US 3118578 A
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Jan- 1964 1.. M. COLLINS POSITIVE ACTION DISPENSING VALVE Filed April 26, 1961 INVENTOR. 150M420 M 6044/:
United States Patent 3,118,578 POSHIVE ACTIGN DlSPENSlNG VALVE Leonard M. tlollins, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to Pressure Dispensers, lno, Hollywood, Calif., a corporation Filed Apr. 26, 1961, Ser. No. 105,653 8 Claims. (i. 222548) My present invention relates generally to dispensing valves, and more particularly to a machine-installed, positive action dispensing valve for use with throw-away containers.
A throw-away container, e.g., a plastic squeeze container, is normally filled with a fluid, and the container is ordinarily discarded when the contents thereof are completely used. The caps of such containers are sometimes designed to serve as valves for dispensing the contents of the containers, and are therefore permanently assembled onto the containers. Such caps or valves must be operable to provide definite and distinct open and closed positions in order to produce free flow of the container contents and to avoid spillage thereof in the two positions, respectively. Further, there should be no leakage or loss of fluid other than that intended through the valve in either the open or closed condition of the valve. Moreover, such caps or valves should be capable of easy insertion upon the containers with which they are to be used, and yet provide a permanent connection which resists removal or dislodging therefrom.
Definite and distinct open and closed positions are especially desirable in containers having caps or valves of the rotatable or turn type. Such a rotatable or turn type valve, by the nature of its rotary movement, can be turned from a start point in one direction completely back again to the start point if suitable stops are not provided to limit the rotary movement. Linear (pushpull) types of caps or valves, of course, cannot very well avoid having separate and distinct start and stop points. This invention, however, is concerned mainly with the rotatable type of cap or valve and its use as an efiective, positive action dispensing valve for throw-away containers, for example.
The rotatable type caps or valves noted above are normally installed onto filled squeeze type (or other) containers by automatic machinery. The caps must be firmly and correctly installed on the containers to avoid leakage or even loss of a loose cap through improper capping operation. Of course, the cap or valve must also be placed in a fully closed or off position after it has been installed on a container to avoid loss or spoilage in handling.
it is an object of my invention to provide a permanently assembled cap or valve of the rotatable type on a container for dispensing fluids or finely divided solids therefrom, and which cap or valve can be easily operated to definite open and closed positions.
Another object of my invention is to provide a rotatable type cap and container combination in whi h the structure of the container cooperatively engages the structure of the cap to produce a positive action dispensing valve for the container.
Another object of the invention is to provide an accurately opening and closing rotatable type valve for a container, and which valve is free from any undesirable leakage in either the open or closed position.
A further object of this invention is to provide a cap and container having cooperative structure for establishing and producing correctly and permanently installed caps or valves on the containers by automatic capping machinery.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a valve and container having cooperative structure wherel atented Jan. 21, 1%54 2 by automatic capping machinery can cap the container with the valve without any likelihood of mishap, and set the same to a closed or off condition.
Another object of my invention is to provide simple and extremely effective cooperative structure in a cap and container combination whereby the cap can be installed with certainty on the container by automatic machinery, to produce a dispensing valve having definite open and closed positions.
My invention possesses other objects and advantages which will be made apparent in the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, and the invention will be more fully understood by reading the description with joint reference to the attached drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective of a preferred cooperative structure of a cap or valve and its corresponding container;
FIGURE 2 is a drawing of a sectional view of a cap or valve installed on the neck or spout of a cooperative container, the section being taken on a central plane which is perpendicular to the plane of the paper as viewed in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the cap taken along the line 3-3 as indicated in FIGURE 2, with the container omitted;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the cap and container taken along the line 4-4 as indicated in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a View similar to the one shown in FIG- URE 4 except that the cap has been rotated from an open position to a fully closed position; and
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged, sectional view of an inlet flow channel of the container connecting with the outlet passageway in the cap and taken along the line 6-6 as indicated in FIGURE 2.
Generally, my invention comprises a container and dispensing cap or valve combination in which the valve is of the rotatable type and the container has a generally cylindrical spout that cooperatively engages the valve. The spout includes a protruding lock ring near the lower end thereof for permanently engaging a cooperating groove in the valve, an inlet flow channel formed in the wall of the spout and communicating with the interior of the container, and a helically sloping, protruding runner partially encircling the outer surface of the spout near the upper end thereof, for assuring correct installation of the valve by automatic machinery, and providing definite and distinct open and closed positions of the valve thereafter.
