Saturday, June 6, 2015

What is cigarette lighter?

Vintage cigarette lighter
 A cigarette lighter is a flame-producing product that consumers commonly use to light cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, although it may be used to light other materials. The term “lighter” does not include matches or any other lighting device intended primarily to light materials other than smoking materials. When used in this summary, the term “lighter” includes only the disposable and novelty lighters defined below.

The first lighters were converted flintlock pistols that used gunpowder. One of the first lighters was invented by the German chemist named Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner in 1823 and was often called Döbereiner's lamp. This lighter worked by passing flammable hydrogen gas, produced within the lighter by a chemical reaction, over a platinum metal catalyst which in turn caused it to ignite and give off a great amount of heat and light. The device was very large and highly dangerous and fell out of production by the end of the 19th century.

The patenting of ferrocerium by Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1903 has made modern lighters possible. When scratched, it produces a large spark which is responsible for lighting the fuel of many lighters, and is suitably inexpensive for use in disposable items.
Cigarette lighter inside
                              How a lighter workings inside

Using Carl Auer von Welsbach's flint, companies like Ronson were able to develop practical and easy to use lighters. In 1910, Ronson released the first Pist-O-Liter, and in 1913, the company developed its first lighter, called the "Wonderlite", which was a permanent match style of lighter.

Two Zippo lighters, one open, one closedThe Zippo lighter and company were invented and founded by George G. Blaisdell in 1932. The Zippo was noted for its reliability, "Life Time Warranty" and marketing as "Wind-Proof". Most early Zippos used naphtha as a fuel source.

In the 1950s, there was a switch in fuel choice from naphtha to butane, as butane allows for a controllable flame and has less odour. This also led to the use of piezoelectric spark, which replaced the need for a flint wheel in some lighters and was used in many Ronson lighters.

In modern times most of the world's lighters are produced in the United States, China, and Thailand.

Naphtha (very similar to gasoline) based lighters employ a saturated cloth wick and fibre packing to absorb the fluid and prevent it from leaking. They employ an enclosed top to prevent the volatile liquid from aporating, and to conveniently extinguish the flame. Butane lighters have a valved orifice that meters the butane gas as it escapes.

Butane torch lighters

A spark is created by striking metal against a flint, or by pressing a button that compresses a piezoelectric crystal (piezo ignition), generating an electric arc. In naphtha lighters, the liquid is sufficiently volatile, and flammable vapour is present as soon as the top of the lighter is opened. Butane lighters combine the striking action with the opening of the valve to release gas. The spark ignites the flammable gas causing a flame to come out of the lighter which continues until either the top is closed (naphtha type), or the valve is released (butane type).

A metal enclosure with air holes generally surrounds the flame, and is designed to allow mixing of fuel and air while making the lighter less sensitive to wind. The high energy jet in butane lighters allows mixing to be accomplished by using Bernoulli's principle, so that the air hole(s) in this type tend to be much smaller and farther from the flame.

Specialized "windproof" butane lighters are manufactured for demanding conditions such as shipboard, high altitude, and wet climates. Some dedicated models double as synthetic rope cutters. Such lighters are often far hotter than normal lighters (those that use a "soft flame") and can burn in excess of 1,100 °C (2,010 °F). Contrary to common misconception, the windproof capabilities are not achieved from "higher pressure" fuel, with lighters using the same fuel (butane) as standard lighters, and therefore developing the same vapour pressure. Instead, windproof lighters mix the fuel with air, and pass the butane/air mixture through a catalytic coil. An electric spark starts the initial flame, and soon after the coil is hot enough to sustain a catalytic reaction and cause the fuel/air mixture to burn on contact.

Requirements1 for Cigarette Lighters

What is the purpose of the rule that requires certain lighters to be child-resistant? This rule reduces injuries and deaths that occur when children under the age of 5 light fires while playing with cigarette lighters and requires generally that:

(1) at least 85% of the children who test a surrogate (dummy) lighter in the manner described below must not be able to make it work;

(2) the mechanism or system that makes the lighter child-resistant must reset automatically each time someone tries to light the lighter;

(3) the child-resistant mechanism must not impair the safe operation of the lighter when the lighter is used in a normal and convenient manner;

(4) the child-resistant mechanism must work properly for the reasonably expected life of the lighter; and (5) users must not be able to easily override or undo the child-resistant mechanism.

What is a disposable lighter?

A disposable lighter is a lighter that either:

(1) cannot be refilled with fuel or

(2) uses a gas such as butane, isobutane, propane, or other liquefied hydrocarbon under pressure, and has a Customs Value or price from the manufacturing factory under $2.25.

What is a novelty lighter?

In general, novelty lighters have features that make them attractive to children under five. Novelty lighters include lighters that depict or resemble articles commonly recognized as appealing to or intended for use by children under 5 years of age, such as cartoon characters, toys, guns, watches, musical instruments, vehicles, toy animals, food or beverages. They also
include lighters with features entertaining to children, such as visual effects like flashing lights or sound effects like musical notes. A novelty lighter may operate on any fuel, including butane or liquid fuel. Novelty lighters are subject to the requirements for child-resistance regardless of their Customs Value or factory price.

What is a surrogate lighter?

A surrogate lighter is a substitute for an actual working lighter. Surrogate lighters are used for testing so that the children tested do not have to try to operate real lighters. A surrogate lighter approximates the appearance, size, weight, and shape of an actual lighter intended for use by consumers. It does not have fuel, and must also be identical to the actual lighter in all characteristics that might affect child resistance, including the method of operation and the force(s) needed to operate the lighter. When operated, a surrogate produces a sound or visual signal to let the tester know that it has been operated in a
manner that would have caused the actual lighter to light.

Are there any standards for other hazards presented by lighters?

The Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Lighters, ASTM F400-97, addresses such issues as flame generation, flame control, flame-height adjustment, spitting or sputtering and flaring, flame extinguishing, and structural integrity. The ASTM standard also provides that each lighter be accompanied by instructions or warnings, or both, explaining the proper way to use the