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What is AFFF? AFFF is a water based synthetic animal protein solution that is lighter than oil, alcohol and petroleum products. When properly mixed and aerated into a foam, it will create a floating film on flammable materials that prevents fumes and vapors from igniting or re-igniting after a fire. It is a biodegradable solution that leaves virtually no residue and can safely be cleaned off with water.

Why use AFFF? AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) is a non-toxic, odorless, environmentally safe, fire suppression agent. It is one of the very few approved agents in Europe for both racing and commercial use. It gives off no toxic fumes and, in a properly mixed solution, is harmless to the skin and eyes. Fuel fires and flash-back occur not when the liquid is hot but when the vapor is released and comes in contact with an ignition source. AFFF is not only a suppressant on an active fire, but can be used as a preventative measure in stopping one from occurring. A broken fuel line may not have ignited when first detected but as soon as it finds an ignition source is will. AFFF can be administered as soon as it is detected, the car brought under control, stopped and the foam barrier will have prevented the fire.

How does it work? In the past, foam was created at the nozzle by aerating with available oxygen. All other systems in use today follow this method. These systems are pre-pressurized with nitrogen, oxygen, or other gas mixtures to force the liquid from the cylinder to the nozzle. ESS is using a patented non-pressurized system that creates the foam in the cylinder before it is sent to the nozzle. The propellant that we use is liquid CO2, a firefighting agent on its own, in a cartridge on the outside of the cylinder. The propellant is injected into the liquid creating a foam that is the consistency of shaving cream.

An advantage of this method over the others is that the pressure remains constant as the CO2 is metered into the liquid solution as the system is activated. Pre-pressurized systems are losing pressure as they begin to work and the foam retracts from the target area and becomes less foam and more liquid as this pressure drops.

What about maintenance and recharging? The shelf life for the concentrate in a recharge kit is 25 years. When mixed with water, the solution will remain potent for 10 years, but it should be replaced every 5-7 years. Needless to say, the system will remain effective longer than most sanctioning bodies require. At a cost of under $70 the system can be recharged compared to $200 to $300 for pre-pressurized systems and with no down time. Other systems will also need the seals and gaskets replaced since they are subjected to consent pressure and corrosive liquids, and will have to be re-pressure tested.

Key Benefits

  • Better target area coverage
  • Lower maintenance and recharging costs
  • Environmentally safe
  • Alcohol resistant AFFF is available upon request at no extra cost

Notice: AFFF is a water based agent and will freeze. If freezing occurs, the the rupture disc may need replacing. To prevent damage, remove the cylinder to the indoors where it can be protected. The ESS systems are designed for easy removal and re-installation.