US 3185349 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1965 P. H. SAGARIN 3,185,349
ER AND CAP T N Filed Dec. 26. 1961 F g 42 an 3 SheetsSheec 1 I 38 55 4 24 14 2 18 II I 28 INVENTOR.
Phil H. Sagan? May 25, 1965 P. H. SAGARIN 3,135,349
AEROSOL DISPENSER AND CAP CONSTRUCTION THEREFOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 26. 1961 y 1965 P. H. SAGARIN 3,185,349
AEROSOL DISPENSER AND CAP CONSTRUCTION THEREFOR Filed Dec. 26. 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 F1 .9 Fa. i0 8 y i 8 J i 80 86 84- 80 83 as f 96 96 p l l ll lll "T I INVENTOR.
Wu H. sa cwm WJM AGENT Philip H. Sagarin, Bridgeport, Conn, assignor to Vaive Corporation of America, Bridgeport, Conn, a corporation of Connecticut Filed Dec. 26, 1961, Ser. No. 162,tl% 11 Claims. ((31. 222-153) This invention relates to small aerosol dispensers of the type intended to be held in the hand when in use, and more particularly to a combination dispenser container, valve, and actuator cap construction for such dispensers.
The recognized convenience and utility of small handheld aerosol devices for dispensing all types of substances have led to their wide-spread use at the present time. The consumer purchases the aerosol device primarily to have the use of the contents, but further desires such use to be convenient, quick, and to give superior results. When the contents of the aerosol dispenser have been ex- United States Patent hausted, the container, the valve mechanism and also the valve actuator mechanism are discarded or thrown away.
The cost of such container, valve mechanism and valve actuator mechanism must, of necessity, be added to the cost of the substance which is being dispensed, to make up the price of the entire package. Because the dis pensing device itself is ultimately discarded and represents no further use to the consumer, it must necessarily be relatively inexpensive and should represent but a small portion of the cost or value of the'entire device. 'However, in many instances the assemblage does not fulfill this requirement but instead constitutes a disproportionately large percentage of the overall cost.
Eliorts have been made in the past to meet the above problem, and to provide an inexpensive aerosol type dispenser which still meets the demand for fully satisfactory performance, the latter involving certain basic functional requirements which are essential to the satisfactory dispensing and use of the aerosol substance (the particular attributes of such substance being the objective which the consumer primarily had in mind in making the purchase in the first place).
An object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved combination pressurized container and actuator cap construction which comes closest to satisfying the various important basic requirement for this type of article, particularly the requirement involving a lowest possible cost.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved actuator cap construction as above set forth, which is essentially constituted as a single, unitary molded piece capable of being fabricated in simple molds and which requires a minimum number of subsequent operations after the molding has been completed.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved actuator cap construction in accordance With the foregoing, which will reliably indicate to a perspective user or customer Whether or not tampering or previous use of the device has occurred, even where such use is slight, as for example that occasioned by only a single depressing movement of the actuator button.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved actuator cap construction which is so constituted as to prevent or preclude accidental or unintentional discharge of the aerosol substance, as might occur during packing, shipping or handling.
A feature of the invention resides in the provision of tion.
7 3,185,349 Patented May 25, 1965 of an improved actuator cap construction in accordance with the foregoing which provides an unmistakeable indication of the direction of the spray, whereby error in the use of the device is avoided.
Other features of the invention reside in the provision of an improved actuator cap as above characterized, which is reliable in its operation, which requires no special knowledge or instructions to operate,which has an efifective and foolproof operating or hinge movement of the actuator button, and which may be easily and quickly incorporated in the container.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved cap retainer device, in an aerosol dispenser. Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear. In the drawings accompanying this specification, similar characters of reference are used to designate like components throughout the several views, wherein:
. FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view of an improved aero sol actuator cap construction as provided by the invention.
FIG. 2 is a top. plan view of the actuator cap construction of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan View, of the actuator cap construction.
