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Publication numberUS3229730 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1966
Filing dateJun 6, 1962
Priority dateJun 6, 1962
Publication numberUS 3229730 A, US 3229730A, US-A-3229730, US3229730 A, US3229730A
InventorsFrank Welty, Welty Raymond D
Original AssigneeFrank Welty, Welty Raymond D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for packaging carbonated beverages
US 3229730 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 18,1966 EWELTY ETAL 3,229,730

APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING CARBONATED BEVERAGES Filed June 6, 1962 INVENTORS FRANK WELTY BY RAYMOND D. WELTY United States Patent 3,229,730 APPARATUS FOR PACKAGING CARBONATED BEVERAGES Frank Welty, 4962 Lockwood Blvd, and Raymond D. Welty, 4307 Lake Road, both of Youngstown, Ohio Filed June 6, 1962, Ser. No. 200,583 4 Claims. (Cl. 141-18) This invention relates to the distribution and dispensing of carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks and beer, and more particularly to an improved method and apparatus for charging a distributing and dispensing container for the beverage. It has heretofore been proposed to provide such containers with two separate chambers divided by a flexible membrane or barrierone of the chambers being adapted to receive a predetermined quantity of the carbonated beverage while an expansible propellant is charged into the other of the chambers. The expellant may be in the form of a highly volatile liquid which generates an adequate gaseous pressure at the temperature at which the beverage is normally dispensed or simply compressed air or gas such as carbon dioxide. Whatever the nature of the expellant this distribution and dispensing method requires that the volumetric quantity of the beverage charged into the first mentioned chamber of the distributing and dispensing container be metered and, further, that the conditions of beverage inflow be such that the carbonating gas remains absorbed in the liquid.

The above-mentioned, two related requirements have heretofore caused considerable difliculty in the filling or changing of the pressurized dispensing containers due mainly to the characteristic that even a momentary reduction in pressure below a predetermined minimum in the carbonated beverage being charged will result in break-out of the carbonating gas. We have observed that once this separation begins for any cause the same has a tendency to proceed in a chain reaction manner and excessive foaming then results. The mere reapplication of pressure will not cause reabsorption of the gas. It is accordingly the primary object of this invention to provide a wholly practical method and apparatus for charging predetermined quantities of carbonated beverages into a pressurized dispensing container under such conditions of beverage handling and flow that initiation of separation of carb'onating gas and liquid in the beverage is as siduously prevented.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved method and apparatus of the kind and for the purpose stated above which is readily adaptable for high speed use in an automated container charging assembly.

The manner in which the above objects are accomplished as well as other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following specification and the accompanying drawing wherein there is disclosed a preferred embodiment of the invention.

The sole figure of the drawing is a combined fragmentary section and schematic view of the apparatus used to carry out the method of our invention.

In the drawing, reference numeral designates a container which may be made of any material having adequate strength to withstand the pressure to which the container is charged in normal use. This container has a wide-mouthed opening 11 which is closed by a cap 12 carrying a protective chine ring or guard 13. Although not shown herein, the cap 12 is secured to the container 10 by a quick detachable bayonet-joint securing means, and a suitable gasket is provided to provide an effective seal between the cap and the opening 11.

Carried by the cap 12 on a shank 14 which passes through an aperture in the cap is a dispensing faucet 15 having an operating lever 16, all disposed within the protected space provided by the ring or guard 13. The faucet 3,229,730 Patented Jan. 18, 1966 15 may be of the kind shown in our US. Patent No. 3,082,783. The shank 14 is adequately sealed in the aperture of the cap 12 and has a passage 17 therethrough which connects at its inlet end with a flexible small-diametered restriction tube 18. As shown, the passage 17 leads to the discharge nozzle of the faucet 15, and in actual practice this faucet and passage is also used to charge the beverage into the container. In order that the charging rate may be more practical through avoidance of the necessity of forcing the beverage through the smalldiametered tube 18 we provide a one-way valve shown generally at 19. This valve 19 consists of a flexible and expandable sealing ring 20 which fits within an annular groove formed in the reduced inner portion of the shank 14. Communicating with this groove are a plurality of radially extending and circumferentially spaced passages which lead outwardly from the passage 17. The operation of this valve 19 is such that liquid pressure applied to the passage 17 when charging the container is operative to expand the ring 20 and thus permit the direct inflow of the liquid or beverage into the container without passing through the small-diametered tube 18. When the pressure in the container is the same as the pressure in the passage 17 the ring 20 contracts to close the valve. Thus, when the beverage is dispensed through passage 17 the valve 19 is closed and the beverage must pass through the restriction tube 18. The purpose of the tube 18 15 10 dissipate the static pressure of the beverage in dispens ng, and the resulting kinetic energy in the outward moving stream of beverage is dissipated in the passage 17 which, as shown, is of increasing cross-section in the direction of beverage flow. Y

