What is UHP?

“It’s clear why it’s become our tool of choice.”


What is UHP?

The science of ultra-high pressure:
Smaller droplets. Bigger impact.

Smaller Drops

Smaller Water Droplets

At pressures around 1200 psi, a water droplet becomes 1/64 the size of conventional water droplets.

Increased Surface

Increased Surface Area

The Laws of Thermodynamics state that only the outer shell of a water droplet can be utilized to absorb heat. Breaking down the water droplet into 64 smaller droplets creates 10x the surface area. More surface area means greater heat absorption.

Less Water

Less Water Usage

Fire usually affects only a small portion of the structure. Water and smoke are responsible for the greatest amount of damage. UHP fire suppression utilizes 1/5 or less water than a conventional attack, leaving significantly less damage.

Faster Temp

Faster Temperature Decrease

Testing has shown that using UHP fire suppression and proper attack patterns, upper-layer room temperatures can be decreased by more than 1,000° F in seconds, faster than any conventional system.


Smaller Water Droplets

At pressures around 1200 psi, a water droplet becomes 1/64 the size of conventional water droplets.


Smaller Water Droplets

At pressures around 1200 psi, a water droplet becomes 1/64 the size of conventional water droplets.


Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) is defined by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) as pump pressures above 1100 psi. By flowing water at these pressures, water droplets are broken into 64 smaller droplets, creating 10 times the surface area.

Greater surface area means more contact with the fire and more efficient heat absorption. When the water droplet absorbs heat, it converts to steam, displacing oxygen, and removing heat from the super-heated environment -- and extinguishing the fire.

The result? When using UHP, you'll only use a fifth of the water to extinguish the fire compared to a conventional low-pressure, high-volume attack.


PyroHMA, in conjunction with the US Air Force Fire Research Lab (AFRL) at Florida's Tyndall Air Force Base, tested various flows at conventional (normal) pressure (125 psi) and ultra-high pressure (see chart to the left) in a 3,500 square-foot pit containing 380 gallons of JP-8 military jet fuel.

UHP consistently and fully extinguished more fire.

UHP consistently used 1/5 the volume water compared to a low-pressure line.

At 20 GPM, 1450 psi, UHP beat the best low-pressure time by 46 percent and used 86 percent less water.​


UHP extinguishes the fire faster and more efficiently, reducing firefighter fatigue, exposure to IDLH environments, and drastically reducing damage from water.



PyroHMA’s Hydrus® UHP handline system demonstrated the fastest extinguishment time while using the least suppressant agent.

By optimizing our Hydrus® system flowing 20 GPM at 1450 psi, HMA provides higher efficiency and safer firefighting versus a conventional system.

Heat Graph


Smaller water droplets, greater surface area and rapid steam conversion help UHP extinguish fire and reduce room temperatures in significantly less time. Fires are put out faster and firefighters operate in safer conditions.

Looking at the chart on the right, taken from structure fire tests, at 40 seconds into the fire, PyroHMA’s Hydrus® system had lowered the ceiling temperature to 500ºF cooler than the low pressure system.

UHP extinguished a 16’ x 24’ room at flashover in 17.3 seconds using only 11.6 gallons of water + foam (data not shown).

Contact us to learn how UHP technology can impact your department.

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