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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
IGNITER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/140048
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
To equip a lighter with a valve structure that can be fitted easily without limiting the material to which it is fitted. [Means of Solution] The igniter provides a unit valve (10) that houses in order a spray nozzle (5), a valve mechanism part (4) and the flow volume adjustment mechanism (3) inside a metal valve main body 11 by causing one end of the spray nozzle (5) to protrude, and that is made into a unit by caulking the other end of said valve main body. The valve main body (11) has a guard part (113) for positioning that protrudes outwards in the vicinity of one end of the spray nozzle (5), and annular projections (114) for welding on the periphery of the other end from said guard part (113). While the valve main body (11) is inserted in the attachment opening (23a) that is formed on the upper wall of the tank (23) from the above-mentioned other end, the above-mentioned projections (114) are ultrasonically inserted in the inner face of the attachment opening (23a) and the unit valve (10) is fitted to the upper wall of the tank (23).

Inventors:
ICHIKAWA, Toshihiro (Tokai Corporation3-4 Shimohara, Subashiri,Oyama-cho Sunto-gu, Shizuoka ., 410-1431, JP)
Application Number:
US2007/065606
Publication Date:
December 06, 2007
Filing Date:
March 30, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCRIPTO-TOKAI, INC. (2055 South Haven Ave, Ontario, CA, 91716, US)
TOKAI CORPORATION (48-3 Sasazuka, 1-chomeShibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0073, JP)
ICHIKAWA, Toshihiro (Tokai Corporation3-4 Shimohara, Subashiri,Oyama-cho Sunto-gu, Shizuoka ., 410-1431, JP)
International Classes:
F23Q13/02
Foreign References:
US4478570A
US4929175A
US4101262A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROJAN, R., Joseph (Trojan Law Offices, 9250 Wilshire Blvd.Suite 32, Beverly Hills CA, 90212, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. An igniter that is equipped with an igniter main body that has an attachment opening on the upper wall of the tank of a tank part that stores fuel gas, a flow volume adjustment mechanism that allows the fuel gas in the above-mentioned tank part to pass through and quantifies it, a valve mechanism part that starts and shuts off the distribution of the quantified fuel gas, a spray nozzle that sprays out the fuel gas that goes through said valve mechanism part, an ignition means that ignites the sprayed gas, and an operation means that operates the above-mentioned valve mechanism part and the above- mentioned ignition means, wherein there is provided a unit valve that houses in order the above-mentioned spray valve, the above-mentioned valve mechanism part and the above- mentioned flow volume adjustment mechanism inside a metal valve main body by causing one end of the above-mentioned spray nozzle to protrude, and that is made into a unit by caulking the other end of said valve main body, the above-mentioned valve main body has a guard part for positioning that protrudes outwards in the vicinity of one end of the above-mentioned spray nozzle, and annular welding projections on the periphery of the other end from said guard part, and while the above-mentioned valve main body is inserted in the above-mentioned attachment opening from the above-mentioned other end, the above-mentioned projections are ultrasonically inserted in the inner face of the above-mentioned attachment opening and the unit valve is fitted to the above-mentioned upper wall of the tank.

2. The igniter described in Claim 1, wherein the peripheral face of the above- mentioned guard part is positioned outwards from the peripheral face of the above- mentioned projections.

3. The igniter described in Claim 1, wherein an elastic member for gas sealing is attached to a groove that formed between the above-mentioned guard part and the above- mentioned projections of the above-mentioned valve main body.

4. The igniter described in any one of the claims from Claim 1-3, wherein the above- mentioned flow volume adjustment mechanism comprises a filter member that is composed by welding the round rim of the filter to the inner face of a cylindrical member made of resin, the above-mentioned valve mechanism is equipped with a valve seat that has a distribution hole through which the above-mentioned fuel gas is distributed, and a

valve body that is installed on the above-mentioned spray nozzle, moves by coming into contact with and disengaging from the above-mentioned valve seat, and opens and closes the above-mentioned distribution hole, a sleeve member that is interposed inside the above-mentioned other end of the above-mentioned valve main body has an inflow hole through which the above-mentioned fuel gas flows in and a protruding part that protrudes annularly on the face of the above-mentioned one end, and the cylindrical member of the above-mentioned filter member is clasped on both sides and held on the above-mentioned valve seat by the pressing of the protruding part of the above-mentioned sleeve member.

5. The igniter described in Claim 4 or 5, wherein the above-mentioned valve seat has a central protruding part that protrudes towards the above-mentioned filter, on the central part of the end face on the side opposed to the above-mentioned valve body.

