Title:
Single device to create flame and extinguish flame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A single inexpensive device that creates flame utilizing an igniter that ignites an internal fuel source and a means and methods for extinguishing a flame all integrated into the same said device.



Inventors:
Bloomfield, John W. (Hilton Head Island, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/605643
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
11/29/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
431/340
International Classes:
F23D11/36; F23D5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRICE, CARL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device that creates a flame with an igniter, a fuel source and extinguishing means and methods using gas and incorporated into same the device comprising of: a. an igniter b. a vessel to contain a gas capable of supporting flame c. a valve to regulate flammable gas d. a vessel to contain a gas capable of extinguishing flame e. a valve to regulate extinguishing gas f. chemical agent to neutralize smoke odor

2. A device that creates a flame with an igniter, a fuel source and extinguishing means and methods using pincers incorporated into and an integral part of the same device comprising of: a. an igniter b. a vessel to contain a gas capable of supporting flame c. a valve to regulate flammable gas d. a pincer mechanism to quench flame

3. A device that creates a flame with an igniter, a fuel source and extinguishing means and methods using bellows and incorporated into same the device comprising of: a. an igniter b. a vessel to contain a gas capable of supporting flame c. a valve to regulate flammable gas d. a bellows mechanism to create air flow

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. US60/740,716, filed on Nov. 30, 2005, the entire contents which are hereby incorporated by reference as if presented herein in their entirety.

BACKGROUND ART

Field of Invention

The present invention pertains to a flame extinguishing method as an integral part of a typical “utility” lighter. The instant invention also applies to “pocket” lighters. Said lighters are available commercially and worldwide and are manufactured by a plurality of companies.

These said lighters are universally and basically constructed of the same block components. Firstly, a handle being a vessel or containing a vessel that is filled with flammable low pressure gas. Secondly, attached to said vessel is a valve, variable or fixed, that controls or releases said gas. Thirdly, as a safety precaution various, “child proof” schemes such as dual manipulation or trigger pressures have been employed to meet various worldwide governmental codes and regulations before the valve can become active. Fourthly, integrated into said handle exists a piezio and/or electronic module capable of generating enough voltage to create a spark. Fifthly, extending from the handle body exists a tube of various lengths that is rigid or flexible or pivotal relative to said handle orientation. Sixly, resident in said tube is a electrically conducting insulated wire and capillary tube to transport said flammable gas. Seventhly, at the distal end of said tube when said valve is open and said flammable gas is released to atmosphere and said electronic module is triggered said spark is generated to said tube and the flammable gas is ignited creating a flame and remains a flame at the release to point atmosphere until said valve is closed.

The present invention relates to improving the typical commercially available utility lighter by incorporating means and methods into said lighter device that can also extinguish a flame rendering the means to ignite a flame and extinguish a flame from the same device and from the same point of the device. The means and methods are commercially inexpensive yielding a combination device that is as expendable and “throw away” or “disposable as the current utility lighter is today.

The necessary ingredients for the creation and continuance of fire is combustible fuel, oxygen and heat. By eliminating any one of those components the flame will extinguish. A convenient method to extinguish a flame by a human is to simply, “blow” it out. This method requires no tools or compounds.

This common act of “blowing” results in two events of which either one can extinguish the flame individually or a combination of those events whose ratio is unimportant to accomplish the extinguishing.

    • 1. Event (1), is that the human exhalation of CO2 lowers the immediate area of available oxygen necessary to support flame.
    • 2. Event (2), is that the physical force of human exhalation disrupts the flame's boundary layer and cools the fuel to the level flame is no longer sustainable.
      As previously stated, three ingredients to support flame are:
    • 1. Fuel
    • 2. Oxygen
    • 3. Heat
      Event (1) reduces oxygen and Event (2) reduces heat. Either one of these events in sufficient amounts will extinguish flame. Also, a combination of Event (1) and Event (2) regardless of ratio, but in sufficient amounts will extinguish flame.

