Fire Engineering Solution

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Fire Fighting Foam Sampling and Laboratory Testing

Fire Fighting Foam quality and regulatory tests for Offshore and Onshore Oil & Gas Facilities, Marine Ships and Vessels, Airports, Industry and other large fire control systems are crucial and must be done on an annual basis. Hegel Fire Fighting Foam quality test helps to ensure clients have in their long term storage are in good condition and that correct grade of fire fighting foam in their fire fighting systems. Fire Fighting Foam tests complies with industrial and national quality and regulatory standards for Fire Fighting Equipment. Client's Fire Fighting Foam samples are shipped to our Foam Testing Laboratories, with testing usually occurring within 24 hours for rapid results.

NFPA-11 recommends that all Foam Systems and Concentrates shall be thoroughly inspected and checked for proper operation annually. The inspection shall include performance evaluation of the Foam Concentrate and shall confirm that the product meets the manufacturer’s specifications. It is impossible to tell if foam concentrate is of operational quality by its odour, visual, or physical contact with the finished foam blanket. Foam users around the world submit samples of foam concentrate to Hegel Foam Testing Lab as part of their regular maintenance programs.

Teams of highly qualified scientists and technicians in modern, purpose-built laboratories analyse samples of all types of foam to the highest standards. With knowledge and experience of evaluating foam samples gained over many years, Hegel's staff are uniquely placed to interpret the results and provide reliable and unbiased recommendations about the suitability of foam for use in an emergency. Analytical chemistry laboratories that do not specialise in fire fighting foam testing are unable to offer such specialist expertise. The results are reported quickly with a comprehensive test report. Hegel’s Fire Fighting Foam Test Lab offers an unbiased analysis of Fire Fighting Foam. Fire Fighting Foam testing parameters includes:

 

  • Visual Appearance

  • pH Value to ASTM D1293, EN 1568  

  • Foam Density to ASTM D4052  

  • Viscosity to ISO 3104

  • Sediment to EN 1568-C

  • Drainage Time to EN 1568-G

  • Expansion Ratio to EN 1568-G

  • Fire Test Performance or "Burn Back Test" to EN 1568-I 

  • Refractive Index to ISO 5561, ASTM D1218, ISO 5661

  • Resistance to Polar Solvents

  • Solution Concentration

  • Pour Point to ASTM D5950 

  • Cloud Point to ASTM D5773  

  • Surface tension to ISO 304, ASTM D-971

  • Temperature Conditioning to EN 1568-H

  • Quality

  • Specific Gravity

  • Scale Test

  • Chemical Stability

  • Freeze-point

  • Conclusions; Determination of foam type or grade

Type of Foams tested and analyzed :

  • Protein Foam Concentrates (P). Liquids derived from Hydrolysed Protein materials.

  • Fluoroprotein Foam Concentrates (FP). Protein Concentrates with added fluorinated surface active agents.

  • Synthetic Foam Concentrates (S). Mixtures of hydrocarbon surface-active agents, and can contain fluorinated surface-active agents with additional stabilisers.

  • Alcohol Resistant Foam Concentrates (AR). Suitable for use on hydrocarbon fuels, and are resistant to breakdown when applied to the surface of water-miscible liquid fuels. Some alcohol resistant foam concentrates precipitate a polymeric membrane on the surface of alcohol.

  • Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Concentrates (AFFF). Mixtures of hydrocarbon surfactants and fluorinated surface active agents, forming an aqueous film on the surface of some hydrocarbon fuels.

  • Film-Forming Fluoroprotein Foam Concentrates (FFFP). Fluoroprotein foam concentrates form an aqueous film on the surface of some hydrocarbon fuels.

Fire Fighting Foam samples are shipped to Hegel’s Fire Fighting Foam Test Lab at following locations depending on the original location of foam samples :

  • United Kingdom

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Singapore

  • Malaysia

Under normal circumstances and satisfactory storage conditions, foam concentrates manufactured by reputable companies should maintain their quality for years. However, no matter how good the foam concentrate, deterioration can take place in several ways and it is therefore recommended to monitor the quality. Summarised below are some of the causes of foam concentrate degradation:

  • Dilution or evaporation

  • Topping off with inferior or incompatible products

  • Excessively high or low storage temperatures

  • Unsuitable storage conditions

 

NFPA-11 recommends that all foam systems shall be thoroughly inspected and checked for proper operation annually. The inspection shall include performance evaluation of the foam concentrate or premix solution quality. Regular Sampling and Evaluation Can Detect:

  • Deterioration of the foam concentrate

  • Accumulation of sediment in low areas, which could cause proportioning problems when the system is activated

Samples taken from the installation should be representative of the foam concentrates stored so that an accurate evaluation can be made. To ensure a uniform sample, if the system design permits, circulate the system back to the storage tank for the appropriate time before sampling. If circulation is not possible for any reason, take samples from the top, middle, and bottom of the tank. If it is not possible to take three samples, due to the construction of the vessel or other reasons, then take one sample from the top of the tank and a second sample from the bottom.

NOTE: 

  1. SUBMIT ONE COMPOSITE SAMPLE ONLY, made by mixing the samples taken from the tank. Taking one sample from a storage vessel that has not been circulated may not be truly representative of the complete contents of the storage tank.

  2. When using drain-off points, ensure that sufficient fluid is allowed to flush through the pipework to clear any accumulation of sludge, and provide a representative sample.

  3. The sample must be at least 500 ml (approximately 1 pint) in volume and shipped in a clean, tightly sealed container made of polyethene.

  4. On Container labelling, do not use adhesive labels. The container must be marked with a waterproof marking pen showing Name of Client's company, Type of concentrate; e.g., AFFF 3%, etc., Source of the sample; e.g., B5 Foam Room - Tank #1. 

  5. Indicate the type of foam and lot number, if known. Be specific in storage container identification; e.g., 1500-gallon tank located in B5 Foam Room - Tank #1. Note any special conditions or problems. Sample containers must be securely and safely packaged to avoid damage during shipment.

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