Suppression performance comparison for aspirated, compressed-air and in situ chemically generated class B foams
Laundess, A.J., Rayson, M.S., Dlugogorski, B.Z. and Kennedy, E.M. (2012) Suppression performance comparison for aspirated, compressed-air and in situ chemically generated class B foams. Fire Technology, 48 (3). pp. 625-640.
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This contribution describes the experimental program undertaken to test the performance of a novel firefighting foam against the current Class B foam technology. The novel foam involved the use of a chemical reaction between dissolved species to generate inert nitrogen gas in situ; hence in situ generated nitrogen foams (ISNF). The experimental program encompassed the utilisation of the DEF(AUST)5706 test standard for measuring the suppression and burnback performance of the ISNF as well as that of compressed air foams (CAF). All tests were performed using the same two types of surfactant concentrates (one telomer and one PFOS-based) in order to accurately determine the effect of the generation technology on the foam performance. The three kinds of foams (i. e., aspirated, CAF and ISNF) were characterised in terms of their bubble size distributions and drainage rates. Bubble size analysis placed the size distribution of the ISNF midway between those of aspirated and compressed air foams, whilst drainage performance was found to be only slightly superior to the aspirated foam. The results of the experiments showed that in situ nitrogen foams are able to achieve good performance, similar to that of aspirated and CAF technologies. Further work is needed to optimise foam formulations for ISNF so that surfactants are not affected by the chemistry of nitrogen generation and by the presence of salts formed during chemical reactions.
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