Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

9-11 Rescue Crews Could Have Used Waterjet Technology To Cut Through Rubble And Fight Fire

Date:
September 3, 2002
Source:
University Of Missouri-Rolla
Summary:
In the aftermath of last year's terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla are developing a waterjet system to more effectively cut through rubble and extinguish fires that may lie smoldering beneath the rubble.

ROLLA, Mo. -- In the aftermath of last year's terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla are developing a waterjet system to more effectively cut through rubble and extinguish fires that may lie smoldering beneath the rubble.

Dr. Anuj Gupta, associate professor of geological and petroleum engineering, and other researchers at UMR's High Pressure Waterjet Laboratory have developed a waterjet drilling system that sprays a narrow stream of water at such force that it can slice through steel, concrete and most other construction materials without disturbing the rubble surrounding the hole.

Using a waterjet, rescuers can find out what is underneath all that rubble and debris.

"A waterjet does not work like a mechanical drill. There is no pushing or force involved," says Gupta. "Instead, a stream of high-pressure water mixed with an abrasive, such as sand, cuts a hole that is truly straight, regardless of the material it hits."

While UMR researchers have used waterjets in the past to cut through rock, dig through hazardous waste and wash away land mines, they hadn't considered waterjets as a rescue and firefighting tool until after last September's terrorist attacks.

"None of us here at UMR thought about using the waterjet for this purpose until after Sept. 11," says Gupta. "Most of the technology has been around; we just hadn't thought of applying it to this until now. It forced us to think about how we can deal with something like this in a more efficient way."

Gupta and a team of UMR researchers found that a waterjet can create a tunnel approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter, go hundreds of feet straight through the rubble to the area of interest. After this hole is made, the waterjet can be removed and a camera can be sent in to survey the damage and check for survivors.

For firefighting operations the waterjet can then be placed back in the hole and used to deliver water to the hottest part of the fire.

"They were spraying a lot of water on top of the rubble (following the World Trade Center collapse), yet all that rubble tends to guide the water away from the heart of the fire, much like a gutter does. It does not necessarily go where you want to it to go," says Gupta.

With the concentrated stream of a waterjet, however, "You are not just throwing all that water around, but you are really pointing it at where you really need it," says Gupta.

Using waterjets would also be safer for firefighters. Firefighters can be put in less danger since the waterjet machine can be controlled remotely at some distance away from the fire or unstable structure.

Looking back at the events that took place on and following Sept. 11, Gupta says, "I think if this technology had been around, the fire could have been extinguished much faster."

Waterjets are used to make a variety of products. For example, a waterjet cuts the carpet in most cars because it cuts so fast, is sterile, and is less expensive than other methods. Other uses include locating and neutralizing land mines, cutting cardboard and making candy bars, frozen foods and aircraft components.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri-Rolla. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri-Rolla. "9-11 Rescue Crews Could Have Used Waterjet Technology To Cut Through Rubble And Fight Fire." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020903071213.htm>.
University Of Missouri-Rolla. (2002, September 3). 9-11 Rescue Crews Could Have Used Waterjet Technology To Cut Through Rubble And Fight Fire. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020903071213.htm
University Of Missouri-Rolla. "9-11 Rescue Crews Could Have Used Waterjet Technology To Cut Through Rubble And Fight Fire." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020903071213.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins