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Summary and Recommendations (NIST SP 861)



William L. Grosshandler, Richard G. Gann, William M. Pitts


The main objective of this research program was to provide guidance to the sponsors on which materials to evaluate in the full-scale fire suppression test plan at Wright-Patterson AFB. Specifically, the recommendations were to include the following: 1) The best two agents from the core list of twelve FCs, HFCs and HCFCs provided by the Air Force when NIST began the project in 1992; 2) The best practical alternative from among materials not on the list of twelve; and 3) Whether or not sodium bicarbonate powder was a viable option. New metrics have been developed along the way which can be used to rate other fire fighting compounds for a variety of applications. The methodology for combining the results of literally hundreds of tests for the purpose of defining an overall performance rating of the chemicals is described in this section. A justification for each agent recommended using the methodology and the ranking of all of the agents evaluated by these methods are included. The report ends with a summary of the continuing investigation into the formation of by-products during the suppression process and long-term materials compatibility for the agents selected by the sponsors for full-scale testing. A list of recommendations for further research is provided.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 861
Report Number


halons, fire suppression, compatibility, large scale fire tests, dispersion, evaporation, storage, environmental effects


Grosshandler, W. , Gann, R. and Pitts, W. (1994), Summary and Recommendations (NIST SP 861), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created April 1, 1994, Updated November 10, 2018