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Title:
A GAS LIGHTER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/083363
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A gas lighter provided with an operating mechanism wherein said operating mechanism comprises a control element that is biased to a rest position and is displaceable in a first direction for rotating a spark wheel against a flint for generating a spark for igniting gas and to impart an actuation motion to a lever for controlling flow of the gas.

Inventors:
SEWALT, Carel (A.H.G. Fokkerstraat 5, 9403 AM Assen, NL)
Application Number:
NL2018/050707
Publication Date:
May 02, 2019
Filing Date:
October 24, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SWEDISH MATCH LIGHTERS B.V. (A.H.G. Fokkerstraat 5, 9403 AM ASSEN, NL)
International Classes:
F23Q2/16
Foreign References:
US4099907A1978-07-11
US3819320A1974-06-25
US20160201906A12016-07-14
US5358401A1994-10-25
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALGEMEEN OCTROOI - EN MARKENBUREAU B.V. (P.O. Box 645, 5600 AP Eindhoven, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A gas lighter (1 ) comprising:

a lighter body (3) comprising a gas container (5),

- a lever (7) for controlling a flow of gas via a gas valve (9) from said gas container,

a wheel assembly (1 1 ) having a spark wheel (13), wherein said spark wheel is rotatable about a rotation axis relative to said lighter body,

a flint (15) cooperating with said spark wheel of said wheel assembly for generating a spark for igniting said gas,

an operating mechanism (17) for operation of the gas lighter, wherein said operating mechanism comprises a control element (19) that is biased to a rest position and is displaceable in a first direction (A) to impart an actuation motion to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel against said flint for generating said spark for igniting said gas and to impart an actuation motion to said lever for controlling said flow of gas

wherein said wheel assembly comprises a drive member (25) for transferring said actuation force imparted by said intermediate member to said spark wheel, wherein said drive member is arranged for rotation about said rotation axis relative to said lighter body, wherein said spark wheel is driveable by said drive member when said first actuation force component exceeds a predetermined level.

2. A gas lighter according to claim 1 , wherein said operating mechanism comprises an intermediate member (21 ) for transferring said actuation motion from said control element to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel, wherein said intermediate member is arranged for imparting an actuation force on said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel when moving said operating mechanism in said first direction.

3. A gas lighter according to claim 2, wherein said actuation force comprises a first actuation force component and a second actuation force component, wherein said first actuation force component crosses said rotation axis and wherein said second actuation force component is transversal to said first direction and in a tangential direction of said spark wheel, wherein during said displacement of said control element in said first direction initially said first actuation force component is larger than said second actuation force component, preferably wherein initially said first actuation force component is at least two times larger than said second actuation force component.

4. A gas lighter according to claim 3, wherein during said displacement of said control element in said first direction initially said first actuation force component is larger than said second actuation force component and subsequently said first actuation force component is smaller than said second actuation force component, preferably wherein subsequently said first actuation force component is at least two times smaller than said second actuation force component.

5. A gas lighter according to claim 2, 3 or 4, wherein said gas lighter comprises an urging element (23) for urging said intermediate member and said wheel assembly towards each other, wherein said urging element is arranged for allowing said intermediate member and said wheel assembly to move away from each other under the influence of said actuation force. 6. A gas lighter (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said drive member (25) is rigidly attached to said spark wheel (13).

7. A gas lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said wheel assembly comprises a one-way clutch for driving said spark wheel in a single direction of rotation by said drive member.

8. A gas lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein one of said intermediate member and said drive member comprises a friction surface for frictionally coupling said intermediate member to said drive member.

9. A gas lighter (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said drive member (25) is provided with recesses and/or protrusions (27) at a tangential surface of said drive member (25) for allowing coupling of said intermediate member (21 ) with said drive member (25).

10. A gas lighter according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein a cross-sectional shape of said drive member in a longitudinal direction of said rotation axis is round or a regular convex polygon.

1 1 . A gas lighter (1 ) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said gas lighter (1 ) comprises a biasing element (29) for biasing said control element (19) to said rest position.

Description:
Title: A gas lighter

Description

The present disclosure relates to a gas lighter including a lighter body comprising a gas container, a lever for controlling a flow of gas via a gas valve from said gas container, a wheel assembly having a spark wheel, wherein said spark wheel is rotatable about a rotation axis relative to said lighter body and a flint cooperating with said spark wheel of said wheel assembly for generating a spark for igniting said gas.

