US20080181587A1 - Panel for use in electric fireplace and fireplace incorporating the same - Google Patents

Panel for use in electric fireplace and fireplace incorporating the same Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080181587A1
US20080181587A1 US11/699,727 US69972707A US2008181587A1 US 20080181587 A1 US20080181587 A1 US 20080181587A1 US 69972707 A US69972707 A US 69972707A US 2008181587 A1 US2008181587 A1 US 2008181587A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
panel
pattern
fireplace
electric fireplace
grate
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/699,727
Inventor
Suhas N. Patil
Gregory J. Gorby
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Refractory Specialties Inc
Original Assignee
Refractory Specialties Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Refractory Specialties Inc filed Critical Refractory Specialties Inc
Priority to US11/699,727 priority Critical patent/US20080181587A1/en
Assigned to REFRACTORY SPECIALTIES, INCORPORATED reassignment REFRACTORY SPECIALTIES, INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GORBY, GREGORY J., PATIL, SUHAS N.
Priority claimed from US11/964,910 external-priority patent/US20080181588A1/en
Publication of US20080181587A1 publication Critical patent/US20080181587A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24COTHER DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES; DETAILS OF DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F24C7/00Stoves or ranges heated by electrical energy
    • F24C7/002Stoves
    • F24C7/004Stoves simulating flames

