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Informational Resource for Rubber Mixers & Tire Manufacturers
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Drowning in Foam
 

Losing Control...of Foam?


Let’s face it, your dream of a brand new, sparkling clean, state of the art rubber line -  run by robots - with no slab dip foaming is mostly pure fantasy.  The only part of that pretty picture based in reality is the no-foaming slab dip portion. 

There typically are a number of quick and easy fixes to significantly control foaming slab dip.
The Causes of Foam
 
There are generally two culprits of foaming - mechanical or product.  

Mechanical is the easiest to correct and can be overcome quickly with a few minor adjustments in either the tank, pit or recirculation.  

Product issues mean the anti-tack you are currently using is producing foam and it is probably time to switch anti-tacks.
 
Common Fixes:

1. Overflowing, foaming tanks – The easiest way to control tanks that foam over is by adding a level control float to the tank and agitation via an air powered or electric mixer. The level control float will work at keeping these tanks only half full at any given moment. This, plus the addition of an agitator, allows ample room for the foam to grow and recede without overflowing.
 
2.  The Cascading Tank that Produces Foam - If your tank is recirculating only, without agitation, be sure all your piping introduces the liquid below the surface of the holding tank. Cascading dip into a tank without agitation, like a faucet filling a bubble bath, only causes the anti-tack to foam more by breaking the surface tension (actually lowering the surface tension) of the slurry in the tank and increases mechanical work.  *Surface area = Work/Surface Tension*
Applying this to the equation (increase work and decrease surface tension) results in the increase of surface area and thus foam. 
 
3.  Death to the Strainer Basket – Please REMOVE that basket!  Baskets cause more issues than they do good.  Let the rubber particles fall to the bottom of the tank.  Put a screen on the intake of your pump.  Strainer baskets cause the anti-tack to gently break the surface tension of the anti-tack within the tank causing the foam to grow and grow and grow...
 
The information in this newsletter is provided for educational purposes only by H.L. Blachford.  No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without the express written consent of H.L. Blachford.  Should you have questions or comments please send them to csnews@blachford.com.

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