US 3100498 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1963 J. E. GIBSON, JR 3,100,498
VALVE MEANS FOR INFLATABLE ARTICLES Filed Dec. 9, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 1963 J. E. GIBSON, JR
VALVE MEANS FOR INFLATABLE ARTICLES 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 9, 1960 'taining a proper inflation pressure.
United States Patent This invention relates to valve means for inflatable articles, and particularly to valve means of the type which are self-sealing whereby a needle can be removably passed therethrough for purposes of injecting air 'or other gas 7 within the article.
Various types of inflatable articles, such as, for example, balls, are in common use today, and many of these articles are pnovicled with valve means whereby gas can be introduced within the article for purposes of main- Such valve means which have been previously suggested may generally be classified in three groups: (a) that group whichcomprises complex arrangements incorporating spring devices,
manufacture and installation, is usable only on articles t wherein the inflation pressure need be no greater than that which can be provided by a person blowing the article up. The third group of valves presents somewhat the middle ground, in that such group in many instances is less expensive to manufacture than the first gnoup, and serves to provide for maintenance of suitable inflation pressures. However, the thirdgroup still "pre sents serious problems to the manufacturers, of inexpen sive items, and the present invention is directed to over coming these problems.
The third group, which comprises the so-called needletype? self-sealing valves,. usually includes'stnictures com- Another problem t small outlet passage provided in'the casing. 'Ihispi eSerits moldingproblems because it is difficult a; st'r ip suchj as;
ings from the molds By ,virtue of the existence of both of these problems'with the needle-type self-sealing valve, the expense of providing an inflatable article with the same becomes substantial, and manufacturers of in expensive balls, for example, are, in many instances, forced to provide inflated structures without valve means. The inflated structures without valve means, due to the porosity of the material from which the structures are ,ferredembcdiments of theinventionshown'iu the annexed formed-eventually lose the inflation pressure by leakage t through the article, and become useless. Moreover, without valve means, the structures are not re-inflatable articles, and thus when the manufacturer finds that the desired pressure is not provided in the article during its formation, due to some unexpected malfunction of the 3,100,498 Patented Aug. 13, 1963 inflating apparatus or components, the manufacturer is required to discard the article as unsatisfactory, having no way in which to cause proper inflation thereof after formation.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a needle-type valve means for inflatable articles which is not subject to any of the disadvantages outlined above. More particularly, a primary object of the pres-' ent invention is to provide a needle-type self-sealing valve which is simple in construction, formed from a minimum of parts, inexpensively fabricated and assembled, and readily attached to inflatable articles Still further and morespecific objects of the present invention are: (a) to provide an improved needle-type self-sealing valve means which can be easily incorporated on inflatable articles made with existing equipments; (b) to provide such a valve means which can be used whether external air pressure is used for purposes of inflating the article during formation or gas-liberating mediums within the preformedarticle are used for purposes of such inflation; (c) to provide such a valve means which comprises two easily-molded parts which can be readily stripped or removed from a mold; (d) to provide such a valve means which is readily adapted to incorporate, and does incorporate, a readily-deformable solid selfsealing means when high internal or inflation pressures are necessary; (e) to provide such a valve means comprising a valve casing and a valve member insertable Within the casing, which valve member can be easily placed in operative p ositionswithin the valve casing in a minimum of time and without the use of special tools; (7) to provide such a valve means which incorporates, if desired, a re-sealing slit in the valve member that facilitates pressing of the needle therethrough, and rescaling after the needle is removed; (g) to provide such a valve means wherein all parts thereof can be pre-assembled whereby the valve means can be inserted within the inflatable article during its forrnation and prior to the final curingl thereof; (It) to provide such a valve means which can be manufactured from available rubbers, vinyls, or urethane, or other easily-handled materials; and (i) to provide suchpa valve means whichis trouble-free with continued QPratlOIl-., V p M i I 1 7 Lin addition to tl le foregoing specific objects, it should be noted that onesornewhat limited but important object of the invention is to provide an inexpensive valvemeans which can be easily incorporated on inexpensive items such as toy balls, whereby the needfor producing inflated articles without a re-inflation valve is eliminated, and accordingly whereby the former loss encountered by manufacturers vfor such articles due to insufficient forming pressures becomes non-existent. r
The invention lies in theiconstruction, arrangement, and combination of the various partstof the valve assembly as will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description of the illustrative and predrawings, wherein: FIGURE 1 is a cross-sectional view presenting a valve assembly constructedin accordance with the present invention, as thesame would appear when installed one inflatable article such as a ball;
FIGURE 2 is a crosssectional view similar to FIGURE 1, butpresenting a Emodified form ofvalve assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention, as the same would appear when installed on an inflatable article such as a ball; r
FIGURE 3 is an exploded view of the assembly presented in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE4 is an exploded view of the assembly presented in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 presents in cross-section the assembly of FIGURE 1 as the partsof the same would appear when a needle has been passed therethrough for purposes of inflating the article with which the valve is used;
FIGURE 6 presents in cross-section the assembly of FIGURE 2 as the parts thereof would appear when an inflating needle has been passed through the assembly; and
FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIGURE 1 and showing the concentric disposition of the assembly components.
