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ICAF - FireFlexTHE MOST ADVANCED AND EFFICIENT FOAM SYSTEM ON THE MARKET. Designed with user-friendly features, the ICAF SYSTEM units are easy to install and maintain.

To learn more, click on the topics below.  

Browse our videos on ICAF VIDEOS.

Performance of the System

Compressed air foam (CAF) is generated by the combination of compressed air, water and foam concentrate in the right proportions, to create a homogeneous foam solution similar to shaving cream. CAF is delivered with high momentum through a fixed piping system, and distributed over the hazard via an approved discharge device. The ICAF compressed air foam system is FM Approved as a local application extinguishing system for class B pool fires, spill fires and cascading fires. Full-scale fire tests have demonstrated ICAF to be an extremely effective extinguishing mechanism for flammable and combustible liquids, both miscible and non-miscible. The unique physical properties and texture of CAF allow it to form a stable and uniform foam blanket overtop the liquid surface. The robust foam blanket developed during a discharge works at the fuel surface, creating an effective vapour seal to establish a physical separation between the fuel and the burning vapours. Because CAF is generated through aeration in a mixing chamber versus agitation at the nozzle, it has higher expansion ratios and longer drain times than conventional low-expansion foam systems. This translates directly into enhanced extinguishing and burnback performance.

ICAF SYSTEM

Integrated Releasing Control Panel

The ICAF SYSTEM is available with 2 control panel options.

  1. One of the releasing control panels is the Notifier® NFS-320 model. This panel includes two Class A or B, programmable detection zones; five Class B supervisory zones and four Class A or B, programmable output circuits. Programming of the control panel is done by FireFlex® Systems and is password protected. The panel is compatible with many types of fire alarm & supervisory devices such as linear heat detectors, spot-type heat and smoke detectors, water flow and release indicators, low and high air pressure switches, manual pull stations and abort switches. The control panel also includes an alphanumeric display with two lines of 40 characters describing all the system conditions, as well as a set of red and yellow LED lamps individually indicating the alarm and trouble conditions of the system. Easy to operate control buttons are also provided to activate and operate the system's various functions.
  2. For applications where there is a risk of electromagnetic field interference, the FireFlex® ARC-1 releasing control panel, designed and testedto meet stringent EMI shielding requirements, can be used. The c-FM-us, MEA and CSFM approved panel is provided with a menu-driven programming including a specific program assigned at the factory. This panel is compatible with many types of fire alarm and supervisory devices such as: linear heat detectors, spot type heat and smoke detectors, waterflow and release indicators, low and high air pressure switches and manual pull stations. The panel also includes an alphanumeric display with up to 16 lines of 40 characters describing all the system conditions, and a set of red and yellow LED lamps individually indicating each of the alarm and trouble conditions of the system. Easy to operate control buttons are also provided to activate and operate the system's various functions.

Water Supply

The system water supply can be provided by a water pressure vessel or can be connected to a city fire main or fire pump system. The air supply is provided by high-pressure air cylinders that are factory assembled onto cylinder banks and include a high-pressure manifold and pressure regulator(s).

  • CAF technology offers an important reduction in the water supply requirements compared to standard sprinkler or foam systems; the system can operate with a water pressure in the range of 50 to 175 psi.
  • When fire pumps are required for system operation, they shall be designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Centrifugal Fire Pumps.
  • The water supply shall be designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances.
  • Water pressure vessels also available from FIREFLEX® Systems.

In all cases the water supply shall be capable of providing the required flow and pressure for the required duration as determined by FireFlex®’s hydro-pneumatic calculation program.

Air Supply

  • Air is provided by DOT and TC certified compressed air cylinders pressurized to 2,400 psi (16,536 kPa); each cylinder is supplied with a cylinder valve equipped with a safety relief disc which provides relief at 3,600-4,000 psi.
  • Air pressure regulators are used to reduce the air supply pressure to 100 psi (689 kPa) for the system operation.
  • The cylinder bank pressure is supervised by a pressure transducer sending a low pressure supervisory signal when the pressure drops below the minimum pressure required to provide air supply for the specified discharge time.
  • A safety valve is also used at the outlet of the air pressure regulator to protect the system from high pressure in case of malfunction, the maximum air operating pressure on the system side (downstream of the air regulator) is adjusted to 160 psi (1,103 kPa).
  • The cylinder bank is factory assembled on a painted steel skid and includes high pressure tubing, manifold and hardware.
  • The skid-mounted cylinder bank is available with single or twin pressure regulator assemblies and is available with up to 10 cylinders per bank.

