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LSBU wins green technology grant of €150,000 to research cargo air fire suppression techniques

An EU grant will enable LSBU’s School of Engineering to develop an innovative, greener alternative to current methods of suppressing fires in commercial cargo aircraft
05 August 2015

London South Bank University (LSBU) has been awarded a grant of €150,000 to investigate new technology in the field of aircraft cargo fire suppression.

Whilst cargo compartments on passenger and freighter airplanes are built to include comprehensive fire protection, they typically use a chemical compound called a halon to extinguish and suppress a fire upon detection. Halons, whilst efficient at extinguishing fires, also contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer and for this reason are subject to a UN Environment Programme Mandate phasing them out of production at the earliest possibly opportunity.

LSBU, in conjunction with partners Cranfield University, Mälardalen University College and SP Boras, will run a project to design a new halon-free fire suppression system for aircraft cargo holds. The project won a €700,000 European Horizon 2020 grant (LSBU €150,000) under the Clean Sky initiative, designed to advance research into break-through green technologies for the civil and commercial aircraft market.

LSBU’s research for the project will be carried out by Professor David Mba and Dr Paul Holborn from LSBU’s School of Engineering. The first component of their research will be to identify suitable halon-free fire suppression and explosion protection agents. Based on the outcome of these investigations the project consortium will work together to design and test a suitable fire suppression system specifically for cargo holds, ensuring reliability, consistency and the meeting of international aviation safety standards.