Inergen Data Sheet
Inert gases all extinguish fires by driving out oxygen. This involves the gases being discharged into the protected room, thus driving out the air that is already present. In this manner the oxygen level is forced down to a point where fires cannot be maintained. Inert gases have some individual differences, which makes it difficult to compare them on a general basis. They must therefore largely be treated separately
CO2 is the best known of the inert gases.
Work has been continuing since the end of the 1970s to find replacement gases for Halon – with varying success. In the last decade several new alternatives have come onto the market with various properties and modes of operation. Among those which currently appear relevant are:
The chemical gases work by means of the combination of a heat-absorbing physical mechanism coupled with reduction of oxygen supply and a chemical preventative effect. It is not the intention here to go into greater detail regarding the actual chemical extinguishing process apart from affirming that these gases are effective extinguishing agents, when properly designed. FM-200 and Halotron are synthetic extinguishing gases of the type often referred to as "soft halons". HydroFluorCarbon (HFC) is the most well known of these gases