6. The igniter described in Claim 4 or 5, wherein the above-mentioned distribution hole and the above-mentioned inflow hole are equipped with a small diameter orifice from the other part on the above-mentioned spray nozzle.

Description:

IGNITER

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an igniter, and in particular to a valve structure that has been made into a unit. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventionally, when it comes to the igniters of general inexpensive lighters, firing rods, etc., in order to adjust the volume of fuel gas that is sprayed and to adjust the flame length to a fixed level, a method wherein the volume of fuel gas sprayed is adjusted by using a finger grip, etc., and a method wherein the volume thereof sprayed is adjusted by making the fuel gas pass through a special filter, are known of, and for example an item where a flow volume adjustment mechanism composed of a special filter, the spray nozzle, etc., are made into one unit has been disclosed (Japanese Kokai Patent Bulletin No. H02[ 1990]-52770).

The periphery of the valve made into one unit that is disclosed in Patent Document 1 (hereinafter, unit valve) is covered by metal with a flat shape, and ordinarily it is attached by pressing it into a filter main body made of resin and fixing it therein.

On the other hand, there is also known an item comprising a bilayer structure of a membrane film with fine holes whose hole diameter is 200 to 5,000 nm, and a backing porous film that adheres closely to the upper face of the former, and the special filter composed in this manner is inserted such that the internal diameter of the holder becomes the ventilation diameter, owing to the holder, which has for example the cylindrical shape of a separate body. DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

However, in the event that the lighter main body is formed with a transparent noncrystalline resin such as AS resin, polycarbonate (PC), etc., when the unit valve whose periphery is covered with metal is pressed into it, there is the risk that cracks will occur on the lighter main body due to the stress when it is pressed in and the residual stress after it is pressed in. For this reason, in order to prevent the occurrence of cracks, it is necessary to make the material of the lighter main body out of crystalline resin that is generally poor in transparency, such as nylon (PA), polyacetal (POM), etc., and the

i

material of the lights ends up being limited. In addition, due to the fact that the peripheral shape is flat, the positioning of the valve insertion direction is difficult, and when the position is out of alignment even slightly, there is the risk that this will have an adverse effect on the ignition performance. Moreover, high precision becomes necessary for the dimensions outer diameter of the valve main body and the insertion hole (the attachment opening) of the filter main body, and control of the dimensions is problematic.

In addition, in the event that a special filter that is inserted in the holder as described above is caulked in order to make it one unit, there is the risk that the above- mentioned films will be torn when said caulking is too strong, and there is a risk that the air-tightness will be impaired when the caulking is too small, and since a greater or lesser amount of caulking has a major effect on the amount of air ventilation, careful attention is needed for the adjustment and control of the caulking.

The present invention was created in light of these circumstances, and takes as its purpose the provision of an igniter equipped with a valve structure that is easily fitted without limiting the material to which it is fitted.

The inventive igniter is an igniter equipped with an igniter main body that has an attachment opening on the upper wall of the tank of a tank part that stores fuel gas, a flow volume adjustment mechanism that allows the fuel gas in the above-mentioned tank part to pass through and quantifies it, a valve mechanism part that starts and shuts off the distribution of the quantified fuel gas, a spray nozzle that sprays out the fuel gas that goes through said valve mechanism part, an ignition means that ignites the sprayed gas, and an operation means that operates the above-mentioned valve mechanism part and the above- mentioned ignition means, wherein there is provided a unit valve that houses in order the above-mentioned spray valve, the above-mentioned valve mechanism part and the above- mentioned flow volume adjustment mechanism inside a metal valve main body by causing one end of the above-mentioned spray nozzle to protrude, and that is made into a unit by caulking the other end of said valve main body, the above-mentioned valve main body has a guard part for positioning that protrudes outwards in the vicinity of one end of the above-mentioned spray nozzle, and annular welding projections on the periphery of the other end from said guard part, and while the above-mentioned valve main body is inserted in the above-mentioned attachment opening from the above-mentioned other

end, the above-mentioned projections are ultrasonically inserted in the inner face of the above-mentioned attachment opening and the unit valve is fitted to the above-mentioned upper wall of the tank.

In the inventive igniter, it is preferable that the peripheral face of the above- mentioned guard part is positioned outwards from the peripheral face of the above- mentioned projections.

In the inventive igniter, it is preferable that an elastic member for gas sealing is attached to a groove that formed between the above-mentioned guard part and the above- mentioned projections of the above-mentioned valve main body.

