IMO Foam Testing

IMO Fire Fighting Foam Testing is required by many maritime administrations & classification bodies to be done periodically on Foam Concentrates stored on board ships in International waters. 

The test is designed to evaluate if a Foam Concentrate remains in a satisfactory condition & within the manufacturer's original specifications.


Our Service offers:

tick 1  

Worldwide Testing: we currently offer testing to over 30 countries worldwide

tick 1   Clear results: our IMO Foam Concentrate Test Reports use plain English to give you a clear & understandable result
tick 1   Reliable: with over 30 years’ experience of foam testing, ours is a service you can rely on!
     

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Modern, high quality foam concentrates are very stable, and are excellent candidates for long term storage with minimal or no effects on performance.

Most reputable foam concentrate manufacturers offer at least a 10 year life for products correctly stored in original containers with the manufacturer's seal still intact (i.e. unopened). However, the performance of a fire fighting foam concentrate can be compromised by the following factors:

  • Dilution
  •  Contamination 
  • System failure
  • Extremes of temperature

IMO Testing is required by many maritime administrations and classification bodies to be done periodically on foam concentrates stored on board ships in international waters.

   

"Periodical control of foam concentrates... should be carried out at laboratories or authorized service suppliers... every year."

 

IMO MSC.1/Circ.1312, 2009 Paragraphs 4&5

 1. Types of Foam we test


 We can test virtually any type of Foam Concentrate, including:

  • AFFF
  • AR-AFFF
  • FP
  • FFFP
  • AR-FFFP
  • HI-EX
  • Class A
  • F3

 

2. What we test for


Each IMO Foam Concentrate Test offers analysis of 8 key features:

  • Appearance
  • Density
  • Sedimentation
  • Kinematic Viscosity
  • pH
  • Expansion Rate
  •  25% Drainage
  • Resistance to Solvents

 

3. Testing packages available


When you place your order, you have the option of two testing packages, designed to help make Foam Testing simple and straight-forward, no matter where you are in the world:

  • Testing Only Service - if you have taken foam samples before and have your own sample bottles, this service is perfect for you. Simply send us your samples in your own bottles whenever they are ready: you pay only for the Testing Service, as you organise the delivery of your samples to us yourselves.
  • Collection Service - perfect for anyone new to Foam Testing, we send you a Foam Sampling Pack, containing everything you need to take your samples correctly first time (including full instructions on how to take your samples, along with bottles and labels etc).  Once your samples are ready, simply let us know and we organise collection, ensuring your samples are delivered to our lab as quickly as possible.  Our Collection Service takes the hassle out of coordinating and shipping your samples, wherever you are in the world!

 

4. Full Technical Support


Our dedicated Laboratory Team are on-hand to offer Technical guidance and support, both before and after testing.

 

5. Pricing


For up-to-date pricing, please use our Enquiry Form and our lab will come back to you with a bespoke Quote to meet your testing needs.

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We currently offer Foam Testing (via either our Testing Only or Collection Service) in the following countries:

Europe:

Middle East:

Africa:

Australasia:

Rest of World:

  • United Kingdom
  • Kuwait
  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Oman
  • Ghana
  • Malaysia
 
  • Belgium
  • Qatar
  • Mozambique
  • New Zealand
 
  • Czech Republic
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa

 

 
  • Denmark
  • United Arab Emirates
 

 

 
  • Finland
       
  • France
       
  • Germany
       
  • Hungary
       
  • Ireland
       
  • Italy
       
  • Latvia
       
  • Lithuania
       
  • Malta
       
  • Netherlands
       
  • Norway
       
  • Poland
       
  • Portugal
       
  • Spain
       
  • Sweden 
       

If our your country is not yet listed above, please contact us, so that we can generate a bespoke quote to meet your testing needs.

 

Each IMO Foam Concentrate Test Report assesses the following properties:

Appearance:


How the Foam Concentrate sample looks - i.e. visually checking for colour, sediment and homogeneity.

