Retour au reportage Retour au reportage

© Rita NOHRA/ PPRIME / CNRS Images



Boiling material

Make no mistake: this might look like the caramelised crust of a crème brûlée, but it is actually a sample of plastic decomposing under the effect of heat. More precisely, the image shows the process of nucleation in which the gases produced by the combustion of a polymer collect in bubbles that then rise to the surface of the material, where they eventually burst. By modelling this phenomenon in underventilated environments such as high-energy performance buildings, scientists hope to develop fire-fighting strategies in confined spaces that are both more effective and less hazardous for firefighters.

CNRS Institute(s)

Scientific topics

CNRS Images,

Our work is guided by the way scientists question the world around them and we translate their research into images to help people to understand the world better and to awaken their curiosity and wonderment.