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Fire Pistons

Adit and David

A Little Background Information.

Carl Von Linde

Ein Feuerkoben

Rudolf Diesel



Scientists had known for 100 years that

compressing a gas in a closed, insulated space

causes it to get hot. In 1809, French scientist Joseph Gay-Lussac conducted experiments that proved the temperature of a fixed mass and volume of a gas is directly proportional to its pressure.

How Does it Work?

A fire piston works very much like a diesel engine, a piece

of fuel, wood or cloth, is put on the end of a piston and the quickly compressed. The compression causes the fuel in the piston to combust allowing someone to then use it to

start a fire Prior to the invention of the match, the fire pisto

was a common means to light fireplaces in England. Some advantages of using a fire piston are that they can be reused over and over again and can be used to light fires even in adverse conditions--like snow or rain

Lets look at a Fire Piston in Action.

QuickTime and a decompressor are need ed to see this picture.

Now for a Practice Problem.

The makers of a fire piston boast that their brand new model of fire piston can be used to create fires with cotton tinder as a base, which needs a temperature of 407C to ignite. The new model has a cylindrical volume of 9ml and when the plunger is depressed has a cylindrical volume of 0.5ml. At STP, what is the pressure of fire piston once it has been depressed?

Known Information:
START: P= 101.3kPa T = 293K END: P=? T = 680K V = 5 X 10-4 n = Constant

V = 9 X 10-3
n = Constant