The FM-200, heptafluoropropane with the chemical designation HFC-227ea, was developed as a substitute for Halon 1301, which is harmful to the environment, degrades the ozone layer and breaks down into two harmful products at very high temperatures: HBr (hydrogen bromide) and HF (hydrogen fluoride).

Advantages of gaseous extinguisher FM-200

The FM-200 extinguishing mechanism is based approximately 80% on the physical basis and 20% on the chemical basis.  The main effect of a very rapid gas supply into the room with fire is cooling the flame. As a result of this, the temperature of the burning material falls below the flash point, the flame is reduced and moves away from the burning substance. In the end, the fire is completely extinguished. The added pure nitrogen provides the needed pressure and it pushes the FM-200 gas from the cylinder resulting in cylinder pressure similar to that of halon, i.e. about 25 bar.

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After numerous tests carried out by various independent laboratories, it was determined that the FM-200, at a concentration that ensures successful extinguishing, is completely harmless to human health. This gas is even used as a propellant in aerosol drugs for asthmatic patients. Attestations for harmlessness were, among others, also issued by the following international laboratories or agencies:

  • US EPA (“Environment Protection Agency”),
  • Germany, “Hygiene Institute” (Health Institute),
  • France, Ministry of Health,
  • England, HAG (“Halone Alternatives Group” – a group researching possible replacements for Halon),
  • Australia, the Ministry of Health.

The US EPA has stated some of the typical characteristics of the FM-200 in its bulletin:

  • it is the most effective agent of all the suggested replacements for Halon 1301,
  • it has no harmful effect on the ozone layer.
  • It is authorized for use without restrictions in extinguishing systems with full flooding, and also in rooms with a permanent presence of people.

Layout and main components of the system

The main elements of the FM-200 extinguishing system are a gas cylinder with a valve, an activator which opens the valve on the command of a fire alarm central control panel in the event of fire, a pipeline which provides gas flow from cylinders to fire extinguishing nozzles…

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The characteristics of designing an extinguishing system with FM-200

The designing of an extinguishing system with FM-200 has specific features as any other extinguishing system. It is important to use the correct concentration under exactly specified conditions. All properties of the gas and the area where the system is to be installed need to be considered and proper ratios need to be determined.

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Important properties for extinguishing are as follows:

  • It is classified as a “pure agent” – it leaves no residue after extinguishing
  • The extinguishing is very successful (guaranteed extinguishing effect)
  • It works very quickly (10 seconds)
  • It can be used for extinguishing a wide range of fires
  • It is safe for people
  • It does not harm the environment
  • It does not harm sensitive equipment
  • Automatic fire extinguishing systems with this gas are efficient
  • It does not need a lot of storage space
  • It can fully replace the Halon extinguishing system
  • It can be supplied in the long term and it is commercially available, Zarja Elektronika has the gas permanently in stock in our own filling station

The advantages of FM-200:

  • Many international attestations and certifications
  • Low pressure liquefied gas storage
  • Computer-supported design that is tested and attested even for extremely complex systems
  • Completely harmless to human health in concentrations required for fire extinguishing
  • Suitable for extinguishing a wide range of fires
  • Minimum impact on ozone and heating of the earth
  • Very quick and effective extinguishing effect (up to 10 seconds)
  • It can be implemented into the most demanding extinguishing systems