SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1988

Fire Extinguishing Agents for Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres


Fire suppression agent requirements for extinguishing fires in oxygen-enriched atmospheres were determined by employing small-, medium-, large-, and full-scale test apparatuses. The small- and medium-scale tests showed that a doubling of the oxygen concentration required five times more Halon to be extinguished. This trend agrees with Halon's chemical interference in the chain reaction of the combustion process and the increase in the flame radical pool caused by increased oxygen. For fires of similar size and intensity, the effect of oxygen enrichment of the cabin volume in the HC-131A was not as great as in the smaller compartments of the B-52, which presented a higher damage scenario. The full-scale tests showed that damage to the airframe was as important a factor in extinguishment as oxygen enrichment was.

Author Information

Zallen, DM
Air Force Engineering and Services Center, Tyndall AFB, FL
Morehouse, ET
Air Force Engineering and Services Center, Tyndall AFB, FL
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 391–412
DOI: 10.1520/STP26762S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5055-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0998-8