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Publication numberUS3209960 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1965
Filing dateDec 26, 1963
Priority dateJul 31, 1963
Also published asDE1425867B1
Publication numberUS 3209960 A, US 3209960A, US-A-3209960, US3209960 A, US3209960A
InventorsGreen Edward H
Original AssigneeGreen Edward H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pressurized package with variable spray rate and means to prevent relative rotation
US 3209960 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 5, 1965 E. H. GREEN 3,209,960

PRESSURIZED PACKAGE WITH VARIABLE SPRAY RATE AND MEANS TO PREVENT RELATIVE ROTATION Filed Dec. 26, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 I a 42.9 92 f 2Q 68 1 9,2 10 2 "JP 5 9Q 7 6Q 62 66 INVENTOR. 1/4 m2/U/%67/W Oct. 5, 1965 E. H. GREEN 3,209,960

PRESSURIZED PACKAGE WITH VARIABLE SPRAY RATE AND MEANS TO PREVENT RELATIVE ROTATION Filed Dec. 26, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 l N VEN TOR.

' drum/a @meM/ Oct. 5, 1965 H. GREEN 3,209,960

PRESSURIZED PACKAGE H VARIABLE SPRAY RATE AND MEANS TO PREVENT RELATIVE ROTATION Filed Dec. 26, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. 6411/41 4 77467198 11 Miami a Z Zamzgyn Oct. 5, 1965 E. H. GREEN 3,209,960

PRESSURIZED PACKAGE WITH VARIABLE SPRAY RATE AND MEANS TO PREVENT RELATIVE ROTATION Filed Dec. 26, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.

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United States Patent 3,209,966 PRESSURIZED PACKAGE WITH VARIABLE SPRAY RATE AND MEANS TO PREVENT RELATIVE ROTATION Edward H. Green, 11 Army Trail Road, Addison, Ill. Filed Dec. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 333,337 21 Claims. (Cl. 222-394) This invention comprises an improvement of an application filed by the same applicant on January 30, 1962, Serial No. 169,841, now Patent No. 3,188,008, entitled Variable Spray Control for an Aerosol Dispenser, and also constitutes a continuation-in-part of a sec-0nd application of the applicant filed July 31, 1963, Serial No. 298,945 now abandoned.

This invention relates generally to aerosol spray packages and more particuarly, is concerned with novel valve structure for such apparatus.

This particular pressurized package spray apparatus with which the invention is concerned comprises a canister or bottle having an opening in the top thereof, and a cover member mounting the spray head and valve structure being secured hermetically upon the said canister or bottle. The filler, that is the manufacturer who will introduce the pressurized product into the canister or bottle, purchases the canisters or bottles from one source and purchases the parts, or assembly of parts, comprising the valve structure, spray head and cover member from another source. The invention herein is concerned primarily with the construction of the valve structure and spray head, the cover member being more or less conventional and well-known.

In this type of valve structure and spray head, there is a boss protruding from the center of the cover member upwardly, the boss having a central hole, and there being a valve housing sealed to the bottom of the cover member and clamping a resilient, annular, rubber gasket into the boss with the central opening of the gasket aligned with the hole in the boss and a dip tube secured to the bottom of the housing so that any pressurized product which emerges from the canister must pass through the housing, the central opening of the gasket and the hole in the boss. Within the housing there is a vertically reciprocal valve plunger which is urged upwardly against the bottom of the gasket by means of a spring which is held in the housing and bears against the bottom of the valve plunger. The upper end of the valve plunger has a valve seat surrounding a socket, both seat and socket being co-axial-ly aligned with the central opening in the gasket. The spray head is an integral member having an enlarged button or spray tip adapted to be pressed downwardly by the finger of the user, and a depending hollow stem. The hollow bore of the stem communicates with an external orifice of the spray head, the said stern adapted to be slidingly and yet sealingly engaged through the gasket central opening and adapted to have its bottom end seated in the socket. When the spray package is not in use, the spray head may be removed or may be left seated in the socket. In both of these cases, there will be no pressurized product emerging due to the seating of the upper valve seat of the plunger against the bottom of the gasket. When, however, the spray head is pushed downwardly, it unseats the valve seat of the plunger thereby enabling the pressurized product to pass through a suitable slot formed in the bottom end of the stern into the bore and out through the external orifice.

This general structure described above is disclosed in US. Patent 2,777,735, and several of the desirable features of the construction are that the spray head is removable, that the spray head has a simple slot in its lower end which is normally blocked by the socket walls and "ice gasket and which may serve as communication means between the interior of the housing and the interior of the stem and the characteristic that if the slot or bottom of the stem become clogged, it is possible to rotate the same in the socket thereby finding a new location which may be free of hardened matter or clogging materials. Obviously the spray head also may be removed and the bottom end of the stem cleaned by hand.

