Why does a flamethrower not explode?

by lokifenrir96
Tags: explosion, flamethrower
lokifenrir96 is offline
Dec10-12, 11:51 PM
P: 21
To be more specific, why is it that when the flammable gas or liquid is pumped through the barrel and ignited at the end of the barrel, the flame does not spread backwards along the stream of liquid/gas into the fuel container and cause an explosion?

Is it simply because of the high pressure at which the fuel is pumped out? Or is there another reason, or a safety mechanism to prevent this from occurring?

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K^2 is offline
Dec11-12, 01:26 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,470
Two factors. Most important is that fuel in flame thrower doesn't contain oxidizer. It needs oxygen in air to burn. So it can't burn until it is expelled.

Second is that the stream typically travels faster than flame can propagate along the stream. So the ignition point is actually carried away from the operator.
lokifenrir96 is offline
Dec11-12, 01:54 AM
P: 21
Well-explained, thanks!

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