T h e  H a l o n  H e r a l d  

www.ushalonbank.com  1.800.433.1751                                                           November, 2010 - Vol 2, Issue 7
In This Issue
FM 200 Shortage Hits Fire Protection Industry
Fluorspar Production Shortage Contributes to FM200 Delivery Woes
The Air Up There
Industry News
Wesco Gets 2,300 LB System Back Online in 11 Hours
Association Corner
Fall/Winter 2010 State Association Calender
US DoD ODS Reserve
Best of the Web
Did You Know?
Did You Know - Part II
Join Our Mailing List!
 From the Editor's Desk
Hello all and welcome to the November issue! My name is Kari and I am the new editor of the Halon Herald. I just started working with Wesco last month and I am looking forward to the opportunity to share with you the latest and greatest news.

This month, our newsletter includes some of the latest industry news, a feature on our Wesco Gold Service and a new feature called Best of the Web, which features a discussion from various online forums
of interest to our readers
.  These types of discussions are happening all over the internet these days, regarding every aspect of business.  No longer do you have to write a letter, or even an email, or pick up a phone to call one person for answers to your industry questions -- you can get all of the answers that you want from numerous people on websites and forums.  You will often even find that the same question has already been asked previously and therefore find your answer faster.  As a service to our readers, the Halon Herald will search the web each month and bring you the best of these discussions.

Please feel free to direct to me any questions, comments or suggestions as they are always welcome!

- Kari

FM 200 Shortage Hits Fire Protection Industry

Recently, DuPont contacted all of its OEM suppression manufacturers notifying them of a shortage of FM-200.  DuPont indicates that the problem is worldwide and was caused, in part, by an explosion at one of the raw material chemical plants in China that provided feedstock for the production of FM200.  This plant has been reportedly shut down and a reopen date has not yet been announced.  Other causes mentioned were increased demand coming from other industries, particularly refrigeration.  It is uncertain how long this shortage will last.  

The announcement has caused most OEMs to advise their distributors of this situation and to begin to calculate the possible shortfall for 2011.  One manufacturer indicated that the entire industry would be put on an allocation of 90% of its 2010 usage.  Though some in the industry have indicated that the problem will begin to ease in the second quarter, others predict that it will impact all of 2011 and possibly beyond.

Prices have risen by as much as seventy five cents and are expected to further increase in December.

Fluorspar Production Shortage Contributes to FM200 Delivery Woes
In June 2009, the U.S. asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to help settle a dispute over Chinese export restraints on industrially important raw materials.  One of those was fluorspar, a mineral that is in an essential in the production of a wide variety of fluorine-containing products including refrigerants, coatings, foam-blowing agents, and pharmaceutical intermediates.
The Air Up There:
It's What We Do!

By John Demeter

Elsewhere on this page we report on a rather large discharge of halon 1301 that occurred more than 225 miles from our headquarters. As is often the case, the call came in after 5:00pm on a Friday afternoon when most, though not all, of our staff had left for the weekend.  As we report, the system was recharged and back on line in 11 hours. Yes, you read that right - 11 hours! The result was a happy end-user, a happy fire equipment distributor (our customer) and a happy staff.

Other than the fact that this occurred after hours and at the beginning of a weekend, this was just another day at the office. Staff was recalled back quickly, transportation arrangements made, coordination with our fire equipment distributor went smoothly. Of course, we had the halon in stock - recycled, sampled and tested to ASTM Standards - along with the specific reload kits and actuators. By pre-arrangement, identical cylinders were kept on hand, completely serviced and painted and ready to be filled. Our customer's truck pulled away from out loading dock within 3 hours.


Industry News
Scientific Assessment Panel issues Report on Ozone Layer - Halon 1211 declines in Atmosphere

The Scientific Assessment Panel reported to the 22nd Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, meeting in Bangkok from November 8 - 12.   The Executive Summary of the Science Assessment was released in September and the full report is expected to be published in April 2011.

