Title:
Firelog that crackles and has a colored flame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An artificial firelog includes combustible particulate material, binder material, a plurality of pellets for producing a crackling sound and chemical additives for simultaneously producing a colored flame as the firelog burns. The pellets are seeds that make up between 1 and 10% by weight of the firelog. The chemical additives are copper sulphate and ammonium chloride. The crackling sound and colored flame are maintained substantially throughout the entire combustion of the artificial firelog.



Inventors:
Chandaria, Ashok (Nairobi, KE)
Application Number:
11/003262
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
12/03/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
C10L11/00
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Primary Examiner:
TOOMER, CEPHIA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SAND, SEBOLT & WERNOW CO., LPA (CANTON, OH, US)
Claims:
1. An artificial firelog comprising: a body formed from a mixture of: a combustible particulate matter; a binder material; a plurality of pellets which are adapted to explode when the firelog is burned; and a chemical additive which is adapted to color the flames when the firelog is burned.

2. The artificial firelog as set forth in claim 1, wherein the pellets make up from about 1 percent to about 4 percent by weight of the firelog.

3. The artificial firelog as set forth in claim 2, wherein said pellets are substantially evenly distributed throughout said firelog.

4. The artificial firelog as set forth in claim 3, wherein said pellets are brown mustard seeds.

5. The artificial firelog as set forth in claim 4, wherein the chemical additives are selected from the group consisting of copper sulphate, ammonium chloride and a mixture of copper sulphate and ammonium chloride.

6. The artificial firelog as set forth in claim 5, wherein the chemical additives make up from about 1 percent to about 3 percent by weight of the firelog.

7. The artificial firelog as set forth in claim 6, wherein the copper sulphate and ammonium chloride are mixed together at a ratio of thee parts copper sulphate to one part ammonium chloride.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a non-provisional application claiming priority from U.S. Provisional application Serial No. 60/590,570, filed Jul. 23, 2004.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to artificial firelogs and, more particularly, to an artificial firelog that produces a crackling sound and colored flame as it burns. Specifically, the invention relates to an artificial firelog having a plurality of pellets distributed throughout the firelog and which produce a crackling sound as they are burned during combustion of the firelog and which also includes various chemical compounds to color the flames as the firelog burns.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Various types of fuel bodies have been developed, most of which are formed of particulate flammable materials that are compressed into a predetermined shape. The particulate materials are combined with various binders that maintain the desired final shape of the fuel body. These fuel bodies may additionally contain various types of additives to enhance burning characteristics. Certain of these fuel bodies, and in particular the elongated fuel body referred to as a firelog, are formed of compressed sawdust, coal particles, or other combustible particulate materials. The particulate materials are combined with the binder materials to form a component mixture that is usually passed through a continuous extrusion process wherein the component mixture is compressed within an extrusion bore and is then cut i nto predetermined lengths to form artificial firelogs. The firelogs are then typically enclosed in a protective outer wrapper.

Artificial firelogs generate a desirable amount of heat and also create an aesthetically pleasing fire. Inasmuch as the vast majority of homes are built with furnaces or other heating appliances, artificial firelogs are desired for their aesthetic qualities to a greater extent than for their heat generation qualities. As such, much of the design and development efforts employed in producing firelogs are focused on the final aesthetic qualities of the artificial firelog. While various firelogs have achieved limited success with the aesthetic qualities they provide, such firelogs have not been without limitation. The artificial firelogs presently available may have additives which provide a scent, or produce some crackling sounds or produce colored flames. There is, however, still a need in the art for a firelog which has enhanced burning qualities such as crackling sounds together with aesthetically pleasing colored flames.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In light of the foregoing, an objective of the present invention is to provide an artificial firelog that produces a pleasing crackling sound upon burning the firelog.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide an artificial firelog that produces an aesthetically pleasing colored flame upon burning the firelog.

Another objective of the invention is to provide a firelog that produces a crackling sound substantially throughout its combustion.

Another objective of the invention is to provide a firelog that produces a colored flame substantially throughout its combustion.

These and other objectives and advantages are obtained by the improved firelog of the present invention, the general nature of which may be stated as including a body formed from a combustible particulate material, a binder material, a plurality of pellets and chemical additives for producing a colored flame.

Still other objectives and advantages are obtained from the improvement of the present invention which can be said to relate to an artificial firelog of the type having a body formed from particulate combustible material and binder material, the improvement including pellets distributed throughout the firelog and chemical additives for producing a colored flame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles of the present invention, is set forth in the following description and is shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended Claims.

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of the firelog of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the firelog of the present invention;

Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the specification.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The artificial firelog of the present invention is indicated generally at the numeral 2 in FIGS. 1 and 2. Firelog 2 is placed on a grate 4 that is preferably located within a fireplace and is ignited by a match or other flame source. Once firelog 2 has been ignited, it burns slowly until only an ash remains. As firelog 2 burns, it generates heat and light and produces a crackling sound and colored flame that are aesthetically pleasing to the consumer. The crackling sound and colored flame are produced over substantially the duration of the burning of the firelog.