In the said application Serial No. 169, 841, now Patent No. $188,008, there is described a construction in which instead of a cylindrical socket in the valve plunger co-acting with the bottom end of the stem, the socket has stop means limiting the amount of rotation of the spray head. In addition, along its upper edge the valve plunger has a variable ramp or series of steps formed in the wall thereof, cutting into the said wall from the interior thereof but not extending all the way through so that the upper edge of the valve plunger may still function as a circular valve seat. The slot in the stem is of such length that when the bottom end of the stem is fully seated in the socket, the upper end of the slot will extend slightly above the rim or valve seat of the plunger. The rotative disposition of the valve stem relative to the plunger can be varied thereby bringing the upper end of the slot adjacent the portion of the rim which is not provided with the ramp or steps as well as different parts of the ramp 'or steps. This in effect will change the entrance or opening from the outside of the stem through the slot and into the bore of the stem. By choosing any given position, the user may control the rate of spray which is especially advantageous in spraying hair lacquer, paint, insecticide and deodorizing chemicals.

Several disadvantages were apparent in connection with the structure of said co-pending application Serial 169,841. These disadvantages will be explained below.

One disadvantage was that in the operation of installing the cover member and valve structure upon the canister or bottle, the exact disposition of the ramp or series of steps relative to the cover member could not readily be predetermined during manufacture. It was therefore not feasible to mark the cover member with indicia to show the degrees of spray rate.

The second disadvantage was that between uses of the pressurized package, the pressurized product would tend to cause adherence between the plunger and the stem so that when the user attempted to rotate the spray head in order to obtain a different spray rate, the plunger would rotate with the spray head thereby defeating the purpose of building means for obtaining a variable spray rate into the valve structure.

The disadvantage mentioned immediately above also obtains in spray apparatus of this same general type not necessarily provided with means for varying the spray rate. For example, in pressurized packages of paint, enamel, lacquer and the like, it is not uncommon for the spray head and the valve plunger to adhere so that if the slot or bottom of the stem is clogged, mere rotation will not clear it, it being necessary completely to remove this spray head to find another location in the socket which is clear.

A further disadvantage of the prior structure was that because the spray head was required to be rotated frequently, and since the slot extended into the gasket above the valve plunger, constant back and forth rotation would cause the slot to scrape the rubberlike material from the inner surface of the central opening of the gasket, this rubber tending to accumulate and clog the slot as Well as the ramp or steps. This of course would render the operation of the variable spray apparatus unsatisfactory and inefficient, and while it is feasible to remove the spray head and clean the slot, one could not reach the ramp or steps of the valve plunger to clean the same. event, it was a nuisance to the user.-

The primary object of the invention is to obviate the above described disadvantages by the particular structure as set forth hereinafter.

A specific object is to provide a structure which will enable the manufacturer of the apparatus to orient the valve plunger so that its ramp or steps will be precisely oriented relative to the cover member so that the cover member may be suitably marked with the various degrees of spray rate, if desired.

Another specific object of the invention is to provide a construction in which the housing and valve plunger have a key and groove arrangement preventing relative rotation of the valve plunger with respect to the housing, the housing being fixed relative to the cover member and canister or bottle.

Still a further specific object of the invention is to provide a valve plunger construction and stem construction in which the slot of the stern is completely below the upper rim or valve seat of the valve plunger and thereby does not extend into the gasket so that none of the material of the gasket will be scraped away by the slot as the spray head is rotated during the use of the apparatus.

In connection with the specific object set forth immediately above, the invention herein is concerned with the specific concept of utilizing an annular pocket or gallery completely surrounding the valve plunger at its upper end, on the interior thereof, with the slot terminating at the pocket, but this being applied to a structure which provides for a variable spray. The use and application of such an arrangement in which there is a pocket in the upper end of the valve plunger and the slot of the stem does not extend above the valve plunger when the stem is fully seated in its socket is described and claimed in a co-pending application of the applicant herein entitled Valve Structure for Pressurized Spray Package Serial No. 298,946, filed July 31, 1963.

Another object of the invention is to provide various means for enabling control and metering of the pressurized product at different rates.

The foregoing objects as well as other objects and advantages of the invention will occur to those skilled in this art as preferred embodiments are described in detail hereinafter, especially by referring to the drawings illustrating the same.

In the said drawings, in which like characters of reference will be used throughout the several figures in order to designate the same or equivalent elements or components.

