US 3735120 A
A modular plastic carbide lamp includes upper and lower containers or housings with a water control needle valve therebetween. When the needle valve is opened, water drips from the upper container upon calcium carbide in the lower container, to generate acetylene gas therein. The acetylene gas rises in the lower chamber to a burner tip, at which the gas burns. These lamps are made from standardized modules which may be assembled in a great variety of arrangements and forms to make many different types of carbide lamps.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Flider 1 May 22, 1.973
 MODULARLY CONSTRUCTED 2,214,546 9/1940 Anglada ..240/11.1 PLASTIC CARBIDE LAMP 2,234,033 3/1941 Williams ..240/l 1.1  Inventor: Frank S. Flider, Chicago, Ill. ap, aminer canon B D ority Jr. [7 Assignee: The Justrite Manufacturing Com- Attorneylrwin C. Alter, Phillip A. Weiss and J.
pany, Chicago, 111. Warren \Yh1tesel  Filed: Jan. 5, 1972  ABSTRACT  Appl' 215577 A modular plastic carbide lamp includes upper and lower containers or housings with a water control nee-  US. Cl ..240/1 1.1, 48/4 dle valve h r w n- When he ne dle valve is 51 1111. C1 ..F211 7/00 Opened, water drips from the pp container upon  Field of Search ..240/1 1.1; 48/31, calcium carbide in the lower container, to generate 4 27 0 4 5 acetylene gas therein. The acetylene gas rises in the lower chamber to a burner tip, at which the gas burns. [561 References Cited These lamps are made from standardized modules which may be assembled in a great variety of arrange- UNITED STATES PATENTS ments and forms to make many different types of car- 734,634 7/1903 Tonnies .148/4 lamps 6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED W22 I915 23; 7 3 5,120
SHEET 1 OF 3 FIG] P I mxzzlm 3 5, 0
SHEET 3 [1F 3 MODULARLY CONSTRUCTED PLASTIC CARBIDE LAMP other things, this lack of development has occurred because the existing lamp design was very well through out, and almost no further development was required. Thus, the further development of these lamps has practically stood still, and they have tended to become old fashioned, while competitive forms of lamps have been developed using newer production techniques. As a result, these newer lamps are often viewed as more modern more convenient, or lower cost than the carbide lamps, which is not always true.
This is unfortunate since, in principle, carbide lamps have certain specially attractive features and characteristics, and there is no completely suitable substitute for them where they are required. Thus, there is a need for a further modernization of the carbide lamp design, which modernization will both improve performance, enhance appearances, and reduce costs.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide new and improved carbide lamps. In particular, an object is to provide carbide lamps which can be manufactured at low cost and on modern automatic production tooling. Here, an object is to provide lamps which are free of the need for substantial amounts of hand labor during manufacture.
Another object of the invention is to provide a carbide lamp which may be made from standard modules, assembled in a great variety of forms.
Still another object is to provide an all plastic carbide lamp which meets all safety requirements of both government and industry.
In keeping with an aspect of the invention, these and other objects are accomplished by a modularly constructed lamp. Two of the modules form upper and lower plastic housings or containers which are attached to each other by circumferential screw threads and sealed together by a rubber collar or gasket. The upper container is a water shell which has a needle valve or water control shaft for controlling a flow rate at which water drips into the lower or carbide container. These two modules may be made in graduated sizes, and a variety of handles, bails, hooks, etc., may be added to modify the design. In addition, various reflector mounting devices may be used to convert the lamp styles to different end uses.
The nature of a preferred embodiment of the invention for accomplishing these and other objects may be understood best from a study of the'following description and the attached drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the inventive lamp with two alternative reflector mountings;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view, showing the water container for the carbide lamp;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the carbide container;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of an alternative belt loop attachment device;
FIG. 6 is a side elevation view which shows yet another alternative wide gap attachment hook;
FIGS. 7-9 show still another stabilized hook-like attachment device;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an alternative bail like handle with a hook; and
FIG. 11 is a plan view partly in cross section showing a hose attachment adapter.
The major sub-assemblies of the inventive carbide lamp (FIG. 1) are an upper chamber or water shell 20, a lower chamber or calcium carbide container 21, a burner cap and flame tip assembly 22, and a reflector 23. The upper chamber or water shell 20 is removably attached to the lower chamber or carbide container 21 by means of circumferential screw threads 25, 26. A resilient O-ring gasket 27 is compressed between upper and lower containers 20, 21 as these containers are brought together on the screw threads 25, 26.
