Foam research

SP has an extensive experience from R&D projects as well as testing of fire fighting foams. The research comprise various applied projects in connection with fire brigades and industry, development of test methods and projetcs of more fundamental character.

The principal sponsors for this research has been the Swedish Fire Research Board (BRANDFORSK), Swedish Fire Rescue Services (SRV), Nordtest and the European Commission.

The most recent project, FOAMSPEX, was completed in 2001 and was supported by the EC Environment and Climate programme. The project is one of the most comprehensive projects ever and was conducted in Italy, UK and Sweden. The project focused on foam spread and extinguishment of large tank fires. It included studies of foam jets and the effects of thermal updraft, studies of foam rheology, surface properties, fuel pick up and fuel tolerance of foam and finally studies of foam spread on fuel surfaces. The information was used to develop computer models of foam spread in fire situations in order to estimate e.g. the control time as a function of application rate. Large fire tests - close to 150 m2 - were performed. Results from these tests and information from real fires were used to validate these models, allowing realistic assessment of large fire risks.

Recently, an EC-sponsored project, FAIRFIRE, was completed. The aim with the FAIRFIRE project was to develop a small scale fire test procedure which could be used for quality controls of foams during product development, storage controls, etc. ´

The results and experience from many of the applied projects completed at SP have been implemented by fire brigades, etc. A series of full scale fire tests in 1990 resulted in recommendations from SRV to the swedish fire brigades regarding dimensioning and design of mobile foam protection systems needed for fires in crashed tanktrucks, railway tanks etc.


A report on dimensioning, equipment and tactics for fighting large tank fires formed the basis for a common investment in four moblie foam systems by the swedish oil companies (SMC). These equipments are situated in four different locations in Sweden and are transportable both by road and by aircraft. A complete listing of research reports is available and the reports may be ordered from SP.

Related Information

Business Areas

RISE Safety and Transport

Contact Persons

Henry Persson

Phone: +46 10 516 51 98

Anders Lönnermark

Phone: +46 10 516 56 91

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

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