US 2817226 A
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Dec, 24, 1957 L. A. DICKMAN HIGHWAY, FLARE Filed May 31, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 //v vayroe LESA/E 4. 0/ (k/VAN A v'rjalznrgys.
L. A. DICKMAN 2,817,226
HIGHWAY FLARE Dec. 24, 1957 Filed May 31, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States 2,817,226 Patented Dec. 24, 19 57 ice HIGHWAY FLARE Leslie A. Dickman, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, assignor of one-half to Thomas J. Lynott, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Application May 31, 1955, Serial No. 512,188
Claims priority, application Canada June 2, 1954 1 Claim. (Cl. 67-55) This invention relates to emergency flares for use, for
example, on highways.
Existing flares of this type are not only relatively expensive, heavy and bulky, and hence substantially confined in use to trucks, but are subject to the disadvantage that no provision is made for sealing them so that they accumulate water by condensation with the result that the wick freezes in winter and the flare is most difiicult to light. Moreover, owing to this lack of sealing, existing flares are frequently used by drivers of trucks to provide illumination for loading and unloading in dark places, with the result that the fuel contained in the flare is used up and there is either none or an inadequate supply when an emergency arises.
These disadvantages are overcome by the construction of the present invention, according to which there is provided an emergency flare comprising a sealed metal container for a liquid fuel, a fixed metal partition dividing the container into a relatively small upper combustion compartment and a relatively large lower fuel compartment, and a wick extending from the bottom of the lower compartment through a hole in the fixed partition into the upper compartment and secured by means on the partition against downward movement. Means are provided for effecting removal of the upper end of the container. The partition is preferably perforated (apart from the hole through which the wick passes) so that the liquid fuel can readily drain back into the fuel compartment,
/ should the flare have been placed other than upright prior to using it. Moreover, these perforations prevent the build-up of a vacuum which might occur in the fuel compartment as the fuel level dropped. Such a vacuum would, of course, interfere with the proper raising of the fuel by the wick. It has been found that the windshield constituted by the wall of the upper compartment after removal of the upper end of the container is most effective when the partition is spaced from that end by a distance equal to at least one fourth of the diameter of the container.
The invention thus provides an emergency flare, the cost of which is a small fraction of that of the existing flares so that it need only be used once, and hence may be sealed until use, thus eliminating moisture absorption by the wick and reducing the possibility of its being used for other than emergencies.
It may be desirable to provide flares according to the invention which burn for varying lengths of time. The size of the fuel container will therefore be varied accordingly, usually by varying its depth. Any increase in container depth will, of course, require a corresponding increase in wick length and hence an increase in the distance through which the liquid fuel must be raised by the wick. If, with a deeper container, any difliculty is experienced with satisfactory burning of the wick this may be overcome by the provision of supplementary windshielding means. These may suitably be constituted by a metal housing partially enclosing the upper end of the wick projecting through the partition. The housing is suitably attached to the upper face of the partition and should, of course, have openings in its walls to permit proper combustion. Preferably the housing is formed by the coaction of two substantially U-shaped metal members which are attached in an inverted position to the upper face of the partition and cross each other at right-angles to form the housing which is substantially in the form of an open-cornered cube.
The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 illustrates a sealed flare according to the invention,
Figure 2 shows the flare of Figure 1 with the top removed and part of the side wall cut away to illustrate the partition and wick,
Figure 3 is a fragmentary detail section taken on section line 3-3 of Figure 2 showing the means for securing the wick against downward movement,
Figure 4 is a top plan view of the supplementary windshielding means, and
Figure 5 is a fragmentary view showing an alternative method of opening the upper end of the container.
Referring to Figure 1, the sealed container 10 having a wall 11, bottom end 12 and top end 13 may be provided with an opener 14 for cutting away the top end 13, the opener being of simple construction and soldered or otherwise secured to the top 13, a spot of solder being indicated by the reference numeral 15. The top may be completely cut away by use of the opener 14 or may be left connected by a small neck so that it will not be lost but can be used to cover the top of the container in order to snuff out the flame when the need for the flare has passed.
