Next Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program. FY1999 Annual Report.
Next Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program.
FY1999 Annual Report.
Gann, R. G.
NISTIR 6479; Annual Report; PP-1059; 27 p. August 2000.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
(NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900; Rush
Service (Telephone Orders Only) 800-553-6847;
Order number: PB2000-108101
fire suppression; aerosols; halon 1301; halon
alternatives; fuel tanks
Halon 1301 (CF3Br) has long been the choice for fire
extinguishment in most weapon systems and
mission-critical facilities. However, due to its high
ozone-depletion potential, halon 1301 was banned from
production as of January 1, 1994, under the Copenhagen
Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that
Deplete the Ozone Layer. As part of its effort to
eliminate its dependence on halon 1301, in FY 1997 the
Department of Defence (DOD) initiated its Next
Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program (NGP).
The goal of the 9-year, $46 million research program was
to develop and demonstrate, by 2005, retrofitable,
economically feasible, environmentally acceptable and
user-safe processes, techniques, and fluids that meet
the operational requirements currentiy satisfied by
halon 1301 systems in aircraft, ships, land combat
vehicles, and critical mission support facilities. The
results are to be specifically applicable to fielded
weapons systems. If successful, the NGP would eliminate
DOD dependence on a substance no longer in national
production, minimize any readiness impacts that could
result if halon 1301 use restrictions were imposed in
the future, and achieve these at greatly reduced cost.
Prior DOD efforts had identified viable, near-term halon
alternatives for a wide variety of weapon system
applications. These alternatives typically require
weights and volumes that are double or triple that of
halon 1301 for equivalent effectiveness. While they can
be accommodated in new system designs, they pose a
significant problem to existing weapon systems because
of form, fit, and function constraints. Given the
current extensions of in-service lives of fielded weapon
systems, this problem could ultimately require DOD
program managers to expend large amounts of funding and
time for fire suppression system redesign and
reconfiguration. The potential fire locations for which
alternatives to halon 1301 are sought include aircraft
engine nacelles, dry bays, cargo bays, and fuel tanks;
ground vehicle crew compartments; and shipboard
machinery spaces and storage compartments. These
locations vary in size, shape and occupancy; the fuels
are solids, vapors and liquids (pools and sprays); and
the suppression times range from about 0.1 s to 100 s.
The hazards to be avoided include harm to people,
thermal damage, post-fire corrosion, loss of visibility,
and overpressure. Successful candidates must thus do
well in: fire suppression efficiency and reignition
quenching, ODP, GWP, atmospheric lifetime, suppressant
residue level, electrical conductivity, metals
non-corrosivity and polymeric materials compatibility,
long-term storage stability, low toxicity of the
chemical and its combustion and decomposition products,
speed of dispersion, safety and occupational health
requirements. To be cost-effective, the suppressant and
storage/delivery system must be of light weight and low
volume, as well as compatible with the host designs of