Providing the Marine Industry with a Quick, Easy and Accurate Foam Testing Solution
Dyne Fire Protection Labs has been approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to test firefighting foam used in marine applications. The USCG Title 46 CFR 1.D.31.10-18.C requires foam concentrate in foam systems on board ships be tested annually to ensure its effectiveness in the event of a fire.
Samples of foam concentrate sent to Dyne are tested in accordance with the USCG requirements which include the specific gravity (density), pH, percent solids and a percent estimation of dilution (if any). In addition, Dyne mixes the foam concentrate at its nominal use concentration with sea water to test the performance properties. A report is always sent within one week of the date the sample is received by the lab—a Dyne guarantee.
Grant Lobdell, Laboratory Manager at Dyne comments “The most common problem we see when testing foam concentrate is dilution with water.” Because of a system malfunction such as concentrate isolation valve being left open, the foam can become inadvertently diluted. If the foam is sufficiently diluted in storage, it will no longer be effective at extinguishing flammable liquid fires. Other common issues with stored foam can be deterioration due to age or high temperatures, incompatible tank materials or the mixing of two incompatible foam concentrates.
Additionally, the foam can perform as designed but simply be the wrong type of foam for the hazard being protected. An example of this situation is when a ship has historically only transported hydrocarbon-based, non-polar solvents but is now carrying a polar solvent such as ethanol which requires an alcohol-resistant foam—also referred to as a polar solvent foam. A standard foam concentrate is not designed to, and will not, extinguish ethanol.
In order to make the testing process easy, Dyne provides a free firefighting foam marine test kit. The kit contains sample jars, paperwork, a pen and marker and a postage paid shipping label (postage is paid if sent from the continental US). Julie Bunch, Customer Service Manager says “Dyne continuously looks for ways to make it easy for a customer to take a test sample and send it to our laboratory—by making the process easy, it is more likely to get done and this ensures a fire protection system will operate effectively.”
For more information please visit: www.dyneusa.com