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Suitability of CF3I to Replace Halon 1301 as the Inerting Agent in Wing Fuel Tanks on the F-16 Aircraft.

pdf icon Suitability of CF3I to Replace Halon 1301 as the Inerting Agent in Wing Fuel Tanks on the F-16 Aircraft. (431 K)
Gann, R. G.

Halon Options Technical Working Conference, 13th Proceedings. HOTWC 2003. Sponsored by: 3M Specialty Materials, Chemical Development Studies, Inc., DuPont Flororproducts, Great Lakes Chemical Corp., Halon Alternative Research Corp., Hughes Associates, Inc., Kidde-Fenwal, Inc., Modular Protection Corp., Next Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program, Sandia National Labs. May 13-15, 2003, Albuquerque, NM, 1-13 pp, 2003.


halon alternatives; halons; fire protection; inerting; F-16 aircraft; aircraft fuel tanks; fire suppression


At the request of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), the Director of Defense Research and Engineering convened an Independent Review Panel (IRP) to assess the four critical technical issues and comment on how they might affect implementation of CF3I as a viable substitute for halon 1301 in the F-16 inerting application. The four technical areas identified as critical to the assessment were: materials compatibility, low temperature performance, human toxicology, and atmospheric chemistry. The questions to be answered were: was the research conducted scientifically, is there sufficient information on CF3I to decide whether it is an acceptable alternative to halon 1301 for wing tank inertion on the F-16, and if not, what additional Science and Technology research is required? The conclusions of the IRP were as follows: CF3I is more chemically reactive than halon 1301. After further qualification testing, it may be possible to specify materials that could be used in service with CF3I. CF3I is inadequate as a replacement for halon 1301 in the existing F-16 system due to its higher boiling point and resultant reduced delivery pressure at low temperatures. CF3I is more toxic than halon 1301. It would be unwise to replace a chemical with a more toxic one. More rigorous toxicity testing of CF3I would provide a more quantitative estimate of its toxicity in realistic exposure scenarios. Ozone depletion from F-16 application of CF3I could be as small as one eighth that of halon 1301 (at lower altitudes) or as large as one and two-thirds times as damaging as halon 1301 (at higher altitudes). In any case, CF3I use onboard an F-16 would be a Class I substance if significant amounts are released above 20,000 ft, and the U.S. Clean Air Act bans use of Class I substances.