Defoamers are chemical agents that knock down and reduce foam produced during industrial processes, including applications as varied as detergent manufacture and in effluent systems. Defoamers are inert chemical fluids that are fully or partially insoluble in the foaming medium and designed to be non-reactive. They are added to reduce or disperse existing foam in a system. Dozens of industrial processes rely on high-performance defoamers to prevent gas entrainment, keep fluid streams moving in a predictable manner, and optimize manufacturing efficiency.
Learn more about the different types of industrial-grade defoamers that Applied Material Solutions (AMS) produces, their composition and characteristics, and what applications they’re best suited for.
Water-Based Industrial-Grade Defoamers
Water-based defoamers can reduce foam within many types of process liquids. At AMS, we provide water-based silicone emulsions, mineral oil emulsions, and fatty alcohol dispersions.
Industrial facilities turn to silicone emulsions for fast-acting and high-strength foam suppression and knockdown. This class of water-based defoaming agents can work across a wide array of applications to keep foam under control, and are available in different concentrations depending upon the needs of the consumer. Typical concentrations include 10%, 20%, and 30% silicone, but products are available across a wide percentage range.
Some examples of applications for silicone emulsion defoamers are:
- Water treatment
- Evaporative wastewater treatment
- Detergent manufacturing
- Any industry with surfactant-laden foam issue
Two examples of effective silicone defoamers from AMS include the following products:
- TRANS-2994: This emulsion is built for difficult to control foams and is effective against both anionic and nonionic detergent foam.
- TRANS-30 D: This is a 30% active silicone emulsion. Because of its high concentration and potency, it is often a very cost effective choice.
Mineral Oil Emulsions
When you can’t use silicone, mineral oil emulsions are often an effective alternative. Also, in many applications, mineral oil defoamers can be more effective than silicone-containing defoamers. Further, mineral oil is typically less costly than silicone, so these types of defoamers may offer an economic advantage in certain applications.
Some common applications for mineral oil emulsion defoamers include:
- Water treatment facilities for processes with membranes intolerant to silicone
- Paint and coating manufacturing, where mineral oil defoamers are less likely to cause equipment fouling or surface defects in final coated products
AMS offers several types of mineral oil emulsion defoamers, including:
- TRANS-220 D: This defoamer has a proven track record of broad-spectrum efficacy.
- TRANS-274: This formulation was specifically designed for water treatment applications.
Fatty Alcohol Dispersions
These defoamers are cost-effective and tend to be relatively inexpensive. Due to their good biodegradation profile, they tend to be a more environmentally and ecologically sound option compared to other types of defoamer chemistries.
Fatty alcohol defoamers are ideal for use in many applications, including:
- Water treatment facilities
- Paper processing (e.g. paper machine and final effluent)
Two examples of AMS’s fatty alcohol defoamers are:
- TRANS-7665 C: This product works well in paper machines and can handle high temperatures.
- TRANS-7664: This highly concentrated and efficacious defoamer is great for export and overseas customers, and lends itself well to dilution on-site or for resale.
Oil-Based Industrial-Grade Defoamers
Oil-based defoamers are effective in a myriad of applications. At AMS, we provide both mineral oil-based and vegetable oil-based options.
These defoamers can spread quickly through a fluid to quickly knock down the foam. Mineral oil products are reliable alternatives when silicone cannot be used, and are often the most effective option in their own right.
Common applications for mineral oil-based defoamers include:
- Controlling foam during paint and coating production
- Controlling foam generated in clarifiers, aeration basins, and in water treatment digesters
Two of our key products include:
- TRANS-708: This work horse defoamer delivers broad-spectrum efficacy in applications as varied as paints and coatings to water treatment.
- TRANS-7285: This formula is free of silica and silicone, making it a good option for Kraft pulping systems intolerant to silicone.
Vegetable oil-based defoamers tend to have good biodegradability and maybe a “greener” alternative to other types of defoamers. Ink, coating, and paperboard manufacturers often use this type of defoamer.
AMS’s TRANS-7635 is an example of a non-silicone, vegetable oil-based defoamer.
AMS provides several types of surfactant-based defoamers, including ester-based and polymer-based options.
Ester-based defoamers are specially synthesized for a variety of applications, including paper processing, control of starchy and proteinaceous foam, in fermentations and anaerobic water treatment, and in cement applications. These defoamers are often very cost-effective and deliver exceptional performance, and can be a reliable alternative when silicone-based products are not an option or are not effective enough.
Two of our ester-based defoamer include:
- TRANS-785: This formula can handle foams generated by anaerobic fermentation or proteins.
- TRANS-3983: Paper manufacturers can use this defoamer in their paper machines to control foam and entrained air. It is also effective for controlling entrained air in cement formulations.
