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Frequently asked questions

See below frequently asked questions about firefighting foam concentrates. Please contact us for further information.

FIREFIGHTING FOAM SHELF LIFE AND WARRANTY

BIOex firefighting foam concentrates are proven to have excellent stability over time.

The warranty period is 10 years for synthetic foam concentrates, 5 years for protein foam concentrates and vapour suppressing agent, 2 years for training foam concentrates and 1 year for anti-foaming agent.

Foam concentrate warranty starts from the production batch date.
Foam concentrates are guaranteed if kept in their original packaging and following our storage guidelines. Warranty no longer applies on drums or containers partially used.

FIREFIGHTING FOAM STORAGE GUIDELINES

Shelf life
Our BIOex foam concentrates have excellent stability if stored correctly: within the original and closed packaging, temperature between -30°C to +60°C (see indications on each product's technical sheet).

Storage premises
The foam concentrate storage area must be watertight and have a retention basin in case of spill. Furthermore, the foam concentrates must be stored away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight exposure
Our pails, drums, and containers have UV protection.

Storage packaging 
Our original packaging is opaque to protect foam concentrate from UV, reducing the risk of accelerated aging process. The foam concentrates must be stored in a closed and topped up tank, to eliminate the risk of evaporation and prevent any contamination from foreign materials.
Prior to fillign a tank, make sure storage tank is perfectly emptyclean and dry to prevent any possible contamination.
BIOex foam concentrates should be stored in the shipping container without any alteration to their original physical or chemical properties.
Foam concentrates can be stored in containers or tanks manufactured from:
- Stainless steel (type 316L or 304L)
- Polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP)
- Polyurethane or epoxy coating
It is recommended to limit tank contact with air to prevent from drying. A basic vent, created using an inverted goose neck in the upper part of the tank sufficiently limits the ventilation of the stored foam concentrate to prevent it from drying out, and the recipient just has to be de-pressurised to admit the foam concentrate when in use.
We recommend the use ofa 304L or 316L stainless steel dipping hose, or a pressure PVC hose with a bevel cut at its base to avoid it from blocking. Where applicable verify the check valves are in working order.

Foam concentrate storage temperatures

Our foam concentrates have very good thermal resistance. Usually our foam concentrates are designed to withstand storage at temperatures of between -30°C and +60°C. Freezing and thawing do not have a negative effect on product performances. The minimum and maximum storage temperatures are indicated on the technical data sheet.

Foam concentrates can be stored at a temperature below their freezing point while maintaining their physical and chemical properties and their performances when thawed. Our products have been subjected to several cycles of freezing/thawing during tests.
We recommend to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Foam concentrate temperature of use

Our foam concentrates are usually designed to be used between -15°C and +50°C
Each foam concentrate minimum and maximum temperatures of use are indicated on the product technical sheets and on the product labels. 

FOAM CONCENTRATE QUALITY INSPECTION AND TESTING

As recommended by EN, NFPA standards, foam concentrates should be inspected and tested at least annually as part of your annual maintenance program. These inspections and tests make sure of physical and chemical properties and performances.

BIOEX laboratory offers worldwide foam analyses and testing service, also known as BIO LAB service.

HOW TO TAKE FOAM SAMPLE?

Foam sample should be representative of the foam concentrate stored.

To collect a foam concentrate sample in a 25l can, 200l drum or 1000l tote (5 gallon pail, 55 gallon drum, or 265 gallon tote): please use a manual pump to pick up the concentrate about 20cm (8 inches) below the upper-level and fill a 1l (1qt) plastic container.
If the foam concentrate level is too low, please take a foam sample by opening the tote valve. Prior to sampling, let about 0.5l (2 cups) of foam concentrate flow out in order to avoid valve impurity.

To obtain a uniform and representative sample of the foam concentrate stored in a tank:
- Collect a sample from the tank bottom, ensuring the prior flow of sediments or any residues
- Then continue to fill the foam sample with tank top and middle sample

Please collect about 1 litre of foam concentrate sample in an unbreakable plastic bottle/jar to avoid damage during shipment. This container must be clean and dry (free of any residue) and tightly sealed.

Foam sample container must be marked or labelled showing identification information (company name, date of sample collection, type of foam concentrate, product name, concentration, sample source, lot number). Ensure the bottle is clean and dry before writing on.
For further information on BIOEX analysis and testing service, please contact us.

FIREFIGHTING FOAM CONCENTRATE MISCIBILITY

Following NFPA recommendation, different brands and types of foam concentrates should not be mixed for storage unless specific data is provided by the manufacturer in order to prove that they are compatible.

It is strongly recommended to have a laboratory study to validate the correct miscibility of the products before batch mixing. BIOEX can offers this service.

Foam concentrates can be mixed under 2 conditions:
- They must have the same type (for instance C6 AFFF), usage concentration and the same types of application.
- They must be in a good state of conservation.

FOAM CONCENTRATES SAFETY DATA SHEET        

BIOEX foam concentrates Safety Data Sheet are available on request.

HOW TO TURN TO FLUORINE-FREE FOAM (F3)

CHECKING BEFORE CHANGING TO F3
First, changing for Fluorine-Free Foams (F3) is not a “drop-in” replacement for AFFFs. F3 can be an AFFF alternative with proper testing and design.
Second, you must ensure F3 performance according to international standards (EN, UL, GESIP, LASTFIRE…)
Then, you must ensure F3 performance on “specific fuels” (not tested yet by standards).
Finally, you must verify the compatibility with foam equipment: foam proportioning systems and foam discharge devices.
Now, you can select the appropriate Fluorine-Free Foam which meets your specific risks, needs and equipment.

CHANGING TO FFF: How to proceed?
BIOEX F3 foams are compatible with existing proportioning equipment. We must define appropriate foam application rate and discharge duration. It may require minor system modifications.
You must balance PFAS cleanout with replacement costs and time. If you don’t want to replace pump and storage tank, we recommend you this following PFAS cleanout protocol:
1.    Drain all foam from tank
2.    Flush tank and pipes with hot water and scrub where possible
3.    Have rinse water analysis done at a lab to confirm PFAS cleanout
4.    F3 Foam replacement: tank refilling with F3
5.    Test/commissioning with the concentrate: the finished foam quality is highly dependent on the hardware (foam proportioning system, distribution system and discharge device)
6.    Fluorinated foam disposal

For further information about BIOEX Transition service to F3, please contact us.

HANDLING ADVICE

To avoid irritation risk, in case of repeated handling foam concentrates, we recommend to wear personal protection: gloves and eyes protection
If the product is sprayed onto the skin, rinsing is sufficient.

PRODUCED FOAM COMPATIBILITY

BIOEX produced foams are compatible with all other foam brands.
The majority of BIOex produced foams are compatible with dry extinguishing powders. It is therefore suitable for mixed powder-foam use. 

IN CASE OF FOAM CONCENTRATE ACCIDENTAL SPILLAGE

Recovery
If applicable, pump the product into unbreakable and correctly labelled containers in order to avoid any environmental contamination.

Cleaning
Clean the area, the soiled surfaces must be abundantly rinsed with water
To facilitate cleaning, BIOex provides an anti-foaming agent that significantly reduce spill excess foaming property.

Disposal
Fluorinated foams could be incinerated in appropriate installations. Fluorine-Free Foams could be treated in sewage treatment stations. Check individual product’s Safety Data Sheet to make sure of disposal information.

FOAM CONCENTRATE DISPOSAL

The release of large quantities of the products into the environment is prohibited. 
Most of BIOEX produced foams can be safely disposed in sewage treatment plants. Check individual disposal information on product’s Safety Data Sheet.

In case of elimination into sewers, the flow must be controlled to avoid excess foam forming. In small quantity, foam concentrates do not disrupt sewage treatment operations. Large quantities must be treated as chemical residue in compliance with applicable national legislation. 

When incineration destruction is recommended, please contact approved installations. 

Oil & Gas fire fighting foam concentrate