US 3180374 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. E. MULLER COMBINED FILLING AND DISPENSING VALVE FOR April 27, 1965 CONTAINERS FOR COMPRESSED FLUIDS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 31, 1961 E M L mu WE N H O J AA-n3 AT RNEY April 27, 1965 J. E. MULLER COMBINED FILLING AND DISPENSING VALVE FOR CONTAINERS FOR COMPRESSED FLUIDS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 51, 1961 R E RL T H U N W N Em w l A N H O J B United States Patent Ofi hifififi'i Patented Apr. 27, 1965 ice COMBINED FILLING Ahil) DISPENSING VALVE FOR CQNTAINERS FOR COMPRESSED FLUIDS John E. Muller, Monroe, N.Y., assignor to Acme Air Appliance (10., End, Hackensack, NJ., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 31, 1961, Ser. No. 135,262 12 Claims. (Cl. 141-26) This invention relates to a valve structure and more particularly to a filling and dispensing valve for vessels which contain liquefied, semi-liquid, or gaseous material under superatmospheric pressure.
The filling of compressed fluids into containers from which they may be dispensed for use is presently accomplished for the most part by either of two procedures. According to one procedure, the material with which the container is to be filled is chilled to liquefy it and the liquefied material is poured into an opening of the container. A closure is then sealed to the opening. This procedure requires that the filling and sealing operations be carried out at a temperature below the vaporization temperature of the material and, therefore, requires the use of expensive refrigeration equipment.
According to another procedure, sometimes referred to as undercap filling, the closure is held in sealed relation to but above the container opening by a tubular member disposed between the container and the closure. This tubular member provides jet openings through which the container is filled with the compressed fiuid, following which the closure is lowered and crimped onto the container body. While this procedure may be carried out at room temperatures, it is nevertheless time consuming and cumbersome.
In the use of either of the practices above mentioned, the assembly of the closure with the container cannot be completed until after the container is filled, a fact obviously detrimental to mass production techniques. Once the dispensing closure is fixed to the body of the container, filling of the container is no longer feasible except by use of the minute orifice provided in the dispensing valve for regulating the delivery of the pressurized material.
While it has been proposed to fill containers through the dispensing orifices of valves previously fixed to the containers, such a practice is obviously of limited value since those orifices are made quite small in order to provide the required limited rate of delivery of the material.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a combined filling and dispensing valve which can be completely assembled with a container for a compressed fiuid material before the container is filled and yet through which the filling can be carried out quickly and efiiciently.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved valve construction for containers for compressed fluids which is quite simple and is inexpensive to manufacture and assemble.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a dispensing and filling valve which serves also as a relief or safety valve to release any pressure in the container in excess of a predetermined safe pressure. Thus a single valve structure fulfills three important functions, becoming a combined filling, dispensing and relief valve.
According to the present invention, a valve body member adapted to be assembled with a housing member, such as a closure cap or other protruding portion of the wall of a container, is made to form two distinct passageways for conducting fiuid between the interior and the exterior of the container, one of the passageways normally being closed by a valve element or stem that is movable by a force applied to it from outside the container, such as by finger pressure, to open this passageway for the dispensing of fluid under pressure from the container; and the other passageway, which is made with a size suitable for the desired quick filling of the container, lay-passes the dispensing passageway and normally is kept closed by yieldable sealing means that move so as to open, and to enable quick filling of the container through, the filling passageway in response to the pressure of a compressed fluid material supplied into its outer end.
By virtue of this construction, the valve can be completely assembled and sealed on the container before the filling of the container, and the filling still can be efiected quickly and inexpensively; and when the container is full, or when the pressure of the material within it reaches a desired value in relation to the filling pressure, the sealing means return to closed position and will keep the filling passageway securely closed during the use of the container.
According to a further feature of the invention, the valve element or stem that is movable to open the dispensing passageway is provided with a head coacting with and positionable by elastically deformable means provided as an integral part of the body member of the valve, which means yield and build up a counterpressure on the head under the force used to move the stem from its normal position, so that the counterpressure will move the stem back to its original position when the force displacing it is released. By virtue of this feature, the invention provides a dispensing valve for containers for compressed fiuids which is self-closing but which does not require the use of a coil spring for biasing the valve to closed position. Further, all of the parts of this valve can be made of non-metallic materials which will resist and will not contaminate or be corroded by substances to be stored in and dispensed from the containers.
