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Publication numberUS3692382 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 19, 1972
Filing dateMay 7, 1970
Priority dateMay 7, 1970
Also published asDE2122703A1, DE2122703B2, DE2122703C3
Publication numberUS 3692382 A, US 3692382A, US-A-3692382, US3692382 A, US3692382A
InventorsCloutier Roy L
Original AssigneeCloutier Roy L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Picture device and method of making pictures utilizing the same
US 3692382 A
Abstract
A device for creating and displaying artistic flow patterns in picture-like form utilizing different colored classes of particles carried in a picture-like container, with the different classes of particles having different physical properties causing the particles to form semi-random accumulations and concentrations to provide the artistically pleasing flow pattern effect. Two rectangular glass or plastic plates are held in closely spaced parallel relation by a surrounding frame and the particulate material is carried in the space between the two plates. In different forms of the invention, the artistic effect is enchanced by making at least some of the particles translucent and shining light through them, by making at least some of the particles fluorescent and reflecting from them, making the different classes of particles in various colors, etc. The method form of the invention involves selection of particle classes, each class having unique visual appearance and having sufficient differentiation between physical characteristics, such as size, shape, density, or any other properties affecting relative physical movement in such manner that the particles flow differently and cause a heterogeneous array of concentrations and accumulations of the different classes of particles to provide a different design each time the particles are disturbed. Means is provided for continuous agitation of the particles to provide dynamic flow patterns in one modification of the invention, and a method is provided for retaining the particles in a desired configuration in another modification of the invention.
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United States Patent Cloutier [54] PICTURE DEVICE AND METHOD OF MAKING PICTURES UTILIZING THE SAME [72] Inventor: Roy L. Cloutier, 3086 Deseret Drive, Richmond, Calif. 94803 [22] Filed: May 7, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 35,469

[52] US. Cl. ..350/5, 40/106.2l, 40/106.25, 353/2 [51] Int. Cl. ..G02b 27/08 [58] Field of Search..350/4, 5; 353/2; 40/28, 106.21, 40/ 106.25

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,383,150 5/1968 Powers ..350/5 3,358,556 12/1967 Brown ..353/2 1,294,967 2/1919 Stabla ..350/5 1,518,204 12/1924 Husted ..350/5 2,297,767 10/1942 Hunt ..350/5 X 2,762,257 9/1956 Beguelin ..350/5 X 3,255,661 6/ 1966 Marban ..350/5 3,535,805 10/1970 Peiperl ..40/l06.21

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,166,190 11/1958 France ..40/28 R Primary Examiner-Louis R. Prince Assistant Examiner-Joseph W. Roskos Attorney-Schapp and Hatch [151 3,692,382 51 Sept. 19, 1972 [57] ABSTRACT A device for creating and displaying artistic flow patterns in picture-like form utilizing different colored classes of particles carried in a picture-like container, with the different classes of particles having different physical properties causing the particles to form semirandom accumulations and concentrations to provide the artistically pleasing flow pattern effect. Two rectangular glass or plastic plates'are held in closely spaced parallel relation by a surrounding frame and the particulate material is carried in the space between the two plates. In different forms of the invention, the artistic effect is enchanced by making at least some of the particles translucent and shining light through them, by making at least some of the particles fluorescent and reflecting from them, making the different classes of particles in various colors, etc. The method form of the invention involves selection of particle classes, each class having unique visual appearance and having sufficient differentiation between physical characteristics, such as size, shape, density, or any other properties affecting relative physical movement in such manner that the particles flow differently and cause a heterogeneous array of concentrations and accumulations of the different classes of particles to provide a different design each time the particles are disturbed. Means is provided for continuous agitation of the particles to provide dynamic flow patterns in one modification of the invention, and a method is provided for retaining the particles in a desired configuration in another modification of the invention.

9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEBS'EP 1 9 m2 SHEET 1 OF 3 i bf.

INVENTOR.

Y ROY L. CLOUT/EK ATTOKNEVS PATENTEDSEP 19 1972 'SHEET 2 OF 3 R O N E V m PATENTEDSEP 19 m2 v SHEET 3 BF 3 BYROV L. Z L EZ/ f/ER Sela 7w ATTOKNEVs PICTURE DEVICE AND METHOD OF MAKING PICTURES UTILIZING THE SAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a PICTURE DEVICE AND METHOD OF MAKING PICTURES UTILIZING THE SAME, and more particularly a picture device in which small solid particulate materials having a plurality of color characteristics are utilized to provide any of various desired picture-like displays.

Art forms that provide images from random particle movement are well known, and typical examples include the wellknown kaleidoscope which typically carries crystalline particles in a chamber, with light directed through the chamber and the image viewed through multiple mirrors so as to multiply and provide a symmetrical design. The kaleidoscope is typically a toy, although it will be appreciated that it is also an art form capable of providing attractive and pleasing designs. However, the kaleidoscope is limited insofar as it always produces a symmetrical pattern, and generally has to be viewed through an eyepiece or the like.