7 In FIGURE 1, the valve meansor assembly provided by the invention comprises a valve casing generally designated by the numeral 4 and an inner valve member, generally designated by the numeral 6. The valve casing 4 includes a body section Swithina conical or generallyconical chamber 10 therein which is closed at the smaller end 12 thereof. The casing also is provided vwith a base flange, or section =14 projecting laterally of the body section 8 adjacent the larger lower end of the chamber 10. v
The inner valve member Ghas a generally conical body portion-lo'which is snugly receivable in the chamber 10. The inner valve member 6 also is provided with a base flange or portion 18 which mates with the underside of the base flange '14 of the casing 4. The valve member 6 'has a bore 20 therein extending from the base portion 18 into the body portion 16 and terminating in spaced relation to the upper end 22 of the valve member.
The tubular body portion or section 8 of the casing 4 coact to cause the walls of the casing to press in on the inner valve 6 or body portion 16' thereof, thereby causing.
is preferably formed integrally with the base flange or section 14 from an elastomeric material, and similarly the inner valve member 6 is preferably formed as a continuous body from an elastomeric material. Moreover, the base flange or section 14 of the casing joins the body portion thereof contiguously whereby the chamber 1 0' is fully open at the lower end. The underside or lower face of the base portion 14- is, as shown, tapered inwardly toward the lower larger end of the chamber 10- whereby a peripheral recess or entry 24 is formed about the lower larger end of the chamber lt). This peripheral recess 24- is adapted to mate with the outwardly tapering upper face 26 of the base flange orsection of the inner valve member 6.
The dimensions of the valve member 6, or at least of the body portion 16 thereof, -.are slightly larger than the i corresponding inner dimensions of the chamber 10 according to the preferredembodiments of the invention. More I particularly, at least the body portionf16 of valve member- 6 is preferably slightly compressedto'fit within the chamber 10. This feature is important because it provides for ready re-sealing of the valve -rnember-fi after a needle has been passed therethrough, as explained in more detail below; I i I The preferred embodiment of the invention'shown in FIGURE 1 also preferably includes a slit such as that designated by the numeral 28, which slit, as best shown in FIGURE 5, allows a needle 50 being inserted to pass between the opposed planar faces 50 and 52 thereof. These faces readily come together and meet smoothly to provide for improved re-sealing once the needle is removed and shown in FIGURE 1. It comprises avalve casing 4 and 1 aid the rc-sealing.
By reference to FIGURE 5 it will be noted that when a needle is inserted through the valve means, 'a puncture is made inthe valve body 16 and in the closed end 12 of the casing. come back to closed position after the needle is removed, and thus tends to provide some re se'aling, the valve body 16 is, under the action of tlie pressures within the inflated a article, pressed in. This pressure factor is in addition'to the pressure factor applied by virtue or the differences in elasticity of the components,'=and both pressure factors the separated portions of the valve body to again flow together.
