Bart Goeman, 3M Electronics Markets Materials Division
3M has developed, introduced and commercialized an unprecedented sustainable halocarbon clean extinguishing agent whereby researchers have struck a balance of not only being effective in fire extinguishing but also demonstrating superior environmental properties in combination with a low toxicity and reduced space and weight requirements. It should also possess sufficient chemical/thermal stability during handling and in end use.. This halocarbon belongs to the fluoroketone class. The chemical formula of CF3CF2C(O)C(CF3)2 is identified in the new ISO 14520 standard by the ASHRAE nomenclature FK-5-1-12.
Commercially known as 3MTM Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid and manufactured by 3M Company, this novel clean extinguishing agent has been shown to combine the performance and environmental attributes sought by industries that demand the high level of performance previously provided by halon until its phase-out. Compared to inert gas and water mist, systems using Novec 1230 fluid are much compacter and as such require much less space (and weight concerns).
What is unprecedented is this fluoromaterial's environmental properties that are on the order of naturally occurring compounds. Novec 1230 fluid has a surprisingly short atmospheric lifetime and yet has exhibited the stability necessary for use as a clean extinguishing agent.
Novec 1230 fluid was introduced in 2002 as a halon replacement alternative to HFCs and now has a history of use globally for the protection of special hazards / high value assets, especially in occupied spaces resulting in greenhouse gas emission reduction in industries where environmental objectives stress the use of sustainable technologies.