ACAF Systems Inc., awarded research project for DoD applications using Fluorine Free Firefighting Foam
The DoD is taking major strides to respond to concerns regarding AFFF firefighting foams that contain PFOS and PFOA. Known to be harmful to health and our environment, AFFF firefighting foams are soon to be replaced with new Fluorine Free Foams (FFF) a safer more responsible solution. The DoD is also looking at new technologies that may improve the performance of FFF. As FFFs are new to the industry, their firefighting performance to date has not met MILSPEC standards. The DoD is launching a three-year study that will determine whether FFFs can be made to meet MILSPEC standards and are safer for the environment and the fire-fighters who use it.
ACAF Systems, Inc. a Rhode Island based manufacturer of Compressed Air Foam (CAF) systems and solutions has been selected to participate in this study. Established in 2006 ACAF Systems has been engaged in R&D involving CAFs for several years. In 2010 ACAF received its first FM Approval for Fixed Pipe CAF systems. In 2015, ACAF was the first to successfully complete an FM Approval program using an FFF product as a CAF. In 2017 one more FFF system, CrossFire, received FM Approval.
In addition to years of development work with the FM Global Company, ACAF Systems has also collaborated with the LASTFIRE organization to further the understanding of these new generation foams and demonstrate their effectiveness with CAF application. LASTFIRE, a global coalition of the world’s major oil companies, is actively working on their own study into the replacement of AFFF and AR-FFF firefighting foams for a range of industrial applications. ACAF Systems has been an integral part of this work and, together with LASTFIRE, has moved the technology of CAF to the forefront of the discussion regarding how to make the conversion from AFFF to FFF responsibly. Fire testing, from small to large scale, has proven that FFF/CAF is much higher performing than FFF conventional foam. Test results prove CAF is stronger, yet the application rate may be as great as 70% less water and foam concentrate.
ESTCP, working on behalf of DoD, has selected the ACAF Systems proposal as a foundation for a study including 84 fire tests, in order to prove that FFF/CAF can meet the fire performance demands of MILSPEC and so meet the critical requirements for incidents such as aircraft crash fires where efficient and effective fire control is paramount. Principal Investigator, and President of ACAF System, Mr. David Munroe will be assisted by Dr. Niall Ramsden, Coordinator of LASTFIRE and Mr. Jason Huczek, Principal Engineer, Fire Technology Department, SwRI. Together, they bring more than 100 years of fire science and hands on incident experience to this work.
This study is intended to prove FFF/CAF will meet the MILSPEC specifications and possibly perform at lower than traditional rates of application. Fire testing will be performed using several FFF products in fire tests ranging from 28 sq. ft., up to, and including, 3,200 sq. ft.
The goal of this study is to collect data that will support the use of FFF/CAF in military applications, onboard ships and in and around aircraft hangars. By Spring of 2022 it is hoped that this study will provide the compelling evidence needed to convert military use of AFFF systems to the more environmentally friendly and efficient FFF/CAF system.