Aside from having the foregoing characteristics, the materials from which the components are formed should be such that the material used for the valve member 6 fusably softens at a higher tempenature than the material used for the casing 4. This feature is important because it eliminates the possibility of fusion between the faces and 52 of the slit 28 during curing of thearticle. when, for example, the article is plastic and cast in a rotatable type mold, the casing preferably softens and fuses with the material from which the inflatable article is formed, and yet no fusion of the slit faces is desired. Thus, by using materials having different fus-able softening temperatures, the desired result is easily obtained. The term fusably soften as used herein refers to softening of the material to a state whereby adjacent components are joined or fused with the components in question.
While I have hereinabove described the preferred'em: bodiment of the invention, the invention also provides as an equally-important, if not more important, embodiment, a valve assembly which is readily usable on articles wherein the inflation pressuresilare'high, i.e., above in such figure is generally the same as the valve'assembly an inner valve member 6'. The casing 4', like: the casing of FIGURE 1, comprisesa body'section 8' with an at least generally frusto-conical chamber 10' therein.
The chamber is closed at the smaller end .12 thereof, I and the casing is provided with a base flange 14 promoreover; this construction facilitates insertionfof the needle. V v 7 As also shown in FIGURES l and 5, the valve member a cavity 30' betweenthe'top 22' of the valve member and ire-sealing.
jecting laterally of the body section 18' adjacent the larger end of the chamber 10'. I I
The inner valve member :6 is elastomeric, like the casing 4', and is provided with a generally frusto-conical body'portion 16 snugly receivable in the chamber 10'].
The inner valve member also includes abase portion wardtheend 22' of the body portion remote from the theclosed end 12. of the casing This cavity provides an "air cushion above th'e'valve'rriember and also facilitates The embodiment of FlGURE l is readily adapted for 7 of elasticity of the material from which the casing is formed be greater than the coefficient of elasticity of the material from which the inner valve member 6 is formed and that the material from which the inner valve member use in inflatable articles formed from vinyl or urethane,
base portion. Thebore terminates in spaeed'relation to the end 22' of the valve member just as is the case with the bore in the embodiment of FIGURE 1. It will be noted that the bore 20- of the FIGURE 2 emb odiment projects through a downwardly-extending nipple 30.
This nipple terminates flush with the surface 32' of the inflatable article so that there is no depression adjacent the bore 20' like the depression, recess, or usual cut-out 33, which exists in the surface 32 of the material of the inflatable article shown in FIGURE 1. The casing of the embodiment of FIGURE 2 is formed in the same manner as the casing in the embodiment of FIGURE 1,
While theclosed end of the casing tends to a as -is the inner valve member 6, and for this reason it is believed unnecessary to again reiterate the detailed slopes and mating cooperation between the components.
In the embodiment of FIGURE 1, the top end 22 of the valve member was shown as terminating in spaced relation to the closed end 12 of the casing. Similarly, in the embodiment of FIGURE 2, the top end22' of the valve member 6' terminates in spaced relation to the closed end 12 of the casing 8; however, preferably the cavity has a fiat top as opposed to the curved top shown in FIGURE 1. In the embodiment of FIGURE 1, an
empty cavity existed within this space, but in the embodiment of FIGURE 2 in body 4t) is shown as disposed in such cavity and the, flat top face facilitates action of this body as a rescaling medium. The body 46 comprises a readily-deforfnable solid having excellent re-sealing properties, and preferably fills the entire cavity. When the needle 50' is inserted through the valve assembly of can be completely and easily pre-assembled prior to being positioned inan uncured component of the final article. Moreover, the valve assemblies allow for inflation of the article during curing, either by using an external air pressure injected into the articlethrough the assembly, or by using a gas-releasing pellet and a liquid catalyst therefor placed in the uncured article in conventional manner.
As suggested above, the materials from which the assembly components of either of the embodiments presented are formed, preferably have certain related fusable softening temperatures and coeflicients of elasticity, and as is known to those of ordinary skill in the art, the materials of the assembly must be compatible with the materials from which the inflated articles are formed. I have found that the best operating results are obtained when the materials are selected in accordance with Table I.
