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Non-Hydrofluorocarbon-Based Fire Extinguishing

Description:

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials; Battlespace TOPIC OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to explore potential opportunities surrounding a non-HFC based fire extinguishing agent or system. This is needed for ground vehicle crew automatic fire extinguishing systems (AFES) to protect Soldiers and their equipment. TOPIC DESCRIPTION:  The Army relies on HFC-227ea for many of its safety-critical ground vehicle crew fire protection systems. However, production and import of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) are now being phased down due to their high global warming potentials (GWP), as mandated by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020. Development and fielding of non-HFC fire extinguishing systems directly supports Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad as well as the Army Climate Strategy. Meanwhile Section 103 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) calls for an 85% phasedown of the production and import of HFCs by 2036. i. Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, 2021. https://www. federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/01/2021-02177/ tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home-and- abroad. ii. Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. February 2022. United States Army Climate Strategy. Washington, DC. iii. Order 13990: Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, 2021. 2021-01765.pdf (govinfo.gov) Rather than relying on recovered HFCs or trying to establish a stockpile to address the impending shortages of these chemicals, our proposed strategy is to minimize, or eliminate, the Army’s uses of HFC-227ea for ground vehicle crew fire protection applications.   PHASE I:  Subscale proof of concept of extinguishing effectiveness. Once developed, the technology would be tested at the US Army Aberdeen Test Center in one of its full-scale testbeds for performance and safety. The Phase I Base amount must not exceed $250,000 for a 12-month period of performance. PHASE II:  Full scale system demonstrated and tested in laboratory environment • Phase II Sequential: Full scale system integrated and tested in vehicle • Phase II Enhancement: Toxicology assessment, resolve any issues, document PHASE III and DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:  While many different industries will need to eventually switch to non-HFC extinguishers in the coming years, there remains barriers to adoption and scaling. Once capabilities of the system have been established, it would be integrated onto a ground vehicle(s) and evaluated against the Army’s criteria.   KEYWORDS:    Non-HFC; Fire Extinguish; Ground combat vehicles; Soldier safety   REFERENCES:  1. https://www.congress.gov/committee-print/116th-congress/house-committee-print/42770 2. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA517470#:~:text=Historically%20the%20US%20Army%20USA,of%20peacetime%20and%20combat%20fires.
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