Other art forms providing various configurations upon random movement include the liquid-solid and liquid-liquid devices such as the snow storm spheres which operate by selective flotation of solid particles or blobs of an immiscible liquid moving through a liquid medium. These devices are typically most effective during movement and are essentially a kinetic art form achieving a less interesting quiescent state due to complete gravity separation after a period of time. In addition, certain disadvantages are involved in the liquid medium employed, such as the large space necessary to achieve large figures, and the like.

As opposed to these forms, I have found that an excellent art form may be achieved by utilizing the variable flow characteristics of different types of small particles of solid material carried in a closed container and having differing physicalflow characteristics capable of always providing a heterogeneous array of particle groupings. So far as I have been able to determine, such an art form is completely novel, and has many advantages over the most closely related'art forms, as will be more fully apparent hereinafter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a novel art form by utilizing small particles of solid material consisting of two or more particulate components having different visual properties such as color, and having such different flow characteristics that the particles do not mix into a homogeneous mass, but rather flow and separate into various heterogeneous configurations so as to provide various different design forms.

Accordingly, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a novel art form using particles classified into a plurality of particulate components of different physical flow characteristics so as to provide a heterogeneous array which is visible to the observer and is capable of ready change upon alteration of the array of the component particles within the particulate mass.

The particulate material is carried within a closed container sealed sufiiciently to prevent escape of the small particles, and preferably sealed against moisture or other outside agencies that might adversely affect the particulate matter. At least one transparent wall or window should be provided within the container to allow visual observation of the contents. A preferred form of the invention includes a pair of spaced rectangular plates sealed around the edges, and suitably framed as in the case of a conventional picture. The front plate should be transparent and made of glass or transparent plastic, and the rear plate may be made similar to the front plate, or may be constructed of any other suitable material. The particles may be of any desired size, but since it is desirable to have a tremendous number of particles within a small space, the particle sizes will generally be less than 2,000 microns, but ordinarily greater than say 1 micron. The spacing between plates is also generally not critical, but should be sufficiently wide as to enable free flow of the particles therebetween, and therefore should he say at least two and preferably three times the longest dimension of the largest particles. Excessively large spacing results in a waste of particulate material and an unduly large device, and, for these reasons, the distance between the plates is generally kept limited.

Although it is preferred to utilize the parallel plates, it will be also appreciated that the chamber containing the particulate material may be of any desired configuration, but should be suitable to provide for the desired particle flow and separation and for convenient viewing of the result.

It is well known that particles tend to flow somewhat like a fluid under the influence of gravity and the like, but also well known that such solid particles do not completely level off as do fluids but have an angle of repose. It is also well known that after the particles come to rest they tend to stay in position rather than to migrate. In other words, true liquid media tend to form solutions or suspensions that are homogeneous, or tend to be completely stratified into layers determined by density and flotation properties.

Solid particles have different flow properties, depending upon many physical properties such as size, density or shape. For example, spherical particles will roll much more easily than cubical particles which must slide or tumble. In addition, denser particles will tend to penetrate into masses of lighter particles, but not completely as in the case of a liquid media. The various sizes affect flow, because small particles can move through the interstices between large particles where larger particles may not be able to get through. Accordingly, different physical characteristics will affect the flow properties. i

It is known that where the flow properties of particulate materials are sufficiently similar, agitation and flow of two or more components will provide a homogeneous mixture. On the other hand, it is known that where these properties are quite different, a homogeneous mixture is never achieved by agitation alone, but instead various striations and conglomerates appear throughout regardless of the extent of agitation. It is this latter principle that is utilized in the method and article embraced by the present invention.

Accordingly, it is another object of this invention to provide a novel particulate picture device which is capable of providing an endless number of difierent designs through the array of multi-component particles which form and retain selected heterogeneous orientations in a mixture thereof.

It will be appreciated that certain of the particles may be magnetic and that when subjected to strong magnetic fields, physical movement can be induced to provide additional external control by the user. It will also be appreciated that lighting effects may be utilized to bring out or vary the shades of various colors. In this connection, ultraviolet light may be utilized to excite phosphors carried on or within the particles or which may serve asthe particles themselves. Accordingly, tremendous possibilities are provided for the present invention in connection with the provision of an art medium. In addition, the invention also provides for an amusement device in which the user may find many hours of entertainment in providing and altering the design configuration in a device constructed according to the invention.

Therefore it is a further object of the invention to provide an art form device which is also suitable for an amusement device or toy, if desired.

In its method aspect, the invention provides for a large variety of methods of using the device. Specifically, the device is made by employing two or more components of particulate material having different flow properties as described above, partially filling a holding container with these materials, said container having a transparent wall provided therein, and sealing the container so as to enclose the particles loosely therein. With the device thus made, it may be utilized to vary the design array by rotation of the device about a horizontal axis which may be accomplished either by hand or by machine. Alternatively, it may be shaken or tilted with or without rotation. In addition, art forms may be provided by utilizing light as described above. In its continuously moving form, the device may also be utilized as an eye catcher for advertising or the like where kinetic art forms have been found to be particularly suitable.