FIG. 1 is a median sectional view taken through a valve and spray head constructed in accordance with the inven tion, secured to the top of a canister, the same being taken generally along the line 11 of FIG. la.

FIG. 1a is a fragmentary side elevational view showing the environment of the invention as applied to the top of a canister.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view" of the valve structure of FIG. 1 showing the same in the condition where the spray head has been pressed downwardly to cause the spraying of the pressurized product at a minimum spray rate.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view but on an enlarged scale showing the relationship of the stem of the spray head and the valve plunger during operation as in FIG. 2, with the bottom end of the stem being shown in elevation, from the right in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the bottom end of the stem of the spray head.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational developed view of the inside of the valve plunger to show the arrangement of the steps, this view being taken as though one were on the .interior of the valve plunger looking against the inner Wall as indicated by the arrows 5 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken with the In either stem in place, along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5 and looking in the direction of the arrows, it being assumed that the slot of the stem is located approximately at the line 6-6, this being the condition of minimum spray rate.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to that of FIG. 6 but taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 5, it being assumed in this case that the slot of the stem is aligned with the line 7-7 as showing the condition of the parts when the spray rate is of medium value.

FIG. 8 is a view similar to that of FIGS. 6 and 7 but taken along the line 88 of FIG. 5 and in the direction of the arrows, it being assumed that the slot of the stem is aligned with the line 88 at a condition of maximum spray rate.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken through the valve plunger and the housing generally along the line 99 of FIG. 1 and in-the direction indicated by the arrows.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken generally along the line Ill-10 of FIG. 2 and in the direction indicated by the arrows.

FIG. 11 is a top perspective view of the valve plunger showing the construction thereof.

FIG. 12 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5 but of a modified form of the invention in which a ramp is used instead of steps.

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to that of FIG. 6 but showing a modified form of the invention.

FIG. 14 is a view similar to that of FIG. 4 but showing a modified form of the invention.

FIG. 15 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5.

FIGS. 16, 17 and 18 are views similar to those of FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, but in this case, the sections are taken through the lines 1616, 17-17 and 18--18 of FIG. 15, assuming the stem of FIG. 14 is disposed in the three positions in the valve plunger 62.

FIGS. 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 are quite similar to FIGS. 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18, respectively, but showing another modified form of the invention.

The invention is characterized, and the advantages are achieved, by the provision of cooperative means on the valve plunger and the interior of the valve housing to prevent their relative rotation one with respect to the other while not interfering with the reciprocal movement of the plunger up and down within the housing. Obviously the housing is fixed to the cover member. Additionally, the invention is characterized by the provision of the pocket or gallery mentioned in the objects above so that the slot in the bottom end of the stem need not extend up past the valve seat to engage within the central opening of the gasket.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. la is a small elevational view of the upper end of a pressurized package designated generally by the reference character 20. There is provided a canister comprising a metal cylinder 22 having an upper dome 24 and a bottom end (not shown) all designed to contain the pressure to which such packages are subjected. The dome 24 has an upper opening .25 formed with a rolled edge 26 as shown in FIG. 1, and the entire valve structure and spray head are adapted to be secured to said opening 25 in sealing engagement with the rolled edge 26.

Normally the filler, that is the manufacturer who assembles the pressurized package with the pressurized product on the interior thereof, purchases the canisters and valve mechanisms from different sources as mentioned hereinabove. The invention herein concerns itself in no way with the canister which may be of any suitable construction other than shown. It may alternatively be a bottle which will require some modification of the cover member to be described, but reference thereto hereinafter is to be understood merely for indicating an environment. in which the invention is used.

The product manufactured and sold to the filler by the valve maker consists of the parts shown in FIG. 1 exclusive of the canister dome 24. These parts: are given general characters of reference, and specific details will also be identified. The character 30 is the metal cover member; the character 32 is the valve housing assembled in sealed connection with the cover member; the character 34 is a long resilient plastic dip tube attached to the housing 32 in a manner to be described; and the character 36 is the spray head mounted on the valve mechanism contained in the housing.

The cover member 30 preferably is formed of sheet metal and has an annular curled-over lip 38 formed on the edge of the body 40 which, as seen, provides an annular well 42 by reason of the formation of an upwardly extending boss 44 in the center thereof. The lip 38 has an inlay of gasket material 46 when furnished to the filler by means of which the filler may seal the cover member 30 in place when he crimps the same to the rolled edge 26 of the canister 22. The valve housing 32 is a separate, generally cylindrical structure having a flared or thickened upper end 48 and a constricted bottom end 50 into which the dip tube 34 is frictionally engaged. Both plastic and metal housings may be used, but it may be assumed that the structure illustrated is of plastic. The clip tube is of resilient plastic material and extends down to the bottom of the cylinder 22. In the particular configuration shown, it is tightly engaged within the constricted or thickened portion 50 by means of a split collar 51. The split collar 51 is forced into the throat of the constricted bottom end 50 with the tube seized therein and contracts about the tube 34 frictionally holding the same and itself in place.

