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Materials and Structures (2010) 43:13171325 DOI 10.

1617/s11527-010-9582-z

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Relative assessment of density and stability of foam produced with four synthetic surfactants
Indu Siva Ranjani K. Ramamurthy

Received: 12 March 2009 / Accepted: 5 January 2010 / Published online: 13 January 2010 RILEM 2010

Abstract Selection of the surfactant has an impact on many of the foam properties as it affects the surface tension and gasliquid interfacial properties. The objective is to produce stable aqueous foam of required density. These two characteristics are inuenced by the type of surfactant, its concentration and foam generation pressure. This study compares the density and stability of foam produced using four synthetic surfactants namely sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulfate, sulfanol and cocodiethanolamide through a systematic experiment design based on response surface methodology. The relative performance has also been assessed in terms of their suitability for use in foamed concrete production based on ASTM test method. The effect of surfactant concentration has relatively lesser effect on foam density for sodium lauryl sulfate and sulfanol irrespective of foam generation pressure adopted. The drainage is proportional to the initial foam density for all the surfactant concentration for ionic surfactants at different foam generation pressures. For all the four surfactants under the optimum foam generation pressure, a stable foam with drainage less than 12% in 300 s (by considering economy as a factor) is achieved. From the foam stability test based

on ASTM C 796-97, it is observed that all the four surfactants are suitable for use in foamed concrete production when optimized foam production parameters are adopted. Keywords Density Stability Foam Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide

1 Introduction Foaming agents are surfactants which when present in small amounts in solution facilitate the formation of foam and ensures stability by preventing collapse. These surfactants can be either natural or synthetic based (origin), and ionic or non-ionic [1, 2]. Selection of surfactant has an impact on the properties of foam as it affects the surface tension and gasliquid interfacial properties. The nature of the surfactant also modies the properties of the thin liquid lm which separates the bubbles [3]. Stable aqueous foams are required in many of the industrial applications. Several techniques have been used in earlier studies to evaluate the properties of foam produced with surfactants. Foam density is an important property which determines its volume to be added for achieving a desired density of foam concrete. For this purpose the initial foam density is presently being used as the basis. But the

I. S. Ranjani K. Ramamurthy (&) Building Technology and Construction Management Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India e-mail: vivek@iitm.ac.in

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stability of the foam may be affected depending on the surfactant, its concentration and foam generation pressure. The fundamental physical mechanisms causing foam instability reported are; (i) coarsening caused by inter-bubble gas transport, (ii) gravitational drainage from the lms, and (iii) coalescence of adjacent bubbles due to rupture of inter-bubble lamellae [4]. Drainage rate is often used to characterize the degree of water retention ability of foam [5, 6]. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a commonly used surfactant in detergent industry. This has also been used in the concentration range of 0.1 to 0.4% for the production of foamed gypsum of density less than 1,000 kg/m3 [7]. Studies were made on the effect of additives namely sodium carboxyl methyl cellulose and Galonol PBD, foam generation pressure and bubble size distribution and temperature, on drainage of aqueous foam produced with surfactant Sodium lauryl sulfate [810]. Sarma et al. [10] observed that a more uniform bubble size distribution and high initial gas fraction resulted in stable foam. When sodium lauryl sulfate is ethoxylated it forms sodium lauryl ether sulfate with enhanced foaming properties [11]. Surfactant mixture of 2% sulfanol as foaming agent and 0.3% bone glue hydro-solution as stabilizer in the ratio 1:0.15 is reported to produce a stable foam for which stability was assessed by the time taken for surfactant breakdown [12]. In comparison to air aspiration method, compressed air mode of foam generation is reported to result in foam having uniform bubble size distribution [13]. At low pressures (\30 kPa), the physical properties of solutions, density, viscosity and dynamic surface tension determine the size of bubble being formed. However, as the pressure and hence the ow rate of the air increases, solution effects are negated and the bubble diameter is determined by the generation pressure [1417]. Aqueous foams used in re ghting applications are mainly classied by their expansion ratio. For foam concrete applications, the expansion ratio is dened in terms of foam density. Foam which is over-expanded (say expansion ratio greater than 50:1) and thus of lower foam density may collapse and increase the concrete density. As a rst step, the authors studied the effect of foam generation parameters on foam characteristics of one typical synthetic surfactant [18]. Based on encouraging results of this study, it was decided to undertake a systematic investigation on relative

performance of four commonly available and affordable synthetic surfactants on the foam characteristics. The relative characteristics of foam produced with four synthetic surfactants has been studied through a systematic experiment design based on Response surface methodology and to check their suitability for use in foamed concrete production as per ASTM C 796-97 [19]. The surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure required to produce stable foam was determined rst. As a next step, the behaviour of the foam in cement slurry was studied, which established the stability of the foam in the mix.