Thus, it is still another object of the invention to provide a method of using the particulate picture device of this invention so as to provide additional utilization in the form of enjoyment or the like.

Further objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent as the specification progresses, and the new and useful features of my picture device and method of using same will be more fully defined in the claims attached hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The preferred forms of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, forming part of this description, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a typical particle picture made in accordance with the preferred form of the invention;

FIG. 2, an enlarged fragmentary view of a cross-section of the picture as seen from a plane internal to the picture of FIG. 1 and perpendicular thereto;

FIGS. 3A through FIG. 3D, portray examples of typical particles of the four component particle mass utilized in the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4, a partial prospective view, broken to show internal parts, of an alternate embodiment of the invention illustrating a different form of container for the particulate formulations utilized in the present invention;

FIG. 5, a perspective view of a typical display art form constructed according to the invention and utilizing a light for reflection or backlighting, as desired;

FIG. 6, a perspective view, partially in section, illustrating a further embodiment of the invention in which the container has two transparent walls of concentric cylinderic form; and

FIG. 7, a fragmentary view, partly in section, of a device constructed according to the invention in which certain of the particulate materials are magnetic and a magnet is utilized to form an artistic array within the particulate material.

While I have shown only the preferred forms of my invention, it should be understood that various changes or modifications may be made within the scope of the claims attached hereto without departing from the spirit of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a conventionalpicture configuration is provided with a suitable frame 17 completely surrounding and partially covering the front face of transparent plate 18 and its evenly spaced plate 19. In form illustrated, each plate is either glass or transparent plastic such as methyl methacrylate typically sold under the trademark Lucite, and the device constructed by cementing a U-shaped gasket (not shown) between the plates so as to form an open container, adding the particulate material 16 to provide a desired fill between the plates, completing the gasket to seal the material within, and framing the sealed struc ture.

The particulate material 16 consists of a plurality of particulate components having dilferent appearances and flow characteristics, said flow characteristics being such that a heterogeneous mixture is maintained during particle agitation and relative movement for providing a desired random art form by causing said particles to move and flow relative to each other until a pleasing heterogeneity is achieved. As shown in FIG. 2, a fourcomponent material is utilized in the embodiment shown. These particles show typical massing and striations as indicated in the cross-section, with particles of each individual component illustrated by particles 21, 22, 23 and 24. These particles are further illustrated in FIGS. 3A through 3D, respectively, and the method of formulating the composition and filling the space 14 of the container 13 is more fully described in Example 1 below.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is shown a salt crystal 21 which is typically in the form of a cube and which will have a size range of edge dimension of say from about 300 to about 500 microns with the average size of 400 microns being illustrated. The salt cube is preferably iodized table salt so as to reduce the deliquescent properties thereof and the cubes here shown are provided with a coating 26 of radiant daylight fluorescent paint.

FIGS. 2 and 3 also illustrate a glass bead 22 which ranges from egg-shaped to spherical and is about 80 percent within the size range of 177 to 350 microns. An average size of about 264 microns is shown. These beads are standard soda-lime silica glass and are coated with a coating 27 so as to provide a different color thereto than that provided for the salt particles 21.

Particle 23 of FIGS. 2 and 3 is another soda-lime silica glass of smaller size with about 85 percent being true spheres. Specifically, the size range of particles 23 will have 80 or more percent within the range of about 74 to 149 microns, a 1l2-micron size being illustrated. These beads are also provided with a coating 28 of paint, providing a third difference color to the composition.

The fourth particulate component contains particles 24, which are low-density glass microballoons substantially in the form of a bubble with a void interior as shown. These balloons are made of sodium borosilicate glass and about 97 percent have a particle size of less than 250 microns, with median size being of the order of about 65 microns. These particles are also provided with a coating 29 to provide a fourth color component so as to provide four contrasting colors in the total aggregate of four particle classes.

In FIGS. 2 and 3, the various particles are drawn to relative scale based on approximately average or median typical particle size so as to illustrate size variations that affect flow characteristics.

It is found that differences in particle density alone produces relative difierences in the flow characteristics, of jointly commingled particulates, so that the glass microballoons which have a bulk density of from about 0.21 to 0.26 g/cc and a bead density of 0.34 g/cc will exhibit considerably different flow and displacement properties than the soda-lime silica glass beads which have a bulk density of about 1.45 to 1.55 g/cc and a bead density of about 2.5 g/cc. The salt cubes have a density similar to that of the glass and are much larger as here illustrated. The two glass bead components do not mix homogeneously because of the significant variation in particle size alone, and the salt differs in size, shape and density relative to at least one class of the glass particles; this enhances formation of segregated portions such as typical striations. Of course, a certain amount of mixture does take place so that the colors blend to various shades as well as providing typical large areas exhibiting practically the exact color of a particular particle class.

