|Publication number||US3785536 A|
|Publication date||15 Jan 1974|
|Filing date||21 Oct 1971|
|Priority date||21 Oct 1971|
|Publication number||US 3785536 A, US 3785536A, US-A-3785536, US3785536 A, US3785536A|
|Original Assignee||Graham C|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (11), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
[ Jam-15, 1974 3,627,179 l2/l97l Scheindel................... ZZZ/402.22 X
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon AttorneyMichael S. Striker  ABSTRACT Valve means for an aerosol container in which upstanding resilient members are provided to contact a lateral wall portion of a cupped flange upon actuation of the valve means such that the cupped flange will more rapidly be returned to a position closing the aerosol container against egress of its contents.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures United States Patent 1 Graham 7' MEANS FOR SPRAYING LIQUID V SUBSTANCES IN ATOMISED FORM  Inventor: Cecil Robert Montgomery Graham,
Lagonda Ave., Killara, New South Wales, Australia  Filed: Oct. 21, 1971  Appl. No: 191,254
 US. 222/402.21, 222/513, 251/354  Int. 865d 83/14  Field of Search...-............... 222/40l.21, 402.22, ZZZ/402.23, 402.1, 513, 517; 251/353, 354
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,098,589 7/1963 Graham ZZZ/402.22-
I PATENTEB JAN 1 51974 SHEET 2 BF 3 b'dlll/ ///4 magma .suwam PATENTEUJANISIHM MEANS FOR SPRAYING LIQUID SUBSTANCES IN ATOMISED FORM The invention has reference to valve means for use in spraying liquid or semi-liquid substances in atomised a discharge tube for the liquid, which tube mostly but not necessarily projects from the container top, the valve means being operated by angularly tilting the discharge tube by lateral finger pressure applied thereto.
The discharge tube has applied to its inner end, or is made in one piece with, a cupped flange which may be conical and which has a trough-like space that surrounds the discharge tube and communicates with the interior of said tube. The edge of the flange is normally held by resilient means in contact with a sealing disc of rubber or other resiliently deformable material retained in the container cap, said cupped flange and the sealing disc constituting the operative parts of said valve means. By finger pressure .appliedto the discharge tube, e.g., via a spray tip, the edge of the flange can be temporarily detached from the inner surface of the sealing disc, and communication be established between the interior of the container, the trough in the cupped flange, and the hollow interior of the discharge tube for the ejection of liquid from the container through said spray tip, and through a nozzle provided in the latter.
Some types of such spraying means have been described previously.' These include constructions in which resiliently deformable means are used which apply a central pressure in an axial direction and, in some cases the pressure is applied to a very small area of the cupped flange during the operation of the device. While such a construction of the spraying means is comparatively simple and inexpensive and the operation effective, it has-nevertheless been observed that withthis arrangement under some conditions, some delay is experienced when closing the valve by releasing lateral pressure on the discharge tube. Such delay may result in some loss of liquid from the aerosol container, and reduce the economy of its operation.
According to the present invention, this drawback is eliminated by the provision in the container of additional means arranged to resiliently engage a lateral wall portion of the cupped flange said additional resilient means becoming operative due to their elastic deformation immediately the' cupped flange is displaced by lateral finger pressure applied to the discharge tube.
When this lateral pressure ceases, the deformed means act instantaneously to apply a radially directed inward force to the cupped flange, and they assist in automatically returning the flange and the discharge tube to their initial positions of rest, thereby eliminating, or at least effectively minimising, delay in the closing of the valve.
These resiliently deformable means preferably include a number of prongs or fingers which project from an element within the container to points closly adjacent the lateral wall of said cupped flange. In preferred embodiments these prongs project from the bottom of a shell which encases the interior portion of the discharge tube, the cupped flange and the known resilient means which normally return the discharge tube and associated parts to its closing position. If the shell is made of plastic material, the prongs or fingers may be moulded in one piece with the latter. The number of the prongs or fingers is optional, but should be at least three to ensure operability irrespective of the direction in which lateral pressure is applied to the discharge tube. The preferred number of the prongs is S to 8, the prongs being in all cases uniformly distributed around the circumference of the cupped flange.
In order that the invention may be better understood and put into practice a preferred form thereof is hereinafter described, by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a sectional view on a vertical median plane of a valve means for an aerosol container incorporating the invention,
FIG. 2 is a similar view to a much enlarged scale of the shell of the valve of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the shell shown in FIG. 2, and
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating the deformation of the resilient fingers that occurs when lateral finger pressure is applied to the discharge tube.
The construction of the valve shown in FIG. "1' is, in the main, well known andit is, therefore, necessary only to refer briefly to the main component parts to assist in an understanding of the present invention. The valve is attached to the opening of an aerosol container by means of the metal container cap 10, which contains within it a sealing disc, or gasket 11, against the underside of which the periphery of the cupped flange l2 seals. A discharge tube l3 extends into the interior of the cupped flange and projects above the periphery of the container cap 10. To the upper end of the discharge tube 13 is attached a spray-tip 14. A generally cylindrical plastic shell 15 fits around the cupped flange 12 within the central part of the container cap 10, being held in position by the internal annular rib 16 of the container cap 10. The shell contains within it integrally moulded a resilient element 17 which isin the form of a thin-walled dome-shaped element arranged centrally in the shell above the passage 18 which leads into the interior of the aerosol container and into which a dip tube (not shown), which extends to the bottom of the container, is normally fitted. The dome-shaped element 17 is formed with a number of slots 21 extending in a star shape from the apex of the dome. There is left between the slots a plurality of tongues 22 which engage the bottom of the cupped flange 12 to provide an upward axially directed pressure on the cupped flange to press it into contact with the sealing disc 11. Surrounding the member 17 are a plurality of upstanding integrally moulded prongs 23 which, in fact, constitute the embodiment of the present invention and which are described in more detail in connection with FIGS. 2,3 and 4, which show the shell 15 drawn to a larger scale.
