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Патент USA US2403700

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.july 9,1946.
L. M. _WITTLINGER
MERCURY ARC DEVICE
_Filed sept. 27, 1943
2,403 70o
Patented July 9, l1.946
Y 2,403,700
UNITED STATE S PATENT OFFICE
2,403,700
MERCURY ARC DEVICE
Leonard M. Wittlinger Flint Mich.,
or to
General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a
corporation of Delaware
Application» september 27, 1943, semi No. 503,8'19
10 claims. (on. 315-56)
l
.
.
violet rays.
'
.
the accompanying drawing, in which;
. ,
Figure 1 is a vertical section through a mercury y
~
'I'here are many instances in which ultraviolet
rays are useful or necessary for various lighting
problems and in .many of these sources of high
voltage may not be readily obtainable. As an
2
specification and claims and the illustrations in
This ‘invention relates to lighting means and
more specifically to means for producing ultra
arc tube showing the'external circuit connections
_ embodying one form of my invention.
_ >
Figures 2 and 3 are views similar to that of
» Figure >1, showing modified forms embodying my
example of this, signaling or lighting under com
invention.
.
_
Referring now; more specifically to the dis
than absolutely essential light be used for these 10 closure of Figure 1, there is showntherein a tube
or envelope 2 housing a b‘ody of mercury I in its
purposes which might be discernible by an
lower portion and having sealed into the bottom
enemy. In moving vehicles at night under blackf
'thereof an electrode 6 which is staked into a
out conditions, it has been found that by using
small carbon disc 8 surrounded by a' ceramic disc
some type of luminescent or ñuorescent paint,
objects along a.4 path painted vtherewith can be
ill. A second electrode i2 is supported in the side
bat conditions make it necessary that no more
discerned by projecting thereagainst ultraviolet
of the -envelope'and forms with the carbon elec- '
trode 8 the interrupter section of the tube. Slip
rays to fluoresce the same' and indicate a course .
or path of the objects. In such vehicles. of
course, the usual source of power is a storage
` battery or small generator having in the neigh
Iborhood of six or twelve volts. This, of course,
is insuilicient to draw an arc in an ordinary
ported in the upperend of the tube 2 are two
spaced electrodes i4 and il which project into
20 the interior of the tube but are spaced from the
upper surface of the mercury pool 4. The ex
terior electrical circuit includes a line I8 which '
connects electrode 6 with one side of a primary
20 of a transformer, the opposite side of the
mercury tube, but there have been developed
previously such devices as shown in Brian Patent
2,289,623 having one portion of the device oper
primary being connected through line 22 with a ‘~
positive side or batteri“, the negative pole of
the latter being connected through line 28 with
voltage to provide an arc section and therefore « electrode I2. The secondary 28 of the trans
former Vhas one terminal connected through .line
a source of ultraviolet rays.
30 30 to electrode il and theoppo'site side connected
However, in these instances the upper or`high
through line 32 to electrode ii. A pair of con
potential electrode forming one end of the, arc
ating on low voltage to provide an interrupted
current and a second portion operating on higher
densers 3l and 3l' are connected in series across 4
gap is intended to be an anode and cooperate with
.the mercury pool as cathode, but under certain I between'these lines and. a center tap on the sec
' ondary 28 is connected through line 36 to ground
circumstances a reversal of polarity is obtained,
and to a point between the two conde'nsers.y
making the upper electrode a cathode and caus 35
In the operation of this form of my invention,
ing it to erode or sputter and parts thereof to
an obvious series circuit is provided between
contact the inner surface of the surrounding
the battery, transformer primary 2li, electrodes
tube and b'oth 'blanken the same and cause the
6, 8, mercury 4 and electrode I2. When current
electrode to wear away.
40 fiow's in this circuit, the mercury in contact with
It is therefore an object of my invention to
the upper surface of the carbon 8 heats the same
provide means for preventing sputtering or erod- f sufficiently to cause it toI vaporize and flash off
ing of an electrode of a mercury arc device.
this surface. This causes the circuit to be broken
It is a further object of my invention to provide
inasmuch
as the voltage is in_suilicient to sus# '
means to maintain the upper arc electrode at a 45 .tain a mercury arc through vapor at this point.
positive potential with respect to the mercury . The mercury therefore recondenses and the cir
electrode.
cuit is reformed to allow current to again ñow.
