Understanding and Controlling Foam in Industry

Published January 2018

The patented measurement technique developed by Hycontrol uses level measuring technology specifically developed for measuring foam levels and foam-liquid interfaces. Suitable for both aqueous and non-aqueous liquids, this technology already has a proven track record in a wide range of applications and industries. By comparison, alternative, less effective solutions use existing level measuring technology that has been ‘adapted’ to measure foam. These tend to be inherently unreliable, inaccurate and adversely affected by process product build-up on the measuring probes.

"Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

– H. James Harrington, 1929

Harrington’s principle is certainly true of the challenges presented by industrial foaming and its subsequent control, as we shall see.

Foaming affects almost every industrial sector: from pharmaceuticals to brewing, from paint manufacture to wastewater treatment, from oil & gas to food processing, from textiles to pulp and paper. Foam may be an integral and important part of a process or it may be an unwanted side effect.

Foaming has the appearance of a simple material, partly because we are all familiar with it whether, for example, in the form of bath foam, bubbles in a milkshake or the head on a glass of beer. However in practice foam is a very complex, dynamic material with its production involving physical, chemical and biological processes.

Understanding and Controlling Foam in Industry

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