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Publication numberUS3927681 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 23, 1975
Filing dateJul 3, 1974
Priority dateFeb 23, 1973
Publication numberUS 3927681 A, US 3927681A, US-A-3927681, US3927681 A, US3927681A
InventorsBramhill Percy W
Original AssigneeH H Investments Limited
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for making cigarettes
US 3927681 A
Abstract
A machine for making cigarettes from empty filter tip cigarette tubes and from tobacco cartridges consisting of compressed tobacco contained in a thin sheath of cellulose film or other non-consumable material, the length of the cartridge being slightly greater than that of the cigarette tube. A cartridge is inserted into a cigarette tube, and the combination is slid along a trough and pushed against a stop. The stop, which is carried by a long rod coaxial with the trough, prevents movement of the tobacco while allowing movement of the sheath past the stop. The sheath is then stripped off by a slider which slides back and forth along the rod, thus leaving the tobacco in the cigarette tube.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Bramhill Dec. 23, 1975 [54] APPARATUS FOR MAKING CIGARETI'ES 3,834.399 9/1974 Beam l3l/3 [75] Inventor: Percy W. Bramhill, Dollard des-Ormeaux, Canada 52 F 0 gg 'f t a'fuw- MiChe" szsram ammer- I ll] [73 Asslgnee: g zgr can d Llmited Attorney, Agent, or FirmRogers, Bereskin & Parr [22] Filed: July 3, 1974 57 ABSTRACT PP N04 485,670 A machine for making cigarettes from empty filter tip Related Us. Application Data cigarette tubes and from tobacco cartridges consisting of compressed tobacco contained in a thin sheath of [62] g g' r g 334383 cellulose film or other non-consumable material, the length of the cartridge being slightly greater than that [52] US Cl. 131 [31/3 Ullno R of the cigarette tube. A cartridge is inserted into a cig- [5 I] Int E: 5 A24C 5/54 arette tube, and the combination is slid along a trough 581 Field of Search 131/70 3 170 R and Pushed against a The is by a long rod coaxial with the trough, prevents move- 56 Re ment of the tobacco while allowing movement of the 1 ED sheath past the stop. The sheath is then stripped off by u S a slider which slides back and forth along the rod, thus 3 :iaron leavi g the tobacco in the cigarette tube. elnungen. 3,765,423 10mm Kim BN3 2 Claims, 9 Drawing Figllm US. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 Sheet 0f2 3,927,681

U.S. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,927,681

APPARATUS FOR MAKING CIGARETTES This is a division of application Ser. No. 334,983, filed Feb. 23, 1973 now US. Pat. No. 3,822,710.

This invention relates to a method and apparatus for producing home-made cigarettes.

Home-made cigarettes have long appealed to many smokers. One of the reasons for this appeal has been the desire on the part of some users to perform additional steps in the smoking routine, which desire is gratified by becoming involved in the manufacturing operation. Another reason for the appeal of homemade cigarettes has been their traditionally lower cost, since the unfinished materials are generally taxed at a much lower rate than finished cigarettes. However, present machines for manufacturing home-made cigarettes have had the disadvantage that they are relatively expensive, difficult to use, and the cigarettes are often imperfectly made and smoke poorly. In addition, present machines readily allow introduction of noxious or illegal powdered substances into the tobacco.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for making homemade cigarettes, in which the machine required is extremely simple, inexpensive and easy to use, and in which the finished cigarette is virtually indistinguishable from a factory-made cigarette. In addition, the method of the invention allows little possiblity for introduction of noxious or illegal powdered substances into the tobacco.