Such gas lighters are commonly known and used for instance as cigarette lighters. In order to operate the lighter a user first rolls the wheel assembly using his thumb or digit. The end of the lever opposite the valve is provided with a pad which is positioned to receive the user's thumb as it falls off the wheel assembly at the end of its stroke. By pressing down on this pad the user opens the valve to release fuel to the burner, where it is ignited by sparks produced by friction between the flint and the rotating spark wheel. A drawback of these known gas lighters is that a user needs to apply his thumb or digit directly to the wheel assembly which can be perceived as rather unpleasant by a user.

An objective of the present disclosure is to provide a gas lighter that is relative pleasant to operate for a user while maintaining a reliable ignition of the gas. This objective is achieved in that the lighter according to the present disclosure is provided with an operating mechanism for operation of the gas lighter, wherein said operating mechanism comprises a control element that is biased to a rest position and is displaceable in a first direction to impart an actuation motion to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel against said flint for generating said spark for igniting said gas and to impart an actuation motion to said lever for controlling said flow of gas. Preferably, said operating mechanism is coupled to said lever and said wheel assembly. When a user applies his thumb or digit to said control element for displacing said control element against said bias from said rest position in said first direction a relative reproducible actuation motion is realised. In order to realise said movement in said first direction a predetermined minimal force needs to be applied to overcome said bias, thereby resulting in said imparted actuation motion to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel against said flint for generating said spark. I n addition, said movement in said first direction imparts an actuation motion to said lever for controlling said flow of gas, thereby providing gas to be ignited by said generated spark. In order to achieve ignition at least a minimum spark density is required, which in turn requires at least a minimum rotational speed of the wheel assembly. I n particular relatively low rolling speeds of the wheel assembly affect the reliability of the ignition of the flow of gas. The lighter of the present disclosure allows to realize a relative high rolling speed of the wheel assembly in a reproducible way by incorporating said operating mechanism.

Within the context of this disclosure rotation of said spark wheel is to be understood as a pivoting action about said rotation axis. In embodiments of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure said pivoting action may be a rotation of said spark wheel corresponding to a part of a complete revolution of said spark wheel about said rotation axis relative to said lighter body.

In an embodiment of the gas lighter, said operating mechanism comprises an intermediate member for transferring said actuation motion from said control element to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel, wherein said intermediate member is arranged for imparting an actuation force on said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel when moving said operating mechanism in said first direction. Such an intermediate member is beneficial for converting a movement in said first direction into an actuation force for rotating said spark wheel in a relative reliable and practical way.

In this regard it is beneficial if said actuation force comprises a first actuation force component and a second actuation force component, wherein said first actuation force component crosses said rotation axis and wherein said second actuation force component is transversal to said first direction and in a tangential direction of said spark wheel, wherein during said displacement of said control element in said first direction initially said first actuation force component is larger than said second actuation force component. After an initial relative small rotation of said spark wheel due to said actuation force, said first actuation force component decreases relatively fast and the second actuation force component increases relatively fast thereby realising a snap function for achieving a relative large rotation velocity of said spark wheel for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas while providing a gas lighter that is relative pleasant to operate for a user.

Preferably, said first actuation force component is initially at least two times larger than said second actuation force component. Such an embodiment is beneficial for realising a relative fast rotation of said spark wheel for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas while providing a gas lighter that is relative pleasant to operate for a user. This relative fast rotation is due to a snap function wherein said first actuation force component decreases relatively fast and the second actuation force component increases relatively fast beyond a predetermined rotation of said spark wheel.

Preferably, during said displacement of said control element in said first direction initially said first actuation force component is larger than said second actuation force component and subsequently said first actuation force component is smaller than said second actuation force component. This is beneficial for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas while maintaining a relative low required force for maintaining said flow of gas thereby providing a gas lighter that is relative pleasant to operate for a user.

In this regard it is beneficial if during said displacement of said control element in said first direction initially said first actuation force component is larger than said second actuation force component and subsequently said first actuation force component is at least two times smaller than said second actuation force component. This is beneficial for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas while maintaining a relative low required force for maintaining said flow of gas thereby providing a gas lighter that is relative pleasant to operate for a user.

In an embodiment of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure said gas lighter comprises an urging element for urging said intermediate member and said wheel assembly towards each other, wherein said urging element is arranged for allowing said intermediate member and said wheel assembly to move away from each other under the influence of said actuation force. This is beneficial for maintaining a relative good transfer of said actuation motion from said control element to said wheel assembly while moving said control element in said first direction.

