US 3525497 A
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3,525,497 LIGHTER VALVE Frank E. Zalar, Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to Eaton Yale & Towne llnc., Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Dec. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 688,550 Int. Cl. F16k 47/04, 55/02 U.S. Cl. 251--121 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A lighter comprises a housing containing a chamber for the storage of fuel. A valve mechanism controls the flow of fuel from the chamber. The valve mechanism includes a support member having a base portion and a projecting portion extending from the base portion. The base portion of the support member supports a member made of resilient porous material, and the projecting portion of the support m mber comprises a valve seat which cooperates with a movable valve member to provide for flow of fuel from the porous material to provide the flame. A flame adjusting member encircles the movable valve member and is movable axially relative to the base portion of the support member to compress the porous material and thereby control the flow of fuel through the porous material. By controlling the degree of compression of the porous material, the porosity thereof is controlled and the flow of fuel through the porous material is controlled to provide a metering of the fuel and thereby control of the height of the flame provided by the lighter when actuated.
The present invention relates generally to improvements in lighters, and more particularly to a new and improved butane lighter valve having means for regulating and controlling the flame produced by the lighter.
The principal object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved lighter valve Which is relatively simple in construction, reliable in operation and constructed so as to regulate or control the height of the flame produced by the lighter.
A more specific object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved lighter valve utilizing a porous material which may be compressed to regulate the flow of fuel for producing the flame, and wherein the porous material is supported by the base portion of a support member which also has a projecting portion which comprises a valve seat for a valve member which controls the flow of fuel for producing the flame.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved lighter valve, as noted hereinabove, wherein the base portion of the support member is polygonal in shape and received in a circular bore, and wherein the surfaces of the polygonal shape provide for flow of fuel to the porous material.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved lighter valve, as noted in the next preceding paragraph, wherein the porous material is formed as a ring member and is compressed by a member which encircles the projecting portion of the support member, and which terminates in an end portion which engages and compresses the porous material upon movement to provide an orifice through which the fuel must flow in a direction generally radially of the porous member.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved lighter valve having a flame regulating means and which includes a porous material which is compressed to control the amount of fuel provided for the flame and thereby effect a control of the height of the flame and wherein the porous ma- United States Patent 0 terial is supported by a support member which has a portion which defines a passageway between the outer surface thereof and the inner surface of a flame regulating member, which compresses the porous material, to provide for a fluid passageway for flow of the fuel from the porous material.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which it relates from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof made in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view partially in elevation of a lighter embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view, taken approximately along the section line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a portion of the lighter shown in FIG. 2 on an enlarged scale; and
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of another portion of the lighter shown in FIG. 2 on an enlarged scale.
The present invention provides an improved valve mechanism for use in a lighter, and which valve mechanism incorporates means for controlling or regulating the height of the flame produced by the lighter. The valve mechanism embodying the present invention may be used in lighters of a variety of different constructions and as representative of the preferred embodiment, the improved control valve mechanism is illustrated as embodied in a lighter 10.
The lighter 10 includes a casing 11 in which a housing 12 is located. The housing 12 defines a fuel chamber 13 for the storage of fuel such as butane. A spark wheel 14 is rotatably journaled on a pair of upwardly extending arm members 15, which are secured to or made integral with the housing 12. A tubular flint receiving member 16 is suitably mounted in the housing 12 with its upper open end portion located immediately below spark wheel 14. A flint 17 located in the member 16 is biased upwardly by a spring 18 into abutting engagement with the spark wheel 14. The lower end portion of spring 18 rests on a screw 19.
A fuel control valve mechanism 20 of improved construction is suitably mounted in the housing 12. The fuel control valve mechanism 20 controls the flow of fuel for producing the flame. The valve mechanism 20 includes an outer cylindrical casing member 21 extending downwardly into the chamber 13. The casing member 21 has a central bore 22 extending therethrough with its lowermost end portion being conical at 23 and terminating into a reduced bore portion 24 of relatively small diameter compared to the bore 22.
The upper end portion of bore 22 is threaded at 25 to threadedly receive the intermediate portion of a tubular flame adjusting member 26 whose lower end portion has its inner and outer wall surfaces 27 and 28, respectively, tapering downwardly toward an annular flat surface portion 29. The upper end portion of member 26 is suitably recessed to allow for thread engagement to provide a' connection for a knob 30 which facilitates rotation of the member 26, and a knurled shoulder is placed at the upper end of member 26. Upon rotation of the member 26, its vertical position relative to the casing member 21 is varied for flame regulation, as will be described.
