Kids Activities Bay Area | Educational Response Vehicle

Educational Response Vehicle

 

The Crucible’s Educational Response Vehicle (ERV) is a 1960 International Harvester fire engine, repurposed as a demonstration platform for industrial and fire arts. In full operation, ERV can support simultaneous demonstrations of:

• Blacksmithing
• Arc Welding
• Oxy-acetylene torch cutting
• Glass Flameworking

In addition, ERV has an on-board accumulator flame effect (poofer) to draw attention and excite onlookers.

Educational Response Vehicle Educational Response Vehicle

Blacksmithing
Mounted at the rear of ERV is a propane-fueled, forced-air blacksmith’s forge. The blacksmithing demonstrator heats pieces of steel in the forge and then shapes them with hammer and tongs on a nearby anvil.

Fuel for the forge is provided by one of three 100 lb. propane cylinders secured to the front bulkhead of ERV’s utility body. Inside the forge, temperatures of 1500 degrees F. are possible. The forge is well-insulated, however, and areas even just a few feet from the forge remain at ambient temperature.

Blacksmithing

Arc Welding
A diesel-fueled Lincoln welder/generator is located in the forward compartment of ERV’s utility body. When running, it provides electric power for arc-welding demonstrations, as well as for various small power tools such as right-angle grinders used in finishing work.

Arc welding demonstrations occur on one half of a specially-constructed steel table. Spectators view the process through welding masks mounted in the sheet metal baffle wall at the front edge of the table or through a red PVC welding screen. Hot sparks from the welding process are confined to the steel tabletop by the baffle wall or screen.

Oxyacetylene Torch Cutting
The compartment immediately behind the welder compartment houses the oxy-acetylene torch rig consisting of one #4 acetylene cylinder, one K size oxygen cylinder and a standard Victor torch outfit with two-stage regulators for both fuel and oxygen.

Torch cutting demonstrations take place on the other half of the steel table used for arc welding demos. The torch cutter’s workstation is separated from the welder’s workstation by a sheet metal baffle wall. Spectators view the torch cutting process through a red PVC welding screen, affixed to the front edge of the table, that provides protection from the UV light emitted by the process.

Glass Flameworking
Glass flameworking demonstrations take place on a separate table. The demonstrator uses an oxy-propane bench torch to heat borosilicate (“pyrex”) glass to a plastic state, and then reshapes the glass in a variety of artistic ways.

Fuel for the torch is provided by one of three 100 lb. propane cylinders secured to the front bulkhead of ERV’s utility body.

The glass-working table has a sheet-metal surface to protect it from pieces of hot glass. Spectators view the demonstration through an amber PVC welding screen, set up in front of the demonstration table, that provides protection from the UV light emitted by the process.

glass flameworking

fire effects

Accumulator Flame Effect (Poofer)
Mounted just ahead of the utility body front bulkhead, above the fire engine’s pump housing, is a propane-fueled accumulator flame effect which can release a large fireball straight upwards.

Fuel for the accumulator is provided by one of three 100 lb. propane cylinders secured to the front bulkhead of ERV’s utility body.

The height of the resulting fireball (assuming a fully-charged accumulator tank) is about 30 feet. Depending on weather conditions, a smoke ring may rise to a height of 75 feet or more after the fireball has dissipated.

Assuming that ERV is sited in a location free of overhead obstructions (foliage, etc.), the fireball itself is not dangerous. The sound of the effect may be startling to persons nearby who are unprepared for it, so typically the operator sounds ERV’s siren as a warning just before triggering the effect fireball.

In Fall 2004 The Crucible introduced the Educational Response Vehicle, and since then ten school groups and a total of over 200 students have been exposed to the industrial arts through The Crucible’s ERV. If you are interested in having ERV visit your school, give us a call. Our School and Community Field Trip Program is rapidly growing and expanding, with a goal of involving over 2,000 participants this year.

Contact:
Carla Hall
carla@thecrucible.org

ERV has also participated in several appearances throughout the Bay Area adding fire and art to many events. If you’re interested in renting ERV for your event, give us a call.