The upper container or water shell 20 (FIG. 2) com prises a closed, hollow chamber having two top openings 28, 29 and an internal valve seat 30 with an integral dependent tube 31 at the bottom. This chamber 20 is preferably blow molded. The opening 28, which is closed by a screw cap 32 (FIG. 1), provides an entry port for filling the shell 20 with water. A breather hole H is formed in cap 32 to allow air to enter shell 20, as the water drips therefrom. The opening 29 is centered over dependent tube 31 and is internally threaded to receive a water control shaft or needle valve 33, which is threaded at one end 34. The other end of the water control shaft 33 includes a portion 35 of reduced diameter for loosely sliding through the dependent tube 31. The water control shaft or needle valve 33 terminates at one end in a knob 37. Near the other end of valve shaft 33 is a conical section 38, which seals itself against the seat 30, when the valve is closed, in order to prevent leakage of water from the container 20. From an inspection of FIG. 2, it is seen that the seat 30 has a conical taper which exactly matches and mates with the taper of section 38 on the needle valve 33.
It should now be apparent that, as the knob 37 is turned, the tapered section 38, of the needle valve 33, is raised out of or lowered into the seat 30. Therefore, the flow of water out of theupper chamber or water shell 20 varies directly with the number of times that the knob 37 is turned.
The bottom portion of the water chamber 20 is generally tapered at 39 to form a reduced volume area inside the upper part of the lower container 21, for collecting the acetylene gas which is formed when water drips into the carbide chamber. The burner tip 22 is formed in the lower container at a point where the gas so collects.
The lower chamber or carbide compartment 21 (FIGS. 3, 4) includes a number of lugs 41-44 which may be brass integrally molded in the plastic wall material. These lugs form means for receiving the ends of any of a variety of handles, hooks or bails. For strength, this part 21 is preferably injection molded from a high impact plastic. An acorn nut 45 fits over each of these lugs to secure the handles, hooks, bails, or other attachments, and to give a smooth rounded end to the iugs.
The tapered area 39 on chamber terminates at its top in a threaded section, and at its bottom in a clip receiving groove 50. A doughnut shaped filter 46 fits around area 39 for preventing any small particles from blocking the burner tip (for example, a dense foam is such a suitable filter material). This filter 46 is held in place by a wire spring clip 47 which fits into the groove 50. The inside circumference of the doughnut shaped filter 46 fits snugly against the outside wall of the tapered section 39, and the outside circumference of this filter tip fits against the inside cylindrical wall of the container 21. Hence, the rising gas must flow through the filter to reach the bumer area.
One portion of the burner cap 22 is generally cylindrical, preferably brass, sleeve 55 terminating at one end in a threaded section (FIG. 3) and at the other end in an anchor member embedded in the plastic wall of the carbid container 21. Surrounding sleeve 55 is a molded plastic rim 56 which forms a seat for the reflector 23. Several air passageways 57 are formed in rim 56 to enable the air to expand and contract behind the reflector. Crimped inside a second tube 59 (FIG. 1), fitting into tube 55, is a flame resistant bead (FIG. 3), such as a ceramic bead, having a fine hole 58 therein for allowing passage of the acetylene gas from inside the container 21 to the atmosphere. A head on the tube 59 enables it to be fitted into and removed from the tube 55.
The assembly is completed when the reflector 23 (FIG. 1) is placed over the threaded tube 55 and a lockout 60 is turned onto the threads of this tube. A hollow, dome-shaped, flame guard 61 is integrally associated with the locknut 60. The tip of guard 61 is open to allow passage of acetylene gas to a burning flame. At least one and preferably two openings 63 on the base of flame guard 61, allows oxygen to enter the flame guard and mix with the acetylene gas therein.
Also mounted on the reflector 23, near the burner cap and flame tip, is a flint and steel igniter 65 somewhat similar to the flint and steel igniter of a cigarette lighter. More particularly, this assembly comprises an upstanding bifurcated post 67 having a knurled steel wheel 68 rotatably supported on an axle. A flint is fed outwardly (as viewed in FIG. 1), under spring tension (not shown) to engage the knurled surface of the wheel 68. The flints are replaced by removal of a cap (not seen in FIG. 1) on the opposite side of the reflector 23.
An important feature is that the burner cap is in the carbide container which makes for convenience and for more trouble free and safer operation. It is easier to remove the top container without damage to the reflector.
In operation, the first step is to place enough carbide (preferably one-half inch size) in the bottom chamber 21 to fill about one-third of it. This much carbide leaves adequate room in the chamber 21 for an expansion of the by-product acetylene gas. Use of any more carbide might result in poor lamp performance. In most lamps, this charge should last about 2 A hours.
