Sound Wave Device As A New Fire-Fighting Technology

Sound Wave Device As A New Fire-Fighting Technology

By Shinji Tutoru

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY, VA, USA. Who would have thought that sound waves could be used to put out a fire? This is based on a project conducted by two engineering students. The device is made up of an amplifier, a power source and a collimator formed out of cardboard. It served as a modest fire extinguisher using a booming bass to put out a small fire.

This new fire-fighting device may be the answer to increasing the protection of firemen particularly in the event of city and forest fires. The 20-pound instrument may be attached to a drone and flown above the fire according to the researchers. This is also very promising especially in space where fires are a big concern. Because there is no gravity, the fire extinguisher’s contents scatter everywhere making it hard to focus on the fire. On the other hand, with the use of sound waves, it would be possible to point it in one direction.

The students behind this invention are Viet Tran, a computer engineering major and Seth Robertson, an electrical engineering major. It all began with a simple concept that sound waves are also mechanical or pressure waves. A good example is a flaming object and the surrounding oxygen. This causes a shock to the matter because of its alternate movement. Oxygen is then separated from the object therefore putting out the fire. An experimental method was done on small fires using sounds with various kinds and frequencies. By doing so, they discovered that low range sounds worked perfectly in putting out the fires.

Up until now, the device has proven that it can be used to put out small alcohol flames. A more intensive research is needed prior to any industrial utilizations. According to the researchers, they are very satisfied with the outcome. Hopefully, it will be effective for larger fires in the future.

Invention Sound Wave Device As A New Fire-Fighting Technology
Organization George Mason University
Researcher Viet Tran & Team
Field(s) fire, fire extinguisher, sound waves
Further Information

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