Fire fighting foams can be put into two broad classifications, Class ‘A’ and Class ‘B’. Each of these classifications corresponds directly to the types of fuels on which the foams are designed to be used.

Class ‘A’ foams are essentially wetting agents that can be expanded into a foam. They are a synthetic agent designed to reduce the surface tension of water, allowing it to more easily penetrate into Class ‘A’ fire surfaces.

Class ‘B’ fuelled fires, can be broken into two fuel groups. Hydrocarbon fuels such as kerosene, petrol and fuel oil, which will not mix with water and Polar Solvents such as alcohols, ketones and ethers, which will mix with water.

Class ‘B’ foam is available in two types. Synthetic foams are basically a mixture of detergents, foaming agents, and fire performance enhancement additives. Protein based foams use natural protein foamers instead of synthetic detergent, and similar fire performance additives.

Synthetic foams include:

  • Class A Foams
  • High Expansion Foam
  • Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)
  • Alcohol Resistant Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AR-AFFF)

Protein foams include:

  • Regular Protein foam (P)
  • Fluoroprotein foam (FP)
  • Film Forming Fluoroprotein (FFFP)
  • Alcohol Resistant Film Forming Fluoroprotein (AR-FFFP)
  • High Fluidity AR-AFFFP (NIAGARATM)

Consideration of the type of fires you may be faced with, will determine the selection of foam. Read more on Selection of Foam.

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