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Gas or liquid to adsorb an explosion

  1. Aug 23, 2015 #1
    Obviously we don't have the technology to make this work now but I would like to know how plausible this is as a concept/thought experiment. Basically the idea is to discover a gas or liquid with a very high activation energy (for some reaction) so that it can absorb an explosion or control a fire. This is different than CO2, which I think just deprives fire of O2. I was thinking this could be useful if you're trying to mine some tunnel but you don't want the explosion to reach certain places. you could release the gas in those areas and coat the walls in the liquid and then immediately detonate the TNT before the gas disperses too much. Or you could fill balloons with the gas as a safety measure next to dangerous equipment in some fertilizer factory or something. That way if something explodes it will pop the balloons, which could make the explosion smaller.
    If anybody has any ideas to add or wants to rain on my parade
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2015 #2


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    ... and, that energy then goes where?
  4. Aug 24, 2015 #3


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    Controlled explosions are limited to the explosive material already - all the damage around is done by the energy released from the explosive material itself, and no relevant chemical reactions happen outside. There is nothing to improve - there are no chemical reactions that would reduce a shockwave. You can use physical shock absorbers, but "just let it spread out" is usually a good approach.
  5. Aug 24, 2015 #4
    Heat. What types of materials are best in converting mechanical energy of shockwave into heat and transmit as little as possible of the shockwave through the material?
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