Fighting fires with music: US government scientists use high powered speakers to put out flames

By Mark Prigg

PUBLISHED: 05:37 EST, 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 09:20 EST, 18 July 2012

It could give your music collection a whole new lease of life – as firefighting accessories.

American government researchers have succeeded in putting out fires using just a pair of speakers.

Scroll down for video

The DARPA team today revealed video footage of their unique experiment.

In the video, two speakers are placed on either side of a fuel source.

speakersThe stereo speakers that can put of fires: DARPA’s experiment in action

As the volume is turned up, the sound increases air velocity, which disrupts the flame.

As the velocity goes up, the flame boundary layer, where combustion occurs, thins, making it easier to extinguish the flame.

It also causes higher fuel vaporization, which increases the flame’s area while dropping its temperature. That thinning causes a problem in the combustion process, causing the flame to go out.

The researchers believe the technique could eventually be used to fight fires in confined spaces such as onboard ships or submarines.

The agency has been experimenting with new ways to fight fires for a year.
Two approaches were selected – using electromagnetics and acoustics to suppress a flame.

One of the technologies explored was a hand-held electrode to suppress small methane gas and liquid fuel fires.

Matthew Goodman, DARPA program manager, said, “We have shown that the physics of combustion still has surprises in store for us. Perhaps these results will spur new ideas and applications in combustion research.”

VIDEO: Watch the experiment!…

Click the link below to view video:

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Posted on July 18, 2012, in Science / Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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