Was this by any chance a Hale CAFS?

    If it is, just get them to reduce the volume of water being used for the CAFS and your handleing problems will improve dramatically as well as your fire fighting tactics. Use a finger in the foam discharge to get a good spread pattern for interior fires, it's a necessity and works well.
    Mark Cummins

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    Default Look up Nozzle Forward by Aaron Fields. It says it all. Smooth bore H2O!

    Quote Originally Posted by cfire3 View Post
    There are CAFS manufacturers that don't understand how CAFS ACTUALLY works. They build BIG water flowing pumps and can't get the idea that CAFS is a WHOLE new concept of extinguishing fire. I have actually heard one of the manufacturers so called expert say you should use the same water flow and just add little compressed Air. There's your problem.

    I've been using CAFS for more than 30 years and I can tell you for sure that you wasting a lot of water if you try to use 100 gpm tactic. CAFS is at least 4 times more effective than an equal sized water flow. So you need 4 times less water in the hose, and when you get a mix of 25 gpm of water and 150 cfm of air you get an expanded flow of more than 1,000 gpm of foam flow which covers an area of fire very quickly, and because there is not the weight of 100 gallons of water per minute in the hose, you can use the true full bore nozzle without it knocking you all over the place. It's true that it's the BUBBLES that do the work, take the water accellerating tips OFF, stop stripping the CAFS bubbles and put the white stuff on the hot stuff.

    Get the manufacturers to turn down the water volume and let CAFS take over the new tactics that made CAFS what it is. OPEN it UP, don't strangle the CAFS with little bitty nozzles. Heck! our grass rigs we used to call Water Expansion Systems used 1 inch tips on 1 inch booster hoses and we put out house fires with them.

    Hope this helps,
    Mark Cummins
    Invented CAFS while workig for the Texas Forest Service,
    5 Patents issued, they are public domain now, anyone can use them.
    CAFS will not penetrate fire gases if they are above 1112 degrees. I sorry but structural fires burn hotter than that. So, basically you are steaming (Maytagging it) yourself and anyone who may be a potential victim of that fire. To make an aggressive interior attack with CAFS....I have done it. Only one thing will penetrate those gases. Smooth bore water. CAFS was invented for the forestry and should stay there! To say it prevents water damage...well I have never seen a house that couldn't be dried out that's why you pay those restoration companies to come in. Either way they are coming in CAFS or no CAFS. It has been proven that smooth bore absorbs more heat than Fog and you don't steam yourself. Quit making yourself hot! It doesn't help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgrieve View Post
    CAFS will not penetrate fire gases if they are above 1112 degrees. I sorry but structural fires burn hotter than that. So, basically you are steaming (Maytagging it) yourself and anyone who may be a potential victim of that fire. To make an aggressive interior attack with CAFS....I have done it. Only one thing will penetrate those gases. Smooth bore water. CAFS was invented for the forestry and should stay there! To say it prevents water damage...well I have never seen a house that couldn't be dried out that's why you pay those restoration companies to come in. Either way they are coming in CAFS or no CAFS. It has been proven that smooth bore absorbs more heat than Fog and you don't steam yourself. Quit making yourself hot! It doesn't help.
    What department are you with and how many first in 1.75" jobs does your organization operate on in one year?
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