Gas Based Automatic Fire Suppression System

Gas Based Automatic Fire Suppression System


HFC227ea – FM200 & FE227

BALAJI Fire Suppressions HFC227ea Clean Chemical Fire Suppression Agent 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*

Halon 1301





CEA 308


CEA 410







Not Applicable

Novec 1230


HFC-227ea is commonly called FM200 but this is a trade name and is manufactured by Great Lakes Chemical Corp. DuPont also manufacture this agent under the trade name FE-227 and both are available from Balaji Fire Services. As HFC-227ea is the most popular of the clean chemical agents, this is the one described within this web page. Novec 1230 is described under it’s own page please follow the link.


The Agent

Although stored as a liquid, FM200 and FE227 discharge as a gas due to the low boiling point -16.4deg C. It leaves no residue, is nonconductive and can be used in class A fires, electrical, wood, paper and fabric and class B fires, flammable liquids. FE-227 and FM200 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 FM200 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 arrangements. 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. 180 degree nozzles are located 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 (ISO14520 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.