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the cap construc- FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the cap construction. FIG. 6 is an axial sectional view of an actuator cap construction illustrating another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the actuator cap construction of FIG. 6. V
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the actuator cap c011 struction of FIGS. 6 and 7. FIG.'9 is a front elevational view tion of FIG. 6'. V I FIG. 10 is a rear elevational view of thecap construction of FIG. 6.
of the cap COIlSllllCf Referring first to FIGS. 1-5, the improved combination upper portion 12 may mount, within the-container 10,
an improved actuator cap construction which is especially easy and convenient to use, and which may be fabricated in various sizes to best suit the particular conditions of use and the requirements of the user.
Another feature of the invention resides in the provision a valve. assemblage (not shown) from which there depends a dip tube 16 in the usual manner..' The upper closure portion 12 also is shown as having an annular collar 18 with an undercut or bottom shoulder 20, the latter being usually employed for retention'of the actuator construction of the aerosol device.
All of the above structures as illustrated and described are conventional, and accordingly are not set forth herein in greater detail.
In accordance with the present invention, in combination with the pressurized container It! and depressible valve "stem 14 there is provided a unique one-piece actuator oap construction designated generally by the numeral 22. The said one-piece actuator cap construction, in the combination shown, has a number of distinct features and advantages of appreciable importance, by virtue of which it comes closest to satisfying the various important basic requirements for this type of article. Especially, the cap construction represents the lowest possible fabricating cost, since it comprises essentially .a single unitary molded piece which may be-fabricated in simple molds and which requires a minimum' number of subsequent operations after the molding has been completed. The cap construction is so constructed as to not only reliably indicate to a perspective user whether or not the aerosol device has been tampered with or placed in use, even to the extent of involving a single actuation :of the depress button. portion, but it further is arranged to prevent accidental or unintentional use as might occur during packaging, shipping, 'etc., and additionally is especially easy and convenient to use. It also provides an unmistakeable indication of the direction of the spray whereby error in the use of the device is avoided. The cap construction is reliable in. operation and may be used or actuated easily even by a youthful user or one having no special knowledge. It requires no detailed instructions but merely involves the well-known act of applying a pressure or downward force to the center or button portion, in order to effect discharge of the contents of thecontainer. It is of importance to note that with all of the above functional advantages there is still effected, by the present invention, a cap construction which represents an extremely low cost, which is significant where a throw away item is involved.
Referring now specifically to FIG. ,1, the one-piece cap construction 22, which is of resilient and yieldable plastic such as polyethylene, is shown as comprising a tubular and generally cylindrical cap body portion 24 engaged at its lower edge 26 with the top closure 12 of the container.
By the present invention, the tubular body portion 24 is retained on the containerby a novel and simple dished [r frusto-conical retainer ring 28 which is preferably constituted of a yieldable plastic substance such as linear polyethylene or the like. The inner periphery of the ring 28 engages the annular collar 18 of the top closure 12 and has a tight press-fit with said collar whereby the latter slightly expands the ring 23 and the shoulder edge 20 bites into the inner periphery of the ring. The press-fit between the retainer ring 28 and the collar 18 tends to maintain the ring in a slightly dished shape or configuration as shown, and the outer periphery of the ring 28 engages snugly the inner surface of the cylindrical body portion 24 and frictionally seizes the said body portion; With the illustrated construction, when a removing force is applied to the body portion 24'it will tend to flatten and expand the ring 28 whereby the latter'will more tightly grip the body portion and tend to prevent removal of the same. Accordingly, a secure retention of the cap construction 22 on the container is had at all times, against inadvertent dislodgement.
The cap construction 22further comprises' anintegral depress button portion 30 which is connected with the valve stem 14 to actuate thesame, the said button portion being generally of circular configuration :as seen in FIG. 2, and being integrally connected with the cap body portion 24 by means of a thin, flexible, relatively narrow web 32 constituting a connector or guide means, which has somewhat of a hinge action. Preferably, the button portion 30 has a second and frangibleconnection with the body portion 24 in the form of -a second thin web 34 which is located diametrically opposite the tie web 32 and V is appreciably narrower than the same, being approximately one-half the width as shown.
The frangible web 34 is thus located at the front of the depress button 30, and the construction is such, as will be later explained in greater detail, that when the button is initially depressed to discharge the contentsof the container 10, the frangible web 34 will become ruptured, thereby freeing the button portion 30 from the body portion 24 at this point and permitting the button portion to have limited axial and swinging movement the latter occurring about the flexible web 32 as a hinge or pivot.