2 Experimental investigations 2.1 Materials and equipment used Foam was produced by aerating four commercially available synthetic surfactants viz; sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulfate, sulfanol (ionic surfactants) and cocodiethanolamide (non-ionic surfactant). Table 1 shows an overview of their chemical classication. A laboratory-scale foam generator designed and developed at IIT Madras was used wherein the foam was generated by mixing compressed air and foaming solution in high density restrictions. 2.2 Parameters and properties studied For evaluating the relative characteristics of foam produced with these surfactants, a range of surfactant concentration (dilution ratio) from 0.5% (1:200) to 10% (1:10) and foam generation pressure 98294 kPa, were adopted. The initial foam density was measured immediately after its generation while the stability of foam was assessed by free drainage test prescribed by Def Standard 4240 [20]. A drainage pan of 1612 ml nominal volume with the centre of the conical base rounded to accept externally a 12.7 mm bore by 25 mm long polymethyl methacrylate tube with a 1.6 mm bore brass cock at its lower end was used (Fig. 1). The pan was lled with foam and the weight of foam was measured at various time intervals after foam generation. The small variations in the height of foam with time were accounted for in the density calculation. Response surface methodology (RSM) using a two factor central composite design (CCD)

Materials and Structures (2010) 43:13171325 Table 1 An overview of foaming agents used for the present study Name of foaming agent Sodium lauryl sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide Chemical synonyms General group name Chemical formula

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Classication based on charge

Sodium dodecyl sulfate

Alkyl sulfates Alkyl ether sulfate Alkanolamides

C12H25NaO4S Anionic C16H33NaO6S Anionic C16H33NO2 Non-ionic

Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sodium laureth sulfate Coconut diethanolamide, Cocamide DEA

Sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate Linear alkyl benzene sulfonate C18H29NaO3S Anionic

Fig. 1 Experimental setup for foam drainage study (Def Standard 42-40 (2002))

100 mm internal diameter

200 mm 11

1.6 mm Bore brass cock

12.7 mm internal diameter x 25 mm long Polymethyl methacrylate tube

with rotatability or equal precision was employed to study the effect of surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure on initial foam density (IFD) [21, 22]. For each surfactant, 13 experimental treatments were assigned based on the CCD with two independent variables at ve levels of each variable using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS Release 8.02) [23]. The quadratic response surface model is presented in Table 2, which were used to assess the relative performance of foam produced with the four surfactants.

and foam generation pressure) and response variables (foam density at various time intervals) with a satisfactory coefcient R2 ([0.9) for most of the regression models (Table 3). As a next step, the relative assessment of density and stability of foam produced with four different surfactants are discussed.

4 Initial foam density (IFD) The effects of surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure on the initial foam density are plotted in Figs. 2, 3 and 4, respectively. For ionic surfactants (i) the foam density is maximized when the surfactant concentration and foam generation pressures are at lower and higher levels, respectively, and (ii) the initial foam density decreases with an increase in surfactant concentration of up to 4% after which there is only a marginal increase (Fig. 2a). For non-ionic surfactant (cocodiethanolamide), (i) the initial foam density increases with an increase in surfactant concentration at lower foam generation pressure (Fig. 2a), and (ii) this trend is reversed at

3 Precision and reliability of models The adequacy of response models were determined using model analysis, coefcient of determination (R2) analysis, and by comparing the experimental data with values predicted by response surface models [20]. Validation of the second order polynomial regression models carried out through additional experimental data were observed to be highly adequate to interpret a reliable relationship between the independent variables (surfactant concentration

