US 3146922 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 1, 1964 D. s. TUTTLE, JR
SEALING DEVICE FOR PRESSURIZED PACKAGE Filed Jan. 15 1963 2 sheets sheet 1 4/5 ATTORNEYS P 1, 1964 D. s. TUTTLE,IJR Q 3,146,922
SEALING DEVICE FOR PRESSURIZED PACKAGE Filed Jan. 15, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR 4/5 AT TORNEZYS United States Patent 3,146,922 SEALING DEVICE FOR PRESSURIZED PACKAGE Donald S. Tuttle, J12, Middlebury, C0nn., assignor to The Risdon Manufacturing Company, Naugatuck, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Jan. 15, 1963, Ser. No. 251,577 3 Claims. (Cl. 222394) The invention relates to valve actuators used on pressurized packages in which a product is dispensed from a container under the superatmospheric pressure of a gaseous propellant, control of the products discharge being had by means of a manually operable valve secured to the container. Specifically, the invention relates to an improved valve actuator for such pressurized packages that is adapted to be self-sealing, that is, having provision for automatically closing off from the atmosphere the discharge orifice in the actuator except during those periods when the package is in use.
A large number of products are now sold in pressurized packages wherein the product, usually in liquid form, is discharged from its container under the superatmospheric pressure of the gaseous propellant within the container. Discharge of the product is effected by the manual actuation of a valve ordinarily mounted in the mouth of the container of the package. Actuation of the valve is had by the user applying pressure to a valve actuator that serves as a convenient device for operating such nature that prolonged exposure to the atmosphere would adversely aifect their quality.
The difiiculty arises from the fact that in the usual pressurized package there is a substantial distance between the cut-olf point in the valve and the discharge orifice in the actuator. As a result, the passageways connecting these points are exposed to the atmosphere for long periods between successive uses of the package. Inasmuch as there is always some residue of product left within these passageways after each actuation of the valve, any product containing a nonvolatile ingredient that will dry out in the presence of air will clog these passageways and prevent any subsequent dispensing of the product. If the product is one that is adversely affected by prolonged exposure to the air, the residue of the product left in the passageways will become contaminated due to its exposure to the atmosphere and will be dispensed upon the next subsequent use of the package.
The present invention, accordingly, has for its object the development of a self-sealing actuator for pressurized packages that will seal off the discharge orifice and passageways in the value actuator from the atmosphere without in any way interfering with the normal actuation of the valve or use of the package.
Another object of the invention is to accomplish the sealing ofi of the orifice and passageways in the valve actuator in an automatic manner so as not to require specific action for this purpose on the part of the user.
A presently preferred form of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings and will be described in detail hereinafter for the purpose of illustrating one way in which the invention may be made and used. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the principles and advantages of the invention could be ob- 3,146,922 Patented Sept. 1,, 1964 tained in other forms of the invention not shown herein. The accompanying drawings and the description to follow are, accordingly, by way of example only and are not intended to define or restrict the scope of the invention. The claims appended hereto, together with their lawful equivalents, are relied upon for that purpose.
Of the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view in side elevation through a pressurized package showing the valve and valve actuator in their non-actuatedpositions; and
FIG. 2 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 1 showing the valve and valve actuator in their actuated positions.
In FIG. 1 there is shown the upper portion of a pres surized package equipped with a valve actuator made in accordance with the teachings of the invention. The package comprises a container 10 having an open mouth at its upper end, a valve assembly 12 that is mounted in the cap 14 which closes off the mouth of the container 10 and an actuator 16 for operating the valve to control the discharge of the product from the package.
The container 10, which in this instance is a metal can but which could just as well be a glass or plastic bottle, is partly filled with the product 18 to be dispensed. In most cases the product 18 is in liquid form as is shown in the drawings but the product may be in other physical states as desired. A gaseous propellant at a superatmospheric pressure fills the head space 20 in the container 10 above the liquid level of the product 18.
An opening or mouth 22 is provided at the upper end of the container 10 and this opening is closed off by a cup-shaped cap 14 which is secured to the container by crimping the edge 24 of the cap 14 onto the edge 26 of container 10. At the center of the well 28 of the cap 14, there is a raised boss 30 which serves as a housing for the control valve 12 for the package.
The control valve 12 comprises a generally tubular valve body 32 that has a thick flange 34 at its upper end that fits within the raised boss 30 of the cup-shaped cap 14. An internal chamber 36 is formed in the valve body 32 and a reciprocable valve stem 38 extends inwardly into the internal chamber 36 through an opening 40 provided in the top surface 42 of the boss 30. A spring 44 is positioned in the chamber 36 and the upper end thereof is inserted into an annular recess 46 formed in the lower part of the valve stem 38. The lower end of the spring 44 rests on a shoulder 48 formed in the bottom of the internal chamber 36. When the parts of the valve 12 are assembled the spring 44 is placed in compression and, as a result, constantly urges the valve stem 38 toward its outermost or non-actuating position. In this position an annular shoulder 50 formed on the valve stem 38 adjacent its mid-portion bears against the lower edge portions of an annular sealing gasket 52.
