Airedale Chemical

Types of Antifoams

21st January 2020

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Find out more about the different types of antifoams and discover which of our Akasil products might be the right solution for you.

In November 2019 Airedale Chemical became the exclusive UK distributor of BRB Akasil Antifoam products. The range is made up of both technical and food grade solutions.

For more information on the distribution agreement please visit BRB International.

What are antifoams?

Antifoams are chemical agents which are designed to control the formation of foam. A build up of foam could potentially cause a number of issues during various industrial processes, including defects on surface coatings and affecting the efficiency of filling lines. The additive is used to prevent the formation of foam. The terms ‘defoamer’ and ‘antifoam’ are often used interchangeably. However, antifoams are designed to prevent foams, whereas defoamers eliminate existing foam.

Antifoams hold applications in a wide range of industries including wastewater, food processing, paints and coatings, textiles and adhesives. Finding the right product for you is ultimately determined by the application needed.

Silicone based antifoams

The market is dominated by silicone-based products due to their enhanced properties such as low surface tension, chemical inertness, thermal stability, and complete insolubility in water.

Silicone-based antifoams are polymers with silicon backbones that are either oil or water based. They hold low surface tension which allows them to spread through foam quickly. They float easily over the foam wall, occupying openings which causes the foam wall to thin and collapse.

The silicone compound consists of a hydrophobic silica dispersed in a silicone oil. Emulsifiers are added to ensure that the silicone spreads fast and well within the foam. Silicone based antifoams are good at knocking down surface foam and releasing entrained air. They are also suitable in non-aqueous foaming systems like crude oil and oil refining.

Non silicone based antifoams

Antifoams also come in other forms including mineral and organic based products. The use of these types of antifoams has reduced in certain applications, due to the effectiveness of silicone based products.  However, they are still used in effluent treatments and process waters where silicone products are prohibited.

Organic based antifoams require higher dosages to work effectively, which in turn increases the cost. This generally makes silicone based solutions more desirable.

Which Akasil product is right for you?

Akasil® TG antifoams (10%,20% and 30%) are most effective in water based technical processes where undesirable levels of foaming are present due to biological, chemical or physical effects. Lowest dosage rates and full miscibility with process-water keep pipelines, pumps and process routes clear and free flowing. Akasil® Antifoam TG10 holds many applications including polymer recycling, biological digesters, process wash-water and effluent plants.

Akasil® FD antifoams (10%, 20%, and 30%) are formulated for use in any environment where food processing considerations apply. For example, fruit and vegetable washing, meat processing and in-line cleaning practise.

Find out more about Akasil® antifoams here. Alternatively, contact a member of our sales team on 01535 637876 or email enquiries@airedalechemical.co.uk for more information.

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