Although the particles are shown herein coated, it will be appreciated that the particles may contain the color within their actual composition. For example, small amounts of iron oxide in glass will impart a typical blue color thereto and other mineral components will provide various colors that may be incorporated into the glass beads/microballoons. Similarly, the salt may be crystallized with dye or the like carried therewithin. Alternatively, particle forms may be utilized which are colored enough in themselves, such as pigment particles. Accordingly, any method of providing different colors to the particles may be utilized instead of the simple coating here shown, but it will be appreciated that with any method utilized, the colors should be fast. In other words, the colors should not bleed or transfer between particles.

FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative form of the invention, in which the device is in the form of a transparent disc 31 constructed by fabricating two concave or convex circular members 32 and 33 together at their periphery as shown in 34. Prior to efiecting seal 34, the space between the members 32 and 33 is partly filled and preferably a major portion thereof is filled with aggregate particulate material 35 which may be of any suitable composition such as those of any of the Examples given below. The major spacing between members is similar to that of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, and this form is illustrated simply to show that the device does not need to have its members exactly parallel, but that they can be relatively curved. It also illustrates that the device need not be rectangular, but could have a circular external appearance, or for that matter be any desired shape including symmetric examples such as a pentagon or hexagon. In addition, forms such as that shown in FIG. 4 are particularly suitable for kinetic art in the form of a rotating object which may be rotated in any convenient fashion around a horizontal or inclined axis by power means (not shown) and associated with an advertising display, if desired. When rotated slowly, the particles tend to flow downward along the backslope so as to create radiating striations from a relatively undisturbed central portion, the size of which depends on the size of the void in the devices. These radiating arms then may extend as rays and produce a sort of spiral effect which is ever changing in its exact configuration of design.

FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of the invention in the form of a device 36 consisting of a particle picture device similar to the particle picture 11 and having a typical frame 37 surrounding a pair of transparent plates 38 and having particulate material 39 disposed therein. A device is mounted on a mounting means 41, with the means shown in FIG. 5 being a flat block 42 having a slot 43 disposed therein for receiving the frame 37 of the picture. The picture will fit somewhat loosely in the slot so that it may be tilted forward or away from one side or the other. Located on one side of the block 42 is a light source 44 which may be a conventional light bulb, or an ultraviolet light, or any other desired light source.

With the arrangement shown in FIG. 5, the device 36 may be tilted away from the light source 44 and viewed from the same side as the light source so as to produce the lighting result from reflected light. Alternatively, the device 36 may be tilted toward the light source 44 and viewed from the other side so as to give the effect of a light shining through the particulate material. It will be appreciated that the particle aggregate may combine transparent, translucent and opaque particles that achieve the desired stratified color effects, but in any event which will transmit and/or reflect a certain amount of light. Backlighting certain of these materials has an especially pleasing effect.

It will also be appreciated that particles exhibiting luminescence may be included in the particulate material. In a preferred form, phosphors exhibiting photoluminescence are used, and, in such a case, the light source generally provides ultraviolet radiation so as to activate daylight fluorescent particles and provide varying characteristics depending upon the excitation of the phosphors in the aggregate. It will be appreciated that a remote light source or sources may be employed for illumination. In addition, other means of exciting the phosphors may be utilized such as an electromagnetic field, and that any of the usable phosphors and excitation means would be apparent to those skilled in the phosphor art.

Still another form of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 6, in which it is shown that parallel plates may be utilized, but in a curved rather than a flat configuration. As there shown, a particle picture device 46 is provided that comprises an outer cylindrical plate 47 and an inner cylindrical plate 48 disposed in concentric relation so as to provide annular space 49 therebetween. While the cylindric surfaces are shown as circular cylinders, it will be appreciated that any cylindric form desired could also be utilized. In such a case, a slight lens effect will be provided so as to add to the visual effect created by the particulate material included in the device and compounded in accordance with the invention.

Thus, referring again to FIG. 6 there is seen that a particulate composition 51 is provided within the annular space 49 with the material filling up a major portion of the space but leaving sufficient void to allow for movement of the material. It is also seen that the space is closed by a top and bottom cap 52 and 53, respectively, so as to seal in the material. In the form shown in FIG. 5, a light 54 is also provided so as to produce a backlighting effect as described for the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5. Agitation of the particles may be achieved by tilting, inverting, shaking or any other action imparted to the device so as to cause variations in the design array until a desired design is achieved. The desired design may be then kept until it is desired to change it and create a new design.

From the foregoing configurations, it is seen that the container can assume any of various desired sorts of geometry, and that the only essential feature in the container is that a window is provided for viewing of the material. It is also seen that the preferred device is completely sealed and that in certain cases full and complete windows are provided for shining light therethrough.