Assuming for a moment that the prongs 23 are omitted from FIG. 1 the functioning of the valve described is as follows. If the spray tip is displaced by finger pressure to one side of the-axis, the cupped flange is caused to tilt and thus the seal with the sealing disc 11 is broken and the contents of the aerosol container can pass into the discharge tube to be sprayed from the spray tip in a known manner. However, as stated above, it has been found that while this arrangement does work quite well, the fact that the cupped flange is subjected only to pressure in the axial direction leads to slow closing of the valve after the release of finger pressure from the spray tip. The provision of the prongs 23, however, has been found to cause the valve to close much more quickly.
FIGS. 2 and 3 show more clearly the relationship between the dome-shaped element17 and the prongs 23 of which there are six in the present embodiment of the invention. The upper ends of the prongs 23 are provided with inwardly facing chamfers at their upper ends which help in locating the cupped flange 12 during installation.
FIG. 4 shows the effect of displacing the spray tip to one side to spray material from the container and as will be seen from this drawing, the prongs 23 at one side are deformed resiliently by the movement of the lower end of the cupped flange. It will be appreciated that by the uniform distribution of the prongs 23 around the axis 'of the assembly the effect is the same, no matter in which direction the spray tip is displaced.
During first movement of the spray tip the prongs 23, which are deformed, act as cantilevers, but ultimately the upper tip of the prong comes into contact with the side wall of the shell 15 and resistance to further movement of the spray tip is substantially increased. On release of finger pressure from the spray tip the deformed prongs 23 provide a restoring force in an inwardly radial direction to centralise the cupped flange. At the same time the tongues 22 provide an upward force in an axial direction causing the cupped flange to seat against the sealing disc 1].
in the arrangement described above, the shell is moulded in a suitable plastic material, the prongs 23 and the dome-shaped element 17 being moulded integrally with the shell and being so dimensioned as to provide structures which are resiliently deformable.
The embodiment of the invention described above is given by way of example and it will be understood that the arrangement of prongs, their number and/or shape can be modified variously within the scope and ambit of the invention to suit different valve constructions and designs.
It will also be appreciated that a centrally arranged resilient element need not necessarily be dome-shaped, but may be designed differently. Irrespective of the shape of the central element, however, this construction offers the considerable advantage that the shell with its bottom, the socket for the attachment of a dip tube, the central resilient central support for the cupped flange, and the prongs surrounding said central support can all be easily moulded in one piece, whereby the manufacture of thevalve mechanism is greatly simplified, is inexpensive and therefore very economical and the operation of the valve very effective and easy to control.
What is claimed is:
l. A valve arrangement for releasing a liquid or semiliquid from a capped container under the influence of a propellant, comprising a laterally displaceable discharge tube extending through the cap of said container and projecting outwardly therefrom, said discharge tube having an end interiorly of said container; a cupped flange at said end having an edge and a lateral wall portion; a shell molded from plastic material surrounding said cupped flange; a sealing disc in said cap; first resilient means resiliently holding said edge in sealing engagement with said sealing disc by applying pressure to said cupped flange in axial direction thereof, whereby lateral displacement of said discharge tube by finger pressure on the outwardly proportion thereof causes said cupped flange to be displaced from said sealing disc to thereby open the valve and permit egress of the substance in said container through said discharge tube, and release of said finger pressure causes sealing engagement between said cupped flange and said sealing disc to be restored to thereby close said valve; second resilient means integrally molded with said first resilient means and said shell and arranged to engage said lateral wall portion, said second resilient means being effective for applying a radially inwardly directed force to said cupped flange upon lateral displacement of said discharge tube, wherby when said finger pressure is released the force exerted by said second resilient means assists in restoring said discharge tube and said cupped flange to their closed position to thereby reduce delay in the closing of said valve.
2. An arrangement as defined in claim 1, wherein said second resilient means is arranged circumferentially of said cupped flange so as to permit the force exerted by the same to be effective regardless of the direction of lateral displacement of said discharge tube.
3. An arrangement as defined in claim 1, wherein said second resilient means comprises a plurality of resilient prongs projecting from said shell and located closely adjacent said cupped flange, said prongs being arranged substantially uniformly circumferentially of said cupped flange.
4. An arrangement as defined in claim 3, wherein said second resilient means comprises 5 to 8 of said prongs.
5. An arrangement as defined in claim 3, wherein each of said prongs has'a fixed end, and a free end spaced from said fixed end, said prongs being deflect able, and said shell having a wall spaced from said prongs in the direction of deflection of the latter, said prongs being arranged relative to said wall in such a manner that upon initial lateral displacement of said discharge tube at least one of said prongs is initially deflected and the free end thereof is displaced in a direction towards but short of said wall so that said one prong acts as a cantilever, and upon further lateral displacement of said discharge tube said one prong is further deflected so that after a predetermined amount of lateral displacement of said discharge tube the free end of said one prong abuts said wall and said one prong is effectively supported at both the fixed and free ends thereof.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||222/402.21, 222/513, 251/354|