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Publication numberUS3589044 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 29, 1971
Filing dateJan 14, 1969
Priority dateJan 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3589044 A, US 3589044A, US-A-3589044, US3589044 A, US3589044A
InventorsLaybold Carl T, Morrison William E
Original AssigneeJenn Air Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tornado device
US 3589044 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1917 Wiley....

(72] Inventors William E. Morrison;

Carl Laybold, both of Indianapolis, Ind. 790,958

1,221,494 1,676,984 7/1928 Fales...........,................

[2l I Appl. No. [22] Filed Jan. 14, 1969 [45] Patented June 29, 1971 FOREIGN PATENTS 12/1953 GreatBritain....,...........

[73] Assignee Jenn-AirCorporation Indianapolis, Ind.

Primary Examiner- Robert W. Michell Wenceslao J. Contreras Assistant Examiner Attorney-Kenne [54] TORNADO DEVICE th E. Walden 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

g apparatus arranged and operated as pable of creating a visible tornadolike enomenon for display, observation and study.


FIG. l is a perspective view of a tornado" created according to our discovery or invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the chamber only in which the tornado" is created.

FIG. 3 is a vertical section of an exhaust fan and the chamber shown in FIG. 2, with the door indicated in phantom.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3 and showing counterclockwise flow of air.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 4 but showing clockwise flow of air.

FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIGS. 4 and 5 except that consistent and continuous airflow pattern are not established.

FIG. 7 shows an arrow representing airflow relative to a vertical axis.

The term tornado as used herein means the phenomenon created by applicants arrangement of a spiral helix formation or vortex column of rising air which is made visible to the human eye when a substance visible in air is introduced into the airstream. The tornado created hereby has use for academic scientific study of similar phenomenon occurring in nature, of which knowledge is quite limited. It has further use as an attractive and educational demonstration.

FIG. 1 is a pictorial representation of the tornado showing a visible vortex 10 or helical-spiral column rising from floor level 11 toward an opening 12 in ceiling or top wall 14. A source for emitting a substance visible in air used herein is a shallow pan 16 containing hot water into which is placed dry ice 18. Obviously other substance such as smoke could be introduced at or near floor level with similar results.

Within a closed chamber as defined by floor ll, ceiling I4 and walls 20, dry ice in a pan of warm water readily produces a layer of clouds sinking to the floor level and stacking upwardly. When air is exhausted through opening 12 by a power fan 21 (not shown in FIG. I) and air is admitted into the chamber at prescribed openings, the phenomenon of FIG. I is visible.

FIG. 2 shows the chamber only in which a tornado may be created. It is defined by walls 20, ceiling l4 and a bottom wall or floor 11. The chamber used in applicants discovery or invention is generally cuboid of 8 to I0 feet on an edge. However exact dimension, shape or relationship is not controlling to establish the phenomenon herein. An air inlet such as the rectangular opening 22 may be provided with a hinged or sliding door 23 to vary inlet characteristics. As shown in crosssectional FIG. 3, an exhaust fan 21 is positioned on top wall 14 over opening 12 for removing air from the chamber. This fan is of any common type power driven roof exhauster which is capable of handling a substantial volume of air at relatively low static pressure. Air is permitted to enter the chamber through opening 22 in one wall as shown so as to continuously replenish the air drawn therefrom by the power exhauster.

FIG. 3 is the cross-sectional view of FIG. 2 but additionally shows an exhaust fan 21 in position and vortex 10 created thereby. Shallow pan I6 is located on floor 11 beneath exhaust port 12 and generally in line with normally vertical axis 24. Vortex 10, made visible by a substance such as smoke, is created by air entering the chamber through opening 22 and tangentially of axis 24. Air is drawn into spiral motion and terminates in a helical-spiral column of air rising generally along axis 24. This vortex revolves at 50-300 rpm. and rises vertically at 100-500 feet per minute. By the apparatus disclosed, a vortex in the range of 6 to 8 inches in diameter is created. An eye (not shown in drawings) in the range of W; to 3 inches in diameter is visible along the center of the column or vortex.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are cross-sectional views of FIG. 3 taken along line 4-4, but showing different air inlet arrangements. Walls define an enclosure having an opening 22 tangentially directed with respect to axis 24. The size of opening 22 in one of the walls is variable as for example by a sliding or hinged door 23. As shown in FIG. 4, air enters the chamber tangentially generally along one wall and is drawn into counterclockwise rotation and into a tight swirling vortex I0 moving upwardly out through opening 12 by power exhaust fan 21. As shown in FIG. 4, entering air flows counterclockwise. Door .23 is shown completely closing opening 22.

FIG. 5 shows the chamber of FIG. 4 but with door 23 closing opening or port 22, and with door 23' exposing opening 22'. Air entering in FIG. 5 is drawn into clockwise rotation as shown by the arrows. As before a vortex 10 is created but in a different rotational direction.

In FIG. 6, door 23 closed port 22. Door 23' is shifted so as to expose opening 22 directed generally toward axis 24 (not tangentially thereof as in FIGS. 4 and 5). When the entrance to the chamber is other than tangential, a directional pattern of airflow is not easily established, airflow this is indicated by the arrows shown in FIG. 6.

Airflow in the chamber is clockwise or counterclockwise depending upon established tangential entrance. This can be controlled by the physical arrangement. The direction of rotation of the impeller in exhaust fan 21 is not controlling on clockwise or counterclockwise rotation of vortex 10. It is anticipated that means other than a power exhaust fan may be used to create a low pressure through exhaust port 12.