According to still another feature of the invention, the combined dispensing and filling valve is made to serve as a relief valve too, by providing it with further yieldable sealing means which will move in response to an excessive or unsafe fluid pressure within the container so as to release the excess pressure and thus give protection against explosion of the container. These means may be provided, for example, in accordance with the disclosure of a copending United States patent application of Paul F. Shmid and John E. Muller, Serial No. 54,001, filed September 6, 1960, now United States Patent No. 3,083,- 882.
The valve structure provided by this invention may be used advantageously, for example, for Feon gas containers used in refrigeration systems or for portable compressed propane or butane containers used for gas burners.
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be further apparent from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings of an illustrative embodiment of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an axial cross-sectional view of the valve structure mounted in a top Wall of a container and having a dispensing adaptor coupled thereto;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but with a filling adaptor shown coupled to the structure;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the valve body;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary axial sectional View of the valve body and stem in pressure relieving conditions; and
FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the several parts.
The valve construction illustrated in the drawings is an assembly of five distinct parts or pieces having forms which are evident from the exploded view of FIG. 5. These parts include a housing member 11 in the form of an end closure as commonly used for aerosol containers, a tubular body 20, a tubular valve stem which holds a sealing ring and is reciprocable within the body 20, and
' opening'forrned in the'top wall of the container 13. The
container opening is bordered by a rolled rim 14 over which a peripheral flange 13 of the closure is crimped,
preferably with a sealing gasket 15 inserted in-between, so as to seal the closure tightly to the container.
The hollow housing portion 12 protrudes upwardly and centrallyfrom the.bottom wall 16 of the closure and comprises a tubular side wall 17 and an end wall 18 in which a central aperture 19 is formed. Radial slots 34 extend from the margin of aperture 19 through part of the end wall 18. V
The tubular valve body 20 as shown is formed entirely of rubber or other suitable elastorner material, as a unitary molded piece thereof. It includes an upper tubular portion23 and a lower tubular portion 24 of reduced diame- 'ter. The. lower portion terminates in an end wall having an opening 25 formed in it to keep its interior in communication with the interior of the container. The upper portion 23 is formed near its upper end with an external elastic rib or ring 22 which surrounds and is sloped downwardly and outwardly from the body 20 so' as normally to 1 bear around its freeedge in fluid-tight contact with the innersurface of the surrounding housing wall 17 and the body 20 and butts against the base of an annular recess 28 bordered by the elastic sealing ring 22, so as tobe overhung by that ring. The .ferrule or mounting ring 27 has a flange 29 projecting radially from it for tight engagement with the inner surface of housing wall 17. For assembly of these parts, the mounting ring 27 is moved onto the body 20 until it butts against the base of recess 28, and then it is forced with body 20 into housing portion 12 until its flange is tightly fitted against wall 17 and 'a' mounting ring or ferrule 27 by which the body 29 is assembled and held securely within an upstanding hollow' 1 open position, as shown in FIG. 1, the dispensing port is.
chamber 31, hence with the interior of the container.
4 the opening 25, and theupper chamber is normally isolated from the interior of the container but always in communication withthe aperture 19 in the closure end wall'18. The stem 41 has a small dispensing port 44 leading radially into its tubular portion 42 at a location near its end wall 43, When the stem is in'its upper or normal position within body 20, the dispensing port 44 is sealed off by the rib or ring 21 from communication with the lower, chamber 31; and thus the valve structure is closed so that pressurized materialis held securely in the container. When the stem 41 is depressed to its lower or disposed below rib 21 in communication with the lower in this position, fluidunder pressure inthe container enters port 44- and passes axially through the valve stem for delivery to the exterior of the container.
The valve stem '41), is normally held in its closed or i upper position and is biased back to that position when the upper end of body 20 is located at the lower surface of I wall 18.
