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Subject: Fire suppression

Fire suppression

From: Robert E. Schnare <schnarer>
Date: Thursday, July 5, 2001
The following dialog is reproduce with permission.

    >From: "Robert, Prof. Schnare"
    >    <schnarer [at] nwc__navy__mil> 06/12-01-08:24AM
    >Dear Sir:  The people at Great Lakes gave me your email.  On the
    >Conservation DistList, I noticed a question about FM-200.
    >The question stated was a major university is interested in
    >using FM-200 in its Art Museum.  The individual has hear that
    >FM-200, when burned, emits hydrofluoric acid.  He wondered if it
    >was true?  A number of us concerned with the preservation of
    >library, archival and art items are concerned.

    To: schnarer [at] nwc__navy__mil
    Subject: Re: FM-200

    Dear Professor Schnare;

    Thank you for your interest in our FM-200 fire fighting agent.
    FM-200 provides effective fire knockdown and extinguishment for
    a wide range of applications--including large flammable liquid
    hazards, such as naval machinery spaces; sensitive, high-value
    telecommunications facilities; and irreplaceable artifacts and
    artwork, such as the Star-Spangled Banner. These applications
    all have very different fire situations--and different
    thresholds of damage allowances.

    FM-200, like halon 1301, is an active fire fighting agent. It
    reacts with the surface area of the flame, removing energy from
    the fire reaction and chemically interrupting the combustion
    process. Like halon 1301, one result of this reaction is the
    degradation of the FM-200 molecule to form HF. As a non-ozone
    depleting substance, FM-200 contains no bromine, and therefore
    unlike halon 1301, does not produce any HBr.

    The amount of decomposition products generated in a fire event
    will depend on several things. When protecting against fires,
    speed is critical. FM-200 systems discharge in 10 seconds, or
    less--extinguishing the fire before it grows to a significant
    size. Often FM-200 systems extinguish the fire before the
    completion of the agent discharge. Rapid extinguishment reduces
    the potential damage from the fire. as well as reducing the
    degradation of the agent. Detection also plays a very
    significant role in catching fires at their earliest point,
    before there is significant damage to the items being protected.
    Many clients in very high value sites, such as yours, choose
    advanced detection technologies to insure very early detection
    of a fire threat--often long before any flame damage occurs. The
    smaller the fire, the less damage and very little decomposition
    products are formed. Further these are localized to the flame
    and fire area, not spread throughout the facility.

    The fire source also impacts the generation of decomposition
    products. Class A fuels and electrically generated fires are
    much lower in energy and slower to grow than flammable liquids.
    These low energy fires do not generate large quantities of
    decomposition products and are more readily extinguished by the
    gaseous agent. Much of the historical research on decomposition
    products, for both FM-200 and halon 1301, centers on large
    flammable liquid fires in machinery spaces. In these situations,
    FM-200 still provides the best environmentally sound solution
    for fire protection and life safety, even though the generation
    of large amounts of HF requires further precautions on space
    re-entry. The amount of HF generated by a low energy fire source
    is appreciably less than what one experiences in a large
    flammable liquid hazard.

    FM-200 clean agent has been the choice for many cultural
    resource treasures throughout the world. Due to it's rapid
    effectiveness, environmental profile, and compatibility with
    people, it continues to be the premier method of protecting
    these sites without water.

    If I can answer any further questions, please let me know.
    Best Regards,

    Al Thornton
    International Sales Manager
    Great Lakes Chemical Corporation
    +1 817 735 1281
    Fax: +1 817 735 1172
    athornto [at] glcc__com

Prof. Robert Schnare
U.S. Naval War College Library
Fax: 401-841-6491

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:9
                   Distributed: Friday, July 6, 2001
                        Message Id: cdl-15-9-002
Received on Thursday, 5 July, 2001

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