The connection between the button portion 30 and the valve stem 14 is effected by a tubular depending boss or connector portion 36 the lower end of which telescopically fits over the top portion of the valve stem 14, as shown. The depending connector portion 36 has a channel or passage 38 which communicates with an oblique passagev 40 disposed in a laterally disposed portion 42 of the connector 36. The depress button 30 has a shallow cup-like configuration, andis provided with two .angularly disposed top surfaces or walls, one comprising an expansive, semicircular top wall 44 and the other comprising a smaller and segmental-shaped top wall 46'. Both of the walls 44 angle to the wall and 46 slope away from a high point or ridge 48which may be thought of as constituting generally a chord of the circular button as viewed in FIG. 2.
Set in the top wall 46 of the button 30 is an orifice member 50, said member having a small aperture or Orifice which communicates with the channels 40 and 38 of the button, as may be readily understood. 7
ConsideringFIGS; 2 and 3 it will be seen that the button portion 30 of the cap construction is in large part separated from the cap body portion 24 by a pair of extensive arcuate spaces or slots 52, the said spaces merging and becoming a single, almost completely circular slot after the frangible web 34 has been broken. Thus, both before and after breakage of the web 34 the depress button portion '30 is substantially separate and spaced from the cap body portion 24, except for the presence of the two webs 32 and 34. In spite of this fact, however, the construction is such that both the body portion 24 and the depress button portion 30 may be formed atone and the same time, in a single molding operation involving relatively simple cavities, The channel 40 of the lateral portion-42 of the connector 36 may be molded into the piece, by the provision of a movable pin in the mold cavity, or the channel may be formed at .a later time, as by a sub sequent drilling or boring operation.
The configuration and arrangement of the depress buttion portion 39 with respect to the cap body portion 24 has a number of advantages. The button portion 30 presents for engagement by the finger of the hand which holds the aerosol device the sloping expansive face or wall 44, and the smaller top wall 46 which is disposed at an 44 may determine the direction of the spray by locating the orifice member 50 in the angular position illustrated. For such position, the spray which issues from. the orifice member will be directed both laterally and upward of the cap construction, and away from the expansive top wall 44 on which the finger is resting. Since the orifice member 50 is readily visible, especially if it is fabricated of a material having a difierent color from that of the remainder of the cap construction, and since the smaller sloping wall portion 46-of the depress button is also readily visible, the user is unmistakeably apprised of the direction of the spray, and will not normally cause a dischargeof the contents of the container 10 in a wrong direction;
The disposition of the narrow frangible web34 closely adjacent the side extension 42 of the connector 36 pro- ,vides an important advantage since it enables the said web to be more easily and quickly fractured or broken through in response to normal operating pressure applied to the top of the button portion 30. It will be seen from an inspection of FIG. ,1 that such pressure will be transmitted to the web 34 through a relatively thick andgenerally inflexible or non-yielding part of the depress button, whereby but slight diminution of force is experienced when the button is depressed. The transmission of the depressing force is thus effected to the web 34 in a generally direct manner, resulting in a quicker and easier fracture of the web. Also, the disposition of the flexible hinge or tie web 32 at theback of the depress button 30 provides a convenient and workable guide and pivot means, which in conjunction with the depending connector 36 results in the valve stem 14 being readily depressed for discharge of the contents of the container in response to moderate operating pressuresv applied to the depress button. The hinge or tie web 32 is located remote from any massive parts of the depress button 30, and is less likely to become fractured in response to the application of operating pressure to the button, whereas just the opposite is true of the frangible web 34, which is more likely to suffer rupture in response to such applied pressure.- It is thus seen that the particular configuration and disposition of the depress button portion and the cap body portion contribute materially to the satisfactory performance of the cap construction. It may be further noted that the frangible web 34 is carried by an inwardly extending annular, dished flange 54 provided along the top edge or rim of the body portion 24. The dishing or crowning of the said'flange provides it with additional strength whereby it applies a counter-iorce to the frangible web 34 in response to operating force applied to the button 30. In consequence, fracture of the web 34 is more easily accomplished than if the flange 54 were of a more yieldable construct-ion.
