US 3120348 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 4, 1964 w. R. ODONNELL 3,120,343
PLASTIC SPRAYER CONSTRUCTION FOR AEROSOL DEVICES Filed Sept. 27, 1962 Q A O 2 Q.
1 Zia/7; 1P Upon/m /Z United States Patent 3,120,348 PLASTIC SPRAYER CONSTRUCTION FOR AEROSOL DEVICES William R. ODonnell, Trumbull, Conn., assignor to Valve Corporation of America, Bridgeport, Conn., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 27, 1962, Ser. No. 226,698 Claims. (61. 239-490) This invention relates to small aerosol devices of the type intended to be held in the hand when operated, and more particularly to the orifice and sprayer construction of such devices.
An object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved plastic sprayer and orifice construction for aerosol devices of the kind identified, wherein an effective breaking-up of the discharging aerosol stream is had to the end that a fine spray or mist is produced and discharged into the atmosphere at the orifice.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved orifice construction as above set forth, which may be readily fabricated entirely of plastic substance to eliminate corrosive or like action by the aerosol substance and/ or contamination of the latter.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved orifice construction in accordance with the foregoing, which provides an effective spray independently of any discrete expansion chambers or the like.
An additional object of the invention is to provide an improved plastic orifice constnlction which involves relatively few parts and which may be economically fabricated and assembled.
A feature of the invention resides in the provision of a plastic spray nozzle having a molded orifice insert memher :or disk intended to be assembled to a spray head, wherein the disk is symmetrical about a central plane and is insertable in the spray head in either of two re verse positions without adversely affecting its operability, thereby greatly facilitating the magazine or automatic assembly of the piece by virtue of the orientation of the same being non-critical.
Another feature of the invention resides in the provision of a reversibly positionable insert orifice disk as above outlined, wherein an advantageous swirling or rotary movement is imparted to the areosol substance, thereby to facilitate the breaking up of the discharge stream into fine, widely and uniformly dispersed droplets or particles.
Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.
In the drawings accompanying this specification, similar characters of reference are used to designate like components wherever possible throughout the several views, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary axial sectional view of an aerosol spray head and orifice construction as provided by the invention, the illustration being made on a greatly enlarged scale.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of the orifice portion of the spray head, shown still further enlarged.
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the plastic insert disk per se constituting the orifice member of the construction.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through a spray head and orifice member as provided by the invention and illustrating another embodiment thereof.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through a spray head and orifice made in accordance with the invention, illustrating still another embodiment thereof.
Referring first to FIGS. l-3, there is shown a molded plastic spray head designated generally by the numeral 10, said spray head having :a substantially horizontal discharge channel 12 through which the aerosol substance passes. At its center and interior, the head 10 has a depending hollow boss 14 the bore of which communicates with the discharge channel 12. The boss 14 has a chamfered or bevelled mouth portion 116 adapted to guide a vertically movable valve stem 18 whereby the upper extremity of the latter may be inserted and fiictionally retained in the hollow depending boss 14.
The spray head 10 has an upwardly extending discharge portion 20 provided with an exposed cavity 22 in its face, the said cavity in accordance with the invention having a rim 24 of rounded cross section and reduced diameter at its month, which constitutes a detent means. The provision of the annular rim 24 results in the formation of an annular peripheral undercut area 26 in the cavity '2, as clearly seen in FIG. 2.
A lower peripheral portion of the cavity 22 meets and communicates with the discharge channel 12, said cavity having a fiat bottom surface 28 which is of circular configuration if the cavity is formed to have a circular shape.
With the above construction, aerosol substance under pressure which is being discharged through the bore 30 of the valve stem 18 passes through the discharge channel 12 and enters the cavity 22. In aerosol devices of the type commonly utilized at the present time, such discharge of aerosol substance is effected by a downward movement of the valve stem 18, the latter being the result of downward pressure applied to the spray head 10.
