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Publication numberUS3228559 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 11, 1966
Filing dateSep 17, 1963
Priority dateSep 17, 1963
Publication numberUS 3228559 A, US 3228559A, US-A-3228559, US3228559 A, US3228559A
InventorsCouffer Robert W
Original AssigneeDole Valve Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pressurized beverage dispenser development
US 3228559 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 11, 1966 R, w. COUFFER 3,228,559

PRESSURIZED BEVERAGE DISPENSER DEVELOPMENT Filed Sept. 17, 1963 /0 V V F/GZ I NVENTOR.

Poberf ZJ. Cou fire r Cw; 2%, A; ORNEYQ United States Patent 3,228,559 PRESSURIZED BEVERAGE DISPENSER DEVELOPMENT Robert W. Conifer, Deerfield, Ill., assignor to The Dole Valve Company, Morton Grove, 11]., a corporation of Illinois Filed Sept. 17, 1963, Ser. No. 309,481 12 Claims. (Cl. 222-52) The present invention relates to pressurized beverage dispensers and more particularly relates to a self contained pressurized dispenser having means for maintaining the contained beverage under a relatively constant pressure even as the beverage is withdrawn from the container.

This invention will find particular utility in a carbonated drink or beer dispenser of a size and shape adapted for use in household refrigerators. Such household dispensers may be constructed in the form of a keg or an oblong can and of a size such that they will fit conveniently on the shelf of a household refrigerator. The keg or can will have a tap valve at one end thereof to provide a means whereby if desired, the contained beverage can be drawn off without removing the keg from its shelf. A safety valve will be provided on the cover to relieve pressure at 50 to 75 psi.

Ideally, such a pressurized dispenser will be a complete self-contained one requiring no external pressurizing device and yet being of very low cost and thus susceptible of high quantity production and distributable on a depositfor-return basis. The present invention is directed to such a dispenser.

It is recognized that valves used in controlling the rates of flow of highly pressurized gases sometimes tend to freeze-up in use. An assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention however obviates this problem because the pressurized fluid valve is completely immersed within the beverage and the beverage conducts the low emperature away from the valve to prevent such freezeup.

A bellows assern ly is employed in the structure formed in accord with this invention, but unlike other bellowsassociated dispensers the bellows of the present invention is so formed and situated in the container that upon bellows failure, the system will fail safe in that none of the beverage will be lost to the atmosphere, nor will any pressurizing fluid be permitted to pass into the beverage after such failure.

In general the pressurized beverage dispenser which forms the subject of the present invention comprises a container which defines a beverage-containing chamber and which has a pressurized fluid bottle mounted within the chamber. The pressurized fluid bottle may contain a gas such as CO under pressures in the realm of 1200 psi. A valve is associated with the bottle to control the flow of CO therefrom and this valve is actuated as a function of the pressure of the beverage contained within the said chamber.

Beverage pressure is sensed and valve actuation efiected by a bellows which has one end seated on a bellows platform and which has its opposite end cooperable with the valve to control actuation thereof. The bellows is completely immersed within the beverage but only the valve cooper-able end thereof is movable and directly exposed to the beverage; the opposite end being held rigidly on the bellows platform.

The bellows itself contains a fluid which remains under a relatively constant pressure so that bellows end wall movement (and thereby valve actuation) is effected only when a differential pressure exists across the said end wall. Obviously then the pressure of fluid within the bellows can be determinitive of the pressure to which the beverage will be subject.

In addition to the foregoing, the bellows platform is adjustably mounted within the chamber so that by varying the position of the platform within the chamber the beverage pressure point at which valve actuation will be effected will also be varied. Still further, this adjustable mounting feature permits the bellows to be held out of engagement with the valve so that closure of the valve will be assured during transit.

In view of the foregoing it is a principle object of the present invention to provide an improved self-contained pressurized beverage dispenser having means for maintaining the contained beverage under a relatively constant pressure even as the beverage is withdrawn from the container.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a pressurized beverage dispenser of the type above described which can be produced readily and at low cost and which is designed so that the pressurizing fluid control valve will not freeze up in use.

Another object of the invention resides in a provision of such a dispenser which employs a pressurized bellows assembly for controlling the flow of pressurizing fluid to the beverage in accordance with the pressure of the beverage and which, upon breakage, will fail safe so that none of the beverage will be lost to the atmosphere.

Yet another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a pressurized beverage dispenser employing a beverage immersed bellows and including also manual means for disabling the bellows to assure valve closure during container transport. Another and important object of the invention resides in the provision of manual means for adjustably mounting the bellows within the chamber so that the beverage pressure point at which valve actuation is effected can also be varied.

