NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

In Search of Alternative Fire Suppressants.

pdf icon In Search of Alternative Fire Suppressants. (874 K)
Grosshandler, W. L.

Thermal Science and Engineering Symposium in Honor of Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien. Proceedings. November 1995, Berkeley, CA, 275-282 pp, 1995.


halon 1301; extinguishment; aircraft fires; fire protection; fire suppression; thermodynamic properties


The common fire fighting agent halon 1301 (CF3Br) is among a number of halogenated chemicals that are sufficiently deleterious to stratospheric ozone that their continued production and use has been severely curtailed. Halons had been the agents of choice for numerous fire protection applications because of their inherent ability to inhibit flames at low concentrations with no residue while exhibiting a number of additional strongly positive attributes. The elimination of new production of halon has forced the fire suppression systems manufacturers, the transportation and communications industries, and other large users of these products to search for suitable alternatives. If the alternative chemicals are less efficient suppressants, then new, larger agent storage and delivery components need to be designed. To avoid costly mistakes in choosing replacements for aircraft applications, research has been conducted to determine the performance of different agents in extinguishing aircraft-type fires. This paper describes the major elements of the overall program and the rationale of how an alternative to halon 1301 was chosen for aircraft applications.