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Device to predict flashover in development

Worcester Polytechnic Institute engineers and graduate students are developing a device that will give firefighters a 20- to 30-second warning

By Aaron Nicodemus
The Telegram & Gazette

STOW, Mass. — If you're an engineer developing a device to predict a flashover, you've got to know if the device is going to work in deadly conditions.

Last week, engineers and graduate students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute placed thousands of dollars worth of sensitive test equipment inside a concrete room at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy burn building. They painstakingly assembled just the right amount of combustible material to create a hot, smoky fire. Once lit, the fire burned at temperatures topping out at 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of watching the developing smoke and fire, the eyes of WPI engineers and graduate students were glued to data streaming into their laptops from the devices inside.

Full story: Device to predict flashover in development

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