|Publication number||USRE39947 E1|
|Application number||US 10/657,827|
|Publication date||Dec 25, 2007|
|Filing date||Sep 8, 2003|
|Priority date||Mar 13, 1995|
|Also published as||US6540108|
|Publication number||10657827, 657827, US RE39947 E1, US RE39947E1, US-E1-RE39947, USRE39947 E1, USRE39947E1|
|Inventors||Lonnie G. Johnson|
|Original Assignee||Johnson Research & Development Co., Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (46), Referenced by (2), Classifications (8), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to toy water guns, and specifically to water guns having an expandable pressure tank.
Water guns which eject a stream of water have been a very popular toy for children. These guns have been designed to eject the stream of water in a number of ways. The most common method of ejecting water has been by a manual pump coupled to the trigger of the gun. The pump is actuated by the mere pressure exerted by one finger of an operator upon the trigger, thus the pump typically cannot generate enough pressure to eject the water a lengthy distance. Additionally, these types of pumps work on the actuation of a compression piston which creates single, short bursts of water. However, many children desire the production of an extended stream of water.
Water guns have also been designed with small electric pumps which expel a stream of water from a tube coupled to the pump, as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,706,848 and 4,743,030. However, these small electric pumps typically cannot eject the stream of water a lengthy distance.
Toy water guns have also been developed which eject a stream of water by exerting pressure on the water within the gun greater than that of ambience and controlling the release of water through a control valve. The water is expelled from the gun due to this pressure difference. The pressurization of the water has been achieved in a variety of manners. U.S. Pat. No. 3,197,070 illustrates a water gun wherein pressure is applied to the water by collapsing a water storage area. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,480 illustrates a water gun wherein water is forced into an elastic bladder which expands to maintain the water under pressure.
Lastly, water guns have been designed with manual pumps which force water or air from a storage reservoir to a pressure reservoir, as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,150,819. The conveyance of the water or air into the pressure tank compresses the air therein, thereby exerting pressure on the water within the storage tank. However, as water is released from the pressure tank the volume occupied by the air increases. This increase in volume causes the air pressure within the pressure tank to decrease rapidly, thus resulting in a decrease in water pressure and a weaker projected water stream. Another potential problem associated with this type of water gun is that since the pressure tank is typically constructed of a hard plastic, the accidental striking of the pressure tank may cause it to crack or rupture. This problem is even more likely to occur when the interior of the plastic pressure tank is stressed under high pressure.
Accordingly, it is seen that a need remains for a water gun which can generate a long, steady stream of water and which is not easily ruptured. It is to the provision of such therefore that the present invention is primarily directed.
In a preferred form of the invention a water gun comprises a housing, a storage reservoir adapted to hold liquid and an expandable pressure tank adapted to hold liquid and to expand upon depositing liquid therein so as to exert a force upon the liquid. The water gun also has a pump for drawing liquid from the storage reservoir and depositing the drawn liquid into the expandable pressure tank. Conduit means are included for conveying liquid from the expandable pressure tank to ambience and control means for controlling the flow of liquid therethrough.
With reference next to the drawings, there is shown a water gun 10 having a housing 11 in the shape of a gun with a barrel 13, a handle 14 and a stock 15. The gun 10 has a trigger 17, a removable liquid storage tank or reservoir 18 coupled to the stock 15, an expandable or resilient liquid pressure reservoir or tank 19 mounted to the stock, and a conventional nozzle 21 mounted to the end of the barrel 13. The storage tank 18 has a threaded neck 23 threadably mounted within a threaded receptor 24 within the housing and an opening or port 22 in which is removably mounted a filling cap 25. The receptor 24 has a spring biased check valve or vent 26 which allows air to enter storage tank 18. The pressure tank 19 has a plastic outer shell 29 and an elastic, expandable inner bladder 30 mounted within the outer shell 29 in fluid communication with the storage tank 18. The bladder is preferably made of an elastic material such a rubber. The bladder is shown in phantom lines in
As shown in
In use, the liquid storage tank 18 is filled with a liquid, hereinafter referred specifically to as water W, either by removing it from the stock 15 and filling it through neck 23 or by removing filling cap 25 and pouring water into the tank through opening 22. Should the storage tank be removed for filling it is subsequently threadably remounted to the stock.