The housing 32 is secured to the boss 44 by having its thickened end 48 engaged against the bottom of an annular, perforated gasket 52 which is formed of rubberlike material. This gasket is disposed on the top of the boss engaged against the bottom of the end wall 54 of the said boss, the assembly being tightly held in place by suitable crimps or pinches 55 upsetting the metal of the boss 44 inwardly in places around its circumference, under the thickened portion 48. The center of the end wall is perforated at 56 and the resulting opening has the edges slightly turned up. This is common technique in the manufacture of these articles, and is only mentioned to explain the apparent thickening of the gasket at the hole 56 as in FIGS. 1 and 2. The gasket 52 is originally a flat disc and is slightly relieved at the hole 56 to provide resilience and compressibility when the stem of the spray head is inserted. This will enable a sliding and sealing fit with the stem.

The housing 32 provides an enclosed valve chamber 58 which will permit the pressurized mixture to pass up the dip tube 34 and escape to the atmosphere out of the opening 56 unless prevented from doing so by some means blocking the opening 56 as well as the center perforation 60 in the gasket 52. These means comprise the valve plunger 62 which is reciprocable in the chamber 58, but normally is pressed upward by a helical spring 64, the bottom end of which engages the inside of the housing 32 at the thickened portion 50 and the upper end of which engages upon the reduced diameter bottom end 66 of the plunger 62. The plunger 62 has a configuration best shown in FIG. 11 and is designed for vertical reciprocation within the housing 32.

The barrel or body 68 of the plunger 62 is cylindrical in configuration and has an annular flange '70 integrally formed co-axial with the barrel 68 and disposed between the reduced diameter portion 66 and the barrel 68. The diameter of the flange 70 is approximately equal to the inner diameter of the chamber 58 at 72 adjacent the top thereof so that the plunger 62 is thereby guided in vertical, reciprocal motion within the chamber 58. The interior wall of the housing 32 is provided with a pair of diametrically opposed vertical, integrally formed ribs '74 which extend from just above the thickened portion 50 to the point 76 at which point the upper ends of the ribs are tapered. The point 76 is a point above which the flange 70 will not travel in its reciprocal movement. The flange 70, as well as the reduced diameter portion 66, is divided in two by means of a relatively large transverse passageway 78, and in assembling the valve structure, this passageway 78 cooperates with the ribs 74 in the manner of a groove and key arrangement permanently to prevent relative rotation between the plunger 62 and the housing 32.

Where the plunger housing 32 is molded from plastic materials, it is convenient to form the ribs 74 in the same mold so that they are integral with the housing. Where the housing 32 is made of sheet metal, the ribs may be upset or stamped from the metal during its drawing, if it is drawn. Likewise, only one rib is required, but two will probably give more even reciprocation. If more than two ribs are used, there must be at least as many grooves in flange 70 as there are ribs. It is possible also to form grooves in the housing wall and ribs on the plunger 62.

The plunger 62 is also characterized by the provision of a central co-axial socket 80 opening upward and having an enlarged diameter portion just before the upper end of the barrel 68 thereby forming the annular pocket 82. This also gives rise to an annular imperforate valve seat 84 on the extreme upper end of the plunger 62. The socket side wall terminates at the pocket 82 which forms a lip therefor.

As seen in FIG. 11, a pair of steps of different depth are formed in the side wall of the socket 80 as shown at 86 and 87, these steps cooperating along with the bottom surface 88 of the pocket 82 and the stem of the spray head 36 in a manner to be described in order to enable the dispensing of different rates of spray from the spray head 36. In another form of the invention, instead of the steps 86 and 87, there is provided a ramp 90 also formed in the side wall of the socket 80. In still another form of the invention, spray rate is controlled by the construction of the stem.

At its bottom end, the socket is provided with a central upwardly extending pilot projection 92 which is spaced from the inner surface of the socket 80 and is co-axial therewith to provide thereby a track 94 of partial annular configuration which provides for the seating of the bottom end of the stem of the spray head 36, as will be described. There is a connection or web at 96 between the pilot projection 92 and the valve plunger 62 whose purpose it is to limit relative rotation between the plunger 62 and the stern of the spray head 36, as will be described. The connection 96 is in the form of a segment the top end of which is indicated at 98 in FIG. 2 and provides a short arcuate track for another portion of the stem.

