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The Exothermic Reaction of Fire Suppressants



Gregory T. Linteris, Valeri I. Babushok, Fumiaki Takahashi, Viswanath R. Katta, Oliver Meier


Several fire suppressants are under consideration to replace CF3Br for use in suppressing fires in aircraft cargo bays. In Federal Aviation Administration performance tests simulating the explosion of an aerosol can, however, the replacements HFC-125, 2- BTP, and Novec 1230 (C2HF5, C3H2F3Br, and C6H12O), when added at sub-inerting concentrations, have all been found to create higher pressure rise (up to 6 bar) as compared to pressure rise with no added agents (2 bar), hence failing the test. Similar combustion enhancement has been described in other experiments, but an explanation of the phenomena is lacking. Numerical simulations with full chemistry are used to understand the flammability of the halon replacements. Premixed flame simulations show that some pure suppressant-air mixtures under slightly preheated conditions may have measurable burning velocities; furthermore, agent addition to lean mixtures of air with the FAA Aerosol Can Test fuel may shift the mixture from a non- flammable to a flammable regime. For non-premixed conditions, 2-D, time-dependent simulations show that co-flow diffusion flames (in the absence of gravity) with added C2HF5 can have nearly twice the heat release as flames with no added agent. Hence, it is implied that in certain scenarios, exothermic reaction of some fire suppressants may occur.
Conference Dates
May 5-10, 2013
Conference Location
Providence, RI
Conference Title
7th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards


Halon replacement, fire suppression, flame inhibition, CF3Br.


Linteris, G. , Babushok, V. , Takahashi, F. , Katta, V. and Meier, O. (2013), The Exothermic Reaction of Fire Suppressants, 7th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Providence, RI, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created March 13, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017