It has also been seen that various types of different flow characteristics may be utilized and the differences caused by large variations of size, shape and density have been illustrated. However, it should be appreciated that other physical properties that effect flow such as cohesive forces between the particles of similar components, adhesive forces between particles of dif ferent components, electrostatic charges caused by friction, and many other physical characteristics may, if of sufficient magnitude, cause the desired heterogeneous array in the particle components. Another property that may be utilized, but is preferably utilized in combination, is the magnetic property.

Thus FIG. 7 illustrates a device constructed in accordance with the invention, but in which at least one of the particle components is a magnetic material, and in which a magnet is utilized to provide a different movement of the magnetic component than is provided for the other components. It will also be appreciated that the movement of magnetic particles will vary within the array of magnetic particles because of the non-uniform magnetic field strength surrounding the magnet. In other words, particles very close to the magnet will be strongly drawn thereto, while particles very remote from the magnet will be generally unaffected.

Thus, referring to FIG. 7, it is seen that the device 56 comprises a pair of parallel plates 57 and 58 enclosed in a suitable frame (not shown) and containing particulate material 59 disposed therebetween. A magnet 6 1 is moved in close proximity to the device so that part of the magnetic component of particulate material 59 is subjected to a different force than that of the other particles carried therewithin. By combining magnetic movement with the other effects of this invention, the operator or user is given some additional control and may direct his designs toward a desired area somewhat easier than where his shaking, tumbling or rotational operation is utilized alone.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that various types of containers and various force agencies may be utilized and that the invention broadly embraces the use of small flowable particulate material. In general, the particulate material will be small enough so that a typical device will contain millions of actual particles. It is also preferred that the particles be small enough so that their color blends together to create the effect of a picture just as the small dotted mosaic of certain reproduced pictures provides an overall solid effect to the eye. However, it is also somewhat pleasing to have particles large enough to create a grain effect in certain cases. Where the particles of each component number in the thousands and the overall particulate composition extends well up into the millions, tremendous design latitude in the array of the designs is provided and it is easily seen from simple application of the principles of arithmetic permutations that practically an infinite number of design arrays are available, and certainly any one design would not be reproduced a second time.

In order to more fully illustrate the composition of the particulate material utilized in the practice of this invention, the following examples are given, and it should be appreciated that these examples are illustrative only and intended in no way to limit the scope of the invention defined in the claims attached hereto.

Example I: The four-component system utilized in the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3 is prepared by adding the following four ingredients together in the proportions given: The first ingredient is iodized table salt having a particle size range of 300 to 500 microns and being in the form of substantially perfect cubes, with the crystals being coated with radiant fluorescent quick-spray paint in a chartreuse color. One teaspoon of this material is added to a particle picture enclosure. 3.5 teaspoons of soda-lime silica glass reinforcement filler spheres are then added. The spheres range from an egg-shape to a sphere-shape, have percent or more within the size range of 177 to 350 microns, have a bulk density of from 1.45 to 1.55 g/cc with the solid bead having a density of 2.5 g/cc, and the beads were previously spray-painted with a flat black paint. 2.5 teaspoons of standard glass beads are then added, which glass is also soda-lime silica glass, but with percent or more true spheres and eighty percent or more of the size being within the range of 74 to 149 microns. This glass has substantially the same density as the larger glass beads, and it is painted with a 9 fluorescent spray-paint glowing blue. 8.5 teaspoons of glass microballoons are then added. These balloons are hollow spheres of sodium borosilicate glass and spray painted with red-orange paint. The microballoons have a median size of from 61 to 65 microns with the particle size range satisfying the conditions 3% 250 microns and 30% 44 microns; the bulk density is in the range of 0.21 to 0.26 g/cc with the bead density being 0.34 g/cc. These ingredients are introduced sequentially to the particle picture enclosure. The proportions actually added to the device may vary somewhat from those compounded, but .such variations are not critical; therefore, this method of filling is quite satisfactory.

As indicated above, the device should have a least intemal dimension (generally the plate spacing) which is not less than twice the maximum particle dimension, in the present case the least dimension should exceed 2,000 microns (2.0 mm).

Where it is desired to minimize the effects of plate spacing in particle flow, the spacing should exceed three times the maximum particle dimension.

A typical device will have two flat sheets of glass or Lucite having separation of from three sixty-fourths to three thirty-seconds inch depending on the size of the largest particles. Typical sizes for the embodiment of FIG. 1 include the void volume which is typically threeelevenths of the total internal volume. In this instance, the enclosure internal volume is 9 X 11 X 0.05 inches which equal 4.95 cubic inches. In such a case, there will be an amount of particles in excess of 1 million with more than 1,000 particles present within each class. In this way, the particles tend to blend in and form composite color patterns that have either a small noticeable grain or no noticeable grain at all to the observer depending on his distance from the picture and closeness of scrutiny. Although the void space is given specific values in these examples, it will be appreciated that the value is not critical so long as the void is large enough to accommodate the desired flow and small enough to provide sufficient aggregate. Preferably the void will be in the range of from about 50 percent to about 95 percent by volume of the total enclosed space.

