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Publication numberUS2674064 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 6, 1954
Filing dateMar 3, 1952
Priority dateMar 3, 1952
Publication numberUS 2674064 A, US 2674064A, US-A-2674064, US2674064 A, US2674064A
InventorsGassaway Benjamin F
Original AssigneeGeorge J Elsasser
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inflation tube valve
US 2674064 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 6, 1954 B. F. GASSAWAY INFLATION TUBE VALVE Filed March 5, 1952 INVENTOR. F Gossawa 5/ Patented Apr. 6, 1954 .1

INFLATION TUBE VALVE Benjamin F. Gassawa signer of one-half to land, Oreg.

y, Milwaukie, Oreg., as- George J. Elsasser, Port- A Application March 3, 1952, Serial No. 274,626

8 Claims. 1

My invention relates to a resilient non-metallic valve for use in combination with any of a wide variety of inflatable articles such as toy ballons and animals, air mattresses, childrens plastic play pools, and the bladders of footballs, basketballs, and the like.

One object of my invention is to provide a valve of this type which is operable quickly, yet only with a conscious effort, between an open and a closed position by manipulation with the thumb and forefinger of one hand whereby breath inflated articles such as toy ballons and the like "may be filled by a series of breath without loss of pressure intermediate each breath.

There are on the market at the present time a largenumber of inflatable articles such as air mattresses, toy animals and the like, which conventionally are inflated with a series of breaths from the mouth. It is in conjunction with these articles that myinvention is of particular utility and i an improvement over previously known finflation control devices. Many breath inflated articles are sealed against leakage by folding the inflation tube or stem and,

thereafter, by binding the stem with a rubber band. Other articles, such as toy balloons, are

sealed by tying a knot in the stem. Still others employ either a metal inflation tube which has external screw threads for the accommodation of a screwcap closure or a hard rubber tube which is tapered to receive a force fit closure pin.

Experience has shown, however, that each and every one of these closures is possessed of certain .inherent disadvantages and one object of my invention is to improve upon these closure and eliminate the disadvantages thereof. By way of example, both the well-known inflatable plastic play pool for children and the inflatable air mattress for open air camping employ metal inflation tubes. During use, however, the plastic play pool is subject to the deleterious effect of repeated splashes of water and sudden internal pressure strains as the children play therein.

Similarly, the air mattress is subject both to sudden strains and to moisture condensation on cool nights. The inflation tubes of both these articles, on the other hand, are prone to pick up saliva moisture during inflation. As is well known, moisture originating from any of these sources will corrode and rust metal part and,

eventually, may cause such parts to function imperfectly. Accordingly, it is a prime object of my, invention not only to provide a closure valve for these articleswhich is non-metallic throughout, but also to provide a valve which functions better and more efficientl when wet than when dry. In this manner, the entrance of saliva and other moisture into the operating parts of the closure will prove a boon rather than a hindrance to the efficient operation thereof. v

Continuing with the disadvantages of those in"- flatable article closures heretofore employed, eX- perience has shown that the act of inflation, by mouth, is diflicult to control. For example, when an air mattress or a toy animal is inflated, the tube or spout which opens to the inflation chamber must be covered or sealed between each of the series of breaths. In practice, this is accomplished. either by putting the tip of the tongue over the end of the tube or by pinching or holding the tube with the fingers. I feel that these procedures are unsatisfactory, however, since some of the pressure invariably is allowed to leak out. With my invention, on the other hand, exit of air through the tube is controlled with a valve which is operable, with the forefinger and thumb of one hand only, between an open inflation position and a closed sealing position. Further, this valve may be manipulated quickly and with a minimal eflort to the open position while the article is being inflated and to the closed position while another breath is taken. In this manner, no air need be lost between breaths and the article mor quickly and with less effort can be inflated.

In summary, my valve is provided with a resilient and elongated hollow bored tube which is joined at one end to an inflatable article. Withe in the hollow bore of the tube, a pair of resilient concave suction'cups are mounted. These suction cups are movable laterally away from one another to expose an open passage through the hollow bore of the tube and are collapsible laterally against one another to close. this passage and prevent flow through the tube. Accordingly, the entire valve is non-metallic, the parts being formed of rubber or a resilient and flexible plastie, and ready control of flow through the valve may be hadmerely by manipulating the fingers of one hand either to spread or to collapse the suction cups.