To this end, the invention provides in one aspect apparatus for inserting, into an empty cigarette tube having a first internal diameter and having one end blocked by a filter tip, the tobacco contained in a cylindrical cartridge of non-consumable material, said cartridge including a thin exterior sheath enclosing and compressing said tobacco, said sheath being of length greater than that of said cigarette tube and having a second external diameter slightly less than said first internal diameter, said apparatus comprising:

I. means defining an elongated trough of curved cross-section for supporting said cigarette tube for sliding motion therealong and having a first end into which said cigarette tube may be introduced and a second end towards which said cigarette tube may be slid;

2. an elongated rod having a first end, and a second free end located adjacent said second end of said trough, means supporting said second end of said rod and locating said rod in a position coaxial with said trough, the diameter of said rod being substantially less than the internal diameter of said sheath;

3. a stop member carried at said second end of said rod and having a diameter slightly less than the internal diameter of said sheath, for preventing movement of said tobacco past said second end of said rod while permitting movement of said sheath past said second end of said rod;

4. and a slider on said rod and slidable between the ends thereof, said slider having a central elongated cylindrical member coaxial with said rod, said cylindrical member having an external diameter slightly less than the internal diameter of said sheath, said slider also including gripping means fixed thereto, said gripping means having a gripping surface normally located adjacent the end of said cylindrical member and spaced therefrom, to allow movement of said sheath between said cylindrical member and said gripping surface, said gripping means being actuable to press said gripping surface against said cylindrical member to grip said sheath therebetween; whereby said cigarette tube with said tobacco cartridge therein can be slid along said trough against said stop member and pushed until said sheath projects over said cylindrical member of said slider, and said gripping means can then be closed to press said gripping surface against said sheath and said slider can then be withdrawn along said rod to strip said sheath from said tobacco.

In another aspect, the invention provides a method of making a cigarette, comprising 1. inserting into an empty cigarette tube, of the kind having one end blocked by a filter tip, a tobacco cartridge consisting of compressed tobacco contained in a thin sheath of non-consumable low friction material, the length of said tobacco cartridge being slightly greater than the length of said cigarette tube, so that a portion of said tobacco cartridge projects beyond the other end of said cigarette tube;

2. compressing the tobacco in said tobacco cartridge back at least as far as said other end of said cigarette tube, so that a portion of said sheath alone extends past said other end of said cigarette tube;

3. gripping such projecting portion of said sheath;

4. and pulling on said projecting portion of said sheath while preventing movement of said tobacco, whereby to strip said sheath from said tobacco, leaving said tobacco in said cigarette tube.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tobacco cartridge according to the invention in position to be inserted into a cigarette tube;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a cigarette making machine according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a portion of the machine of FIG. 2, taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are diagrammatic sectional views showing the various stages of manufacture of a cigarette according to the invention;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a portion of the machine of FIG. 2, taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a membrane of the FIG. 2 machine; and

FIG. 9 is an end view of the cigarette tube inserter of FIG. 7 with a tobacco cartridge partly inserted therein, and showing the FIG. 8 membrane partly open.

The raw material which is used by the machine of the invention to produce cigarettes is shown in FIG. 1. As shown, the machine uses standard empty cigarette tubes indicated at 2 in FIG. 1 and typically having a filter tip 4 (such cigarette tubes are available in all tobacco shops), and it also uses tobacco cartridges shown at 6. The tobacco cartridges 6 are rods of compressed tobacco 8 enclosed in a sheath 10 of thin, low friction, non-consumable material. The term non-consumable" material as used herein means a material which would not normally be smoked by a smoker.

The material forming the sheath 10 should be heat scalable or gluable, and it has been found that the coated cellulose film sold under the trade mark Cellophane" by the Dupont Company is an excellent material for the sheath.

The length D1 of the tobacco cartridges 6 is slightly greater than the length D2 of the empty portion of the cigarette tube 2 and the external diameter D3 of the tobacco cartridge 6 is slightly less than the internal diameter D4 of the cigarette tube 2. This allows a tobacco cartridge 6 to be inserted into a cigarette tube 2 to fill the cigarette tube and with the end of the tobacco cartridge projecting slightly beyond the end of the cigarette tube 2.

Reference is next made to FIGS. 2 and 3, which show a preferred cigarette machine 12 according to the invention. The cigarette machine 12 includes a base 14 (which can be metal or plastic) having a trough 16 formed at one end thereof. The trough 16 is semi-circular in cross-section, with a radius of curvature the same as the external radius of the cigarette tube 2 (plus a slight clearance). At the right hand end of the trough 16, there is provided an optional cover 18 formed integral with the base 14. The cover 18 helps to guide and hold down the cigarette tube 2 during the forming operation, as will be described.

