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Fire Suppression Using Sound?

sound waves
Sound waves could be the next big thing in fire suppression.

New breakthroughs in fire suppression technology are being made by the Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US.

DARPA, a US military organisation, has recently unveiled Instant Fire Suppression – a method of extinguishing fire using sound waves. This is an amazing breakthrough in fire innovation and the possibilities of this type of fire suppression are very exciting.

Research and experimentation has been ongoing in this field since 2008 when the program was first started to explore the possibility of quickly extinguishing small fires in areas such as plane cockpits and ship holds, a major example of the scale of this type of fire being $70million of damage following a fire on the USS George Washington.

Fires in small spaces can quickly take hold and, when there is a lack of ventilation, harmful effects such as smoke inhalation can be accelerated – not to mention the risk of being physically harmed by the fire itself – so it’s important to extinguish fires as quickly as possible.

This new method of fire suppression uses sound waves to suppress fire within an acoustic field. Once an acoustic field has been established around the source of the fire by powerful speakers the boundary of air around the flame where combustion occurs thins making it susceptible to disturbance. This disturbance comes in the form of different sound frequencies which make the flame spread its energy over a wider area thus using the fuel more quickly and causing the temperature to drop. And we know, without 3 key elements – fuel, air and heat – fire can’t be sustained.

Of course, it will be a long time before this fire suppression technology is commercially available so in the meantime we’ll have to rely on traditional fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems which are still both highly effective means of bringing fire under control.

Discount Fire Supplies is an online retailer of fire alarms and other fire safety equipment including fire suppression.

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