US 3362395 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 9, 1968 R. H. PETERSON 3,362,395
HEARTH LOG FLAME DIFFUSING AND INTENSIFICATION APPARATUS Filed March 30, 1966 25 INVENTOR. B08527- E PETE-250M ZZw/W' Hr romveys.
United States Patent Ofiice Patented Jan. 9, 1968 3,362,395 HEARTH LOG FLAME DIFFUSING AND INTENSIFICATION APPARATUS Robert H. Peterson, Altadeua, Calif, assiguor to Inter.-
national Products, Inc., Pasadena, Calif, a corporation of California Filed Mar. 30, 1966, Ser. No. 538,849 9 Claims. (Cl. 126-92) This invention relates generally to hearth log apparatus and, more particularly, concerns provision of improved hearth fire equipment, including refractory logs, that eliminates the inconvenience and expense associated with natural hearth log fires while retaining the advantages of such fires. In a particular aspect, the invention provides for controlled, highly realistic simulation of natural hearth log flame patterns.
It is a major object of the invention to provide hearth log apparatus comprising a cradle; refractory log means carried on the cradle to simulate a natural log bearing hearth when viewed from the front of the cradle; a frontwardly concealed gas burner structure extending below the log means and spaced therefrom in gas releasing proximity to the log means; and flame diffusing means disposed between the log means and the gas burner comprising a porous mass of particulate refractory material defining a channel of decreasing cross-sectional area through which the gas released by the gas burner is channeled to travel upwardly and with increasing velocity in order to rise at the front of the log means to effect production of an irregularly varying pattern of flame realistically distributed along and rising adjacent the natural log simulating front surfaces of the refractory log means.
Advantageous features of the invention include the provision of the charm and warmth of a natural log fire without the usual work, inconvenience and expense; absence of ash; elimination of spark hazard; provision of a flame producing gas burner structure concealed from exposure to view from the front side of the cradle; and diffusion of gas flame adjacent the log means in an irregularly varying pattern closely simulating in intensity and distribution the dancing, flickering flames associated with natural hearth log fires.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention as Well as details of an illustrative embodiment, will be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view showing the hearth logs, cradle, gas burner assembly, and a flame diffusing porous mass of particulate material;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the FIG. 1 assembly; and
FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
The hearth log apparatus shown in the figures comprises a radle 11, refractory log means such as front, rear and top logs 12a, 12b and 120 carried on the cradle 11 to simulate a natural log bearing hearth when viewed from the front of the cradle, flame diffusing means including a porous mass 13a of particulate refractory material such as sand disposed in trough 13 upon which the log 12a is supported and gas burner structure 14 extending axially in trough 13 below the logs 12a, 12b and 120 and spaced therefrom embedded in the porous mass 13a in such gas releasing proximity to the log means as to produce a flame pattern diffused through porous mass 13a adjacent the log means 12a, 12b and 120, the downwardly directed burner ports 1411 being concealed in the porous mass 13a from view from the front side of the cradle.
The term refractory as used herein refers to the quality of being impervious to very hot gas flame in normal atmosphere. Refractory material is material, generally, but not necessarily, inorganic in nature having this refractory quality. Typical refractory materials are siliceous materials including silicas and silicates. Among specific refractory materials, there can be mentioned sand, rock, fire clay, zircon, zirconia, magnesite, dolomite, chrome, high alumina, carbon, silicon carbide, tungsten, tantalum, titanium and boron carbides and nitrides, sandstone, diatomite, pyrophyllite, topaz, durnortierite, talc, soapstone, beryllia and thoria and other known refractory materials such as cement, brick and ceramic materials of various sorts.
The logs 12a, 12b and 12c typically consist of refractory materials, such as above named, molded to have their frontwardly facing portions resemble natural logs, as indicated in the drawings. Also, the rear log 12b may have laterally elongated recess 15 sunk into the forward face 16 thereof and front log 12a may have a laterally elongated recess 17 sunk into the rearward side 18 thereof, for purposes as will appear.
The cradle 11 includes two like metallic straps 20 which are spaced apart lengthwise of the logs. Each strap includes forward and rearward legs 21 and 22, a horizontal portion 23 supporting rear log 12b and a V-shaped portion 23a supporting trough 13 and burner structure 14 therein. Trough 13 is provided with generally horizontal frontwardly extending portion, cradle grate 25. The trough is typically attached as by fasteners 26 to the strap portion 23a.
The trough 13 and cradle grate 25 may be formed of sheet metal to have a tongue portion 31, and be perforate to form a grille, as best seen in FIG. 1, at the front side of the front log.
Disposed in trough 13 is the flame diffusing means, porous mass 13a which may be any of the refractory materials above enumerated, ground to a particulate fineness typical of commercial sand grain sizes. The particulate refractory material is arranged in the trough 13 with a degree of compaction adequate to provide forward and rearward paths through the resulting mass for passage of gas with respect to forward log 12a. The forward path is defined by the mass 13a to have decreasing cross sectional area in region 40 and through which the gas released by the gas burner is channeled to travel upwardly and with increasing velocity in order to rise at the front 41 of log 12a to effect production of an irregularly varying pattern of flame distributed along and rising adjacent the natural log simulating front surface of the log 12a. Note the substantially uniform width narrow band 42 of the mass 13a exposed at the foot of the log 12a and extending lengthwise thereof, to distribute the gas and flame along the log. As a result, a chimney effect or draft is produced at the front of the log 12a, with no chimney being visible.