The right hand end of the trough 16 is defined by a vertical wall 22 which extends down substantially below the level of the bottom of the trough. The wall 22 meets a horizontal wall 24 which extends to the right to an upstanding support 26 at the right hand end of the machine. The walls 22 and 24 and the support 26 together define a cutout 28 in the base.

Located in the cutout 28 is a small diameter elongated rod 30, typically of metal. The right hand end of the rod 30 is securely anchored in the support 26 (e.g. by a press fit or by a set screw 32), while the left hand end of the rod 30 carries a fixed disc-shaped stop 34. The rod 30 and stop 34 are arranged coaxially with the trough 16, and the axial length of the stop 34 is made very small (typically 1/16 inch). As best shown in FIG. 3, the rod 30 extends to the left sufficiently that the surface 36 of the stop which faces the support 26 is typically flush with the wall 22.

Positioned on the rod 30 is a slider generally indicated at 38. The slider 38 includes a narrow base 40 of generally square shape as viewed axially, and a cylindrical extension 42 projecting towards the stop 34. The cylindrical extension 42 carries, at its end adjacent the stop 34, a circumferential groove 44.

The slider 38 also includes a pair of spring fingers 46 attached to opposed sides of the base 40 by screws 48. The spring fingers 46 (which are preferably made of spring metal or the like) extend from the base 38 along the cylindrical extension 42 and diverge slightly outwardly from the extension 42. The fingers 46 then terminate in gripping ends 50 which extend inwardly towards the groove 44. The free edges of the gripping ends 50 are arcuate as indicated at 52, to conform to the curvature of the groove 44, so that the edges 52 can be pressed into the groove 44 with a maximum length of contact between the edges 52 and the groove 44.

The external diameter of the stop 34 is made slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the sheath for the tobacco cartridges, and the diameter of the cylindrical extension 42 is preferably the same as that of the stop 34.

The operation of the machine as so far described will next be explained, with reference to FIGS. 4 to 6.

In use of the cigarette machine, the first procedure is to insert a tobacco cartridge 6 into an empty cigarette tube 2. The cigarette machine of FIG. 2 includes means to facilitate this operation, as will be described, but for the moment it will be assumed that this operation has been completed. Next, the cigarette tube 2 with the tobacco cartridge 6 therein is inserted into the trough 16 and pushed towards the stop 34 until the end of the tobacco cartridge 6 abuts against the stop 34. This situation is shown in FIG. 4.

The cigarette tube 2 is next pushed further forward in the direction of arrow A, as shown in FIG. 5, compressing the tobacco 8 against the stop 34 and causing the sheath 10 to move forwardly over the stop 34. Movement of the cigarette tube 2 in the direction of arrow A is continued until the exterior surface 54 of stop 26 enters the cigarette tube 2 to a limited extent. Typically the cigarette tube 2 will be moved forward until its end is flush with the wall 22 of the cigarette machine, the wall 22 thus serving as a convenient guide to the user.

Next, the slider 38 is moved along the rod 30 towards the stop 34 until the end of the cylindrical extension 42 abuts against the stop 34. This situation is also shown in FIG. 5.

Next, the user squeezes the two spring fingers 46 together until the edges 52 of the gripping ends 50 press the exposed end of the sheath l0 tightly into the groove 44. With the spring fingers 46 continuing to grip the sheath 10, the slider 38 is then withdrawn in the direction of arrow 8 (FIG. 6), stripping the sheath 10 from the tobacco 8 and leaving the tobacco inside the cigarette tube 2. Movement of the tobacco in the direction of arrow B is prevented by the stop 34. The rod 30 is preferably made long enough so that the slider can strip the sheath l0 completely clear of the cigarette tube 2, with a reasonable clearance, but this is not essential since the cigarette tube 2 can be pulled backwards to complete the stripping after the sheath 10 has been mostly stripped from the tobacco 8.

