The pioneering AvSax fire containment bag has won a major award.

The AvSax was the regional winner for the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside in the EEF Manufacturers’ Association awards.

AvSax triumphed in the Innovation category which is awarded to companies that have driven greater productivity, efficiency and/or business growth within the last three years. 

The judges were highly impressed with the AvSax which has changed the way airlines think when it comes to tackling fires in electronic equipment on board aircraft. 

Lithium ion batteries power countless millions of devices worldwide ranging from mobile phones to laptops but an increasing number are catching fire on planes.

AvSax managing director Richard Bailey said: “The AvSax have proved themselves in action on board many aircraft. If an electronic device is overheating and emitting smoke pilots know they can put it in the bag and the problem is fully contained in there and the flight can continue.

“AvSax minimises harm to passengers and aircraft and also means aircraft don’t have to be diverted which can be very expensive for the airline company.”

 AvSax fire containment bags are now on board several major airlines worldwide.

They have been deployed on aircraft 20 times so far this year and means they don’t need to make an emergency landing and can continue the flight confident the bag has solved the problem. The average cost of an emergency diversion in the USA is $400,000.

If an electronic device starts to seriously overheat or emit smoke the cabin crew will pour at least two litres of water into an AvSax and then drop the burning device into the bag, adding additional water as required. The water activates the polymer gel inside the bag causing it to expand around the device. Should the device keep on venting then the AvSax is tough enough to absorb the force.

The AvSax cools the batteries in the device, reducing the likelihood of the battery catching fire but if it does go into what is known as thermal runaway when all the battery cells catch fire at incredibly hot temperatures it is all contained within the bag.

Amazingly, the water is absorbed into the internal lining of the bag so the device is dry when it is removed.