In addition, it is preferable in the case of the inventive igniter that the above- mentioned flow volume adjustment mechanism comprises a filter member that is composed by welding the round rim of the filter to the inner face of a cylindrical member made of resin, the above-mentioned valve mechanism is equipped with a valve seat that has a distribution hole through which the above-mentioned fuel gas is distributed, and a valve body that is installed on the above-mentioned spray nozzle, moves by coming into contact with and disengaging from the above-mentioned valve seat, and opens and closes the above-mentioned distribution hole, a sleeve member that is interposed inside the above-mentioned other end of the above-mentioned valve main body has an inflow hole through which the above-mentioned fuel gas flows in and a protruding part that protrudes annularly on the face of the above-mentioned one end, and the cylindrical member of the above-mentioned filter member is clasped on both sides and held on the above-mentioned valve seat by the pressing of the protruding part of the above-mentioned sleeve member.

In the inventive igniter, it is preferable that the above-mentioned valve seat has a central protruding part that protrudes towards the above-mentioned filter, on the central part of the end face on the side opposed to the above-mentioned valve body.

In the inventive igniter, it is preferable that the above-mentioned distribution hole and the above-mentioned inflow hole are equipped with a small diameter orifice from the other part on the above-mentioned spray nozzle.

According to the inventive igniter, the above-mentioned valve main body has a guard part for positioning that protrudes outwards in the vicinity of one end of the above- mentioned spray nozzle, and annular welding projections on the periphery of the other

end from said guard part, and while the above-mentioned valve main body is inserted in the attachment opening from the above-mentioned other end, the projections are ultrasonically inserted in the inner face of the attachment opening and the unit valve is fitted to the upper wall of the tank, so no consideration is needed about the cracks, etc. that might occur when it is pressed in and fixed, and therefore the material of the upper wall of the tank, that is, the lighter main body, is not limited to crystalline resin, and noncrystalline resin, etc. can also be used. In addition, since it has a guard part for positioning, it is possible to position the unit valve reliably and easily when it is inserted, and it is therefore possible to prevent the occurrence of adverse effects on ignition performance due to the fact that the position is misaligned. Moreover, since high precision is not required to the extent it was previously when the valve main body is pressed into the attachment opening formed on the upper wall of the tank and fixed therein, it is possible to raise productivity.

In addition, since the guard part for positioning is exposed on the exterior from the upper wall of the tank, the valve main body can introduce heat from the exterior. Owing to this, during combustion it is possible to transfer heat from the valve main body to the flow volume adjustment mechanism, that is, the filter that changes the liquid gas into gaseous gas, where the temperature is falling the most, so it is possible to control the cooling of the filter, and it is possible to prevent wavering, etc. of the flame due to a decline in the filter's temperature.

In the event that an elastic member for gas sealing is attached to the groove formed between the guard part and the projections of the main body, the valve main body and the upper wall of the tank are securely sealed, so it is possible to raise the seal performance further and it is possible to prevent the fuel gas from leaking out from the tank part.

In the event that the flow volume adjustment mechanism comprises a comprises a filter member that is composed by welding the round rim of the filter to the inner face of a cylindrical member made of resin, the valve mechanism is equipped with a valve seat that has a distribution hole through which the fuel gas is distributed, and a valve body that is installed on the spray nozzle, moves by coming into contact with and disengaging from the valve seat, and opens and closes the distribution hole, a sleeve member that is

interposed inside the other end of the valve main body has an inflow hole through which the fuel gas flows in and a protruding part that protrudes annularly on the face of the one end, and the cylindrical member of the filter member is clasped on both sides and held on the valve seat by the pressing of the protruding part of the sleeve member, when one unit is made by caulking the other end of the valve main body, the cylindrical member of the filter member is pressed by the valve seat and the protruding part of the sleeve member, so the pressure generated by the caulking is not applied to the filter. Therefore, the filter is not adversely affected by the caulking, and there is no need to adjust the amount of caulking, and the unit valve can be fitted easily.

In the event that the valve seat has a central protruding part that protrudes towards the filter, on the central part of the end face on the side opposed to the valve body, it becomes easier for the filter side end face of the central protruding part to contact the filter, so it is possible to carry out more efficiently heat transfer from the valve main body to the filter through the central protruding part, that is, the valve seat.

