Title:
Artificial Embers for Use in a Gas Fired Log Set
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The artificial embers can generally be used in any gas appliance with a gas fired log set that has a burner and are formed of silicon carbide or alumina. A plurality of the embers are placed loosely on a burner in registry with the flames of the burner in order to produce a simulation of actual glowing embers. The plurality of glowing embers simulates an actual ash bed or coals within the gas fired log set. The glowing artificial embers release a minimal amount of NO2 and CO emissions while creating a more realistic and brighter glow.



Inventors:
Phillips, John (Bear Creek, AL, US)
Lewis, George (Bowling Green, KY, US)
Kirchner, Kirk (Placentia, CA, US)
Frink, Toby (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Talamantes, Albert (Westminster, CA, US)
Aiken, Joann (Bowling Green, KY, US)
Manco, Brandon (Bowling Green, KY, US)
Chaney, Jesse (Phil Campbell, AL, US)
Application Number:
11/668660
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
01/30/2007
Assignee:
DESA IP, LLC (Miami, FL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24B1/18; F24C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NDUBIZU, CHUKA CLEMENT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Arent Fox LLP - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. An artificial ember for use in a gas fireplace comprising: at least one burner having a plurality of gas ports disposed within a gas fireplace; a valve assembly in fluid communication with said at least one burner; a pilot in fluid communication with said valve assembly; at least one artificial log positioned above said at least one burner; a mat member formed of a material selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, alumina and combinations thereof, wherein a plurality of said mat members disposed over said plurality of gas ports; each said mat member having a density of about 0.12 g/cm3; and each said mat member having a thickness of about 0.007 inches.

2. The artificial ember as in claim 1 wherein each said mat member comprises a plurality of fibers, wherein each said fiber has a diameter of about 10 to about 30 microns.

3. The artificial ember as in claim 2 wherein said plurality of fibers welded together.

4. The artificial ember as in claim 1 wherein each said mat member being square in shape of about 1 inch to about 1.125 inches on a side.

5. The artificial ember as in claim 1 wherein each said mat member weigh about 0.0214 kg/m2.

6. The artificial ember as in claim 1 wherein said gas fireplace is vent free.

7. A synthetic ember bed for use on a burner comprising: a burner having a plurality of gas ports disposed within a gas fireplace; at least one artificial log positioned above said burner; a valve assembly in fluid communication with said burner; a pilot in fluid communication with said valve assembly; a mat member formed of a plurality of fibers, wherein a plurality of said mat members disposed over said plurality of gas ports; each said fiber having a diameter of about 10 to about 30 microns; said mat member having a density of about 0.12 g/cm3; and wherein said plurality of fibers are of a material selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, alumina and mixtures thereof.

8. The synthetic ember bed as in claim 7 wherein said mat member having a square shape of about 1 inch to about 1.125 inches on a side.

9. The synthetic ember bed as in claim 7 wherein said mat member having a thickness of about 0.007 inches.

10. The synthetic ember bed as in claim 7 wherein said mat member has a weight of about 0.0214 kg/m2.

11. The synthetic ember bed as in claim 7 wherein said gas fireplace is vent free.

12. A synthetic ash bed for use in a gas fireplace comprising: a burner having a plurality of gas ports disposed within a gas fireplace; at least one artificial log positioned above said burner; a valve assembly in fluid communication with said burner; a pilot in fluid communication with said valve assembly; a plurality of artificial embers; each said ember being formed of a plurality of fibers, each said ember formed of a material selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, alumina and combinations thereof, wherein said plurality of artificial embers scattered loosely over said plurality of gas ports; and each said ember having a density of about 0.12 g/cm3.

13. The synthetic ash bed as in claim 12 wherein each said fiber having a diameter of about 10 to about 30 microns.

14. The synthetic ash bed as in claim 12 wherein said plurality of fibers welded together forming said ember.

15. The synthetic ash bed as in claim 12 wherein each said ember comprises a square of about 1 inch to about 1.125 inches on a side.

16. The synthetic ash bed as in claim 12 wherein each said ember having a thickness of about 0.007 inches.

17. The synthetic ash bed as in claim 12 wherein each said ember has a weight of about 0.0214 kg/m2.

18. The synthetic ash bed as in claim 12 wherein said gas fireplace is vent free.

19. A method of creating an artificial ember for a gas fireplace comprising the steps of: cutting a mat structure into a square shape to create at least one first artificial ember having a first thickness, said square shape is about 1 inch to about 1.125 inches on a side; and manually separating each said first artificial ember of said first thickness into at least one second artificial ember of a second thickness, wherein said second thickness is about 0.007 inches.

