FM200 is a synthetic/chemical fire suppression gas and extinguishes a fire by removing the free radicals or heat elements from the fire triangle (Oxygen, Heat and Fuel). This is widely used as a Halon replacement and is commonly called either FM200 or FE227, although there are a number of clean chemical agents on the market as follows:-
|Designated Name||Trade Name*|
|Not Applicable||Novec 1230|
Clean Chemical Fire Suppression Systems
Concept Fire Suppression’s HFC227ea Clean Chemical Fire Suppression Agent is commonly called FM 200, a trade name from Great Lakes Chemical Corp. DuPont also manufacture this agent under the trade name FE-227 and both fire suppression systems are available from Concept Fire Suppression Ltd. FM200 is regulated under the F Gas Regulations and should be monitored for leaks and only worked on by qualified engineers.
Although stored as a liquid, FM-200 and FE227 discharge as a gas due to the low boiling point -16.4deg C. It leaves no residue, is non-conductive and can be used in class A fires, electrical, wood, paper and fabric and class B fires, flammable liquids. FE-227 and FM-200 were the first widely used Halon replacements, and is known as a heptoflouropropane and essentially uses the hardware previously used by Halon systems and stored in cylinders super pressurised to 25 or 42 bar although 25 bar is more usual.
The present understanding of the operation of FE227 and FM-200 is that 80% of it’s fire fighting effectiveness is achieved through heat absorption and 20% through direct chemical means (action of the fluorine radical on the chain reaction).
Cylinders are available in several different sizes from as small as 8L through to 180L. Where multiple cylinders are required they can be manifolded together or kept separate and distributed throughout the room, this is known as a Distributed Cylinder System. Pipework is standard schedule 40 and more usually arranged as a Distributed Cylinder System with a standpipe arrangement. This cuts down on the pipework required in comparison to a manifold system.
Nozzles are available in 1/2″, 3/4″ 1″, 1 1/4″, 1 1/2″ and 2″ and can be 360 or 180 degree. 360 degree nozzles are used discharge of the agent is required in the centre of the area and 180 degree nozzles are located centrall but adjacent to the wall.
The master valve is actuated by a nitrogen cylinder which is triggered by a 24v dc signal from the detection control panel. Each cylinder is connected via Kunifer tubing to reduce the power requirement on the control panel.
Room Integrity Testing
To ensure that the gas is contained in the room for as long as possible (BS EN 15004 stipulates a minimum of 10 minutes) the room needs to be pressure tested. This checks that the room is sufficiently sealed, that it will maintain the concentration levels required to suppress the fire for the minimum time period. This can only be carried out at the end of the installation or project after the room has been completed and all holes and entry points through the walls, floor and ceiling have been sealed using fire proof materials. Concept Fire Suppression Ltd install and maintain FM200 fire suppression systems in Glasgow, Edinburgh and all Yorkshire
FM200 is a registered trademark of Great Lakes Chemical Corp
FE227 is a registered trademark of DuPont
* information taken from “Fire Extinguishing Systems, A Guide To The Types, Applications And Considerations” by Dr Tim Nichols.