The presentation states that total chlorine and bromine from ozone-depleting substances continues to decline in the lower atmosphere, and the ozone layer is expected to recover to its 1980 level by the middle of this century.

For halons, the presentation states that "For the first time, the global atmospheric abundance of bromine from halons stopped increasing, and halon-1211 actually declined."
Click here to view the entire presentation..

Boeing Explains Aircraft Fire Protection

 The engines and auxiliary power units (APUs) on Boeing airplanes incorporate extensive measures for fire protection, including fire detection and extinguishing systems. Click here to read the entire article..

2,300 lbs of Halon 1301, 225 Miles, Back Online in 11 Hours - Wesco Gold Service Comes Through Again           
Once again, Wesco was called upon to get a customer back onlline after a 2,300 pound discharge and, as often is the case, the call came in after hours - this time on a Friday evening at 5:20pm. The crew had already left for the weekend but quickly returned and had a back up set of cylinders ready to ship by 10:30pm that evening. The customer was back online by 4:00am.
Association Corner

These photos highlight the fun and friendly presence that Wesco has at trade shows. The following pictures were taken
at two state trade shows in the October.

Fall/Winter 2010 Local State Association Meeting and Conference Dates
FSSA (Fire Supression Systems Association)
Annual Meeting
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
February 25-March 1, 2011

NAFED (National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors)
Las Vegas, NV - March 3-4, 2011
Atlantic City, NJ - April 7-8, 2011
Indianapolis, IN - May 5-6, 2011

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
June 12-15, 2011

US Department of Defense Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Reserve

A Defense Logistics Agency Activity established by the Secretary of Defense in August 1992, following the U.S. government ratification of the Montreal Protocol and passage of the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act.

To learn more about the Department of Defense ODS Reserve, click here.
Best of the Web
  As Discussed On a Linkedin Forum:

Topic: How necessary is it to Emergency Power Off (EPO) equipment within a protected space before discharging a clean agent gas in a computer room?

One of my colleagues today asked this question.

His client has a large and business critical data center. Ideally, it would be great to be able to EPO the equipment before a discharge, but for this customer the downtime would be costly.

Discussion to include;

- Examples of alternate solutions
- Successful discharge examples (remove customer name for privacy)
- Any indication that standards may change to enforce this practice

The rationale behind conducting the EPO is to remove the heat source from what could be possible burning in a fire condition.

Looking forward to additional comments.

Response #1: We recommend placing the EPO circuit on a pressure switch on the discharge piping. This eliminates the possiblity of an unintentional shutdown.

Response #2: That is a good solution. If there was an accidental or unintentional discharge, would that also initiate an EPO with this arrangement?

Another possibility is to trigger the EPO in the event of a second alarm reached (in a first stage/second stage setup), via a relay in the control panel.

Any other suggestions?

Do you always install EPO's in every installation?

Response #3: We install EPO interface on every clean agent zone we install. As above, we also recommend placing the EPO circuit on a pressure switch on the discharge piping and futher tie it into the NFPA 2001 required system maintenance switch (and gate circuit configuration) to prevent an unintentional shutdown. We strongly advise against EPO circuits on relays in the control panel.
Did You Know?

      Approximately 23,400 installations of Clean Agent suppression systems  by FSSA members since 1994
Approximately 191 successful fire extinguishments reported
      Zero failures to extinguish fire

Did You Know -  Part II
Lockheed Constitution

One of the first aircraft given propulsion fire protection consideration during its design stage was the Lockheed Constitution. This aircraft possessed a radial piston power plant. Chemicals evaluated during this work involved carbon dioxide and Halons 1001 and 1011 (bromochloromethane). Further, during the evaluation of the Lockheed Constitution, different methods of engine nacelle fire suppression were considered. Going one step further, over the entire span of this history, other methods of nacelle suppression have been suggested and evaluated. For more information click here.

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If you have any questions, comments, would like to be featured in a future Halon Herald, or would like to be added to our mailing list for this newsletter, please contact Kari Buser at kbuser@ushalonbank.com.


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