The number of cylinders and regulators established at the design stage is based on both the maximum system flow and discharge time required for the largest single hazard protected or group of hazards that are protected simultaneously. FireFlex®’s program will take that information into account when calculating the system’s capacity.

Foam Supply

ICAF - FireFlex

The foam concentrate is stored in a stainless steel pressure vessel. The foam concentrate tank and water supply tank, if applicable, are pressurized with compressed air upon system actuation.

 

  • Approved with standard AR-AFFF foam concentrates
  • Foam concentrate is stored inside a normally non-pressurized stainless steel pressure vessel type tank stamped according to ASME Section VIII Div. 1
  • Foam storage tanks are built to order and come in various sizes from 5 to 500 US gallons
  • Storage tank maximum working pressure is 150 psi (1,033 kPa)
  • The tank is supplied with a safety relief valve set at 135 psi (930 kPa) for protection against over-pressurization

The foam storage tank is factory assembled and includes valves, trim and hardware. Manual valves are provided to fill the tank with foam concentrate and to release the air pressure after a CAF discharge. A sight gauge assembly is also provided to allow visual verification of the normal foam concentrate level.

Piping & Fittings

  • Standard piping materials and standard fittings as defined in current NFPA 11
  • Balanced piping network - hydro-pneumatic calculation software by FireFlex® Systems

Cabinets

The ICAF cabinets include all hydraulic and electrical devices required for proper operation. The ICAF SYSTEM cabinets are of the freestanding type and are made of robust 14 gauge steel with a corrosion resistant fire red paint finish, polyester powder-coated and oven-baked on a phosphate base. Cabinets are also provided with two locked frontal doors that are removable without special tools, reducing space requirements for ease of installation and maintenance. Furthermore, all doors are provided with a neoprene gasket to reduce vibrations.

Technical details:

  • FM & MEA Approved as a factory assembled unit.
  • Modular releases (manual, fail-safe, electric & pneumatic).
  • Compact layout saves floor space.
  • Up to three (3) mixing chambers per cabinet.
  • Integrated ARC-1 analog release controller.
  • Fully tested and programmed at the factory.
  • Unique serial number on every unit.
  • User-friendly owner's manual with every unit.
  • Simplified operation and maintenance.
  • Factory built under ISO-9001 conditions.

Approvals / Industry Recognition

The ICAF SYSTEM is MEA/NYFD and FM Approved. Click on the link below to view the ICAF certificates.

The FireFlex ARC-1 release control panel is c-FM-us, CSFM and MEA/NYFD Approved. Click on the link below to view the panel certificates.

Industry Recognition
Since its inception, ICAF has gained important industryrecognition and acceptance. In addition to enhanced Listings with FM Approvals to incorporate designs involving simultaneous sprinkler discharge, the ICAF system can be used in certain storage applications, with reference to Data Sheets FM 7-29 - Ignitable Liquid Storage in PortableContainers and FM 7-32 - Ignitable Liquid Operations. Also, Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS) are an integral part of the 2010 edition of NFPA 11 - Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam, NFPA 850 – Fire Protection for Electric Generating Plants and High-Voltage Direct Current Converter Stations, and NFPA 851 – Fire Protection for Hydro-Electric Generating Plants.

Case Studies

ICAF - FireFlexThe ICAF SYSTEM is specifically tailored for several sectors of activities: information technologies, pharmaceutical, transportation, power generation & distribution, oil & gaz, industrial and mining.

Here are some ICAF case studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the ICAF SYSTEM requires the use a special foam concentrate?
  2. What are the environmental impacts and clean-up implications of compressed air foam?
  3. What is the shelf life of the foam concentrate used in the ICAF SYSTEM?
  4. Does the ICAF piping system require special materials, fittings, hangers or piping arrangements?
  5. What are the maintenance requirements for an ICAF SYSTEM?
  6. Does the FM Approval allow the use of plant air or a high-pressure air compressor instead of the high-pressure air cylinders?
  7. Does the ICAF SYSTEM use a bladder-type foam storage tank?
  8. Can I use an ICAF SYSTEM to protect a flammable liquid storage application as per NFPA-30?
  9. Can ICAF SYSTEMS be used for outdoor applications, where low temperatures, wind, etc. are present?
  10. Can the ICAF SYSTEM be used to protect aircraft hangars?
  11. Does water discharged from overhead sprinklers affect the Compressed Air Foam blanket?
  12. What is the maximum size of hazard the ICAF SYSTEM is approved for?
  13. If there is no water supply at all, can we still consider using an ICAF SYSTEM?



