Title:
SMOKE CONDITIONING AND FILTRATION SYSTEM AND METHOD THEREFOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A smoke conditioning and filtration system is disclosed. The system mixes smoke created from a burnable substance, such as tobacco or other herbal substances, with liquid vapor. This causes expanding of the inherent hot gases and moisturizing and cooling of the smoke, thereby creating a more pleasurable smoking experience. The system also conditions the smoke produced from tobacco or other herbal substances by filtering out a portion of the particulates and congeals a portion of the oil contained within the smoke. Furthermore, the system blows smoke from a spout, eliminating the need to put one's mouth on the spout, thus creating a more sanitary smoking experience.



Inventors:
Ruff, Bruce Alan (Chandler, AZ, US)
Allen, Steven Walter (Tempe, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/833109
Publication Date:
02/07/2008
Filing Date:
08/02/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
131/335
International Classes:
A24F1/14; A24D3/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ, CARLOS N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEISS & MOY, P.C. (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A smoke conditioning and filtration system comprising: a bowl for containing a burnable substance; and a mixing apparatus for mixing liquid vapor with smoke created from the burnable substance, the mixing apparatus being coupled to the bowl.

2. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 1 wherein the bowl comprises: a hollow body; an inwardly tapered first end for containing the burnable substance; and a second end coupled to the mixing apparatus.

3. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 2 further comprising a hollow stem having: a first end coupled to the second end of the bowl; and a second end coupled to the mixing apparatus.

4. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 1 further comprising a porous barrier between the bowl and the mixing apparatus for preventing the burnable substance from entering the mixing apparatus.

5. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 1 wherein the mixing apparatus comprises: a base; a top coupled to the base; and a fan housed within the base.

6. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 5 wherein the mixing apparatus further comprises a baffle for regulating flow of the smoke from the bowl into the mixing apparatus, the baffle having a first end coupled to an interior surface of the top and having a second end positioned proximate the fan.

7. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 6 wherein the second end of the baffle is corrugated.

8. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 5 wherein the mixing apparatus further comprises an O-ring gasket for providing a fluid-tight seal between the base and the top.

9. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 1 wherein the mixing apparatus defines an aperture for smoke to exit the mixing apparatus after the smoke is mixed with the liquid vapor.

10. The smoke conditioning and filtration system of claim 9 further comprising a tubular spout having one end coupled to the aperture of the mixing apparatus.

11. A smoking pipe comprising: a bowl for containing a burnable substance; and a mixing apparatus having means for mixing water vapor with smoke created from the burnable substance.

12. The smoking pipe of claim 11 wherein the bowl comprises; a hollow body; an inwardly tapered first end for containing the burnable substance; and a second end coupled to the mixing apparatus.

13. The smoking pipe of claim 11 wherein the means for mixing water vapor with smoke created from the burnable substance comprises: a base for containing an amount of water; a fan for agitating the water to create water vapor, the fan being housed within the base; a dome-shaped top coupled to the base, the top defining an aperture for allowing smoke to exit the top after the smoke is mixed with water vapor; an O-ring gasket for providing a fluid-tight seal between the base and the dome-shaped top; and a baffle for regulating flow of the smoke from the bowl into the dome-shaped top, the baffle having a first end coupled to an interior surface of the dome-shaped top and having a second end that is positioned over the fan.

14. The smoking pipe of claim 13 wherein the inwardly tapered first end of the bowl defines an aperture that leads to the hollow body of the bowl and wherein the second end of the bowl is coupled to a hollow stem that is inserted into a channel defined by the dome-shaped top of the mixing apparatus.

15. The smoking pipe of claim 14 further comprising a porous screen removably coupled within the inwardly tapered first end of the bowl and coupled above the aperture defined by the inwardly tapered first end of the bowl, the screen for preventing the burnable substance from descending through the bowl into the mixing apparatus.

16. The smoking pipe of claim 13 further comprising a hollow spout having one end coupled to the aperture of the dome-shaped top.

17. A method for conditioning and filtering smoke comprising the steps of: providing a bowl for containing a burnable substance; providing a mixing apparatus coupled to the bowl, the mixing apparatus comprising: a base for containing an amount of liquid; a fan housed within the base; and a top coupled to the base; agitating the liquid with the fan to create liquid vapor; drawing smoke created from the burnable substance down from the bowl into the mixing apparatus; and mixing the smoke with the liquid vapor.

18. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of creating a fluid-tight seal between the base and the top with an O-ring gasket.

19. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of regulating flow of the smoke from the bowl into the top with a baffle having a first end coupled to an interior surface of the top and having a second end that is positioned over the fan.

20. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of expelling the smoke from the mixing apparatus through an aperture defined by the top.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to a corresponding provisional application U.S. Ser. No. 60/835,286, filed Aug. 3, 2006 in the name of the applicants of this application.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to filtration devices and, more specifically, to a smoke conditioning and filtration system that mixes liquid vapor with smoke to condition and filter the smoke.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

People have been smoking tobacco and other herbal substances as a pastime for years. Using a water pipe for smoking the tobacco and other herbal substances has also been known. However, those previous water pipes simply draw smoke from a bowl down and through a body of stagnant water. This causes only a very marginal amount of cooling of the smoke prior to inhalation by a user.

Therefore, a need existed for a smoke conditioning and filtration system that agitates liquid and provides for increased cooling of the smoke prior to its inhalation by a user. The smoke conditioning and filtration system allows for conditioning and filtering of the smoke to make it less harsh for the user when it is inhaled.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a smoke conditioning and filtration system that conditions the smoke produced from tobacco or other herbal substances by expanding the inherent hot gases and then moisturizing and cooling the smoke.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a smoke conditioning and filtration system that conditions the smoke produced from tobacco or other herbal substances by filtering out a portion of the particulates and that congeals a portion of the oil contained within the smoke.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a smoke conditioning and filtration system that blows smoke from a spout, eliminating the need to put one's mouth on the spout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention a smoke conditioning and filtration system is disclosed. The system comprises a bowl for containing a burnable substance and a mixing apparatus for mixing liquid vapor with smoke created from the burnable substance, the mixing apparatus being coupled to the bowl.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a smoking pipe is disclosed. The smoking pipe comprises a bowl for containing a burnable substance and a mixing apparatus having means for mixing water vapor with smoke created from the burnable substance.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method for conditioning and filtering smoke is disclosed. The method comprises the steps of providing a bowl for containing a burnable substance, providing a mixing apparatus coupled to the bowl, the mixing apparatus comprising: a base for containing an amount of liquid; a fan housed within the base; and a top coupled to the base, agitating the liquid with the fan to create liquid vapor, drawing smoke created from the burnable substance down from the bowl into the mixing apparatus, and mixing the smoke with the liquid vapor.

The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following, more particular, description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a smoke conditioning and filtration system of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the mixing apparatus of the smoke conditioning and filtration system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the conditioning and filtration system of FIG. 1 with the baffle, fan, and 0-ring gasket shown in phantom lines.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the conditioning and filtration system of FIG. 1 showing direction of smoke flowing through the bowl, the mixing apparatus, and out the spout.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a baffle that is used with the mixing apparatus of the present invention, shown having a corrugated end.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another baffle used with the mixing apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a bowl and stem used with the conditioning and filtration system of the present invention, shown containing a burnable substance.

FIG. 8 is a bottom view of the base of the mixing apparatus, shown having batteries as its power source.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a conditioning and filtration system of the present invention, showing an electrical cord coupled to the base of the mixing apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrated embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals and symbols represent like elements.

FIGS. 1-9 together show a smoke conditioning and filtration system, hereinafter referred to as smoke conditioning and filtration system 10. The smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 comprises a bowl 12 and a mixing apparatus 32. The bowl 12 is dimensioned to contain a burnable substance 26, such as tobacco and other herbal substances. And the mixing apparatus 32 mixes liquid vapor with smoke created from the burnable substance 26.

FIGS. 1-4 show a smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 in the form of a smoking pipe 10a. The bowl 12 has an inwardly tapered first end 14, a hollow body 16, and a second end 18. The inwardly tapered first end 14 is dimensioned to contain a burnable substance 26, such as tobacco and other herbs, and defines an aperture 15 that leads to the hollow body 16 of the bowl 12. A porous barrier 28, such as a screen 28a, may be removably coupled within the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12 and coupled above the aperture 15 defined by the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12. The screen 28a would preferably be made of stainless steel or some other suitable material. The porous barrier 28 helps to prevent the burnable substance 26 from descending through the bowl 12 into the mixing apparatus 32. While it is preferred that the first end 14 be tapered to hold the porous barrier 28 in place, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be achieved from a first end 14 that is not tapered and wherein the porous barrier 28 is permanently coupled within the first end 14.

The second end 18 of the bowl 12 may be coupled directly to the mixing apparatus 32. Or, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the second end 18 of the bowl 12 may be coupled to a hollow stem 20 that connects the bowl 12 to the top 36 of the mixing apparatus 32. The hollow stem 20 has a first end 22 that is coupled to the second end 18 of the bowl 12 and has a second end 24 that is coupled to the top 36 of the mixing apparatus 32. The second end 24 of the hollow stem 20 may be permanently coupled to the top 36 of the mixing apparatus 32 or, as shown in FIG. 4, the second end 24 of the hollow stem 20 may be removably inserted into a channel 30 defined by the top 36 of the mixing apparatus 32. Preferably, the hollow stem 20 would be slightly tapered to help ensure an air-tight connection between the second end 24 of the hollow stem 20 and the channel 30 defined by the top 36 of the mixing apparatus 32.

