This project includes two complementary aspects which are part of an overall objective to develop efficient and effective application methods for fluorine-free foam that minimize transition costs without impact on risk reduction through optimizing bubble structure. The intention is that minimum equipment modifications would be required for existing systems. Success of the project would result in proposals for foam application equipment giving efficient application of less environmentally damaging foams (fluorine-free) and also a possible reduction in the overall application which in its own right reduces environmental impact as every foam has some level of environmental impact. The main objectives are:

(i) Identification and quantification of critical foam properties relevant to foam effectiveness other than expansion and drainage time as are currently measured.

(ii) Recommendations for “real life” equipment characteristics optimizing foam application for different hazards.

(iii) Development of field-friendly techniques for ongoing assessment of foam assurance appropriate to the critical parameters identified.

(iv) Validation of the findings through large scale testing at different locations and for different foam types.

Technical Approach

The key technical aspects to this project will be achieved through testing at small scale to recognize test protocols such as EN1568 and LASTFIRE and validate in large scale work on an international basis. The technical objectives of this project will be as follows:

(i) Determination of the foam characteristics relevant to optimum fire fighting performance of a specific manufacturer, application method and/or hazard type.

(ii) Development of a foam bubble structure photographic measurement technique and associated analysis application.

(iii) Development of draft protocols and field-friendly equipment specifications for regular field testing of foam shear as part of foam quality measurements.

(iv) All protocols and algorithms developed will be tested and validated using large scale test data from LASTFIRE testing and further validated in combination between LASTFIRE and the Naval Research Laboratory.


Successful performance of this project will provide foam manufacturers and end users, including government agencies, with a field-friendly methodology for the testing and quantifying of foam properties and the performance of the foam. In addition, algorithms that can be used to assess the foam prior to fire testing or use in systems and ongoing system assurance will be developed. This will enable appropriate, easier and cost effective assessment of foam properties for all ongoing and future work and assist in optimization of system design and assurance. The data obtained from this project could also be used to assist in developing tactics (and equipment used for manual firefighting), which could be directly tied to training in the future. This cooperative approach with LASTFIRE research would allow full access for SERDP and their project partners to the LASTFIRE large and small scale test work and associated results, thus providing benefits to both programs.