In the event that the distribution hole and the inflow hole are equipped with a small diameter orifice from the other part on the spray nozzle, the orifice serves as flow path resistance before and after the fuel gas passes through the filter, and the internal pressure of the tank part rises when the air temperature is high, the above-mentioned resistance also becomes greater along with the rise in the flow volume of the fuel gas, so it is possible to reduce the sudden increase in the volume of fuel gas that flows in. Owing to this, it is possible to reduce the increase in the volume of fuel gas that flows in even when the pressure inside the filter rises, so it is possible to mitigate the adverse effects of the above-mentioned pressure on flame length, and it becomes possible keep the flame length stable. In addition, due to the fact that the orifice is provided on the inflow hole, the inflow and adhesion of fuel gas becomes harder, so it is possible to hold in check the changes in the flame that generally occur when liquid gas adheres.

A detailed description of the lighter 1 in one mode of embodiment for the inventive igniter is provided below with reference to figures. Figure 1 is a section of the lighter 1 of the present mode of embodiment, Figure 2 is an enlarged section of the unit valve 10 of the lighter 1 in Figure 1, Figure 3 is an oblique view of the filter member 3 of the unit valve in Figure 2, Figure 4 is a section of the filter 32, Figure 5 (a) is enlarged

view of part ED in Figure 2, and Figure 5(b) and (c) are figures showing examples of comparison with (a). For convenience's sake, the description of the lighter 1 in the present mode of embodiment will take the side where the flame is formed (the upper side in Figure 1) as the upward direction, and the left-right direction on paper in Figure 1 as the left-right direction.

As shown in Figure 1 , the lighter 1 for the present mode of embodiment is equipped with a lighter main body 2 (igniter main body) that has a tank part that stores fuel gas, a filter member 3 as a flow volume adjustment mechanism that allows the fuel gas of the tank part to pass through and quantifies it, a valve mechanism part 4 that starts and shuts off the distribution of the quantified fuel gas, a spray nozzle that sprays the fuel gas that goes through the valve mechanism part 4, a cap 6 that is disposed above the spray nozzle 5 and is equipped with an insertion opening 6a though which a flame is inserted, a piezoelectric unit 7 as the ignition means for igniting the spray gas, a gas lever 7 that raises up the spray nozzle 5 during the ignition operation and activates the opening of the valve mechanism part 4, and an operation cap 9 as the operation means for operating the gas lever 8 and the piezoelectric unit 7.

The lighter main body 2 is molded with synthetic resin, the lower end thereof is closed with a lower lid 2a, and it has an upper end opening 22, and has inside it a tank part 21 for storing a fuel gas such as butane. The upper wall of the tank 23 is formed in one unit with the lighter main body 2 above the tank part 21, and a guide rib 24 is attached to said upper wall of the tank 23. The upper wall of the tank 23 may be a lid body that is a separate body from the lighter main body 2.

The upper wall of the tank 23 has an attachment opening 23a on which a unit valve 10 (described below) is attached at a position that is set off by a prescribed distance from the center of the left-right direction. The attachment opening 23a is formed such that its diameter becomes smaller as it faces from above to below. In addition, the side opposed to the attachment opening 23 a by clasping the above-mentioned center on both sides serves as the housing part 23b for the piezoelectric unit 7, which is provided such that it stands in one unit on the upper face of the upper wall of the tank 23 and is equipped with a guide rib 24 that guides the up and down movement of the piezoelectric unit 7.

As shown in Figure 2, the unit valve 10 comprises the spray nozzle 5, valve mechanism part 4 and the filter member 3, and these are housed in order in a metal valve main body 11 by causing the tip of the spray nozzle 5 to protrude, and are made into one unit due to the fact that the lower end 11a of said valve main body 11 is caulked. A detailed description of the valve main body 11 is provided below.

The spray nozzle 5 has a roughly tubular shape formed with brass, and has a spray opening 5 a on its upper end. The tip part in the vicinity of said spray nozzle opening 5 a is formed in a tapering shape, and in addition [the spray nozzle 5] is equipped with a head part 52 that is provided with a fine diameter in a step shape on the lower part thereof, and a nozzle engagement part 82 that is formed on one end 81 of the gas lever 8 is engaged with said head part 52. A nozzle tip 51 is attached to the spray opening 5a, and is configured so that a portion of the fuel gas that is sprayed from the nozzle opening 5 a is dispersed to the peripheral part to raise the mixability with the air. In addition, an annular protruding part 53 that protrudes annularly outwards has been formed at a prescribed position below the head part 52, and a side face opening 54 is formed on the lower side face of the annular protruding part 53 and the inside of the spray nozzle and the outside thereof are linked.