Abstract

A panel for simulating a firebox for use in an electric fireplace and an electric fireplace incorporating the same. The electric fireplace includes housing with a grate, a plurality of artificial firelogs positioned on the grate and an ember bed positioned under the grate. A light source is positioned to transmit light through a plurality of apertures in a rotatable cylinder that is disposed rearwardly of the firelogs. The panel is a planar member that is positioned in the housing between the cylinder and the firelogs. The panel includes a pattern thereon which represents a firebox of a wood-burning fireplace. The pattern is formed by silk-screening, painting or etching a pattern of a flat wall of firebricks, a recessed wall of firebricks, stones, logs or any other markings that represent a firebox found in a fireplace. The light source preferably transmits light through flame-shaped apertures in the rotatable cylinder, thereby projecting flame-shaped images onto the panel or onto a screen that is positioned forwardly of the panel.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Technical Field
  • This invention generally relates to fireplaces. More particularly, the invention relates to electric fireplaces which simulate the appearance of a wood-burning or gas-burning fireplace. Specifically, the invention relates to an electric fireplace that includes a planar panel having an image of a firebox thereon, with the panel being positioned rearwardly of a plurality of artificial firelogs and in front of a light source.
  • 2. Background Information
  • Fireplaces may add to the warmth and ambiance of any room. However, in many locations, installing a wood-burning or gas-burning fireplace is not practical or even possible because of space constraints or venting issues. In warmer climates, on the other hand, homeowners may want the ambiance offered by a fireplace but do not want any heat to be emitted therefrom. It is in these instances that electric fireplaces are the ideal solution.
  • An electric fireplace will only tend to add to the appearance of a room if it creates an effective illusion that it is a wood-burning or gas-burning fireplace. This has caused manufacturers to include various components in electric fireplaces that are essentially decorative and not functional. So, for example, electric fireplaces include a grate, artificial firelogs and embers, and none of these components contribute to the production of heat from the fireplace. Furthermore, the fireplaces have included mechanisms for creating the illusion of burning firelogs. These mechanisms have included providing a rotating cylinder that has flame-shaped apertures formed in its exterior surface. A light is shone through the rotating cylinder and onto a diffuser screen positioned behind the firelogs. Other fireplaces, such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,393,207 and 6,757,487 both issued to Martin et al, include a screen on which colored flame-shaped images are silk screened. A light is shone through an apertured rotating cylinder positioned rearwardly of the screen and the moving light causes the silk-screened images to appear to flicker, thereby creating the illusion of burning logs
  • Another of the components that manufacturers have needed to include, but which does not serve any functional purpose, is a firebox in which the grate, artificial firelogs and embers are presented. So, for example in the patents to Martin et al referenced previously, a simulated firebox insert having a top, a bottom, a back and sides is positioned within a cavity in a housing. The sides of the insert are painted to appear like firebricks or, alternatively, ceramic fiber refractory panels which are appropriately shaped and colored are attached to the interior sides of the insert. These additional components add to the cost of manufacturing the electric fireplace.
  • There is therefore a need in the art for an improved electric fireplace that has the illusion of a firebox for a wood-burning or gas-burning fireplace, but that does not require the actual construction of a firebox during manufacture of the unit.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The device of the present invention comprises a panel for simulating a firebox in an electric fireplace. The electric fireplace includes housing with a grate, a plurality of artificial firelogs positioned on the grate and an ember bed positioned under the grate. A light source is positioned to transmit light through a plurality of apertures in a rotatable cylinder that is disposed rearwardly of the firelogs. The panel is a planar member that is positioned in the housing between the cylinder and the firelogs. The panel includes a pattern thereon which represents a firebox of a wood-burning fireplace. The pattern is formed by silk-screening, painting or etching one of a flat wall of firebricks, a recessed wall of firebricks, stones, a logset or any other markings that represent a firebox found in a fireplace. The light source preferably transmits light through flame-shaped apertures in the rotatable cylinder, thereby projecting flame-shaped images onto the panel or onto a screen that is positioned forwardly of the panel.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The preferred embodiments of the invention, illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles, are set forth in the following description and are shown in the drawings and are particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
  • FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an electric fireplace in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of the electric fireplace taken through line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a front view of a first embodiment of a panel for use in the electric fireplace of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a front view of a second embodiment of a panel for use in the electric fireplace;
  • FIG. 5 is a front view of a third embodiment of a panel for use in the electric fireplace;
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a fourth embodiment of a panel for use in the electric fireplace;
  • FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of an alternative embodiment of a fireplace in accordance with the present invention; and