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Table 2 Response surface models for foam density at various time intervals for different surfactants Foam property IFD Surfactant SLS SLES SULF CDA FD at 5th minute SLS SLES SULF CDA FD at 10th minute SLS SLES SULF CDA Response surface models IFD = 20.12124 - 2.05373 * SC ? 0.08349 * FGP - 0.0038 * SC * FGP ? 0.184089 * SC2 - 9.7 * 10-5 * FGP2 IFD = 40.96705 - 9.17408 * SC ? 0.09647 * FGP ? 0.671866 * SC2 IFD = 17.5775 - 0.91786 * SC ? 0.02379 * FGP - 0.00565 * SC * FGP ? 0.132912 * SC2 ? 0.0002 * FGP2 IFD = 68.63874 ? 6.673567 * SC - 0.20224 * FGP - 0.03073 * SC * FGP - 0.00825 * SC2 ? 0.000757 * FGP2 FD = 18.39425 - 1.68899 * SC ? 0.066825 * FGP - 1.17893 * 10-3 * SC * FGP ? 0.15216 * SC2 - 1.32224 * 10-4 * FGP2 FD = 36.70574 - 5.80818 * SC ? 0.019059 * FGP ? 0.41971 * SC2 FD = 20.66503 ? 0.65285 * SC - 0.086648 * FGP - 3.57686 * 10-3 * SC * FGP ? 7.9726 * 103 * SC2 ? 3.67456 * 10-4 * FGP2 FD = 59.94294 ? 10.83776 * SC - 0.24160 * FGP - 0.027712 * SC * FGP - 0.31490 * SC2 ? 7.29971 * 10-4 * FGP2 FD = 7.51031 - 0.19505 * SC ? 1.00621 * 10-4 * FGP - 2.64309 * 10-3 * SC * FGP ? 0.096673 * SC2 ? 3.67349 * 10-5 * FGP2 FD = 16.60996 - 2.10015 * SC - 0.035515 * FGP ? 1.25622 * 10-3 * SC * FGP ? 0.14902 * SC2 ? 6.54138 * 10-5 * FGP2 FD = 14.5659 ? 0.55116 * SC - 0.11302 * FGP ? 5.94545 * 10-4 * SC * FGP - 0.036546 * SC2 ? 2.83675 * 10-4 * FGP2 FD = 14.68048 ? 22.21186 * SC - 0.22063 * FGP - 0.026326 * SC * FGP - 1.03357 * SC2 ? 6.25567 * 10-4 * FGP2

SLS sodium lauryl sulfate, SLES sodium laureth sulfate, SULF sulfanol, CDA cocodiethanolamide, IFD initial foam density, FD foam density, SC surfactant concentration, FGP foam generation pressure

Table 3 R2, adjusted R2, probability values and F values for the response surface models Foaming agent SLS SLES SULFANOL CDA SLS SLES SULFANOL CDA SLS SLES SULFANOL CDA Foam density at 10th minute Foam density at 5th minute Variables Initial foam density R2 0.9599 0.9392 0.9247 0.9529 0.9633 0.9512 0.9397 0.9945 0.916 0.9327 0.9109 0.9762 R2 adj 0.9312 0.9189 0.8709 0.9192 0.9371 0.935 0.8966 0.9907 0.86 0.8847 0.8472 0.9592 Regression P value \0.0001 \0.0001 0.0008 0.0002 \0.0001 \0.0001 0.0004 \0.0001 0.0012 0.0006 0.0015 \0.0001 F value 33.48 46.34 17.19 28.307 36.74 58.52 21.80 255.64 15.26 19.41 14.31 57.50

higher foam generation pressure (Fig. 2b). This is attributed to the entry of more foaming solution into foam due to turbulence at lower surfactant concentration, which is not signicant at lower foam generation pressure unlike ionic surfactants.

For foam concrete, ASTM C 796 species the foam unit weight range of 32 to 64 kg/m3 with a remark that this range could be adjusted to manufacturers recommendation based on foam chemical and generator used. For the surfactant concentrations and

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(a)
Initial foam density (kg/m )
3

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide

(a)
180

Initial foam density (kg/m )

160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 100 150 200 250 300 Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide

Surfactant concentration (%)

Foam generation pressure (kPa)

(b)
Initial foam density (kg/m )
3

(b)
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2 4 6 8 10

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 100 150 200 250 300 Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide

Initial foam density (kg/m3 )

Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide

Surfactant concentration (%)

Foam generation pressure (kPa)

Fig. 2 Variation in initial foam density with surfactant concentration. a FGP 110 kPa, b FGP 294 kPa

