Our times demand better solutions to conflict resolution than simply shooting someone. Because of this, police and military interest in non-lethal concepts is high. Already in use are pepper sprays, bean-bag guns, flash-bang grenades, and rubber bullets. At Sandia we got a head start on non- lethal weapon concepts. Protection of nuclear materials required systems that went way beyond the traditional back vault. Dispensable deterrents were used to allow a graduated response to a threat. Sticky foams and stabilized aqueous foams were developed to provide access delay. Foams won out for security systems simply because you could get a large volume from a small container. For polymeric foams the expansion ratio is thirty to fifty to one. In aqueous foams expansion ratios of one thousand to ne are easily obtained. Recent development work on sticky foams has included a changeover to environmentally friendly solvents, foams with very low toxicity, and the development of non-flammable silicone resin based foams. High expansion aqueous foams are useful visual and aural obscurants. Our recent aqueous foam development has concentrated on using very low toxicity foaming agents combined with oleoresin capsicum irritant to provide a safe but highly irritating foam.
Peter B. Rand,
"Foams for barriers and nonlethal weapons", Proc. SPIE 2934, Security Systems and Nonlethal Technologies for Law Enforcement, (29 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.265403; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.265403