20. The method of creating an artificial ember as in claim 19 wherein manually separating each said first artificial ember into said at least one second artificial ember is conducted by a knife.

21. The method of creating an artificial ember as in claim 19 wherein said mat structure formed of a material selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, alumina and combinations thereof.

22. The method of creating an artificial ember as in claim 19 wherein each said second artificial ember having a density of about 0.12 g/cm3.

23. The method of creating an artificial ember as in claim 19 wherein said mat member comprises a plurality of fibers, wherein each fiber has a diameter from about 10 to about 30 microns.

24. A method of simulating a natural glowing ash bed for a gas fireplace comprising the steps of: having a gas fireplace comprising of at least one burner and a pilot in fluid communication with a valve assembly; positioning at least one artificial ember loosely over said at least one gas port of said at least one burner, each said artificial ember has a thickness of about 0.007 inches and a density of 0.12 g/cm3, each said artificial ember is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of silicon carbide, alumina and combinations thereof, generating a flame from at least one gas port of said at least one burner; and simulating a portion of a glowing ash bed when said flame engages said at least one artificial ember.

25. The method of simulating a natural glowing ash bed as in claim 24 wherein said gas fireplace is vent free.

26. The method of simulating a natural glowing ash bed as in claim 24 further comprising the step of maintaining the aesthetics of each said flame when engaging each said ember.

27. The method of simulating a natural glowing ash bed as in claim 24 wherein each said artificial ember having a square shape of about 1 inch to about 1.125 inches on a side.

28. The method of simulating a natural glowing ash bed as in claim 24 wherein each said artificial ember comprises a plurality of fibers, wherein each fiber has a diameter from about 10 to about 30 microns.

29. The method of simulating a natural glowing ash bed as in claim 24 further comprising the step of placing a plurality of said at least one ember intermittently over a plurality of said gas ports to simulate said glowing ash bed.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATION

This application under 35 USC § 119(e) claims priority to, and benefit from, U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/780,259, filed on Mar. 8, 2006, entitled “Artificial Embers for Use in a Gas Fired Log Set,” which is currently pending naming the above-listed individuals as the inventors.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to gas appliances and particularly to gas appliances that simulate gas fired log sets which have a burner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a gas fired log set illustrating the embers of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of a pan burner illustrating the embers of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The artificial embers as depicted in the drawings, function to provide an aesthetically pleasing, simulated ash or coal bed for use in gas fired log sets in gas appliances. The artificial embers may be used in both vented or un-vented fireplace applications and meet ANSI standards regarding combustion requirements for CO and NO2 emissions.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a typical gas fired log set 1 may include, but is not limited to, artificial logs 2, a grate 3, a rear burner 4, a pan burner 30 containing a plurality of pan burner ports 32, a controls and valve assembly 6, a pilot 7, and the lava rocks 8 within either masonry, or pre-fabricated fireplaces, or in any other “fireplace” type setting, whether commercial or residential in nature. Artificial logs 2 are typically, but are not limited to, made of ceramic or concrete. The burner assembly comprises of pan burner 30, rear burner 4, controls and valve assembly 6, and pilot 7 and is fueled by natural gas, propane, and in some cases butane. The gaseous fuels typically burn with desired blue and bright yellow flames for creating an aesthetically pleasing burner flame pattern. Also, in order to market these log sets 1 the manufacturers make artificial logs 2 look natural by such methods as painting the log sets in natural wood tones, split wood highlights, and smoked, charred features. Lava rocks 8, typically made of crushed lava rocks, are placed in front of pan burner 30 and piled on the bottom surface of the fireplace to mimic the simulated natural coal or ash bed. Artificial logs 2 are place on top of grate 3 in an arrangement to mimic stacked natural logs to appear as whole logs or split logs of any desired size, shape, or appearance capable of being manufactured. Artificial logs 2 may also be placed in front of grate 3 and pan burner 30 (not shown) to resemble natural logs that have burned and fell onto the side of the grate. Pan burner 30 is positioned under grate 3 which creates the visual appearance of flames rising up through the front of artificial logs 2. Rear burner 4 is positioned above pan burner 30, however it is placed near the rear of logs 2 creating the visual appearance of the depth of the burner flame pattern. The controls and valve assembly 6 are intentionally hidden from view to maximize the realistic scene of gas fired log set 1. Valve assembly 6 allows for gas to travel through pan burner 30, rear burner 4, and pilot 7. Gas is emitted from a plurality of ports in rear burner 4 and pan burner 30, wherein pilot 7 ignites the gas which in-turn creates flames. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, gas ports 32 are staggered, but are not limited to, across top surface 31 along the front and middle of pan burner 30. The flames are intended to pass through, lap over, under, and around at least one artificial log 2 in order to create a natural burner flame pattern.

