American engineers develop a fire extinguisher capable of extinguishing flames using infrasound

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When a fire breaks out, there are different methods of fighting the flames. Water is the most widespread means of extinction, but there are also fire-fighting foams, extinguisher blankets, etc. New methods are regularly tested to find solutions adapted to each situation. While using water can be effective in some cases, it is not always the best solution.

The ability to extinguish fires with sound has been tested repeatedly by universities and government agencies, but these solutions are generally cumbersome and complex to transport. Two engineers at George Mason University in Virginia, however, have developed a prototype portable sound extinguisher using an audio generator, amplifier and collimator, with which they can focus sound on a specific location. When you want to put out a fire, one of the solutions is to cut off the oxygen supply, in order to smother the flames. This is what this generator does by moving oxygen from the flame area. To achieve this, it uses low frequencies continuously generated in the direction of the flame. This prototype sonic fire extinguisher cost $ 600 and weighs around 10 kg.

This extinguisher uses infrasound to extinguish fires
This extinguisher uses infrasound to extinguish fires – Geeko The prototype can extinguish small flames from a distance. © George Mason University


The first prototype of these engineers worked well with a controlled fire using alcohol as fuel, thus laying the groundwork for the development of an improved system that could not only be used in the home, but also to extinguish larger fires. . Its use could also be useful for fires in space: “Fire is a huge problem in space,” says Viet Tran, one of the two designers. “In space, the contents of fire extinguishers are spreading everywhere. But you can direct the sound waves even without gravity ”. For now, the project is still at the prototype stage.

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