12 Important Terminologies on Foam Systems – A Must Know



Foam fire fighting systems are highly effective, both as a portable and as a fixed fire fighting system.  Most of the product tankers are equipped with Fixed foam fire fighting systems for their ability to blanket off the oxygen from the base of the fire.  Here are twelve important terminologies which everyone must know when it comes to Foam Fire fighting system.

  1. AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) – A foam liquid containing fluorocarbon surfactants that control the physical properties of water so that it is able to float and spread across the surface of a hydrocarbon fuel.
  2. Air foam – Foam produced by a physical agitation of a mixture of water, air and a foaming agent.  Also called mechanical foam.
  3. AR-AFFF (Alcohol Resistant-Aqueous Film Forming Foam) – A specially formulated foam concentrate for use on alcohols and other polar solvents.
  4. Boil over – Violent ejection of flammable liquid from its container caused by the vaporization of water beneath the body of liquid.  It may occur after a lengthy burning period of products such as crude oil when the heat wave has passed down through the liquid and reaches the water bottom in a storage tank.  It will not occur to any significant extent with water-soluble liquids or light products such as gasoline.
  5. Flash-Back – Re ignition of flammable liquid caused by exposure of its vapors to a source of ignition such as a hot metal surface or a spark.
  6. Fluoro protein Foam Liquid – A foam based on natural protein and modified with a selected fluorinated surfactant which is loosely bonded to protein and gives the foam oleophobicity (ability to shed oil-like products).
  7. Foam – The homogeneous blanket obtained by mixing water, foam liquid and air or a gas.
  8. Foam Liquid or Concentrate – The foaming agent for mixing with the appropriate amounts of water and air to produce finished foam.
  9. Hydrophobic – Water hating; having the property of not mixing with water.
  10. Hydrophilic – Water liking; mixes readily with water.
  11. Oleophobic – Oil hating; have the ability to shed gasoline, oil and similar products.
  12. Skin Fire – A flammable liquid fire, such as a spill on a solid surface where the liquid is not present in a depth exceeding 1 inch.

Have you ever flooded your Engine Room space with Foam or CO2 system?  Do share your experience with the Maritime World.