US 2798493 A
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y 1957 SUKACEV 2,798,493
DEVICES FOR TRANSFERRING THERMO-ELECTRIC POWER EFFECTS TO THE SKIN OF A HUMAN Filed June 9, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet l July 9, 1957 s c v 2,798,493
DEVICES FOR TRANSFERRING THERMO-ELECTRIC POWER EFFECTS TO THE SKIN OF A HUMAN Filed June 9, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 DEVICES FOR TRANSFERRING TI-IERMOELEC= 13151! AgyOWEK EFFECTS TO THE SKIN OF A Lev Sukacev, New York, N. Y.
Application June 9, 1954, Serial No. 435,391
1 Claim. (Cl. 128379) The present invention relates to devices for use in transferring thermo-electric power effects to the skin of a human.
A highly desirable feature of the invention is an improved arrangement of elements in a unit that is conveniently applied to the human body for the purpose of transferring thermo-electric power effects to the skin of a human. The unit comprises an insulating base or plate that has on one side or face a plurality of thermocouples adapted to be placed against the surface of the external integument of a body. The side or face of the base or plate is preferably relatively smooth, and free from projections which are apt to produce indentations. Attached to the base is a thin metallic strip composed of a plurality of lengths of dissimilar metals connected in series in overlapping relationship and forming a thermocouple at each junction. The strip is attached to, and lies flatly against, the face of the base. A terminal is provided in the base at each end of the strip. A separate lead, of any desirable form, is connected to each terminal and each lead serves as a conductor for direct contact with the body.
A further feature of the invention may be included as a part of the above-mentioned unit for the purpose of increasing its efficiency. For a given difference in temperature between that of the body and that of the atmosphere, it has been found that the current from the unit may be effectively increased by including between each end of the strip and the terminal to which it is connected, a properly insulated metallic means for dissipating the heat from the thermocouples. The aforesaid base or plate serves as a heat-insulating means for this purpose as well as an electrical insulator.
Other objects and details of the invention will be apparent from the following description, when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. l is a view of a side of one form of the device; Fig. 2 is an elevational view; Fig. 3 is a view of a side of a modification of the device; Fig. 4 is a plan view of enlarged details for use in the device; Fig. 5 is a cross sectional view on line 55 of Fig. 4; Fig. 6 is an enlarged section of a fragment of the device shown in Fig. 2; Fig. 7 is a view of one face of a preferred form of a current generator unit for application to a body; Fig. 8 is an elevational view of the unit; and Fig. 9 is an enlargement of a sectional view of a fragment of the unit.
Referring to the drawing, Figs. 1 and 2 illustrate a form of the device that may be applied to the wrist or arm of a person as a bracelet, for instance. To the surface of a face of a shield-like base or plate 1, which may be quadrangular, as shown, or in the form of a disc, preferably of plastic, transparent if desired, or other heat and electricity insulating material, is aflixed a relatively thin metallic strip 2 composed of alternating, electrically connected, overlapping sections of dissimilar metals 3 and 4, for forming thermocouples 5. The metals used should be properly spaced in the electromotive force series of elements. In the strip 2, shown, the sections 3 may be of copper, and the sections 4 of zinc, for instance; or the sections 3 may be of copper and the sections 4 of nickel.
2,798,493 Patented July 9, 1957 "ice It is also possible to use iron in sections 3 and an alloy like constantan in sections 4. A thin coat 6 of lacquer or paint, suflicient to serve as electrical insulation, but insufiicient to prevent penetration of heat to the thermocouples 5, is applied over the metal strip 2, as shown in an enlarged section in Fig. 6. This enlargement is somewhat exaggerated, since preferably no visible ridges appear on this coated face. In fact, this face is relatively smooth, and projections of any kind thereon are preferably avoided.
