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Fire Syringe Demo NGSS

  • Fire Syringe Demo
    Fire Syringe Demo
    Item #: FIR-150
  • - +
  • Comfort Knob for Fire Syringe
    Comfort Knob for Fire Syringe
    Item #: FIR-155
  • - +
Excellent demo for Gas Laws!

Description

When the plunger in the transparent cylinder is rapidly pushed down over a piece of cotton or paper towel, ignition occurs. This is one of the most impressive demonstrations of the heat produced when a gas is rapidly compressed - the principle of the Diesel engine ignition. Safety Glasses required. Approximately 22 cm tall (~8.5"). (Not appropriate for elementary schools.)

Comfort Knob for Fire Syringe: This heavy duty spherical knob makes the Fire Syringe easier to use. Recommended for anyone who does repeated demonstrations. Also makes a great replacement part.

Read more on our Blog - The Fire Syringe!

Video


Lesson Idea

Download the pdf of this lesson!

When the piston in the transparent cylinder is rapidly depressed using a quick, firm stroke over dry cotton or paper tissue fibers, ignition occurs. The compression of the air causes the temperature of the gas to rise rapidly, igniting the material at the base of the cylinder resulting in a bright flash. This is one of the most impressive demonstrations of the heat produced when a gas is rapidly compressed and is the principle behind how a diesel engine functions.

The Fire Syringe is very sensitive to moisture, so to insure the proper results you should first clean the apparatus thoroughly. No cleansers or solvents are necessary. Simply wipe the piston thoroughly using a clean, dry paper towel. Next, twist a piece of paper towel into a long slender swab, and clean the chamber all the way to the bottom. The goal is to remove all oil from the inside of the chamber. A small amount of oil on the orings is sufficient lubrication.

Next, place a small piece of dry material in the chamber of the syringe. Paper or cotton fibers are common samples. Our personal favorite is cotton from cotton balls. You want only a "thin wisp" of cotton fibers for each demonstration. Pluck it off the edge of a cotton ball and then "tease out" the fibers to maximize the surface area of your cotton sample. Push the sample to the bottom of the chamber with a pencil or other long thin object.

Place the piston into the mouth of the chamber and thread the collar back onto the syringe. Place the syringe on a sturdy table. Get a firm grip on the handle and force the piston straight down, FAST AND HARD. If it does not fire, withdraw the piston all the way until it is loose inside the collar (this allows fresh oxygen to enter the chamber through the small hole in the collar) and force the piston straight down again, FAST AND HARD. You may need to pump it repeatedly four or five times, withdrawing the piston to the collar each time, before you get a flash. This can take a little practice, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't flash the first time you try it.

If you don't get a flash after several tries you may have used up your fuel sample (you may have noticed little puffs of smoke indicating some combustion). You will need to remove the collar and retract the plunger. Use your paper towel swab or pencil to remove the used material from cylinder. The swab will also displace the "used" air from the cylinder, allowing more fresh air to refill the cylinder.

WARNING: Under NO circumstances should you use flash paper, liquid fuels, match heads, gun powder, or any fuels not specifically recommended in the instructions. Such volatile fuels could cause the Fire Syringe tube to shatter. Safety glasses are recommended for use with this product.

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Reviews

13 reviews
Difficult
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Sep 25, 2017
Only one time was possible to lit the flame. The operation is very difficult (As I thought) and iyour hand keeps very tired.
Marco Mantellino
Owner Response: There is definitely a learning curve with this one. The video should help to get it right. If you continue to have difficulty, please call customer service, and we can help you along!

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great
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Nov 14, 2014
THIS IS AMAZING. Great way to show my students the relationship between volume and temperature in real-life.
David Wilson

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instructor
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 8, 2014
Excellent to show students the impact of kinetic molecular theory and Gas laws.
Xavier Aguirre

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Excellent Customer Service!
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Jan 8, 2013
I have been back and forth with customer service for months trying to get this thing to work. Finally figured out that i am not hitting the handle hard enough for the required energy to make it work. Luckily, I have kids who can do it so no worries :) Tim in cust svce was instrumental in helping me figure it out. Great company!
Erin Graham

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Fire syringe
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Nov 12, 2012
Very neat demo. Works very well, and the students like it. Take some time to practice it. Do NOT use any flash paper, and do not slam it too hard or they will shatter. Buy two so you'll have a spare!
Lab manager

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Great discrepant event
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 29, 2012
Discrepant events like this really grab the kids' attention and open up a lot of discussion
Joel Perkin

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Fire Syringe
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 29, 2012
My students were amazed and excited when we used the fire syringe to explain the properties of air compression. I have to admit that at first I had some problems starting the fire syringe. However, after a few minutes with tech support, I became an expert with the fire syringe.
Maurice Leroux

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Great demo
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 22, 2012
This demo always grabs my kids by surprise. It's a great way to show gas laws and get conversation going. I'd give it a '5' except that when I let a student use it, accidentally chipped the base. A bit more sturdy construction might be useful.
Jedon

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AMAZING DEMO
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 21, 2012
We gave this away at one of our workshops and one of our coordinators was so impressed with it, she bought one for her classroom.
Laura Koselak

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Wonderful illustration of Boyle's Law
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
An absolutely wonderful demo - simple, needs next-to-no materials and always works. This set-up is the best version I've seen of it and after using it for a few years now it appears to be indestructible too. Highly recommended!
Michael Edwards

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Disappointed
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
The unit broke with the first trial. The only result was a little darkening of the cotton.
Jeanie Shannon

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Disappointing
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
I was very excited about using this in my class. When I got it, however, it was difficult to get the desired results, and it quickly broke. It was basically a waste of money for me.
Carol

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Teacher
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
Great tool to show Gay-Lussac's Law--increase the pressure by pushing down on the plunger and the temperature increases igniting the paper.
Darrell Ray

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NGSS

This product will support your students' understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*, as shown in the table below.

Elementary Middle School High School

The Fire Syringe Demonstration is recommended for use with students in middle school and older.

MS-PS3-4

Students can use the Fire Syringe Demonstration in an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by temperature of the sample.

MS-PS3-5

Students can use the Fire Syringe Demonstration to construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the motion of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.

DCI/PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer.

When the motion energy of an object changes, there is inevitably some other change in energy at the same time.

HS-PS3-1

Students can use the Fire Syringe Demonstration in an investigation to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.

HS-PS3-2

Students can use the Fire Syringe Demonstration in an investigation to develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as either motions or particles or energy stored in fields.

DCI/PS3.A: Definitions of Energy.

At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as motion, sound, light, and thermal energy.

DCI/PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems.

Suggested Science Idea(s)

MS-PS3-4
MS-PS3-5
HS-PS3-1
HS-PS3-2
HS-PS3-3

Students can use the Fire Syringe Demonstration to show the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. The adiabatic change in the chamber when the plunger of the piston is compressed quickly ignites the cotton threads or paper; Temperature (approximately 400°C) and internal energy of the gas trapped in the syringe went up in a flash of fire.

MS-PS3-4
MS-PS3-5
HS-PS3-4
HS-PS3-1
HS-PS3-2
HS-PS3-3

The Fire Syringe Demonstration can provide evidence for investigations of thermal energy. When two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system, it results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (Second Law of Thermodynamics).

 

* NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.

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