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view of the electric fireplace of FIG. 7.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-6, there is shown an electric fireplace 10 in accordance with the present invention. Fireplace 10 comprises a housing that includes a mantel 12, a base 14 and side panels 16, 18 that surround and define an interior cavity 20. Fireplace 10 has the appearance of being a natural wood-burning fireplace when viewed from a front end 10 a thereof and includes a grate 22, artificial firelogs 24 and an ember bed 26 which are positioned within cavity 20. A light source (not shown) may be provided in base 14 to illuminate ember bed 26 from beneath, as is known in the art.
  • One or more rotatable cylinders 28, 30 are positioned rearwardly of firelogs 24. Cylinders 28, 30 each have an outer surface in which a plurality of flame-shaped apertures (not shown) are formed. Light from a light source 29 shines through the outer surface of cylinders 28, 30 and through these flame-shaped apertures. As the cylinders 28, 30 rotate, the light shining through the apertures is directed forwardly toward front end 10 a of fireplace 10 and onto a diffuser screen 32. An image of a plurality of flames 36 is thereby formed on diffuser screen 32 by the light.
  • In accordance with a specific feature of the present invention, fireplace 10 is provided with a panel 34 situated between diffuser screen 32 and cylinders 28, 30. Panel 34 preferably is a planar sheet that is at least partially one of opaque, translucent or transparent to allow some light to be transmitted therethrough. Panel 34 is provided with a pattern thereon to represent the interior of a firebox of a wood-burning fireplace. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, pattern 38 is one of a plurality of firebricks. This is illustrated in a first embodiment in FIG. 3 where the panel shows a flat wall of firebricks. In a second embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the panel shows a recessed wall of firebricks. It will be understood, however, that any other suitable pattern may be utilized on panel 34, such as one to simulate the stonework of a firebox in a stone fireplace. Furthermore, the pattern 38 may also include a three-dimensionally recessed or protruding logset 39 which includes a plurality of logs seated on a grate above an ember bed. This third embodiment is shown in FIG. 5.
  • It will also be understood that the pattern 38 preferably is produced at least partially in color. The pattern 38 is formed on panel 34 any suitable method including silk screening, painting, etching or any combination of these.
  • While panel 34 has been disclosed above to preferably be a planar sheet, it will be understood that panel 34 may also be integrally formed with or otherwise attached to the logset without departing from the spirit of the present invention. This fourth embodiment is shown in FIG. 6 where the panel 32 is attached by an adhesive 23 to one or more of the grate 22, logs 24 and ember bed 26.
  • Fireplace 10 is used in the following manner. A switch (not shown) is used to activate both the light source 29 and cylinders 28, 30. As cylinders 28, 30 are rotated, the light from light source 29 passes through the flame-shaped apertures in the rotating cylinders 28, 30, through panel 34 and through diffuser screen 32. The pattern of firebricks 38 on panel 34 is illuminated by the light forming the flame-shaped images 36 on diffuser screen 32. This creates the illusion, when viewed from the front end 10 a of fireplace 10, that the firelogs 24 are burning and that the flames are illuminating a portion of the firebox in which the logs are situated. The illusion of a firebox is thus created by the provision of the planar panel 34. There is therefore no need for the construction of a specially shaped firebox to be received within a cavity of the fireplace housing. The panel 34 is simply positioned across a rear portion of the generally rectangular cavity 20 formed by the mantel, base and sides. There is also no need for painting a brickwork pattern onto the interior side walls of a specially shaped firebox or for the attachment of ceramic fiber panels onto the interior side walls thereof. Panel 34 therefore reduces the time required and the cost for manufacturing an electric fireplace.
  • Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, there is shown an alternative embodiment of a fireplace in accordance with the present invention and generally indicated at 110. Fireplace 110 includes a housing having a mantel 112, a base 114 and side panels 116, 18 that surround and define an interior cavity 120. Fireplace 110 includes a grate 122, artificial firelogs 124, and ember bed 126 positioned within the cavity 120. As with the previous embodiment, a light source 129 is provided to shine through flame-shaped apertures in cylinders 128, 130. In this instance, fireplace 10 includes a single diffuser panel 140 positioned intermediate firelogs 124 and cylinders 128, 130. Panel 140 is a planar sheet that is at least partially one of opaque, translucent and transparent and is provided with a pattern 138 of firebricks thereon. Pattern 138 is formed by silk-screening, painting or etching firebricks onto the diffuser panel 140. When diffuser panel 140 is illuminated with the flame pattern produced by light shining through the flame-shaped apertures in cylinders 128, 130, panel 140 creates the illusion that fireplace 110 includes a firebox in which the firelogs 124 are burning. The pattern 138 on diffuser panel 140 may be of any suitable type such as that illustrated in FIG. 7. It will be understood, however, that any other suitable pattern may be utilized on panel 140, such as one to simulate a flat brick wall or a firebox of a stone fireplace, for example.
  • It will be understood that the illusion of the flames may be created in a manner other than by shining light through flame-shaped apertures in the rotating cylinders, without departing from the spirit of the present invention. So, for example, the fireplace may include a screen in which the flames are preformed such as by silk-screening or painting. Furthermore, the pattern 38, 138 of the firebricks disclosed and claimed herein may be superimposed upon any such screen.
  • In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
  • Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention are an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.

