US 3829678 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Holcombe Aug. 13, 1974 APPARATUS FOR ACTIVATING A CHEMILUMINESCENT WAND  Inventor: Gordon B. Holcombe, 603 Santa Barbara, Millbrae, Calif. 94030  Filed: Apr. 13, 1973  Appl. No.: 350,946
 US. Cl. 240/52 R, 240/1 R, 240/225  Int. Cl. F2lv 21/00  Field of Search 240/225, 52 R, l R; 9/313  References Cited 9 UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,500,033 3/1970 Cole et al. 240/225 3,539,794 11/1970 Rauhut et al. 240/225 3,578,962 5/1971 Gerber 240/225 3,638,258 2/1972 Black .Q 240/225 X Primary Examiner-Richard L. Moses Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Limbach, Limbach & Sutton  ABSTRACT the wand causing the first chemical fluid to mix with the second chemical fluid and generate a chemiluminescence.
9 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures PATENTEBWW" 3.829.678
sur A FIST 12 FIET 12.
PATENI mum sum FIST-1B APPARATUS FOR ACTIVATING A CHEMILUMINESCENT WAND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Certain chemical reactions produce the emission of light. This emission of light is termed chemiluminescence. Chemiluminescence occurs in a variety of organic as well-as inorganic compounds. Certain chemicals which exhibit reactant chemiluminescent properties are described by Laszlo .l. Bollyky, et al., in US. Pat. No. 3,597,362 issed Aug. 3, 1971.
A practical application of chemiluminescence is for emergency lighting where incandescent, are or other potentially hazardous types of lighting are to be avoided. Chemiluminescent reactions generate illumination without producing high temperatures or electrical potentials and thus hazardous to combustible environments.
An appropriate functional container for reactant chemiluminescent chemicals is disclosed by Heinz K. W. Voight, et al. in US. Pat. No. 3,576,987 issued May 4, 1971. In this patent is described a luminouswand having a flexible outer casing containing a frangible or breakable inner tube. Reactant chemiluminescent chemicals are separated and contained within the inner tube and between the inner tube and outer casing. When the inner tube is broken by bending the outer casing, the chemicals mix and luminescence is produced.
A container as described in the reference can be improved by lining the outer flexible casing with a thin impervious material such as glass to protect the fluid confined between the inner tube and outer casing. Experience has shown that a flexible tube without an impervious liner is subject to migration of moisture from environments where moisture is generally a problem causing a loss in the effective illumination of the wand. The shelf-life" or in-situ life of an unactivated wand can be substantially increased by the impervious liner. Generally, an imprervious material is also frangible. Therefore, when a wand is constructed with a frangible liner, it too will break when the outer flexible tube is deformed for the purposeful breaking of the inner tube for activating the wand. However, for definitional purposes the outer casing will be deemed a flexible casing. It is to be understood that this term will also include a flexible tube with a frangible linear.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises apparatus for the activation of chemiluminescent reactants contained in a wand similar to that disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,576,987. The apparatus acts in combination with the wand to either facilitate or automate the activation of the wand. Generically the apparatus structurally retains at least one end of the wand and displaces the middle or other end of the wand relative to the retained end.
The displacement may occur automatically as incident to inflation of a structure such as a rubber raft or with manual assistance such as in pulling a cord or handle which forces the bending of the wand.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wand retaining apparatus on an inflatable structure that is deflated.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the wand apparatus of FIG. 1 on the inflatable structure that is inflated.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a plurality of wand retaining structures on an inflated airplane escape slide.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a wand retaining apparatus for manual activation with a cord and handle.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a wand retaining apparatus for retaining and simultaneously activating a plurality of wands.
FIG. 10 is an additional perspective view of the wand apparatus of FIG. 9.
FIG. I 1 is a schematic view of the wand retaining apparatus after activation and distribution of the wands along a line.
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a wand retaining apparatus for automatic activation by a compression spring.
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 12 in an activated state.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a plurality of retaining apparatus of FIG. 12 on a life jacket.
FIG. 15 is an exploded view of the activating mecha- I nism of the apparatus of FIG. 12.
FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a wand retaining apparatus for automatic activation by a solenoid.
