St. Paul, Minn. – When you are behind the wheel traveling at 200-miles-per-hour, safety is critical. It is the one thing, beyond winning, that NASCAR driver Greg Biffle considers when he climbs into his No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. Protection from fires is an ongoing concern among drivers. For this Earth Day weekend at the Kansas Speedway, Biffle’s car has been upgraded with the environmentally sustainable, 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid. Novec 1230 fluid balances performance requirements with favorable environmental and safety properties, giving Biffle added reassurance and peace of mind.
“I’m proud to drive the first racecar that incorporates a sustainable fire suppression fluid. It seems fitting to go the first round on Earth Day,” said Biffle. “I’m lucky to be working with Roush Fenway Racing who jumped on board early to get the new fluid into the car to not only protect me, but also the environment. The sustainability aspect of Novec is huge. I expect a fire suppression fluid to keep me safe, but the fact that it also is safe for the environment is important to me.”
Biffle went on to say that he is not surprised that a technologically driven brand like NASCAR has approved a fire suppression fluid from 3M, a company known for innovation. Metalcraft, Inc., an international leader in fire suppression, equipped both the cockpit and fuel cell area of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion with its new Fire-Trak™ branded fire suppression system using Novec 1230 fluid. The Fire-Trak system and 3M’s Novec 1230 fluid received NASCAR approval earlier this year. 3M researchers developed Novec brand products to be a safe, sustainable chemistry used to replace ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol or those chemistries that high global warming potentials and undesirable toxicity. Novec 1230 fluid has an exceptional environmental profile with zero ozone depletion potential and a global warming potential of one. It stays in the atmosphere only five days, compared to HFC-236fa that lingers for 240 years.
“Novec 1230 fluid is safe now and into the foreseeable future, unlike HFCs that could be impacted by the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in fire suppression,” said Joe Ziemba, marketing manager at 3M. “We’re proud that the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is putting 3M technology to work to help it keep racing toward a bright future.”
Novec 1230 fluid is a chemical agent that is stored as a liquid but is discharged as a gas that leaves no residue. The fluid does not damage sensitive electronics or equipment in the racecar and provides a wide margin of safety when deployed in an enclosed area near Biffle. It also does not affect the surface of the racetrack, keeping it safe for other drivers. Novec 1230 fluid comes with 3M’s Blue SkySM warranty, important when used in commercial buildings, where it offers an opportunity to earn innovation credits toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Other notable applications of 3M Novec 1230 fluid include use in protecting high-value assets such as museum artifacts, library documents, data centers, health care facilities, computers and other critical devices where water cannot be used. Additionally, Novec 1230 fluid has found its way into the archives at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo.