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maritime DC & PPE Information Center

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) System


Low-capacity and high-capacity AFFF systems are installed on surface ships to protect machinery spaces, fueled vehicle stowage spaces, helicopter hangars, landing platforms, refueling stations, flight decks, hangar bays, fuel pump rooms and other compartments or areas where flammable liquid fires are likely to occur. AFFF is generated by the following methods:

  • Balanced pressure proportioner, which proportions the amount of AFFF concentrate depending on the demand instead of injecting a set amount of concentrate. This proportioner is a high-speed capacity system.

  • Two-speed pumps, which are installed at high-capacity foam stations and inject concentrate depending on which speed is selected (high for sprinkler groups; low for hose lines). Two-speed pumps are high-capacity systems.

  • FP-180 proportioner, which injects a metered amount of AFFF concentrate for 60 or 180 gallons per minute (gpm). This proportioner is being replaced by balanced pressure proportioners and fixed AFFF eductors. The FP-180 proportioner is a low-capacity system.

  • Single-speed pumps, which are rated at 12, 27 and 60 gpm and inject their rated capacity of concentrate into the seawater firemain. The 12-gpm single-speed pump is a low-capacity system, while the other two are high-capacity systems.

High-capacity AFFF proportioning systems are installed on ships that require large quantities of AFFF to supply 1 ½-inch and 2 ½-inch hose stations and AFFF sprinkling systems. Hose stations are typically located on flight decks, hangar decks and outside of main engineering spaces. Overhead sprinkler systems are installed in hangars, tank decks, well decks, vehicle cargo holds, weapon elevator pits and fuel pump rooms. Bilge sprinkler systems are installed in machinery spaces.


For more information, see the Index.




AFFF Concentration Testing