FIG. 7 indicates airflow with respect to axis 24. In all of the arrangements wherein clockwise or counterclockwise airflow is established and terminates in a vortex, tangential entry or the equivalent is established. Airflow into a chamber is indicated by symbols 26 in FIG. 7 to be away from the viewer and into the paper. The air currents as indicated by symbolic arrow 28 are drawn into movements about axis 24 and finally into a tight upwardly moving spiral-helix or vortex 10. By an airflow passing in the general direction 26 with respect to axis 24, a tangential relationship is established.

The entire column or vortex 10 may drift somewhat over pan 16 but returns and remains within the general area. The vortex has an eye, and this drifts with the column. The vortex may partially fade for an instance at its base or along its height, but will reform just as quickly.

Obviously it is within the limits ofour invention or discovery to define the chamber in shapes varying from what we have disclosed. For example, the chamber could be cylindrical or round, or of any number of shapes all ofwhich would establish tangential entry of air. Likewise, the exhaust means may be varied without departing from the principle disclosed. The intake and exhaust port may be varied in size and location somewhat and remain within the spirit of our disclosure.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit of our invention. We wish the breadth of the invention to be measured only by the claims herein:

We claim:

1. Apparatus for creating a containedl visible tornado com prising:

a structure having walls means defining a chamber,

an opening in a top portion of said wall means facing generally along an axis extending to an opposite wall of said chamber and said opening communicating with power driven exhaust means for drawing air therethrough from said chamber,

another opening in a side portion of said wall means for admitting air into said chamber when air is removed through said first-mentioned opening,

said another opening admitting air into said chamber in a direction tangentially of said axis whereby air entering said chamber is drawn into a tight spiral helix motion defining a vortex generally about said axis and rising upwardly toward said exhaust opening,

means for inducing in said chamber a substance visible in air at a location remote from said first mentioned opening for visibly marking said vortex.

2. The claims subject matter of claim 1 wherein said exhaust opening is located on the top of said chamber and said inlet opening is located on a side ofsaid chamber.

3. The claimed subject matter of claim 2 wherein said axis is generally vertically disposed.

4. The claimed subject matter of claim 3 wherein the inlet opening may be varied.

5. Apparatus for creating a contained visible tornado comprising:

a chamber defined by walls, ceiling and floor, an exhaust opening in the ceiling communicating with a power air exhaust system for removal of air from the chamber, a vertical inlet opening in one of the walls for admitting air into the chamber, said exhaust opening facing into the chamber generally along a vertical axis extending substantially to the floor, said inlet opening facing horizontally for admitting air of the vertical axis so that the air drawn into the chambers is in spiral motion which terminates in a tight rising helical vortex column resembling a tornado, a substance visible in air introduced into said chamber adjacent the floor for identifying said vortex. 6. Apparatus for creating a contained visible simulated tor nado comprising:

wall means enclosing the top, side and bottom of an empty chamber,

an opening in the top wall facing downwardly along an axis extending generally uninterrupted to the bottom wall and generally centrally of the sidewalls,

power driven air exhaust means in communication with the opening in the top wall for removing air thcrethrough from said chamber, an opening in the side wall extending a substantial portion of the height thereof and facing in a direction to one side of said axis whereby air in being drawn thcrethrough to said chamber in response to air being drawn from said chamber by said exhaust means is drawn cyclonically into said chamber and into a helical-spiral vortex about said axis and exhausted through the opening in the top wall,

means for introducing a substance visible in air above the bottom as an aid in identifying said vortex.

7. The claimed subject matter of claim 6 further defined by said sidewall opening so located in the sidewall that a portion of the sidewall defines a surface for guiding entering air into cyclonic motion about said axis.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1221494 *Sep 2, 1914Apr 3, 1917George M WileyDisplay apparatus.
US1676984 *Dec 3, 1920Jul 10, 1928 And fbank w
GB701037A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4215500 *Aug 15, 1977Aug 5, 1980Gordon SharpVisual display device
US4258912 *Jan 21, 1980Mar 31, 1981Reighart Ii Ray RTornado novelty device
US4716022 *Nov 4, 1985Dec 29, 1987Priestley Jr Joseph BParticle treatment apparatus
US4831757 *Sep 16, 1987May 23, 1989Sheehan Teddy JMiniature vortex generating apparatus
US5322646 *Aug 3, 1993Jun 21, 1994Amazing ThingsSimulated tornado humidifier
US5416994 *Feb 12, 1993May 23, 1995Technical Support Services Inc.Liquid display device
US5971765 *Mar 22, 1996Oct 26, 1999Reel Efx, Inc.Method and system for generating artificial tornadoes and related vortex phenomena
US6254489Mar 24, 1999Jul 3, 2001Universal City Studios, Inc.Amusement attraction with man-made tornado
US7905728 *Oct 5, 2007Mar 15, 2011Twister Tube, Ltd.Device and method for generating vortex
US20050039626 *Sep 7, 2004Feb 24, 2005Henry YiDynamic tornado teardown system
US20090093318 *Oct 5, 2007Apr 9, 2009Piontek Robert FDevice and method for generating vortex
US20110311951 *Mar 10, 2011Dec 22, 2011Twister Tube, LimitedDevice and Method for Generating Vortex
CN103886781A *Apr 13, 2014Jun 25, 2014柴德维Simulated tornado experience system
U.S. Classification40/407, 428/13, 434/217
International ClassificationG09B23/12, G09F19/10, G09F19/00, G09B23/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09B23/12, G09F19/10
European ClassificationG09F19/10, G09B23/12