Humans have “blown” out candles and other small controlled flames for centuries. However, it is necessary for one's mouth to be within close proximity, (a couple of inches) for this method to be effective. Candle snuffers have been in use for several hundred years. Candle snuffers eliminate the need for blowing and therefore also eliminate the necessary close proximity. Candle snuffers utilize a variation of Event (1) by reducing oxygen. The bell of a candle snuffer restricts the replenishment of oxygen consumed by the flame to the a level insufficient to support the flame. However, candle snuffers are an individual device, sometimes not handy and not always easily manipulated. Human exhalation is the preferred and most popular method of extinguishing flames.

A negative result of human exhalation is the possibility of blowing melted wax onto surfaces. Another negative of mouth extinguishing is the possibility of one with longer hair having that hair falling into the flame and the risk of personal injury. An advantage of the present invention is the additional range of operation. Many candles are placed where the user can easily with the combination of arm length and lighter wand extension light a candle. Typical of said places are higher mantles, shelves, under tables and around bathtubs. To manually blow these candles out one must displace said candles and position them within close proximity of the mouth. This action can result in spilled hot wax that can be dangerous and soiling. The ability to extinguish at the same distance that one ignites is novel and advantageous.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention declares methods and means to extinguish candles or other small, desired and controlled flames that is part of and embodied in conventional and popular lighters. Some lighters are utilize stored fuel. Those fuels can be butane or other low pressure combustible liquids and gases that are released by valves and delivered via capillary tubes. Others are combustible liquids that wick up a suitable material to be presented to atmosphere. Igniting methods include mechanical sparking of materials capable and possessing those attributes that produce sparks such as flints or similar compound derivatives. Other igniting methods include electronic excitation to cause a high voltage sufficient to result in a physical spark between electrodes. All of these methods and means are well known and are produced as “lighters” by the billions, annually, worldwide. They are produced in a variety of shapes, colors, lengths, sizes, child proof mechanisms and schemes, designs and combinations with other art.

One method and means to extinguish a flame with a chemical compound that reduces the available oxygen around the flame to a level that is insufficient to support the flame. The compound can either possess attributes that replace available oxygen or chemically bind available oxygen and thereby reducing said oxygen to an insufficient level to support the flame. These various and commercially available compounds may be found in several forms. One form may be that of liquids under low pressure that evaporate to a gaseous state when released to atmosphere. The release of the gas may extinguish the flame by one or combination of both of the two methods previously outlined. That is, (1) reduce available oxygen; (2) disrupt the flame boundary layer and cool the fuel.

The extinguishing gas is stored in a vessel integrated into the lighting device. The storage vessel may be in the handle as is the butane in standard lighters. It may be adjacent to or imbedded in the handle and the extension wand. The delivery of the gas to the flame area is controlled by means of a valve. Said valve may be a separate valve operated by a trigger or a button or other digitally and manually activated means. The same igniting trigger or mechanism may be used by means of a switching mechanism that switches to the desired function. Said valve or valves and operative means is part of the lighter device. The delivery from the valve may be via a capillary tube extending to the end of the lighter device. Said capillary tube may be separate from the capillary tube utilized for the delivery of the combustible gas or may be the same tube used for the delivery of the combustible gas. Methods and means of complimentary manifolds may be used to determine which gas, combustible or extinguishing, is presented to the wick area.

Chemical agents and compounds exist as prior art to neutralize certain other compounds and when combined mask the apparent odor perceived by humans. The chemical composition of the residual smoke that results from a typical wick immediately after extinguishing is well known. Chemical compounds or agents can be devised to neutralize said compositions. These compounds or agents may be included in the low pressure non-combustible gas storage vessel and released with said gas upon the extinguishing event to aid in reducing lingering odors.

Another method declared is that instead of the aforementioned compressed gas stored in the device handle, the flame be extinguished by ambient air alone. This can be accomplished by utilizing a bellows method where the user simply supplies the force necessary to slightly compress ambient air and channel it via the existing wand to the flame base. Certain levers and possibly springs can facilitate the bellows to return to the relaxed position or aid in the compression. An open to ambient air chamber may be comprised of materials that when relaxed contain a sufficient volume of air to extinguish a flame. When compressed that said air is forced via a tube to the flame with enough velocity to extinguish the flame. A variation of using ambient compressed air to extinguish the flame is to by methods and means of a simple cylinder and piston or ram arrangement. By drawing a piston back into a cylinder the mechanical suction created could also draw ambient air. If said piston is released by force of a spring or other mechanism the air in the cylinder chamber could be directed at the flame with sufficient velocity to accomplish extinguishing. This could be a “pre-cocked” mechanism or a rapid release mechanism similar to the electrical generating devices that provide the spark for lighting the devices today. Instead of a magnet and coil arrangement there would be a cylinder and piston arrangement.

