Foam - there must be a proper application technique

Published:  01 June, 2007

Over the past decade, there has been a growing concern about the impact of foams on environment, due to scientific evidence of the detrimental effect of fluorinated compounds and their behaviour in the environment.

Over the past decade, there has been a growing concern about the impact of foams on environment, due to scientific evidence of the detrimental effect of fluorinated compounds and their behaviour in the environment.
Environment is key
No one would deny that environment is key concern for our future; on the other hand, it is mandatory to select the best option for reasons of safety.
To address this dilemma of choice, we can examine the question from two angles. Does AFFF provide a real ‘do-it-all’ solution and do fluoro-free foam alternatives exist as a real alternative?
For chemicals such as polar solvents, AFFF does not help that much for extinction because the film formation (water film) is virtually impossible to maintain on any polar solvent type fuel because the water film will dilute with the fuel (miscible).
Additionally, the delivery of the finished foam should always be as a ‘gentle’ application, so there is no need to protect the foam from fuel pick-up. The main application for AFFF has generally been the oil industry. All the relevant standards (EN1568 and UL) establish a top rating for direct application, and a second level for gentle application.
A significant study has recently been undertaken by French Safety Committee for Oil Industry to ascertain the various scenarios on oil fires.
It clearly concluded that in all cases and for any foam, it is always recommended to apply the foam in gentle application, and with automatic and fixed systems. Again that indicates that forceful application with monitors and AFFF should be only considered as an exception and not a rule.
One would wonder why it is widely accepted that - as a rule in the chemical industry, the method of gentle application of foam via fixed systems is common practice and why this method could not be adopted by oil industry? It would increase the efficiency  of the fire attack , reduce the consumption of water and the need for AFFF.
For the second part of the question, the answer is YES. Fluoro-free foams are available and meet international standards, such as EN1568, LastFire and GESIP.One can see now that, by altering our foam application methods, it is possible to switch from fluorinated foam such as AFFF and FFFP to an eco-friendly fluoro free technology and address both the issues of extinction and environmental with confidence.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

Calendar

  • 18 April, 2018, 9:00 - 19 April, 2018eRIC