US 3154224 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 27, 1964 A. WAKEMAN VALVE ACTUATOR FOR PRESSURIZED PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 15, 1962 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,154,224 srvn AtITUATGR non rnnssumann r nounce Alfred Walreman, Durham, (Iona, assign-or to The l iisdon Manufacturing Company, Naugatuclr, (Iona, a corporation of Connecticut Filed Nov. 15, ar. No. 237,8tl4 3 Claims. (Cl. 222-394) The invention relates to actuators for aerosol valves used in pressurized packages for the dispensing of an active ingredient under the pressure of a gaseous propellant. More specifically, the invention relates to an improved aerosol valve actuator adapted to be selfsealing, that is, having provision for automatica ly closing off from the atmosphere the discharge orifice in the actuator except during those periods when the package is in use.
In relatively recent years a great many products have come to be sold in pressurized packages in which an active ingredient, usually a liquid, is discharged from a container under the superatrnospheric pressure of a gaseous propellant within the container. Control of the discharge of the active ingredient is had by means of a valve ordinarily mounted at the mouth of the container or" the package. Actuation of the valve is efiected by an actuator which serves as a convenient device for operating the valve and which contains the discharge orifice through which the act ve ingredient is dispensed.
This type of product packaging has many recognized advantages. However, despite the continually increasing number of products being marketed in pressurized packages, there has been heretofore a large number of products which could not be marketed in this manner. These products have included those, which for one reason or another, would either clog the discharge orifice and passageways in the actuator upon exposure to the atmosphere, or which were of such a nature that prolonged exposure to air would adversely affect their quality or other physical characteristics.
The difiiculty arises from the fact that in the usual arrangement of the pressurized packake there is a substantial distance betwen the point of cut-oft at the valve and the discharge orifice in the actuator. As a result, the passageways connecting these points, through which the active ingredient must pass, are constantly exposed to the atmosphere. Inasmuch as there is always some residue of active ingredient left within these passageways after each use of the package any product which includes a nonvolatile substance will eventually clog these passag ways and will prevent further dispensing of the product from the package. At the same time any product which will be adversely allected by exposure to the atmosphere will have the residue in these passages so affected and the contaminated residue will be dispensed upon subsequent usage of the package.
Accordingly, the invention has for its object the development of a self-sealing actuator for aerosol valves that will seal off from the general atmosphere the discharge orifice in the actuator and the passageways between the valve and the orifice without in any way interfering with the normal actuation of the valve. It is a further object of the invention to accomplish the sealing oil of the orifice and passageways in an automatic manner so as not to require any action on the part of the user or" the package.
The above-mentioned objectives are achieved by the present invention which briefly, and in general, comprises an actuator having a main body portion that is mounted on the valve stem of the valve for the pressurized package. A discharge orifice is provided in the main body portion as well as passages communicating the orifices with the valve 3,l5i,224 l atented @ct. 2'2, 1964 stem to provide for the flow of active ingredient. A closure device associated with the main body portion normally closes oil the discharge orifice from the atmosphere. The closure device may be mounted on the main body portion or closely adjacent thereto. Closing oil of the orifice may take place at the orifice, as in the preerred form of the invention, or may take place at a point spaced from the orifice. This latter arrangement will, in the case of many products, be satisfactory as long as the volume between the point of closure and the orifice is small enough that the atmosphere therein is not too drying.
The closure device is movable relative to the main body portion to open the discharge orifice to the atmosphere. Opening movement of the closure device is made to respond to the application or" a force in the same direction required to actuate the valve. Thus, if the actuator is to be used with a tilt-action valve, opening movement of the closure device is effected by a force that also tilts the valve. If the actuator is to be used with a vertically actuated valve, opening movement of the closure device is efiected by a force that also depresses the valve. As a result of tins arrangement the closure device for the discharge orifice is opened by the same stroke which the user of the package employs to open the valve. In this way opening of the closure is insured whenever the package is in use without, in any Way, adding to the normal procedure of using the package.
The closure device for the actuator is also adapated to automatically seal oi? the discharge orifice in the main body portion whenever the package is not in use. To this end the closure device is so constructed as to auto matically close oil the discharge orifice when the opening force is withdrawn. In tlr's way sealing of the package is automatic without the necessity for any action on the part of the user other than the normal Withdrawal of his fin er from the valve actuator.
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. From what has been said above it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the principles and advantages of the invention could be obtained in other forms of the invention not shown herein. The accompanying drawings and :1 e 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, and constructions which are the lawful equivalents of those defined by such claims, should be considered for that purpose.
Gf the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pressurized package employing a valve actuator constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial, sectional View in side elevation through the pressurized package of FIG. 1 showing the parts in their non-actuated condition; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional View similar to FIG. 2 showing the parts in an actuated condition.
Referring first to FIG. 1 there is shown a pressurized paclrage that comprises a container 12, a valve 14, secured in the mouth of the container by a metal cap 16 at the upper lip of the container 12 and a valve actuator 38 that is mounted on the end of th valve stem Zil for the valve 14.
The container 12, which may be made from glass as shown or from metal, plastic or any other suitable material, is filled with active ingredient 22 in liquid form and with a gaseous propellant that fills the head space 24 in the container. As will be best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 the opening 25 at the upper end of the container 12 is closed oif 0, r a by an annular gasket 28 which seats on the upper surface 3% of the lip 32 of the container and the annular flange 36 of a generally cup-shaped valve body so tnat extends through and rests upon the annular gasket A second or upper gasket 38 is disposed on the upper surface of the flange 36 and has a central opening 43 througi whicl'i extends the valve stem 2%). The soft metal cap 16 closes the valve and gasket structure and is crimped over the lip 32 of the container 12 so as to compress the gaskets 23 and 33 into sealing engagement with their associated structures to prevent the escape of any fiuid product between the flange 36 and the lip 32 of the container and between the valve body 34 and the valve stem 2%.