Another method to extinguish a flame incorporated into a lighter as single device is electro-mechanically. Electrical energy stored in a typical battery could energize a electrical coil and because of the resultant magnetic field force a piston or cause a piston to move with the a relative compressing motion in a cylinder with sufficient velocity to create an air stream and extinguish a flame.

Another method to extinguish the flame is to rapidly draw ambient air across the flame. Electrical energy stored in a typical battery could energize a electrical coil and because of the resultant magnetic field force a piston or cause a piston to move with the a relative motion causing a suction in said cylinder. As ambient air rushes into the nozzle to equalize pressure in the suction chamber said ambient air is drawn around the flame with sufficient velocity to extinguish the flame.

Another method of candle snuffing that is prior art is a tong apparatus that when clamped onto the wick quenches the flame. This configuration can be adapted to and built into a typical wand lighter whereas the operator may slide or otherwise manipulate mechanisms to advance said tong to the flame and clamp onto the wick. Another method similar to the immediate tong quencher would be to incorporate into or onto the typical wand lighter a traditional snuffer bell. The bell could be stored within the body housing or nested adjacent to it and extended to the wand end when desired and extinguishing. The operation of extension and retraction can be accomplished with simple mechanical slides, levers, tracks, springs triggers and other known prior art.

The described said invention with all the associated attributes and methods is also suited for pocket lighters. A dual chambered vessel can contain on one side a low pressure flammable liquid and on the other side a low pressure non-flammable liquid. Typical of present day pocket lighters the flammable liquid surrenders to a gaseous state when vented to atmospheric pressures. This gas is valved and ported and ignited by various means to produce flame. This is known prior art. This invention combines the two stated functions of a lighting device and an extinguishing device in the same handheld device. Thusly and conversely, the non-flammable liquid stored in said universal housing also surrenders to a gaseous state when vented to atmosphere and is also ported and valved to the tip of said housing to extinguish flame. Double acting triggers, separate triggers combined ports and valves or individual ports and valves all are in this instant invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more obvious and better understood by reference to the following descriptions taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 an orthographic view with a “button” adaptation for extinguishing.

FIG. 2 an orthographic view utilizing the lighting trigger as the adaptation for extinguishing.

FIG. 3 an orthographic view utilizing an electrically driven plunger as the forced air source positive extinguishing.

FIG. 4 an orthographic view utilizing an electrically driven plunger as suction air source.

FIG. 5 an orthographic view utilizing bellows as forced air source.

FIG. 6 an orthographic view utilizing a pincer mechanism to snuff a flame.

FIG. 7 section views

FIG. 8 an orthographic view utilizing the instant invention means and methods in a “pocket” lighter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

There exists a myriad configurations of “child proofing” and “triggering” schemes in utility lighters. Many involve pressing, twisting, squeezing and other manipulations to allow the lighter to light. What is shown is this embodiment is a simple “example” and not intended to be the invention. Also, the physical relationship between the components as depicted is not necessarily the only relationship but is represented as one of many typical ways the instant invention can be incorporated.

FIG. 1 describes the internal components of a typical utility lighter with the instant invention included. The shell housing 1 provides a grip and a platform for the components. In the handle 1 is various vessels one of which is a low pressure vessel 2 containing a flammable gas. The other vessel which part of the object of the present invention is a low pressure vessel 3 containing a flame extinguishing gas. Housing 1 is attached to a tubular extension 1a which house the capillary tubes which delivers the flammable gas 1a and the extinguishing gas 3b. In a typical utility lighter operation the user grips the housing 1, manipulates the child proof mechanism 4, squeezes the trigger 5. The trigger the through various energy transfer mechanisms 6 open the flammable gas valve 7 to release gas into the capillary tube 2a and also initiates the pressure to cock the piezio spark igniter 9. As the flammable gas travels to the distal end of the tube 1a the igniter fires and electricity is carried to the distal end of 1a via wires 10 and produces a spark thereby igniting the flammable gas and producing a flame. This flame is maintained as long as the trigger is held closed and gas is allowed to travel down capillary tube 2a.

