Forums > Technical Discussion > Fire breathing against glass

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ThumperabbitBRONZE Member
Zebberdy and Jack Daniels
278 posts
Location: Swansea, south wales


Posted:
I have a idea for a photo. My idea is to get a very large sheet of glass, enough to protect a person. I'd like a photographer behind the glass and then I fire breath against is. Can I expect the flames to bounce back at me, or just to lick up the glass?

The only reason i'm scared of little kid's is because I know in ten year's time they'll be mugging me.....


{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
Having not actually breathed fire, but having burnt things against glass... I would say the flames would just shoot up the glass rather than bounce back at you.

But then again, what do i know tongue

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


marcoenthusiast
328 posts
Location: uk


Posted:

Having done fire breathing towards and against unpainted brickwork, there was a technical reason for doing this at the time related to photography, anyway bottom line then is that most of the fireball will tend to travel upward, while some will be reflected back, and also the tendency for the fire to travel back down the vapour trail is magnified somewhat.

As for firebreathing against glass, large sheet or otherwise and I have thought about this for the same reasons actually, the main concern would be the heat effect on the glass, breakage etc.

mark

FIREBOY4209SILVER Member
The lone Fire Spinner
236 posts
Location: Channel islands Jersey UK


Posted:
I don't know what affect the heat of the flame would have on the glass confused
Try asking your local fire service as there are some clear heat/fire proof plastics which the fire service use (i.e. visors of their helmets are made from)
As for the risk of the flame bouncing back most of it should travel upwards but try having the sheet of glass(or plastic) at an angle from you that way if the flame did bounce of the sheet it should bounce of in a different direction than where your standing.
ubbidea Or try angling it so the sheet faces upwards this should allow the fire to dissipate a lot easier.
Hope this helps biggrin

To play it safe is not to play


darkpoetBRONZE Member
Irish
525 posts
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA


Posted:
heat+glass can make it explode in a very violent way under the right conditions..most especially if its a cold day....just my 2c

Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


MikeIconGOLD Member
Pooh-Bah
2,109 posts
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA


Posted:
Besides the glass possibly breaking, and perhaps some wind difficulties, you should have no problems. I say go for it... Just wear some eye protection.

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me


ducky2108A little bit of a board whore
147 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
If glass experiences a sudden increase or decrease in temperature, then it may explode. It's to do with the fact that hot/ cold things want to expand/contract, and a sudden change means the glass can't do it fast enough, so will fracture. If it's a sudden coolling, then it normally just fractures. Sudden heating however would more likely explode, as the glass wants to expand rather than contract.

Definitely ask the fire department, or someone who knows more about these things than some random people on the forum who are just guessing (no offence, but I'm assuming you're all guessing). I've got the scars from a glass explosion, and I've still got a bit of glass in my arm. I can tell you it wasn't pleasant, and I got off lightly. I can put the pic in my profile if anyone wants to see.

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"


Sporkyaddict
663 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
I've done it and the effect is basically as marco described. We did heat the glass so that it minimised the risk of it exploding on us and wore protective goggles and clothing. I have also acidentally fire breathed against a bus window as well without anything happening (the bus accidentally drove through the performance area in the car park where we were performing) so I thing the shatter resistant glass has a higher tollerence to heat than normal glass but don't hold me to that (I'm not going to try and test that).

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't


GnorBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
5,814 posts
Location: Perth, Australia


Posted:
Written by: OvertlyFlirtatiousSpork


against a bus window as well without anything happening (the bus accidentally drove through the performance area in the car park where we were performing)




ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol

o look a bus..... eek that the driver hadnt noticed a fire show.

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu


FireSmurfmember
31 posts
Location: Northern Ireland, Antrim, Ballycastle


Posted:
Ive worked with glass making aspecialy Glass for firedoors and chemsafty. As long as your not using thin hardend glass the risk for the glass to explod is minimal. Unse (Float 9mm thick). The heat is simply not enught from one blow. Its disbursed over a much to far big of an earial. (I do firebreathing as well). Just dont let anyone hold the glass And stay up to 1m away. Backdraft is a possiblity as well as tyhe essess liquid from the blow is gatherd underneath or on the glass. If you use harden glass the glass has a tendensy to fly longer when it explodes.

Thomas Bjork
[Fire Artist]
[clown]


Sporkyaddict
663 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
I guess he didn't athough it was the start of a staff routine where I do a fire breath to light each end of the staff.

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't


Wheeemember
33 posts

Posted:
A couple of suggestions:

1) Try breathing just fuel against the glass, that may give you some idea.

2) If you can get hold of one I'd suggest a police riot shield rather than a piece of window glass.

3) Place the camera on a tripod behind the glass and use a remote shutter release.

PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
I did it years ago and honestly, the worst part (other than the obvious cotton-fuel mouth) is the cleaning of the glass.

