Steam Effects

Technifex may just be the world’s expert on producing fake fire. Over the past 25 years we have been perfecting the art of creating a realistic simulated fire effect.  The secret sauce, steam.

Quite simply, steam rises naturally as does fire. By definition, steam is the gaseous phase of water which is formed when the necessary latent heat of vaporization is supplied to water at its boiling point. In Technifex’ terms, steam is the process of creating a gaseous cloud from water that can be theatrically lit or manipulated via manifolds or fans to create a special effect. Over a ten-year period, the Technifex team perfected the manipulation of steam using custom manifolds and experimenting with different types of lighting and blower configurations.

Uses of Steam: (If you are a designer here are some suggestions for places to consider the use of steam)

  • Theme parks, attractions, restaurants, casinos, cruise ships, haunted houses
  • Any indoor venue that requires fire but is restricted from using real fire due to fire codes
  • Simulate volcanic eruption, fissures in earthquake, jets of hot gas to appear
  • To support an explosion
  • Steam curtains – obliterate view of next room (great for walk-through experiences)
Shuzou Theater: Custom FauxFire®
The Dorsey Las Vegas: FauxFire®
Movie Park Germany: Steam Blasts
Steam Blast Testing
Leaking Steam Pipe Effect
Large Steam Cloud Testing
Spotlight 29 Casino: FaxFire®
Skull Island – Reign of Kong: FauxFire®

LN2 (Liquid Nitrogen) can also be added to our steam effects to give it some extra volume and a longer lasting effect.

Most Unusual Application of Steam:

Probably our most unusual and challenging use of steam as an effect was for artist Jeffrey Koons, commissioned by LACMA to create a landmark sculpture, to suspend a 70’ replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive over Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, with wheels turning and smoke billowing from beneath and from the smoke stack – suspended 100 ft off ground.  We invented a method of housing a boiler (suspended) to have steam shoot outward horizontally from the smokestack while suspended from a crane.  Unfortunately, the project never got off the ground, quite literally. 

Project Examples:


  • Simulated Fire
  • Simulated Campfire
  • Simulated Torch
  • Steam Blasts
  • Steam Curtains
  • Steam Leaks and Venting Effects


(Products links will open our dedicated Technifex Products site)

  • FauxFire® – Our original linear system that utilizes manifolded steam along with lighting and fans to create the illusion of real flame.
  • Campfire – A circular variant of the linear FauxFire that includes scenic rockwork and logs to imitate a small campfire.
  • Afterburner – This effect comes in three sizes and produces a jet of simulated “fire”.
  • Torch – Can be added to any space to create a smaller, realistic flame.

BACKGROUND – Read more about Steam Effects –

STEAM EFFECTS PORTFOLIO – Full list of Projects featuring Steam Effects –