It is a still further object of vmy invention to
Thus an intermittent interruption of the current
provide means for maintaining a constant po
larity on one of the electrodes of a mercury arc
device.
y
y
With these and other objects in _view which
will become apparent asvthe specincation pro->
ceeds, the embodiments of my invention will be
best understood by- reference to the following
60.
flowing through the primary coil 2li is obtained.
Therefore as the current in primary 20 is allowed '
to ñow and is interrupted periodically, current
will be induced in the secondary 28 in a ratio de
pendent upon 'the ratio of the turns of the coils
and a relatively high- voltage will be alternately
55 applied first to electrode M and then to electrode
2,403,700
4
l-B, dependent upon the direction -of flow of cur-'
rent, but always one~ or the other of these two
electrodes will be at a ,positive potential with re
spect to the mercury4. 'I'hus there can be no
reversal of polarity and the electrodes I4 and IB
cannot become cathodes and the above identified
defects will be cured.
-
.
Figure 2 shows another form of my invention
in which the tube 2 is exactly the same as that
.
with respect to the mercury and therefore lpre
vent reversals of the voltage within the tube to
cause deterioration and darkening of the surface.
I claim:
-
1. In a light source'for ultraviolet rays, a trans
parent casing, a pool of mercury partially filling
said casing, a plurality of electrodes of dissimilar
materials ymounted in the casing and contacting.
the mercury, a low voltage source of power con
shown in Figure 1 but the external circuit varies. 10. nected to said electrodes to form therewith an .
The tube as before has two high potential elec
interrupter, a transformer in the low voltage cir
trodes It and I4 in the upper portion and the in-_
cuit, a high voltage circuit connected to the
terru-pter electrodes l 2 and 6, the latter being con
transformer, further electrode means mounted inl
nected to the carbon disc 8 in contact with the
the casing spaced from'the mercury and con
mercury pool 4. In this casealso the lower elec 15 nected tothe high voltage circuit to cause an arc
trode t is connected through line I8 with trans
to form between the last-named electrode means
former primary 20T and thence through line 22 '
to the positive pole of the battery 24, the negative
and the' mercury and means in the high voltage
circuit to maintain a given arc polarity of the
pole, as previously, being connected through line
-mercury and last-named electrode means.
26 to electrode I2. 'I'he transformer secondary 20 2. In a light source for ultraviolet rays, a trans
28’ in this case, however, has one side connected
parent casing, a pool of mercury partially filling
through line 40 to rectifier electrode 42 of a dou
said casing, a plurality of electrodes of dissimilar
ble half wave rectiiler tube 44, the cooperating
materials mounted in the casing and contacting
rectifier electrode 46 of which is connected
the mercury, a low voltage source of power con
through line 4B with tube electrode I6. In like 25 nected to said electrodes to form therewith an
manner the opposite side of the secondary 28' is
mterrupter, a transformer in the low voltage cir
connected through line 50 with a further rectifier
cuit, a high voltage circuit connected to the
electrode 52, the cooperating electrode 54 of which '
transformer, further arc electrode means mount
is connected through line 56 with the tube elec
ed in the casing spaced from the mercury and
30
trode I4. The center tap of the transformer is
connected ’to the high voltage circuit to cause an
connected through line 58 with line 26, condenser
arc to form between the last-named electrode
60 andcondenser 62. -Thus this form of my in
means and the mercury, and .rectifier means in
vention incorporates a positive rectifier between
the high voltage circuit to maintain the arc elec
the output of the secondary of vthe .transformer
trode means at a positive potential with respect
35
andthe two high tension electrodes I4 and I6.
to the mercury pool.
'
The operation is the same generally as in the pre
3. In a light source for ultraviolet rays, a tube
vious instance, the electrodes I4 and I6 alter
partially filled with mercury having an“ inter
nately becoming the positive electrode with re
rupter section and an arc section, a low voltage
spect to the mercury meniscus to provide the arc.
source of power connected to the interrupter sec
' In ,Figure 3 there is shown a different style of
tion, a transformer having a high and low poten
1 tube and in this instance the tube envelope 2’
has a pool of mercury 4' therein and the lower or
base portion of the tube supports an electrode I2’
in spaced relation to a second electrode 6’. This
latter electrode 6' is staked into a vertical car
bon electrode 64 which in this instance is sealed
by an insulating sleeve 66 leaving only an angu
_ lar upper surface 68 exposed to the mercury.
tial winding, the latter being connected into the
low voltage circuit, a high voltage circuit lcon
necting the high voltage winding with the arc
section and means to maintain the arc section
of constant polarity during its operation.
