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Thread: Class A/B Foam How Effective

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    As previously stated, If you are looking to have class B foam capability, using a 1 x 3 AR-AFFF would be the best way to go, as most of them can be used at low percentages on class A fires (.1 - 1%). The down sides I can think of are more system maintenance, more expensve foam and in most cases a limited ability to handle any "decent" sized B fire. Another factor to take into account is that AR foams are more viscous and injection foam systems have limitations on their ability to handle these fluids. I always consider the amount of B foam carried on most engines enough to put out a gasoline tank fire from a typical car fire, however, it will go MUCH further on A fires.
    more wisdom IMO is this thread, if you ain't using 1X3 for your B juice you are wasting storage and money. A should be forest service approved for liability reasons.

    Remember B leaves a scum on the pond A does not and that scum prevents ignition


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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    Class A foam is primarily a surfactant, which is to say that it breaks down the surface tension of water. In addition, the portion of the foam concentrate molecule that repels other water in order to break the surface tension is also attracted to carbon. The result is that when you apply finished class A foam to a dense carbon based fuel (like wood) the water is broken down into much smaller micro droplets that absorb much more quickly into the fuel.

    Class B foam works differently as it changes the specific gravity of the water to make it lighter than liquid hydrocarbon fuels, and further it works to bind the water together in order to create a self healing blanket to smother vapors and keep them from escaping the pool of flammable liquid.

    If you look at what class A and class B foams are supposed to do to water you will quickly realize that any foam claiming to do both is likely to perform poorly. The two purposes are diametrically opposed to one another. In other words: a jack of all trades is a master of none.
    I really like what you have said here, please let me add some thoughts from the foam classes I have taught we carry class B to put on a spill to prevent fire. To fight a B fire requires a lot of concentration and a lot of concentrate.

    Class A foam I love it, we use it from the get go on any fire. we only use the b on spills to prevent a fire.

    Combination juice over priced, undertested and not UL approved

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    Syracuse uses Class A foam (FoamPro 2002 system) on initial attack. While we do carry an on-board 30-gallon B foam cell, the reality is that except for very small spills, if you need B foam, odds are you don't have enough.
    "SYRACUSE - An ISO Class One Fire Department"

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    Quote Originally Posted by getasupply View Post
    Combination juice over priced, undertested and not UL approved
    FireAide 2000 is UL Listed as a A & B class foam, and unlike ChemGuard and Buckeye it does not have a shelf life. We has dozens of gelled 5 gallon pales of ChemGuard that are worthless. If you have never tried it you may want to request a demo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    FireAide 2000 is UL Listed as a A & B class foam, and unlike ChemGuard and Buckeye it does not have a shelf life. We has dozens of gelled 5 gallon pales of ChemGuard that are worthless. If you have never tried it you may want to request a demo.
    Interesting. I searched the UL site and they do seem to have obtained UL marks as both an AFFF and a wetting agent. I would LOVE to do some performance testing against known high-quality class A foam concentrates to see how well this stuff works by comparison.
    Just a guy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    Interesting. I searched the UL site and they do seem to have obtained UL marks as both an AFFF and a wetting agent. I would LOVE to do some performance testing against known high-quality class A foam concentrates to see how well this stuff works by comparison.
    What's keeping you?,hehe T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    What's keeping you?,hehe T.C.
    Got a bunch of different kinds of foam and a pumper with an Advantus foam proportioner I can borrow for a weekend?
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
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    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

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    A Whut? Nope,all National products here. And Foampros on Hales. You've been SPOILED! T.C.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    A Whut? Nope,all National products here. And Foampros on Hales. You've been SPOILED! T.C.
    I grew up on a '69 Howe with a Waterous CM-1250. I still think that might have been the best pumper I ever engineered. My former employer had all Waterous pumps with Foampros retrofitted on everything newer than an '85. The last three years I was there I spent on an engine with one of the first Waterous Eclipse CAFS units.