The valve mechanism part 4 starts and shuts off the distribution of fuel gas along with the up and down movement of the spray nozzle 5, and comprises a valve body 41 made of rubber that is fitted to the lower end opening 55 of the spray nozzle 5, and a tubular valve seat 42 with a bottom that crowns the lower end of the spray nozzle 5, and is formed with brass. The valve seat 42 has a distribution hole 422 through which the fuel gas is distributed to roughly the center of the bottom wall 421 , and the lower end of the bottom wall 421 has an annular step part 423 that is indented upwards on the periphery, and a central protrusion part 424 that protrudes downwards on the central part. On the distribution hole 422, an orifice 422a with a smaller diameter than the lower part is provided on the upper side (the valve body 41 side) (see Figure 5 (a)). The valve body 41 moves up and down through the inside of the valve seat 42 along with the up and down movement of the spray nozzle 5, and when the valve is closed the vabve body 41 sits on the valve seat 42 and closes the distribution hole 422. The spray nozzle 5 and the valve body 41 are impelled in the seating direction, that is, the valve closing direction, by the

nozzle spring 56 that is attached to contract between the lower face of the upper wall of the vaive main body 11 (described below) and the upper end face of the annular protruding part 53. At this time an O-ring 57 that performs gas sealing is interposed between the nozzle spring 56 and the lower face of the upper wall 111, and one end of the nozzle spring 56 is in contact with said O-ring 57.

A roughly columnar sleeve member 12 is disposed below the valve seat 42, and a filter member 3 (described below) is interposed between said sleeve member 12 and the valve seat 42. The sleeve member 12 has an inflow hole 121 formed of aluminum resin through which the fuel gas flows into roughly the center thereof, and an orifice 121a whose diameter is smaller than the lower part has been provided on the upper side (the valve seat 5 side) on said inflow hole 121. In addition, it has a protruding part 122 that protrudes annularly upwards on the periphery of the upper end face of the sleeve member 12. The upper end face of this protruding part 122 is formed such that the width in the diameter direction is smaller than that of the lower end face of the above-described step part 423.

As shown in Figure 3, the filter member 3 is composed by the welding of the round rim of the filter 32 to the inner face of the hole 311 of the cylindrical member 31, which has a hole 311 in roughly the center thereof. As shown in Figure 4, the filter is composed by overlaying a membrane film 32a that has fine holes and quantifies the gas passing through it, and a porous body 32b with air permeability.

The membrane film 32a is composed for example of a stretched polypropylene resin film (for example, about 0.02 mm) with fine holes whose hole radius is 200 to 5,000 nm, and has the property of allowing gas with a fixed flow volume to pass through more or less irrespective of the volume and temperature of the fuel gas inside the tank part 21. Therefore, since the volume of sprayed gas, that is, the flame length is adjusted by adjusting the flow volume of the fuel gas that passes through, the flame length is non- adjusted and even if the flame length is not adjusted by an adjustment mechanism such as the hand grip in the prior art.

In addition, the porous body 32b is an unwoven cloth made of synthetic resin, and it is preferable that the fiber diameter of the fibers used is 30 to 15 μm, and the coating weight thereof is 40 to 15 g/m 2 . It is preferable that the same polypropylene resin as that

for the membrane film 32a is used for the material of the porous body 32b given that the welding quality is superior.

As shown in Figure 2, the filter member 3 composed as described above is clasped and held between the protruding part 122 of the sleeve member 12 and the step part 423 of the valve seat 42 due to the fact that the cylindrical member 31 is pressed by said protruding part 122. Since the cylindrical member 31 is formed with polypropylene resin given that the quality of the welding with the filter 32 is excellent, as shown in Figure 2, the contact face with the protruding part 122 is deformed due to the above- mentioned pressing. In this manner, the cylindrical member 31 of the filter member 3 is pressed by the step part 423 of the valve 42 and the protruding part 122 of the sleeve member 12, so when it is made into one unit by caulking the lower end part 11a of the valve main body 11 the pressure generated by the caulking is not applied to the filter. Therefore, the filter 32 is not affected by the caulking, and there is no need to adjust the amount of caulking done, and the unit valve 10 can be fitted easily.