The mixing apparatus 32 has a base 34, a top 36 coupled to the base 34, and a fan 42 housed within the base 34. The base 34 is dimensioned to contain an amount of liquid. While the preferred liquid is water, it should be clearly understand that any other suitable liquid may be used. And while it is preferred that the amount of liquid be approximately five milliliters, it should be clear that substantial benefit may be derived from a different amount of liquid. The bottom of the base 34 is shown as having a removable cover 62, although it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be derived from the base 34 having no cover 62. As shown, the base 34 also has a “power” button 56 that, when pressed, will cause the fan 42 to turn on.

The top 36 is preferably removably coupled to the base 34. However, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be derived from the top 36 being permanently coupled to the base 34. And although the top 36 is shown as being dome-shaped, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be derived from a top 36 having an alternative shape. The top 36 also defines an aperture 40 that allows smoke to exit the mixing apparatus 32. Though not required, a tubular spout 52 may be coupled at one end 54 to the aperture 40 defined by the top 36.

A baffle 44 is preferably used to regulate flow of the smoke from the bowl 12 into the mixing apparatus 32. The baffle 44 has a first end 46 that is coupled to an interior surface 38 of the top 36 and has a second end 48 positioned proximate the fan 42. Preferably, the second end 48 of the baffle 44 will have a diameter similar to the diameter of the fan 42, though this is not required. It should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may also be derived from a smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 that did not use a baffle 44.

An O-ring gasket 50 is also preferably used to help create a fluid-tight seal between the base 34 and the top 36. The O-ring gasket 50 will preferably fit within an annular channel 51 that is defined by an interior portion of the base 34 and that surrounds the fan 42. But it should also be clearly understood that substantial benefit may nevertheless be derived from a conditioning and filtration system 10 that does not use an O-ring gasket 50.

FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 show two embodiments of a baffle 44. Each baffle 44 has a first end 46 and a second end 48. In FIG. 5, the second end 48 of the baffle 44 is corrugated. This helps to cause greater agitation of the liquid in the mixing apparatus 32. The arrows in FIG. 5 and 6 show the direction of the flow of smoke through the baffle 44.

FIG. 7 shows a bowl 12 and a hollow stem 20 coupled thereto. A porous barrier 28 is shown coupled within the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12. The porous barrier 28 is preferably removable and replaceable, in order to keep the conditioning and filtration system 10 clean and functional. The porous barrier 28 is also shown as suspending the burnable substance 26 above the aperture 15 defined by the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12 and preventing the burnable substance 26 from descending through the bowl 12 and into the mixing apparatus 32.

FIG. 8 shows the bottom of the base 34 of the mixing apparatus 32 with the cover 62 removed. Two batteries 58 are shown as being the power source for the fan 42. In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 9, the smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 may have an electrical cord 60 that can be plugged into a wall socket. Further substantial benefit may also be derived from a smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 having a rechargeable base 34 and charger (not shown). Still further substantial benefit may also be derived from the smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 that is manually operated (not shown).

Statement of Operation

To use the smoke conditioning and filtration system 10, a user will add about five milliliters of water to the base and will couple the top 26 to the base. The user will then insert the hollow stem 20 into the channel 30 defined by the top 36. A screen 28a may be placed within the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12 and an amount of a burnable substance 26 such as but not limited to tobacco may be placed on top of the screen 28a.

As the burnable substance 26 is burned with a lighter, a torch or a match, the user will press the “power” button 56 to make the fan 42 spin. When the “power” button 56 is pressed, the fan 42 spins and causes centrifugal agitation of the liquid. This pushes the liquid outwardly toward the sides of the top 36, which then creates water vapor within the mixing apparatus 32. The centrifugal agitation of the liquid also creates a vortex within the mixing apparatus 32, which causes the smoke to be drawn downwardly from the bowl 12 into the mixing apparatus 32. The smoke is then mixed with the liquid vapor.

As shown in FIG. 4, arrows show the direction of the flow of smoke from the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12, through the aperture 15 defined by the inwardly tapered first end 14 of the bowl 12, into the hollow body 16 of the bowl 12, and through the second end 18 of the bowl 12. The smoke then travels through the hollow stem 20, through the channel 30 defined by the top 36 of the mixing apparatus 32, down through the baffle 44, and toward the fan 42. Here, within the top 36, the smoke is mixed with the water vapor. This mixing causes moisturizing and cooling of the smoke. This mixing also causes a portion of the particulates to be filtered out of the smoke and causes a portion of the tar or the oil contained within the smoke to congeal and separate from the smoke. Finally, the smoke is expelled through the aperture 40 defined by the top 36. If a spout 52 is used, the smoke will also be expelled through the spout 52.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the smoke conditioning and filtration system 10 may make noise or music. The system 10 may also be equipped with LED lights or any other lights that will shine or flash.