An end section 3 of the strip 2 is connected to a terminal 7, and the other end section 4 of the strip 2 is connected to a terminal 8. These terminals are in the plate 1 and form a part of the current generating unit. The terminal 7 is electrically connected to one end of a chain 9 which serves as a lead and is brought around the wrist of a person and is attached to the insulator plate 1 at 10. The terminal 8 is electrically connected to one end of a chain 11 which also serves as a lead and is brought around the wrist and is attached to the plate 1 at 12.
Though not essentially so, each of the chains 9 and 11 is composed of alternate sections of different metals as in the case of the strip 2. The ends of these chains may be provided with suitable means for separate and convenient attachment to or detachment from the plate 1.
When a bracelet is worn on the arm of a person, the plate 1, provided with ornamentations if desired, is placed so that the coated side to which the strip 2 is affixed is in close contact with the skin. By transfer of heat, the temperature of the strip 2 is raised, and the heat-insulating plate 1 serves to maintain the strip more nearly at the temperature of the body. The metal chains 9 and 11 arev constant and continuous fiow of a small electric current results.
For a belt-type of appliance, as shown in Fig. 3, the plate 1 is connected to an elastic fabric strip 16 which can be substituted for the chains 9 and 11 (Fig. 1). A low gauge wire 17 is embedded in undulating form in the fabric strip 16 along one edge thereof. One end of the wire 17 is electrically attached to the terminal 18 at one end of the bimetallic strip 2 on the plate 1. A similar wire 20 is embedded in the fabric strip 16 along the op posite edge thereof and is electrically attached to the terminal 21 at the other end of the strip 2. The wire 17 extends to a point 22 short of the end of the fabric strip 16 adjacent the ring 23 for attachment to the plate 1. The wire 20 extends to a point 24 short of the end of the strip 16 adjacent the attaching ring 25.
To the fabric strip 16 are afiixed a plurality of spaced, thin metal plates or discs 28 and 29. The discs 28 are electrically connected to the wire 17, and the discs 29 are electrically connected to the wire 20. When a belt is applied to the body, the coated face of plate 1, and the bare side of each of the discs 28 and 29 are placed against the skin. The wires 17 and 20 are insulated from the body. Thermo-electric power effects produced upon application of a belt, are transferred to the body'througlr,
3 Ap'referred form of the device, as illustrated in Figs. 7 to 9,comprises a plate or-base 31 of plastic, transparent if desired, or of other heat-and electricity insulating or dielectric material, to one side or face 32 of which is afiixed a battery of thermocouples formed of a plurality of metal strips 33 and a plurality of dissimilar metal strips 34 'as-in the case of strips 3 and 4 as shown in Fig; 1. To the opposite side or face 35 of the plate 31 are affixed a metal strip 36 and a metal strip 37 electrically connected to the battery as hereinafter described.
The plate 31 may be of any shape, and the face 3.2 thereof is preformed to provide uniform contact with the skin, and, if desired, it may be shaped to conform with the contour of the surface of the part of a body to which the 'device is applied. The plate. 31, forming the base or support for the battery of thermocouples, is composed preferablyof a thermoplastic material, such as Lucite or Vinylite, and its dimensions depend to some extent on the number of thermocouples in the battery or vice versa. The base may also, if desired, be formed of thermosetting materials. Instead of being in one piece and of the same material, it may be a laminated structure.
I The metal strips 33 and 34 of dissimilar metals are electrically connected in series and are shown'alternately arranged in a sinuous path across the face 32 of the base 31. The connecting ends of the strips are preferably in overlapping relationship, as'exaggeratedly shown in Fig. I
9, forming a thermocouple 40 at each connection. In
I the an'angement shown in Fig. 7, the thermocouples 40 are in alignment across the face 32 of the plate 31 and serve informing the aforementioned battery. The strips 33 lie to one side of the thermocouples 40 and the strips 34 he to the other side. An end strip 41 is joined. to a strip 34 at one end of the series to forma thermocouple 42, and extends to a connector 43 that passes through the plate 31 and electrically connects with the'strip 36 on the face 35 of'the plate 31. An end strip 44 is joined with a strip 33 at the other end of the series to form a thermocouple '45, andextends to a connector 46 that passes through the plate 31 and electrically connects .with the strip 37 on the face 35 of the plate 31.