Then as shown in Figure 1, the inside of the tank part 21 and the inside of the spray nozzle part 5 are connected through the above-described inflow hole 121, the filter 32 and the distribution hole 422, and the fuel gas inside the tank part 21 is supplied to the spray nozzle 5 by the gas phase system, which does not have a suction core based on porous material. At this time, as described above orifices 121a and 422a have been formed respectively on the inflow hole 121 and the distribution hole 422 (see Figure 5(a)), so the fuel gas inside the tank part 21 is gasified, and the orifice 121a serves as flow path resistance when this gas passes through the inflow hole 121. In the event that the internal pressure inside the tank part 21 rises when the air temperature is high, the above-mentioned resistance also becomes greater along with the rise in the flow volume of the fuel gas, so it is possible to reduce the sudden increase in the volume of fuel gas that flows in. Then, the fuel gas passing through the inflow hole 121 passes through the filter with a stable inflow volume, and then flows into the distribution hole 422 after it is adjusted to a fixed flow volume. At this time an orifice 422a has been formed on the distribution hole 422 as well, so here as well it is possible to obtain the same effects as those of the above-mentioned orifice 121a, and it is possible to send fuel gas in a stable inflow volume to the spray nozzle 5.

Owing to this, it is possible to reduce the increase in the volume of the fuel gas that flows in even if the internal pressure inside the tank part 1 rises, so it is possible to alleviate the effects of the above-mentioned pressure on the flame length, and it becomes possible to maintain a stable flame length. In addition, due to the fact that the orifice is provided on the inflow hole, the inflow and adhesion of fuel gas becomes harder, so it is possible to hold in check the changes in the flame that generally occur when liquid gas adheres.

Here Figure 5 (a) shows an enlarged view of the chief parts of the unit valve 10 in the present mode of embodiment, and Figure 5(b) and (c) show enlarged views of the chief parts of different unit valves for the purpose of comparison with the unit valve 10 in the present mode of embodiment. For the flow paths for the fuel gas, Figure 5 (a) shows a case where the orifice is formed before and after the fuel gas has passed through the filter (hereinafter, '"a"), Figure 5(b) shows a case where an orifice is formed only after it has passed through the filter (hereinafter, "b"), and Figure 5(c) shows a case where an orifice is not formed (hereinafter, (c)). At this time the diameter of the inflow hole 121 and the distribution hole 422 are set at 0.3 mm, whereas the orifice is set at φD = 0.05 ± 0.02 mm. Then the gas pressure inside the lighter and the flame length are measured with the lighter to which the various unit valves are fit as shown in Figure 5. Figure 6 shows a graph showing the relationship between the gas pressure inside the filter and the flame length in a lighter equipped with the unit valve in Figure 5.

As shown in Figure 6, when the gas pressure is 0.7 MPa, the flame length of c is approximately 105 mm, compared to which the flame length of b is approximately 90 mm, and thus compared to c the change in the flame length relative to the gas pressure has been reduced by approximately 15%. Moreover, the flame length of a is approximately 80 mm, and thus compared to c the change in the flame length relative to the gas pressure has been reduced by approximately 24%. It is inferred from this that since a is equipped with orifices both before and after the fuel gas passes through the filter 32, the flow path resistance becomes greater than that in b, which is equipped with an orifice only after the fuel gas passes through the filter 32, and in c, which is not equipped with an orifice, and in the event that the internal pressure inside the lighter rises, the above-mentioned resistance becomes still greater along with the rise in the flow

rate of the fuel gas, so it is possible to reduce the sudden increase in the volume of fuel gas that flows in. In addition, it is inferred that owing to the fact that the orifice 121a is provided before the fuel gas flows through the filter 32, that is, on the inflow hole 121, the inflow and adhesion of fuel gas becomes harder, so it is possible to hold in check the changes in the flame that generally occur when liquid gas adheres.

What is characteristic in the present invention is that a unit valve 10 that houses in order a spray nozzle 5, a valve mechanism part 4 and the flow volume adjustment mechanism 3, which are composed as described above, inside a metal valve main body 11 by causing the tip of the spray nozzle 5 to protrude, and that is made into a unit by caulking the other end 11a of said valve main body 11, is inserted into the attachment hole 23 a of the upper wall of a tank 23, and is fitted thereto by ultrasonic insertion.

The valve main body 11 is formed with brass and has a roughly tubular shape and has an upper wall 11 and openings 112a and 112b on both ends, and has a guard part for positioning 113 that protrudes outwards on the peripheral face in the vicinity of the upper end. The valve main body 11 in the present mode of embodiment is made of brass, but the inventive valve main body is not limited to this, and provided the ultrasonic insertion can be done into a member that is formed with resin, the valve main body 11 may also be formed of zinc die-cast, aluminum, etc.

