Forums > Technical Discussion > flames from water - a safer fire breathing method?

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brittle
brittle

member
Location: leicester, uk
Member Since: 27th May 2006
Total posts: 131
Posted:recently during a science lesson we were burning vegtable oil and my friend made the mistake of splahing some water onto it the results were massive flames and i had an idea! ubbidea

what if you used vegetable oil on your fire breathing torch and itstead of putting dangerous substances in your mouth you instead just carry on using water

just wondering what you lot think to my idea???


What to do in case of fire??? LET IT BURN!

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kash
kash

Dangerous cynic

Member Since: 22nd May 2006
Total posts: 166
Posted:Nope.



I don't fire breathe, but I did grow up with a fire officer (now retired and doing fire safety consultancy) for a dad, and have therefore had the opportunity to play with the oil and water thing (my dad felt that the best way to teach me not to throw water on a burning chip-pan was to take me in the garden and make me do it.)



When you fire breathe, as far as I understand, you are propelling a fuel, which you ignite a distance from your mouth. The fuel has momentum *away* from you so as it ignites will continue to travel in the same direction; even if it is exploding out wards in all directions, the laws of Physics say that due to the initial motion, you will not get fire in your face (as long as you sprayed it hard enough to obtain a high enough initial velocity).



If you spat water onto an oil fire, the fuel would be initially stationary, therefore, as it exploded the fireball would travel in all directions, including straight into your face.



The fireball from water on an oil fire can be huge. I have seen the burning parafin wax from a melted tea light candle in a small bucket make a 3 foot pillar of flame when a cup of water was thrown on it.



I would strongly advise that you *do not" try this. You might as well cut out the middle man and just set your head on fire.

EDITED_BY: kash (1154865847)


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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Well..
thats the end of that! biggrin

ubblol

Damn good answer there Kash, I was thinking how hot you would have to get the oil to make it ignite. Must be a high temperature, no? shrug


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kash
kash

Dangerous cynic

Member Since: 22nd May 2006
Total posts: 166
Posted:According to Mr internet, veg oil has a flash point of around 600-700F thats about 315-380C, compared to paraffin at 200C. So yeah if you think of how hard it is to light paraffin (takes a little while) it's going to be much harder than that! It will light, think about those fancy chefs who toss a frying pan and make lots of flames, but the oil itself needs to be boiling (boiling point is about 550-600F).
Of course any hydrophobic (water hating) fuel will do the same, including kerosene, petrol etc etc.


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brittle
brittle

member
Location: leicester, uk
Member Since: 27th May 2006
Total posts: 131
Posted:cheers, so its a good job i asked on here before i tried it which i have now decided i wont!

What to do in case of fire??? LET IT BURN!

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Seye
Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK
Member Since: 27th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1261
Posted:It can be done with water - I have a freind who used to do it at house parties.

Put a bit of candle wax on a spoon. Heat it up until it fully melts and ignites and then blow water across it (you still have to get it to a fine mist as you blow).

The heat moves with the water and not with the source of ignition so you get exactly the same shape of flame you do with normal fire breathing.

You do get a fine spray of wax coming off the spoon but its not hot and as its only a tiny bit of wax is not dangerous either.


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kash
kash

Dangerous cynic

Member Since: 22nd May 2006
Total posts: 166
Posted:I guess using a tiny amount of fuel the flames are more "blowable". I assume he's not making 10 foot pillars of flame?

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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:......Ideas begining to ferment........

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ficklampa
ficklampa

member
Location: sweden,stockholm.
Member Since: 6th Dec 2004
Total posts: 81
Posted:it helps if you heat the oil as much as possible before blowing it.

the only thing worth dying for is life itself

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flamazine
flamazine

journeyman
Location: Manchester
Member Since: 25th Apr 2005
Total posts: 91
Posted:The original idea of blowing water over a torch with burning vegetable oil is perfectly safe as you will just put the fire out. The oil is in the wick and not free to burst into a fireball and the temperature is far too low for anything spectacular to happen.

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

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kash
kash

Dangerous cynic

Member Since: 22nd May 2006
Total posts: 166
Posted: Written by: flamazine


The original idea of blowing water over a torch with burning vegetable oil is perfectly safe as you will just put the fire out.  Written by:



I hate to disagree, but I have to. Veg oil will not burn unless it is *very* hot. Adding water to an oil fire will cause it to flare unless there is so much water that it smothers the flame and cuts off the oxygen supply. From my own experience, even adding a fair amount of water to a small amount of burning oil can lead to a flare before the fire is smothered.


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ficklampa
ficklampa

member
Location: sweden,stockholm.
Member Since: 6th Dec 2004
Total posts: 81
Posted:a friend of mine blows with veetable oil.
he preheats it as hot as he vcna get it and still keep it in his mouth and doesn't remove the torch like you usualy do.
try it.


the only thing worth dying for is life itself

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flamazine
flamazine

journeyman
Location: Manchester
Member Since: 25th Apr 2005
Total posts: 91
Posted: Written by: kash


 Written by: flamazine


The original idea of blowing water over a torch with burning vegetable oil is perfectly safe as you will just put the fire out.  Written by: ]

I hate to disagree, but I have to. Veg oil will not burn unless it is *very* hot. Adding water to an oil fire will cause it to flare unless there is so much water that it smothers the flame and cuts off the oxygen supply. From my own experience, even adding a fair amount of water to a small amount of burning oil can lead to a flare before the fire is smothered. [/quote



Just tried it in my yard. Took ages to get the torch to burn so let first lot of oil burn for about 5 minutes to get the torch hot, then blew it out and re dipped it. Still took a while to get burning. Blew a mouthful of water over it, all I got was some angry crackles from the boiling droplets of water - no extra flame at all. I think this is proof that it is a safe thing to try but pretty much pointless.


He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

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kash
kash

Dangerous cynic

Member Since: 22nd May 2006
Total posts: 166
Posted: Written by: flamazine



I think this is proof that it is a safe thing to try but pretty much pointless.





There are a few occasions where I can be pleased that my prediction didn't work out, this is definately one of them. I'm not sure what would make the difference, but you're ok so I guess it's all good.

EDITED_BY: kash (1156285478)


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polarity
polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1228
Posted:As mentioned vegetable oils vapourise and therefore burn at over 300deg C. When water comes into contact with burning oil, it reaches it's own 100deg C boiling point very quickly and explosively, spraying boiling hot water, and more importantly hot oil (even on a torch to some extent).

In addition the oil, when sprayed has a much higher available surface area for vapourising, so a lot of fuel is suddenly burned very quickly increasing the temperature further.

Anything at 300deg C is going to cause very nasty burns, especially a fluid that sticks to skin/soaks through clothing such as oil. Heat causes pain at only 60deg C.


You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.

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