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Advanced Propellant/Additive Development for Fire Suppressing Gas Generators: Hybrid Systems



Stephen Fallis, Russell Reed, Jennifer L. McCormick, Kim Wilson, Gary Holland


The “Advanced Propellant/Additive Development for Gas Generators” project is a collaborative effort between General Dynamics OTS-Aerospace (GD) in Redmond, WA and the Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, CA. The project objective is to develop highly efficient, environmentally acceptable, chemically active fire suppressant capabilities based upon solid propellant gas generators; and improve the understanding of propellant and additive effectiveness in fire suppression through testing. This paper reports on two segments: 1) development of cool burning propellant formulations and 2) fire testing of chemically active agents within the Solid Propellant Gas Generator (SPGG) and Hybrid Fire Extinguisher (HFE) configurations. Propellant formulations in development contain 5-aminotetrazole and the new high nitrogen compound BTATZ (C4H4N14). These fuels are being refined in order to reduce overall combustion temperatures while maintaining ballistic robustness. Fire testing conducted using chemically active agents (potassium iodide and potassium carbonate) demonstrated a >50% improvement in effectiveness when tested parallel to inerting systems. Similar performances were also observed between SPGG and HFE gas generator devices on a total inerting agent load basis. Fire testing was conducted at the GD facility in the Fire Test Fixture (FTF) against a controlled JP-8 fire. This paper summarizes the results to date of propellant formulation development, chemically active agent performance in a fire scenario, and HFE versus SPGG effectiveness. Project funding
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 984-4
Report Number


Fallis, S. , Reed, R. , McCormick, J. , Wilson, K. and Holland, G. (2001), Advanced Propellant/Additive Development for Fire Suppressing Gas Generators: Hybrid Systems, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2001, Updated February 19, 2017