Example 2: A three-component or three-class particulate mass is prepared by filling the device with equal parts by volume of l iodized table salt having a particle size range of approximately 300' to 500 microns with the salt crystals being coated black with an alkyd enamel; (2) solid soda-lime glass beads having about 80 percent of the total in the size range of 177 to 350 microns with a coating of fluorescent spray paint glowing blue and having density properties similar to the glass beads of Example I, and (3) glass microballoons made of sodium borosilicate glass and similar to the microballoons spheres of Example 1 except that the spray-paint is a fluorescent paint glowing cerise.

A typical device is made by filling the container space to fill nine-elevenths of the total volume and leave two-elevenths of the volume void. This three component system gives excellent color effects and is suitable either as a toy, art form, or for scientific observation in teaching by demonstrating solid-particle flow characteristics.

Example 3: A five-component particulate mass is made from large sodium chloride crystals, three sizes of glass beads, and glass microballoons. The sodium chloride has an approximate size of 300 to 500 microns, is painted with fluorescent spray paint glowing cerise, and is present in an amount of three sixtysevenths part by volume. All of the glass beads are soda-lime silica glass with the largest beads being percent in the range of 177 to 350 microns, spray painted with flat black paint, and present in the amount of twelve sixty-sevenths by volume. The intermediate size glass beads are percent true spheres in which 80 percent are in the size range of 74 to 149 microns, the' beads painted with a fluorescent spray paint glowing blue, and this component is present in an amount of nine sixty-sevenths part by volume. The smallest glass beads are also 85 percent true spheres but 80 percent of the particles are in the size range from 44 to 74 microns, the beads painted with fluorescent spray paint sunset gold, and this component present in an amount of three sixty-sevenths part by volume. The glass microballoons are sodium borosilicate glass having size characteristics as described in Example 1, but painted with a chartreuse fluorescent quick-spray paint, and the amount of this component is forty sixty-sevenths part by volume. The components are added to the device by sealing off a plate to indicate the extent of fill for each component so that nine-elevenths of the volume isfilled and two-elevenths of the total volume is left void. The components are added sequentially, and the filled device sealed by the addition of a gasket section and framing the completed enclosure.

Example 4: Another five-component mix is prepared which is similar to the five-component system described for Example 3 above, except that different proportions are utilized and the various components are provided with different colors. In other words, the salt is painted with an ultra flat black spray paint and is present in an amount of twelve 'sixty-sevenths parts by volume; the large beads are spray-painted with an ultra flat black paint and are present in an amount of twenty eighty-sevenths parts by volume; the intermediate beads painted with fluorescent spray paint glowing blue, and present in an amount ten eighty-sevenths parts by volume; the small glass beads are coated with fluorescent spray paint glowing cerise and present in the amount of ten eighty-sevenths parts by volume; and the microballoon spheres are painted with a fluorescent quick-spray chartreuse paint and present in the amount of thirty-five eighty-sevenths parts by volume. This composition is also typically filled so as to leave twoelevenths of the container void.

This composition also illustrates that the same color may be utilized for two different components and thereby provide an effect where there are five flow components but illustrating four different colors. This provides two different types of flow for the same color, in this case black.

Example 5: This Example illustrates a three-com- I ponent system in which one of the three components is provided with two different colors, one of which is fluorescent. In this way, various shades are provided within the common component and the fluorescent characteristics are brought out more fully.

Specifically, the components include large and intermediate sized glass beads and glass microballoons with the physical properties similar to those'in Examples utilizing these classes given above. Thus the large glass beads are spray-painted with an ultra-flat black paint and present in the amount of twenty-three seventythirds parts by volume; one group of intermediate glass beads occupy three seventy-thirds parts by volume and are painted cherry red; another group of intermediate glass beads present in the amount of two seventy-thirds parts by volume are spray painted with a fluorescent spray paint glowing cerise; and the glass microballoons are painted with a sunset gold fluorescent spray paint and present in the amount of forty-five seventy-thirds parts by volume. This composition is especially useful for the embodiment of FIG. 6, and particularly when the fluorescent paint is activated by ultraviolet light and the light means provides such radiation.

Example 6: In this Example, an aggregate is prepared which is suitable for use with a magnet as illustrated in FIG. 7. A rectangular picture device having an enclosure of 4.25X2X0.05 inches was partially filled by first adding one-eighth teaspoon powdered iron in which the particle dimensions ranged from about 1/1280 inch to about 1/128 inch; then adding three-eighths teaspoon of salt similar in size and shape to that of Example l, and spray painted with daylight fluorescent paint glowing blue; and finally five-eighths teaspoon of microballoons having the size and shape of those used in Example 1. The microballoons are not coated, and the transparent particles give the effect of a white color. This composition thus provides a three-component system having the desired flow properties to provide a color picture within the scope of this invention. It also may be further controlled by using a magnet to provide concentrations of the magnetic component, as desired.