 

Density:


The ration of a given value of liquid, compared to the weight of an equal volume of water. Tested at 20°C and according to International Standards ASTM D4052-16.

 

pH:


The alkalinity or acidity of the Foam Concentrate sample.  Tested at 20°C and according to International Standards BS EN 1568: 2008.

 

Kinematic Viscosity:


The ratio of the Foam Concentrate's Dynamic Viscosity to its Density. Tested at 20°C and according to International Standard ISO 3104: 1994.

 

Expansion:


The ratio of foam produced compared with the volume of concentrate used, e.g. a ration of 7:1 means 1L of Foam Concentrate produces 7L of Foam

This test is conducted using a UK Defence Standard branch-pipe and in accordance with International Standard BS EN 1568 G: 2008.

 

25% Drainage:


The speed at which water drains from the foam; also referred to as a Quarter Drainage Test, this is a critical indication of a foam's stability.

This test is conducted using a UK Defence Standard branch-pipe with an application rate of 5L per minute at 5.5 bar (AFFF Foams) or 7.0 bar (AR & Protein Foams).  The test is conducted in accordance with International Standard BS EN 1568 G: 2008.

 

Resistance to Solvents:


An indicative test of the foam's performance to both Polar and Non-Polar solvents done using a small scale fire test. The test is conducted in accordance with International Standard BS EN 1568 C: 2008.

 

Please note:


The results obtained are based entirely on the samples sent, which may or may not be representative.

We strongly recommend that results are compared with the original manufacturer's specifications.  If they do not match, it may indicate an issue with any of the following:

  • Contamination

  • Evaporation

  • Dilution

  • Degradation

  • Decomposition

 

 

 

GUIDE: How to take a Foam Concentrate Sample

Sampling from a tank:


If a Foam Concentrate is contaminated or degraded, samples taken from the top and bottom of a storage tank are likely to have different physical properties. For this reason we recommend concentrates should not be circulated prior to samplling.

Normally, two samples per storage tank are taken

  • One sample from the bottom (1 litre)
  • One sample from the top (1 litre)

If you have access to a tank sampling jar with removable bung, we recommend taking an additional 1 Litre sample from the middle of the tank.

The contents of a tank should not be circulated where dilution or contamination of the concentrate is suspected to have occurred. We also recommend that the tank is labelled with "Awaiting Foam Test Results" and the date that the sample was taken.

NB: it is important that sludge, sediment, rust, scale, etc is removed before collection of the bottom sample. To do this draw off at least 5-10 litres of product before taking a sample.

Once the samples have been taken, the tank should not be circulated until the samples have been tested and the results obtained. However, if it is only possible to take one sample, then circulate the tank to obtain a "composite sample" prior to taking a 1 litre sample.

Sampling from the bottom of a tank:


When taking a sample from the bottom of a foam storage tank, it is important that any sludge, sediment, rust, scale, etc is removed before collection of the sample. To do this, draw off at least 5-10 litres of product before taking a sample.

Sampling from a Drum:


  • Take a 1 litre sample from the top of the drum
  • Vigorously shake the drum and take an additional 1 litre sample

DOWNLOADS: Generic Safety Data Sheets

It is very important that you include a Safety Data Sheet with your returned samples.  Our couriers need them as part of the shipping documentation and our laboratory uses them to review results against foam manufacturer's specifications.

If you don't have a copy of your manufactuer's Safety Data Sheet for your samples, you can either contact your Foam Supplier; or download generic examples of Safety Data Sheets from the links below, which will be sufficient for our courier's needs:

Safety Data Sheets:

DOWNLOADS: To help you take, label and return your samples.

DOWNLOADS: Copies of items included in our Foam Sampling Packs

The labels and instruction sheets below are included in your Foam Sampling Pack, but if you need extra copies you can download them using the links below:

DOWNLOADS: IMO Foam Concentrate Test Report

To download a worked example of an IMO Foam Concentrate Test Report, please click on the link below:

IMO Foam Concentrate Test Report

IMO Test Report Example


What samples do I need for an IMO Foam Concentrate Test?

For each IMO Foam Concentrate Test, please provide at least:

  • 2 Litres of foam concentrate

 

Please ensure each sample is labelled with the following information:

  • Company Name
  • Order Reference / PO Number
  • Type of Foam Concentrate
  • Concentration
  • Foam Manufacturer
  • Sample source
  • Sample location point
  • Date of sample location

Sample bottle labels can be downloaded from here.

 Foam Concentrate3 Foam Concentrate3

Why do I need to have my foam tested?

Modern, high quality foam concentrates are very stable, and are excellent candidates for long term storage with minimal or no effects on performance.

Most reputable foam concentrate manufacturers offer at least a 10 year life for products correctly stored, and in original containers with the manufacturer's seal still intact (unopened). However, the performance of a fire fighting foam concentrate can be compromised by the following factors:

  • Dilution
  • Contamination
  • Extremes of temperature
  • System failure

IMO Testing is required by many maritime administrations and classification bodies to be done periodically on foam concentrates stored on board ships in international waters.


 

"Periodical control of foam concentrates... should be carried out at laboratories or authorized service suppliers... every year."

IMO MSC.1/Circ.1312, 2009 Paragraphs 4&5

 

What types of Foam Concentrate can be tested?

We can test virtually any type of Foam Concentrate including:

  • AFFF
  • AR-AFFF
  • FP
  • FFFP
  • AR-FFFP
  • HI-EX
  • Class A
  • F3

If unsure, please contact us.

How often should I test my foam?

As stipulated by the International Maritime Organization, stored foam concentrates should be tested "not more than 3 years after being supplied to the ship, and after that, every year" as part of your fire fighting foam maintenance programme.

IMO MSC.1 / Circ. 1312 Standard June 2009, Paragraph 4.

What are the differences between Foam Concentrate, Produced Foam and IMO Testing?

IMO Foam Concentrate Testing

IMO Foam Concentrate Testing is similar to our standard Foam Concentrate Test in that it evaluates if the sample of Foam Concentrate is in satisfactory condition. However, it also evaluates some additional properties and is carried out according to the exact specifications stated in IMO Standard IMO MSC.1 / Circ. 1312, designed for Marine Vessels.

Foam Concentrate Test Report

The purpose of a Foam Concentrate Test Report is to evaluate if the sample of Foam Concentrate tested is in satisfactory condition and, most importantly, to confirm whether the foam remains within the manufacturer's specification from when it was first manufactured.

  • For further details, please click here.

Produced Foam Test Report

The purpose of a Produced Foam Test Report is to determinate the suitability and accuracy of a Foam System's proportioning and induction equipment and whether it is working and being operated properly.

  • For further details, please click here.

Why is it important to agitate your foam before sampling?

It is important to agitate your foam to ensure that any particulates that may have fallen to the bottom of the container are re-animated, helping to ensure we get a representative sample of the foam in your container.

In addition, depending on how you store your foam, water or debris might have entered the container. If you take a sample from the top of the container before agitating it, you maybe taking a diluted sample which could give a false result during testing.

Once you have agitated your foam container and taken your sample, please always wait to receive your Foam Test Report before doing anything else to your foam or foam system.


 If you have any questions or need any further advice, please contact our laboratory at anytime on:

How do I take a Foam Concentrate sample?

Sampling from a tank:


If a Foam Concentrate is contaminated or degraded, samples taken from the top and bottom of a storage tank are likely to have different physical properties. For this reason we recommend concentrates should not be circulated prior to samplling.

Normally, two samples per storage tank are taken

  • One sample from the bottom (1 litre)
  • One sample from the top (1 litre)

If you have access to a tank sampling jar with removable bung, we recommend taking an additional 1 Litre sample from the middle of the tank.

The contents of a tank should not be circulated where dilution or contamination of the concentrate is suspected to have occurred. We also recommend that the tank is labelled with "Awaiting Foam Test Results" and the date that the sample was taken.