Fig. 3 Variation in initial foam density with foam generation pressure. a SC 0.5%, b SC 10%

foam generation pressures adopted, the range of initial foam density produced with sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulfate, sulfanol and cocodiethanolamide, respectively, are 2035, 2065, 2040 and 40100 kg/m3. For all the four surfactants, the initial foam density obtained is satisfying the ASTM requirements at lower surfactant concentration and higher foam generation pressure. But such foam with higher initial foam density was observed to contain foaming solution entrapped with the foam due to turbulence resulting in foams with lower stability. This aspect is conrmed by higher drop in density with time as discussed in the next section. The foam generation pressure controls the mixing of air with foaming liquid and hence the foam density varies with foam generation pressure. For a given

surfactant concentration the initial foam density increases with an increase in foam generation pressure for all surfactants except in the case of cocodiethanolamide. It is observed from Fig. 3 that the effect of foam generation pressure on the initial foam density is lower for sodium lauryl sulfate and sulfanol irrespective of the surfactant concentration. Hence the densities of the foam produced using sulfanol and sodium lauryl sulfate are the lowest. The ASTM specied range of initial foam density was not achieved when foam is produced at lower foam generation pressure for surfactants sodium lauryl sulfate and sulfanol. In the case of sodium lauryl ether sulfate at higher surfactant concentration the effect of foam generation pressure is signicant. Cocodiethanolamide produces foam with highest

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(a)

70 60

(c)
Initial foam density (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 5th minute (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 10th minute(kg/m ) Solid line - FGP 110 kPa Dashed line - FGP 294 kPa
3

70 60
Initial foam density (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 5th minute (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 10th minute(kg/m ) Solid line - FGP 110 kPa Dashed line - FGP 294 kPa
3

Foam density (kg/m3 )

50 40 30 20 10 0 0

Foam density (kg/m )

50 40 30 20 10 0

10

10

Surfactant concentration (%)

Surfactant concentration (%)

(b) 70
60

Foam density (kg/m )

Foam density (kg/m3 )

50 40 30 20 10 0 0 2

Initial foam density (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 5th minute (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 10th minute(kg/m ) Solid line - FGP 110 kPa Dashed line - FGP 294 kPa

(d)
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Initial foam density (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 5th minute (kg/m ) 3 Foam density at 10th minute(kg/m ) Solid line - FGP 110 kPa Dashed line - FGP 294 kPa
3

10

10

Surfactant concentration (%)

Surfactant concentration (%)

Fig. 4 Effect of SC and FGP on foam density with time for various surfactants. a Sodium lauryl sulfate, b sodium lauryl ether sulfate, c sulfanol, d cocodiethanolamide

initial foam density irrespective of the foam generation pressure. For cocodiethanolamide, the foam generation pressure has signicant effect on initial foam density, i.e., at higher surfactant concentration an increase in foam generation pressure results in a reduction in initial foam density and vice versa at lower surfactant concentration.

5 Foam stability The foam stability is assessed through the variation in foam density with time which is caused predominantly by the drainage of diluted foaming agent entrapped along the walls of the bubbles and to a minor extent due to breakage of foam bubbles.

Figure 4 shows the variation in foam density with time for the effect of surfactant concentration at lower and higher foam generation pressures. For all the four surfactants, the drainage increases with an increase in foam generation pressure resulting in unstable foam. For the three ionic surfactants within the range of surfactant concentration studied, the drainage is proportional to the initial foam density at different foam generation pressures. The reduction in foam density is signicantly higher after 5 min. For the three ionic surfactants, within 10 min more than 40% of foam density is reduced. In the case of cocodiethanolamide, a concentration of 4% and above results in retention of stability. The foam produced with cocodiethanolamide is more stable when compared to that produced

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with ionic surfactants, exhibiting substantially lower drainage at high surfactant concentration. This retardation in drainage is attributed to the high viscosity enhancing and foam stabilizing property of cocodiethanolamide. Also the surfactant concentration has opposite effect at lower and higher levels of foam generation pressure for this non-ionic surfactant. This is because at lower foam generation pressure, the effect of lower surfactant concentration on foam stability is not signicant unlike ionic surfactants as explained earlier. This is conrmed by lesser drop in foam density with time up to 5 min at lower foam generation pressure when compared to higher pressure for the non-ionic surfactant. As the usage of higher surfactant concentration is not economical, the selection of lower concentration is preferable for use in foam concrete production. But at very low surfactant concentration and higher foam generation pressure, though the foam produced has high initial density, the stability is poor. Hence it appears that there is an optimal surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure which can produce stable foam.

