On all industrial sites where, flammable liquids are stored or processed it is mandatory to install foam extinguishing systems. These types of installations effectively extinguish any fire which may occur.
Distribution of fire-fighting foam on large industrial sites
Depending on the size of the site, large volumes of fire-fighting foam may be needed in different locations. To meet this requirement, it is cost effective to install one central fire-fighting foam storage tank that supplies all fire extinguishing systems. The fire-fighting foam concentrate is then pumped over long distances to the foam mixing equipment located in the firewater piping system.
FLUORine in fire-fighting foam
To use the above centralised solution usually required the use of low-viscosity fire-fighting foam concentrates, but these foams are only available with fluorinated additives. These man-made additives improve the effectiveness of the concentrate. We call this C6 technology or PFAS molecules but their addition come at a high environmental cost.
New European legislation on fluorinated additives
Future European legislation will very likely ban the use of fluorinated additives. It is therefore a good idea to avoid this type of fire-fighting foam concentrate in new-build installations and instead use one of the available fluorine-free fire-fighting foam concentrates.
Fluorine-free concentrates are called F3 concentrates. Typically, they have a higher viscosity compared to traditional concentrates and have pseudoplastic properties. Because of this variable fluidity, it is difficult to calculate pressure losses during pumping. That is also the reason why fluorine-free fire-fighting foam concentrates are often still being avoided, even though new restrictions are in the pipeline for the fluorinated additives.
At Somati Systems, we decided to tackle this problem. We invested in research into the pumping of non-fluorinated fire-fighting foam concentrates over long distances. Experiments and extensive practical tests of the calculation model we developed have demonstrated that we are proceeding with great accuracy. As a result, it is very clear that we can supply installations with a central supply that are still future-proof.