The sealing gasket 52 is relatively thick and the inner wall of the central opening 54 therein serves to seal off a lateral passageway 56 formed in the wall of the hollow upper end of the valve stem 38. The lateral passageway 56 in the valve stem 38 serves as the outlet port for the valve. When the valve stem 38 is moved inwardly sufliciently to dispose the passageway 56 below the gasket 52 the passageway 56 is placed in communication with the interior of the container 10 by means of the internal chamber 36, a constantly open inlet passageway 58 therefor formed in the tailpiece 60 of the valve body 32 and a hollow dip tube 62 that fits over the tailpiece 60 and extends downwardly into the product 13 to a point adjacent the bottom of the container 10 for the package.
Inward movement of the valve stem 38 to open the valve 12 is effected by inwardly depressing the body portion 64 of a valve actuator mounted on the upper end of the hollow valve stem 38. A recess 66 is provided in all the body of the actuator 64 and is adapted to fit over the end of the valve stem 33. A shoulder 68 in the recess 66 serves to limit the penetration of the valve stem. The recess 66 has a somewhat smaller extension 70 that communicates with the opening 72 in the hollow valve stem 38 and with a discharge orifice 74 in an outer surface 76 of the actuator body 64 through a small passageway 78.
As will be seen by reference to FIG. 1 a generally cylindrical closure 80 is provided around the actuator body 64. The closure 80 has a base portion 82 that fits over the raised boss 30 in the cap 14 and an upstanding body portion 84 that loosely encompasses the valve actuator body 64. While it is preferred to have the closure 80 substantially surround the actuator body 64, this is not essential to the invention. The purpose of the closure body 84 is to provide support for a sealing surface 88 that serves to close off the discharge orifice 74 in the body of the valve actuator 64 from the atmosphere. One feature of the invention is that the orifice bearing surface 76 on the valve actuator 64 and the orifice sealing surface 88 on the closure 80 are canted at an angle with respect to the direction of movement of the valve actuator body 64. By reason of this arrangement a quick, friction-free break of the sealing engagement is obtained as soon as the actuator 64 is slightly depressed.
The actuator body 64 is provided with a finger portion 90 that extends above the closure 80 through an opening 92 in the body 84 of the closure 80. To operate the package and dispense the product therein the user of the package places his finger on this portion 90 and presses the actuator 64 inwardly toward the container 10. This movement immediately breaks the seal between the sealing surface 88 on the closure and the surface 76 on the actuator bearing the discharge orifice 74. Further inward movement of the actuator 64 moves the discharge orifice 74 therein into alignment with a spray opening 94 formed in the closure body 84. By this time the valve actuator 64 has moved the valve stem 38 inwardly of the container to a point where the lateral passage 56 in the valve stem 38 lies inwardly of the sealing gasket 52. Fluid product 18 within the container 10 is then dispensed from the package by the superatmospheric pressure of the propellant in the head space which presses downwardly on the product 18 forcing some of it up the dip tube 62, through the inlet passageway 58 and internal chamber 36 and on out through the lateral passage 56, the hollow valve stem 38, the recess and the discharge orifice 74 and spray opening 94. As soon as the user releases his finger pressure on the valve actuator 64, the spring 44 in the internal chamber 36 returns the valve stem 38 and the actuator 64 to their outermost positions in which the discharge orifice 74 in the actuator 64 is sealed off from the atmosphere by the sealing surface 88 on the closure 80.
What is claimed is:
1. A self-sealing valve actuator for use in pressurized packages wherein a product is confined within a package under the pressure of a gaseous propellant and discharge of the product from the package is controlled by a valve mounted thereon, said valve actuator comprising:
a body portion movable in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the package and adapted to be mounted on the valve stem for the valve,
said body portion having a surface inclined With respect to the longitudinal axis of the package and a discharge orifice in said inclined surface in communication with the valve so as to permit the dispensing of the product therethrough whenever the valve is opened, and a stationary closure for the body portion fixed to the package and having a correspondingly inclined surface thereon for sealing engagement with the inclined surface on the body portion to close off the discharge orifice from the atmosphere,
said inclined surface being provided with an opening therein so positioned as to be in alignment with the discharge orifice in the body portion when the body portion is moved to its valveopening position.
2. A self-sealing valve actuator as set forth in claim 1 wherein said actuator body and closure are generally cylindrical in shape.
3. A self-sealing valve actuator as set forth in claim 2 wherein said actuator body has a finger portion extending above the closure.
Schlicksupp Feb. 10, 1953 Fooshee Nov. 10, 1953