Shift from AFFF to SFFF foam concentrates: FIREMIKS talks challenges and solutions

June 24, 2024

Shift from AFFF to SFFF concentrates poses new challenges

In an article featured in International Fire and Safety Journal (IFSJ) FIREMIKS addressed the market’s transition from AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) to SFFF (Synthetic Fluorine-Free Foam) concentrates as it is presenting challenges for both existing and new foam systems.

One of the primary concerns in firefighting solutions is proportioning, where understanding the viscosity of the new SFFF concentrates is essential for selecting the appropriate proportioner.

The FIREMIKS concept utilizes a water-driven volumetric pump proportioner designed for fixed installations, operating solely on extinguishing water without requiring an additional energy source.

Regulatory changes and their impact on foam systems

Regulatory bodies are pushing for the shift from PFAS-containing concentrates to SFFF concentrates, prompting a reassessment of many proportioning systems to ensure compatibility.

Manufacturers offer SFFF foams with a wide range of viscosities, including high-viscosity concentrates.

Understanding whether a concentrate falls within a viscosity range of 1cP to around 5-6000 cP or if it is classified as very high viscosity is critical for selecting an appropriate proportioner.

Per Aredal, International Sales Director at FIREMIKS AB, emphasized the importance of understanding concentrate properties before recommending the suitable pump type: “We prioritize understanding the concentrate type and viscosity before recommending the suitable pump type.”

Advantages of FIREMIKS variable viscosity proportioners

FIREMIKS offers two types of dosing pumps—Piston and Gear pumps—alongside a robust multi-vane motor based on over 30 years of market experience.

Piston pump proportioners, classified as “Variable viscosity proportioners” in FM approval terminology, maintain precise dosing rates across a broad viscosity spectrum.

However, they have limitations with high viscosity concentrates due to the reciprocating principle of the pump.

Gear pump proportioners are well-suited for handling high and very-high viscosity concentrates.

They have been successfully tested with viscosities up to 8,040 cP, making them particularly efficient for applications operating at the higher end of the maximum flow rate.

FIREMIKS system offers versatility in foam supply

FIREMIKS provides a diverse range of models catering to various flow sizes and proportioning requirements.

The smallest model has a max flow of 180 lpm, while the largest can handle up to 10,000 lpm.

For larger flows, up to 20,000 lpm, FIREMIKS offers parallel installations on a base skid or mounted as “double-deckers.”

The FIREMIKS system allows for easy changes in foam type or brand concentrate by simply exchanging the IBC-container to another within the approved range.

This flexibility contrasts with bladder tank systems, which often require recalibration and balancing for different viscosities, leading to downtime.

This article was originally published in the January 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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