Electric Fields for Flame Extinguishment
Final rept. Jun-Dec 1991
AIR FORCE CIVIL ENGINEER SUPPORT AGENCY TYNDALL AFB FL
Pagination or Media Count:
The objective of this work was to gain a better understanding of the interaction of an electric field with fire. Electric fields have been known to affect flames this effort was initiated to determine the nature of this effect and to assess the practicality of using the phenomenon for firefighting. A literature search reviewed the theoretical background and preliminary lab experiments were conducted. An external electric field exerts two basic influences on a flame the ionic wind and direct disruption of the chain of combustion. The effect of the ionic wind depends upon the geometry of the electrodes, composition of the flame and the field polarity. We extinguished small diffusion and premixed flames with a high voltage electric field using various electrode configurations. In addition to the ionic wind effects that lead to extinction, an additional effect may be the stripping of charged radicals from the reaction zone, reducing the concentration available to sustain combustion. This effect also reduces the flame temperature, which reduces the combustion rate and may ultimately extinguish the flame.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Safety Engineering