Preventing or controlling foam is essential when working with aqueous solutions or adhesives, as it could affect the appearance of the product when dried, the coating weight, and the flow speed of the liquid, among other factors. Both antifoams and defoamers attempt to mitigate the problems that foam can cause.

Difference Between Antifoam & Defoamers

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Antifoams & Defoamers

While the end goal of both antifoams and defoamers is an absence of foam, the difference in the two products is the timing. Antifoams prevent the formation of foam, while defoamers control existing foam. Manufacturers may add antifoam to their formulas if they anticipate a tendency for foam to form during use. Converters may add defoamers if they incur issues with the formation of bubbles during their manufacturing process.

Industries Served

Pulp & Paper Processing

Kraft mills, sulfite mills, recycle mills and other pulping processes produce byproducts that cause foaming. Foam causes inefficient washing, increased bleaching cost, slower production rates, lower product quality, and maintenance issues.

Water Treatment

Air entrapment and foaming are common in water treatment applications. Without the use of defoamer or antifoams, processes can be slowed or stopped when water is not allowed to pass through filtration systems.

Paints, Inks, Coatings & Adhesives

Mixing and grinding during the production or filling of paints, inks, coatings and adhesives create foam. Defoamers mitigate the impacts on production time and output as a result of the formation of bubbles.

Industrial Processed Water

In water treatment, both mechanical agitation and chemical reactions produce foam, which can inhibit the purification process. Both antifoams and defoamers reduce the formation and eliminate any instances of foam.

Landfill Leachate

When rainfall filters through landfill waste, it creates leachate. The biochemical reactions from the filling and sticking process result in a tremendous amount of foam. The leachate cannot be emitted into water treatment channels without defoaming agents that allow the fluid to pass through membrane filters.

Ethanol Production

One of the ways that ethanol producers make the fuel is through the wet milling process. In wet milling, the grain is soaked in a slurry before being ground and separated. Both antifoams and defoamers are critical to the wet milling process. The formation of bubbles during fermentation takes up volume in the vessel used for the ethanol, and could even cause displacement and product loss.

Metalworking Fluids

Metalworking fluids cool and lubricate the metals during fabrication. Defoamers ensure that the fluids remain stable and effective.

Chemical Manufacture

The chemical industry is continuously innovating and creating sustainable products that use less essential resources, like energy and water, while complying with increased environmental and safety regulations. Antifoams and defoamers play an important role for chemical manufacturers. Defoamers and antifoams are used to control and regulate foam in many processes, including distillation, synthesis, and transfer and filtration, and designed to be efficient in high acid or alkaline environments.

Applied Material Solutions Antifoams & Defoamers

Choosing the right antifoam or defoamer requires insight into the most effective chemistry for the application. AMS can help address your requirements with one or more of our products, including:

Silicone Antifoams

We offer food-grade, tech-grade and agricultural antifoams in water-based, non-aqueous and specialty forms with a variety of viscosities from ready to use to super-concentrated.

Water-based antifoam emulsions

Food-grade
TRANS-5A
TRANS-10A
TRANS-20A
TRANS-30K
TRANS-278
TRANS-1030
Tech-grade
TRANS-103AD
AE-10-TG
TRANS-5D
Agricultural
AE-10-AG
TRANS-10A
TRANS-290DX

Non-aqueous silicone antifoam compounds

Food-grade
TRANS-100K
TRANS-100PK
AF-100-FG
Tech-grade
TRANS-100D
AF-100-TG

Specialty silicone antifoams

TRANS-296
TRANS-2977
TRANS-290
AFC-6
AFC-2

Non-Silicone Antifoams

There are a variety of products in this category that typically incorporate surfactants to boost efficacy and dispersibility within foaming water. They may take the form of water-based, surfactant-based, oil-based, polymers, or esters.

Water-based

Food-grade

Mineral oil products
TRANS-4031
TRANS-4032
TRANS-227K
Vegetable oil products
TRANS-400
TRANS-402
TRANS-4062
Organic
TRANS-O 580

Tech-grade

Mineral oil with silica
TRANS-700
Mineral oil with wax
TRANS-701
TRANS-708
Mineral oil with surfactants
TRANS-713

Surfactant-based

TRANS-393
TRANS-P2000
TRANS-396
TRANS-2450

Powdered Defoamers

Powdered silicone antifoam compounds are used in an array of industries. They are valued for their fast, effective, lasting defoaming power and stability in small concentrations.

Food-grade
TRANS-2112
Tech-grade
TRANS-414
TRANS-357PD
TRANS-3039
TRANS-828
TRANS-3033

Food-Grade & Tech-Grade Defoamers

AMS offers both food-grade and tech-grade defoamers. These may take the form of silicone, non-silicone, or powdered antifoams.

Fatty Acids

Tall Oil Fatty Acids
Coco Fatty Acids
Oleic Acids

To learn more about our antifoams and defoamers, contact us today.