Positioned within the container 10 is a thin flexible barrier bag 21 which may be formed of a composite polyethylene and Mylar filament. This bag 21 has only one opening which is sealed about the shank 14, as shown, and it should be apparent that the bag 21 provides two chambers within the container-one within the bag for reception of the beverage and the other between the inner surface of the container 10 and the outer surface of the bag 21 for the reception of the expellant with which the unit is charged at time of filling. To provide access to this latter chamber we provide a valved conduit 22 which is also carried on the cap 12 in side by side relation to the dispensing faucet 15 and also within the protective space provided by the guard 13. It should be particularly noted that in addition to providing the two chambers above described the barrier bag 21 has the further advantages of keeping the beverage away from the inner surfaces of the cap 12 and container 10 so that these may be made of inexpensive materials and of preventing any contact between the expellant and the beverage whereby inexpensive gases may be used for the expellant and whereby there can be no decrease or increase in the degree of carbonation of the beverage as occurs when carbon dioxide gas in direct contact with the beverage is used as the expellant.

In actual practice we prefer, for reasons of economy, to use compressed air for the expellant, and for this purpose the outer port of the fitting 22 may be connected to a suitable source of air under regulated pressure to initially collapse the bag 21 completely and fill the container with a charge of compressed air at the desired pressure. The value of this initial pressure is equal to the pressure required to maintain the desired degree of carbonation in the beverage under all temperature conditions to which the charged container may be subjected. Thus, this initial pressure may be that required to maintain the desired degree of carbonation in the beverage at all normal room temperatures and even when the bevr 3 erage is subjected to areasonable degree of agitation as occurs in normal handling of the charged container.

It should be understood that normally the container above described is charged with both the beverage and the expellant at the bottler or brewery with the use of automatic equipment which includes conveyor means, not shown, operative to advance the successive containers to a beverage charging station which is illustrated more or less schematically in the drawing. This station comprises a header 23 which is slidably mounted on a suitable sup port 24, and a cylinder 25 is provided to move the header 23 upwardly and downwardly. Mounted on the header 23 is a telescopic tube 26 having an upper nozzle 27 adapted to be received in the discharge nozzle of the faucet 15. Surrounding the nozzle 27 and also carried on the telescopic tube assembly is a sleeve 28 having an outwardly flaring upper end the purpose of which is to guide the nozzle 27 into the nozzle of the faucet 15 to make a connection for the inflow of beverage. A spring 29 keeps the telescopic tube assembly in extended position. It will be understood that the containers reach the beverage-charging station in the inclined position shown, that the containers are already pre-changed with compressed air at this time, and that the cylinder 25 has sufficient stroke to return the parts 26 thru 29 enough to permit the container to move into proper position. The sliding header 23 has an inlet connection 30 and a passage leading to the tube 26, and in the filling operation the carbonated beverage is conducted to the inlet 30 in the manner now to be described.

When compressed air is used as the expellant, as stated above, its initial charge (bag 21 fully collapsed) must be further compressed to provide space for the incoming beverage. To control the final pressure attained while yet providing suflicient volume to expel all of the charged beverage at pressures suflicient to maintain the desired degree of carbonation in the beverage we measure the volume of beverage charged by means of the following apparatus. Reference numeral 31 designates the cylinder of a positive displacement pump having an inlet check valve 32 and an outlet check valve 33 which is suitably connected to the inlet 30 of the header 23 by means of suitable flexible -conduit.- The carbonated beverage, whether beer or a soft drink, is fed under adequate pressure from any suitable source to the inlet 32 of the pump 31, and this source pressure must be slightly less than the initial air pressure in the container other- Wise the container could be at least partially filled with unmeasured beverage. However, the handling pressure of the beverage at the brewery or bottler may be quite low because the beverage is refrigerated.

As explained initially above, the beverage must be continuously handled in such manner that there is no momentary reduction in pressure below the predetermined minimum at which the carbonating gas will break out and separate from the liquid of the beverage. This is accomplished in our invention by utilizing the pressure of the beverage source to completely fill the cylinder 31 and by providing for the controlled resistance to the resultant movement'of the piston 34 in the cylinder 31. Piston 34 is connected to a rod 35 which mounts at its opposite end a piston 36 in hydraulic cylinder 37. Adjustable in one end of the cylinder 37 is a threaded stud 38 which controls the extent of movement of the pistons and rod to the right, thus controlling the total volume of beverage allowed to enter into the cylinder 31 upon filling of the .pump. Leading into the end of the cylinder 37 adjacent the stud 38 is a conduit 39 which during the pumping stroke of the apparatus is supplied with oil under pressure by a pump P from reservoir 40 and through conduit 41, check valve 42, and needle valve 43. The conduit 39 is also connected to an accumulator 44, and for a purpose to be later described back to the reservoir 40 thru a solenoid-operated two-way valve 45 and a series connected needle or metering valve 46. Also, for a purpose to be later described, the conduit 41 is connected back to the reservoir 40 thru a solenoidoperated two-way valve 47. A switch 48 is arranged to be actuated (closed) when the pistons 34, 36 reach their full right positions, meaning that the pump 31 has been fully filled. Reference numeral 49 represents a water spray which is continuously injected into the rod end of the cylinder 31 to keep the inner wall of the cylinder 31 in a clean washed condition. This water is continuously drained at 50. A similar drain 51 is provided in the rod end of cylinder 37 to continuously relieve any pressure which may otherwise develop on the rod side of piston 36.