The spray head 36 as previously mentioned includes an integral, depending stem 102 which is best shown in FIG. 1. This stem is hollow to provide a central bore 104 serving as an expansion chamber that communicates at its top end 106 with an external metering orifice 108. Pressurized product entering into the expansion chamber 104 will be driven out of the spray head 36 by way of the metering orifice 108 and the cylindrical spray guide 110.

At its lower end, the stern 102 has a lower arcuate skirt portion 112 which is of a suitable configuration and dimensions to conform to the track 94 so that rotation of the stem 102 may be guided in the track 94 without wobbling of the stem. The lower skirt 112 is a segment of a complete annulus lesser in degree than track 94 and provides end faces 114 and 114 which are designed to cooperate with opposite faces 116 and 116' of the connecting web portion 96 to limit rotation of the stem 102. An axial step in the stem 102 provides another upper arcuate skirt portion 118 designed to ride upon the track 98 during rotation of the stem 102 and provides additional stabilization thereof. The upper skirt portion has a circumferential extent which is the difference in degrees between the circumferential extent of the lower skirt portion 112 and 360. Conveniently, the skirts each occupy 180". For a web portion 96 occupying 60 of a complete circle, the track 94 will be 300 in extent and this will allow for a rotation of 120 of the stem 102 from stop to stop. In the stern wall, and opening to the bottom end of the skirt portion 118, there is provided an elongate axially extending slot 120 whose bottom end may be somewhat enlarged as shown at 122 and 124. The enlargement enables the accumulation of draining pressurized product during periods that the apparatus is not being used Without building up material that might clog the slot 120 at its upper end, this latter being the critical portion of the slot. It should be appreciated that the slot shown in FIG. 4 is greatly exaggerated in dimensions. Another purpose may be assigned to enlargement of the slot as described hereinafter.

The upper end of the slot 120 is designated 126 and this upper end is disposed below the valve seat 84 when the stem 102 is seated in the socket 80 for operation of the apparatus. In this manner no portion of the slot 120 opens to the gasket 52 but instead the slot 120 opens to the pocket 82 so that when the plunger 02 is pressed downwardly as shown in FIG. 2, pressurized product will follow the line of arrows through the chamber 58 and through its upper end 72 into the pocket 82 through the slot 120 into the expansion chamber 104 and thence out of the spray head 36.

The dimensions of the bottom end of the stem 102 and the bottom structure of the socket 80 are chosen so that the stem 102 may be rotated only a fraction of a full rotation as explained. This will best be appreciated by an examination of FIG. 10. In FIG. 10, the stem is ap- I proximately in the center of its range of rotation although the surface 114 is closer to the stop surface 116 in the drawing than the surface 114 is to the surface 116. Looking at FIG. 5 which is a developed view taken on the inside of the plunger 62 from the position shown at the numeral 5 in FIG. 11 and looking generally in the direction of the arrows, in its full extent of rotation the stem will present the slot 120 to the pocket 82 at positions between thelines 66 and 88. When the slot is at the position of the line 6-6, as shown in FIG. 6, the entrance to the slot 120 from the pocket 82 is very small since it is defined by the upper end of the slot and the surface 88. In this condition, pressurized product which finds its way out of the apparatus will be sprayed at a fine rate. If the stem 102 is rotated in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 10, until it arrives at the line 7-7, the slot 120 opens to the pocket 82 at the step 86 as shown in FIG. 7. Obviously at this point the entrance to the slot 120 is much greater than previously described. The rate of spray will be increased. Continuing with rotation of the stem 102 relative to the plunger 62, until the slot 120 aligns with the line 88, this is a condition of maximum spray since the slot 120 is now disposed at the step 87 which is the deepest. Maximum pressurized product will be dispensed under this condition.

Obviously the steps 86 and 87 may be increased in number or may be in the form of a ramp 90 as shown in FIG. 12, in which case the spray rate will be gradual instead of in the form of definite rates.

If desired, for very fine spray rates where the slot 120 is extremely small, a strengthening web 130 may be inserted to maintain the dimensions of the slot as shown in FIG. 13.

As thus far described it has been assumed that the spray rate or metering is controlled by controlling the frontal area of the opening into the slot 120, viewed from the pocket 82 or either of the steps 86 or 87, depending upon the rotative disposition of the stern 102 relative to the valve plunger 62. This of course is merely one form which the invention takes. Likewise it has been assumed that the axial length of the narrowest portions of the slot 120 is greater than the distance between the seat 87 and the upper end 126 when the stem is fully bottomed. In this latter case, the enlarged portion 122 does not reach as high as the step 87.