  1. Does the ICAF SYSTEM requires the use a special foam concentrate?
    No, the ICAF SYSTEM does not use a special foam concentrate. In fact, the approved foam concentrates are standard and ARC’s foams that already exist for fixed foam-water sprinkler systems, available off the shelf.

    The concentrates that Factory Mutual approved for use with the ICAF SYSTEM at this time is the following:
    - Ansulite 3 x 3 LV Alcool Resistant Concentrate for hydrocarbons and polar solvents.

    It is to be noted that the concentrate descriptions are manufacturers’ brand-names and the percentages described are for foam-water sprinklers. These do not reflect the concentrations approved for the ICAFSystem which are different. Consult Systems ICAF Foam Datasheet or contact one of our Sales Representative for more details.

    List of questions

  2. What are the environmental impacts and clean-up implications of compressed air foam?
    Environmental and disposal issues surrounding the use of Class B foam concentrates have been an increasing concern over the last few years. The foam concentrates used in the ICAF SYSTEM are biodegradable. For specific foam concentrate technical data, consult the appropriate manufacturer technical datasheet posted on our website. Because compressed air foam solution is comprised primarily of air, the inherent low foam and water requirements provide for maximum fire suppression performance with minimal environmental impact. For any given application, ICAF SYSTEMS are designed to use approximately 4 times less water, and 2 to 6 times less foam concentrate in comparison to foam-water sprinklers. However, as with any substance, care should be taken to prevent discharge from entering ground water, surface water, or storm drains. With advance notice, foam solution discharges can be treated by local biological sewage treatment systems. Since facilities vary widely by municipality or location, disposal should be made in accordance with federal, state or provincial, and local or municipal regulations. Consult Systems ICAF Datasheet or contact one of our Sales Representative for more details.

    List of questions

  3. What is the shelf life of the foam concentrate used in the ICAF SYSTEM?
    The shelf life of any foam concentrate is maximized by proper storage conditions and maintenance. Factors affecting shelf life are wide temperature changes, extreme high or low temperatures, evaporation, dilution, and contamination by foreign materials. When foam concentrates are properly stored in their original containers or in tanks or containers designed for such foam storage (like the ICAF SYSTEM's foam tank is), and have been inspected regularly (NFPA recommends annual testing), foam concentrates have been tested and shown no significant loss of fire fighting performance, even after 15 years. For more details, please refer to the foam concentrate manufacturer datasheets posted on our website, or contact one of our Sales Representative.

    List of questions

  4. Does the ICAF piping system require special materials, fittings, hangers or piping arrangements?
    No. The ICAF SYSTEM does not require any specific or special piping materials, piping and fitting normally use are fine (black steel, or galvanized pipe are both acceptable). For pipe wall thickness, use Schedule 40 for 1” to 2”, and schedule 10 or 40 for the 2-1/2” and 4” mains. For pipe fittings, standard grooved, flanged, welded and threaded connections are all acceptable. Standard hangers are acceptables, as recommended by NFPA-13. The selection of materials for piping, fittings, hangers and supports will typically depend on the degree of corrosive elements expected in the piping environment for any given project. For more details, please refer to the design manuel or contact one of our Sales Representative.

    List of questions

  5. What are the maintenance requirements for an ICAF SYSTEM?
    Just like any other type of foam system, ICAF SYSTEMS require periodic maintenance. For the inspection, testing and maintenance requirements of ICAF SYSTEMS, refer to the NFPA 11 Standard, Chapter 7. You can also consult the ICAF User Manual available on the FireFlex website. Note that the owner of the building or premises where the system is installed has the responsibility to insure his ICAF SYSTEM is properly maintained and in good working order at all times. He should contact contractors that have been trained and accredited by FireFlex Systems for maintenance on ICAF SYSTEMS.

