Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below you’ll find the most frequently asked questions — and answers — about DuPont™ Capstone® and DuPont™ Forafac® fluorinated surfactants.
Why are short-chain AFFF agents the best agents for fighting liquid flammable fires?
Short-chain-based aqueous film forming foams (including both AFFF and FFFP) are among the most effective agents currently available to fight flammable liquid fires (Class B) in industrial and municipal settings including military, oil, chemical, marine and aviation applications. DuPont fluorosurfactants are key, high-performing ingredients in AFFF that provide the required low surface tension and positive spreading coefficient that enables the formation of an aqueous film on top of lighter liquid fuels. It is this film formation capability that provides rapid extinguishment, burn-back resistance and protection against vapor release. With over three decades of leadership in the science of fire suppression, DuPont is uniquely qualified and committed to providing high performance, reliable fluorosurfactant additives for AFFF that meet regulatory guidelines and global direction.
What are the critical criteria used by decision makers (users of foam) when choosing a fire fighting foam?
The critical criteria in selecting an AFFF include: foams that extinguish fires quickly, provide the best burn-back performance, have minimal environmental impact (such as low toxicity and bio-persistence profile), and are approved by global regulatory agencies.
What steps have been taken by DuPont to lower the environmental impact or footprint of AFFF?
DuPont has created short-chain Capstone® repellents and surfactants, which meet the goals of the U.S. EPA 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Program. Capstone® surfactants are high performing, fluorine-efficient short-chain molecules that are low in toxicity and are not bio-accumulative, in accordance with published regulatory criteria.
Why is lowering the environmental footprint important to AFFF foam manufacturers and their customers?
The first priority for foam manufacturers and users of foam is to quickly extinguish the fire, to protect lives and property. Foams made with Capstone® fluorosurfactants minimize the environmental impact from combustion gases or other pollutants that are present during fires.
Specific to AFFF, there are several global programs that are focused on reducing or eliminating long-chain molecule-based perfluorinated chemicals. The European Union (Directive 2006/122/ECOF) has banned the use of PFOS-based AFFF material, effective June 27, 2011. Canada and Japan have similar programs in place, or are drafting similar regulations and bans on foams containing PFOS.
AFFF foams that use DuPont fluorosurfactants do not contain nor break down to form PFOS. Customers can have confidence that choosing an AFFF with DuPont fluorosurfactant additives meets regulatory requirements. Capstone® fluorosurfactants are the most effective agents currently available to fight flammable liquid fires (Class B) in industrial and municipal settings including military, oil, chemical, marine and aviation applications.
What Capstone® fluorosurfactant grade would be used for portable extinguisher foam?
Capstone® 1430 replaces DuPont™ Forafac® surfactant 1203. The combination of this grade with an efficient portable extinguisher device can lead to the highest level of EN 3-7 standards. At this moment, this grade is available in Europe, Middle East and Africa.