High-powered speakers extinguish fires

start-up-idea-speakers-aMusic could be the latest weapon in fighting fires, with scientists using high-powered speakers to put out flames.


US Government researchers believe the technique could eventually be used to fight fires in confined spaces such as on board ships or submarines.


They placed two speakers either side of a fuel source and as the volume was turned up, the sound increased air velocity, which disrupts the flame.


As the velocity goes up, it causes a problem in the combustion process, causing the flame to go out.


The researchers have 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.


“We have shown that the physics of combustion still has surprises in store for us,” says Matthew Goodman, program manager of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


Goodman says the results could spur new ideas and applications in combustion research, suggesting it could be an area of opportunity for start-ups.


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