FIG. 17 is a schematic illustration of the apparatus of FIG. 16.
FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a wand retaining and storing device for manual activation.
FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the device of FIG. 17, manually activated.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a chemiluminescent wand 10 is shown first retained in an unbroken or inactivated state and then partially displaced to a broken or luminescent state. The wand 10 comprises a flexible outer casing 12 which contains an inner frangible tube 14 of glass concentrically located to form two separated chambers, one formed within the inner tube 14 and the other formed between the inner tube and the outer casing. A chemiluminescent chemical is contained in one of the chambers and an activator chemi cal is contained in the other chamber. Chemical inter action and resultant luminosity occurs when the inner tube is broke allowing the chemicals to intermix.
Activation of the chemiluminescent reactants in the wand shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is accomplished by the wand retaining apparatus which comprises three retaining straps, l6, l8 and 20, fixed to an inflatable structure 22 which may be fabricated of a vinyl or a rubber material. The three retaining straps are preferably premounted on a pad 23 of fiber-reinforced vinyl in the staggered manner shown in FIG. 2. A pair of closely spaced retaining straps may preferably be substituted for the single center strap 18 shown, for added strength and uniform bending of the wand during inflation of the structure 22. The pad 23 without the wand 10 is mounted flatly to the deflated structure with a suitable adhesive in the same or similar manner as a repair patch. As common in the art, the adhesive may be omitted by affixing the pad with a thermal or dielectric weld. When the structure is packed for storage the wands are placed in the retaining straps as shown in FIG. 1, and secured therein by snap fasteners 24. To arrange the straps in this manner, on a common axis, an overlapping fold 23 is taken in both pad and underlying inflatable structure.
Retaining straps 16 and 20 are thus affixed with 'respect to the material of the inflatable structue on a common axis. Center strap 18 is located on the fold 23a of the pad and underlying inflatable structure and is temporarily oriented on the common axis of the retaining straps 16 and 20 at the ends of the wand 10 in order to attach'the wand 10 on the inflatable structure without breaking the inner frangible tube 14.
Referring in particular to FIG. 2 the inflatable structue 22 is inflated and the center retaining strap 18 is forced to displace from the common axis of the remaining straps l6 and 20 and assume its cctual relative position on the inflated structure. The displacement of the center strap 18 is caused by the pressure of inflation of the structure, which unfolds the fold 23a on which the center strap is oriented and reorients the center strap to its actual position. During the reorientation of the center strap 18, the center portion 10a of the wand, which is retained by the center strap, is displaced causing the wand to bow and thereby break the frangible tube within the wand causing the contained chemicals to intermix and generate the chemiluminescence.
In FIG. 3 a plurality of wands 10 are shown mounted on an inflatable structure that is in this case an inflated aircraft escape slide 25. During an emergency landing, the aircraft escape slide 25, which is stored within an aircraft 26 is automatically or on a command signal inflated under a hatchway door 28. By attaching chemiluminescent wands to the top surface of inflatable rails 30 and to the inflatable base 32 of the slide 25, in the manner shown in FIG. 1, a chemiluminescent light is provided for nighttime aid in both the escape of passengers and in the location of the downed aircraft for rescue purposes.
In FIG. 4 a plurality of wands 10 are shown mounted on an inflatable structure which in this case is an inflatable emergency raft 34. Often such rafts are stored aboard aircraft and ships and are inflated by activation of a gas storage canister on emergencies. To again provide a nighttime aid for passengers and rescuers in locating the raft the attached wands are automatically activated on inflation of the raft.
In both these types of inflatable structures, it is imperative that there be no sparks or high temperature illuminations which may cause ignition of locally spilled gasoline or other combustibles in the area. Chemiluminescence provides an illumination which avoids these dangers. Once used, the wands 10 can be replaced and the inflatable structure repacked with the wands retained by the straps in the linear state shown in FIG. 1.