The body 20 as so assembled is spaced from the surrounding wall 17 by ring-27 and from the end wall 18 by beads or raised portions 26 which are formed integrally with and spaced apart about the end of the upper tubular portion '26. The flange 29 of ring 27 is cut away atsuitable locations, being, for example, slotted radially at several spaced points as indicated at 30, so as not to block or seal the fluidpassageway provided by the spacing of the upper body portion 23 from the housing portion 12.
While that passageway normally is kept sealed by the engagement of the'elastic rib or ring 22 with wall 17, as
rigid'material and includes a radially enlarged head portion 41 and an elongated tubularportion 42'closed by.
wall 43 at its lower end. The outer surface of the tubular I portion 42 is normally in-fluid-tight sealing engagement with an elastic rib or ring 21 formed integrally with and' extending radially inwardly from body 20 at a location intermediate the upper and lower body portions 23'and 24. The tubular portion 42 and the inner sealing ring 21.
to ether divide the interior of body 21 into lower and upper chambers 31 and 32. The lower chamber is always i ommunication with the interior of container 10 through excess pressure,"as shown in FIG. 4, so that the fluid, under excess pressure will escape around thestem in the depressed to open port 44 for dispensing, by the coaction' of the enlarged head portion 41 with elastic ribs 33 which extend longitudinally of and radially inwardly from the inside of the upper tubular body portion 23; These ribs are molded as an integral part of the body 219. They are spaced apart about the inside of portion 23, and they slope V inwardly progressively from their upper ends, as seen in FIG. 5. They engage the rounded periphery of head 41 so as normally to hold that head and stem portion 42 in their upper position. When the valve stem is moved downwardly to its dispensing position, the ribs 33- are coil spring usually required in self-closing container valves,
and important advantages can be realized in the rnanufacture, use and'maintenanceof such valves.
The inner sealing ring or rib 21 is made with such a resistance to deformation that it will stay in tight sealing engagement with the valve stem 41 as long as'the fluid pressure in the container does not exceed a predetermined safe value. Yet it is made with suflicient elasticity or flexibility that if the pressure in the container exceeds a predetermined safe value, it will yield and be moved out of sealing engagement with the valve stem under the direction of the arrows 46 into the upper chamber 32, passing therein between theribs 33 and around head 41 and then through the aperture 19 and slots 34 to the exterior of the container. This releasing of the excess fluid pressure takes place irrespective of the position of the valve stem. It serves the important purpose of preventmg explosion of the container in the event of an inadvertent building up of excess pressure therein, for example, if the containeris used-for a volatile material and happens to become overheated. r
The radially enlarged head 41 of the stem 40, as shown, fulfills a function in addition to that of coacting with the elastic ribs 33 to bias the valve stemto closed position.
it defines centrally within it a cavity 47 which is open at its upper end and communicates with the axial passage in the stem, and which is aligned with the aperture 19 in the end wall 18 of member 11.
The cavity is bordered "by an elastic sealing ring 45, for example, an O-ring,
which surrounds and overlies an abutment surface 48 tainer or a dispensing adapter to be applied to the container and used for dispensing fluid under pressure from the container.
s a es 4 A suitable filling adapter assembled with and acting to charge pressurized material through the valve structure is shown at 50 in FIG. 2.
This adapter has a neck 51 which passes through aperture 19 and into cavity 47 of head 41 so as to butt at its end against surface 43 and be gripped and sealed circumferentially by ring 45. An axial bore 53 in the adapter communicates with a suitable source of the pressurized material. Ports 54 open radially from bore 53 through neck 51 at a location above the sealing ring 45. The body of the adapter carries at its end outside hollow portion 12 another sealing ring 52, for example, another 0- ring, in position to bear and form a fluid-tight seal against the face of wall 18 when the adapter is pressed downward with its neck 51 seated in the head of the valve stem.
Accordingly, when the adapter is so assembled with the valve structure and the pressurized material is passed through bore 53, the material flows freely from the neck ports 54- into the upper end of the space between body 20 and housing portion 12 and then through that space, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 2, so as to press against and deform inwardly the outer sealing rib or ring 22 and thus flow past that ring into the container. When the container has been filled, the filling adaptor is withdrawn, whereupon the elastic outer rib or ring 22 returns to its sealed position against wall 17 and the elastic ribs 33 return the valve stem 49 to its closed position.
