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The Zippo Lighter
Steel is utilised for the inner case simply because of its high strength and ductility. Originally, the outside case was also created from steel due to war-time shortages on brass (brass getting needed for military machinery), and painted black to stop corrosion. An option material for the brass outer case would be bronze. Bronze also has higher corrosion resistance, especially seawater corrosion. Bronze has a reddish brown colour, and so would give the zippo a quite different look.
The coils of raw brass and steel used for the inner and outer circumstances respectively are rolled through presses in a method known as ‘deep drawing’. A punch pushes the sheet metal into a die cavity, resulting in a contoured element. For the outer case, the presses punch in the edges of each and every lighter and add some important specifics (manufacturer’s name and date codes) onto the bottom. The holes in the lighter chimney are also punched all the way through the steel of the inside case. An alternative approach that could be utilised is rubber pad forming. This is a metalworking approach where sheet metal is pressed in between a die and rubber block. This has a larger flexibility of operation and a decrease tooling expense than deep drawing. Right after the pieces are drawn, they are trimmed and moved to the fabrication location exactly where machines bend and fold them into their boxlike shapes. They are then spot-welded collectively with hugely accurate welding machines.
A precision machine fabricates and welds the hinge to both parts of the outer case making use of a robust welding approach known as ‘resistance welding’. The weld is created by conducting a robust current by way of the metal combination to heat up and lastly melt the metals at localized points. Diverse fabrication machines construct the elements of the flint tube.
Usually, the exteriors are finished in other metals such as chromium or nickel. This is done in a method called electroplating. A modest electrical charge is applied to cases suspended on moving hangers that pass by way of a liquid bath. This bath consists of a conducting solution that is non-metallic with a piece of the plating metal inside. The opposite charge is applied to the bath, and atoms of the plating metal are drawn from the metal piece to the charged lighters. In this coating method, a thin layer of atoms are electrically bonded to all the surfaces of the case.
Machined components (such as cam, flint, flint wheel) are then fixed to the top of the inner case assembly with rivets. This is an automated process. Holes for these rivets would have been punched in the case when it was very first deep-drawn. Elements of the inner case assembly are inserted in the welded shell. Several modest balls of cotton-kind material are placed inside the fuel chamber that will contain the lighter fluid. A length of wicking is inserted and will be pulled by way of the chimney later. A felt pad with a pre-cut hole for the flint and lighter fluid is stamped on the bottom of the inner case. The wicking is pulled by way of its eyelet, and the inner case assembly is installed in the outer case assembly.
Regardless of metal variety, all circumstances get final finishes. Several are polished to give a sparkling look. Other individuals are given a brushed appear or a texture. Diamond-drag rotary engraving cuts geometric patterns into some situations. This is utilised to take away the leading chromium or nickel coating and expose the bare metal underneath. Two kinds of lasers are employed to engrave the outlines of line drawings, logos and other designs on the sides of lighters. Nevertheless other folks have designs etched in them with personal computer-controlled etching machines. A lot of designs can be filled with colour employing a spray painting method. To colour more elaborate styles, a sublimation approach transfers colour by heat and stress straight onto the surface coating.
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