Is this the end of FM200 as we know it?
With the recent announcement from Du Pont that due to a shortage of raw materials, the price of FM200 is to rise considerably with immediate effect, is this the end of FM200 fire suppression system agent!
FM200 has been the main stay of gaseous fire suppression systems for 20 years following the banning of Halon 1211 and 1301. Although FM200 is not perfect environmentally in these austere times it is the choice of many as it usually works out the most cost effective against inert gas and Novec 1230.
With hundreds of tonnes of FM200 sold throughout the world we hope that Du Pont will not be that shortsighted as to permanently damage the sales of FM200 as this will provide less options for all concerned for the foreseeable future.
So what are the options?
There are two gas options, Novec 1230 from 3m the environmental alternative to FM200 and Inert Gas the ultimate in environmental fire suppression system agents.
Novec 1230 and inert gases are already extensively used as fire suppression agents, each like FM200 have advantages and disadvantages. Novec 1230 has good storage advantages against Inert Gases as it is stored as a liquid, but some of it’s disadvantages is it usually needs to distributed throughout the room it is protecting and is expensive to refill. Inert Gases require larger storage areas but are very flexible and can protect more than one room using distribution valves.
If the price of FM200 rises above the price of Novec 1230 that will provide a good boost for 3m but if the price of FM200 remains less than Novec 1230 I think the big winner will be Inert Gases. So far the price for FM200 is still around £10/Kg cheaper than Novec 1230 but how long will that last and will Du Pont put the prices up again if this raw material, that is in short supply, remains in short supply!
No one knows when and if FM200 will return to yesteryears pricing levels but one thing is for sure the manufacturers of Novec 1230 and Inert gases will see this as an opportunity and for end users the business case for these environmentally better products has just taken a step in the right direction.
Concept fire suppression are able to offer a full range of gaseous fire suppression products including FM200, Inert Gases and Novec 1230. We will continue to provide FM200 along with Novec 1230 and Inert Gas as each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. As well as each project and client has different requirements and we will continue to meet them through our usual discussions during this process.