A perspective, partially sectional view of a preferred embodiment of my invention is shown in FIGURE 1. A dispenser cap or valve Iii is to be fitted by machine onto the neck or spout '12. of a container 14. The dispenser cap or valve 10 is preferably conventionally molded as a unitary structure and can be made of a slightly deformable, chemically resistant plastic. The container =14 is also preferably a molded, unitary structure of the squeezable plastic type which is normally filled with a relatively viscous fluid. Of course, my invention is not limited to the use of such relatively viscous fluids, but can be used with very light fluids or granular solids. Further, the container 14- can be a rigid glass or metallic bottle.
The dispenser cap lit comprises a housing 16 having a slightly flaring, outer cylindrical surface 18 and a conically shaped dome 2t) converging into a nozzle 22 at the top. The outer surface 18 of the housing 1.6 can he vertically knurled or fluted, if desired, to provide an easily manually turnable housing 16. The housing 16 has an inner cylindrical surface 24 which is generally vertical and does not flare in any direction. The inner housing surface 24 has an annular groove 26 molded near and around the lower edge of the inner surface 24. The groove 26 has a substantiall triangular, flat base cross-section or outlin While a triangular groove 26 has been illustrated, the groove can just as well have a rectangular, right-angled cross-section or other outline to provide a small amount of clearance in the up ward direction for the snap-on lock rin' 66 during capping operation.
As can be seen in FlGURE 3, the housing 16 includes a pendent, cylindrical sleeve 23 having inner and outer surfaces and 32 which are preferably parallel to the inner cylindrical surface The cylindrical sleeve 26 is concentri with the inner surface 24 of the housing 1, as clearly shown in FIGURE 4.
The cylindrical core or sleeve 22 joins with a flat ceiling 34, as illustrated in FIGURE 3. In the annular space on ceiling 34 etween surfaces 32 and 2 4, a semicircular cross-section head 36 closely encircles the surface 32. An edge of the head 36 is almost contiguous with the surface 32 at the point where the surface 32 meets the ceiling 34. The diameter of the head 36 is nearly equal to the thickness of the top lip surface 33 of the spout 12, as shown in FIGURE 2. The head 35 forms a seal with the flat lip surface 315- (FIGURE 4) as will be described in more detail later.
An orifice 41; is provided in the sleeve 28 as indicated in FIGURE 1. This orifice 4% forms one end of a passageway 42 which terminates in another orifice 44 at the end of the nozzle 22. The overall length and path of the passageway s2 can be more clearly seen in FlGURES 2, 3, 4 and 6. The passageway 42 runs centrally down the n .azle 22 and dome 2%, through an inner passage housing '56 which is integrally connected on one side with the inner surface 3% of sleeve 23-, and makes a right angle turn therein to terminate with the orifice 4t Contiguous and protruding from a point on the ceiling 34 and inner surface 2 4 is a stop 43 as shown in FIG- URES l, 2, 4 and 5. The stop 42% protrudes from the inner surface 24 inwardly a short distance to end almost tangent to the outer peripher of the head as (FlGURES 2, 4 and 5). The vertical surface 40 of the stop 48 is substantially tangent and parallel to the cylindrical outer surface 52 of the neck or spout 12 (FIGURE 2). The stop 48 also extends downwardly as indicated in FIGURE 2, the vertical length of the stop 43 being long enough so that the sides of the stop 48 can engage both ends of a half turn runner 54 integrally molded on the neck or spout =12 of the container 14, when the dispenser cap has been correctly installed.
The half turn runner 54 is shown more fully in FI URES l, 4 and 5. The runner 54 has a triangular crosssection (FIGURE 1) and has an upper fiat surface 56 (FIGURES 4 and 5). The runner 54 is approximately a half turn in length and starts from an upper end 58 circling helically (FIGURES l and 2) approximately a half turn on the outer cylindrical surface 52 of the neck or spout 12, to terminate at a lo; er end 62. The inner cylindrical surface 64 of the neck or spout 12 has a diameter which is equal to the diameter of the outer surface 32 of the sleeve 28. This is to provide a very close tit of the sleeve 28 in the neck or spout 12 when the dispenser cap ll? is installed thereon.