Claims (20)

1. An electric fireplace comprising:
a housing having a top, a bottom, opposing sides and a back;
a grate positionable on the bottom of the housing;
a plurality of artificial firelogs positionable on the grate;
an ember bed positionable under the grate and fireplace;
a light source provided in at least one of the bottom and back of the housing;
at least one rotatable cylinder having a pattern of a plurality of apertures formed therein; wherein light from said light source is transmitted through the apertures in the cylinder during rotation of the same;
a panel positionable in the housing between said cylinder and the firelogs on the grate; and wherein said panel includes a pattern thereon, said pattern being a representation of an interior of a firebox of a wood-burning fireplace.
2. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 1, wherein the panel is a flat, planar sheet.
3. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 1, wherein the panel is at least partially one of one of opaque, translucent and transparent.
4. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 1, wherein the pattern is a representation of one or more of a flat wall of bricks, a three-dimensional recessed wall of bricks, stonework and a three-dimensional recessed or protruding logset.
5. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 4, wherein the pattern is formed on the panel by one or more of silk screening, painting and etching.
6. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 5, wherein pattern is produced at least partially in color.
7. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 1, wherein the apertures in the cylinder are flame-shaped; and wherein the panel further includes a second pattern thereon, said second pattern being a projected image of a plurality of flames formed by the light transmitted from the light source through the flame-shaped apertures in the cylinder.
8. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 7, wherein the projected second pattern is positioned on the panel so that when the fireplace is viewed from a front end, the images of the flames begin behind an upper portion of the firelogs in the housing and extend upwardly and outwardly away therefrom.
9. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 1, further comprising a screen positioned between the panel and the grate with the firelogs thereon.
10. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 9, wherein the screen includes a second pattern thereon, said second pattern being a plurality of flames.
11. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 10, wherein the apertures in the cylinder are flame-shaped; and wherein the second pattern is a projected image of the plurality of flames formed by light being transmitted from the light source through the flame-shaped apertures in the cylinder.
12. The electric fireplace as defined in claim 1 wherein the panel is integrally formed with a logset that includes one or more of a plurality of artificial firelogs, a grate and an ember bed.
13. A panel for use in an electric fireplace, said panel comprising a member having a pattern formed thereon, said pattern being a representation of a firebox of a wood-burning fireplace.
14. The panel as defined in claim 13, wherein the pattern is a representation of one or more of a flat wall of bricks, a three-dimensional recessed wall of bricks, stonework and a three-dimensional recessed or protruding logset.
15. The panel as defined in claim 14, wherein the pattern is formed on the panel by one or more of silk screening, painting and etching.
16. The panel as defined in claim 15, wherein at least a portion of the pattern is formed in color.
17. The panel as defined in claim 13, wherein the panel is a diffuser screen.
18. The panel as defined in claim 13, wherein the panel is at least partially one of opaque, translucent and transparent.
19. The panel as defined in claim 13, wherein the panel is a flat, planar sheet.
20. The panel as defined in claim 13, wherein the panel is integrally formed with a logset that includes one or more of a plurality of artificial firelogs, a grate and an ember bed.
US11/699,727 2007-01-30 2007-01-30 Panel for use in electric fireplace and fireplace incorporating the same Abandoned US20080181587A1 (en)

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US11/699,727 US20080181587A1 (en) 2007-01-30 2007-01-30 Panel for use in electric fireplace and fireplace incorporating the same

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US11/699,727 US20080181587A1 (en) 2007-01-30 2007-01-30 Panel for use in electric fireplace and fireplace incorporating the same
US11/964,910 US20080181588A1 (en) 2007-01-30 2007-12-27 Three-dimensional panel for use in electric fireplaces and fireplace incorporating the same

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US11/964,910 Continuation-In-Part US20080181588A1 (en) 2007-01-30 2007-12-27 Three-dimensional panel for use in electric fireplaces and fireplace incorporating the same

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US20080181587A1 true US20080181587A1 (en) 2008-07-31