4. In a light source for ultraviolet rays, a tube
partially ñlled ,with mercury, a plurality of elec
trodes carried by the tube, some of which are
This provides the interrupter section of the tube.
immersed in the mercury and some spaced there
The upper portion of the tube is evacuated and 50 from, low voltage means connected to the im
the upper end supports an arc electrode 10. The
mersed electrodes and forming there/with an in
electrode 6’ is connected by line 12 to the positive
_terrupter, and means for alternately applying a
‘Ípole of the battery u. the negative pole of which
higher potential than that of the mercury to the
1 is connected through line 14 with-one terminal of
spaced electrodes to draw an arc from» the mer
the primary transformer winding 20", the other
cury`> meniscus maintaining the latter as a
terminal of which is connected by line 16 to tube
cathode.
electrode l2'. The secondary winding 28" Ahas
one terminal connected through line 18 to con
denser 80, the opposite side of which is connected
directly by the line 82 with one electrode 84 of a
rectiiler'tube B6. The other rectifier electrode 88
is connected through line 9i! with the other side
of» the secondary 28".
A condenser 92 is con
5. In a light source for ultraviolet rays, a tu-be
` partially filled with mercury, a plurality of elec
trodes carried by the tube, some of which are
immersed in the mercury and some spaced there
from, low voltage means connected to the im
mersed electrodes and forming therewith an in
terrupter, transformer means connected to the
nected directly across the secondary 28" and line
1l is connected to a line 94 whichextends to line 65 low voltage circuit and to the spaced electrodes
to apply high voltage thereto to create an arc
12 connected to the positive lpole of the battery.
between them and the mercury meniscus.
Line 82 is alsoconnected to conductive line 96
- which extends to the arc electrode 10. In this in
6. In a light source for ultraviolet rays. a tube '
partially filled with mercury, a plurality of elec
stance, as in the previous case, the interruptor
electrodes 6', 64, 4’ and I2' provide a periodic 70 trodes carried by the-tube, some of which are im
pulsating current'in the primary 20' of the trans
former. This induces a similar current of higher
voltage in the secondary 28" which current is
rectified by the tube 86 and applied to the elec
, mersedA in the mercury and some spaced there
from, low voltage means connected to the im
mersed electrodes and forming therewith an in
terrupter, transformer means having primary
trode 1l to maintain the same always positive 'Il and secondary circuits, the primary being con
2,403,700
5
6
necte'd to the low voltage circuit and the sec-`v
> ondary to the spaced electrodes to pply high'
voltage thereto -to create an arc be ween theml
and the mercury meniscus, and rectifier means in
.
means and means in said secondary circuit to
maintain the polarity of said conductive means
p the same at all times during energization.
9. In a light source, a transparent casing, a
the high voltage circuit to maintain the spaced 5 pool of electrically conductive fluid in said cas
electrodes positive with respect to the mercury.
ing, electrode means mounted in the casing
7. In a light source for ultraviolet rays, a tube
spaced from the surface of the iiuid, a primary
partially filled with mercury, 'a plurality of elec- ‘I circuit having fluctuating current ñowing therein,
trode's carried by the tube, some of which are
a secondary circuit coupled thereto and» intercon
immersed in the'mercury and some spaced there- 10 necting said electrode means and the fluid to
from, low'voltage means connected tothe im
cause an arc to form therebetween and means in
mersed electrodes and forming therewith an in
the secondary circuit to maintain the electrode
' terrupter, 'transformer means comprising pri
- mary. and secondary windings, the primary being
connected `to the low voltage circuit and the sec
means at the same polarity with respect to the fluid at al1 times during operation.
-
ondary to the spaced electrodes to apply high
- voltage thereto to create an arc between them
and the mercury meniscus, and> means for
grounding the _center Vof the transformer sec
ondary.
f
.
8. In a light source, a casing, conductive means
between which an arc may be created supported '
10. In a light source. a transparent casing, a
pool oi?v mercury partially ñlling said casing, elec- à
trode means mounted in said casing spaced'from
the surface of the mercury, a primary circuit
having ñuctuating current flowing therein, a sec
>20 ’ondary circuit coupled thereto and interconnect
ing said electrode means and said mercury to
cause> an arc to form therebetween and ,means
vin spaced relation by said casing, a primary cir
~ in the secondary circuit to maintain the electrode
cuit having ñuctuating current >flowing therein,
means at a positive potential with respect'to the
a secondary circuit coupled -thereto and intercon 25 mercury at all times. Y
necting said primary circuit; and said conductive
.LEONARD M. WITTLINGER. I
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