The pump handle 33 is then reciprocally moved so as to actuate piston 34 through cylinder 35. The movement of the piston 34 within the cylinder 35 has two-cycle strokes, a priming stroke where water is drawn forth from the storage tank 18, and a compression stroke wherein water is displaced by the piston 34. The priming stroke starts when the piston 34 is retreated within its cylinder 35 to create an elongated volume chamber 38. The vacuum created by the expanding chamber 38 draws water through the intake tube 36 and into chamber 38. The flow of water into the expanding chamber 38 opens check valve 43 that is normally biased in a closed position. Removal of water from the storage tank creates a vacuum within the storage tank which is equalized by air passing through check valve 26.
The compression stroke created by the advancement of the piston 34 within the cylinder 35 causes the water within the chamber 38 to become pressurized. The pressure of the water opens check valve 44 that leads to the elastic bladder 30 of pressure tank 19. As the piston is reciprocated within its cylinder, water is repeatedly drawn from the storage tank and deposited into the elastic bladder 30 through outlet tube 37 and tube 41. As more and more water is drawn and forced into the bladder 30 the bladder expands within outer shell 29 once the water therein exceeds a volume contained within the relaxed bladder. This may occur until the force used to drive the piston can no longer overcome the stored pressures, or the water pressure reaches a preselected pressure level which overcomes the biasing force exerted by pinch bar 47 so as to allow the water to be released through delivery tube 45. The expansion of the elastic bladder 30 creates a force upon the water therein, i.e. the expanded elastic bladder pressurizes the water therein. The pressurized water is prevented from escaping the pressure tank through outlet tube 37 by check valve 44. So long as the elastic bladder 30 is expanded it provides a force upon the water therein.
To release the pressurized water from the gun the trigger 17 is manually pulled to overcome the biasing force exerted by spring 48 upon pinch bar 47. Movement of pinch bar 47 from delivery tube 45 causes the pressurized water within tube 41, delivery tube 45 and pressure tank bladder 30 to be released as a stream from nozzle 21. The bladder contracts with expulsion of water therefrom but maintains a pressure upon the water until the bladder reaches a relaxed configuration. It should also be understood that the water gun may emit a stream of water while simultaneously pumping water through actuation of handle 33.
It should be understood that the outer shell 29 protects the elastic bladder 30 from direct contact which may cause its rupture. Also, the outer shell encases the bladder so as to provide an elastic limit so that the bladder is not overinflated or pressurized beyond its elastic limits. Nevertheless, it should also be understood that the outer shell is not mandatory.
With reference next to
In use, the pump 32 forces water into chamber 57 through neck 58. As more and more water is forced into chamber 57 the plunger 60 moves upward against the biasing force of the spring 61 from its unexpanded position to its expanded position. The compression force of the spring 61 upon the plunger maintains pressure upon the water within chamber 57 which enables the water to be expelled from the gun. As in the previous embodiment the orientation of the gun has no significant effect on its internal operation.
The expandable pressure tanks as just describe maintain a more constant pressure upon the water therein as compared to pressure tanks of the prior art utilizing compressed air. This is due to the fact that as water is removed from the pressure tank the volume of airspace increases while the quantity of air remains the same. This results in a rapid decrease in air pressure pressurizing the water within the tank.
It should be understood that an electrically motorized pump may be used in place of the manually actuated pump shown in the preferred embodiment.
It thus is seen that a toy water gun in now provided which maintains a more constant pressure upon liquid while being dispensed from the pressure tank. While this invention has been described in detail with particular references to the preferred embodiments thereof, it should be understood that many modifications, additions and deletions, in addition to those expressly recited, may be made thereto without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||222/79, 222/386.5, 222/207, 222/401|
|International Classification||A63H3/18, F41B9/00|
|Sep 30, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Nov 30, 2010||RR||Request for reexamination filed|
Effective date: 20100820
|Jul 26, 2011||B1||Reexamination certificate first reexamination|
Free format text: THE PATENTABILITY OF CLAIMS 1-42 IS CONFIRMED.
|Oct 1, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12