Battelle's Vortex Gun Shoots Rings of Gas

Posted on April 27, 2012

Scientists at Battelle have filed a patent application for Vortex gun, a device that fires rings of gas. These gas rings of ionized air could help firefighters in suppressing smoke. They could also deliver targeted does of pesticides.

Battelle researcher Lynn Faulkner, says, "Firefighters won't go into a building unless they can see their way. So if they could fire a vortex ring of ionized air into a space -- down a hallway or up some stairs -- and clear smoke rapidly, it would really help. If I have a wasp nest high up near the eave of my house I have to climb up there and spray. But with a vortex gun, I may be able to shoot a vortex of air containing the pesticide and deliver it right on target."

The gun could also deliver rings of pepper spray or tear gas for crowd control. An individual in the crowd could be targeted with the Vortex gun. Take a look:

Here is Battelle's description of how their Vortex gun works:

The gun forms vortex rings by forcing air or some other gas at high velocity down the gun's cylinder. The ring forms when the friction of the cylinder wall causes a thin layer of the gas to roll forward on itself like a donut. Imagine a tornado formed into a donut shape. The ring revolves on itself while traveling out the cylinder and it can maintain that stability for long distances. Depending on the size of the gun, Battelle data confirms that a ring vortex can exit a generator at 90 miles per hour and maintain a speed of at least 60 mph for more than 50 yards.
Battelle says the vortex rings are stable even in a cross wind. Vortex guns are not new, but Battelle says it has come up with novel applications for the gun.


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