The invention need not be limited to the operations mentioned immediately above.

In FIGS. 14 through 18 inclusive the slot of the stem 102 has a very narrow upper portion 121 and a very wide lower portion 122'. The axial length of the narrow portion from its upper end 126 to the level 123 at which the large slot portion 122 commences is less than the distance from said end 126 to the step 87. Because of this, the step 87 communicates with the enlarged slot portion 122 in maximum spray rate condition of the apparatus. This occurs when the slot 120 is at the line 18-18 of FIG. 15 and is illustrated at FIG. 18. Obviously the spray rate is quite radically increased in moving the stem 62 from the position of FIG. 17 to that of FIG. 18 when comparing the increase achieved in moving from the minimum spray rate position of FIG. 16 to the mid-position of FIG. 17.

Such an arrangement would be desirable where a heavy dispensing of the pressurized product is required at maximum position and a very fine dispensing at the first two positions. Hair lacquer packages especially would use such an arrangement.

It will be seen that the structure of FIGS. 1 through 13 easily could be adapted to such operation as described in connection with FIGS. 14 through 18 merely by decreasing the axial length of the upper narrow portion 120 so that the wider portion 122 has its upper end opening to the step 87.

In FIGS. 19 to 23 inclusive, instead of depending upon the frontal opening to the slot 120. for metering, a constriction in the slot caused by the use of webs such as shown at 130 in FIG. 13 may be used. Thus, the stem 102 has a slot 120 with an upper narrow part 121, a middle, wider part 122 and a lower part 124 that is much wider than the part 122. These three parts are each backed up by the respective thickened parts of a stepped web 130' which has thicknesses decreasing from top to bottom. This gives rise to three constrictions 140, 142 and 144, increasing in radial dimension from top to bottom, and each opening to the parts 121, 122 and 124 respectively. The axial lengths of the slot portions 121, 122 and 123 are such that: The portion 121 opens to the pocket 82 above the level 88 and extends down below that level so that when in the position shown in FIG. 21, metering will be controlled by the constriction the portion 122 opens to the step 86 and does not extend above level 88 so that when in the position shown in FIG. 22, metering will be controlled by the constriction 142; the portion 123 opens to the step 87 and does not extend above level of step 86 so that when in the position shown in FIG. 23 metering will be controlled by the constriction 144.

In each of the positions described the dimensions are such that the front area of the exposed opening to the slot is greater than the radial area of the constriction controlling the metering at that position. The radial area of a constriction is defined as the area through a constriction on a plane perpendicular to the axis of the stern. This dimension is equal to xy for constriction 144 where x is the radial thickness of the constriction (FIG. 21) and y is its circumferential width (FIG. 19). In all cases the slot 120 will be narrower than the circumferential extent of the steps 86 or 87. Obviously the effect of the front-on increase in the entrance size because of the added opening of part 121 in FIG. 22 will not affect metering control of constriction 142; nor will the added frontal area of parts 121 and 122 affect metering control of the constriction 144 when the stem is in the position shown in FIG. 23.

A two-step arrangement may be used instead of the three-step structure illustrated.

Both of the structures of FIGS. 14 through 23 use a 9 chamfer 150 as shown for piloting the stem skirt 118.

In assembling the apparatus automatic machinery may be used to insert the plunger 62 into the housing 32 in a rotative motion so that the ribs or keys 74 fall into the ends of the transverse passageway 70'. The stem 102 may also be inserted in a rotative motion thereby causing one of the surfaces 114 or 114' to come up against its respective surface 116 or 116', thereby also moving the housing and plunger along with the stem to the end of the rotative movement caused by the assemblying machinery. At this point the crimping may be done as at 56 so that the entire assembled cover member with the valve mechanism and spray head is completed with all of the spray heads 36 oriented in the same direction with the same valve arrangement. At this point the outer surface of the rim 38 of the cover member 40 may be suitably marked, imprinted or may have an insert secured giving the rotative disposition of the spray head 36 required to produce fine, medium and coarse sprays.

Obviously the same process may be accomplished on a smaller scale by assembling everything together and then having a worker rotate the spray head to find the several locations. Actually the assembler may rotate the spray head 36 to the end of its movement and mark all of the rates at one time, since their relative positions are known.

Although the invention has maximum utility in a variable spray device, it is deemed of no small importance to provide a construction of the character such as described without provision for variable spray, in which it is feasible to rotate the stern within the valve plunger with assurance that the plunger will not also rotate. The removability of the stem provides added advantages.