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Cited By (36)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090155539A1 (en) * 2007-12-14 2009-06-18 Douglas Bracher System, apparatus and method for manufacturing metal ingots
CN102062413A (en) * 2010-12-31 2011-05-18 黄成源 Fireplace with wall painting
US8234803B2 (en) 2010-06-08 2012-08-07 Heat Surge, Llc Reflective device for an electric fireplace and an electric fireplace incorporating the same
US20130000631A1 (en) * 2011-06-27 2013-01-03 Baird Paul C Screen For A Heating Device
US20130065478A1 (en) * 2011-09-13 2013-03-14 Kids Ii, Inc. Crib soother
US20130213386A1 (en) * 2010-05-26 2013-08-22 Schott Ag Fireplace
CN107143905A (en) * 2017-04-20 2017-09-08 宁波德萨电器制造有限公司 A kind of fireplace with volcano and waterfall effect of shadow
USD817667S1 (en) * 2017-01-27 2018-05-15 Walker Edison Furniture Company, Llc Console
USD848770S1 (en) 2017-07-27 2019-05-21 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Storage unit
US10371333B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2019-08-06 Living Style (B.V.I) Limited Flame simulating assembly for simulated fireplaces including an integrated flame screen and ember bed
USD859038S1 (en) 2018-06-28 2019-09-10 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Stand
USD869202S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2019-12-10 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Buffet
USD869201S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2019-12-10 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD874856S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2020-02-11 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Table
US10584841B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2020-03-10 Living Style (B.V.I.) Limited Flame simulating assembly with occluded shadow imaging wall
USD878116S1 (en) 2017-07-27 2020-03-17 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Storage unit
USD878823S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2020-03-24 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD878821S1 (en) 2018-06-28 2020-03-24 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Storage unit
USD878817S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2020-03-24 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD878822S1 (en) 2018-06-28 2020-03-24 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Stand
USD878816S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2020-03-24 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD879516S1 (en) 2018-07-12 2020-03-31 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD882989S1 (en) 2019-07-23 2020-05-05 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD885091S1 (en) 2018-01-25 2020-05-26 Walker Edison Furniture Company, Llc Storage unit
USD886499S1 (en) 2018-06-28 2020-06-09 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Table
USD886496S1 (en) 2018-01-25 2020-06-09 Walker Edison Furniture Company, Llc Storage unit
USD891831S1 (en) 2018-06-28 2020-08-04 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Storage unit
USD894641S1 (en) 2019-01-23 2020-09-01 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Stand
USD900510S1 (en) 2019-07-22 2020-11-03 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD904079S1 (en) 2019-01-23 2020-12-08 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD904084S1 (en) 2019-01-23 2020-12-08 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Table
USD904082S1 (en) 2020-01-16 2020-12-08 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD904801S1 (en) 2019-01-23 2020-12-15 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD904803S1 (en) 2019-07-23 2020-12-15 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
USD904802S1 (en) 2019-01-23 2020-12-15 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Console
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Cited By (45)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US8517083B2 (en) 2007-12-14 2013-08-27 Refractory Specialties, Incorporated System, apparatus and method for manufacturing metal ingots
US20090155539A1 (en) * 2007-12-14 2009-06-18 Douglas Bracher System, apparatus and method for manufacturing metal ingots
US9500373B2 (en) * 2010-05-26 2016-11-22 Schott Ag Fireplace
US20130213386A1 (en) * 2010-05-26 2013-08-22 Schott Ag Fireplace
US8234803B2 (en) 2010-06-08 2012-08-07 Heat Surge, Llc Reflective device for an electric fireplace and an electric fireplace incorporating the same
CN102062413A (en) * 2010-12-31 2011-05-18 黄成源 Fireplace with wall painting
US20130000631A1 (en) * 2011-06-27 2013-01-03 Baird Paul C Screen For A Heating Device
US20130065478A1 (en) * 2011-09-13 2013-03-14 Kids Ii, Inc. Crib soother
US9272225B2 (en) * 2011-09-13 2016-03-01 Kids Ii, Inc. Crib soother
USD817667S1 (en) * 2017-01-27 2018-05-15 Walker Edison Furniture Company, Llc Console
CN107143905A (en) * 2017-04-20 2017-09-08 宁波德萨电器制造有限公司 A kind of fireplace with volcano and waterfall effect of shadow
US10584841B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2020-03-10 Living Style (B.V.I.) Limited Flame simulating assembly with occluded shadow imaging wall
US10371333B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2019-08-06 Living Style (B.V.I) Limited Flame simulating assembly for simulated fireplaces including an integrated flame screen and ember bed
US10520149B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2019-12-31 Living Style (B.V.I.) Limited Flame simulating assembly for simulated fireplaces including a light channeling shield
US10451235B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2019-10-22 Living Style (B.V.I.) Limited Flame simulating assembly for simulated fireplaces including a flame screen having non-continuous flame segments
US10731810B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2020-08-04 Living Style (B.V.I.) Limited Flame simulating assembly for simulated fireplaces including a reflecting light system
US10711964B2 (en) 2017-06-20 2020-07-14 Living Style (B.V.I.) Limited Flame simulating assembly for simulated fireplaces including an integrated flame screen and ember bed
USD878116S1 (en) 2017-07-27 2020-03-17 Walker Edison Furniture Company Llc Storage unit
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