Title:
Throwable chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
One embodiment of a chemiluminescent device, suitable for impact activation, has the external form of a spherical tube structure with a length to width ratio of 0.5:1 to 3:1 and an internal brittle ampoule floating freely within an external tough shell. This form of the chemiluminescent device is very suitable for use in throwing, especially for fixed point throwing and limited space throwing.



Inventors:
Chen, Yu (Central, HK)
On, Ning (Central, HK)
Application Number:
12/070277
Publication Date:
02/19/2009
Filing Date:
02/14/2008
Assignee:
Tianjin Dragon Chemiluminescent Tubes Co., Ltd. (Tianjin, CN)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B43/06
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, JEFFREY KEITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Phili) (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and use for throwing, comprising: a tough outer shell having a maximum dimension of at most about 3 times its minimum dimension; a brittle inner shell smaller than the outer shell and free to move within the outer shell; a first liquid within the inner shell; and a second liquid between the outer and inner shells, wherein the first and second liquids react to produce light when mixed; wherein the device is so constructed that the inner shell can be caused to break, permitting the two liquids to mix, without the outer shell breaking, by impact with a flat hard surface.

2. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 1, wherein the interior surface of the outer shell is everywhere concave.

3. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 1, wherein the inner and outer shells are so dimensioned that the volume of the space within the inner shell and the volume of the space between the inner and outer shells are in a ratio between about 1:10 and about 10:1.

4. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the inner and outer shells has a volume greater than the volume of liquid it contains, so as to permit free movement of the liquid within the shell.

5. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 1, wherein the outer shell is spherical, spheroidal, polygonal, cylindrical, or oblong.

6. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 1, wherein the outer shell has a longitudinal axis, and has a ratio of length along the axis to diameter perpendicular to the axis between 0.5 and 3.0.

7. A chemilumninescent device suitable for impact activation and use for throwing, comprising: a tough outer shell having a maximum dimension of at most about 3 times its minimum dimension; a brittle inner shell free to move within the outer shell; a first liquid within the inner shell; and a second liquid between the outer and inner shells, wherein the first and second liquids react to produce light when mixed; wherein the device is so constructed that the inner shell will break, permitting the two liquids to mix, if the device is dropped onto a flat hard surface from a height of two meters and the outer shell will not break if the device is dropped onto a flat hard surface from a height of ten meters.

8. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 7, wherein the inner shell is spaced from the outer shell and free to move within the outer shell.

9. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 7, wherein the interior surface of the outer shell is everywhere concave.

10. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 7, wherein the inner and outer shells are so dimensioned that the volume of the space within the inner shell and the volume of the space between the inner and outer shells are in a ratio between about 1:10 and about 10:1.

11. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 7, wherein at least one of the inner and outer shells has a volume greater than the volume of liquid it contains, so as to permit free movement of the liquid within the shell.

12. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 7, wherein the outer shell is spherical, spheroidal, polygonal, cylindrical, or oblong.

13. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 7, wherein the outer shell has a longitudinal axis, and has a ratio of length along the axis to diameter perpendicular to the axis between 0.5 and 3.0.

14. A chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and use for throwing, comprising: a tough outer shell having a maximum dimension of at most about 3 times its minimum dimension; a brittle inner shell free to move within the outer shell; a first liquid occupying a first chamber within the inner shell; and a second liquid occupying a second chamber between the outer and inner shells, wherein the first and second liquids react to produce light when mixed; wherein at least one of the first and second liquids only partially fills its respective chamber; wherein the device is so constructed that the inner shell can be caused break, permitting the two liquids to mix, without the outer shell breaking, by impact with a flat hard surface.

15. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 14, wherein the interior surface of the outer shell is everywhere concave.

16. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 14, wherein the inner and outer shells are so dimensioned that the volume of the space within the inner shell and the volume of the space between the inner and outer shells are in a ratio between about 1:10 and about 10:1.

17. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 14, wherein at least one of the inner and outer shells has a volume greater than the volume of liquid it contains, so as to permit free movement of the liquid within the shell.

18. A chemiluminescent device according to claim 14, wherein the outer shell is spherical, spheroidal, polygonal, cylindrical, or oblong.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims benefit of Chinese Patent Application No. 200720097116.7, filed Aug. 16, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The application relates to a chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and for use in throwing.