The positions of the end strips 41 and 44, the strips 33 and 34, and the strips 36 and 37, as shown, are a matter 'of convenience in the simultaneous formation thereof by electrolytic deposition. The metal for these strips may be deposited by known processes in grooves, if desired,-preformed in the plate 31. By electrolysis 'or other procedures, the metal forming the strips 33, 41 and 36 is affixed or deposited'adjacentonc end of the plate 31, and then the metal forming the strips 34, 44 and 37 is aflixed or deposited adjacent the other end of plate 31, while overlapping the previous deposit, to form the thermocouples40, 42 and 45, shown diagrammatically in a line between the vertices of the outer curves or bends indicated in the sinuous strip formed by the lengths 33 and 34. Other methods or means of providing the thermocouples may be applied and the relative positions and arrangement thereof may be determined, by the contour of the surface of the part of a body to which the article is applied, and, so that at least one thermocouple in thebattery can be placed for transmission of heat from the body.
The plate 31 is preferably of a thickness that effectively maintains the thermocouples at or close to the temperature of the surface of a body to which they are applied, and also that prevents passage of heatwhich would'raise or'appreciably raise the temperature of the metal strips 36 and 37. These strips, as formed, and as exposed to the atmosphere, function as heat dissipating means to effect a cooling and to prevent the heat that might otherwise be conducted through the connectors 43 and 46 fromraising 'on the strips 33 and 34'and on the thermocouples 40.
This coating 51, as in the case of coating 6 (Figs. 2 and 6) should not prevent penetration of heat to the thermocouples' and should serve as'electrical insulation.
Metal chains or other conducting means are connected to the terminals 48 and 49 and to the plate as at 53 and S4. for which connector means such as 55 and 56 may be provided. The thermoelectric power effects are transferred to the body through the chains or conductors which are preferably constructedor insulated to maintain a temperature below the temperature at the thermocouples. In the article of the present invention a temperature differential may be conveniently maintaincd by use of the'strips 36 and 37 in the current gencrating unit. The dissipation of heat from these strips is found to be advantageously effective whcnthe length of each is approximately or substantially .at least the same length as the combined lengths of the strips of the metal to which connection is made to the thermocouples on the opposite face of the plate 31; forinstance, the length of the strip 36 as compared with the combined lengths of strips 33 and strip 41.
While there are hereinabove disclosed but a, limited number of embodiments of the structure of the invention presented, it is possible to produce still other embodiments without departing from the inventive concept herein disclosed, and it is desired therefore that only such limitations be imposed on the appended claim as are stated therein.
This application is a continuation in part of application Serial No. 367,188 filed July 10, 1953, and now abandoned, and of application Serial No. 396,293 filed December 4, 1953.
The invention claimed is:
In a device for use in transferring thermoelectric effccts to the skin of a person, a plate consisting of thermoplastic, heat-insulating material having a surface that can be shaped to conform with the contour of the part of the body to which the plate is applied, a thin metallic strip aflixed flatly against said surface and shapable to conform with the contour of said surface, the said strip consisting of alternate lengths of dissimilar metals joined end to end by an overlap forming on said surface in spaced relation to each other a plurality of thermocouples among which at least one odd overlap touches the skin when applied to said part of the body and is heated thereby, a metallic extension electrically connected to each end of said strip, each said extension passing through the plate to the opposite surface thereof and there-across to a terminal, and each said extension lying flatly against said opposite surface in the form of a thin strip; and metallic means forming a lead connected to each terminal for contacting the skin.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 310,140 Kram Dec. 30, 1884 FOREIGN PATENTS 247,095 Great Britain Feb. 11, 1926 399,092 Great Britain Sept. .28, 1933