In a practical embodiment of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure, said wheel assembly comprises a drive member for transferring said actuation force imparted by said intermediate member to said spark wheel, wherein said drive member is arranged for rotation about said rotation axis relative to said lighter body. This drive member is beneficial for realising a rotation of said spark wheel without the need for said intermediate member to directly interact with an outer surface of said spark wheel, thereby avoiding wear of said spark wheel and improving reliability of ignition of said gas.

In this regard it is beneficial if said drive member is rigidly attached to said spark wheel. This is beneficial for realising a relative robust and durable construction thereby realising an improving reliability of ignition of said gas during a relative large number of operations of said gas lighter. In a relative reliable embodiment of said gas lighter, said spark wheel is driveable by said drive member when said first actuation force component exceeds a predetermined level. This embodiment is beneficial for realising a minimum predetermined rotation velocity of said spark wheel for achieving a reliable of ignition of said gas. This minimum predetermined rotation velocity is due to a snap function wherein said first actuation force component decreases relatively fast and the second actuation force component increases relatively fast beyond a predetermined rotation of said spark wheel.

In a relative durable embodiment of said gas lighter said wheel assembly comprises a one-way clutch for driving said spark wheel in a single direction of rotation by said drive member. This is advantageous for realising a relative equal wear of said spark wheel and thereby reducing early failure of the gas lighter due to local wear of said spark wheel. Due to provision of the one-way clutch subsequent operations of the gas lighter will cause the spark wheel to pivot in only one direction about said rotation axis. As a result during subsequent operation the flint will interact with different parts of said spark wheel and will interact with an identical part of said spark wheel only after at least one subsequent operation. Preferably, one of said intermediate member and said drive member comprises a friction surface for frictionally coupling said intermediate member to said drive member. This is beneficial for realising a relative reliable transfer of said actuation motion from said control element to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel. This is beneficial for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas while providing a gas lighter that is relative pleasant to operate for a user.

In a practical embodiment of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure, said drive member is provided with recesses and/or protrusions at a tangential surface of said drive member for allowing coupling of said intermediate member with said drive member. This is beneficial for realising a relative reliable transfer of said actuation motion from said control element to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel. This is beneficial for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas. In an embodiment, said drive member is provided with 3, 4, 6 or 8 protrusions that are spaced at an equal distance along said tangential surface of said drive member. This is beneficial for realising a relative reliable coupling of said intermediate member with said drive member when operating said gas lighter.

In an embodiment of said gas lighter, the drive member of the wheel assembly comprises a first drive wheel element and a second drive wheel element, wherein a spark wheel element is provided between said first drive wheel element and said second drive wheel element. A gas lighter wherein the drive member of the wheel assembly comprises a first drive wheel element and a second drive wheel element, wherein a spark wheel element is provided between said first drive wheel element and said second drive wheel element is beneficial for realising a relative robust gas lighter.

In this regard it is beneficial if said intermediate member comprises intermediate member protrusions respectively interacting with said first and second drive wheel element. In embodiments of said gas lighter wherein said drive member comprises more than two drive wheel elements said intermediate member preferably comprises a number of intermediate member protrusions corresponding with said number of drive wheel elements.

In an embodiment of said gas lighter a cross-sectional shape of said drive member in a longitudinal direction of said rotation axis is round or a regular convex polygon. This is beneficial for realising a relative reliable transfer of said actuation motion from said control element to said wheel assembly for rotating said spark wheel. This is beneficial for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas. It is advantageous if said gas lighter comprises a biasing element for biasing said control element to said rest position. This is advantageous for realising a reliable operation of said lighter. By biasing said control element to said rest position said gas lighter is available for repeated operation without the need for further preparation of said gas lighter.

It is advantageous if said intermediate member comprises an elastic deformable material. This is beneficial for realising a relative durable gas lighter. Preferably, said intermediate member comprises a plastic for realising a relative cost attractive elastically deformable intermediate member.

In an embodiment of the child resistant gas lighter the intermediate member is rigid an comprises metal and/or ceramic material.

The present disclosure will now be explained by means of a description of preferred embodiments of a gas lighter, in which reference is made to the following schematic figures, in which:

Figure 1 - 5: in cross-sectional view a part a gas lighter according to the present disclosure is shown in subsequent positions during operation of said gas lighter;

Figure 6: in cross-sectional view a part of a gas lighter according to the present disclosure is shown;

Figure 7: in isometric view an element of a gas lighter according to the present disclosure is shown; Figure 8: in isometric view an element of a gas lighter according to the present disclosure is shown;

Figure 9: in cross-sectional view a part of a gas lighter according to the present disclosure is shown.