6 Optimization of response surface models Having identied that the foam stability is an important factor, a multiple optimization was carried out by numerical optimization method using SAS Release 8.02 to predict the optimum levels surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure for the following criteria; minimize percentage solution drained, maximize foam density ratio (ratio of foam density to initial foam density) at various time intervals (to increase foam stability), minimize surfactant concentration (to reduce cost), and to achieve a target foam output rate of at least 0.09 m3/h which was observed to be the minimum requirement to get uninterrupted foam production for the laboratory
Table 4 Optimized parameters and corresponding response goals Foaming agent Surfactant concentration (%) 2 2 2 5 Foam generation pressure (kPa) 117 117 117 122

foam generator used. Each response has been assigned an importance value (weightage) relative to the other responses. Percentage solution drained and foam density ratio was assigned an importance of 4 while the other responses were assigned of 3 out of 5 scale. Hence higher weightage was assigned to foam stability. From this study, the optimum surfactant concentration value is 2 and 5% when economy is considered as one of the factors for ionic and non-ionic surfactants respectively (Table 4). The optimal surfactant concentration values for non-ionic surfactant cocodiethanolamide were 5 and 8%. However for all the four surfactants the optimum foam generation pressure ranges between 110 and 120 kPa under which a stable foam with drainage less than 12% in 300 s (by considering economy as a factor) is achieved. This drainage value is very low when compared to the value of 25% drainage obtained in time not less than 210 s as prescribed by Def Standard 42-40 (2002) for synthetic aqueous lm forming foam for re extinguishing. However by assigning higher importance to foam stability (without considering economy) the solution drained can be reduced further for ionic surfactants when higher surfactant concentration say 4% is used.

7 Stability of foam in the mix With the establishment of optimal surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure, as a next step, the suitability of these four surfactants for the production of foam concrete, i.e., whether the requirements of ASTM C 869 [24] with respect to fresh density, strength and water absorption of foamed cement paste are fullled need to be veried. This especially is essential as the initial foam densities of foam produced by two ionic surfactants are marginally lower than the ASTM specied range.

Initial foam density (kg/m3) 25 38 21 70

Foam output rate (m3/h) 0.274 0.172 0.24 0.09

Solution drained in 5 min (%) 11 12 12 0

Foam density ratio in 5 min 0.88 0.86 0.87 1

Sodium lauryl sulfate Sodium lauryl ether sulfate Sulfanol Cocodiethanolamide

1324 Actual/calculated foam required to produce foam concrete within 50 kg/m3 of the design density

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ASTM C 796-97 furnished a way of measuring in the laboratory, the performance of a foaming chemical to be used in producing foam for making cellular concrete through the following equations for arriving at the foam volume required for achieving a cement paste of known design density 641 kg/m3 and watercement ratio of 0.58: Vf 1000 Va =1000 Wuf per m3 of cement paste ; Va 0:359 Wtw 0:7965 Wc =641 m3 ; where Vf = volume of foam; Va = volume of air; Wuf = unit weight of foam; Wtw = total weight of water; and Wc = weight of cement. Foam concrete was made by mixing the cement slurry with a water-cement ratio 0.58 and preformed foam produced from the surfactants at the optimized economical surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure (Table 5). The stability of test mixes was assessed by comparing the calculated and actual quantity of foam required to achieve a plastic density of foam concrete within 50 kg/m3 of the design value and is summarized in Table 5 along with ASTM specications. The foamed concrete made with the foam produced with all the four surfactants, at the optimized surfactant concentration and foam generation pressure, meets the physical requirements of ASTM, conrming the foam stability. If the foam is unstable, slightly higher quantity of foam (to compensate for the collapsed foam) than the volume of foam calculated as per the equations listed above would be required to attain the design density. However, though the foam density of sodium lauryl sulfate and sulfanol did not meet the minimum criteria of 32 kg/m3 as specied by ASTM Standards, the actual quantity of foam required to attain the plastic density of 641 kg/m3 within 50 kg/m3 of the design value was the same as the calculated quantity which again conrms the stability of the mix.

1 18 2.8 535 681 21 117 2

1 22 1.4 527 676 5 122 70

Water absorption (% by volume)

Comp. strength, MPa

Dry density (kg/m3)

Foam concrete

Fresh density (kg/m3)

Foam density (kg/m3)

642

674

Table 5 Comparison of test results with ASTM specications

Foam generation pressure (kPa)

25

Concentration

117

117

38

ASTM C 869-91 Requirements

Sodium lauryl ether sulfate

3270

641 48

487 40

516

522

1.40 (min)

2.01

2.32

25% (max)

15

25

8 Conclusions The conclusions drawn from this study and discussed below are applicable to the characteristics of materials used and the range of parameters investigated. For all the synthetic ionic surfactants used, the foam density increases with an increase in foam

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Surfactant

Name

Cocodiethanolamide

Sulfanol

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1325 7. Colak A (2000) Density and strength characteristics of foamed gypsum. Cem Concr Compos 22:193200 8. Herzhaft B (1999) Rheology of aqueous foams: a literature review of some experimental works. Oil Gas J 54:587596 9. Pradhan MS, Sarma DSHS, Khilar KC (1990) Stability of aqueous foams with polymer additives II. Effects of temperature. J Colloid Interface Sci 139:519526 10. Sarma DSHS, Pandit J, Khilar KC (1988) Enhancement of stability of aqueous foams by addition of water soluble polymersmeasurement and analysis. J Colloid Interface Sci 124:339348 11. Salagar J (2002) Surfactants types and uses. FIRP Booklet, E300-A, Version 2, Merida Venezuela 12. Laukaitis A, Zurauskas R, Keriene J (2005) The effect of foam polystyrene granules on cement composite properties. Cem Concr Compos 27:4147 13. Magrabi SA, Dlugogorski BZ, Jameson GJ (2002) A comparative study of drainage characteristics in AFFF and FFFP compressed-air re-ghting foams. Fire Saf J 37:21 52 14. Nambiar EKK, Ramamurthy K (2006) Air void characterisation of foam concrete. Cem Concr Res 37:221230 15. Kearsely EP, Visagie M (1999) Micro-properties of foamed concrete. In: Dhir RK, Handerson NA (eds) Proceedings of international conference on specialist techniques and materials for construction, Thomas Telford, London, pp 173184 16. Quebaud S, Sibai M, Henry JP (1998) Use of chemical foam for improvements in drilling by earthpressure balanced shields in granular soils. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 13:173180 17. Wilde PJ (1996) Foam measurement by the micro-conductivity technique: an assessment of its sensitivity to interfacial and environmental factors. J Colloid Interface Sci 178:733739 18. Siva Ranjani GI, Ramamurthy K (2008) Analysis of the foam generated using surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate. Int J Con Str Mat (under review) 19. ASTM C 796 (2004) Standard test method for foaming agents for use in producing cellular concrete using preformed foam. American Society for testing and materials 20. Defence Standard 42-40 (2002) Foam liquids, re extinguishing (concentrates, foam, re extinguishing). Ministry of Defence, UK, issue 2 21. Montgomery DC (2001) Design and analysis of experiments, 5th edn. Wiley, New York 22. Myers R, Montgomery DC (2002) Response surface methodology. Wiley, New York 23. SAS Release 8.02 (1999) SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA 24. ASTM C 869-91 (2004) Specication for foaming agents used in making preformed foam for cellular concrete. American Society for testing and materials

generation pressure and decreases with an increase in surfactant concentration up to a dosage of 4%. For the non-ionic surfactant cocodiethanolamide, the initial foam density increases with an increase in surfactant concentration at lower foam generation pressure with a reverse trend at higher foam generation pressure. Also at higher surfactant concentration, the foam density decreases with an increase in foam generation pressure unlike ionic surfactants. The effect of surfactant concentration has relatively lesser effect on foam density for sodium lauryl sulfate and sulfanol irrespective of foam generation pressure adopted. The drainage is proportional to the initial foam density for all the surfactant concentration for ionic surfactants at different foam generation pressures. For all the four surfactants under the optimum foam generation pressure a stable foam with drainage less than 12% in 300 s (by considering economy as a factor) is achieved. From the foam stability test based on ASTM C 796-97, it is observed that all the four surfactants are suitable for use in foamed concrete production when optimized foam production parameters are adopted.

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