A snap-on lock ring 66 is also integrally molded on the lower portion of the neck or spout 12, as shown in FIGURES l and 2. The ring 65 has a triangular crosssection and has a lower flat surface 68 (FIGURE 2). The ring is almost a full turn in length; however, the ring 56 is separated at ends 7i} and 72 by a protruding inlet flow channel or groove 74- which communicates with the orifice 4% when the cap it} has been installed on the neck or spout l2, and the cap 16 is placed in an open position to discharge fluid as shown in FIGURE 6.
As has been mentioned previously, the dispensing cap 29 is normally preferably installed on the neck or spout 12 of the container 14 by automatic machinery. The containers are all uniformly oriented and moved in assets all
sembly line fashion, and the caps are individually pressed downwards and simultaneously rotated approximately a full turn on the neck or spout of each of the respective containers by the machinery. Each cap 19 is oriented so that as the cap is moved downwards and rotated, the stop 48 initially engages the runner 54 near the upper end 58 of the runner and follows it on past the lower end d2 thereof, when the stop 43 drops off the runner 54 and forces the lower edge of the housing 16 past the snap-on lock ring 6t, until the lower flat surface as thereof enters the groove 2:5. Hence, the shape of the lock ring 6-6 affords an arrangement whereby the effort required to deform the ring for installation purposes is much less than that required to deform the ring for removal of the cap 10.
The cap 16 is turning continuously because of the mode of operation of the capping machinery, and is further rotated after the ring as is in the groove 26, until the stop 48 engages the upper end 53 of the runner 54-. The turning mechanism of the automatic machinery then slips when the stop 4% is solidly blocked. It is to be noted that the capping operation and actions described are performed by standard and conventional capping machinery.
The major force of the machinery is in the downward direction and the rotary force is applied to assist in the capping operation and to rotate the cap 10 to a fully closed position wherein a maximum distance between orifice ill and inlet channel 74 is obtained. As the ring 66 is pressed into the groove 26, the head 36 is also compressed against the fiat lip surface 38 of the neck or spout 12 to provide a seal (FIGURE 2). This seal is not mandatory because of the very close fit normally provided between the inner surface 64 of the neck or spout l2 and the outer surface 32 of the sleeve 23.
Thus, a cap or valve which can be firmly and properly installed by conventional automatic capping machinery on the neck or spout of a cooperating container is provided wherein the valve has definite open and closed positions. The runner 54 on the neck or spout 12 serves to guide the automatic machinery by aiding cap rotation and gradually lowering the cap until it is moving smoothly, and then it is dropped suddenly to force a lock ring -55 on the container neck or spout 12 into the groove 26 inside the cap housing 16. The cap is continuously turned and st ps rotating when it is brought to a fully closed position. The cap is thus permanently assembled onto the container. After installation of the cap, the ends of the runner 54- define the fully open and fully closed positions of the cap. Leakage is doubly prevented by the very close fit etween the surface of cylindrical sleeve 28 and the inner surface of the neck or spout 12 of the container, and the seal formed by head 35 held against the flat lip surface 33 of the neck or spout.
For a given position of orifice 4% on sleeve 28 as shown in FIGURE 1, the runner 54 and stop 48 must be relatively positioned circumferentially so that when the right side (as seen in FIGURE 1) of stop 43 engages the lower end 52 of the runner 54, the orifice 46 is aligned and in register with inlet channel 74 to provide a fully open condition. When the valve is rotated left until the left side of stop 48 engages the upper end 58 of the runner 54, the orifice 4% is at a maximum (circumferential) distance from the inlet channel 74 so that the valve is in a fully closed position. Of course, the valve is closed to prevent fluid flow any time that the orifice .9 is rotated clearly out of alignment and registry with channel 74. A fully open condition is established when the valve is halted in the right direction, and a fully closed condition is established when it is halted in the left direction.