Alternatively the container 10 may be provided with a tearstrip 24 whereby removal of the top 13 may be effected when the strip is wound upon the key 26. The latter is, before use, removably attached preferably to the top 13 as shown at 27. The key is then easily removed from the top and engaged with the tab 25 in preparation for the winding operation.
A partition 16 is positioned between the ends of the container dividing it into a relatively large lower fuel compartment A and a relatively small upper combustion compartment B (see Figure 2) with the upper portion of the wall 11 forming a windshield. The partition 16 is preferably a press fit or may alternatively be securely fastened as by spot welding or soldering. As shown, the partition 16 is secured in place by forming a series of depressions 20 (Figures 1, 2 and 5) in the wall 11 above and below its edge, which may be effected by the action of a double set of toothed wheels. Alternatively a continuous depression might be formed in the container wall above and below the edge of the partition by an appropriate beading tool. The partition is positioned a distance from the top of the container which is at least one-fourth of the diam eter of the container, so that the wall of the upper compartment forms an effective windshield as described above.
The partition is provided with a central hole 17 (Figure 2) through which a conventional wick 18 passes from one side of the partition to the other with a short end projecting into the combustion compartment B and the remainder projecting to the bottom of the fuel compartment A. The edge of the partition comprising the outer margin of the hole 17 is formed with at least one, but preferably four, spurs 21 as shown in Figure 3. The spurs are pointed and extend upward from the upper face of the partition 16. They are sloped inward toward the hole 17 at approximately a 45 angle to the upper face of the partition. During assembly of the flare, the wick can thus be easily inserted through the hole 17 from the 3 lower face of the partition, but will be held by the spurs against downward movement when the partition is fixed in place.
Prior to the use of the flare it may be in any position, e. g. on its side, and fuel may seep past the wick into the upper portion of the container. In order that this may quickly pass back into the fuel compartment A when the flare is set in the upright position ready for use, the partition is preferably provided with a series of drainage holes 19 (Figures 2 and 4). These holes will also, as previously explained, obviate any possibility of vacuum build-up in the fuel compartment A.
Figure 4 shows a preferred form of the supplementary windshielding means. Two metal members 22, which are substantially U-shaped, are placed upside down and secured to the upper face of the partition 16 by lugs 23 which are inserted into the drainage holes 19 and then turned under the partition. The members 22 are crossed above the wick at right-angles. The resulting housing is substantially cube-shaped with open corners which permit proper combustion of the fuel on the wick 18 while providing protection from wind in addition to that provided by the wall 11 of the combustion compartment.
There is thus provided a simple, light and inexpensive flare which can be produced at a cost permitting the flare to be discarded after one use, whereby there is eliminated the present difliculty of water accumulating, partly by condensation, and resulting in the freezing of the wick. The partition 16 and the wick-protecting housing (if present) heats up quickly and even a heavy rain evaporates quickly enough to prevent the flame being extinguished by the rain. The wall 11 of the container above the partition 16 and the wick-protecting housing (if present) provides a most eifective windshield with 4 the result that the flame continues to burn in a wind of suflicient strength to blow the container over.
What I claim as my invention is:
An emergency flare comprising a metal container having upright wall means and an integral base, a metal partition extending transversely of and secured to the upright wall means and dividing the container into a relatively small upper combustion compartment and a relatively large lower liquid fuel compartment, a wick extending from substantially the bottom of the lower compartment through a hole in said partition in the upper compartment, means integral with the partition for securing said wick against downward movement, a metal housing partially enclosing that portion of the wick extending into said combustion compartment, said housing being substantially in the form of an open-cornered cube and comprising two substantially U-shaped metal members attached in inverted position to the upper face of said partition, the U-shaped members crossing each other at right angles above the upper end of said wick, a metal sealing member extending across the top of the combustion compartment and integrally united with said upright wall means whereby the metal container is sealed with the flare in inoperative condition so long as the seal is intact, and means for permanently destroying the seal to enable the container to be opened and the flare to be rendered operative.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,120,255 McCloskey June 14, 1938 2,121,903 Currie June 28, 1938 2,185,800 Damon Ian. 2, 1940 2,371,173 Hothersall Mar. 13, 1945