Polymer-based defoamers are typically silicone-free and often silica-free, and are generally presented as highly-active or even 100% active, concentrated products. Many tend to be readily pourable, even in cold temperatures, and are easy to pump and handle, and most have a relatively lengthy shelf-life. Some excel in warm to hot processing temperatures, whereas others are effective in cooler temperature processes. Some examples of applications for which these defoamers are used include:
- Electroplating and other metal finishing processes
- Kraft and pulping processes
- CIP defoaming and auto-dishwashing
Some examples of AMS’s polymer-based products include:
- TRANS-083: This silicone- and silica-free formula can work alone to defoam lubricants or can be added to pulp mill-specific defoamers as a performance enhancer.
- TRANS-2450: This defoaming agent can handle acidic and alkaline foams in high-temperature environments and finds utility in CIP processing and electroplating applications.
- TRANS-280 D. This defoamer is silicone-free, 100% active and finds utility in applications as varied as fermentation to wastewater treatment.
Choose Industrial-Grade Defoamers From AMS
Applied Material Solutions specializes in formulating and manufacturing a variety of defoamer types for use across numerous industrial applications. Please reach out today to learn more about our defoamer options and how we can help you.
Hydrophobic silicas comprise a unique group of materials that feature many types of advantageous properties and attributes. Their features make them suitable for a wide range of applications, including sealants, greases, adhesives, processing aids, and personal care products, among many others.
This material functions as a kind of anti-caking substance to eliminate, reduce, or mitigate the risk of hardening or “caking” within powders. It achieves this through moisture control (e.g. repellency) that helps to keep the particles consistently defined and separate, facilitating the free-flow of the powder.
Benefits of Using Hydrophobic Silica
If you’re considering hydrophobic silica, this material features numerous benefits that make it crucial for an array of compounds. These key advantages include:
- Adsorbent — Can adsorb liquids, solids, and gasses to create powder from liquids and pastes
- Anti-Blocking — Keeps film sheets separate and prevents sticking
- Anti-Sagging — Keeps wet coatings or paints from running or drooping
- Anti-Setoff — Prevents the potential inadvertent transfer of ink between printed pages known as setoff
- Anti-Setting — Helps increase the amount of time it takes for paint and pigments to dry on metallic and other surfaces when used with certain chemicals
- Free Flow of Powders — Functions as an anti-caking agent that keeps powders from hardening or caking
- Foam Control — Decreases foam levels or minimizes foam buildup
- Hydrophobicity Control — Serves as a natural water repellent that causes water to form droplets
- Mechanical and Optical Properties Improvements — Improves the transparency, clarity, and durability, among other material qualities
- Reinforcement — Provides reinforcement for some materials’ elastomeric properties
- Pigment Stabilization and Dispersion — Facilitates the reliable application of certain types of complex pigments
- Print Definition — Reduces the risk of smudging, runoff, and other issues that could otherwise compromise print clarity and definition
- Processability Improvements — Enables increased processing along with application precision
- Rheology Control — Maintains the consistency of products throughout containers or batches
- Thickening — Increases the thickness of sealants, pigments, adhesives, and other types of liquid products to help improve application control and prevent running
- Thixotropy — Thins compounds that are normally thicker, specifically through stirring, shaking, or disturbing these compounds using other methods
- Suspension and Stability Behavior — Helps stabilize complex liquids while evenly suspending ingredient mixtures in batches
Hydrophobic Silica Free Flow Applications
Hydrophobic silica allows for the free flow and storage of a variety of powdered products, which are often prone to caking and hardening. The consensus for why this material has this effect is that hydrophobic silica forms a mono-particle silica layer around the particles within the powder. Subsequently, this layer helps reduce any “inner friction” that could otherwise develop, creating a kind of ball-bearing effect. In turn, applications benefit from increased consistency of product throughout batches, minimizing the risk of potential issues during processing.
Many different industries use hydrophobic silica across a range of products and applications. Some of the different products that utilize hydrophobic silica include:
- Coatings and paint
- Animal nutrition and feed
- Printing inks
- Powdered defoamers and antifoams
- PVC-based plastics
- Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
- Tablet powder blends
- Plastic powders
- Fire extinguisher powder
- Polyester resins and gel coats
Industry Example: Tire Recycling
Hundreds of millions of tires are disposed of every year. If they are not recycled or reused, this can have a significant negative effect on the environment.
The use of hydrophobic silica can help lessen the environmental impact of tire disposal by allowing for a more efficient recycling process. Specifically, hydrophobic silica helps during the grinding of the recycled tires into progressively smaller-sized granules. It assists with the free flow and particle screening of the granules, and imparts water repellency to help with moisture control.
Hydrophobic Silica Products from Applied Material Solutions
When selecting a hydrophobic silica, turn to Applied Material Solutions. We offer a wide variety of options, including fumed and precipitated products.