The invention as described herein is capable of being applied to varied arrangements without in any way departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What it is desired to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a spray apparatus in which there is a cover member adapted to be mounted on a canister, a valve structure and removable spray head secured to said cover member to control the dispensing of pressurized product to be introduced in said canister, in which the valve structure includes a valve housing with a dip tube adapted to bring pressurized product to the interior of said housing, a spring pressed valve plunger reciprocable in said housing, means forming a socket in the plunger opening to the top thereof and an annular valve seat about the said top of the socket, a resilient gasket secured in said cover member with said housing and having a central opening, a central passageway in the cover member, said socket, opening and passageway being coaxially aligned and the opening and passageway providing means for the escape of pressurized product from said housing if not blocked by said valve seat being engaged against said gasket, and in which the removable spray head includes a depending hollow stem having an axial slot in a wall thereof opening to the bottom end of said stem and the said stem extending through the passageway and central opening in a sealed but rotative and slidable engagement and having the said bottom end seated in said socket with the top end of the slot extending out of the socket so that pressing down on the sprayhead will lower the valve seat from said gasket and permit communication between the hollow bore of the stern and the housing by way of the upper end of said slot; the invention herein which comprises a slot and key connection between said housing and plunger permitting reciprocation of the plunger within the housing while preventing rotation of the plunger relative to the housing.

2. A structure as claimed in claim 1 in which said slot and key connection comprises at least one axially extending rib formed on the interior of said housing and an axial- 10 1y aligned groove formed in said plunger with the rib engaged in the groove.

3. A structure as claimed in claim 1 in which said housing has a pair of axially extending ribs formed on opposite sides of the interior thereof and in which said plunger includes an annular flange having opposite notches therein engaging the respective ribs, said notches and ribs comprising said slot and key connection.

4. A structure as claimed in claim 1 in which means are provided to vary the elfective cross-sectional area of slot extending out of the socket with rotation of the stem relative to the valve plunger.

5. A structure as claimed in claim 1 in which there is an annular pocket in said valve plunger formed between said valve seat and the upper end of said socket and in which said top end of said slot terminates below said valve seat and in said pocket.

6. A structure as claimed in claim 1 in which there is an annular pocket in said valve plunger formed between said valve seat and the upper end of said socket and in which said top end of said slot terminates below said valve seat and in said pocket, and in which there are means formed in a portion of the circumference of said socket wall opening to said pocket which, when aligned with said slot give access to a greater extent of said slot than when said slot is aligned with the remainder of the wall of said socket.

7. A structure as claimed in claim 6 in which saidlast means comprise at least a notch.

8. A structure as claimed in claim 7 in which saidnotch is of constant axial depth throughout its circumferential extent.

9. A structure as claimed in claim 7 in which said notch is of variable axial depth throughout its circumferential extent.

10. A structure as claimed in claim 1 in which the upper end of the socket has an enlarged diameter portion just below the top of the plunger to form an annular pocket spaced radially inward of said valve seat, the pocket having a bottom surface axially spaced downward from said valve seat, and in which the top end of the slot extends above the said bottom surface but terminates below the valve seat so that the portion of the slot exposed in said pocket will determine the rate of flow of pressurized product into said hollow stem, and in which there is at least one notch in the wall of the socket intersecting said bottom surface and extending axially downward therefrom so that when the slot is aligned with the notch, more of said slot will be exposed in communication with said pocket than when the slot is aligned with other parts of said socket wall where there is no notch.

11. A variable spray device which comprises a cover member adapted to be mounted on a canister or the like, a housing secured to said cover member and clamping an annular gasket in the upper end of the cover member, a valve plunger reciprocable in said housing adapted to seat against the gasket, means forming a hole in the cover member and means forming a passageway in the gasket, a sprayhead having a depending hollow stem with a slot in its side wall opening to the bottom end thereof, the stem extending through the hole and passageway in sealed, reciprocatory removable relation therewith, and an aligned socket in the plunger opening toward the top end of the plunger and matingly receiving the bottom end of the stem therein, means providing for limited rotative movement of the stem in the socket, the upper end of the socket being enlarged to provide an interior annular pocket spaced inwardly of the top end of the valve plunger and thereby forming an annular valve seat on said plunger top end, said pocket having at least one notch in the side wall of said socket communicating therewith, the slot and stem having the dimensional relationship such that when the stem is fully bottomed in the socket the slot has its upper end terminating in said pocket below said valve seat and the slot being blocked by the wall of the socket throughout its entire extent except for the part exposed in said pocket if it is not aligned with said notch, but a greater extent of said slot being exposed to increase the amount of pressurized product capable of passing from said pocket into said stem when said slot is aligned with said notch.