The lowermost end portion of bore 22 receives a support member 32 having a hexagonal shaped base portion 31. Since the hexagonal shaped base portion 31 is received in the circular bore 22 in the casing member 21, a clearance space 31a, FIG. 4, is provided between surfaces on the base portion 31 and the bore 22 of the casing member 21. The clearance 31a provides for flow of fuel from the chamber 13 through the bore portion 24 and conical portion 23 and above the base portion 31.
The support member 32 also has a portion projecting centrally therefrom which includes an intermediate portion 33 of reduced diameter and an upper portion 34 of larger diameter. An annular shoulder 35 having a flat annular upper surface 36 projects upwardly from the portion 34. The surface 36 functions as a valve seat, as will be described hereinbelow. An annular porous spongelike member 37 made of a plastic material or similar resilient compressible cellular porous material encom passing the reduced intermediate portion 33 of support member 32, and has its lower annular surface resting on the top surface of the hexagonal shaped base 31 of the support member 32. As fluid flows through the clearance space 31a, it encounters the cellular porous member 37 and flows therethrough. A suitable O-ring seal is provided between the outer diameter of the member 26 and the inner diameter of the bore 22.
In accordance with the present invention, the degree of porosity of the member 37 may be controlled to thereby control the flow of fuel therethrough. The degree of porosity of the member 37 is controlled by compressing the member 37 by the flame regulating member 26. To this end, the lowermost end portion of the flame regulating member 26, with its tapering surfaces 27 and 28 and the flat annular surface 29, engages one side of the porous member 37 and the base portion 31 engages the other side of the member 37. The movement of the member 26 and the base 31 of the support member 32 relatively toward each other effects a compression of the member 37 and thereby reduces the amount of fuel which may flow therethrough. Movement of the member 26 and the base portion 31 relatively apart results in an increase in porosity of the member 37 and thus increases the degree to which fuel may flow therethrough. The inherent resilience of the member 37 results in the member 37 following the flame regulating member 26 when the flame regulating member 26 is moved away from the base portion 31.
Relative movement of the member 26 and the base portion 31 is effected by rotation of the member 26 in the bore 22. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the member 26 is engagement with the member 37 and compressing the member 37 substantially and providing a controlled orifice d between the lowermost end of the member 26 and the base portion 31 of the support member 32. The fuel as it flows through the orifice d, flows in a generally radial direction relative to member 37 and the amount of flow as described hereinabove is controlled by the dimension of the orifice d.
The fuel after flowing through orifice d flow through the upper surface of the porous member 37 and into a chamber or passageway 38 defined by the outer surface of the support member 32 and the inner surface of the member 26. The chamber 38, as shown, extends adjacent the valve seat 36.
Slidably mounted in the central bore of the tubular flame adjusting member 26 is an elongated movable valve member 39 having a passageway 41 extending centrally therethrough with a nozzle 40 at the uppermost end portion thereof. The lower end portion of movable member 39 is recessed at 42 to accommodate an annular seal 43 which is adapted to abuttingly engage the flat annular surface or valve seat 36 of shoulder 35. Movable member 39 is also recessed circumferentially at 44 to receive an O-ring 45 which frictionally slidably and sealingly engages the wall of central bore 46 of member 26 and thus seals the chamber or passageway 38. The member 39 also has a reduced cross section area to accommodate a spring 47 which encircles the movable member 39. One end of the spring 47 abuts a shoulder 48 on the flame adjusting member 26 while the other end abuts a shoulder 48a on the movable valve member 39 to bias the member 39 downwardly so that the annular seal 43 seats on the annular surface 36 of shoulder 35 and provides a seal therebetween.
The upper end portion of movable member 39 has a reduced diameter portion 50 (FIG. 2) which receives one end of lever 51. The lever 51 is suitably pivotally mounted on the arm members 15 such that depression of the other end of lever 51 pivots the lever 51 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1 to raise the movable member 39 vertically.
The lighter 10 also includes a wick (not shown) having a portion located in the conical portion 23 of bore 22 and extends downwarly through bore portion 24 into chamber 13 to convey gas from such chamber 13 past the clearance space between the hexagonally shaped base 31 to the sponge-like member 37. Moreover, a refill valve 52 is suitably threadedly mounted as at 53 in the bottom of housing 12 to provide refilling of chamber 13 with fuel in a manner well known in the art.