Example 7: The procedure of Example 2 is repeated except that the glass beads are replaced by solid polystyrene beads dyed internally with a yellow color. The polystyrene beads are spherical and range in size from a size of the order of the large microballoons to a size of the order of the small salt crystals. When their composition is incorporated in a device of this invention, excellent design results are obtained. This Example illustrates the use of plastic particles, and also illustrates three different densities of particles.

Example 8: The procedure of Example 2 is repeated except that the glass beads are replaced by aluminum flakes anodized to provide a blue color. The flakes have a particle size similar to that of the glass microballoons. Excellent results are also obtained by the useof this composition, which illustrates still further particle combinations and particularly the use of a non-ferrous metal.

From the above Examples, it will be seen that various classes may be obtained by providingsufiicient differences in physical characteristics to provide different flow properties. It is also seen that the most valuable properties appear to be the variation in density, variation in size and variation in shape, in that order. However, it will be appreciated that certain different materials will still mix to a homogeneous fungible mass, especially where the different properties tend to cancel out in their flow effect. Accordingly, the best way to the Examples mentioned herein, it will .be appreciated that the types of materials are in no way limited, and that any material capable of forming the desired heterogeneous array of particles may be utilized.

Although most of the particles of the Examples are colored by coating with paint, it will be appreciated that the color is preferably added to melts or solutions of the material, and retained internally after subsequent crystallization or other solid formations of the material into suitable particles. However, it has been found that certain paints give excellent results by spraying the particles and drying the paint prior to forming the aggregate. Where paint is used, it is not necessary to coat the particles completely, but only to an extent sufficient to develop the desired color.

It is expected that the particle picture of this invention will generally be maintained in a loose aggregate, and usually the particles will be kept dry and protected from any adverse materials that might be excluded from the enclosure. However, in one form of the invention, particles or coatings of a heat-curable adhesive determine the desired flow characteristics is to try difare added so that a desired pattern can be maintained by subjecting the device to a temperature sufficient to cause the adhesive to link adjacent particles together and cure into a composite mass. Other suitable techniques of further processing and operations are also made available by the device constructed according to the invention.

It will also be appreciated that the device of this invention has many other uses. A particularly effective use is in the provision ofan art form in which light is shined through the particulate material to provide a real image that can be projected on a screen. This image may be magnified, if desired, by utilizing a standard projector mechanism for projecting the image. A particularly attractive kinetic art form is provided by placing the disc of FIG. 4 in a projector and rotating the disc so as to project a varying real image. Other kinetic forms available in the method aspect of this invention include a wobble rotation achieved by mounting a picture at an acute angle on a horizontally oriented stub shaft, and rotating the shaft.

Still other techniques for providing both still and moving designs will be available, and it will be appreciated that the term random as used herein means that the design obtained is not a copy of a desired preconceived array, but may include a certain amount of design direction through control of movements. In this respect quasi-random is intended to positively imply a desired direction of design formation by the user.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that I have provided a new and useful particle picture device and method of utilizing same. It is also seen that the device provides a novel art form,-and is particularly useful for amusement, demonstration and displays.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for visually presenting artistic flow patterns, comprising a container providing an inner chamber having a transparent wall for viewing the contents of the chamber,

and a flowable non-liquid particulate material contained loosely in said chamber and capable of solid flow,

ferentiated classes of multiple particles with the particles in each class having physical properties similar to each other and differing from the physianother class being of smaller size and a shape to permit gravity flow thereof through said interstices.

4. A particle picture device, comprising cal properties of the particles in each of the other Particulate material ni g a p ur ty O classes whereby upon agitation the particulate ferentcolored particulate components with each material will tend to separate into accumulations c mp nent ntaining in x ss of a out 1,000 of one class of particles interspersed through the particles, the particles of one colored component other classes to form patterns visible through said having similar physical properties and sufficiently transparent wall and upon halting of said agitation d ffe en f om he physi al pr pertie of he o her said particles will assume a position of repose particulate material to provide a heterogeneous creating a static flow pattern until again agitated, array exhibiting a plurality of randomly placed and wherein the particles of one class are of a difconcentrations of said component when the parferent mass density than the other particles suffi- 15 ticulate material is subjected to an external force cient to cause separation of the aggregate material into accumulations by class upon agitation.

capable of causing relative movement of said particles, and

2. An apparatus for visually presenting artistic flow patterns, comprising a container providing an inner chamber having a a container carrying said particulate material, said container including a transparent wall and formed of a size sufficient to hold the particulate material transparent wall for viewing the contents of the chamber,

and a flowable non-liquid particulate material consaid material comprising a plurality of visually differentiated classes of multiple particles with the particles in each class having physical properties similar to each other and differing from the physitained loosely in said chamber and capable of solid flow, said material comprising a plurality of visually diftherein in loose enough fashion to accommodate relative particle movement within the particulate material, and in which two of the components vary from each other by having a particle mass density ratio in excess of the order of 2-to- 1.