Three annular welding projections 14 with sharp tips facing obliquely upwards are formed on the periphery, which is separated by a prescribed distance below the guard part 113. The diameter of said salients for welding becomes smaller as it faces from above to below, and the peripheral face of the guard part 113 is positioned outwards from the peripheral face of the welding projections 114. In addition, a groove 115 has been formed between the guard part 113 and the welding projections 114, and an O-ring 116 (elastic member) for gas sealing has been attached to said groove 115.

Figure 7 shows a figure explaining the ultrasonic insertion. In the lighter 1 for the present mode of embodiment, the valve main body 11 of a unit valve 10 composed as described above is inserted as shown in Figure 7(a) into the opening 23a of the above- described upper wall of the tank 23. After it is inserted up to the prescribed position, the lower end face of a so-called horn H, which applies vibration and pressure to the resin of an ultrasonic insertion machine (not depicted), is brought into contact with the upper end

face of the guard part 113 of the valve main body 11, and the guard is pressed while ultrasonic vibration in a longitudinal direction at about 15 to 100 KHz is applied thereto. When this is done, said vibration is transmitted through the guard part 113, that is, the valve main body 1 , and the frictional heat rises at the contact face between the outer face of the welding projections 114 and the inner face of the opening 23, and the above- mentioned contact face is welded (transfer welding). Since the valve main body 11 is inserted in the opening 23 a until the lower end face of the guard part 113 is brought into contact with the upper face of the upper wall of the tank 23, when it is inserted into the unit valve 10 it is possible to position the insertion direction reliably and easily with the guard part 113, and it is possible to prevent the occurrence of adverse effects on ignition performance due to misalignment of the position. In addition, in the case of ultrasonic insertion, high precision is not required to the extent it was previously when the valve main body 11 is pressed opening 23a and fixed therein, it is possible to raise productivity. The unit valve 10 is fitted to the upper wall of the tank 23 in this way. Ordinarily in the case of an igniter such as the lighter 1 the diameter of the unit valve 10 is about 4 mm, so it is possible to insert a metal member into a resin member.

As noted above, since the unit valve 10 is fitted to the upper wall of the tank 23, that is, the lighter main body 2 by ultrasonic insertion, no consideration is needed about the cracks, etc. that might occur when it is pressed in and fixed, and therefore the material of the lighter main body 2 is not limited to crystalline resin, and non-crystalline resin, etc. can also be used. In addition, since the guard part 113 is exposed on the exterior from the upper wall of the tank, the valve main body 11 can introduce heat from the exterior, and owing to this during combustion it is possible to transfer heat from the valve main body to the filter 32 where the temperature is falling the most, so it is possible to control the cooling of the filter 32, and it is possible to prevent wavering, etc. of the flame due to a decline in the temperature of the filter 32. Moreover as described above, since the valve seat 42 has a central protruding part 424 that protrudes towards the filter on the central part of the lower end face, it becomes easier for the lower end face of the central protruding part 424 to contact the filter 32, so it is possible to carry out more efficiently heat transfer from the valve main body 11 to the filter 32 through the central protruding part 424, that is, the valve seat 42.

In the lighter 1 for the present mode of embodiment the valve main body 11 has a peripheral shape like that described above, but the inventive valve main body 11 is not limited to the above-mentioned shape, and provided it is a peripheral shape with which ultrasonic insertion is possible, the design may be modified as appropriate. Here Figure 8 shows a front view of a unit valve for a different mode of embodiment. The unit valve 10 shown in Figure 8 differs from the above-described mode of embodiment only insofar as the shape of the welding projections 114 is different. Therefore, a description of those elements for which the numbers of the key indicate the same places is omitted here, and a description is provided only of the welding projections 114.

There are six welding projections 114A in Figure 8 (a) in the up and down direction, and they are formed such that they protrude annularly and the peripheral faces thereof are flat. The welding projections 114B in Figure 8(b) are formed such that rectangles arranged in rows protrude in the peripheral direction and up and down direction, and only one row at the lower end has a sharp as it faces from below to above. The welding projections 114C in Figure 8(c) are disposed such that rhombuses arranged in rows project in the peripheral direction and up and down direction, and each row in the up and down direction differs from the others.

In addition, the gas lever 8, whose nozzle engagement part 82 at one end engages with the head part 52 of the above-described spray nozzle 5, is formed in an L-shape, the shaft of a curved part 83 is supported so it slides freely on a guide rib 24, and the other end 84 is disposed such that it extends obliquely to the piezoelectric unit 7 side, and is linked with a lever press 71 (described below).

