Theatrical effects

Cryogenics can be a very useful and convenient utility for theatrical effects in the entertainment industry.
Sudden release of a cryogenic fluid causes moisture in the air to condensate resulting in fog or spectacular steam effects. Combining the cryogenic fluid with water or steam increases the effect significantly.

Steam, fog and smoke effects

Companies like Back Stage Technologies specialize in these cryogenic theatrical effects and include them in the shows and special effects they design. Stirling Cryogenics has several solutions to support this industry. Whether amusement parks, casino’s, shows or theaters. Our liquid nitrogen and liquid air plants produce cryogenic liquids on-site, close to the stage or where the effect is required. This eliminates the need for complex logistics and huge cryogenic storage tanks at site.

A special effect can consume more liquid per shot then the plant can produce at that given moment. Stirling Cryogenics' plants produce cryogenic fluids 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, without operators attention. As the plants have their own storage tank, this is used as a buffer being filled again overnight and in between shows, ready for the next spectacular effect.

Liquid air: totally safe, totally realistic

Together with Back-Stage Technologies, Stirling Cryogenics developed the range of StirLAIR plants which produce liquid air instead of liquid nitrogen. Although liquid nitrogen can create very nice and spectacular effects, it has the danger of asphyxiation (shortage of oxygen in the air that we breathe) which means a potential hazard for the audience. Furthermore any special effect that includes fire, has a risk of being put out by the nitrogen clouds due to the lack of oxygen.

Stirling’s liquid air plants overcome these problems. Instead of liquefying nitrogen, these plants produce liquid air that of course has the regular mixture of 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Therefore the audience, artists or people exposed to the fog effect (smoke) will be able to breathe normally and continue whatever they are doing. When liquid air is used instead of nitrogen, fire effects can sustain during the eruption of the cryogenic cloud.

StirLAIR plants look and operate virtually the same as the liquid nitrogen plants. In order to prevent oxygen enrichment inside the storage tank (due to difference in density of nitrogen and oxygen) all StirLAIR plants are equipped with the unique AirLock system which prevents segregation of the mixture over time, ensuring a constant and correct mixture ratio of oxygen and nitrogen all the time.

View some exciting liquid air and nitrogen and effects:

Theatrical effects


For use in applications as described the following Stirling Cryogenics products may be considered:

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