Two Mason Students Use Low-Frequency Sound Waves In Order To Extinguish Fire

Who would have thought that a thumping bass may not only light up a party but could also extinguish fire?

Two Mason Students Use Low-Frequency Sound Waves In Order To Extinguish Fire

A pair of engineering seniors namely:  Viet Tran and Seth Robertson at George Mason University in Virginia managed to create a fire extinguisher that operates using sound waves. The fire extinguisher uses low-frequency sound waves to douse a blaze. A big hand for these George Mason University undergrads for inventing the newest and hippest game-changer, the new sound-blasting fire extinguisher.

This started as an idea for a senior research project, and after a year’s worth of tinkering (and spending $600 of their own money), Seth Robertson and Viet Tran created something fully functional, the portable device puts out a blaze in mere seconds.

The idea to fight fire with sound waves came when they were choosing a class project for ECE 492 and 493, Advanced Senior Design, where students produce and present a project for a final grade.

Tran and Robertson’s 20-pound, Flash Gordon-style prototype was born through $600 of their own money and about as many trials. Their sound-wave device is free of toxic chemicals and eliminates collateral damage from sprinkler systems. If mounted on drones, it could improve safety for firefighters confronting large forest fires or urban blazes.

Two Mason Students Use Low-Frequency Sound Waves In Order To Extinguish Fire

Initially, both students thought big speakers and high frequencies would douse a fire.

But it’s low-frequency sounds—like the thump-thump bass in hip-hop that works,” says Tran, who joked that rappers like 50 Cent could probably douse a fire, and that hip-hop celebrity endorsements might be just the ticket to hawk their fire extinguisher.

Sound waves are also “pressure waves, and they displace some of the oxygen. The pressure wave is going back and forth, and that agitates where the air is. That specific space is enough to keep the fire from reigniting. At the right frequency, the sound waves “separate the oxygen [in the fire] from the fuel,” as Tran explained how the apparatus works.

Two Mason Students Use Low-Frequency Sound Waves In Order To Extinguish Fire

Because of their ingenious invention,on the other hand, George Mason University helped the young inventors apply for a provisional patent.

The provisional patent application they filed gives them a year to talk publicly about the invention, to test the market and to determine whether pursuing the patent makes sense,” says Carolyn Klenner, intellectual property paralegal, in Mason’s Office of Technology Transfer, who assisted them with the patent application.

But before applying for a patent, though, the engineers plan to do a lot more testing.

 

 

via Time and Linkis

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