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

Chemiluminescence is a phenomenon in which light is generated and emitted by the chemical reaction of substances.

The traditional chemiluminescent device is a thin long stick or tube, commonly known as a “light stick.” More recently, a variety of such products with different shapes, including a disk shape, have been made.

The traditional chemiluminescent device has a flexible external shell in the form of a tube. In storage, the tube contains two liquid components separated from each other by a fragile barrier, a typical example of which is a glass ampoule in the form of an inner tube. When chemiluminescence in the chemiluminescent device is required, the glass ampoule is broken by snapping, and the separated chemical components in the device mix and react to generate chemiluminescence. Typically the ampoule is broken by bending the flexible tube with pressure until the ampoule snaps, then the tube is shaken to mix the components inside to produce chemiluminescence.

However, in certain activities, it may be desired to throw an unactivated chemiluminescent device to a target area at a distance, in such a way that the chemiluminescent device is activated through the impact of hitting the ground or other hard surface to generate light. Under such circumstances, the chemiluminescent device cannot be activated by the traditional method of snapping the tube for activation. The current light stick, owing to the limitations of its structure, needs to be quite long in order to be reliably activated by impact. Such products are currently marketed with a length reaching 380 mm (15 inches). However, such length will adversely affect the use of the device in throwing, for example, such a long stick is not suitable for fixed point throwing, and is also inconvenient for throwing in a limited space.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and for use in throwing. It has an external form different from the traditional chemiluminescent stick, beneficial for use in throwing to a target area at a certain distance for activation; additionally this external form is also beneficial for throwing in a limited space.

According to one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and for use in throwing, having an external form adopting a spherical tube structure. The external form of the chemiluminescent device adopting a spherical tube structure mentioned above may be of a cylindrical, oblong, or polygonal shape with the “length to diameter ratio” lying between 0.5:1 and 3:1. Such a shape can give the device good throwing mechanics.

The glass used as separation material for the ampoule within the chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and for use in throwing mentioned above can be made into shapes that are able to be fitted into the external shell which includes spherical, oblong and cylindrical shapes.

One embodiment of a chemiluminescent device suitable for impact activation and use for throwing has an external shell of high polymer material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, etc.

The advantages made possible by embodiments of the devices described in the present application include the following: the traditional chemiluminescent stick usually has to be snapped by hand for activation. Even if the traditional chemiluminescent stick can be impact activated and used for throwing, it has to have a sufficient length to facilitate activation, thus detracting from its throwability. Chemiluminescent devices described in the present application can have an external shell that is very suitable for use in throwing, and that is very advantageous for fixed point throwing and throwing in a limited space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following more particular description thereof, presented in conjunction with the following drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a cross section of a chemiluminescent device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the accompanying drawings, one example of a chemiluminescent device according to an embodiment of the present invention is indicated generally by the reference number 10. The device 10 comprises an outer shell 12. As shown in FIG. 1, the shell 12 comprises two hemispheres or half shells 14 and 16, made of polypropylene or other suitable material, such as high polymer polyethylene or polyester, welded together at 18. The outer shell 12 is of generally spherical tubular form, and may be, for example, spherical, oblate or prolate spheroidal or other oblong, polygonal (prismatic or polyhedral), or cylindrical. The length or maximum dimension of the shell 12 may be from about 0.5 to about 3 times the width, diameter, or minimum dimension of the shell 12. The shell 12 may be of a convenient size to be held in the hand of a person intending to throw the device. For example, a device about 3 or 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) across may be suitable for many purposes.

Inside the outer shell 12 is an inner shell that in the device 10 shown in FIG. 1 is in the form of a sealed thin-walled hollow ball 20 of glass or other brittle material. As shown in FIG. 1, the ball 20 has a blow molding orifice 22. The orifice 22 may be used for filling of the glass ball 20 and then sealed.

The glass ball 20 and the space between the outer shell 12 and the glass ball are partially filled with two liquids 24 and 26 that react to produce light when they are mixed. The liquids may be liquids that are already known as a two-component chemiluminescent system. Traditional chemiluminescent systems use components that are low-viscosity liquids, so that they can be easily mixed by shaking, and that are reasonably stable until they are mixed.