FIGS. and 6 show an alternate embodiment of the wand retaining apparatus comprising two retaining straps 36 and 38 and a centrally located bridge 40. The retaining straps hold the ends of the wand on the inflatable structure 42. When the structure is inflated the bridge 40 bulges against the wand 10 causing the wand to bend and the frangible tube 14 therein to fracture.
wand 10 to be activated in one hand by gripping and squeezing both the retaining structure 44 and the wand. The retaining structure of FIG. 7 comprises simply an elongated handle 46 having a socket 48' at one end into which a first end 10 of the wand 10 is inserted. The handle 46 has a bent neck portion 50 contoured to the curvature of the wand. At the end of the handle 46 is a hand grip 52. The distal or free end 10" of the wand and the hand grip are held in an operators hand and squeezed together to bend the wand around the bent neck portion 50 thereby fracturing the inner tube 14 in the wand and activating the chemiluminescent chemical. The retaining structure of FIG. 7 is ideal for hand held wands where it is desired to maintain one hand free for other tasks while activating the wand with the other hand.
FIG. 8 illustrates another example of a retaining structure 53 for activation of the wand 10. In this example, a wand 10 having an integral tab 10a is suspended from a support structure (not shown) by a wire loop 54. A short wire 56 attaches the tab 10a of the wand 10 to a metal ring 58 encircling the middle of the wand. A second wire 60 is attached to a cap 62 on the lower end of the wand, is looped through the ring and is connected to a handle 64. When the handle is pulled downwardly, the wand is bowed by the action of the wires, the frangible inner tube 14 broken and the chemicals mixed. The wand retaining structure of FIG. 8 is particularly suitable for installation as emergency overhead lighting on ships, in mines and at other places where unexpected blackouts can be a danger and notably where a flame-type lighting would be hazardous.
A last example of a wand retaining apparatus for activating chemiluminescent wands is shown in FIGS. 9, l0 and 11, wherein a retaining structure 64 retains a plurality of wands 10 for simultaneous activation and releases the wands. As shown in FIG. 9, the retaining structure 64 has a central hour-glass shaped drum 66 around which is uniformly arranged the plurality of wands 10, each mounted at each end in a conforming slot 68 at the flared ends 70 of the drum 66. The wands are retained against the drum 66 by a belt 72 which encircles the middle of the wands. On one end of the belt is a handle 74 and on the other end a slip retainer 76, which cooperates with a series of ridges 78 on the belt to provide a friction grip to maintain the belt around the wands as shown more clearly in FIG. 10. On the slip retainer 76 is connected a cord 80 which is tied to each of the wands in series and at its end to the drum.
When the belt 72 is cinched around the wands 10 by drawing on the handle 74, all of the wands are bent at their middle or center causing the inner tubes 14 within the wands'to break. When drawn, a slot 82 in the retainer 76 is aligned with a narrow portion 84 on the belt allowing the belt to be unfastened and the interconnected wands released.
The wands can then be strung out along the cord as shown in FIG. 11. In this manner the wand retaining structure has appropriate application for an emergency signaling device that can be spread over the surface of water or on land. For wateruse the drum is either bouy ant or weighted to either float or anchor the train of illuminated wands. Alternatively the drum may be reused by not attaching the cord to the drum but to some other auxiliary weighted or bouyant structure contained in the drum.
Another example of a water environment use for a wand retaining apparatus is shown in FIGS. 12, 13, 14 and 15. A wand is retained at each end by straps 86. The center of the wand is connected to a spring loaded activator 88 which is maintained in a loaded state by a water dissolvable wafer 90. The apparatus is particularly suitable for use on a life jacket 92 as shown in FIG. 14.
The straps 86 are attached to the material 94 of the life jacket and comprise loops through which the wand 10 is inserted. The activator 88 is inserted in a pocket 96 attached to the material 94, as shown in FIG. 12 and includes a plastic ring 98 integral with a plug 100 that is inserted into a cannister 102.
The arrangement of the actuator is shown with greater clarity in the exploded view of FIG. 15. The cannister has an open end with two slotted tabs 104 oppositely positioned on the rim 106 of the cannister. A compression spring 108 is inserted into the cannister and compressed by the plug 100 which is slidable in the cannister. The plug is maintained in the cannister by the water dissolvable wafer 90 which is inserted through one slotted tab 104, between two connecting legs 108 of the ring 98 and through the opposite slotted tab 104.
