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Flame Suppression Effectiveness of Halon Alternatives (NISTIR 5499)



William L. Grosshandler, Anthony P. Hamins


The elimination of new production of halon 1301 has forced the manufacturers, owners, and users of aircraft to search for an alternative. The program described here developed performance screens for candidate agents as a means to identify the best chemicals for subsequent full-scale aircraft fire extinguishment evaluation at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The discriminating factors could be lumped into four categories: agent dispersion characteristics, required storage volume, environmental factors, and operational issues. The results presented in this abstract are limited to the flame suppression experiments, which directly impact the storage volume of agent required. However, the dispersion of the agents in cold-flow experiments varied more extensiveley than the amount of the agent required for flame suppression. The behavior of the chemical as it leaves the storage vessel (typically pressurized with N2 at 4.1 MPa) and subsequently flashes or breaks into droplets, evaporates, and mixes with ambient air is critical, and can render an agent which requires less mass to extinguish a laboratory flame less effective in suppressing an actual aircraft fire.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5499
Report Number


fire research, halons, effectiveness, halon 1301, flame extinguishment, halon alternatives


Grosshandler, W. and Hamins, A. (1994), Flame Suppression Effectiveness of Halon Alternatives (NISTIR 5499), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created September 1, 1994, Updated November 10, 2018