Gas lighter 1 comprises a lighter body 3. Said lighter body 3 forms a part of the outer surface 2 of said gas lighter 1 , wherein said lighter body 3 is generally used by a user to hold said gas lighter 1 when operating said gas lighter 1. Said lighter body 3 houses a gas container 5 holding a gas. Said gas container 5 is provided with a gas valve 9 for controlling a flow of the gas out of said gas container 5. The gas valve 9 is connected to a lever 7 for operating said gas valve 9. In a first position of said gas valve 9 said gas is prevented from exiting said gas container 5 whereas in a second position of said gas valve 9 said gas is allowed to flow out of said gas container 5. The gas valve 9 is biased to said first position through a further biasing element 35 formed by a further spring via said lever 7.

The gas lighter 1 is provided with a wheel assembly 1 1 and a flint 15 for generating a spark for igniting said gas exiting said gas container 5 when said valve 9 is in said second position. To this end, the wheel assembly 1 1 comprises a spark wheel 13 that is rotatable about a rotation axis R relative to said lighter body 3. Upon rotation of said spark wheel 13, an outer surface of said spark wheel 13 interacts with said flint 15 for generating said spark. Said interaction of said spark wheel 13 with said flint 15 involves moving said outer surface of said spark wheel 13 relative to said flint 15, wherein said flint and said outer surface rub against each other.

Gas lighter 1 further comprises an operating mechanism 17. The operating mechanism 17 is coupled to said lever 7 and said wheel assembly 1 1 for, in use, operating said lever 7 and said wheel assembly 1 1 . Said operating mechanism 17 comprises a control element 19 that is biased to a rest position shown in Fig. 1 when said gas lighter 1 is free from operation. To bias said control element 19 to said rest position, said gas lighter 1 comprises a biasing element 29 formed by a spring wherein a first end of said spring 29 urges against a wall part 31 of said lighter body 3 and at a second end, opposite of said first end urges against said control element 19. Said control element 19 is provided with a receiving space 33 for at least partly receiving an intermediate member 21 and an urging element 23. The urging element 23 is arranged for urging said intermediate member 21 against a drive member 25 of said wheel assembly 1 1 . The drive member 25 is rigidly coupled to said spark wheel 13 and provided with four protrusions 27 at a tangential surface of said drive member 25 for allowing coupling of said intermediate member 21 with said drive member 25.

Said control element 19 is moveable in a first direction A from said rest position to an end position. Moving said control element 19 in said first direction A causes said intermediate member 21 to impart an actuation motion to said spark wheel 13 via said drive member 25 for rotating said spark wheel 13 against said flint 15 for generating said spark. Initially, when moving said control element 19 in said first direction A, said spring 29 is compressed and said intermediate member 21 is pressed onto said drive member 25. The intermediate member 21 comprises an elastic deformable material and is arranged to deform elastically when, in use, being pressed onto said drive member 25. In an embodiment of the gas lighter 1 , the intermediate member 21 is manufactured from a plastic such as a polymer. In an embodiment of the gas lighter 1 the intermediate member is rigid an comprises metal and/or ceramic material.

By pressing said intermediate member 21 onto said drive member 25 an actuation force on said drive wheel assembly 1 1 is realised. This actuation force comprises a first actuation force component F1 and a second actuation force component F2. The first actuation force component F1 crosses said rotation axis R and as such is directed in a radial direction of said drive member 25. The second actuation force component F2 is transversal to said first direction and in a tangential direction of said drive member 25. The intermediate member 21 , in said rest position, is urged by said urging member 23 against said drive member 25. From this rest position, said intermediate member 21 is pressed onto said drive member 25 at such a location that said first actuation force component F1 is larger than said second actuation force component F2. Said second actuation force component F2 causes said intermediate member 21 to move over said drive member 25 once an operation threshold resistance is overcome when moving said control element 19 in said first direction A. During this movement of said intermediate member 21 over said drive member 25 said urging element 23 is compressed and said intermediate member 21 is received in said receiving space 33 to a greater extent as compared to said rest position. Said intermediate member 21 is arranged to move over said drive member 25 until said intermediate member 21 interacts with a protrusion 27 of said drive member 25. Once said intermediate member 21 interacts with the protrusion 27, a further movement of said control element 19 in the first direction A causes the drive member 25 and the spark wheel 13 to rotate. After an initial relative small rotation of said spark wheel 13 due to said second actuation force component F2, said first actuation force component F1 decreases relatively fast and the second actuation force component F2 increases relatively fast thereby realising a snap function for achieving a relative large rotation velocity of said spark wheel 13 for achieving a reliable ignition of said gas.