    I need a pumper with an Advantus to use for good testing so I can see what each foam does to water conductivity.

    Quick interesting story: we always had our Foampros preset to .5% for aspirated foam. Several years ago I ran one of my current employer's demo trucks with an Advantus off of the hydrant in front of my house, I found that at the .5% setting the Advantus dropped the injection rate down to about .3% to make an excellent quality aspirated foam. Amazing what high quality concentrate and good water will do for you.
    Last edited by Johngagemn; 08-19-2010 at 12:37 PM. Reason: typo!
    Just a guy...

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    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    FireAide 2000 is UL Listed as a A & B class foam, and unlike ChemGuard and Buckeye it does not have a shelf life. We has dozens of gelled 5 gallon pales of ChemGuard that are worthless. If you have never tried it you may want to request a demo.
    I question that. If your Chemguard pails were not opened (and are not 40-50years old) call them to have it replaced. Moist/humid air in unsealed storage container is what typically caused gelling (that and stupid acts such as mixing with Cl A). Is it old military Afff? I'm told DOD used to have habit of opening pails to "inspect" it, guess what, it gels/is ruined, and they surplus it. Or if it is past rated 20yr life DOD surpluses it.

    I think that any foam can claim to be effective on Cl A. At some %. Big deal. Fireaide website says up to 1% to work. WOW 1%. Can claim to be a class B if can pass UL162 for hydrocarbon tests thats = Afff (which is any "Class B" foams).

    I see nothing on Fireaide web site stating your shelf life info. They just forget to provide this info? How would a company (Fire Servive Plus/Firea) founded in 1997 (I did a search) rate a product as unlimited shelf life? No basis for making such a boast. All the major foam mfg that I know of put a shelf life of around 20yr on their stuff. That's a conservative position. How does a upstart mfg have a basis for claiming unlimited shelf life?

    Fireaide website says ethanol BLENDS must use 6% (or more my reading). See any mention of ethanol? No. No effectiveness.

    Too much marketing/sales BS by selective omission

    I'll stay with snake oil (or your salesman is full of it) and take a Fit-5.

    If you're not using on hand supply of pails up in 20years perhaps a bit more training?

    You need cost effective foam for structure fires buy a good Class A and run it at 0.3%. If you need "Class B" foam for car fires today buy a few buckets of good Ar-Afff. And that's not Fireaide. We need to assume every car has ethanol blend in the fuel tank. You need to prepare for a REAL "Class B" fire buy Ar-Afff in totes. If its ethanol or ethanol blend you need foam by the truck load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    Interesting. I searched the UL site and they do seem to have obtained UL marks as both an AFFF and a wetting agent. I would LOVE to do some performance testing against known high-quality class A foam concentrates to see how well this stuff works by comparison.
    Jefferson Fire is listed as dist in MN/WI. If they won't supply a pail to you will tell you a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    Got a bunch of different kinds of foam and a pumper with an Advantus foam proportioner I can borrow for a weekend?
    I'm setting up a foam class in Waterloo, IA in March. I have an Advantus on our Waterous CAFS (retrofit PTO system) you can use. We use .3 to .5% Chemguard for wet foam as have rather hard water. Just purchased Chemguards new "Extreme CAFS" but no report on it yet.

    Or get Geske to loan you his nifty truck?
    Last edited by neiowa; 08-19-2010 at 01:05 PM.

  13. #33
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    We had a rush on the FireAide product around here back in the 90s. Everyone is now using Class B AR-AFFF.

    As someone stated above, if you aren't using a 1%/3% foam, you are wasting space on the truck. We are currently running 3%/6% on all 14 front line engines and just knowing how much space we are wasting is aggravating. Next batch should be 1%/3%.
    Career Firefighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    I grew up on a '69 Howe with a Waterous CM-1250. I still think that might have been the best pumper I ever engineered. My former employer had all Waterous pumps with Foampros retrofitted on everything newer than an '85. The last three years I was there I spent on an engine with one of the first Waterous Eclipse CAFS units.

