Foam is produced in a number of industrial processes such as soap manufacturing, sugar processing, and the treatment of wastewater. Naturally, foam is an undesirable by-product that needs to be eliminated or else it would disrupt the entire process. The destruction of foam is a practical need that requires prompt fulfillment. The most common way of dealing with foam is introducing an antifoaming agent to the aqueous system in question. The antifoaming agent acts against a number of elements that strengthen foam. Due to the antifoaming agent’s ability to destabilize foam, elimination of the said foam becomes easy.
Typically, antifoaming agents are inert chemicals. They are composed of a liquid, mineral oil or silicone, and a hydrophobic solid such as hydrophobic silica, fatty acids, or fatty alcohol. It is imperative of an antifoaming agent to be impervious to dissolution in the aqueous system in which it is acting in order for it to work. Bear in mind, that the antifoaming agent cannot be incompatible with the industrial process it has been introduced to either. If it is highly incompatible then the antifoaming agent will create deposition issues.
How it Works.
The antifoam enters the system in question by breaching the interface between the bubble wall and the lamella. The antifoam then enters the bubble wall. Antifoam spreads through the bubble wall once contact has been made and this thins out the bubble wall. From here the antifoaming agent progresses to lamella. Once it reaches the lamella, the antifoaming agent creates a lens that begins to spread. This spread reduces the thickness of the foam. This leads to stress within the system until the lamella breaks. This destabilizes the foam which eventually leads to the foam disappearing.
Foaming causes a number of problems and hindrances in the industrial process in question. These lead to problems in the final product such as,
- Inconsistencies in product density
- Damage to machinery or equipment used in production
- Interference with separation or coating processes, diminishing product quality
- Pump cavitation.
The main purpose of any antifoaming agent is to minimize the foam as much as possible with as little disruption to the process as possible. Hence, antifoams work to minimize the operational consequences of foam by preventing foam before it becomes a problem, thus saving time and money.
Antifoaming agents play a very vital role and are imperative to a number of industries such as food processing and agribusiness, water treatment, chemical manufacturing, paints, inks, coatings, and adhesives, and cleaning compounds and processes.
- Food Processing and Agribusiness.
- Grain separation and processing
- Fruit and vegetable washing and processing
- Meat and poultry processing
- Dairy products, beverages, brine system.
- Water Treatment.
- Aeration basins
- Boiler water treatment
- Cooling towers
- Equalization tanks
- Paints, Inks, Coatings, and Adhesives.
- Polymer/pigment grinding
- Package filling
- Shearing or spraying
- Cleaning Compound and Processes.
- Laundry detergents
- Carpet cleaners
- Personal care products
- Soap and detergent.
3D Resources is a firm in Malaysia that specializes in foam management. The company is a trusted vendor of antifoaming agents in Malaysia. Visit their official website today to learn more!