What I do know is that you might be better off finding a window rather than a pane.

The pane will need to be held up, which leads to alot of other conciderations...the way that air flows over a freestanding pane being a major one, as well as the resistance of the entire structure to heat, not just the glass.
The blow will roll up the glass, and thus does produce more heat than one would think. The danger of the rolling effect on a pane is that the pane ends, the roll will not. It will unfold over the top of the pane, so whomever is on the other side will need to be prepared..just in case.

The photo's weren't spectacular. They just looked eh to me. We dumped them but kept alot of the other photos from that night.

But only you can decide it for yourself.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


shark_efnewbie
1 post

Posted:
you'd prolly get a better result with a non glass, like lexan or whatever they make safety shields with, then you wouldn't have that problem of shattering.

NeserGOLD Member
member
63 posts
Location: North Queensland, Australia


Posted:
When doing some coloured flame tests in a fume cabinet (it has glass walls for viewing), the pictures that were taken didnt turn out too well. When it flashed, there was a large and rather annoying glare, and with the flash turned off, with my camera being used, it took a two quick snaps, so the flame effect came out slightly blurred. (Great for flame trails, not so good for a steady flame)



I'm not too familiar with fire breathing, but with regards to photography, [if] in this case where a photographer is wary about getting too close, they should have a good enough zoom to take the picture.



As Wheee suggested,
Written by:



3) Place the camera on a tripod behind the glass and use a remote shutter release.








You could do that...



Though, what effect would you hope to achieve through this 'set-up'? Were you wanting something where the camera is 'looking' up at the fire breathing effect? Or is it merely for a good close-up without fear of hurting the photographer?



Written by: Pele







I did it years ago and honestly, the worst part (other than the obvious cotton-fuel mouth) is the cleaning of the glass.






ditto I know the feeling (cleaning, not fire breathing), lol. Its such a time consuming task trying to clean the glass. frown



We (in another experiment) ended up using some chemicals to clean it off, cant remember what exactly though.



~ Neser

Fuel your fascination, burn your desire and dance with flames


CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Posted:
What's the acual end result required which requires the glass to be used?

If you want a close up shot of any fire shot (this includes staff burnoffs and firewhips etc) without gettign fuel on the camera, then consider a decent zoom lens and get the photographer to stand back.

Is there a specific result you expect to achieve with the glass, or was it simply the close proximity of the camera?

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?


bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere


Posted:
when do we get the jokes about Glass not really appreciating being breathed against, and sulking?

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
once at a party my friend had a guy threw raw sausages onto a window and they stuck, so then he got some areosol and a lighter and cooked it onto the window. it was hilarious for a while, but then the whole window cracked and scared the sheet out of everyone. good memories tho smile

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


ThumperabbitBRONZE Member
Zebberdy and Jack Daniels
278 posts
Location: Swansea, south wales


Posted:
I'm hoping the end result to be a very nice "Wall of flames" effect. I will find a good quality zoom camera to use, for the safety of my photo taking girlfriend biggrin.

The only reason i'm scared of little kid's is because I know in ten year's time they'll be mugging me.....


Invader XanSILVER Member
Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
479 posts
Location: Over the hills and far away, United Kingdom


Posted:
FYI, it's called "Thermal Shock". Cool name, huh? biggrin
What that means is -- heat it too quick and it'll crack. It happens because the ouside expands while the inside doesn't and glass, being glass, tends to break under stress (and when it breaks, it breaks in a big way).


What that means for you:

1) You could try pre-heating the glass.
Perhaps mount a couple of space heaters either side to get the glass up to a nice toasty temperature. This is tricky though, because a lot will depend on the thickness and the type of glass.

2) Use laminate glass or 'sugar glass'.
The stuff they use in car windscreens. It's designed so that even if it shatters, it'll shatter in a small and crumbly way rather than a big sharp cutty spikey kind of way. Nicknamed 'sugar glass' because it breaks into little sugar grain kinda things that you see by the roadside in dodgy neighbourhoods. tongue

3) Use boron glass (Pyrex).
Pyrex and similar glasses contain things like boron. I won't go into details. Suffice to say it doesn't go into thermal shock. Oven dishes are made of this kind of glass. The trouble is, finding a sheet of it might be difficult.

4) Pray
Well... not exactly. smile But glass doesn't conduct heat very well. There's a possibliity that a small fireball wouldn't heat the glass quickly enough for it to expand. A short blast ( a second or so) might be ok. But don't quote me on that.



A lot of info - not all of which you need - sure, but if it helps you avoid death of serious injury, I hope you find it helpful. And dude, if you pull this trick off, I really want to see the photos! cool

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky


Invader XanSILVER Member
Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
479 posts
Location: Over the hills and far away, United Kingdom


Posted:
Oh, and BTW, I'm a Materials Chemistry grad so I'm fairly savvy with these things. =P

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky


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