    I need a pumper with an Advantus to use for good testing so I can see what each foam does to water conductivity.

    Quick interesting story: we always had our Foampros preset to .5% for aspirated foam. Several years ago I ran one of my current employer's demo trucks with an Advantus off of the hydrant in front of my house, I found that at the .5% setting the Advantus dropped the injection rate down to about .3% to make an excellent quality aspirated foam. Amazing what high quality concentrate and good water will do for you.
    No question a Waterous with an Advantus is hard to beat. If my fleet wasn't all Hale,we'd probably consider it. But it is,so that's that. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    I question that. If your Chemguard pails were not opened (and are not 40-50years old) call them to have it replaced. Moist/humid air in unsealed storage container is what typically caused gelling (that and stupid acts such as mixing with Cl A). Is it old military Afff? I'm told DOD used to have habit of opening pails to "inspect" it, guess what, it gels/is ruined, and they surplus it. Or if it is past rated 20yr life DOD surpluses it.
    In my career department we use Buckeye, in twin 20 gallon tanks, with a FoamPro system, and we keep ChemGuard AFFF in 5 gallon pales with a portable by-pass inductor. We go through enough foam every year that none of our foam is anywhere close to 20 years.
    At the volunteer department I am with we get dozens of pale, and have been offered totes, of Chemguard, that has gelled from Dow Chemical.
    We do not open our foam until it is used. We also do not receive or use surplus foam. Our foam comes from the local rep on pallets.


    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    I think that any foam can claim to be effective on Cl A. At some %. Big deal. Fireaide website says up to 1% to work. WOW 1%. Can claim to be a class B if can pass UL162 for hydrocarbon tests thats = Afff (which is any "Class B" foams).

    I see nothing on Fireaide web site stating your shelf life info. They just forget to provide this info? How would a company (Fire Servive Plus/Firea) founded in 1997 (I did a search) rate a product as unlimited shelf life? No basis for making such a boast. All the major foam mfg that I know of put a shelf life of around 20yr on their stuff. That's a conservative position. How does a upstart mfg have a basis for claiming unlimited shelf life?

    Fireaide website says ethanol BLENDS must use 6% (or more my reading). See any mention of ethanol? No. No effectiveness.

    Too much marketing/sales BS by selective omission

    I'll stay with snake oil (or your salesman is full of it) and take a Fit-5.

    If you're not using on hand supply of pails up in 20years perhaps a bit more training?

    You need cost effective foam for structure fires buy a good Class A and run it at 0.3%. If you need "Class B" foam for car fires today buy a few buckets of good Ar-Afff. And that's not Fireaide. We need to assume every car has ethanol blend in the fuel tank. You need to prepare for a REAL "Class B" fire buy Ar-Afff in totes. If its ethanol or ethanol blend you need foam by the truck load.
    Have you ever used Fireade? Do you have anymore information than what you gleaned from the website? What is the cost of the three foams?
    More training? Big statement directed at someone you do not know. How much training do you have on these three products? Between working 30+ years at my career department, near as many on several volunteer, and plant departments I would bet I have enough training to qualify my position. That is not to mention the actual chemical fires I have fought over the years.
    If you do not believe in this product because you had a bad experience with it fine, but if you are slamming it just because you have never used it maybe you should do a little more research.
    Why don't you just call the company and ask for a demo? 1-770 460 7793


