ABC Macintosh


ABC Macintosh


Foam Glossary

Refers to a laboratory process to measure long term storage and long term use of a foam concentrate. Generally used as a quality procedure to measure undissolved solids. Most relevant to protein based foam concentrates.

Application rate
The rate at which foam solution is applied to the fire. Expressed as follows:- litres / minute / metre2 or gallons / minute / foot2

Aqueous Film Forming Foam
Bio Hydrofilm or Bio Fluofoam; 1% 3% 6%

Aqueous Film Forming Foam, Alcohol Resistant
Bio Filmopol; 3% ( 3 X 3 ) 6% ( 3 X 6 ) 6% ( 6 X 6 )

Alcohol resistant
A foam liquid designed with special polymer to avoid the drying effect caused on the foam bubble by alcohol's and ketones ( polar solvents )

Aspirated foam
The description of a finished foam generated through a nozzle or equipment that mixes the foam solution with air.

Base injection
Discharge of a finished foam into a storage tank via an outlet near the bottom of the tank.

Burn back resistance
The ability of a finished foam blanket to resist the direct action of flame. In fire test situations generally measured in minutes.

Class A
A fire involving materials such as paper, cardboard, wood, cloth, plastics etc.

Class B
A fire involving a flammable liquid which could involve hydrocarbon or alcohol fuels. Both should be treated as separate risks or treated as an alcohol risk if fuel types are mixed. ( see fire classifications )

Class C
A fire involving flammable gas.

Class D
A fire involving a metal.

Class E
A fire involving the possibility of live electrical contacts.

Class F
A fire involving vegetable fat.

Combined agent system
A delivery system combining both powder and foam

Combustible liquid
Any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.80C ( 1000C )

The percentage of foam concentrate contained in foam solution. The type of foam concentrate used determines the percentage used. ( 1%, 3% or 6% )

Control time
A somewhat subjective time given as to when a test fire has been extinguisher by 90% following foam application.

Critical application
The lowest rate at which foam solution may be applied to extinguish a fire. Expressed as follows:- litres / minute / metre2 or gallons / minute / foot2

Drainage time
The rate that water drains from a finished foam. Measured as a 25% or 50% drainage time. ( minutes )

EN 1568
European standard for testing foam performance EN1568-3 ( hydrocarbon ) EN1568-4 ( polar solvent ) This standard supersedes all previously stated national standards.

The ratio between the final volume of finished foam to the volume of original foam solution.

Expansion - Low
Expansion ratio of up to 20 to 1

Expansion - Medium
Expansion ratio of between 20 and 200 to 1

Expansion - High
Expansion ratio of between 200 and 1000 to 1

Extinction time
The actual time given for complete ( 100% ) extinction of a test fire following foam application.

Film Forming Fluoro Protein foam Bio Profilm 6S ( 6% ) or 3S ( 3% )

Film Forming Fluoro Protein Alcohol Resistant foam. Bio Proteinium 6 ( 6 X 6 ) or 9 ( 3 X 6 )

Finished foam
The foam solution after it has been delivered via a piece of equipment such as a foam nozzle or foam branch.

Fluoro Protein foam. Bio Fluopro 6E ( 6% ) or 3E ( 3% )

Foam branch pipe
A portable foam delivery device.

Foam compatibility
This refers to two issues:

1. Foam compatibility with other foams. Mixing of generic foam types when in their finished form will not cause a problem to the extinguishing of a fire, providing the foam types are both appropriate for the fuel risk, i.e.; Hydrocarbon or Alcohol fuels. When in doubt an Alcohol resistant foam should always be used. As a matter of good house keeping and security of performance, foam concentrates should not be mixed together in the same tank, unless they are the same generic type. ( Your supplier should provide advice )

2. Foam compatibility with Dry Powder. This issue only refers to basic protein foam. This foam type is generally only used with dry powder that has not been treated with silicon oils. As a general guide more than 95% of all finished foams and dry powders are compatible.

Foam concentrate
Concentrate foam liquid generally as delivered by a supplier in drums or bulk form, to be inducted or premixed with water in the following way. @ 1%, 3% or 6%

Foam monitor
A fixed mechanical foam delivery device.

Foam nozzle
A device that provides the final working to foam solution during delivery to the fire face. Normally associated with foam extinguishers or systems. The foam nozzle can be either aspirated or non-aspirated.
Foam solution A homogenous mixture of foam concentrate and water.

Freezing point
Temperature at which a foam concentrate freezes.

Fluoro Surfactant Free Foam, sometime abbreviated as ( FFF ). BIO FOR ( N and C ) or ECOPOL

High expansion foam. BIO FOR ( N and C ), ECOPOL or Bio Foam 5

Hydrocarbon fuel
Fuels containing hydrogen and carbon atoms. ( Heptane, Avtar, etc.

Venturi device designed to induce foam concentrate into a fire fighting water stream.

Induction rate
Percentage of foam concentrate induced into a fire fighting water stream. ( 1%, 3% or 6% )

A water like foam liquid concentrate

Non - Newtonian
A gel like foam liquid concentrate, sometimes referred to as Pseudo-plastic.

Polar solvent
Water miscible solvents such as acetone, polar solvents require an alcohol resistant foam for extinguishment. ECOPOL ( FSFF ), Bio Filmopol ( AFFF AR ) Proteinium ( FFFP AR )

Pour point
The lowest temperature at which a foam concentrate can be used. This temperature is never as low as the freeze temperature of the concentrate.

Premix solution
A mixture of foam concentrate and water, blended and stored prior to use. ( the contents of a foam extinguisher is an example ).

Shelf life
The manufacturers stated storage life of the foam concentrate expressed in years.

Surface tension
A measurement of the molecular attractions of a liquid surface of separation, generally expressed as mN/m

Spreading coefficient
A measure of the ability of liquid to spread across the surface of another.

Undissolved solids
The solid materials present in a foam concentrate. These tend to be higher in foam concentrates formulated with protein.

A measurement stating the ability of a foam concentrate to flow or move. Generally expressed in cStocks at both 200C and 00C.

Dry Powder Glossary

Apparent density
The density of dry powder volume when compared with the same volume of water. Generally expressed in g / 100 ml

Dry powder is generally described as fine, free flowing powder.

Dry powder is generally coloured for identification and marketing purposes. ABC powder is generally cream or yellow in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

Compaction takes place during long term storage. This would occur in the original packaging or when stored in extinguishing equipment such as an extinguisher. Providing the product is in good order compaction will not effect performance.

Refering to the main active component of the powder. For example ABC 40 has approximately 40% mono ammonium phosphate.

Extinguishing effect
In the case of Class A,B, and C fuels, dry powder achieves extinction by attaching the free radicals present in the chemical reaction of the combustion area to the surface of the powder particles. In Class D fires, the high temperature of molten metal will fuse the powder, which in turn provides a barrier between oxygen and the fuel in the form of a stable crust.

This describes the powders ability to flow. Generally expressed in g / sec.

Hydrophobic treatment
Silicone oil.

Particle size
Reference to the milled particle size of powder.

Particle distribution
Reference to the various sizes of particles present in the powder and their distribution expressed as a percentage.

Specific to extinguishing equipment. In extinguishers EN3 standard requires that the equipment does not retain more than 10% of the extinguishant following complete discharge of pressure. This relates to the powders ability to flow when compacted.

Shelf life
The recommended storage of the powder in the manufacturers original packaging.

Water repelancy
This describes the powders ability to repel water. During the manufacturing process, dry powder is coated with silicone oil to promote this characteristic.

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