The fluid product 22 in the container 12 is conveyed to the valve 14 by a dip tube 42 which is frictionally mounted at one end of the outer periphery of a tubular tail piece 44 that depends from the cup-shaped portion of the valve body 34. The other end of the clip tube 42 is disposed closely adjacent the bottom of the container 12. Tail piece 44 has an inlet opening 46 which communicates the dip tube 42 with the internal chamber formed by the cup-shaped valve body 34.
Valve stem 20 has an internal passageway 59 that com- 'municates by means of ports 52 with a peripheral groove 54 formed at the lower end of the valve stem In the normal nonactuating position of the actuator 13, the groove 54 is sealed off from the chamber 43 by th gasket 38. If, however, the valve stem 26 is tilted, the groove 54 will be communicated with chamber 48 by reason of the clearance between the valve stem 2% and thev gasket 33 provided by the tilting of the valve stem. (See PEG. 3.) Fluid product 22 will then flow from the chamber 43 outwardly into the passageway 50 in the valve stem 26.
Valve actuator 18 has a main body portion 56 that is provided with a recess 58. The recess 58 receives the valve stem 20 and serves to mount the actuator 18 thereon. At the innerend of the recess 58 there is a chamber 6% which communcates with a discharge orifice 62 by means of a passageway 64. By reason of the passageway 50 in the valve stem 20 and the chamber. d9, passageway 64 and orifice 62 in the main body portion 56 the liquid product 22 passing through the valve is able to flow to the atmosphere.
An elongated cap 66 is pivotally connected to the main body portion 56 by means of a pin 68 fixed in the main body portion at a point adjacent the recess 58. The ends of the pin 68. are rotatably secured to the sides of the elongated cap 66 which is shaped to fit closely over the main body portion 56. A sealing portion 741 is provided at one end of the cap to fit over and close ott the discharge orifice 62 in the main body portion 56 of the actuator 13 while the opposite end of the cap 66 is shaped to form a finger portion '72 to be pressed by the user of the package during use. Inasmuch as the valve shown in this instance is of the so-called toggle type wherein actuation occurs upon a tilting of the valve, the finger portion 72 is spaced from the pivot pin 68 to one side of the valve 14 so that a downward force applied to the finger portion will bring the portion 72 into contact with the surface 73 on the main body portion 56 and pivot the sealing portion 7% of the cap 66 laterally out of the way or" the discharge orifice 62. This tilts the valve stem 2% and opens the valve 14 as is shown in FIG. 3. A leaf spring '74 is fixed to the main body portion 56 but has an upstanding end 76 that engages the finger portion '72 to normally pivot the elongated cap 66 to its orifice closing position. When the user withdraws the downward pressure on the finger portion '72, the
4. spring 74 automatically returns the cap es to its sealing position.
By this arrangement the discharge orifice 62, passageway 64, chamber 66 and passageway 5d are sealed off from the atmosphere except during the periods when the package is in use. Accordingly, the self-sealing actuator 13 makes it possible to dispense products having nonvolatile substances which would otherwise dry up and clog these passages as well as other products which would be adversely attected by exposure to air. Since the sealing portion '70 of cap on prevents any air from entering the passages between the valve and the discharge orifice, the residue of fluid product left therein after each use will be protected against contamination or drying out.
What is claimed is:
1. A self-sealing actuator for an aerosol valve of the type used in pressurized packages for the dispensing of an active ingredient under the pressure of a gaseous propellant, said actuator comprising (a) a main body portion having a recess formed therein to receive the valve stem for an aerosol valve whereby said actuator may be mounted on the valve,
(12) said main body portion having a discharge orifice and passageway therein communicating with the recess for the valve stem so as to permit the flow of active ingredient therethrough,
(c) closure means pivotally mounted on the main body portion normally disposed to close otf the discharge orifice at said orifice from the atmosphere,
(d) said closure means being pivotable with respect to the main body portion to expose the discharge orifice to the atmosphere,
(e) said opening movement of the closure means being effected by the application of a force on the closure means in a direction that also serves to cause the actuator to open the valve whereby said closure means and valve may both be actuated with the same stroke by the user of the package, and
( means for pivoting the closure means to its normal orifice closing position upon the removal of said force from the closure means.
2. A self-sealing actuator as set forth in claim 1 wherein said closure means comprise an elongated cap having a sealing portion fitting over said discharge orifice, said elongated cap being pivotally connected to the main body portion adjacent the recess therein, and a finger portion on said cap spaced from the pivotal connection with the main body portion and adapted to be downwardly pressed by the user of the package whereby said downward pressure creates a turning movement that serves to tilt the valve stem in the recess in the main body portion.
3. A self-sealing actuator as set forth in claim 2 wherein said main body portion has a resilient member engaging the elongated cap and constantly urging the cap toward an orifice closing position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,992,067 Gunn Feb. 19, 1935 2,272,798 Hacmac Feb. 10, 1942 2,312,380 Bernhardt Mar. 2, 1943 2,954,904 Potoczky Oct. 4, 1960 3,089,624 Micallef May 14, 1963 FOREIGN PATENTS 7 426,723 Italy Nov. 9, 1947