Although the artificial logs 2, grate 3, rear burner 4, pan burner 30, controls and valve assembly 6, pilot 7, and lava rocks 8 are shown in one configuration in FIGS. 1, that is merely one representation of various configurations that can be used with the artificial embers 20. There are many useful variations in the combination of size, shape, positions, and quantity of the artificial logs 2, grate 3, rear burner 4, pan burner 30, controls and valve assembly 6, pilot 7, and lava rocks 8 that may be used with artificial embers 20.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a plurality of artificial embers 20 are placed loosely on a top surface 31 of pan burner 30, over the pan burner ports 32. Gas and flames exiting out of ports 32 of pan burner 30, simulate the dancing or flickering flame of a natural wood or coal burning fire. As the flames exits ports 32, they in-turn heat artificial embers 20 and cause embers 20 to brightly glow and resemble a natural coal or ash bed. Glowing typically occurs within approximately one second upon being heated by the flame. Since artificial embers 20 glow variably as the flames move on and off embers 20, the embers 20 will exhibit a flickering effect. This flickering effect closely imitates that of actual embers in a fireplace and adds to the aesthetic properties of embers 20.

Although the pan burner 30 and ports 32 are shown in one configuration in FIGS. 1 and 2, that is merely one representation of various configurations that can be used with the artificial embers 20. There are many useful variations in the combination of size, shape, positions, and quantity of a burner and ports that may be used with artificial embers 20, and which allow the embers 20 to be placed loosely on a burner and simulate actual embers in a fireplace.

The artificial embers 20 may be formed from a material known as Ceramat®. Ceramat® is produced by SCHOTT North America, Inc. Ceramat® is a product used commercially to produce highly permeable, high-performance burners for gas fireplaces and stoves. Ceramat® is normally manufactured as a dense mat structure made up of silicon carbide (SiC) and/or alumina (Al2O3) fibers. The fibers are about 10 to about 30 microns in diameter and welded or bonded together by a CVI or CVD process.

In order to be used as the artificial embers 20 the commercial Ceramat® mat structure must be subjected to a process of de-lamination. The de-lamination of the Ceramat® mat structure is a labor intensive process. De-lamination begins by cutting the mat structure into a plurality of square pieces, each square being approximately 1.000 to 1.125 inches on a side. A cut square is then pulled apart into thinner layers, typically with the aid of a knife or similar device, to a thickness of approximately one fifth of the original thickness of the mat structure. The typical finished Ceramat® ember 20 is approximately 0.0214 kg/m2 in weight, has a density of about 0.12 grams/cm3, and a thickness of about 0.007 inches. The thickness and density of embers 20 allows the flame from a burner to pass through, substantially maintaining the aesthetics of both the flame and ember 20. If embers 20 are too dense or too thick the embers will become heat sinks and will not effectively simulate an actual ember bed in a fireplace.

Ceramat® embers 20 burn cleaner and produce a brighter glow, which in turn translates to lower emissions of CO and NO2 and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance than conventional synthetic ember materials. Additionally, the diameter of the Ceramat® fibers range from about 10 to about 30 microns, which is outside the respirable range. Fibers smaller than 3 microns are considered to be respirable and damaging to the lungs. The Ceramat® product is a chemically inert, non-combustible material. Since the Ceramat embers 20 are made from a non-combustible material they can be used in either vented or vent-free fireplace applications.

An example of the CO and NO2 emissions released during the heating and glowing of Ceramat® embers 20 in one test experiment are described herein. Average measurements in one production unit fireplace, using square shaped embers with one inch sides, resulted in test emissions of: 0.002% NO2, 0.0013% CO for a quantity of six Ceramat® embers; 0.002% NO2, 0.0035% CO for a quantity of twelve Ceramat® embers; and 0.002% NO2, 0.0056% CO for a quantity of twenty four Ceramat® embers.

It is understood that while certain embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.