Centrifugal blowers, especially those found in factories that move a lot of gases and air around, may have played a part in the creation of theatrical fog machines. The blowers have several blades that spin and move air or gas rapidly from a an exhaust pipe up through the roof of the building or into another part of the factory where the gas is used for the production of a product or used as fuel. Early theatrical fog machines used many of the same components and kinetic principles. Here is how fog machine technology and centrifugal blowers are alike.
The Internal Components of a Blower and a Fog Machine
Circulating the air or the fog around inside a blower or a fog machine are the fan blades. In most of these machines, the blades are backward-curved, meaning that the blades arch backward into the airflow chamber. This allows the air, gas or faux fog to be forced out of the chambers at a faster rate, quickly creating a high-volume of fog or a high volume of air/gas. As is the case with both a centrifugal blower and a fog machine, the purpose is to create or generate that high volume of air, gas or fog for the next step in production or a movie scene's special effects, respectively. Both blow hard and fast.
Vaporization and Velocity
Most modern fog machines vaporize either a liquid, such as a mixture of glycol and water, or a semi-solid, like dry ice. The whole process is contained within the machine, whereas the air and gases that pass into an industrial blower are already vaporized or in their natural state. Both have a port of entry for the gaseous matter, and both have an exit point. Both rely on the velocity produced in the blowing components to do the expected jobs, which is to produce enough air, gas or fog for the desired effect or need.
Studying How Blowers and Foggers Work
You can visit an industrial site or a Hollywood movie set that is using fog to see how these machines operate. You could also contact manufacturers of blowers, like the Hoffman blower or Lamson blower, to get a good look at the insides of the industrial machines, and maybe take apart a few fog machines to see how they compare. It might be especially useful if you ever want to work in an industrial setting that uses blowers or on a movie set that uses fog machines.
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