LaVerne L. Poussaint

Plutonic Research & Knowledge Teams Intl. [PRAKTI], DeepMed Library unit

Despite advances in thermography, the evolution of nanophotonics, and state-of-the-science hyperspectral imaging, current conventions of standard-issue Thermal Infrared Cameras {TICs} typically employed by in situ first responders resolve images of the electromagnetic/optical spectral band only between ~7 μm  to 15 μm {long} and 2.5 μm to 6 μm {short} wavelengths with specification parametres for temperature sensitivity generally calibrated at ~0.035°C. Such imaging paradigms of the past are woefully inadequate in meeting fire service challenges when considering the ubiquity, extreme intermolecular volatility, and unique nanoparticle reactivity of advanced functional materials {such as in building construction} which modern firefighters routinely encounter.

It is an abject failure of the fire service industry that frontliners have not the mobile means to capture nanothermodynamic constituent elements of fine particles (~100 - 2500 nm), much less ultrafine particles (~1 - 99 nm) such as beryllium (~20-60 nm); cannot isolate high heat signatures of nanoblast flash arcs; cannot decipher emergent behaviour of lateral burn pattern scattering which do not mimic the V-pattern of organic materials fires; do not account for peculiarities of flame physics of polymer nanoplastics nor particularities of nanopollution effluence. Today’s TICs leave firefighters vulnerable to propagation speeds and direction of heat flow of self-oxidising molecules traversing minute distances between components {contributing to swift fire acceleration}. Work-a-day TICs do not scan for deviation processes and deformation patterns of swiftly changing states of charge distributions of nanoelectrons freed from crystalline lattices and cannot discern nanotoroidal deformations, flame trajectory, density fluctuations, nano-scaled threshold temperatures  of vapours, inter-state phases of multi –scale, nonlinear nanophenomena, crystallization, sublimation, evaporation, condensation, dynamic re-configuration of nanoaggregates, aerodynamic distribution of nanopowders, and charge accumulation of nanodust dispersion.

Under such uncertain conditions, fire combatants still enter dutifully into perilous ambient atmospheres as ill-equipped shadowboxers going up against pyrophoric particulate instability prone to re-suspension; explosibility of auto-ignitable nanodusts at energy levels below 1mJ; nanogas explosions at temperatures exceeding 600 °C; interactive combustibility of nanohybrids which, unlike organics, enter transition well before ~10 µm; non-linear behavioural complications of condensed solid/liquid/gas/vapour phase transitions; electrostatic sparks collision and mechanical friction; aperiodically-arranged nanoclusters; thermochemical decomposition of agglomerate and aggregate shells {of, for example, copper nitrate or aluminum iron oxide}; oxidation reactions of metastable nanothermites and their reducing agents {containing carbon and silica components}; pressure-volume of rapidly-expanding gas {ie, aluminum oxide}; pyrotechnic thermates requiring no  external oxygen supply; highly asymmetric forces; variantly reactive residues of incomplete combustion of smouldering nano-energetics; bonding motions of highly exothermic post-ignition reactants; electrostatic deflections; plasma discharge; electromechanical resonance of nanodust diffusion; surge and flow of nanocomposite-induced smoke, soot, and ash currents; rapid fire progression of multi-scaled nano-objects of differing temperatures moving according to myriad physicochemical responses and transferring kinetic energies; latent heat of melting nanohybrids; nanodust gas explosions; thermal expansion generated by dust cloud confinement pressure; and nanomist deflagration.

Increased situational awareness will allow for more immediate finding of primary blast origins and swifter interruption of chain reaction ionic conductivity which give rise to secondary explosions. Towards that end, considered here is an unconventional method of unmasking features of nanocombustibles in order to discover what frontliners’ TIC apparati miss. 


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