NB: it is important that sludge, sediment, rust, scale, etc is removed before collection of the bottom sample. To do this draw off at least 5-10 litres of product before taking a sample.

Once the samples have been taken, the tank should not be circulated until the samples have been tested and the results obtained. However, if it is only possible to take one sample, then circulate the tank to obtain a "composite sample" prior to taking a sample.

Sampling from the bottom of a tank:


When taking a sample from the bottom of a foam storage tank, it is important that any sludge, sediment, rust, scale, etc is removed before collection of the sample. To do this, draw off at least 5-10 litres of product before taking a sample.

Sampling from a Drum:


  • Take a 1 litre sample from the top of the drum.
  • Vigorously shake the drum and take an additional 1 litre sample.

How quickly will I receive my report?

Once we receive your sample(s) and have checked everything is in order, we will test them and send your report(s) usually within 10 working days.

Your report will be emailed to you and a hard copy posted, if requested.

COLLECTION SERVICE: How does it work?

How our Collection Service works:


Form Step 1:  Order our Collection Service Package online, wherever you are in the world.*
Box  Step 2: We'll send you your free Foam Sampling Pack, containing full instructions on how to take your samples along with bottles and labels.
Mail  Step 3: Once your samples are ready, let us know by using either the link in the Order Confirmation Email we sent you or by clicking here. We'll then organise everything, ensuring your samples are delivered to our lab as quickly as possible.
Certificate  Step 4: Your report will be emailed to you within 10 working days of receiving your samples!

Who is this Package ideal for?


  • Anyone new to Foam Testing: we help to ensure that you can take the right samples first time.
  • Anyone short on time: we take the hassle out of coordinating and booking shipment of your samples.
  • Anyone based in remote locations: we bring our tested and proven laboratory services direct to you.
  • Anyone having problems with their foam: we provide everything you need to ensure your foam is tested as quickly as possible.

Shipping & Collection:


Shipping is charged in addition to the cost of the Foam Test Services and is calculated based on the country we are collecting your samples from and the number of tests you have ordered.

  • Within the UK we use next-day courier delivery services.
  • Internationally we use FedEx's International Priority Service to ensure the quickest delivery at all times.

Once your samples are ready:


As soon as your samples are ready, just fill in our Sample Collection Form and we'll take care of the rest - coordinating collection and delivery of your samples back to our laboratory for testing.

The form will only take a minute to complete and you just need your Order Reference Number (this is the number given to you in your Order Receipt).

 my samples are ready

Key points:


We would like to highlight the following key in regards to our Sample Collection Service:

  • Our Sample Collection Service includes one Foam Sampling Pack per test ordered. This pack has everything you need to easily take your Foam Samples and will be sent via a priority courier to the location indicated in your order.
  • After you receive your Foam Sampling Pack(s), please take your samples and use the box and enclosed paperwork to get them ready for collection. You can let us know that your samples are ready for collection by using our Sample Collection Form. We will then take care of the rest – coordinating collection and delivery of your samples back to our laboratory for testing.
  • Please note: with the Sample Collection Service, Oil Technics Ltd can only collect the bottles and paperwork associated with the Foam Sampling Pack that was originally sent as part of your order. We are not able to collect any bottles, boxes or samples outside what was already agreed for collection as part of your Sample Collection Service.
  • The Foam Sampling Pack provided cannot be substituted in anyway. Any charges related to additional samples outside of your agreed order, or any charges resulting from using alternative bottles to take your samples may be passed onto the customer. Foam Testing may not commence until payment of any such fees has been arranged.
  • All our Foam Testing Services are subject to our Standard Terms & Conditions, a copy of which is available from the Company or by clicking here.

If you have any questions or need any further advice, please contact our laboratory before letting us know your samples are ready for collection:


* Some exclusions may apply: for full details on the countries we offer services to, please contact us by clicking here.

COLLECTION SERVICE: What's included in the Foam Sampling Packs?