A suitable dispensing adapter assembled with the valve structure and in dispensing position is shown at 60 in FIG. 1. This adapter has a neck 61 formed with an axial passageway 63 for carrying away the fluid delivered from the container. The neck 61 extends through aperture 19 and is seated and sealed in the head of stem 4% as described in connection with neck 51 of adapter 59. Spaced about the neck 61 and mounted on the body of the adapter are resilient legs 62 of rubber or other suitable material, which snap slidingly inside the rim of closure member 11, so as to be retained in the annular recess provided around hollow portion 12 by the dished formation of the closure member.
The dispensing adapter having been placed in its operative position, as seen in FIG. 1, the valve stem 4t? is held in open position with its dispensing port 44 disposed below ring 21 and in communication with the interior of the container; so pressurized fluid flows out of the container through the valve stem and through the aligned axial passageway 63 in the dispensing adapter. The flow of the fluid may be further cont-rolled by a valve (not shown) beyond the adapter. lVhen the container is empty or its use is to be discontinued, the dispensing adapter is pulled away from the closure 11, whereupon stem 49 is moved to closed position by the action of the elastic ribs 33.
It will thus be evident that the valve structure provided by the present invention enables the rapid filling of the container with which it is employed, after the container and the valve have been completely assembled. It further provides for the desired controlled dispensing of material from the container and gives protection against explosion of the container in the event of an excessive fluid pressure building up within the container.
The stem 4i) and the ferrule 27, as well as other parts of the valve structure, may be formed of an inert mate rial, such as a suitable rubber, synthetic resin or other plastics composition, when the valve structure is to be used on containers for foodstuffs or other substances that may be adversely affected by or may be corrosive to metals.
Although a particular embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail herein, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this embodiment and that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.
6 What is claimed is: l. A combined filling, dispensing and relief valve for a compressed fluid container or the like, comprising a housing member,
a body member carried by said housing member and forming a passageway for dispensing from the container material under pressure therein,
a movable valve element disposed within said body member and normally closing said passageway, said element being movable relative to said body memher by a force applied to it, from outside the container to open said passageway for dispensing,
means on said body member forming a filling passageway by-passing said dispensing passageway,
sealing means normally closing the filling passageway against the escape of said material from within the container but displaceable by the pressure of pressurized material supplied to the filling passageway from outside the container to charge such material into the container, and
an elastic sealing rib on said body member normally in sealing contact with said movable valve element but displaceable by an excess pressure of material within the container to discharge said material through said body member for relief of the excess pressure.
2. A valve comprising a tubular housing member,
a tubular body member disposed within and spaced from said housing member,
a tubular valve stem disposed within said body member,
said body member having thereon an external elastic rib normally closing the space between said members by sealing engagement with the inner surface of said housing member, and having thereon an internal elastic rib normally in sealing engagement with the outer surface of said stem,
said stem having a dispensing port leading thereinto and being movable axially relative to said body member between a closed position where said port is disposed to one side of said internal rib and a dispensing position where said port is disposed to the other side of said internal rib to open the valve for the discharge of fluid under pressure therethrough from one end of said body member,
said external rib being displaceable out of sealing engagement with said inner surface by fluid pressure admitted into said space around the other end of said body member and being sloped toward said One end to prevent flow of fluid under pressure through said space from said one end,
said internal rib being movable out of sealing engagement with said stem by an excess of pressure at said one end to release the excess pressure between said internal rib and said stem.
3. A combined filling and dispensing valve for a compressed fiuid container or the like, comprising a housing member having a hollow portion centrally apertured at one end,
a tubular body member disposed within said portion and spaced from the inner surface thereof,
a tubular valve stem 'reciprocable axially within said body member,
said body member having an internal sealing rib thereon normally in sealing engagement with said stem,
said stern having a dispensing port leading radially thereinto and normally disposed to one side of said rib but movable to the other side thereof by movement of said stem to open the valve for dispensing,
said body member further having an external elastic rib thereon normally bearing in sealing engagement against said inner surface but movable out of such engagement by fiuid pressure admitted to the space between said body member and said hollow portion at said one end for the filling of pressurized material into the container, said external rib being sloped to ward the otherend of said body portion so as to keep said space sealed under fluid pressure admitted to it from said other end, 7
a plurality of longitudinal elastic ribs extending radially inwardly from and spaced apart about the inner side 1 to its original position by the pressure of said longitudinal ribs on said head.v V 4. A valve as claimed in claim 3, said head forming a socket that opens toward'and is aligned with the aperture in said hollow portion and communicates with the interior of said stern, said socket being adapted to receive and to be sealed against a tubular end ,of either a filling adaptor inserted thereinto for the delivery of pressuriZed fluid into said space from said one end or a dis pensing adaptor inserted thereinto for the dispensing of pressurized fluid through the valve.
