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Foam Control & Measurement

Hycontrol is the market leader in Foam Measurement and Control Systems. The foam sensors are designed for the sole purpose of detecting foam in water-based and non water-based liquids.


Foam is a major problem in many biotech and other industrial processes. Typical applications are found within production of food and drink, paint and printing ink, water and effluent treatment and biogas, where the sensors are installed in reactors, evaporators, vacuum cooling plants and aerobic as well as anaerobic fermentors.

Benefits of improved foam control

  • Increased throughput by reducing downtime
  • Reduced product loss
  • Addition of antifoam is optimized and costs reduced
  • Reduced waste and pollution due to foam overflow

Basis foam control

Six frame powerpoint presentation demonstrating basic method of foam control using Hycontrol Foam Control System.

Foam control systems – product range

IMA Sensing® technology for Fouling Immunity

Using the patented Multi Action Sensing Technology “IMA Sensing® technology” Hycontrol sensors are able to discriminate between the residual deposits of foam and product that build up on the sensor itself, and the foam being created in the process. Because of this unique technology, the sensors have high accuracy and reliability.

Effectively the Foam Sensor ignores the inevitable fouling while continuing to monitor the foam. No matter how heavily the Sensor is coated, or how dense and sticky the layer, its unique construction enable it to keep measuring foam throughout the process cycle.

The picture shows a Hycontrol sensor coated in a sticky build-up of foam and product. The measuring current which is shown in red continues to flow only through the foam. The blue line represents the leakage current driven by the guard electrode. This enable the sensor to function as the leakage is measured separately and not as part of the foam signal.

Often it is not possible to prevent material build-up, but the “IMA Sensing® technology” enables the sensor to function reliably despite extensive coating or fouling. To see a short video demonstration of “IMASensing® technology” at work please click here

The photographs left show a Braun fermenter which is coated with product. The close-up picture of the sensor (seen arrowed protruding from the headplate) shows it to be completely covered with material but it was still working when the vessel was opened. The user was so astonished that he took a photograph to send to Hycontrol Technology.

The SureSense Range

StyFoam Control Systems – for use in water based foam applications

SureSense sensorer

  • The sensor rods are available in various lengths and with a wide range of fittings for mounting in all sizes and types of vessels and fermentors. The construction is in accordance with the FDA guidelines.
  • Sensors are sanitary, and SIP steam sterilisable
  • Mounting fittings Flange, DN25, BSP, or sanitary Tri-clamp.
  • A wide range of steriale fittings are available for adjustable insertion length
  • Insertion lengths up to 4 meters
  • Laboratory sensors with insertion length 150 mm, 250 mm and 400 mm
  • Max. operating temperature 150 degC (peak temp.170 degC)
  • Max. pressure 10 bar

The MultiSense Range

Multi-Sense is an exciting new concept for foam and level measurement

MultiSense can measure and control liquid and ignore any foam, or measure both liquid and foam giving separate indications of each. It can also be used to just measure foam level precisely over a wide range in processes where foam level is critical. MultiSense will also detect interfaces between phases in the materials, e.g. liquid and foam or different liquids.

Applications have been found in Bioreactor foam control, Water Treatment level control, De-Inking Flotation Processes, Mineral Recovery, Foam Control on varying liquid levels and Liquid level control.

Understanding MultiSense

MultiSense – a new concept.

MultiSense sensors

  • The MultiSense uses an array of mirco-sensors built into one body with each separate micro-sensor
    measuring the material adjacent to it. This allows very high accuracy and enables a number of
    separate parameters to be measured simultaneously.
  • The micro-sensors detect the interfaces between phases in the material, e.g. liquid and foam or
    different liquids
  • The MultiSense sensor array can be supplied in a variety of lengths and fittings, and with varying
    numbers of sensors depending upon the application requirements
  • Immune to fouling
  • Sanitary construction
  • Insertion lengths from 250 mm up to 3 meters
  • Max. operating temperature 180 degC
  • Max. pressure 25 bar

MultiSense Controller

  • The controller energises the sensor and processes the data.
  • The controller can drive up to 8 sensors.
  • The controller calculates the volume of liquid from the height and the internal diamenter of the vessel
  • Wall mounted, encapsulation IP65
  • Output 4-20 mA liquid level
  • Output 4-20 mA foam level
  • Relay contacts for both level and foam control
  • Although the control panel display is part of the MultiSense Control unit, it may be placed in an
    existing control room by using a special cable.
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