Dousing Flames With Low-frequency Sound Waves

Dousing Flames With Low-frequency Sound Waves image
June 17, 2015 | Source: hysics World Magazine

A new type of extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out fires has been built by two engineering students in the US. Both chemical- and water-free, the invention offers a relatively non-destructive method of fire control, which could find applications in fighting small fires in the home, and the researchers now hold a preliminary patent application for their device.

While the concept of using sound waves to extinguish flames is not new, previous attempts to realize the principle – including efforts by teams at West Georgia University and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – had not been successful. Undeterred by this, as well as initial scepticism from their peers and faculty, Seth Robertson and Viet Tran – both final-year undergraduates at George Mason University in Virginia, US – elected to explore the concept, developing a series of prototype sonic extinguishers for a research project.