Anyone who has been watching the World Cup 2014 in Brazil will have noticed the latest innovation in the referee’s pocket – Vanishing Foam. Vanishing Foam is a wonderful little breakthrough in enforcing the rules of the game. It is used when the defending team feels the need to build a wall to defend a free kick to be taken in a dangerous area of the pitch. Typically, the referee does two things. First, he marks a horseshoe shape around the ball at the spot from where the free kick must be taken. Second, he draws a line 10 metres from the ball, behind which the wall is formed.

One of the fascinating elements to anyone interested in behaviour management is that not a single player has advanced beyond the line drawn by the referee. Nor has a single free kick taker moved the ball outside of the area drawn. Such a small thing – such a simple thing – and the game progresses faster, with less acrimony from both sides, thanks to a small breakthrough in the use of aerosol spray foam.

Of course, this is not a breakthrough in technology, simply an adaptation of an existing technology to a new application. If anything, there is an air of disappointment that the vanishing foam spray cans rely on environmentally harmful butane propellants. Hopefully by the time vanishing foam is introduced to the the European Champions League in 2014/15, and to the English leagues some time after that, they will have introduced the environmentally friendly spray technology developed by Salvalco.

s. Salvalco Eco-Valves are the results of years of research by the Spray Research Group at the University of Salford.

The Spray Research Group’s (SRG) is part of the Engineering Research Centre at the University of Salford and is led by Professor Ghasem G. Nasr. Professor Nasr is a recognised international expert in spray related R & D and a director of Salvalco.

The Spray Research Group carries out fundamental and applied research to meet the needs of industries involved in all aspects of spray utilization. SRG’s research expertise covers the production of sprays, the structures of sprays and interaction with fluid/boundary interactions, mixing, vaporization and combustion.

The new generation of Eco-Valves from Salvalco demonstrates what can be achieved by bringing together research with design, investment and industry.