As a further novel feature of my invention, the suction cups above described are provided with mated recess means which extend between the walls of the tube and the back of the suction cups to define complementary pressure pockets. These pressure pockets are located immediately adjacent the inflation chamber of the inflatable article so as to'press the lips or peripheral margins of the suction cups together more tightly when the pressure is increased within the article. In effect then the pressure pockets serve to increase the compressive closure force across the suction cups directly in proportion to that pressure which exists within the inflatable article. In conjunction with a play pool or air mattress, for example, the greater the pressure within the article, the more force which automatically i applied to the valve to maintain the closed position. This factor alone is a decided improvement over most closures now in common use.

A further object of my invention isto provide, in combination with an inflatable article having a hollow inflation chamber, a non-metallic valve which selectively will control the inflation of and retain the pressure within the hollow chamber and will be sealed more tightly in a closed position as the pressure within the hollow chamber is increased.

Yet another object of my invention is to combine a pair of mated concave suction cups with a resilient hollow tube in order that collapse of the suction cups in face to face abutment hermetically will seal the hollow tube and will, by means of the vacuum type suction between the cups, retain this seal indefinitely.

These and other objects, capabilities, and advantages of my invention will be set forth in the following detailed description, taken with reference to the accompanying drawing, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a top view of an inflatable article such as a toy ballooon with the resilient valve of my invention controlling the inflation tube thereof, the valve being shown in the ope-n position;

Fig. 2 is a top view similar to Fig. l but showing the valve in the closed position with the suction cups collapsed;

Fig- 3 is a partial cross section view, taken substantially on the line 3-3 of Fig. 1, showing the suction cups laterally spaced one from another to define the open position of the valve;

7 Figs. 4 and 5 are related sectional details, taken substantially on the lines A4 and 5-5, respectively, of Fig. 2, showing the disposition of the suction cups when the valve is in a closed position; and

Fig. 6 is a sectional detail similar to Fig, 3 but showing a second species of my invention wherein the top margins of the suction cups merge laterally with the walls of the valve body rather r;

than being spaced therefrom.

The valve of the instant invention preferably is molded, as by injection molding, from a flexible thermo-plastic resin or from rubber either asa separate valve later to be attached to an inflatable article or as an integral part of an article molded from the same material. In the drawings, I have shown a typical inflatable article which may be a balloon it having an encompassing envelope which bounds a hollow inflation chamber. As is conventional, the envelope is provided with a hollow protuberant snout i I for purposes of inflation. In conjunction therewith, I provide a novel control valve which is formed complementary to the hollow snout in order frictionally to lit and to be retained therein as shown in the drawing. Thus, in the absence of excessive internal pressures, no glue or other fastening means need be employed to retain the valve within the inflation snout of the article.

In detail, the body of my novel valve is defined by an elongated, hollow bored cylindrical tube having a resilient and flexible bounding wall member it. In the first species of my invention (see Figs. 3 to 5) the valve itself is symmetrically placed with respect to this valve body so assembly thereof within the hollow snout ll may be effected with either end up.

Within the hollow bore of the valve body l2, a mated pair of collapsible concave suction cups i3 are secured in contiguous face to face relationship. These suction cups are carried medial the ends of the elongated body l2 and have their lateral peripheral margins M arranged in sealed abutment with one another and with the wall l2. On the other hand, the end peripheral margins l5 of the suction cups either normally are spaced a slight distance or are movable laterally apart under a slight pressure to define an open passageway as shown in Figs. 1 and 3. Thus, when the valve is assembled within the inflation tube of theinflatable article, no flow can take place to or from the article around the suction cups. Instead, such flow must take place, if at all, across and between the mated concave faces of the suction cups as shown in Figs. 1 and Actually. of course, it is of little consequence to the control of this flow whether the spacing of the suction cups in the open position of the valve is due to the inherent elasticity of the wall member l2 or to the natural relaxed form of the suction cups 43. Accordingly, both constructions are within the scope of my invention.

Turning now to Figs. 3 and 5, it will be seen that the end peripheral margins [5 are spaced laterally from the resilient wall members l2 in order to define a recess means or pressure pocket i5 intermediate the back of each suction cup and the wall. In use, these recesses or pressure pockets l6 function to maintain the valve in the closed position once the suction cups have been collapsed. Thus, referring to Fig. 5, the two suction cups [3 have been collapsed in face to face abutment by the application of a compressive squeeze adjacent the joinder point of the wall and the suction cups. This squeeze creates a partial vacuum between the faces of the suction cups, as is conventional with these cups, and atmospheric pressure thereafter maintains the seal by pressing in upon the back of each cup. At this point, the pressure pockets l6 come into play. Accordingly, if the article is inflated to a substantial pressure which is greater than atmospheric, an additional closureforce will help hold the cups together. This additional force acts upon the inner end peripheral margins of the suction cups via the pressure pockets it to help maintain the closed position of the valve. Thus. the compressive closure force directly is proper tional to the pressure which exists within the inflatable article and the greater this pressure, the greater the tendency of the bottom margins to be forced against one another to maintain the closed position of the valve. With toys, air mattresses, and other inflatable articles subject to sudden strains and blows, this factor is of increased importance.