Towards the end position, the lever 7 is actuated by said control element 19 for moving said gas valve 9 into the second position thereof for allowing gas to exit from said gas container 5. In the end position, shown in Fig. 4, the control element 19 is biased back to the rest position by compression of said biasing element 29 and the further biasing element 35. After release, by a user, of the control element 19 in said end position, the control element 19 moves back, Fig. 5, to the rest position, wherein said intermediate member 21 slides over said drive member 25 without rotating said drive member 25.

Gas lighter 101 , shown in Fig. 6, differs from gas lighter 1 mainly in that the operating mechanism 1 17 is provided with an intermediate member 121 that has a shape different from intermediate member 21 of gas lighter 1 , wherein said function of said urging element 23 is integrated in said intermediate member 121 . Elements of gas lighter 101 that are similar to elements of gas lighter 1 are provided with a reference number equal to the reference number of the element in gas lighter 1 raised by 100. Intermediate member 121 comprises a hook shaped organ that is attached to said control element 1 19 at one end thereof and at a second end, opposite of said first end of said intermediate member 121 , is arranged to interact with the drive member 125. The intermediate member 121 comprises an elastically deformable material, wherein said intermediate member 121 is inserted in gas lighter 101 such that the intermediate member 121 is elastically deformed such that said intermediate member is urged against said drive member 125.

In an embodiment of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure the gas lighter differs from gas lighter 1 in that the drive member of the wheel assembly comprises a first drive wheel element and a second drive wheel element, wherein a spark wheel element is provided between said first drive wheel element and said second drive wheel element, and intermediate member 21 and urging element 23 are replaced by intermediate member 221 , shown in Fig. 7. Intermediate member 221 comprises curved parts 237 that are in this embodiment of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure received in said receiving space for providing an urging action for urging a first tooth shaped part 239a of said intermediate member 221 against said first drive wheel element and a second tooth shaped part 239b against said second drive wheel element. Preferably, said curved parts 237 comprise an elastically deformable material such as a plastic for providing said urging force. A gas lighter wherein the drive member of the wheel assembly comprises a first drive wheel element and a second drive wheel element, wherein a spark wheel element is provided between said first drive wheel element and said second drive wheel element is beneficial for realising a relative robust gas lighter.

In an embodiment of the gas lighter according to the present disclosure the gas lighter differs from gas lighter 1 in that the drive member of the wheel assembly comprises a first drive wheel element and a second drive wheel element, wherein a spark wheel element is provided between said first drive wheel element and said second drive wheel element, control element 19, intermediate member 21 and urging element 23 are replaced by control element 319 and intermediate member 321 , shown in Fig. 8. I ntermediate member 321 is integral with said control element 319. In an embodiment control element 319 is manufactured from a plastic, wherein said control element 319 is obtainable by injection moulding. Intermediate member 321 is provided with a tooth shaped parts 339a, 339b for interacting respectively with said first drive wheel element and said second drive wheel element. Intermediate member 321 is placed in said gas lighter such that the intermediate member 321 is elastically deformed such that said intermediate member is urged against said drive member. Gas lighter 401 , shown in Fig. 9, differs from gas lighter 1 mainly in that the operating mechanism 417 is provided with an intermediate member 421 that has a shape different from intermediate member 21 of gas lighter 1 such that there is no need in gas lighter 401 for an urging element identical to urging element 23 of gas lighter 1 . Elements of gas lighter 401 that are similar to elements of gas lighter 1 are provided with a reference number equal to the reference number of the element in gas lighter 1 raised by 400. Intermediate member 421 comprises an elongated curved organ 441 that is provided with teeth 439. The curvature radius of the elongated curved organ 441 is larger than a radius of drive member 425 to allow said control element 419 to move in said first direction A while moving said curved organ 441 . When moving control element 419 in said first direction A the teeth 439 interact with the protrusions 427 of drive member 425 thereby realising a relative large pivoting angle of said drive member 425 about said rotation axis R. In an embodiment said pivoting angle is in the range of 90 to 270 degrees. Upon movement of said control element 419 from said end position to said rest position, said teeth 439 of said curved organ 441 slide over the protrusions thereby allowing said curved organ 441 to move relative to said drive member 425.