Each IMO Foam Sampling Pack contains:

  • 2 x 1 Litre Sample Bottles - sturdy bottles to keep your samples safe - we require 2 Litres of Foam Concentrate per test
  • Sample Bottle Labels - to ensure your sample is labelled with the correct information
  • Sealing Bags - extra protection to minimise leakage
  • Permanent Marker Pen - to ensure you can fill the bottle label in quickly and easily
  • Instruction Leaflet - detailed information on taking, labelling and returning your samples
  • Sample Return Form - a checklist helping to ensure you send us all we need
  • Addressed Mailing Bag - to keep everything secure and make it easy for you to get them back to us
  • Shipping Documentation - all the details required for problem free shipping

 IMO KIT CONTENTS

COLLECTION SERVICE: How do my samples get collected?

With our Collection Service Package, we organise the collection of your samples once they are ready.  

Simply let us know when your samples are ready for collection by using the link in the emails you'll receive after you've placed your order, or by clicking here.  We'll take care of the rest, making sure to coordinate with you and let you know what date the samples will be collected and when they are expected to be at our laboratory, etc.

TESTING ONLY SERVICE: How do I label my foam sample bottles?

Please make sure each sample is labelled with the following information:

  • Company Name
  • Order Reference / Purchase Order Number (provided on Order Confirmation)
  • Sample source e.g. truck, tank, port, ship, rig, etc.
  • Concentration e.g. 1%
  • Type of foam concentrate e.g. AFFF
  • Sample location point e.g. top, middle, bottom or mix
  • Foam manufacturer
  • Date of sample collection

Blank sample bottle labels can be downloaded from here.

TESTING ONLY SERVICE: Where should I return my samples?

If you are using our Testing Only Service, once your samples are complete, labelled and ready for dispatch, please send them to us for testing at:

c/o: Foam Testing Laboratory

Oil Technics (Fire Fighting Products) Ltd.

Linton Business Park

Gourdon

Aberdeenshire

Scotland, UK

DD10 0NH

Key points

Key points

We would like to highlight the following key points in regards to our Testing Package:

Collection Service:


  • Our Collection Package includes one Foam Sampling Pack per test ordered.  This pack has everything you need to easily take your Foam Samples and will be sent via a priority courier to the location indicated in your order.
  • After you receive your Foam Sampling Pack(s), please take your samples and use the box and enclosed paperwork to get them ready for collection.  You can let us know that your samples are ready for collection by using our Sample Collection Form.   We will then take care of the rest – coordinating collection and delivery of your samples back to our laboratory for testing.
  • Please note: with the Collection Package, Oil Technics Ltd. can only collect the bottles and paperwork associated with the Sampling Pack that was originally sent as part of your order. We are not able to collect any bottles, boxes or samples outside what was already agreed for collection as part of your Collection Package.
  • The Foam Sampling Pack provided cannot be substituted in anyway.  Any charges related to additional samples outside of your agreed order, or any charges resulting from using alternative bottles to take your samples may be passed onto the customer.  Foam Testing may not commence until payment of any such fees has been arranged.
  • All our Foam Testing Services are subject to our Standard Terms & Conditions, a copy of which is available from the Company or by clicking here.

 

Testing Only:


  • The ‘Testing Only’ package does not include arranging any collections or delivery of foam test samples to our laboratory: this is strictly the responsibility of the customer.  If you wish Oil Technics Ltd  to arrange shipping, please request our Collection Service instead.
  • With the Testing Only package Oil Technics Ltd is not liable for any costs associated with the shipping of your foam samples.  All shipping and any additional charges (such as duty and taxes) must be charged to the shipper.  Oil Technics Ltd cannot accept samples where it is marked as being responsible for such fees.  If we do accept your samples, please note that testing will not begin until any unexpected charges have been paid.
  • Oil Technics Ltd is not liable for any applicable bank fees associated with buying our ‘Testing Only’ service.
  • All our Foam Testing Services are subject to our Standard Terms & Conditions, a copy of which is available from the Company or by clicking here.

 


 

If you have any questions or need any further advice, please contact our laboratory before sending your samples:

   

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