Firelog 2 is manufactured by preparing a component mixture and processing the component mixture through an extrusion bore, although it is understood that any of a variety of appropriate processes may be used to form the component mixture into a desired final shape. The component mixture is prepared by admixing combustible particulate material with an appropriate binder and desired additive materials. In the preferred embodiment, the combustible particulate material is wood chips, pulverized coal, nutshells, or other particulate combustible material of the type known and understood in the relevant art. It is preferred that the combustible particulate material also comprise materials that are readily available and inexpensive and are most preferably a waste product such as sawdust.

The binder material is any one of a variety of known combustible materials such as various slack waxes, oils, or molasses, although other appropriate binder materials known and understood in the relevant art may be used without departing from the spirit of the present invention. While it is preferred that the binder material be combustible, it is understood that appropriate non-combustible binders may be used in certain applications without departing from the spirit of the present invention so long as they do not interfere with the proper combustion of firelog 2. As is understood in the relevant art, it is most typically preferred that the component mixture include only so much of the binder as is required to maintain the desired final shape of the combustible particulate material and pellets 6, although quantities of binder material in excess of this may be appropriate in certain circumstances depending upon the particular needs of the application and the desired final burning characteristics of firelog 2.

In accordance with the present invention, additive materials may be included in firelog 2 to enhance the firelog's burning characteristics. Pellets 6 are added to produce a crackling sound as the firelog 2 burns, the additive materials of the present invention include a quantity of pellets 6. Pellets 6 preferably are brown mustard seeds added at a four percent (4%) level based on the total batch weight of the firelog component materials, i.e., the sawdust, wax, binders etc. prior to extrusion of the firelogs 2. Chemical additives, generally indicated at 7, are included in firelog 2 to produce a color flame as firelog 2 burns. In the preferred embodiment of the invention copper sulphate and ammonium chloride are mixed together at a ratio of thee parts copper sulphate to one part ammonium chloride. The mixture of copper sulphate and ammonium chloride are then added to the materials at a three percent (3%) level based on the total batch weight of the firelog component materials prior to extrusion of firelogs 2. The copper sulphate and ammonium chloride produce a combination of blue and green flames as firelog 2 burns.

Pellets 6 preferably make up approximately 1 to 4 percent of the total weight of firelog 2, although pellets 6 can make up lesser and greater proportions of firelog 2 without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Pellets 6 are preferably substantially evenly distributed throughout firelog 2.

A chemical additive 7, is selected from the group consisting of copper sulphate, ammonium chloride and a mixture of copper sulphate and ammonium chloride. Additive 7 makes up approximately 1-3 percent of the total batch weight of the firelog components prior to extrusion of the firelogs. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, chemical additive 7 is a mixture of copper sulphate and ammonium chloride, and chemical additive 7 preferably makes up approximate 1 to 3 percent of the total weight of firelog 2. Chemical additives 7 can make up lesser and greater proportions of firelog 2 without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

In accordance with the objectives of the present invention, pellets 6 and chemical additives 7 are admixed with the combustible particulate material and the binder to form the component mixture in the proportions disclosed above, such that pellets 6 and chemical additives 7 are substantially evenly distributed throughout the component mixture. Pellets 6 and chemical additives 7 are admixed with the combustible particulate material and the binder in a mixing hopper 8 to form the component mixture. The component mixture is then pushed by a screw extruder 10 through an extrusion bore 12 that forms the longitudinal outer surface of firelog 2.

After the component mixture has exited extrusion bore 12, it is cut to desired lengths to form firelog 2. As is understood in the relevant art, firelog 2 is typically then wrapped in a protective wrapper and delivered to the customer. As is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the extrusion bore 12 imparts to firelog 2 a generally rectangular cross section, although firelog 2 can have virtually any cross section without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

When ignited, firelog 2 burns gradually from the outer surface inward over the course of several hours. As the combustible particulate material of firelog 2 gradually burns, the pellets 6 in the vicinity of the burning portion of firelog 2 are heated, causing pellets 6 to explode and thereby make a crackling or popping sound. The crackling sound is produced for substantially the entire burn time of firelog 2. As the combustible particulate material gradually burns, the copper sulphate and ammonium chloride are heated and burn, producing a blue and green flame for substantially the entire burn time of firelog 2.

Accordingly, the improved firelog apparatus is simplified, provides an effective, safe, inexpensive, and efficient device which achieves all the enumerated objectives, provides for eliminating difficulties encountered with prior devices, and solves problems and obtains new results in the art.

In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding; but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art, because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.

Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is by way of example, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.

Having now described the features, discoveries, and principles of the invention, the manner in which the firelog is constructed and used, the characteristics of the construction, and the advantageous new and useful results obtained; the new and useful structures, devices, elements, arrangements, parts, and combinations are set forth in the appended claims.