By the provision of the frangible web 34 it is possible at all-times to ascertain whether or not the aerosol device has been tampered with or placed in use, even if such use he as little as involving but a single actuation of the depress button 30. For, upon the first actuation of the button portion 30 occurring, the web 34 will be fractured or ruptured, whereupon one may readily ascertain the condition of the same. Referring to FIG. 2 it will be seen that the web 34 is readily accessible and in full view at all times, and its fractured or non-fractured condition may be easily observed. Thus, the provision of the second Web 34 constitutes an important tamper-proof means, since it restrain-s unauthorized persons from operating the aerosol device normally. While the frangible web does not prevent operation of the device, it is a reliable indication as to Whether or not the dispenser has been tampered with or used.
The invention further provides a novel guard means, constituted as an integral portion of the cap c onstruction 22, whereby there is prevented inadvertent actuation of the depress button 30 during storage, shipment, handling, etc. 7 7
Referring to FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, the novel guard means is shown as comprising a pair of oppositely located, upstanding edge portions 58 and 69 which are of curved configuration and which constitute smooth continuations of the side walls of the cap body port-ion 24.. The upstanding guard portions 58 and 69 are shown as of peaked or rounded configuration, and the upper edges or rims of such guard portions are disposed at a level which is higher than the upper surfaces of the depress button portion 30 of the cap. This is readily seen in FIG. 1, for example. In consequence, the guard portions 58 and 60 will in general prevent actuation of the button 30 if the dispenser should be brought in contact with broadsurfaced objects, either intentionally or otherwise. However, the guard portions by virtue of their wide separation, do not interfere with the insertion of the finger therebetween but instead tends to'const-itute a guide for such insertion, as may be realized when viewing FIG. 5. Since the guard portions 58, 60 are fully clear of the orifice member 59 as seen in FIG. 4, no interference is had whatsoever with the spray which issues from the orifice member. It will be further understood that such guard portions may be molded as integral parts of the cap construction, at one and the same time as the molding of the body portion 24 and button portion 30.
It will now be seen, in accordance with the foregoing, that I have provided a unique and improved cap construction in combination with a pressurized aerosol container, which may be frabricated in a most economical manner with subsequent operations reduced to an absolute minimum. The cap construction provides a large and easily operated depress button portion, gives an unmistakeable indication of the direction of the spray, and indicates further if the aerosol device has been tampered with or operated. The cap construction includes a guard means to prevent inadvertent operation of the depress button, and is so constituted that the frangible web constituting the tamper-proof feature may be readily fractured by the mere operation of applying operating force to the depress button to effect discharge of the container contents. The slope of the operating face of the valve button is cond-ucive to one-hand operation of the aerosol device where the forefinger applies the operating pressure, as will be readily understood. The disposition of the hinge r tie web 32 at a point remote from the axis and lower tip of Y The depress button 7 portion 30 described above, having" a top ridge or edge 81 which is similar to a chord of a circle, such ridge separating a relatively large or expan sive top wall 83 adapted to be engaged by the operating wall 34' in which 6 the connector 36, and the appreciable flexibility of such web enables the but-ton portion 3% to'have adequate axial and also swinging movement for shifting the valve stem 14 to effect a discharge of the container contents. The action of the Web 32 is such that the depress button portion 30 may not only translationally move in an axial direction but also that it may have a slight swinging movement whereby the necessary action of the valve stem 14- may be effected.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 6-10. This embodiment also is characterized by a one-piece, molded cap' construction comprising a body portion adapted to be secured to the container and a depress button or valve actuator portion operatively connected with the body portion and integral with the same, both portions being molded at one and the same time in a single molding operation. As shown, the cap construction comprises a tubular and generally cylindrical body portion 64 having inwardly extending .detent projections 66 engaged with the shoulder surface 68 of the annular collar 73 of apressur-ized container 72. The arrangement of the plurality of inwardly extended detent projections 66 is described in detail and claimed in my copending application Serial No. 152,472, filed November 15, 1961, and entitled Hand-Held Aerosol Device. The cap construction of FIGS. 610 also embraces. an annular, round collar '74 which'is retained in place by a circular shoulder or ridge vs, this organization being also disclosed and claimed in the above identified copending application.
