Sapphire (Novec-1230)
Gas Suppression System Design

Sapphire® (Novec™ 1230) is a synthetic total flooding gas suppression system that utilises 3M’s Novec-1230 fire suppressant agent to protect critical and high-value assets. Stored as a liquid, the agent vaporises into a gas 50 times fast than water, causing a rapid drop in temperature, cooling and suppressing fire without leaving a residue. Sapphire (Novec-1230) system design requires specialist knowledge and training, much of which only comes from experience.

Sapphire System Design - Switch Room

A well-designed Sapphire (Novec-1230) fire suppression system poses many technical challenges. It requires many additional considerations to correctly eliminate the risk to critical assets caused by fire or water-based extinguishing agents.

Unlike other halocarbon halon alternatives, Sapphire (Novec-1230) has good environmental credentials as it does not deplete ozone (ODP of 0) and has a Global Warming Potential (GWP of <1) less than that of CO2 (which is the GWP baseline of 1).

Sapphire (Novec-1230) fluid has the highest heat capacity of all the commercially available Halon alternatives, resulting in the lowest extinguishing concentrations for a given fuel capacity. Given the storage savings of all synthetic agents when compared to Inert agents, this means Sapphire (Novec-1230) is the best fire suppression agent per volume available today.

Sapphire (Novec-1230) System

When you specify a fire protection system, your choices can determine whether a person, valuable asset or even an entire business survives a fire. When that system uses Sapphire (Novec-1230) fluid, you may confidently offer your client a solution that:

  • Extinguishes a fire in seconds, before it even starts, and long before water-based systems with thermal bulbs discharge.
  • Helps protect irreplaceable paper documents and electronics. Because Novec 1230 fluid is a waterless fire suppression clean agent solution, it leaves no residue and is electrically non-conductive.
  • Provides the highest margin of safety for human occupancy of any clean agent solution.
  • Not subject to the Halon 1301 phaseout or HFC phase down under any global regulatory body, including the Montreal Protocol.
  • Comes with a global environmental warranty — the 3M™ Blue Sky℠ Warranty, and the best environmental credentials of any synthetic fire suppression system, all designed to provide additional peace of mind.
  • Is stored as a liquid which requires less storage space, and discharged as a gas with a ~7-10 seconds transport time.
  • It is appropriate for Australian Class A, B and C fire hazards.
ANSUL Sapphire Product range

Design Considerations

Like other Synthetic Suppression agents, container storage must be immediately adjacent to or within the risk, as the agent travel time is required to be <10 seconds.

Although Sapphire (Novec-1230) fluid is a liquid at room temperature (its boiling point is 49.2⁰C), its vapour pressure is sufficient for the agent to achieve vapour extinguishing concentrations in the air readily when correctly designed.

Typical fire suppression design concentrations for most applications range from 4.5% to 6% by volume of the protected area. At 25⁰C, vapour concentrations with Sapphire (Novec-1230) fluid could form up to 39% volume before reaching saturation. This substantial difference between design and saturation concentrations means that even if the design concentrations are lager, vapour condensation is unlikely to occur.

If the extinguishing agent containers are located in the protected enclosure, special requirements apply for personnel safety.

If cylinder storage room spacial volume is less than that of the protected space, the design must allow for adequate ventilation to ensure accidental discharge doesn’t result in agent concentrations greater than design margins.

The higher the container pressure, the higher the efficiency of the system, due to the following advantages:

Our Team

With years of experience successfully designing compliant gas fire suppression systems, Fire Systems Products are the perfect partner for your fire company. As a market-leading fire systems and products supplier to the fire industry, we are positioned to provide impartial advice on the right gaseous fire suppression system design for your project.

With 60+ years combined fire industry experience, our team provide proven gas suppression designs, and focused value-added engineering solutions. Furthermore, Fire Systems products has fostered strong relationships with leading manufacturers and industry partners, meaning that our system designers regularly receive the latest product information and training to enhance their level of expertise and the quality of our work.

Our passionate Gas Suppression Design team can provide you with a site-specific design solution that supports the mitigation of safety risks. This process involves a consultation with our experts to evaluate the project’s requirements.

Furthermore, we have specified, designed, and commissioned high-quality gas fire suppression system protection for many major institutions and commercial operations throughout Australia through our industry partners, complying with our duties as a designer under the Regulations.

Information Required for Sapphire Gas Suppression System Design:

Limitations of Sapphire Gaseous Fire Suppression Systems

When Designing any Fire Suppression system, it is essential to understand its limitations. Gaseous fire suppression systems cannot protect:

  1. Chemicals that contain their own supply of oxygen. For example, cellulose nitrate is used in gunpowder, nail polish and lacquer finishes.
  2. Mixtures containing oxidising chemicals. For example, sodium nitrate is used in fertilisers and explosives.
  3. Chemicals can undergo auto-thermal decomposition, where a chemical begins to decompose if it reaches a specific temperature.
  4. Reactive metals, e.g. the elements sodium, potassium or magnesium.
  5. Areas where large surfaces are heated (not by fire) to a temperature that breaks down the chemical structure of the extinguishing agent. The agent is then unable to extinguish a fire.

Alternate Chemical Names

Fire Systems products only use 3M branded Novec-1230.


Chemical Names: CAS Common Chemistry

Novec™ is a Trademark of 3M.

Sapphire® is a Trademark of ANSUL.

Sapphire Logo. Sapphire is a Trademark of ANSUL.

For more information about Sapphire System design.