The present invention is to include means and methods to extinguish a flame using the same lighting device. This action is accomplished in FIG. 1 by pressing button 11 and thereby opening valve 12 and releasing an extinguishing gas from vessel 3 and allowing said gas to travel to the distal end of 1a via capillary tube 3a and smothering the flame and/or disrupting the boundary layer of the fuel sufficient enough that fire is no longer supportable. FIG. 7 in Section A-A shows a possible relationship between flammable gas vessel 2 and extinguishing gas vessel 3. View B shows the ends of the capillary tubes 3a and 2a at the distal end of tube 1a and open to atmosphere.

FIG. 2 depicts a configuration whereby an individual button is not utilized but the same trigger that is used to light now becomes the mechanism to extinguish. For this instance, if the child proofing button 4 is not pushed, the various mechanisms 6 will not allow the flammable gas valve 7 to open and also prevents the igniter 9 from being cocked. However the trigger is mechanically attached to the extinguishing gas valve 12 allowing it to open and thereby accomplishing the same chain of events as just previously described.

FIG. 3 depicts an electrically driven plunger 17. Battery 14 is electrically connected to switch 19 which is coiled upon pressure on button 11. When switch 19 is closed electric current is allowed to flow through wire coil 16 creating a magnetic field. Plunger 17 is a ferrous metal type and is driven forward as the arrow depiction indicates forcing air through capillary tube 13 and out distal end 3a to extinguish a flame.

FIG. 4 depicts an electrically driven plunger 17. Battery 14 is electrically connected to switch 19 which is coiled upon pressure on button 11. When switch 19 is closed electric current is allowed to flow through wire coil 16 creating a magnetic field. Plunger 17 is a ferrous metal type and is driven backward as the arrow depiction indicates creating a vacuum and sucking air through distal end 3a and capillary tube 13. When the distal end of 1a is close enough to a flame the rushing air into 3a is drawn across said flame to extinguish.

FIG. 5 depicts a bellows apparatus 20 that when “squeezed” by hand with enough force and rapidity forces air through capillary tube 13 to distal end 3b and thusly extinguishing a flame.

FIG. 6 depicts a pincer arrangement at the distal end of tube 1a. With the “child Safety” button 4 not activated and when trigger 5 is pressed wire 24 is wound around drum 26 a rides over idle pin 25 to close pincers 23. In FIG. 3, Section C-C it is shown that when wire 24 has force upon it in the direction depicted the pincer arms 23 rotate about pin 27 and close. This said closure upon the wick of a lighted candle will quench the flame. FIG. 7, Section C-C depicts the pincer scissors action.

FIG. 7 in Section A-A shows a possible relationship between flammable gas vessel 2 and extinguishing gas vessel 3. View B shows the ends of the capillary tubes 3a and 2a at the distal end of tube 1a and open to atmosphere.

FIG. 8 depicts the invention means and methods incorporated into a “pocket lighter. The external general housing 30 is the outer walls of the two vessel inside that are constructed by said housing 30 and divided by structure 31. Vessel 32 contains flammable low pressure gas. Vessel 33 contains low pressure extinguishing gas. The valve 36 controls the flammable gas and valve 41 controls the extinguishing gas. On both valves there exists a variable control for flow control 37 for flammable and 42 for extinguishing. Also, on both valves exists open/close valves 38 for flammable gas and 42 for extinguishing gas. When thumbwheel 38 is struck it frictions upon a flint 40 creating a spark. At the same time and motion the open/close valve 36 is opened allowing flammable gas to escape to atmosphere and said gas is ignited by said spark. Flame occurs as long as valve 36 is held open by lever 38. Conversely, when valve 41 is opened by pressure on lever 42 it allows the extinguishing gas to escape to atmosphere through capillary stem 44 and said gas extinguishes the flame.