It should be apparent from the foregoing description that there is thus provided a device which possesses the particular features of advantage before enumerated as desirable. It is also to be understood, however, that the particular embodiment of my invention described above and shown in the drawings is merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that various changes in design, structure and arrangement may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. In combination, a container including a cylindrical outlet spout having a protruding lock ring near the lower end thereof, an inlet flow channel formed in the wall of said spout and communicating with the interior of said container, and a helically sloping, protruding runner encircling a portion of said spout near the upper end thereof; and a dispensing valve including a valve housing having a generally cylindrical outer surface, a cylindrical inner surface, a dome surface converging from the top of said outer surface into a nozzle, an inner roof surface, a ring groove near the lower end of said inner surface for normally engaging said lock ring, a cylindrical sleeve concentric with and spaced from said inner surface and pendent from said roof, said spout normally fitting closely over said cylindrical sleeve and spaced from said inner surface, an inner passage housing within said sleeve and connected on one side with a portion thereof, a passageway in said inner passage housing connecting a nozzle orifice and a sleeve orifice, and a stop pendent from said roof surface and protruding from said inner surface to a point close to said spout normally fitting closely over said sleeve, the lower end of said stop riding on said runner during initial installation operation of said dispensing valve and the sides of said stop engaging the ends of said runner respectively in open and closed positions of said dispensing valve after complete installation thereof on said spout, said inlet channel communicating with said sleeve orifice when said dispensing valve is in the open position and sealed therefrom when said dispensing valve is rotated to the closed position whereby said sleeve orifice is moved out of communication with said inlet channel.
2. The combination as defined in claim 1 including, in addition, a hemispherical cross-section head on said roof concentrically encircling said sleeve and engaging the upper lip of said spout when said dispensing valve is installed on said spout, to form a secondary seal.
3. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said runner helically covers a distance of nearly a half ring about said spout, whereby said sleeve orifice can be located a maximum distance from said inlet channel when said dispensing valve is placed in the closed position.
4. In a container md dispensing valve combination, a container having a generally cylindrical spout including a protruding lock ring near the lower end thereof for engaging a substantially close fitting cooperating groove in said valve said groove constraining said lock ring against upward and downward vertical movement, an inlet flow channel formed in the side wall of said spout and communicating directly with the interior of said container for supplying contents of said container to said valve a stop member in said valve, and a helically sloping, protruding runner partially encircling a portion of said spout near the upper end thereof for aiding correct installation of said valve, the ends of said runner providing limit stops which together with said stop member define distinct open and closed positions of said valve.
5. The combination as defined in claim 4 in which said lock ring is formed with a triangular cross-section having a generally fiat lower surface whereby said cooperating groove is positively and firmly engaged thereby and great er force is required to disengage said lock ring from said groove than is required to bring about engagement therebetween.
6. The combination as defined in claim 4 in which said runner is formed with a triangular cross-section having a generally flat upper surface whereby said stop member in said valve can ride smoothly and firmly thereon during initial installation operation of said dispensing valve.
7. In a container and dispensing valve combination, a dispensing valve having a valve housing including a generally cylindrical outer surface, a cylindrical inner surface, an upper surface converging from the top of said outer surface into a nozzle, an inner roof surface, a ring groove near the lower end of said inner surface, said ring groove having a cross-section presenting a generally fiat lower surface for positively and firmly engaging a triangular lock ring on said container, a cylindrical sleeve concentric with and spaced from said inner surface and pendent from said roof, an inner passage housing Within said sleeve and connected on one side with a portion thereof, a passageway in said inner passage housing connecting a nozzle orifice and a sleeve orifice, and a stop pendent from said roof surface and protruding from said inner surface to a point spaced apart from said sleeve.
8. In a container and dispensing valve combination, a container having a generally cylindrical spout for engaging said valve, a stop member in said valve, and a helically sloping, protruding runner partially encircling the outer surface of said spout near the upper end thereof, for aiding correct installation of said valve, the opposite ends of said runner providing limit stops which together with said stop member define definite and distinct open and closed positions of said valve.
References (Iited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,046,934 Bourland July 7, 1936 2,762,537 Reinhardt Sept. 11, 1956 2,783,919 Ansell Mar. 5, 1957 2,868,422 Feler et a1. Jan. 13, 1959 2,872,082 Neugebauer Feb. 3, 1959 2,886,219 Van Baarn May 12, 1959 2,966,286 Moran Dec. 27, 1960 3,009,610 Kubiliunas Nov. 21, 1961