Attack with Atila

Published:  03 September, 2014

After many years manufacturing and testing fire fighting foam concentrates, VS Focum in the north of Spain decided to develop a concept for a new foam that would protect tank storage farms in a safe and effective way – whilst using minimum amounts of water and concentrate. Managing Director Manuel Acuña explains the power of Atila.

The requirements for the development of the new foam were:

1. The foam had to be synthetic: to guarantee long product lifetime whilst maintaining extinction features.

2. It had to have a low Newtonian viscosity: to avoid the problems inherent with high viscosity pseudoplastics.

3. The foam had to be usable with a low percentage of concentrate (≤ 1%): to benefit from logistical (eg storage, transport) and economic advantages.

4. Be an alcohol-resistant, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF/AR): to achieve the lowest application rates possible on all types of fuel and water.

5. Be freeze-resistant: for flexibility of use in all weather conditions

The result is Atila: a 1% AFFF/AR foam that can be used at -15ºC and has freeze-resistant properties.

The first certification milestone for Atila was the award by the UK Civil Aviation Authority of ICAO level C at 1% and ICAO level B at 0.5%.

The foam concentrate Atila has been tested on different types of fires and fuels, at different percentages and with differing types of water, using low, medium and high expansion devices – all with excellent results.

In addition, Atila has been tested in comparison with a well known fire fighting foam concentrate AFFF/AR 1x3 that is commonly used in tank storage farms and refineries. The results have shown better performances for Atila - especially when decreasing the percentage and the application rates.

We can visually represent the fire performances of a foam concentrate using a double axis of coordinates. On the y axis we can include features such as control, extinction or burnback resistance.

Right x axis: percentage of use (%)

Left x axis: application rate (l/min. m2).

The result looks like a volcano, where the diameter of the ‘crater’, i.e. the distance between both asymptotes (lowest % and lowest application rate), measures the efficacy and the effectiveness of the foam. The foam with the smallest ‘crater’ is therefore the better one.

In order to guarantee a fast and safe extinction we have included in Atila a comfortable safety margin.  This means that even though Atila has been designed to run at 1%, it is still able to extinguish the fire al 0.5% at nominal application rate (EN-1568-3:2008, 144B (2.5 l/min.m2) and EN-1568-4:2008, 55B (6.6 l/min.m2)), as well as extinguish the fire at 1% with a reduction in the application rate (EN-1568-3:2008, 233B (1,61 l/min.m2) and EN-1568-4:2008, 144B (2.5 l/min.m2)).

These tests afford a safety margin as well as a reliable extinction process even with a reduction in dosage or an increase in the size of the fire, or with a lower application rate.

Atila meets the high-specification standard launched by ICAO in 2013, which sought the ultimate performance in fire fighting foam with the minimum of water. VS Focum is now driving that same paradigm into tank storage protection.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Renka´s Fire Engine No. 1

Firefighting, fast, safe, everywhere. Michael Renka GmbH, based in Germany, is a manufacturer of firefighting vehicles, pumps and rescue equipment.

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.