The ring 98 of the loaded cannister is slipped around a wand 10 and the combination wand and activator 88 is installed on the life jacket by inserting the cannister into the pocket 96 and retaining the ends of the wand 10 by the straps 86. When the wafer 90 becomes wet, it dissolves in part and fails allowing the spring 108 to expand and deform the wand as shown in FIG. 13. The deformation of the wand fractures the inner frangible tube (not shown) and generates a chemiluminescence.
A variation of the actuator type of wand retaining apparatus is shown in FIG. 16. The spring loaded activator 88 of the life-vest apparatus is replaced by a solenoid activator 110. The solenoid activator 110 is similarly connected to the center portion of a wand 10 by a ring 112. The wand 10 is retained at its ends by additional rings 114, which in FIG. 16 are shown fastened to a wall 116. On a predetermined signal an armature 118 of the solenoid activator 110 is retracted forcing the wand 10 to bend and the inner frangible tube (not shown) to fracture.
A wand retaining apparatus using a solenoid activator has particular application as an emergency lighting system during a power failure. With reference to FIG. 17, the solenoid activator 110 for an emergency lighting system comprises power interrupt and delay cir-- wand 110. However, to prevent the wand from being 6 activated on merely brief interruptions in power, circuitry is included which delays the activation of the wand for a predetermined time such as 30 seconds. If power is still interrupted after the thirty second delay, the power interrupt and delay circuitry 120 triggers the power storage and causes a discharge through the sole- 5 noid 124 which withdraws the armature and fractures the wand 10. The power storage 122 may comprise a large capacitator or coil which retains a charge during the delay time and suddenly discharges through the solenoid when triggered. Variations will be apparent to 10 the skilled designer for achieving the desired result.
The solenoid activator 110 as shown in FIG. 16 can be conveniently mounted on a wall 116 for use in a hall or at the head of stairs. The activator 110 can include a cord and plug 128 which is simply plugged into a con- 15 ventional a.c. outlet 130.
Alternatively the solenoid activator can be tapped into any ac. line, for example in emergency exit signs, at fuse boxes or essentially at any place serviced by a power line where it is desirable to have automatic light- 20 ing after more than a momentary interruption in power.
While relatively complex apparatus can be devised to activate a chemiluminescent wand, as described in foregoing two examples, the apparatus on the other hand may be extremely simple. For example, with reference to FIGS. 18 and 19, a wand 10 may be contained within an outer sleeve 132 for protective storage until it is withdrawn and used as a simple lanyard light. The sleeve 132 preferably includes at one end an integral whistle 134, and is suspendable around the neck of a user by a cord 136 which passes through a hole 138 on each side of the sleeve. The cord 136 is connected to the end of the wand 10 such that the wand is retained within the sleeve when not in use. When it is desired that the wand be used, the sleeve is held and the wand is partially withdrawn from the sleeve which simultaneously draws the cord into the sleeve through the holes. The protruding end of the wand is gripped by the user and displaced with direction shown in FIG. 19. 0 The rim 140 at the end of the sleeve acts on the middle 106 of the wand and the inner surface of the sleeve retains the opposite end 100 of the wand to displace the middle of the wand relative to the end by bowing the LII LII
wand, thereby breaking the inner frangible tube (not shown) to generate the chemiluminescense.
The foregoing examples comprise preferred embodiments of the claimed invention.
having a first chemical in an inner frangible tube and a second chemical in an outer flexible casing encompassing the inner tube, the apparatus comprising:
a retaining structure having first structural means to retain at least one end of a chemiluminescent wand, and
second cooperating structural means operably connected to said first structural means for displacing the center of a retained wand with reference to the retained end, thereby bending the outer flexible tube and fracturing the inner frangible tube of the wand causing the first chemical to mix with the second chemical and generate a chemiluminescence.