5. An article of manufacture capable of providing pleasing art forms, comprising a closed container having walls defining a space therein, in which the closed container comprises a cal properties of the particles in each of the other pair of concentric cylinders defining said space classes whereby upon agitation the particulate therebetween, and means for closing off said space material will tend to separate into accumulations at the ends of said cylinders; and of one class of particles interspersed through the particulate material sealingly carried in the space other classes to form patterns visible through said within said container, said space being substantransparent wall and upon halting of said agitation tially free of liquid material and sufficiently larger said particles will assume a position of repose than the volume occupied by the particulate creating a static flow pattern until again agitated, material to accommodate relative movement of and wherein the particles of one class are of a difparticles in the form of solid flow upon application ferent mass density than the otherparticles suffiof an external force, said particulate material concient to cause gravimetric displacement of the one taining class by the other particles and hence separation of a plurality of particulate components having difthe aggregate material into accumulations by class ferent appearances and flow characteristics, said upon agitation. flow characteristics being such that a heterogene- 3. An apparatus for visually presenting artistic flow ous mixture including a plurality of randomly patterns, comprising placed -concentrations of each particulate coma container providing an inner chamber having a ponent is manifest during and after particle agitatransparent wall for viewing the contents of the tion and relative movement whereby visual conchamber, trast between said concentrations provides a ranand a flowable non-liquid particulate material condom art form created by effecting said relative movement and flow until a desired pleasing heterogeneity is achieved. 6. An article of manufacture as defined in claim 5, in

ferentiated classes of multiple partic es with the which said concentric cylinders are constructed of particles in each class having physical properties transparent material, and in which a light source is similar to each other and differing from the physidisposed within the innermost of said cylinders.

cal properties of the particles in each of the other 7. A picture device capable of forming various classes whereby upon agitation the particulate designs, comprising material will tend to separate into accumulations a container having walls defining a space therein and of one class of particles interspersed through the including awindow portion for seeing into the conother classes to form patterns visible through said tainer, and

transparent wall and upon halting of said agitation a plurality of classes of particulate material having said particles will assume a position of repose different particle size, but with the class median creating a static flow pattern until again agitated, sizes ranging from about 1,000 to 2,000 microns,

and wherein the particles of one class being of larger size and of a shape to provide interstices therebetween when at rest, and the particles of each of said classes being present in an amount in excess of 1,000 particles with the classes varying from each other in physical flow properties to an extent sufficient that flow variation occurs when the composite of particulate material is agitated or otherwise subjected to an external force so that the particles form a plurality of randomly placed concentrates of each class providing a visually differentiated heterogeneous mixture affording an attractive design visible through said window, and in which the number of particles in said particulate mixture is in excess of 1 million particles, and in which the particles of one class have a low density and are formed with a major portion of the interior of each particle filled with material in the gaseous state.

8. A picture device as defined in claim 7, in which the low density particles are glass microballoons.

9. A method of providing quasi-random artistic designs, comprising the steps of providing an aggregate of a plurality of classes of particulate material in a container with the container being sealed against moisture and having a substantially liquid-free interior, said classes of particulate material each containing in excess of 1,000 particles and possessing sufficiently different physical properties between classes that when the particulate material is subjected to an external force capable of causing relative movements of said particles a heterogeneous array including a plurality of randomly placed concentrations of each class is provided, moving the container and particulate material to cause the heterogeneous array of particles to move around and change its form to provide various designs until a desired design form is achieved, and coating a particulate material with temperature sensitive adhesive inoperative at ambient temperatures but causing adhesion of particles at elevated temperatures, and subjecting the composite to said elevated temperature after a desired design is obtained in order to provide a permanent composite design.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. -5 382 I Dated September 19, 1972 j Inventor(s) Rg L Cloutier It is certified that error appears in the above-identified pat ent v and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 14, lines 62-64, should read as follows: a plurality of classes of particulatematerial having different particle size, but with the class median sizes ranging from about one to two thousand microns Signed and sealed this 8th day of May 1973.

( E L) Attest:

v EDWARD M.PLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer I Commissioner of Patents UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE l CERTIFICATE OF 'COSREQTEGN Patent No. 3,692,382 Dated September 19, 1972 Inventor(s). Roy L. Cloutier It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 14, lines 62-64, should read as follows: a plurality of classes of particulate material having different particle size, but with the class median sizes ranging from about one to two thousand microns,

Signed and sealed this 8th day of May 1973.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD l I.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents RM po'loso (149) USCOMM-D C wave-P69 ,5. GOVERNMENT PRNTING OFFICE; 959 (1-366'33'L

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Classifications
U.S. Classification359/617, 40/409, 353/2
International ClassificationB44F5/00, B44F1/00, B44F1/10
Cooperative ClassificationB44F5/00, B44F1/10
European ClassificationB44F5/00, B44F1/10