Designed for use in enclosed spaces, the VEM fire extinguisher concept would suck the fire into a vacuum chamber instead of spraying it with chemicals.
In an enclosed space like a spacecraft or submarine, having even more chemicals unloaded into the small area can be almost as dangerous as the fire. As a safer alternative for such environments, the VEM (Vacuum Extinguish Method) relies on suction to pull the fire and burning materials into a vacuum chamber, where the flames are extinguished either by lack of air or safely contained chemicals. The system was created in collaboration with Hokkaido and Shinshu Universities, and could have fire-fighting applications in areas closer to home, such as clean room or operating theaters.
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