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FUN: Ideas for Foam Machines

  1. Mar 2, 2004 #1
    I'm thinking of throwing a party in three months or so. A fad that has been getting more popular lately is a foam party. To do this you need a foam machine. Rental for one of these units is well above $100, and sometimes around $400. That's a little pricy for my budget, but I figure that with a bit of makesuft stuff, I could make one that's not only out of household stuff, but I could probably do it better. The boys at MIT have a how-to on making foam, but it seems to me that their machine is very work-laden and wasteful with all the water they spill.

    Problem: I have no idea how a real foam machine works.

    So, the idea I came up with today at work (I'm going to go home and try it soon), was to take an air compressor I have with a trigger nozzle and then with a tube underneath the end of the nozzle going to my source of soap-water. But as I think about, I'm guessing that if I do manage to make it rise up the tube and spray out, that I'll end up just spraying soapy water all over my foam-pit.

    Any ideas on how to effectively make large ammounts of foam with the use of a compressor or wet-dry shop vac?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2004 #2
    I think agitation plays a big part in the creation of foam, like soap in a jacuzzi, or too much soap in a washing machine. so I should think a part of the contraption would need to be a pump, high pressure sprayer, or an agitator of some sort, perhaps a wisk to create the foam.

    Also I think you would need some method of skimming the foam away as it is created.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2004
  4. Mar 2, 2004 #3
    The idea is that I can just let the foam fall out or spray out.

    But here's another idea, instead of an agitator, would some sort of wire or cloth mesh create the bubbly substance?
     
  5. Mar 2, 2004 #4
    I seem to recall that some bathroom type cleaners(can't remember which) use a plastic mesh screen as the end of the spray bottle nozzle which foams the ejected chemicals. So, you may well have something there.
     
  6. Nov 13, 2009 #5
    Having researched this I've found that the basic workings are as follows:

    1) solution is pumped from a barrel by means of a sump pump to a set of misting heads which spray onto a mesh screen such as nylon stocking material.

    2) a high power industrial fan blows through the material creating the foam and expelling it.

    I think the ideal way to construct this is an 18" corrugated plastic drain tube about 36" in length with a fan mounted on one end and the material on the other. The mister heads should be mounted inside the tube about 12" inches back from the material in order to cover it well.

    Now the solution...

    I'm thinking that if you wish to get the best results maybe a dilute solution of non-sting baby shampoo? Basic laundry detergent and some glycerin for staying power?

    What I really was wondering about was adding baking soda to the solution and a second mister inside the tube spraying dilute vinegar solution. It should make the foaming go nuts!

    Anyone who sincerely wants to work on this is free to email me. I'd like to build one too!
     
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