Ultrasonically dispersed dyed water mists as a substitute for colored powders

Yi Chan Chiu, Wan Ting Hong, Nelson Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Colored powders such as colored corn starch are used in events such as The Color Run to blanket the air and surroundings with decorative color. Their use, however, presents a risk of dust explosion. The fact that such powders are used at events drawing large crowds makes any fire or explosion likely to result in a mass casualty incident. For instance, the Formosa Fun Coast explosion on June 27, 2015, resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. Development of alternatives to flammable/explosive colored powders would eliminate this hazard. We demonstrate as a proof-of-concept that an ultrasonically driven water mist can produce effects similar to those created by colored powders. Food coloring was dissolved in water, and the colored water was subsequently dispersed from various ultrasonic devices and photographed. Colored clouds were formed from the colored water. Colored clouds were visible under various conditions, and color combinations were possible. Possible risks of colored corn starch and water mists are discussed. An ultrasonic misting system is capable of safely replacing colored powders with regard to appearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCase Studies in Fire Safety
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Crowds
  • Dust
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Mist
  • Substitute

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