The second step is to fill the water chamber 20 with clean water. Then, the water control knob 37 is adjusted to allow approximately one drop of water to drip from chamber 20 about every 3 seconds. This drip rate should generate enough acetylene gas to produce a flame about 1 inch in length.
After the lower chamber 21 is properly filled with the specified amount of carbide, the upper water shell chamber 20 is filled with water, and the drip rate is adjusted; the upper and lower chambers are screwed together with gasket 27 snugly in place, so that no gas escapes.
In the lower carbide chamber 21 of the lamp, acetylene gas is produced by the controlled mixing of calcium carbide and water. The gas rises through the filter 46 and passes out the opening 58 in the burner tip. Inside the flame dome 61, the acetylene gas mixes with oxygen in the air. If a spark is introduced into this mixture, a white flame results.
The third step is to allow the acetylene gas to accumulate for about one half minute. Then, the user cups his hand over the top one-half of the reflector 23 to form a pocket for accumulating the acetylene gas. After a few seconds, the flint wheel 68 is rolled with a snapping motion to generate a spark and ignite the gas. Conveniently, this may be done with a downward motion of the hand across the lighter wheel. The acetylene gas should ignite with a small pop.
The fourth and final step is to adjust the water control knob 37 so that the flame is about 1 inch long, for general use. If there is a fire hazard, such as dry brush, in the surroundings, the flame is made shorter. Conversely, the flame may be longer if the user is walking in, say, a large cave passage. The light produced by this flame is directed by the reflector 23.
After each use, all water and carbide are removed from the chambers 20, 21. A failure to remove the carbide results in a formation of a very hard deposit in the chamber 21. The removal of the water is accomplished by a full opening of the water control needle valve 37 to let the water run through and flush the water feeding system.
A great variety of lamps and lamp styles may be made from these and other standardized plastic piece parts. in greater detail, FIG. 1 shows an injection molded part 70, having a hand held grip part 72 with a cross brace 71. Suitable truss-like ridges 73 may be molded into the handle for giving strength without adding substantially to the weight. To attach this handle, holes 74, 75 in the cross brace 71 are fitted over the lugs 42, 43 and secured in place by two or more acorn nuts 45. Thereafter, the lamp may be carried about by hand.
FIG. 5 shows another support and attachment part which may be used in lieu of the handle 70. Here, there is a vertical member 76 having a pair of holes 79 formed at positions corresponding to the holes 74, 75 in FIG. 1. Offset from the vertical member 76, by an angle A (which may be in the order of 30) is a support bracket 80 leading to a belt loop 81.
When the part shown in FlG. 5 is placed over the lugs 42, 43, and fixed in position by suitable acorn nuts 45, the lamp may be carried on or hung from a belt. Preferably, the inside of the loop 81 is formed with a somewhat constricted contour so that it will tend to bite the belt and thereby give stability to the support.
FIG. 6 shows yet another embodiment of a device for securing the lamp. Here again, there is a vertical member 83, having a pair of horizontally spaced holes 84 which are adapted to fit over the lugs 42, 43. The upper portion of vertical member 83 extends outwardly at 85 and then downwardly at 86 to form a hook. A strengthening and reinforcing fin 87 adds rigidity and strength to secure the hook in position. The space 88 between the vertical member 83 and a downwardly extending member 86 may be selected to fit over virtually any desired supporting member. For example, it may be in the order of five-sixteenths of an inch, so that the lamp may be hung over, say, a board or heavy steel plate, such as the top rail of an open mine elevator car.
FIGS. 7-9 show yet another hook-like arrangement, wherein: FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the arrangement; FIG. 8 is a front elevation view looking along line 88 in FIG. 7; and FIG. 9 is a cross-section taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8. In greater detail, this hook arrangement includes a vertical member 90 having two horizontally disposed holes 91, 92, spaced apart far enough to receive the lugs 42, 43, so that the member may be attached to the carbide container 21 in lieu of the handle 70. Near the top of member 90 and projecting outwardly therefrom is a vertical flange or fin 91, having substantial vertical strength. Depending from the fin 91 is a pin 92 which may be either fitted into a hole on a supporting structure or hung over the top of a wire or similar structure. A number of finger-like lateral stabilizers 93, 94 spread horizontally away from the vertical member 90 for giving lateral stability. Thus, with the hooks of FIGS. 7-9 hung in place, the lamp may hang stably from a support (not shown) having a hole to receive pin 92.