-In accordance with the present invention, in conjunction with the plastic spray head construction as above set forth there is provided a novel combination comprising further an orifice disk 32, FIGS. l-3, which is also fabricated of molded plastic substance, the said disk having opposite parallel outer and inner faces 34 and 36 respectively, the latter of which is engaged with the flat bottom surface 28 of the cavity 22. The orifice disk 32, in accordance with the invention, is made to be symmetrical about a central plane disposed midway between and parallel to the opposite faces 34 and 36. This symmetry is especially essential, in accordance with the invention, as regards the two faces 34, 36 and a centrally located peripheral rounded bead 38 which is disposed midway between the faces and which is adapted to occupy the undercut area 26 of the cavity 22 for the purpose of retaining the orifice disk 32 therein. Preferably the symmetry of the disk 32 with respect to said central plane is carried out fully in connection with other surface configurations, although this latter is not absolutely essential for the proper operation and functioning of the orifice.
As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the provision of the rounded bead 38 extending peripherally of the disk 32 results in annular shoulders 42 and 44 on opposite sides of the bead 3'8 and adjacent respectively the outer and inner faces 34, 36. g
By virtue of the provision of the annular shoulders 42 and 44 engagement is had between side surfaces of the annular head 38 on the disk and the rounded rim portion 24 of the spray head in such a manner that the disk is securely retained in place in the cavity 22. Also, an annular cavity or space 48 exists between the bead 38 of the disk and the flat bottom surface 28 of the cavity at the peripheral portion of such surface, the said annular area communicating with the discharge channel 12 of the spray head, The rounded rim 24 of the spray head further may effect engagement with the outer shoulder 42 of the orifice disk 32. With such construction an interlocking engagement is had been the orifice disk and the portions of the spray head defining the cavity 22 whereby the disk is securely retained and locked in its operative position.
Further, in accordance with the invention the orifice disk 32 has a central through opening 50 constituting an orifice and extending between the opposite flat faces 34, 36 of the disk. Additionally, each of the faces 34, 36 has a plurality of grooves 54 and 55 respectively, extending from the disk periphery to the central orifice opening 50. The grooves 56 disposed adjacent the flat bottom surface 28 of the cavity 22 communicate with the annular space 48, which in turn is in communication with the discharge channel 12. Accordingly, with the construction as thus set forth, the discharging aerosol substance passing upward through the valve stem 18 and through the discharge channel 12 flows from the latter to the grooves 56 and thence inward to the orifice opening 50, from which it passes outward through the said orifice in the form of a fine spray or mist.
Further, in accordance with the invention, the orifice disk 32 is provided with oppositely located central recesses S and 60, such recesses being located at the ends of the central opening or orifice 5t and providing clearance for the passage of aerosol substance both at the bottom cavity surface 28 and also at the exposed face 34 of the disk.
As shown in FIG. 3, the grooves 54 and 56 disposed in the faces 34, 36 extend substantially radially and slightly to one side of the center of the disk 32. By such organization a swirling or rotary movement is imparted to the aerosol substance which is being discharged from the orifice opening 50 of the disk. This results in a more complete breaking up of the liquid comprising the aerosol substance whereby the latter is widely and uniformly dispersed as fine droplets or particles.
By virture of the symmetry of the orifice disk 32 with respect to a central plane passing through the annular bead 38 in parallelism with the surfaces 34, 36, it is seen to be immaterial if the position of the disk in the cavity 22 should by accident be reversed whereby the faces 34 and 36 are interchanged, as well as the grooves 54 and 56. For either the illustrated placement of the orifice disk 32 or else a reverse placement of such disk, the same discharge and dispersion action of the disk will occur, whereby the spray which. issues from the spray head will not be altered. Accordingly, the illustrated construction of the disk makes it possible to readily utilize a magazine or automatic assembly of such piece into the spray head since the orientation is non-critical.
Referring to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the plane which contains the cavity 22 of the spray head is inclined with respect to the vertical, whereby the spray issuing from the orifice will have a downward d-irection. Similar constructions may be employed to provide a spray which issues generally in a horizontal direction, as well as a spray which issues in an upward direction.
A constructon providing for a horizontal direction of spray is illustrated in FIG. 4. In this figure, the spray head 100 has a circular cavity 22a in which there is contained an orifice disk 32a similar to the disk 32 described above. The discharge channel 12a of the spray head 10a is shown as being located at right angles to the plane of the cavity 22a, such plane being vertically disposed. Accordingly, the spray which issues from the orifice disk 32a will generally have a horizontal direction, since the disk 32a is placed vertically.