2. Apparatus for activating a chemiluminescent wand having a first chemical in an inner frangible tube and a second chemical in an outer flexible casing encompassing the inner tube, the apparatus comprising,
1. Apparatus for activating a chemiluminescent wand an inflatable structure of a flexible material having a deflated state and an inflated state, said structure having:
first retaining strap in which a first end of a wand is retainable, said first retaining strap fixed with respect to the material,
second retaining strap in which a second end of a wand is retainable, said second retaining strap fixed with respect to the material and displaced from said first retaining strap, said first and second retaining straps operably fixed on the material to define an axis common to the axis ofa wand retainable by said first and second straps, and a third retaining strap in which a central section of a wand is retainable, said third retaining strap fixed with respect to the material between said first retaining strap and said second retaining strap and displaced from the axis defined by said first and second retaining straps, said third retaining strap arranged on a common axis to said axis of said first and second straps by displacement of the material when said inflatable structure is in a deflected state and displaced from said axis when said inflatable structue is in an inflated state whereby a wand retained by said straps in the inflatable structure in a deflated state is bent when said structure is in an inflated state thereby fracturing the inner frangible tube of the wand and generating a chemiluminescence.
3. Apparatus for activating a chemiluminescent wand having a first chemical in an inner frangible tube and a second chemical in an outer flexible casing encompassing the inner tube, the apparatus comprising,
an elongated handle having a socket into which a first end of a wand is insertable and retainable,
a neck connected to said socket and contoured in part to the surface of a wand and bent in part away from a wand insertable in said socket,
a hand grip connected to the bent part of said neck and adapted to bend said first end of a wand inserted in said socket around the neck of the handle when the second end of a wand and said hand grip are compressed together thereby fracturing the inner frangible tube of the wand and generating a chemiluminescence.
4. Apparatus for activating a chemiluminescent wand having a first chemical in an inner frangible tube and a second chemical in an outer flexible casing encompassing the inner tube, the apparatus comprising:
a supprot structure a first retaining member in which a first end of a wand is retainable, said first retaining member fixed with respect to the support structure a second retaining member in which a second end of a wand is retainable, said second retaining member fixed with respect to the support structure, and displaced from said first retaining member, said first and second retaining members operably fixed on the support structure to define an axis common to the axis of a wand retained by said first and second members, and,
an activator structure connectable to the middle of a wand retained by said first and second members and connected to the support structure, said activator structure having a linear actuation means for displacing the middle of a wand connected to the actuator structure, and
means for activating said actuation means.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said actuation means includes a compression spring operably connectable to the middle of a wand, a cannister, a water dissolvable wafer, and means for retaining said spring compressed in said container by said wafer; and wherein said means for activating said actuation means comprises water which dissolves at least a portion of the wafer releasing the compression spring, which when connected to a wand bends the wand, thereby fracturing the inner frangible tube of the wand and generating a chemiluminescence.
6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said actuation means comprises a solenoid operably connectable to the middle of a wand; and wherein said means for activating said actuation means comprises an electrical signal.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said means for activating said actuation means, comprises circuit means for detecting an interruption of power in a power line and generating said electrical signal a predetermined time after a continuous interruption of power is detected; whereby said solenoid is activated displacing the middle of a wand connected to the actuator structure, fracturing the inner frangible tube and generating a chemiluminescence.
8. Apparatus for activating a chemiluminescent wand having a first chemical in an inner frangible tube and a second chemical in an outer flexible casing encompassing the inner tube, the apparatus comprising:
an elongated sleeve within which a wand is longitudinally insertable, said sleeve having an opening at one end with a rigid rim and a pair of oppositely arranged holes adjacent on opposite ends,
a lanyard cord attachable to one end of a wand inserted in said sleeve, said cord being drawn through the holes in the sleeve wherein,
said cord retains an attached wand within said sleeve when said sleeve and wand are supported by said lanyard cord and said cord draws into said sleeve when the attached wand is withdrawn, whereby to activate a wand attached to said cord and inserted in said sleeve, said sleeve is supported by a first external means and the attached wand is partially withdrawn by a second external means and displaced against the rigid rim of the sleeve to bend the middle of the wand relative to the end of the wand attached to the cord and retained in the sleeve and the end of the wand withdrawn, thereby fracturing the inner frangible tube of the wand and generating a chemiluminescence.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said elongated sleeve includes an integral whistle at the end of the sleeve adjacent the pair of oppositely mounted holes.