By the present invention, the cap construction of FIGS. 610 further comprises an integral depress button portion 78 which is connected to the body portion 54 by three thin webs, two being in the form of narrow, easily ruptured webs labelled 80 and located near the front of the button portion 78 and the third being a wider, flexible hingeand guide 'web 32 located at the rear of the button portion 78. portion 73 is in many respects similar to the button finger from a sloping front and smaller there is disposed an orifice member 86. Communicating with the orifice member 86 is an oblique channel or passage 88 which connects with an axial passage or bore 90 in which there is received the valve stem 92 of the pressurized container 72. As clearly seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the button portion '78 is separated from the body portion 64 by three arcuate, extensive'slots 94 the ends of which terminate at the webs 80 and 82. a
The cap construction of FIGS. 610 alsohas guard portions to prevent inadvertent actuation of the depress button portion 78, such guard portions comprising opposite peaked or pointed walls 96 and 98 of the body portion 64, the upper edges of said peaked walls being generally flush with the top walls 82 and 84 of the button 78 whereby actuation of the latter is prevented if the aerosol device should accidentally come in contact with a broad-surfaced object.
The features and advantages of the cap construction. of FIGS. 6-10 are like those enumerated above in connection with the embodnnent of FIGS. 1-5. When the depress button 78 is initially actuated, the frangible webs 83 will be readily broken through or ruptured, and continued downward movement of the button 78 will actuate the valve stem 92 to effect a discharge of the contents of the container 72. The appearance of the ruptured webs 80 will apprise a user of the fact that the aerosol device has alreadybeen in operation, or else tampered with, as explained above in connectionwitn the web 34.
The thin and flexible hinge and guide web 82 enables the button 7 3 to have both axial and swinging movement, the latter being about the web 82 as a hinge or pivot. The cap construction of FIGS. 6l0 is smaller in diameter than the construction of FIGS. 1-5, there being absent the inwardly extending annular flange 54 of the first embodiment. Also, the connector portion 85 ofthe cap of FIGS. 6-10 is somewhat shorter thanthe connector portion 36 of the first embodiment, by virtue of the cap construction being lower or having a lesser axial length. Further, the construction of FIGS. 6l0 involves a lesser amount of material, whereby there is had a lower cost.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvement may be used without others.
1. An aerosol dispensing device comprising, in combination: v
(a) a pressurized container having a hollow depressiblevalve stem, Y I
(b) a one-piece actuator cap construction carried-by the container, said cap construction having:
(c)-a stationary cap body portion engaged with and retained on the container,
(d) a depress button portion movable with respect to the cap body portion and connected with the valve stem to depress the same,
(e) a thin flexible tie web so organized as to be resistant to breakage, said web being integral with, and said web movably connecting, the cap body portion and the depress button portion,
(3) said depress button portion along most of its periphery'being disconnected and spaced from the cap body portion and being movable between close limits as permitted by said web to enable it to actuate the valve stem for effecting a discharge of the contents of the container,
(g) an additional and readily frangible web integral with and connecting together the body and button portions,
(It) said frangible web having a relatively small cross section which is smaller than the cross section of the tie web, by which it readily breaks through perma nently in response to suflicient operating pressure on the button portion to depress the latter, and said frangible web being disposed in a,plane transverse to the line of movement of the button as restricted by said tie web.
2. A cap construction as in claim 1, wherein:
'(a) the said two webs are disposed diametrically opposite each other, on opposite sides of the button portion;
(b) the depress button has an expansive exposed surface adapted to' be pressed on by the finger and disposed roughly between the said webs.
3. A cap construction vas in claim 2, wherein:
(a) the button portion has a more rigid structure at at location adjacent the frangible web,
(b) the button portion has an expansive exposed surface adapted to be pressed on by the finger, at least a portion of said surface bordering said more rigid structure and the latter being interposed between the frangible web and expansive surface whereby force is transmitted directly from the expansive surface to the frangible web.
