Breaking the Flame Barrier: Why Arc Lighters Changed the Game

Breaking the Flame Barrier: Why Arc Lighters Changed the Game

As a strong oxidizing reaction that occurs during the combustion of materials, fire has been on Earth for a much longer history than humans might think. But in the billions of years of evolution, those originated from the sun, magma eruption and natural discharge of the spread of the flame, even if it stretches for thousands of miles, but ultimately, but come and go in a hurry. Until the emergence of the human species, the burning of fire to be able to live on, and even once became a god to be worshipped ......

With the rapid development of technology, it is now becoming more and more common for people to start using electric arc lighters that consume electricity. These lighters generate an electric arc through the positive and negative poles, thus emitting a large amount of heat to ignite objects. Compared to traditional lighters, arc lighters are not only more efficient for windproof ignition, but also avoid the hidden danger of kerosene leakage.



Not only that, under the premise of achieving the basic lighter function, other more personalized functions can be added, such as a cool clock, or a small turntable that can provide entertainment!


However, these cool arc lighters did not come from nothing, but from mankind''''''''s long exploration of flame and technological innovation.

Fire-making in the Metal Age


Copper sun flint, Western Han Dynasty, height 2.1 cm, diameter 8 cm, unearthed in 1988 from a wooden coffin tomb of the Western Han Dynasty at Yaozhuang, Ganquan Township, Ganjiang County, Jiangsu Province, now in Yangzhou Museum

Viking fire scythe. With the development of metallurgy, people found that it was easier to produce sparks and stronger sparks when iron was struck against stone than when stone was struck against stone, so they invented the fire scythe to get fire, which was very popular in the ancient world.


With the fire sickle with the fire fold is an easy to carry simple lighting and fire tools.

Qing Emperor Qianlong''''''''s Imperial Fire Scythe Pouch, Fire Scythe, Flint and Flint, now in the National Palace Museum, Taipei.


Flint bag, 19th century. As a fire starter for the fire scythe, most of them are made of the young leaves of Artemisia absinthium, which can be easily lit once it encounters a spark.

Invention and use of matches and lighters
In 1826, John Walker, an English pharmacist, produced the first practical modern matches by gluing potassium chlorate and antimony trisulfide to the end of a small wooden stick, drying it, and rubbing it against sandpaper. To increase the stability and flammability of matches, in 1831, Frenchman Charles Souria chose to replace antimony trisulfide with yellow phosphorus to make yellow phosphorus matches. These matches were also known as "friction matches" because they could be struck anywhere.
Yellow phosphorus matches of the 1820s were lit by scratching a sulphur-coated match on the end against a bottle coated with phosphorus on the inside.

The yellow phosphorus matches were not only a fire hazard.

Yellow phosphorus matches were not only prone to fires, but the tips were highly poisonous, and seven tips could kill a person. in 1855, the Swede Johan Edvard Lundström improved the design of matches by gluing mixtures of potassium chlorate and sulfur to small wooden rods and applying red phosphorus to the sides of the matchboxes.
In 1823, the German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner) in the laboratory found that hydrogen will meet the platinum cotton fire, so developed a set of glass cylinder, sulfuric acid, platinum cotton, zinc, etc. made of devices, due to the size of the large, easy to break, the sulfuric acid overflow is a danger, etc., did not popularize the use of it, but it is the world''''''''s first lighter. 1903, Carl Auersbach (Carl Auersbach), a German chemist, discovered a new way of making matches, which is to make the match. In 1903, Carl Auer von Welsbach (Carl Auer von Welsbach) developed cerium iron to make modern lighters possible. When rubbed, cerium iron produces a spark that ignites the lighter''''''''s fuel. 1920 saw the emergence of the wick lighter in France, which was later converted into a benzene lighter by dipping the wick in benzene.

De Berena''''''''s lighter.In 1823, a German chemist discovered in the laboratory that hydrogen would catch fire when it met platinum cotton, so he developed a set of ignition devices made of glass cylinder, sulfuric acid, platinum cotton, zinc flakes, etc.

During World War II, munitions experts used the piezoelectric effect to detonate bombs. The front end of the bomb was loaded with crystals like sodium potassium tartrate and some ceramics, which, when subjected to a strong shock, would generate a high-voltage charge in an instant and detonate the explosives. After the war, Japan successfully applied the piezoelectric effect in the lighter, in three or four millionths of a second to produce 6,000 ─ 8,000 volts of high pressure, so that the sparks generated to ignite the butane, eliminating the need for dry cell batteries or flint.
Due to the high cost of electronic lighters, the post-war low-end lighter market is almost monopolized by gas-fueled lighters. This lighter will be extracted from natural gas butane gas compressed into the lighter, when in use, butane gas from the top of the lighter nozzle out of the lighter, ignited by the lighter device, the size of the flame can be adjusted by the amount of jet to control the exhaustion of butane gas can be filled from the bottom of the lighter flap.

Lighters made during World War I, inscribed "Verdun".

Even though the lighter was a huge improvement over matches, it did not replace them in real life. After all, in the days when matches were used to light gas stoves, they accounted for most of the matches consumed. In the late 20th century, most gas stoves were equipped with electric igniters, which automatically ignited the gas at the same time as the knob was turned on.
In the foreseeable future, mankind may not be able to really get rid of the help of fire. But we can believe that, with the enhancement of environmental awareness and technological innovation, we will eventually embark on a road to remove the disadvantages and save the benefits of the road to prosperity ......

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