In the operation of the apparatus described, the operator actuates the lighter 10 by rotating the spark wheel 14 which directs a spark toward the nozzle 40 of the movable valve member 39 and immediately thereafter actuates lever 51 by depressing a button 54 which in turn pivots the lever 51 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1. Such action moves the valve member 39 upwardly, as viewed in FIG. 1, compressing the spring 47 and lifting the annular seal 43 away from the valve seat 36 thereby permitting the flow of gas from chamber 13 through the wick (not shown), into the conical passageway 23, the clearance space 31a between the hexagonal shaped base 31 and the wall of the bore 22, the spongelike member 37 which performs the metering function, the passageway 38 defined by the support member 32 and the wall of bore 46 of the flame adjusting member 26, and passageway 41 for ignition by the spark from the spark wheel 14.
The size of the flame can be adjusted by rotating the wheel 30 secured to the uppermost end portion of the flame adjusting member 26 which moves or cams the lower edge portion of member 26 downwardly compressing the sponge-like member 37 (not shown in FIG. 4) to precisely meter the passage of gas by regulating the size of the cells in the sponge-like member 37. The flow passage area provided by orifice d is defined by an annular ring of the sponge-like member 37 and is located between the flat surface 29 and the upper surface on the hexagonal shaped bore 31 directly opposite surface 29. The orifice d extends at a uniform dimension for the entire circumference of the annular flat surface portion 29.
Release of lever 51 permits the action of spring 47 to bias the lever 51 in a counterclockwise direction about its pivot on arm members 15, as viewed in FIG. 1, whereby annular seal 43 abuttingly engages annular surface 36 of shoulder 35 to interrupt the flow of gas to the nozzle 40 from chamber 13.
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. A lighter valve for controlling a flow of fuel from a source of fuel, said lighter valve comprising a movable member having a nozzle at an outermost end portion for facilitating the burning of fuel from said source of fuel and a passageway extending longitudinally through said movable member to conduct fuel to said nozzle, an annular seal supported by an inner end portion of said movable member, said passageway extending through said annular seal and having an inner opening defined by said annular seal, a casing with a cylindrical bore therethrough circumscribing said movable member, a support member mounted in the inner portion of said bore, said support member having a projecting portion engageable with said annular seal and a base portion having surfaces providing for the passage of fuel between said base portion and the inner wall portion of said bore to thereby enable fuel to flow from the source of fuel to said annular seal, said movable member being operable between a closed position in which said annular seal engages said projecting portion of said support member to block a flow of fuel through said longitudinally extending passageway in said movable member to said nozzle and an open condition in which said annular seal is spaced from said projecting portion to enable fuel to flow from the source of fuel through a passage between said base portion and inner wall portion of said bore into said passageway in said movable member and to said nozzle, an annular member of porous resilient material circumscribing said projecting portion and resting on said base portion in a path flow of fuel from the source of fuel to said seal and passageway, a flame adjusting member having a threaded connection with the interior of said cylindrical casing to provide for axial movement of said flame adjusting member relative to said cylindrical casing, one end portion of said flame adjusting member abuttingly engaging said annular porous member, the other end portion of said flame adjusting member extending outwardly of said housing to provide means for rotating said flame adjusting member to effect axial movement of said flame adjusting member to thereby vary the degree of compression of said porous member, and spring biasing means acting between said movable member and said flame adjusting member for biasing said movable member to the closed position in which said annular seal is in sealing engagement with said projecting portion of said support member to interrupt the passage of fuel into said passageway from said porous material until said movable member is moved to the open position to enable fuel to enter said passageway and flow to said nozzle at an outermost end portion of said movable member.
2. A lighter valve as set forth in claim 1 wherein said base portion of said support member upon which said annular member of porous material rests is of a polygonal shape to define a clearance space between said base portion and said inner wall portion of said bore.
3. A lighter valve as set forth in claim 1 wherein said flame adjusting member defines an axially extending bore in which said movable member and spring biasing means are disposed, said projecting portion of said support member extending into the bore in the flame adjusting member and defining an annular seal which is engaged by said annular seal in the closed position, said flame adjusting member and said support member defining a fuel passageway extending from said porous material to said seal when said seal is in the closed position.
4. A lighter valve as set forth in claim 1 wherein said bore in said cylindrical casing has a tapered bore portion defined by a tapered surface portion which engages said base portion of said support member.
5. A lighter valve as set forth in claim 4 wherein said base portion of said support member is of a polygonal shape to provide clearance space between said base portion and the circular bore receiving said base portion to provide for the passage of gas to said annular porous material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,760,496 8/1956 Lieber 251-121 XR 3,118,295 1/1964 Van Poppel 222-3 3,315,496 4/1967 Newman 431143 HENRY T. KLINKSIEK, Primary Examiner U8. 0]. X.R. 222 3; 431-143
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