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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Sound Wave Fire Extinguisher

We get so hung up on recording and sound reinforcement that we sometimes forget that audio can be used for other things. One of those things soon might be extinguishing fire thanks to the invention that two George Mason University engineering students created for their Advanced Senior Design class.

Viet Tran and Seth Robertson created a 20 pound unit that uses sound waves between 30 and 60Hz to separate oxygen from an object on fire. This extinguishes the flames without using water or chemicals, which means that there's no collateral damage to the surroundings, a huge problem in fires.

NASA is especially interested since extinguisher particles fly all around in the zero gravity of space. Sound waves aren't affected by gravity and are easily directed where needed.

The students initially tried high frequencies, but eventually found that low frequencies worked much better. The design cost them only $600 to develop, as it uses only a small amplifier, power source, oscillator, speaker and a cardboard tube to focus the energy.

What's even more interesting is that the students actually beat the Defense Advanced Research Projects agency (DARPA) to the punch in that it's been experimenting with similar designs without the same success.

The unit is light enough that it could even be mounted to a special drone to reach places that firefighters can't get to. Audio to the rescue once again.



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1 comment:

Firetronics said...

That is a good news. But I still wonder how sound wave can be used as fire extinguishers.

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