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Influence of Phosphorus-Containing Fire Suppressants on Flame Propagation.

pdf icon Influence of Phosphorus-Containing Fire Suppressants on Flame Propagation. (1006 K)
Babushok, V. I.; Tsang, W.

International Conference on Fire Research and Engineering (ICFRE3), Third (3rd). Proceedings. Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). October 4-8, 1999, Chicago, IL, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Boston, MA, 257-267 pp, 1999.


fire research; fire protection engineering; flame propagation; phosphorus; fire suppression; kinetics; decomposition; flame temperature; inhibition; burning velocity; counterflow flames; diffusion flames


Prohibition, under the Montreal Protocol, of the production of Halon 1211 and Halon 1301 has created a need for new, environmentally acceptable fire suppressants. Literature data suggest that some phosphorus-containing compounds may be very efficient fire suppressants. Phosphorus-containing agents (powders) are mentioned as effective agents for smoldering combustion due to the formation of polymer films on the surface of burning materials, preventing penetration of oxidizer inside the burning material. They are considered to be effective compounds for the suppression of Mg combustion and combustion of some metals and are used as retardants in fire-resistant polymers. In spite of the large literature on the use of such compounds as flame-retardants in solids, there are only a few references to phosphorus-containing liquids or gases as flame suppressants. Thus, studies on the fire suppression efficiency of phosphorus compounds and its mechanism of influence are of interest. In this work we report the results of numerical studies on the inhibition mechanism of methane flames by phosphorus-containing additives; dimethyl methylphosphonate, trimethyl phosphate and phosphorus tribromide (DMMP, TEP, PBr3). Short survey of experimental data on fire suppression properties of phosphorus agents is presented. The dependencies of burning velocity on an inhibitor concentration and additive decomposition rate were analyzed. The influence of flame temperature on inhibition efficiency was also considered.