Log 12a is supported on end walls 27 of trough 13 allowing adjustment shifting of the log 12a frontwardly and rearwardly to vary the width of band 42 and the chimney effect inducing rising of flame distributed along the front of log 12a. Accordingly, control of flame is achieved in an unusually effective manner. Front log 12a is preferably of a width permitting effluent from porous mass 13a to pass before and behind the log. Rear log 12b is spaced a distance behind front log 12a to permit passage of eflluent gas and flame from porous mass 13a between logs 12a and 1212. In this regard, rear portions of the front log and the trough define a narrow lengthwise gap 43 to channel gas and flame with increased velocity to flow into the space or passage 44 between logs 12a and 12b, i.e., at the front of rear log 12b, producing a realistic rise of flame extending to 45, and along the logs. Adjustment shifting of log 12a toward log 12b increases the height of the front flame at 41 relative to the height of the rear flame at 45, whereby control of relative fiame heights is achieved. A third log 12c and more can be placed on the logs 12a and 12b, as indicated. Opposed recesses and 17 sunk in rear log 12b and front log 12a respectively afford an alternate widening and narrowing of the passage between these logs for gas flame introducing a further turbulence to the stream of burning gas and heightening the natural log fire effect of the apparatus. Similar venturi effect can be achieved by the use of only one recess either 15 or 17.
The burner unit 14 comprises a tubular section communicating with a supply pipe 32 and provided with a plurality of spaced ports 14a for delivery of gas. As depicted in the drawings, burner unit 14 is disposed within the porous mass 13a. This is preferred for best gas/flame diffusion and for most simply concealing the burner unit. Other arrangements including special inverted V sections in the lowermost depths of the trough in which the burner unit can be placed, or an elongate aperture through which gas can be delivered to the trough from the burner unit can be used as well. Care should be taken to prevent undue ingress of particulate refractory material into the burner unit. This can be accomplished by use of suitable, porous screening over the ports Mr: or these ports may open downwardly as shown (FIG. 1).
Gas is supplied to the burner unit 14 through supply pipe 32 having an adjustable control valve 59 associated therewith. Pipe nipple 51 may alternatively be attached to the opposite end 52 of the burner pipe.
1. Hearth apparatus comprising a cradle, refractory log means carried on the cradle to simulate a natural log bearing hearth when viewed from the front of the cradle, a frontwardly concealed gas burner structure extending below the log means and spaced therefrom in gas releasing proximity to the log means, flame diffusing means disposed between the log means and the gas burner comprising a porous mass of particulate refractory material defining a channel of decreasing cross sectional area through which the gas released by the gas burner is channeled to travel upwardly and with increased velocity in order to rise at the front of the log means to effect production of an irregularly varying pattern of flame distributed along and rising adjacent the natural log simulat ing front surface of the refractory log means, a trough supported on the cradle and the porous mass of particulate refractory material being disposed within the trough to define a substantially uniform width relatively narrow band of said material exposed at the foot of the log means and extending lengthwise thereof.
2. Apparatus claimed in claim 1, wherein the gas burner is concealed within the lower extent of the porous mass of particulate refractory material disposed in the trough and extends lengthwise thereof.
3. Apparatus claimed in claim 2, wherein the gas burner is an elongate tubular section having a plurality of downwardly opening orifices.
4. Apparatus claimed in claim 3, wherein the trough is provided with end walls and said refractory log means is supported directly on the trough end walls for adjustment shifting fr-ontwardly and rearwardly to vary the width of said band.
5. Apparatus claimed in claim 1, wherein at least two refractory logs are provided spaced front to rear a distance permitting a viewable flame pattern between the log means, the rear portions of the front log and the trough defining a lengthwise extending gap to channel gas flowfrcm said porous mass into the space between the front and rear logs and with increased velocity in an upward direction.
6. Apparatus claimed in claim 5, wherein the particulate refractory material is silicious.
7. Apparatus claimed in claim 5, wherein at least one of said refractory logs contains a recess exposed toward the other log to vary the width of said space for flame between the logs to increase turbulence therein.
8. Apparatus claimed in claim 1, wherein the cradle includes a pair of spaced straps forming legs and having adg'acent generally horizontal and V-shaped portions between the legs adapted to receive the trough in said V- shaped portion, the log means including a rear log supported on the strap horizontal portions and a front log supported on the trough.
9. For combination with refractory log means simulating a natural log bearing hearth, a cradle including a pair of lengthwise spaced straps each forming legs and having adjacent generally horizontal and V-shaped portions between the legs, said generally horizontal strap portions adapted to support a rear refractory log, a lengthwise elongated trough supported by said strap V-shaped portions and adapted to support a front refractory log spaced from said rear refractory log with both logs extending lengthwise, gas burner structure extending lengthwise within the lower interior of the trough, and the trough being configured to receive and shape a flame diffusing porous mass of particulate refractory material for defining a channel of decreasing cross sectional area through which the gas released by the gas burner structure is channeled to travel upwardly and with increasing velocity in order to rise at the front of at least one of said logs to effect production of an irregularly varying pattern of flame distributed along and rising adjacent the natural log simulating front surface of the refractory log.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 755,377 3/1904 Lucke.
1,630,109 5/1927 Chandler 12692 3,042,109 7/1962 Peterson 126-92 X 3,277,882 10/1966 Rose 126-127 FREDERICK L. MATTESON, JR., Primary Examiner.
H. B. RAMEY, Assistant Examiner.