Additives for Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems – A Review


  1. Hiltz, J.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
The use of both fixed and portable water mist systems for fire suppression on naval vessels continues to increase. There are several reasons for this. Water mist produces no acid gases and therefore can be discharged in a space where persons are present. It consists of small water droplets (average mean diameter of 90% of the droplets less than 300 µm) that rapidly reduce the temperature in a space. The effectiveness of water mist in cooling a space reduces the volume of water necessary to extinguish or suppress a fire. This lessens both the chance of flooding and costs associated with cleanup arising from water damage. In this report the use and efficacy of additives in water mist systems is reviewed. In most instances, additives have been investigated to determine if they will improve the efficacy of a water mist fire suppression system. Additives that have been investigated include film forming additives for Class B fires (generally fluorinated surfactants), alkali metals salts, transition metal chlorides, sulphates, phosphates and organic compounds such as sucrose and urea. In other instances, the additives were required to depress of the freezing point of the water used in the suppression systems. These suppression systems were proposed for use in conditions where the system might be exposed to temperatures below the freezing point of pure water. The additives included compounds such as potassium acetate and propylene glycol. The subsequent testing studied the effect of

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water mist;fire suppression;additives
Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2012-236 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Nov 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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