In like manner, any suitable number of handle or hook-like devices may be suspended from the two side lugs 41,44. For example, FIG. shows an exemplary bail 100 having two holes 101, 102 which fit over the lugs 41, 44. The lamp may be carried by the bail 100, or it may be hung by a hook 103 connected to the bail. Likewise, any other convenient form of bail may also be used in connection with the lugs 41, 44.
The various other lugs, fittings, or the like may also be used to form different functional lamp units. Regardless of the type handle, hook, or support used, acorn nuts (such as 45) are fitted over all lugs 41-44 to protect both the user and the screw threads.
Means are provided for forming a lamp supported on the user's head. In greater detail, a hose 110 (FIG. 1) has a fitting 111, which may be made of brass, seen in FIG. 11. One end of the fitting has an integral undulating tube 109, onto which the hose 1 10 may be clamped. A threaded bore 112 turns onto the shaft 55 at the burner tip, thereby giving a gas tight seal. A suitable coiled wire spring 113 surrounds the hose 110 in the vicinity of the fitting 111 to prevent a kinking of the hose which might impede the flow of the acetylene gas. Spaced away from the end of the hose by a suitable distance is a clamp l which fits over the lug 41 to secure the hose to the side of the carbide container 21.
The hose may have any suitable length, such as 4 feet, for example, and its distant end may be secured to a fitting 116 which is somewhat similar to the fitting of FIG. 11. Here, however, the fitting 116 terminates in a threaded shaft 119 which has the same size and dimension as the shaft 55. Hence, the shaft 119 may be fitted through a hole 120 in a bracket 121. Then, the reflector 23 fits over and the parts 60 and 61 are tightened on the shaft 119 to hold the assembly together. Attached to the bracket 121 are a number of straps 122-125 that form a hat-like member which fits over the head of the person carrying the lamp. Hence, the loop bracket of FIG. 5 could be employed to hang the lamp parts 20, 21 on the belt of the user, and the bracket 121 and reflector could be worn on the users head. The hose conveys the acetylene gas generated in the container 21 to the burner assembly. This way the user has both hands free to carry out his useful work.
Except for wire clamp 47, needle valve shaft 33, burner parts 55, 60, 61, reflector 23, and igniter 65, lugs 41-44, bracket 121, and hose fittings 111, 116, all parts of the lamp are made from plastic. Preferably, the water housing part 20 is made by a blow molding process. The carbide container 21, cap 32, knob 37, and the various handle or hook attachments may be made by an injection molding process. Of course, other parts may be either plastic or metal, depending upon the manufacturer's preferences.
Other and further modifications may readily occur to those who are skilled in the art. Therefore, the appended claims are to be construed to cover all equivalent structures which may fall within the spirit and the scope of the invention.
What I claim is:
l. A modularly constructed plastic carbide lamp comprising an all plastic water shell threadably attached above and to an all plastic carbide container, with a resilient gasket compressed between said containers,
said water shell terminating at its lower end in a tapered section and having a hollow tube dependent therefrom,
water flow control means seated in said tapered section,
said tapered section nesting inside said carbide container and forming with said container a gas collecting area of reduced volume, means for attaching a burner formed on the outside of said carbide container in the wall adjacent the area of reduced volume and communicating with said area of reduced volumn by a passageway, and
a plurality of threaded lugs integrally molded in the plastic walls of said container for securing optional parts thereto.
2. The lamp of claim 1 wherein said optional parts comprise means attached to said lugs for mounting and supporting said lamp under a variety of different conditions.
3. The lamp of claim 1 wherein said optional parts include a hose clamped at one end to at least one of said lugs,
said hose extending from the burner attaching means formed on said carbide container to a head bracket, and
means comprising a burner tip and reflector attached to the other end of said hose and supported by said head bracket.
4. The lamp of claim 1 and a doughnut shaped filter material surrounding and snugly filling at least part of the space between said tapered section and the inside surface of said carbide container, and
clip means for securing said filter to said water shell whereby acetylene gas formed in said carbide container must rise through said filter, which prevents passage of particles into said gas collection area.
5. The lamp of claim 1 wherein said means for attaching a burner terminates in a threaded opening, and
a burner tip fitted into said opening,
said burner tip comprising a flame resistant bead having a fine opening therein for allowing passage of said filter, which prevents passage of particles into said gas collection area, hose means clamped at one end to at least one of said lugs, said hose extending from said burner attaching means of said carbide container to a head bracket, and
means comprising a burner tip and reflector attached to the other end of said hose and supported by said head bracket,
and said burner tip including a flame resistant bead having a fine opening therein for allowing passage of collected gas from inside said container to the atmosphere.