In FIG. 5 the spray head 10b having the discharge channel 12b is provided with a cavity 22b which slopes with respect to the vertical in such a manner that the plane of the cavity makes an acute angle with the discharge channel 12b. The orifice disk 32b contained in the cavity 22b is similar to the disks 32a and 32 set forth above. By virtue of the tilted disposition of the disk 32b the spray which issues from the orifice opening of such disk will have an upward direction, as may now be readily understood.
The spray head 10 and the orifice disk 32 are separately fabricated of molded semi-rigid or somewhat flexible plastic substance in separate operations, and are assembled after completion of the fabrication of the individual pieces. The assembly consists in pressing the orifice disk 32 fully into the cavity 22 of the spray head 10 during which yielding of the engaging walls occurs. Such assembly may be readily carried out using magazine feed means and automatic assembly equipment. Since there is symmetry of the orifice disk 32 it is immaterial which face of the disk is placed innermost and which is placed outermost. Thus, no special problems are involved in the automatic assembly of the disk, from the standpoint of its orientation in the cavity 22.
It will be seen from the foregoing that I have provided a novel and improved plastic sprayer orifice construction for a small hand-held aerosol device, which has a number of desirable features and advantages. The construction is such that an effective breaking-up of the discharging aerosol stream is had, producing a fine spray or mist at the exterior of the spray head. Further, the orifice and spray head construction may be readily fabricated entirely of plastic substance, thereby to eliminate corrosive or like action by the aerosol substance and/ or contamination of the latter.
The spray which issues from the orifice disk, in each of the embodiments of the invention, is desirably uniform and consists of widely dispersed fine droplets, this being effected in spite of the absence of any discrete expansion chambers of appreciable size ahead of the orifice disk. The disk has a mechanical breakup action by virtue of the particular construction involved, which eifects an abrupt change of direction of the discharging aerosol substance and also the imparting of a swirling or rotary movement to the same. The spray head construction is seen to involve relatively few parts, which may be economically fabricated and assembled.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvement may be used without others.
1. A plastic, spray orifice construction for a small, hand-held aerosol device comprising, in combination:
(a) a molded plastic spray head having a discharge channel through which the aerosol substance passes, and having an exposed cavity in its face and a rim of rounded cross section and reduced diameter con stituting a detent at the mouth of said cavity, said rim resulting in the formation of an annular peripheral undercut area in the cavity, said cavity communicating with the said channel and having otherwise a flat, smooth and unbroken bottom surface,
(b) a stream-breaking molded plastic orifice disk disposed in the cavity and having opposite parallel faces one of which is engaged with the flat bottom surface of the cavity, said disk having a central through opening constituting an orifice and extending from one face to the other, having in each face a plurality of grooves extending from the disk periphery to the said orifice, and
(c) said disk further having a peripheral, rounded an nular bead disposed midway between its opposite faces and occupying the said undercut area of the cavity to retain the disk therein, and having an annular shoulder at each side of the head, there being an annular space located between the said bead and bottom cavity surface of the head and communicating with the grooves of the said one disk face and also with the said discharge channel of the head whereby the aerosol substance to be sprayed passes from the channel through the annular spaces and thence through the grooves and out at the orifice, said disk being substantially symmetrical about a median plane parallel to and equi-spaced from the opposite sides and passing through the said bead,
whereby the disk may be reversed in the cavity without altering the spray.
2. An onifice construction as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) the grooves extend substantially radially and slight- 1y to one side of the center of the disk.
3. An orifice construction as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) the disk has central recesses in its opposite faces, located at the ends of the said through opening, said recesses providing clearance for the passage of the aerosol substance both at the bottom cavity surface 10 and also at the exposed face of the disk.
4. An orifice construction as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) the rim of reduced diameter of the spray head engages the outer one of the annular shoulders of the disk and also the annular head of the disk to 15 effect a secure positioning of the latter.
5. An orifice construction as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) the cavity in the spray head is circular, and
(b) the discharge channel opens into a peripheral portion of the cavity.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Hewlett Aug. 2, 1932 Brierly et a1. Feb. 24, 1942 Gerrer Jan. 12, 1943 Venus Oct. 16, 1956 Payne Oct. 7, 1958 Meador July 26, 1960 Goyette et al. June 6, 1961