In Figs. 1 to 5, I have illustrated a valve having resilient concave suction cups with pressure pockets behind both ends thereof. In Fig, 6, on the other hand, a somewhat different disposition of the two suction cups I1 is shown. Thus, these latter cups also are provided with pressure pockets l6 behind the lower peripheral margins thereof but the upper peripheral margins have been laterally extended and merged with the wall member l2, as indicated at l8, to provide a smooth joinder surface. This elimination of the upper recesses or pressure pockets [6 has been effected so that dirt, moisture, and the like will elasticity of the cups. Accordingly, it is evident both from the nature of the suction cups and from experienc'e, that they will stick together for a longer period of time when the surfaces and 'margins are somewhat damp. On the other hand, it is as equally well known that when an inflatable article is blown up with a series of breaths, saliva collects upon the valve parts. With the valve of the instant invention, this saliva and moisture is an aid to the 'efficierrt function, of the valve Whereas, with'the metal valves heretofore in common use, such saliva was 'a disadvantage since it corroded the parts. In Fig. 1, I have shown the thumb and forefingerof a hand as they grasp the sides of the valve body to effect the open position of the suction cups. In Fig. 2, on the other hand, the thumb and forefinger are gripping the hollow snout II, and thus the valve body, to bear upon the backs of the two suction cups l3 in order to 'close the valve. suction cups into face to face relationship requires a conscious effort in that a compressive "squeeze must be applied with sufficient force to overcome the inherent resiliency of the suction cups. In similar manner, once the valve is closed,

a conscious effort and a compressive squeeze must be applied'to break the'vacuum between thesuction cups and to open the valve. -Alsq, it must be remembered that the force which maintains the valve closed directly is proportional to the pressure existing within the hollow inflated article. Accordingly, if a toy, air mattress, or the like is inflated to a substantial pressure, a substantial compressive squeeze must be exerted, in the direction shown in Fig. 1, in order to break the seal of the suction cups and open the valve.

In summary, I have provided a resilient nonmetallic valve for use with an inflatable article. This valve is capable of rapid and accurate manipulation from an open to a closed and from a closed to an open position with the thumb and forefinger of but one hand. Further, the area encompassed in the open position of the valve may be adjusted by squeezing the body of the valve to a greater or lesser extent. In addition, the valve ideallyis suited for inflatable toys, air mattresses, and miniature play pools since moisture enhances rather than hinders the operation of the valve and the closed position of the valve is aided rather than hindered by an increase in pressure within the inflatable article. Other advantages, such as simplicity of construction and operation and a minimal fabrication cost, also will be evident from the above detailed description and will be recognized as improvements over the closure controls now in use with inflatable articles.

I claim:

1. In combination with an inflatable article carrying a hollow protuberant snout for inflation In practice, the collapse of the purposes," a resilient hollow'bored tube complementary to and frictionally retained within said hollow snout, said hollow tube having a pair of resilient concave suction cups mounted in contiguous mated normally spaced relationship within the hollov bore thereof, the lateral peripheral margins of said suction cups being in registration with one another and integral with the hollow bore of said tube, the other peripheral margins of said suction cups being laterally separable to a spaced relationship, said suction cups being collapsible into face to face abutment to close said hollow bore. I

2. A valve for an inflatable article, comprising a resilient hollow bored tube joined at one end to an inflatable article, said hollow tube being open at both ends and having a mated pair of resilient suction cups mounted within the hollow bore thereof and intermediate the ends thereof, the end peripheral margins of said suction cups normally separated laterally from one anothe'rfto frieflne an open passageway intermediate the cups, jsaid'suction cups and the end peripheral mar;- gins thereof being collapsible into direct abutjnient with one another to define a closed position sealing said passageway. 1 j 3. A valve for an inflatable article, comprising 'an elongated tubular body having a hollow bore bounded by a resilient wall member, a pair of collapsible concave suctioncups secured in face to face relationship to opposite sides of said resilient wall member within said hollow bore, said suction cups being carried intermediate the ends f of said elongated tubular body and having the lateral peripheral margins thereof arranged in sealed abutment, the end peripheral margins of said suction cups being normally separated laterany from one aonther .to define an open posi- ;tion of the valve, the peripheral margins of said "suction cups adjacent at least one end of the :tubular body having mated recess means extending therebehind to define circular complementary .pressure pockets.