These and other objects and advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from time to time as the following specification proceeds and with reference to the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through a pressurized beverage dispenser constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and showing the bellows assembly and the associated pressurizing fluid bottle in detail; and

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the beverage dispenser.

The container 10 is fragmentarily shown in the drawing as having an end cap 11 threadedly mounted thereon. As noted above, the container 10 may be designed in the form of a keg if desired for use in dispensing beer and in such event may be of a size suitable for placement on the shelf of a household refrigerator. In such an instance, the container 10 will be provided at one end or the other with a tap valve V, such as is shown in FIGURE 2, so that the contained beverage can be drawn off without removing the container from its position on the refrigerator shelf.

The container 10 and associated end cap 11 serve to define a beverage containing chamber 12 having a bellows assembly 13 and pressurized fluid bottle 14 mounted therein.

The pressurized fluid bottle 14 may contain carbon dioxide or any other pressurizing fluid suitable to the character of the beverage contained within the chamber 12. In the case of keg-type beer dispensers proportioned for use in a household refrigerator, the bottle 14 will preferably contain liquid carbon dioxide under a pressure of approximately 1200 psi. The bottle 14 has its neck 15 threadedly mounted within a central threaded bore 16 formed in a supporting strap or stirrup 17 which stirrup has its outturned end 18 mounted on and rigidly secured to the cap 11 by means of mounting screws 19.

A valve fitting 20 is threadedly mounted within the neck 15 of the bottle 14 at the mouth 21 thereof and has a ported transverse wall 22 to slidably receive the shank 23 of valve member 24 therethrough. The valve member 24 has an enlarged head 25 formed on the upper end thereof and a flat valve head 26 formed on the opposite end thereof; The valve head 26 is cooperable with an annular seat 27 which is formed on the fitting 20 and which faces the interior of the bottle 14. As a result of this disposition of parts and the fact that the fluid within the bottle 14 is under very high pressure, the internal bottle pressure will normally tend to seat the valve head 26 on its seat and prevent the escape of any fluid from the bottle to the chamber 12. Ports 28 are formed within the transverse wall 22 and permit fluid to flow into the chamber 12, when the valve head 26 has been unseated.

The bellows assembly 13 is the means by which pressure of the beverage within the chamber 12 is sensed and actuation of valve member 24 is effected.

The bellows assembly 13 comprises generally a bellows platform 30 having the end wall 31 of a bellows 32 seated thereon. The bellows platform 30 is itself rotatably mounted on the innermost end of an adjustment screw 33 which, in turn, is threadedly mounted in and guided by the boss 34 formed integrally with and centrally of the end cap 11. As previously mentioned, a rotational mounting is provided at 35 so that rotation of the adjustment screw 33 need not effect rotation of the platform 30. Since such a rotational mounting is well understood by those skilled in the art however it is not shown in detail.

As also previously noted, the end wall 31 of bellows 32 is seated on the platform 30. The opposite end wall 36 of the said bellows is formed of metal or other nonyielding material and has an enlarged boss 37 formed integrally therewith and depending therefrom in the center thereof. The boss 37 abuts the head 25 as the uppermost end of the valve member 24 so that expensive bellows movement will be transmitted to the valve member to unseat the valve head 26 from the seat 27 and permit the escape of CO from the bottle 14.

As has already been pointed out, the bellows 32 is filled with a fluid under pressure. For a bellows adapted for use in a household type pressurized beer dispenser, the bellows may have an end' wall 36 with a diameter of about three inches and with a seven square inch surface area, and under such circumstances the pressure of fluid within the bellows may be under a pressure of 15 to 20 p.s.i.

If the bellows internal pressure is 15 to 20 p.s.i. and the liquid CO pressure is approximately 1200 p.s.i. the beverage within chamber 12 will be maintained under pressure of 10 to 12 p.s.i.

It is well understood of course that desired pressures for beers vary with the types of carbonations of the beers and with the temperatures under which the beer is stored. The system which we have here disclosed can of course be modified by increasing the pressure of fluid within the bellows, increasing the surface area of the end wall 36 of the bellows, or decreasing the surface area of the valve head 26 in order to raise the pressure, level of the beverage within thev chamber 12. Obviously pressure level of the beer in chamber 12 could be lowered also.

The adjustment screw 33 however provides a means whereby the pressure level of valve actuation can be varied manually after the bellows assembly has been installed. It will be observed that and O-ring 38 is seated within the boss 34 in surrounding relationship to the head 39 of the screw 33 to provide a positive fluid seal. By tightening down the screw 33 as is shown in the drawing, the fluid within the bellows will be placed under greater compression and valve unseating will therefore take place at a higher beverage pressure level than if the screw were moved longitudinally upwardly from the position shown.

