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Solid Propellant Gas Generators: An Overview and Their Application to Fire Suppression (NISTIR 5766)



Jiann C. Yang, William L. Grosshandler


A solid propellant gas generator is essentially an airbag inflator without a bag. That is, the gas generated is discharged directly into ambience rather than into a bag. A typical solid propellant gas generator consists of solid propellant tablets which will, upon ignition, rapidly react to generate gas-phase combustion products and particulates, an ignitor to initiate the combustion of the propellant, a filter system to prevent or minimize the release of the particulates from the combustion reactions into the ambience, a heat transfer mechanism (normally the filter itself) to cool the high temperature combustion gas before being discharged into the ambience, and an exhaust mechanism to disperse the gas efficiently. In this article, an overview of the current status on solid propellant gas generators will be discussed, and potential areas for future research will be suggested.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5766
Report Number


fire research, solid propellants, fire suppression


Yang, J. and Grosshandler, W. (1995), Solid Propellant Gas Generators: An Overview and Their Application to Fire Suppression (NISTIR 5766), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created June 28, 1995, Updated November 10, 2018