The outer shell 12 is desirably sufficiently stiff and rigid that the shell does not distort appreciably in normal storage and handling and even when being thrown, thereby preventing crushing of the inner ball 20. The inner ball 20 is sufficiently brittle to shatter during impact onto a hard surface when thrown. The cushioning provided by the outer shell 12 and the liquid 26 may reduce the impact loads on the inner ball and may call for a thinner or more brittle ball than would otherwise be appropriate. The person of ordinary skill in the art will have no difficulty in selecting the materials and thicknesses for the inner ball 20 and the outer shell 12. For the inner ball 20 of the device shown in FIG. 1, a ball of ordinary glass with a thickness of 0.8 mm or less at the thinnest part of the ball has been found to be satisfactory. Factors to be taken into consideration include the size and intended use of the device 10, the composition and amount of the liquids 24 and 26. A principal objective is to produce the correct balance between robustness in storage and handling and reliable shattering of the inner ball 20 on impact.

As shown in FIG. 1, the outer shell 12 and the inner ball 20 are only partially filled. The incomplete filling may impair the throwing characteristics of the device, by allowing the weight of the liquid to be unevenly distributed or to move around, but for a device intended to be thrown by hand the advantages of an incompletely filled device for impact activation are believed to outweigh any reduction in the ballistic properties. The ratio of the volume within the inner ball 20 to the volume between the outer shell 12 and the inner ball 20 may be in the range of from 10:1 to 1:10.

In use, a person takes the chemiluminescent device 10 and throws the device against a hard surface. When there is an impact, the outer shell 12 will experience a slight change in shape, regardless of its strength. The inner ball 20 is floating loose within the outer shell. Without wishing to be limited to a specific theory, it is believed that when the device 10 hits a hard surface, the speed of the outer shell 12 drops rapidly to zero. However, the inner ball 20, experiencing little resistance from the low-viscosity liquid surrounding it, continues to move quickly. The inner ball 20 eventually runs into the outer shell 12 and breaks. Continued movement of the liquid components 24, 26 after impact causes the two liquids become mixed, and chemiluminescence is generated.

The outer shell 12 is made of a plastic that is tougher than the inner ball 20 of glass. As in a traditional chemiluminescent light stick, the outer shell 12 does not break when the inner ball 20 breaks. The outer shell 12 thus contains the chemiluminescent mixed liquid, ensuring a compact, bright, light and preventing contamination of the surroundings by the liquid. The outer shell 12 also contains the fragments of the ball 20, avoiding the risk of injury if the fragments are sharp.

Although it might seem in theory that (especially if the densities of the two liquids 24, 26 are similar) the outer liquid 26 will support the inner ball 20, in practice that has not been found to be a problem. In particular if, as shown in FIG. 1, the level of liquid 24 in the inner ball 20 is higher than the level of liquid 26 in the outer shell 12, the inner ball 20 will tend to sink to the bottom of the outer shell 12. In that case, when the outer shell 12 is abruptly stopped by impact with a hard surface, the inner ball 20 will tend to continue moving until it strikes the part of the outer shell that is against the hard surface. Conversely, when the device 10 is thrown, the acceleration of the outer shell 12 typically results in the rear of the outer shell striking the inner ball 20. If the level of liquid 24 in the inner ball 20 is lower than the level of liquid 26 in the outer shell 12, the inner ball will tend to float in the outer liquid 26, and to experience contrecoup impacts with the opposite side of the shell 12.

In any case, however, the acceleration when the device 10 is thrown by hand is less than the deceleration when the device hits a hard surface. It is thus possible to select the robustness of the inner ball 20 so that the device 10 will reliably activate on impact with a hard surface at the target, but will reliably not activate on throwing. Non-activation of the device 10 on throwing is important in some games to avoid revealing the location of the thrower, and in many other uses for esthetic or dramatic effect.

The device 10 may be so constructed that the inner shell or ball 20 will break, permitting the two liquids to mix, if the device is dropped onto a flat hard surface from a height of 2 meters, but not if dropped from a lesser height, and the outer shell 12 will not break if the device is dropped onto a flat hard surface from a height of 10 meters.

Although specific embodiments have been described, the skilled reader will understand how features of different embodiments may be combined and substituted, and such combinations are within the scope of the present invention.