    Additional Info: I almost forgot. The owner, Ron, stated that Fireade does not have a shelf life, and does not gel after being opened.
    Last edited by Acklan; 08-19-2010 at 03:34 PM. Reason: More info...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    Interesting. I searched the UL site and they do seem to have obtained UL marks as both an AFFF and a wetting agent. I would LOVE to do some performance testing against known high-quality class A foam concentrates to see how well this stuff works by comparison.
    Why don't you just call the owner, Ron @ 770 460 7793, and ask for a demo? BTW I just talked with him, first time, and he stated FoamPro is soon to release a statement that they recommend that Fireade 2000 be used in the systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    Why don't you just call the owner, Ron @ 770 460 7793, and ask for a demo? BTW I just talked with him, first time, and he stated FoamPro is soon to release a statement that they recommend that Fireade 2000 be used in the systems.
    If I had my druthers I would personally test everything claiming to be a class A foam available on the market. I know what I need in order to conduct the testing, and I know how to objectively sort the data if I ever get the chance to do it. A demo by the owner of the company does me no good, I would need to objectively test multiple agents in similar conditions in order to make proper comparisons. That said, my current employer would probably frown upon me doing so because we do not want to get involved in backing any one or any few brands of foam.

    When our customers ask us what foam we recommend we simply tell them there are a lot of good foams out there and we recommend they do thorough research before buying a whole lot of any one brand. I have known some departments who have really done good homework and purchased half a dozen brands and done their own comparative testing, then bought the one that works best for them.

    For the same reasons, I think it more likely that Hypro may be adding Fireade to a long list of concentrates they have tested and approved to flow through their systems without damaging it, as opposed to telling all of their customers to use it. That said, I obviously do not speak for them.
    Last edited by Johngagemn; 08-19-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johngagemn View Post
    That said, my current employer would probably frown upon me doing so because we do not want to get involved in backing any one or any few brands of foam.
    I understand perfectly. Well maybe you will be able to sit in on a demo one day, just for poops and giggles.

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    Default Class A foam is best

    First, I want to say congratulations on getting the new rig. I will be taking delivery of my new rig before the end of the month, so I know how much work goes into these purchases.
    Now letís look at your question.
    If you check your specís, the Husky foam system has a connection on the driverís side pump panel allowing you to draft foam concentrate from buckets/drums/totes etc. If your primary response territory is single family homes, class A foam is the best choice for you to use. Even car fires as you spoke of are primarily a class A fire. Look up the spec sheet on the class A foam you are intending to use. I know SIlvex and Chemgard list that their class A foam is effective in extinguishing a class A fire. But it WILL NOT provide any vapor suppression capabilities. It will put out a class B fuel fire from a car fire, but it might not keep it out.
    One of the previous posts indicated you could flush and mix class A and B foam. I want to say NEVER NEVER mix different foam concentrates. If you were even thinking about doing this. I would suggest you take a plastic cup of class A foam and add a small amount of the B foam you use. Sit it on a shelf and wait about a day or week and come back and see what this mixture liiks like. Now try to imaging what this will look like if it was in you foam tank and all of the piping associated with the foam system. Never a good idea to mix concentrates.
    If you have your Husky system charged with A foam, and you need to use B. When you switch over, the system goes through a short flush cycle and then starts to pick up and proportion the B. Whn the incident is over, you go through a more in-depth flush to clean out and residual B in the foam pump and you are back in business. The Husky doesnít mix the concentrate in the piping or the tanks.
    I could get into a more lengthy discussion about what I would term snake oil salesmen telling firefighters about their ďuniversalĒ foam. All I would ask you to do is ask them for the UL rating for their products. UL 162 is the standard for Class B foam concentrates. Is has very tough test the concentrate needs to pass as far as extinguishment and burn back ratings. The likes of F550 would never pass this test. They might tell you it is UL listed, but as an emulsifier, not a fire fighting foam.

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    With regard to class A and B multi listed foams, if my recollections are correct, you will not find any foam concentrate truely listed as both. If you have a class A and B foam, you should have a FOAM that works on both A and B fires (including B alchohol fuels). There are some that meet the testing criteria as class B and wetting agents, some that are B AR that list as wetting agents and some that are A foams listed for B use (non-AR). None that I know of will work on all 3 categories. Like John said, using AR foams that are listed for use on A fires is using them as a wetting agent, not a true foam because the percentage is so low and you will not get as much foaming action.

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