Once positioned in the cigarette tube 2, the tobacco 8 will expand to fill the tube 2 snugly, as in a factorymade cigarette. This occurs for the following reasons. Firstly, the diameter of the tobacco sheath 10 is nearly equal to the internal diameter of the cigarette tube 2 (the difference in diameters being typically 0.0125 inches), and in addition the sheath 10 is made of very thin material (typically between 0.001 and 0.00125 inches), so that the diameter of the tobacco 8 in the tobacco cartridge 6 is nearly equal to the internal diameter of the cigarette tube 2. Since the tobacco 8 is compressed to some degree inside the sheath 10, the tobacco expands as soon as it is released from the sheath. In addition, the tobacco cartridge 6 is made longer than the cigarette tube 2 (as can be seen in FIGS. 4 and 5). As the cigarette tube 2 is moved in the direction of arrow A, pressing the tobacco 8 against the stop 34, the tobacco is compressed axially, and after it has been released into the cigarette tube 2, it expands, filling the cigarette tube. (Preferably the cartridge is between 0.15 and 0.2 inches longer than the empty tube.) Since the expansion may require time, it is desirable to leave the newly filled cigarette tubes for about a day before smoking to allow time for the expansion.

The tobacco cartridges 6 are typically made on conventional automatic cigarette making machines, and it is found that such machines have no difficulty in handling heat sealing or thermo-plastic materials such as "Cellophane" cellulose film in the same manner as conventional cigarette paper. The moisture content of the tobacco used should be fairly high (12% to 13.5%) to reduce the likelihood of the tobacco crumbling and falling from the cartidges or completed cigarettes.

Since the tobacco cartridges are of nearly the same diameter as the cigarette tubes, it is found that it can be extremely difficult to insert the tobacco cartridges into the cigarette tubes manually. if the end of the cigarette tube becomes distorted then the user will not be able to insert the tobacco cartridge, and if the user when inserting the tobacco cartridge bends the edge of the cigarette tube, then again the user will have difficulty in completing the insertion.

To deal with this problem, the cigarette machine of the invention is preferably equipped with insertion means best shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 (and also shown in FIG. 2) to facilitate insertion of the tobacco cartridge into the cigarette tube. The insertion means includes a cylindrical cigarette tube receiver 60 and a cylindrical tobacco cartridge receiver 62 aligned coaxially in a bore 64 of a projection 66 from the base 14. The projection 66, which is typically molded or formed integrally with the base 14, also serves as a support for the base, to prevent the base from tipping over during use. The receivers 60, 62 are held in the bore 64 by a press fit or by set screws 67. v

The cigarette tube receiver 62 has a bore 68 having an internal diameter accurately equal to the external diameter of the cigarette tube 2, with a very slight clearance to allow movement of the cigarette tube therein. The entrance to the bore 68 is tapered smoothly and gently outwardly as indicated at 70, to guide the cigarette tube 2 into the bore 68 even if the end of the cigarette tube 2 is slightly out of round.

The tobacco cartridge receiver 62 has a bore 72 of diameter accurately equal to that of the tobacco cartridge 6 (plus a slight clearance), with a smoothly and gently tapered entrance surface 74 to guide the tobacco cartridge into the bore 72. The cartridge receiver bore 72 is slightly smaller than the cigarette tube receiver bore 68, and the two bores are aligned coaxially.

Located between the cigarette tube receiver 60 and the tobacco cartridge receiver 62 is a cartridge inserter membrane 76. The membrane 76 is made of a thin, tough, flexible, springy material and it is found that woven glass fibre material (such as that sold under the trade mark Fiberglass"), impregnated with the plastic sold under the trade mark Teflon", is particularly suitable for this purpose.

As shown in FIG. 8, the membrane 76 includes eight radial cuts 78 (the number can vary) radiating from the centre of the membrane and preferably equally spaced. The cuts extend part way to the edge of the membrane and are each of length (from the centre of the membrane to the edge of the cut) at least slightly greater than the radius of the bore 68 of the cigarette tube receiver 60. The cuts 78 thus define a number of generally triangular leaves 80 in the membrane. The membrane 76 is clamped tightly between the cigarette tube receiver 60 and the tobacco cartridge receiver 62.

