FY 2019 ESTCP TOPIC AREA
Weapons Systems and Platforms (WP) Program Area
The overall objective of this topic was to seek projects to demonstrate and validate more environmentally sustainable (PFAS-free) firefighting aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) against the current performance requirements outlined in MIL-PRF-24385F and/or alternative foam delivery methods that enable the DoD to meet current performance requirements. The intent was to determine the maximum available performance using mature PFAS-free firefighting foams against the current military requirements. Proposals could also include evaluation of current test methodologies in MIL-PRF-24385 to determine minimum performance requirements that are needed to mitigate fires in operational environments or development of novel test methodologies for screening firefighting foams for liquid pool fires. Specific requirements included:
- Materials and processes to be demonstrated/validated should already have been developed to at least a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4, and the proposed project should bring them to TRL 7 or higher.
- Alternative foams should be production level materials rather than laboratory batch level samples.
- Projects must demonstrate producibility, which is defined as the ability to be produced in the near term to meet the current DoD airfield or shipboard use requirement.
- Field testing in military relevant environments must be included in the proposed project.
- Alternative foams must be compatible with generally used storage equipment (e.g., polyethylene) and piping (steel, copper-nickel, bronze alloys), while providing comparable corrosion rates to current AFFF.
- Foams should meet requirements with fresh and salt water at multiple delivered concentrations.
- Projects should include an assessment of the human health and environmental impacts of proposed ingredients, formulations, and byproducts. This should expand on commonly used aquatic toxicity, chemical oxygen demand and biodegradability testing required in the MIL-PRF24385. Projects should establish a baseline lifecycle framework and identify the elements of a life cycle inventory that are already known, those that will be investigated during the course of the project, and those that are beyond the scope of the proposed work.
The projects listed below were selected to address the objectives of this topic area. Additional information on individual projects can be found by clicking the project title.
- A Fluorine-Free, 100% Bio-based Fire-fighting Material
- Lead Investigator: Dr. Hans Ewoldsen, Nu Element, Inc.
- Capabilities Assessment of Commercially Available Fluorine-Free Foams
- Lead Investigator: Mr. Jerry Back, Jensen Hughes, Inc.
- Screening Tests for Fluorine-Free Firefighting Foams
- Lead Investigator: Mr. Brian Lattimer, Jensen Hughes, Inc.
- Validation of Fluorine-Free AFFF against Military Specification Performance Criteria
- Lead Investigator: Dr. Satya Chauhan, Battelle Memorial Institute