4. A valve for an inflatable article,comprising an elongated tubular body having a hollow bore extending therethrough and bounded by a resilient wall member, a pair of resilient and collapsible concave suction cups secured in face to face relationship to opposite sides of said resilient wall member within said hollow bore, said suction cups being carried intermediate the ends of said elongated tubular body and having the lateral peripheral margin thereof arranged in sealed abutment, the end peripheral margins of said suction cups being normally separated laterally from one another, said suction cups being collapsible into direct face to face abutment to define a closed position of the valve, the peripheral margins of said suction cups adjacent one end of the tubular body having mated recess means extending therebehind to define circular complementary pressure pockets, and the peripheral margins of said suction cups adjacent the other end of the tubular body extending laterally toward and merging with said wall.

5. In combination with a resilient tube having a hollow bore, a valve for controlling flow therethrough, said valve including a mated pair of resilient concave suction cup means mounted in spaced contiguous face to face relationship within the hollow bore of said tube and sealingly joined along a portion of the backs and sides thereof to said tube, said suction cups being normally spaced laterally from one another to define an open passage intermediate the faces thereof and being collapsible laterally against one another to close said passage and prevent flow through said tube.

6. A non-metallic valve movable between an open and a closed position, said valve including an elongated, cylindrical tube having a hollow bore and a resilient wall member bounding the hollow bore thereof and defining the body of said valve, a mated pair of collapsible concave suction cups secured in normally spaced contiguous face to face relationship to the opposite sides of said wall member within said hollow bore, said suction cups having the lateral peripheral margins thereof arranged in sealed abutment with said wall member, the end peripheral margins of said suction cups being normally spaced laterally from one another, and closable in suction grip with each other by externally applied digital pressure applied to move said suction cups tightly against each other and to flex their peripheral margins.

7. In combination with an inflatable article having an encompassing envelope bounding a hollow inflation chamber, an opening piercing said envelope and communicating with said hollow chamber, a non-metallic valve means secured within said opening and movable between an open and a closed position selectively to control the inflation of and the retention of pressure within said hollow chamber, said valve means including an elongated, cylindrical tube having a hollow bore and a resilient wall member bound ing the hollow bore thereof and defining the body of said valve, said elongated tube having an inner end and an outer end, a mated pair of collapsible concave suction cups secured in normally spaced contiguous face to face relationship to the opposits sides of said well member within said hollow bore, the peripheral margins of said suction cups adjacent the inner end of said hollow tube each having a recess means extending longitudinally therebehind intermediate the back of the cup and the wall member, the peripheral margins of said suction cups adjacent the outer end of said hollow tube each being joined laterally with and merging into said wall member.

8. In combination with an inflatable article having an encompassing envelope bounding a hollow inflation chamber, an opening piercing said envelope and communicating with said hollow chamber, a non-metallic valve means secured within said opening and movable between an open and a closed position selectively to control the inflation of and the retention of pressure within said hollow chamber, said valve means including an elongated, hollow bored cylindrical tube having a resilient and flexible wall member bounding the hollow bore thereof and defining the body of said valve, a mated pair of collapsible concave suction cups secured in normally spaced contiguous face to face relationship to the opposite sides of said wall member within said hollow bore, said suction cups being carried intermediate the ends of said elongated tube and having the peripheral margins thereof. arranged to be flexed into sealed abutment with one another and being integral with said wall member, the end peripheral margins of said suction cup being movable laterally away from one another after they have been flexed and arranged in sealed abutment by a compressive squeeze applied to said lateral peripheral margins thereby to define said normal open position, said closed position being concordant with the collapse of said suction cups by a compressive squeeze applied to said wall member adjacent the joinder points of the Wall and suction cups, the peripheral margins of said suction cups adjacent the inner end of said hollow tube each having a recess means extending longitudinally therebehind intermediate the back of the cup and the wall member to increase the compressive closure force across the twocups directly in proportion to the pressure existing within said hollow inflation chamber.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number

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Referenced by
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US2792669 *Oct 15, 1956May 21, 1957Jackson James ABalloon
US2814164 *Oct 3, 1952Nov 26, 1957Libbey Owens Ford Glass CoGlass bending apparatus
US2913000 *Jun 23, 1954Nov 17, 1959Baxter Don IncFlow control valve
US3020673 *Feb 10, 1956Feb 13, 1962Helen CookeExpanding toy
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Classifications
U.S. Classification446/224, 251/348, 137/846
International ClassificationF16K15/20, F16K15/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16K15/202
European ClassificationF16K15/20F