When the force of pressurized fluid within the bellows 32 acting downwardly on the end wall 36-exceeds the combined upward force of beverage pressure within the chamber 12, a spring 40, and the pressure of CO within the bottle 14 acting upwardly on the valve member 24, the head 26 will be unseated from the seat 27 and CO will escape from the bottle through the ports 23 and into the chamber 12. When the pressure of the beverage within chamber 12 has increased to such a point that the sum of its upwardly directed force on the end wall 36 and the upwardly directed force of the pressurized CO on the valve member 24 and the upwardlydirected force of the spring 40 exceeds the downwardly directed force of the pressurized fluid within bellows 32, the valve member 24 will again be seated. Such action will take place each time beverage is drawn off the container.

The conical compression spring 40 is interposed between the stirrup 17 and the end wall 36 of the bellows 32 to aid in assuring quick shutoff of the valve member 24 should there for some reason be a failure of the be]- lows 32.

In addition, it is very important to note that a plurality of legs 41 extend along the side of the bellows 32 and have in-t urned fingers 42 which extend over the under surface of the end wall 36. The spacing between the inner surface of the platform 30 and the inner surface of the inturned fingers '42 is such that when the platform 30 is in the normal operating position shown in the drawing bellows movement will not be interfered with. It will be noted however that by rotating the adjustment screw 33 within the boss 34 the platform 30 can be moved axially in the direction of the inner surface of the end cap 11 and that such movement can be effected to an extent suflicient to cause the inner surfaces of the fingers 42 to engage the periphery of the end wall 36 and move the boss 37 thereof out of engagement with the head 25 of valve member 24. When such movement is effected a positive closure is provided for, the gas bottle 14. Such an adjustment will of course be desirable when the container is to be shipped from one place to another to assure that there will not be an undue buildup of pressure in the chamber 12 caused by extreme temperature variances and rough handling. Once the container has reached its destination the adjustment screw 53 can then be screwed down to approximately the position illustrated in the drawing and the bellows assembly will then be operational.

In addition, separate means are provided for initially charging the interior of the container with CO so that the bottled gas need not be employed for this purpose. A simple time-type valve can be mounted on the container for this purpose and when the bottle is initially mounted .on the container the bellows assembly can be adjusted to its transport position to prevent opening of the valve 24.

It will be understood that this embodiment of he pres en invention has been used for illustrative purposes only and that various modifications and variations in the invention may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts thereof.

I claim as my invention:

1. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamber,

a pressurizing fiuid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

a valve member cooperable with said orifice and movable longitudinally to control the rate of fluid flow therethrough,

a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with a control fluid under pressure and rnouned at one end on said bellows support and having its other end engageable with said valve member,

said other end of said bellows having its outer surfac exposed to the beverage within said chamber,

whereby pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to move said valve member to control fluid flow through said orifice, and

means limiting the degree of movement of said other end of said bellows relative to said orifice.

2. A beverage dispenser constructed in accordance with claim 1 wherein said last-named means includes a manually adjustable element extending exteriorly of said container and connected to said bellows support to move the support toward or away from said vessel.

3. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamber,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

normally closed valve means at said orifice for controlling the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough,

' a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with control fluid under pressure and mounted at one end on said bellows support and having its other end cooperable with said valve means to effect actuation thereof,

said other end of said bellows having its outer surface exposed to said beverage Within said chamber,

whereby a predetermined pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to open said valve means to permit fluid flow through said orifice, and

means limiting the degree of movement of said other end of said bellows relative to said valve means.

4. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamber,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

normally closed valve means at said orifice for controlling the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough,

a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with control fluid under pressure and mounted at one end on said bellows support and having its other end cooperable with said valve means to effect actuation thereof,

said other end of said bellows having its outer surface exposed to said beverage within said chamber,

whereby a predetermined pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to open said valve means to permit fluid flow through said orifice, and

means limiting the degree of movement of said other end of said bellows in a valve opening direction.

5. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for Withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamber,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

normal-1y closed valve means at said orifice for controlling the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough,

a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with control fluid under pressure and mounted at one end on said bellows support and having is other end cooperable with said valve means to effect actuation thereof,

said other end of said bellows having its outer surface exposed to said beverage within said chamber,

whereby a predetermined pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to open said valve means to permit fluid flow through said orifice, and

means limiting the degree of movement of said other end of said bellows in each of two directions.

6. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamber,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

normally closed valve means at said orifice for controlling the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough,

a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with control fluid under pressure and mounted at one end on said bellows support and having its other end cooperable with said valve means to effect actuation thereof,

said other end of said bellows having its outer surface exposed to said beverage within said chamber,

whereby a predetermined pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to open said valve means to permit fluid flow through said orifice, and

manually adjustable means extending exteriorly of said container and cooperable with said other end of said bellows to limit the degree of movement thereof.

7. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for Withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamher,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

normally closed valve means at said orifice for controlling the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough,

a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with control fluid under pressure and mounted at one end on said bellows support and having its other end cooperable with said valve means to effect actuation thereof,

said other end of said bellows havings its outer surface exposed to said beverage within said chamber,

whereby a predetermined pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to open said valve means to permit fluid flow through said orifice, and

manually adjustable means extending exteriorly of said container and cooperable with said other end of said bellows to limit the degree of movement of said other end of said bellows in each of two directions.

8. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamher,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

normally closed valve means at said orifice for controlling the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough,

a bellows support,

a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with control fluid under pressure and mounted at one end on said bellows support and having its other end cooperable with said valve means to elfect actuation thereof,

said other end of said bellows having its outer surface exposed to said beverage within said chamber,

whereby a predetermined pressure differential across said other end of said bellows causes said other end to open said valve means to permit fluid flow through therethrough, said orifice, and a bellows support including a platform, manually adjustable means extending exteriorly of said a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with container and cooperable with said other end of said a control fluid under pressure and mounted at one bellows to limit the degree of movement of said other end on said bellows support platform and having its end of said bellows in at least one direction. 10 opposite end engageable with said valve member, 9. A beverage dispenser comprising: said opposite end of said bellows having its outer sura container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverface exposed to the beverage within said chamber, age therefrom and defining a beverage-containing whereby pressure differential across said opposite end chamber, of said bellows causes said opposite end to move said a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container valve member to control fluid flow through said and having an orifice opening from the interior orifice, thereof to said chamber, a bellows caging member extending from said platform a valve member cooperable with said orifice and movabout said bellows and over said one end thereof,

able longitudinally to control the rate of fluid flow said caging member having finger means spaced from therethrough, said platform a distance sufficient to permit a limited a bellows support including a platform, degree of movement of said one end of said bellows a sealed bellows defining a closed chamber filled with relative to said platform, and

a control fluid under pressure and mounted at one manually adjustable means extending exteriorly of said end on said bellows support platform and having its container for varying the position of said platform opposite end engageable with said valve member, and caging member relative to said orifice.

and having an orifice opening from the interior thereof to said chamber,

a valve member cooperable with said orifice and movable longitudinally to control the rate of fluid flow 12. The dispenser recited in claim 11 wherein said caging member is movable by said adjustable means to a point wherein said caging member finger means impinges said one end of said bellows and disengages it from said valve member.

References Cited by the Examiner container for varying the position of said platform UNITED STATES PATENTS relative to. said orifice.

10. The dispenser recited in claim 9 wherein means are $222 53 engageable with said opposite end of said bellows for dis- 30O6515 10/1961 Midni "755 X engaging same from said valve member to render said 30248O0 3/1961 Lfiwisg u 222 X bellows ineffective in actuating said valve member. 3127059 3/1964 ggggzzfi"" X 11. A beverage dispenser comprising:

a container having a tap valve for withdrawing beverage therefrom and defining a beverage-containing chamber,

a pressurizing fluid vessel mounted on said container LOUIS J. DEMBO, Primary Examiner.

HADD S. LANE, RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2009467 *Sep 30, 1933Jul 30, 1935Amsdell Larell JFluid receptacle
US2812109 *May 11, 1954Nov 5, 1957Richard K WentzContainer
US3006515 *Sep 16, 1957Oct 31, 1961Midnight Wilbur GBeverage container and dispenser device
US3024800 *Jul 24, 1959Mar 13, 1962Alumasc LtdCasks and valve means therefor
US3127059 *Mar 14, 1961Mar 31, 1964 figure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5110012 *Jan 11, 1991May 5, 1992Scholle CorporationBeverage container with regulated pressure
US6161726 *Dec 24, 1998Dec 19, 2000Arichell Technologies, Inc.Pressure-compensated liquid dispenser
US7721919 *Jan 20, 2004May 25, 2010Ips Patent S.A.System for applying a working pressure to a content of a pressure package with the aid of a propellant
US8006872 *Jan 21, 2004Aug 30, 2011I.P.S. Research And Development B.V.Pressure package system
US8006873 *Jan 20, 2004Aug 30, 2011I.P.S. Research And Development B.V.Pressure package system
US8177103 *Jul 15, 2004May 15, 2012Heineken Supply Chain B.V.Pressure regulating container for carbonated drink
US20080116230 *Jul 15, 2004May 22, 2008Engbert Hermannes PakkertPressure Regulator For Container For Carbonated Drink
WO2008060157A1 *Nov 19, 2007May 22, 2008Heineken Supply Chain BvContainer for dispensing beverage
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/61, 222/399
International ClassificationB67D1/00, B67D1/04
Cooperative ClassificationB67D1/0412
European ClassificationB67D1/04B