4. A cap construction as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) there is an additional and readily frangible web of relatively small cross section, connecting the button and body portions,
(11) said three webs being widely spaced along the periphery of the button portion.
5. An aerosol, dispensing device comprising, in combination:
(a) a cap construction having a cylindrical inner surface,
(b) a pressurized container having a cylindrical outer surface disposed interiorly of the said cylindrical inner surface,
(0) a separate retainer ring disposed between and engaging the said surfaces, the inner. periphery of the nation:
(a) a pressurized container having a hollow depressible valve stem, g (b) a one-piece actuator capconstruction carried by the container, said cap construction having;
(0) a tubular cap body portion engaged with the container,
(d) a depress button portion connected with the valve stem to actuate the same, and
' (e) a thin flexible tie web integral with and Jmovably connecting the cap body portion and the depress button portion, g
(3) said depress button portion along. most of its periphery and except for the fiexiblelie web being disconnected and spaced from the cap body portion and being movable between close limits as permitted by said web to enable it to actuate the valve stem for effecting a discharge of the contents of the container, 7
(g) an additional and readily frangible web connecting together the body and button portions,
(12) said frangible web having a relatively small cross section whichis smaller than thecross section of the tie web, by which it readily breaks through in response to operating pressure on the button portion,
(1) said button portion having a peaked top comprising two sloping surfaces and a ridge separating said surfaces, a i v (j) said tie web being disposedat the bottom of one sloping surface, I x
(k) and a discharge orifice disposed'at the other sloping surface, closely adjacent the frangible web.
7, A cap construction as in clairn 6, wherein;
(a) there is a second and readily fracturable web disposed at the bottom of-the other slopingsurface.
8. A cap construction as in claim 6, wherein: Y
(a) the button portion has a more rigid structure at a location adjacent the frangible web,
(12) said more rigid structure being interposed between the frangible web and the said one sloping surface whereby force is transmitted directly from the latter to the web. 7
9. A cap construction as in claim 6, wherein:
(a) the cap body portion has opposite peaked walls the upper edges of which are substantially flush with the sloping surfaces of the button portion and constitute guards for the latter to prevent accidental operation of the same.
10. An aerosol dispensing device comprising, in combination:
(a) a pressurized container having a hollow depressible valve stem,
(b) acne-piece actuator cap construction carried by the container, said cap construction having:
(0) a tubular cap. body portion engaged with the container,
. (d) a depress button portion connected with the valve for efiecting a discharge of the contents of the container,
(g) an additional and readily frangible web connecting together the body and button portions,
(12) said frangible web having a relatively small cross section which is smaller than the cross section of the tie Web, by which it readily breaks through in response to operating pressure on the button portion,
(i) said two webs being disposed diametrically opposite each other, on opposite sides of the button portion,
(i) said depress button portion having an expansive I exposed surface adapted to be pressed on by the finger and disposed roughly between the said Webs,
(k) said button portion having a more rigid structure at a location adjacent the frangible web,
(I) at least a portion of said expansive surface of the button portion bordering said more rigid structure and the latter being interposed between the frangible web and expansive surface whereby force is transmitted directly from the expansive surface to the frangible web.
11. An aerosol dispensing device comprising, in combination:
riphery and except for the flexible tie web being disconnected and spaced from the cap body portion and being movable between close limits as permitted by said web to enable it to actuate the valve stem for effecting a discharge of the contents of the container,
(g) an additional and readily frangible web connecting together the body and button portions,
(/1) said frangible web having a relatively small cross section which is smaller than the cross section of the tie web, by which it readily breaks through in response to operating pressure on the button portion,
(1') an additional and readily frangible web of relatively small cross section, connecting the button and body portions,
(i) said three webs being widely spaced along the periphery of the button portion,
(k) said button portion having a more rigid structure at a location between the two additional Webs to effeet a twisting and quicker rupture of the latter when the button portion is depressed.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/58 Ablpanalp. 10/58 Spiess et a1.
1/ 60 Focht. 12/ 61 Steinkamp 222-182 4/62 Stull 222-541 10/62 Hibbs et al 222*182 10/63 Kruck 239-337 X RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.
35 LOUIS J. DEMBO, Examiner.