    List of questions

  6. Does the FM Approval allow the use of plant air or a high-pressure air compressor instead of the high-pressure air cylinders?
    Yes, the ICAF SYSTEM FM Approval does not limit the air supply to be provided by high-pressure air cylindersonly. Because there are no high-pressure air compressors specifically listed or approved for fire protection, and that the system requires large air volumes which must be regulated at a constant pressure of 100 psi, it is more practical and economical to use high-pressure cylinders. These cylinders also possess Department of Transport (DOT) certification for transportation throughout Canada and the US. This does not eliminate the possibility of using plant air if it can be maintained at a pressure of 100 psi at maximum flow rate required, and it has been shown that this source is reliable and sufficient in case of fire.

    List of questions

  7. Does the ICAF SYSTEM use a bladder-type foam storage tank?
    No, the storage tank used with the ICAF SYSTEM is a rated stainless steel pressure vessel, design and manufactured as per ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 Standard, and which is not pressurized under normal standby conditions. When the system activates, system air pressure is used to pressurize the tank, pushing the foam concentrate into the mixing chamber through a siphon tube. The foam storage tank has a maximum working pressure of 150 psi and is sized & fabricated to meet the project requirements. Because the storage tank does not have a bladder, it will not be subject to the same maintenance issues typically associated to bladder systems and its installation will be greatly facilitated. Refer to the appropriate datasheets or contact one of our Sales Representative for more information.

    List of questions

  8. Can I use an ICAF SYSTEM to protect a flammable liquid storage application as per NFPA-30?
    NFPA-30 is a broad standard that includes many types of storage. Although the approval of the ICAF SYSTEM is not application specific, it is approved for combustible and flammable liquid pool, spill and cascading-type fires which can be found in some storage applications.
    In some cases, storage applications can be protected by an ICAF SYSTEM, while others will require more research and testing to be done before we can confirm if they can be done or not.
    Should you consider using the Compressed Air Foam technology to protect a storage application falling under NFPA-30 jurisdiction, consult your FireFlex Systems Sales Representative. He will help you determine the applicability of the ICAF SYSTEM on your specific application. Les normes FM-7-29 et 7-32 …

    List of questions

  9. Can ICAF SYSTEMS be used for outdoor applications, where low temperatures, wind, etc. are present?
    Yes, with caution. For cold weather applications, testing at our plant in sub-zero conditions as low as -4 F. (–20°C) has demonstrated that the Compressed Air Foam (CAF) quality generated, delivery to the nozzle and discharge are not affected by low temperatures. It is recommended to flush the piping network with compressed air to eliminate any residual foam and/or water left in the piping after a discharge. The FM Approval does not limit the use of ICAF SYSTEMS to indoor applications. Nevertheless, evaluation of other outdoor elements such as wind, snow, rain, ice, insects or other, and the associated potential for system impairment must be taken into consideration. The nozzles may also need to be protected from the elements. To minimize the impact of the wind on an outdoor hazard, such as with a power transformer for example, it would be preferable to have the transformer shielded by walls on at least three sides. Other precautions might be necessary, just like most suppression systems require. Consult FireFlex Systems Engineering Department for more details on such applications.

    List of questions

  10. Can the ICAF SYSTEM be used to protect aircraft hangars?
    Yes, the ICAF SYSTEM can be considered for hangars when confronting a situation where water supplies are inadequate for traditional fire protection means and the cost to upgrade the infrastructure would be prohibitive. The ICAF SYSTEM has been used to protect several aircraft hangars where conventional fire protection systems were not economically viable. With a thorough engineering study and evaluation of the specific project parameters by a fire protection engineer, a code equivalency report can be accepted by the AHJ to allow the use of the ICAF SYSTEM as an equivalent to an overhead foam-water deluge system in order to meet building code requirements for construction permits. Consult FireFlex Systems Engineering Department for more details.

    List of questions

  11. Does water discharged from overhead sprinklers affect the Compressed Air Foam blanket?
    Full-scale fire testing has demonstrated that the simultaneous discharge of the sprinkler system designed at density less than 0,25 gpm/ft2 and an ICAF foam system did not affect adversely the extinguishing performance of the ICAF SYSTEM. When the sprinkler system is designed at a density greater than 0,25 gpm/ft2 and up to 0,60 gpm/ft2, the concentration used on hydrocarbon risks must be increased at 6%. For risks involving polar solvents, the concentration of 6% remains unchanged.