On the other hand, the operation cap 9, which is disposed above the lighter main body 2 on the side opposed to the spray nozzle 5, crowns the upper end of the piezoelectric unit 7 on the inner side thereof, and is capable of activating downward pressing. The piezoelectric unit 7 is held by the guide rib 24 and is attached to the housing part 23b of the upper wall of the tank 23, and is provided such that its upper part can move up and down. A discharging electrode 72 that is connected by a wire to the upper end of the piezoelectric unit 7 is disposed on the upper part of the operation cap 9, and the high voltage that is generated along with the activation of the piezoelectric unit 7

is impressed between the discharging electrode 72 and the nozzle tip 51 and discharge for ignition is performed thereby.

In addition, the upper part of the of the piezoelectric unit 7 moves down along with the pressing down operation of the operation cap 9, and the above-mentioned other end 84 of the gas lever 8 comes into contact with the side face of said upper part that is moving down and a lever press 71 that causes the lever 8 to rotate circularly is installed. Owing to this, the lever press 71 causes the lever 8 to rotate circularly along with the pressing down operation of the operation cap 9, and causes the fuel gas to be sprayed from the spray nozzle 5, and moreover this activates the piezoelectric unit 7 by promoting the pressing down operation and discharge ignition is performed.

A detailed description is provided below of the operation of the gas lighter 1 composed as described above. In the non-use state shown in Figure 1, the spray nozzle 5 moves down due to the nozzle spring 56, and the valve body 41 sits on the valve seat 42 and closes the distribution hole 422, and blocks the distribution of the fuel gas. At this time the gas lever 8 is in a state where one end 81 thereof is swinging downwards.

When the lighter is used, the user presses down the upper face of the operation cap 9 with his finger. When this is done, the piezoelectric unit 7 is pressed down in conjunction with this action, and the lever press 71 causes the one end 81 of the gas lever 8 to swing upwards, and owing to this the spray nozzle 5 is lifted up, and the valve body 41 disengages from the valve seat 42 and the distribution hole 422 opens When this is done, the fuel gas of the tank part 21 passes through the filter 32, said fixed volume of fuel gas that passes through flows into the distribution hole 422, and then flows from the periphery of the spray nozzle 5 via the side surface opening 54 to the inside of said nozzle 5. Then the fuel gas inside the spray nozzle 5 is sprayed from the nozzle opening 5a at the upper end, and immediately after that discharge is carried out by the piezoelectric unit 7, and a combustion flame of the prescribed length is produced.

When the user finishes using the lighter 1, he removes his finger from the operation cap 9 When this is done, it returns to its original position (upwards) due to the strength of the spring provided on the piezoelectric unit 7, the spray nozzle 5 is lifted up by the nozzle spring 56, the spray of fuel gas is blocked and the flame is extinguished.

The lighter 1 in the present mode of embodiment is a piezoelectric lighter that uses a piezoelectric unit 7 as the ignition means, but the inventive lighter is not limited to this, and it may also be a file ignition lighter that uses a flint stone or a file wheel as the ignition means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a central section of the lighter in one embodiment of the present invention. Figure 2 is an enlarged section of the unit valve in Figure 1. Figure 3 is an oblique view of the filter member in Figure 1. Figure 4 is a section of the filter in Figure 3. Figure 5 is a section of the various chief parts of the unit valve.

Figure 6 is a graph showing the relationship between the gas pressure inside the filter and the flame length in a lighter equipped with the unit valve in Figure 5. Figure 7 is a figure explaining the ultrasonic insert of the unit valve. Figure 8 is front view of the unit valve in another mode of embodiment. FIGURE LEGEND 1... Lighter (igniter) 10... Unit valve 11... Valve main body 11a... Other end 113... Guard part for positioning 114... Welding projection 115... Groove 116... Elastic member 12... Sleeve member 121... Inflow hole 121a... Orifice of the inflow hole 122... Protruding part 2... Lighter main body (igniter main body) 21... Tank part 22... Upper end opening 23... Upper wall of the tank

23a... Attachment opening

3... Filter member (flow volume adjustment mechanism)

31... Cylindrical member

32... Filter

4... Valve mechanism part

41... Valve body

42... Valve seat

422... Inflow hole

422a... Orifice of the inflow hole

423... Step part

424... Central protruding part

5... Spray nozzle

6... Cap

1... Piezoelectric unit (ignition means)

8... Gas lever

9... Operation cap (operation means)