In operation, an empty cigarette tube 2 is inserted into the cigarette tube receiver 60, and is slid to a position in which its end abuts against the membrane 76, as shown in FIG. 7. The cigarette tube slides no further than this, because the tobacco cartridge receiver 62 which sits behind the membrane 76, has a smaller bore than that of the cigarette tube receiver 60 and backs up the membrane 76.

Next, a tobacco cartridge 6 is slid into the tobacco cartridge receiver 62, as also shown in FIG. 7. The tobacco cartridge 6 is pushed into the membrane and through the membrane, forcing the leaves 80 of the membrane to open as indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 7 and as also shown in FIG. 9. The leaves of the membrane act as a funnel, opening over the edge of the cigarette tube 2 and guiding the tobacco cartridge 6 into the cigarette'tube.

After the tobacco cartridge 6 has been slid part way into the cigarette tube 2, so that the end of the tobacco cartridge extends past the entrance of the cigarette tube receiver 60, the cigarette tube with the tobacco cartridge partly inserted therein is grasped at a position where the user can press on the tobacco cartridge through the cigarette tube. The partly assembled cigarette tube and tobacco cartridge are then withdrawn in the direction of arrow C. The tobacco cartridge, which is now partly inserted into the cigarette tube, is simply tapped to push it fully into the cigarette tube, and the assembly is then inserted in the trough 16 for removal of the sheath 10, as previously described. The leaves 80, which are quite springy, return substantially to the flat position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

It will be appreciated that various changes may be made in the invention as described. For example, although the sheath 10 has been described as being of Cellophane", it will be appreciated that other nonconsumable materials can be used, so long as they have low surface friction characteristics to facilitate transfer of the tobacco from the sheath 10 into the cigarette tubes. For example, other kinds of plastic film may be used, such as oriented polypropylene. However, the material used should be of a kind that is workable on present day automatic cigarette making machines and should be of sufficient tensile strength that it can be stripped from the tobacco cartridge without tearing.

Although the slider 38 has been described as having two spring fingers, one finger only could be used if desired, and if desired a high friction gripper can be used instead of pressing the tobacco cartridge sheath 10 into a groove. However, two grippers are preferred, since this facilitates stripping the sheath, and the groove 44 in the slider is also preferred since it enables positive gripping of the sheath 10.

Although the cigarette tube receiver 60, tobacco cartridge receiver 62 and membrane 76 have been described for use in inserting a tobacco cartridge into a cigarette tube, it will be appreciated that this structure can be used in other circumstances where it is desired to insert a cylindrical cartridge into a fragile and close fitting cylindrical container.

It will be seen that the apparatus of the invention allows a user to perform some steps towards the making of his own cigarettes, thus gratifying the user's need for mechanical involvement in the process, while at the same time permitting the user to produce a cigarette that is virtually indistinguishable from a factory-made cigarette. The cost of the home-made cigarette so produced will generally be less than that of factory-made cigarettes, because of the lower taxes applying to raw tobacco and to empty cigarette tubes, and in addition the apparatus and method of the invention virtually prevent introduction of improper powdered substances into the tobacco by the user.

The apparatus of the invention can also be used with non-filter tip tubes, by holding the end of the tobacco cartridge and cigarette tube aligned by means of a finger or other obstacle. However, this would be somewhat inconvenient, and the invention is primarily intended for use with filter tip tubes.

If desired, the sheaths of the tobacco cartridges 6 may be perforated over their entire length and circumference with a large number of closely spaced small holes. These holes render smoking of the cartridge 6 itself impossible (since when the intending smoker sucks in, he will draw air in through the holes instead of through the burning end), thereby preventing misuse of the cartridges.

What I claim is:

l. A method of making cigarettes, comprising:

l. inserting into an empty cigarette tube, of the kind having one end blocked by a filter tip, a tobacco cartridge consisting of compressed tobacco contained in a thin sheath of non-consumable low friction material, the length of said tobacco cartridge being slightly greater than the length of said cigarette tube, so that a portion of said tobacco cartridge projects beyond the other end of said cigarette tube;

2. compressing the tobacco in said tobacco cartridge back at least as far as said other end of said cigarette tube, so that a portion of said sheath alone extends past said other end of said cigarette tube;

3. gripping such projecting portion of said sheath;

4. and creating relative separating movement between said projecting portion of said sheath and said tobacco, whereby to strip said sheath from said tobacco, leaving said tobacco in said cigarette tube.

