The production of Halon 1301 ceased as of January 1, 1994. Because Army combat vehicles relied on Halon 1301 for fire protection in both crew and engine compartments, it was necessary to identify suitable replacements to use.
The objective of this project was to identify potential halon replacement agents which are efficient in extinguishing fuel fires without producing excessive amounts of toxic by-products. The cost, space, and weight claims of agents were considered in assessing efficiency.
Non-ozone depleting candidates for extinguishing agents were studied for their ability to extinguish JP-8 fuel fires. The study was conducted in a chamber whose interior volume was approximately that of a generic combat vehicle. A comparison of the amounts required to extinguish various size JP-8 fires were made for different agents. Analyses of gases inside the chamber were conducted to rank agents on the basis of the toxic gases produced during extinguishment.
Pan fires of JP-8 were ignited in a test chamber. Various ozone-friendly agents were sprayed or injected into the chamber to extinguish the fires to identify potential replacement agents. The composition of the gases in the test chamber were then analyzed. Water-based agents produced mainly carbon monoxide, while the main gases produced by hydrocarbons were acids, such as hydroflouric acid. The agents were then ranked according to their ability to extinguish various-sized JP-8 fuel fires and according to their toxic gas production. An overall ranking of potentially useable agents was made, and the information was disseminated to various interested parties, including the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, the U.S. Army Tank- Automotive Command, and the Halon Alternatives Research Corporation. This project was completed in FY 1996.
Since the production of halon has ceased, both the Department of Defense and industry would welcome an environmentally friendly, low-cost, and efficient fireextinguishing agent with acceptable toxic gas production.