12. A device as claimed in claim 11 in which said notch has two parts of diflferent axial depth one shallow and one deep to give different exposures of said slot.

13. A device as claimed in claim 11 in which the lower end of the socket and the lower end of the stem have means cooperating to limit the amount of rotation of the stern relative to the plunger sufiicient to bring the notched and an unnotched portion of said pocket selectively into alignment with said slot during rotation of the stem.

14. A device as claimed in claim 11 in which the lower end of the socket has a center projection with a segment connected to the wall of the socket and two arcuate tracks are formed axially spaced from one another, and in which the lower end of the stem has two skirts of different length, each engaging a respective track, the bottommost track being substantially greater in arcuate extent than the bottommost skirt whereby to limit relative rotation of stem and plunger so the notched and some unnotched portions of said socket wall may be aligned with the upper end of the slot.

15. In a valve construction for pressurized packages in which there is a cover member, a housing secured to the cover member, a gasket clamped between the housing and cover member, a valve plunger reciprocable in the housing, and a removable spray head of the construction having a depending slotted stem, said stem sealingly, slidably and rotatably extending through the cover member and gasket and then into the plunger to enable pressurized products to pass through the slotted stem from said housing, and in Which the valve plunger is spring pressed against the gasket mounted in the cover member to block passage of said pressurized products to said sprayhead, the invention which comprises slot and key means for preventing relative rotation between said plunger and housing so that rotation of the spray head will cause positive rotation of said stem relative to said plunger.

16. A variable spray device as claimed in claim 11 in which the slot includes an upper portion and a wider lower portion and in which the upper portion extends to and connects with said wider portion at a point below said pocket and at least the upper part of said wider portion is exposed when said slot is so aligned with said notch.

17. A variable spray device as claimed in claim 12 in which the slot includes an upper portion and a wider lower portion and in which the upper portion extends to and connects with the said wider portion at a point below said pocket and the shallow part of said notch, and at,

against the gasket, means forming a hole in the cover member and means forming a passageway in the gasket, a sprayhead having a depending hollow stem with a slot in its Side wall opening to the bottom end thereof, the stem extending through the hole and passageway in sealed, reciprocatory removable relation therewith, and a socket aligned with the hole and passageway opening to the top end of the plunger and matingly receiving the bottom end of the stem therein, means providing for limited rotary movement of the stern in the socket, an annular valve seat formed on the top end of the plunger, the socket side wall having at least one notch opening to the lip of the socket and spaced radially inward of the outer periphery of the valve seat, and the slot and stem having the dimensional relationship such that when the stem is fully bottomed in the socket the slot has its upper end terminating above said lip and the slot being blocked by the side wall of the socket throughout its entire extent except for the part exposed above said lip if said slot is not rotatively aligned with said notch, but a greater axial extent of said slot being exposed when said slot is aligned with said notch, said slot having a portion wider than the part exposed above the lip commencing below said lip but at least partially opening to said notch when the slot is aligned with the notch.

19. A device as claimed in claim 18 in which the notch has a shallow part and a deep part and the wider portion of the slot commences in said deep part.

20. A device as claimed in claim 18 in which there is a stepped web in the slot at least blocking the upper end thereof and forming a first metering constriction at the part. exposed above the lip and a second larger metering constriction at the wider portion.

21. A device as claimed in claim 18 in which the notch has a shallow part and a deep part and the wider portion of the slot commences in the shallow part and extends downward, terminating in a second even wider portion in the deep part, and in which there is a stepped web backing u the upper end of the slot and extending below the notch and forming metering constrictions of downwardly increasing cross sectional areas corresponding to the respective widths of the slot portions.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 24,981 5/61 Bretz 239573 X 927,575 7/09 Miller 222-514 1,923,974 8/33 Hand 222-390 2,328,863 9/43 Threm. 2,757,964 8/56 Both et al. 2,777,735 1/57 Green 222251 X 2,806,739 9/57 Drell 239579 X 2,862,648 12/58 Cooksley et al 239-573 X 2,913,154 11/59 Kuifer. 2,989,251 6/61 Abplanalp 239573 X 2,991,044 7/61 Briechle. 2,997,243 8/61 Kolb 239-337 3,118,439 1/64 Perrenoud 222514 X RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/402.24, 222/402.17, 251/353, 239/579, 239/573, 239/337, 222/514
International ClassificationB65D83/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/48, B65D83/44
European ClassificationB65D83/44, B65D83/48