2. A method of making cigarettes, comprising:

1. inserting into an empty cigarette tube, of the kind having one end blocked by a filter tip, a tobacco cartridge consisting of compressed tobacco contained in a thin sheath of non-consumable low friction material, the length of said tobacco cartridge being slightly greater than the length of said cigarette tube, so that a portion of said tobacco cartridge projects beyond the other end of said cigarette tube;

2. compressing the tobacco in said tobacco cartridge back at least as far as said other end of said cigarette tube, so that a portion of said sheath alone extends past said other end of said cigarette tube;

3. gripping such projecting portion of said sheath;

4. and pulling on said projecting portion of said sheath while preventing movement of said tobacco, whereby to strip said sheath from said tobacco,

leaving said tobacco in said cigarette tube.

i IF i i

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4632129 *May 21, 1985Dec 30, 1986Arnold KastnerCigarette making machine
US4832057 *Dec 12, 1986May 23, 1989Imperial Tobacco, Ltd.Manufacture of a smoking article
US4887617 *Dec 21, 1987Dec 19, 1989Efka-Werke Fritz Kiehn GmbhTobacco product for the personal preparation of a cigarette, in particular filter cigarette
US5009237 *Sep 19, 1984Apr 23, 1991Martin Brinkmann AgDo-it yourself
US5018536 *Jul 24, 1987May 28, 1991Max LiebichMethod and tobacco product for use by the consumer for making cigarettes
US5133366 *Oct 15, 1985Jul 28, 1992Max LiebichSystem for the making of cigarettes by the consumer himself
US5526825 *Aug 24, 1993Jun 18, 1996Efka-Werke Fritz Kiehn GmbhSmoking tobacco for self-making a cigarette, and device therefor
US5749378 *Apr 18, 1994May 12, 1998Efka-Werke Fritz Kiehn GmbhTobacco product for the self-preparation of a cigarette, especially of filter-tipped cigarette and method of forming the cigarette
US20120167907 *Dec 6, 2011Jul 5, 2012Blunt Wrap U.S.A., Inc.Method and apparatus for preparing a finished tobacco product including special form casings and sheet configurations
DE3343500A1 *Dec 1, 1983Jun 13, 1985Harting Elektronik GmbhZigarettenstopfautomat
DE3407461C1 *Feb 29, 1984Oct 24, 1985Efka Werke Kiehn Gmbh FritzTobacco product for the do-it-yourself manufacture of a cigarette or filter cigarette
DE102004047407B3 *Sep 28, 2004Apr 13, 2006Burk, JörgAutomatic self-assembly appliance for filter cigarettes has magazine for empty casings, separating device to take an empty one and tobacco roll conveyor to put tobacco into it, magazine to receive finished tobacco portions
EP0659352A1 *Dec 22, 1994Jun 28, 1995Efka-Werke Fritz Kiehn GmbHMethod and device for filling cigarette paper tubes with tobacco
EP1512334A1 *Jun 21, 2004Mar 9, 2005GIZEH Raucherbedarf GmbHDevice for filling home made cigarettes
EP1964482A1 *Feb 28, 2007Sep 3, 2008Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbHSmoking tobacco unit
WO2004110187A2 *Jun 18, 2004Dec 23, 2004Szabo AttilaTobacco-cartridge and filling equipment for self-made cigarettes and process for the production of the cartridge and the cigarette-paper case filled with the cartridge
WO2012101278A1 *Jan 30, 2012Aug 2, 2012British American Tobacco (Germany) GmbhTobacco-transfer apparatus for transferring a tobacco rod from a rod wrapper into a cigarette tube
Classifications
U.S. Classification131/70, 131/348
International ClassificationA24C5/40, A24C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA24C5/40
European ClassificationA24C5/40