    List of questions

  12. What is the maximum size of hazard the ICAF SYSTEM is approved for?
    Just like the ICAF SYSTEM approval is not application specific, there is virtually no limit to the size of an area that can be protected. Unlike some water mist or gas suppression systems, the ICAF SYSTEM is not restricted nor limited by hazard volumes or areas.
    Although each mixing chamber can feed a maximum of 32 discharge nozzles, there is no limit as to the number of mixing chambers in a system. They are simply added until all the protected area is covered by discharge nozzles. Just like a sprinkler system, multiple systems can be used for large or multiple areas. Multiple hazards can also be protected from a common foam tank and compressed air cylinders bank. Consult FireFlex Systems Engineering Department to explore the various possibilities applicable to your specific application.

    List of questions

  13. If there is no water supply at all, can we still consider using an ICAF SYSTEM?
    Yes, when there is no water service or not enough supply, it is possible to have a water tank (either a pressure vessel or an atmospheric storage tank with a fire pump) as part of the ICAF SYSTEM. When using a pressure vessel for water storage, the air supply must be designed and sized to include the pressurization of the water tank. Upon system activation, water will be propelled into the system trim by the same air pressure that propels the foam concentrate. Contact FireFlex SystemsTechnical Department for more details on the best solution applicable to your application.

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The Integrated Compressed Air Foam system offers many benefits and advantages, including the following.

Significant Reduction in Foam and Water Required

ICAF uses four times less water and up to six times less foam concentrate compared to foam-water systems.

ICAF FM Approved Discharge Devices

CAF is discharged in or on the hazard using special discharge devices which effectively distribute the foam evenly over the nozzle's area of coverage. In addition to coverage, the TAR and FPO nozzles are specifically designed to maintain CAF quality preventing degradation of the CAF generated in the mixing chamber.

ICAF NOZZLESCeiling Nozzle Configuration
The TAR-225C is an open-type ceiling nozzle used for area protection of flammable or combustible liquids spill or pool fire hazards and is specifically designed to effectively distribute CAF over a remote area.

Located at the ceiling level the ICAF Nozzle is designed to discharge CAF in a 360° radius over a maximum area of 150 ft2 (13.9 m2) when used on hydrocarbon liquids and 100 ft2 (9.29 m2) when used on polar solvents. 

Specific Hazard Configuration
The TAR-225L (not shown in table) is an open-type directional nozzle which is specifically designed to discharge CAF over exposed horizontal or vertical surfaces of specific equipment, and is effective on cascading fires.

The TAR 225L nozzle spacing shall be based on the spray pattern design principle. Nozzles shall be spaced and aimed so that their spray patterns will cover all surfaces adequately. 

FOAM-POWERED OSCILLATORFoam-Powered Oscillator
The FPO is an open-type oscillating nozzle that is specifically designed to project CAF horizontally over a wide area. It is an effective discharge device for low-level protection. The CAF can be delivered via a 90° or 180° arc of oscillation with discharge range up to 92 ft. The FPO nozzle is self-propelled by the CAF discharge and does not require any electrical or hydraulic connection, considerably simplifying installation.

 

Reduced Infrastructural Requirements for Fire Protection

Water Supply
ICAF can eliminate or reduce the size of water supply tanks & fire pumps 

Drainage and Containment
ICAF can eliminate or reduce the size of drainage and containment systems including spill tanks and oil separators 

Disposal Costs
The significant reduction in foam and water required for ICAF reduces the costs associated to clean-up and disposal of foam during discharge testing or after a fire.

Enhanced System Performance

Full-scale fire tests have demonstrated that ICAF is a very effective extinguishing mechanism for class B fires. The unique physical properties of ICAF foam with a 10:1 expansion ratio combined with long drain times provide improved extinguishing and burnback performance. Furthermore, its ability to stick to vertical surfaces enabled the ICAF to be Listed for cascading fires. System performance can be a deciding factor in critical applications where it is desirable that system performance exceeds the minimum requirements set out in published codes or standards.

Improved Visibility in the Hazard

In comparison to water-based systems, CAF’s unique physical properties significantly reduce steam production and thereby improve visibility during and after a fire. The CAF blankets the fuel surface and therefore does not cause visual impairment often associated to high-expansion, total flooding foam systems.

Here is the ICAF SYSTEM full documentation.

For further informations, contact us.

Documents

Promotional Leaflet

Simulator