Explosion Suppressant Foam

Explosion Suppressant Foam is a reticulated polyurethane foam and is used in fuel tanks where the possibility of fuel tank explosion exists. Also known as ESF, or Safety Foam, the product was invented in the late 1960s when the United States Air Force began using reticulated polyester polyurethane foam to suppress fires and explosions inside fuel tanks.

Explosion Suppressant Foam has now been used for over 30 years and has found thousands of successful applications in aircraft, boats, military vehicles, competition and emergency vehicles.

Over the years the ESF for suppression of aircraft fuel tank explosion has evolved into seven generations of development often referred to as Type, for example Type 1 being the original polyester foam used by the USAF.

Each foam Type is qualified for all military uses. Military Specification MIL-B-83054C  (formerly MIL-B-83054B USAF) details the specifications for the 1 – 5 generations of conventional polyurethane foams while MIL-DTL-87260B details the specifications for the 6 – 7 generations of electrically conductive foams.

Foam Engineers is a stockist and distributor of the SafeCrest® ESF product as manufactured by Crest Foam Industries. Crest Foam is a leading worldwide supplier of ESF and has worked closely with the US Air Force, Navy and Army. Foam Engineers carries in stock at all times Type 2 Yellow, Type 4 Blue, Type 6 Charcoal (Grade 1) and Type 7 Charcoal (Grade 2) Static Dissipative grades, which can be supplied in raw block form or fabricated into any configuration to conform inside a complex rigid or flexible bladder type fuel tank.

Once installed inside the fuel tank the reticulated polyurethane foam essentially functions as a three dimensional fire screen. The foam is 98% void and only reduces fuel volume by 4% and adds only a negligible amount of net weight to the fuel tank.

The benefits of ESF include: no moving parts; nothing to turn on or off; no pressure lines; no explosion sensing devices; no functional components to fail; no failure modes if installed properly and no metal mesh to leave filings that clog filters and injectors.

Foam Engineers has been involved in the supply of Safety Foam and the fabrication of the foam to fit inside fuel cells for over 40 years. Crest Foam Industries is a market leading manufacturer who offers a recognized life expectancy on their product of 10 years minimum. We also work in close association with the Combustion Engineering Department at the University of Leeds should their explosion testing facilities be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of the foam system.

Find out more

  1. Have a look at our blog, read a case study or get in touch on 01494 448855
  2. Closed Cell Polyethylene Foam
  3. Open Cell Polyurethane Foam
  4. Reticulated Foam
  5. Zotefoams Plastazote and Evazote