Table 1 Article mater a1 Casing (4 or 4) material Valve member (6 or 6) material Gasket (body 40) material Rubber Natural rubber (7O Shore Natural rubber (40-45 Shore A hardness) Uncured natural milled A hardness).
Vinyl or urethane Vinyl or nitrile rubber (polyurethane).
Soft vinyl (e.g., plasticized vinylchloride) or sulphurless rubber (e.g., unvulcanized natural or synthetic rubber) or silicone rubber (c.g., a
(e.g., butadiene-acrylonitri s polymeric dimethyl siloxane rubber).
are aidedby the inward compression exerted by the walls of the casing 8'. However, the FIGURE 2 embodiment is found particularly desirable in instances where high inflation pressures must be maintained, because, as should be apparent, the readily-deformable solid material 40 provides a more positive seal than the air cavity 30 shown in FIGURE 1.
in both the embodiment, of FIGURE rand the em bodiment of FIGURE 2 the valve chamber is continuously conical or frusto-conioal, as is the body of the valve member. While the valve member is preferably slightly larger than the chamber is in corresponding cross-section, the valve member can easily be inserted in the chamber. The construction of the invention thus eliminates the insertion problems heretofore existent because there is no need for passing a large portion of the valve member through a substantially smaller opening in the valve casing. Moreover, both components are so shaped that they can be molded in simple cavity-type molds and easily stripped therefrom.
While the readily-deformable solid body 40 is only shown in FIGURE 2, it is to be understood that such body can be readily incorporated in the cavity of FIG- URE 1, if desired. It has been found that when the inflation pressures within the article with which the assembly is used are above 3 p.s.i., the provision of body 40 is particularly advantageous to ensure prolonged infiation pressure maintenance. However, pressures this high can be used without the inclusion in the assembly of the readily-deformable body without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.
The method of forming the inflatable article has not When the foregoing materials are used for productionof inflatable rubber articles, then the valve assembly provided can be adhered in place in accordance with conventional practice during the pre-forming operation by a rubber cement. When the foregoing materials are used for the production of vinyl or urethane articles then a vinyl plastisol can be used for proper preliminary adherence in a conventional manner.
One particular advantage of the suggested materials of the assembly for use in the vinyl or urethane articles is the fact that these materials result a homogenous fusing between. the valve casing andthe surface of the article to which such casing is attached, e.g., as at the point 60 in FIGURE 1. I
After reading the foregoing detailed description of the preferred and illustrative embodiments of the invention,
it will be apparent that the objects set forth at the outset tion, said base portion having an aperture, contiguous with the larger end of said chamber, the lower face of said base portion having a recess tapered inwardly toward said aperture; and a valve member comprising an elastomeric body section adapted to be snugly received inside said tubular body portion of said casing, and a valve base section extending laterally of said valve body section, the upper surface of said valve base section contiguous with said valve body section being tapered outwardly and away from said body section, said upper surface of said valve base section mating with said recess in said lower face of said casing base portion, said body section of said valve member normally having outward dimensions slightly greater than the corresponding inner dimensions of said chamber, said valve member having a bore therein extending from the lower face thereof to a casing presses on said valve member body section to close the opening therein made by the needle.
2. 'A valve means as defined in claim 1 wherein said casing is formed from a different material than said valve member, and wherein the material from which said 'casing is formed fusably softens at a lower temperature than the material from which said valve member is formed.
3. A valve means as defined in claim 1 wherein said valve member body section terminates in spaced relation to the closed end of said chamber to provide a cavity between said valve member and said closed end, and wherein said valve member body section is split longitudinally in the portion thereof adjacent said cavity to if? 7 provide two normally engaging planar faces between which an inflation needle can pass when pressed through said body section;
4. A valve means for inflatable articles as defined in 'claim 1 wherein said casing and said valve member are formed from difierent materials and the coefiicient of elasticity of the material from which said casing is formedis 'greater than the eoefficient of elasticity of the material from which said inner valve member is formed.
5. A valve means as defined in claim 1 wherein the material from which said valve member is formed has natural resealing characteristics. 7
References Cited in the file of this 'patent 2,934,344 Chupa Apr. 26,