Research was conducted on studying the features of combustion and extinguishing of the alkali metals. As experiments showed, during combustion in the air, in addition to oxygen, only lithium from the entire series of alkali metals additionally uses nitrogen as an oxidizing agent. Sodium was chosen as the combustible load for the experiments on the determination of the extinguishing efficiency. When conducting fire tests according to the previously developed methodology, the extinguishing ability was evaluated by the mass of the fire extinguishing agent, after which the sodium combustion did not resume during a 10-minute exposure. When extinguishing with potassium salts, a positive effect is achieved only in the case of a thin layer of combustible substance. Taking into account that the density of heat-resistant potassium halides is more than twice as high as that of sodium, they sink in the layer of the latter. Accordingly, the effective extinguishing will be achieved only with a proportional ratio of the fire extinguishing agent to the sodium layer.
Mixture of graphite and heat-resistant organonitrogen compounds showed a high extinguishing efficiency. At the same time, in practice, due to the shortage and high cost of kibble, the second option may be a melamine-graphite composition.
In laboratory conditions, good extinguishing results were shown by liquid complexes of addition of aluminum chloride and nitrogen-containing organic compounds. During field tests, a similar effect was not achieved, but this does not mean that the work in this direction has no prospects. Considering that today there are more and more technologies using alkali metals that are in sufficiently high isolation, the use of liquid agents can become a priority in terms of their efficient supply to the burning metal.
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