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.

Silicone Emulsions

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.

Mineral Oil-Based

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

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
  • Fermentation

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.

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