5. A valve comprising a molded tubular body member, a valve stem disposed within said body member and reciprocable therein to open and close the valve, said stern having a radially enlarged head thereon, an inner surface of said body member having thereon elastic portions engaging said head to position said stem, said portions sloping inwardly toward one end of'said body memher so as to bear elastically against said head increasingly with movement of said stem toward said one'end and being operativeto return the stem to its original position upon release of the force causing such movement.
6."A valve as claimed in claim 5, said elastic portions comprising ribs molded integrally with said body member and extending longitudinally along said surface at locations spaced about said surface; r
7. A valve structure for a compressed fluid container or t the like, comprising a housing member having an upstanding hollow portion and adapted to close an opening in the container,
a tubular body of'molded elastomeric material having i an upper portion received within said hollow portion, a mounting ring encompassing said upper portion and having a flange pressed into tight engagement with the inner surface of said hollow portion to hold said I body securely in said hollow portion, a tubular valve stem movable axially within said body, an inner sealing ring within said body normally in fluid tight contact with the outer surface of said stem, said stem having a dispensing port opening thereinto and normally blocked by said sealing ring from communication with the lower portion of said body but movable into such communication for dispensing fluid under pressure from the container by axial movment of said stem, i
said hollow portion having an apertured end wall, said body being spaced from said end wall and from said inner surface to provide between said body'and said hollow portion a passageway for filling pressurized material into the container, and an outer elastic sealing ring extending from said upper portion normally into fluid-tight contact with said r 8 inner-surface to close outer ring being displaceabie out of such contact by fluid pressure admitted into the upper end of the space between said body and said hollow portion but being held in such contact by fluid pressure at its a lower side. 7 r
8. The valve structure of claim 7,
said mounting ring being seated on said upper portion beneath and being overhung by said outer sealing ring; i i
said flange being cut away so as not to close said passageway.
9. The valve structure of claim 7, V
said stern having a radially enlarged head thereon and said upper portion having longitudinal elastic ribs extending radially inward from its inner side and engaging said head to bias said stem upwardly to closed H position.
l0. Acornbined filling and dispensing valve fora compressed fluid container or the like, comprising a housing member having a hollow portion including a substantially cylindrical wall, V
1 a tubular body mounted in said housing and having an elongated annular wall in annularly spaced relation to said housing wall to define therebetwe'en a fiiling passageway; V
a valve element movable within said body. to provide a passageway for dispensing from the container material under pressure therein, 7 said annular wall being formed between its extremities with an integral elastic annular sealing rib extending therefrom across the space between said walls and normally bearing against said housing wall,
said rib beingslopedrelative to said housing wall so as to be maintained in sealing engagement therewith by fluid pressure in the container acting on one side of the rib and being displaceable out of sealing engagement therewith to open said filling passageway by fluid pressure acting against the other side of said rib when filling the container.
11. A valve according to claim l0, including a mounting ring seated against the lower side of said sealing rib and having a flange pressed into tight engagement with said housing wall to hold said body securely in said hollow portion and in the aforesaid spaced relation thereto.
12. A valve according to claim 10, said housing hollow portion having an upper end wall formed with a central aperture,
and means holding the upper end of said body spaced below said housing end wall to provide between said body and said hollow portion a passageway extend- 7 ing from said aperture around said body for filling compressed fluid into the container.
References titted by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/56 Carlson et al. 222--394 2,746,796 5/56 St. Germain 141- 20 XR 2,890,817 6/59 Rheinstromvn' 141-20 XR 3,036,743
.5/62 Rhodes et al. 141-20 XR LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.
LOUIS I. DEMBO, Examiner;
filling passageway, said