Considering now the operation of the beverage charging apparatus described above, it will be understood that in standby condition the nozzle 27 and guide 28 will be retracted to permit the unfilled but air-charged container to move into beverage-charging position, the cylinder 31 contains the measured quantity of beverage, and solenoid valve 47 is deenergized to permit the output of the pump P to bypass back into the reservoir 40. The residual pressure in conduit 41 is insuflicient to open the spring biased check valve 42. As soon as the container 10 is moved into proper position the cylinder 25 may be actuated under manual or automatic control to force the nozzle 27 up into fluidtight relation with the outlet nozzle of the faucet 15. This faucet is now opened, again either manually or under automatic control. During this time the valve 45 is energized and is closed. If new the valve 47 is energized either manually or automatically by closure of switch 48 the output of pump P is supplied to conduit 39 at a rate controlled by the setting of metering valve 43. This causes the pistons 34 and 36 to move to the left at a controlled rate of speed to move the beverage in cylinder 31 thru header 23 and nozzle 27 into the bag 21, the last passage being the check valve 19. Upon the pump 31 being emptied the faucet 15 is closed, the cylinder 25 may then be actuated to retract the nozzle 27 and guide 28, and simultaneously the valves 45 and 47 are deenergized. It should be noted that during this entire cycle at least the source pressure of the beverage has been maintained at all times in the valve end of the pumping cylinder 31. For this purpose the spring biasing the outlet check valve 33 is made sufficiently strong to require a somewhat higher than source pressure for its opening. The inlet check valve 32, however, is much softer so that the beverage from the source can readily enter into the valve end of cylinder 31 and proceed to fill the same, moving the piston 34 to the right at a speed controlled by the setting of the metering valve 46. This control of the movement of the piston 34 is very important since it does not permit of any abrupt motion of the piston which would have the effect of momentarily reducing the pressure in the pumping chamber. If such momentary reduction in pressure would occur the carbonating gas in the beverage coming into the pumping chamber would instantly break out and cause excessive loss of carbonation in any beverage and excessive foaming in the case of beer. It should be understood that in the drawing the parts are not in proper relative scale. Thus, in actual practice, the capacity of the pump 31 on each stroke is sufiicient to deliver all the beverage which is required to charge the container 10. We prefer to make this volume about two-thirds of the total volumetric capacity of the container 10 so that excessive pressures will not be built up in the container due to the resulting further compression of the air contained therein. Normally, about thirty-five pounds per square inch of pressure is sufficient to maintain the desired carbonation in the beverage under the conditions of transport and dispensing mentioned above, and since the initial charge of air in the container is compressed from three volumes to one volume during the charging of the beverage the maximum pressure obtained in the container will be about pounds per square inch. This figure keeps the strength requirements of the container, cap and cap locking means within practical limits. A safety feature is provided, of course, either in the form of a relief valve, not shown, incorporated in the fitting 22 or in the form of yieldable locking means for the cap 12, also not shown.

Inasmuch as the volumetric capacity of the assembly between the header 23 and the outlet nozzle 27 may be substantial, we also provide a spring-loaded relief valve 52 in the nozzle 27 to keep the beverage in this space under pressure at all times. The loading of valve 52 is such that the beverage contained in the conduits 30, 23, 26 and 27 is maintained at a pressure well above that required to hold the required degree of carbonation in the particular beverage being charged.

It should now be apparent that we have provided an improved method and apparatus for charging a distributing and dispensing container for beverages wherein the container is a complete dispensing unit in itself, having an integrally attached faucet with conduit means to deliver a beverage to a consumers glass without appreciable loss of carbonation and wherein the distributing and dispensing container is pre-charged with an expellant sufficient not only to empty the container of beverage but also to maintain an adequate carbonating pressure on the beverage under all normal conditions of use. The method and apparatus is well suited for use in automated large-volume plants, and of particular importance is the feature that the containers may be rapidly and eificiently charged with beverage either under manual or automatic control without any loss Whatever in the initial and desired degree of carbonation in the beverage. The gist of the invention as regards the latter feature is the controlled rate of expansion of the beverage measuring and pumping chamber. While in the illustrated and preferred embodiment of the invention this is done hydraulically it should be obvious that the same may be accomplished by mechanical means such as by properly contoured cams, for example. In

either method, the prime consideration is that the rate of expansion of the measuring and pumping chamber must be so related to the flow capacity of the conduits and valves leading from the beverage source that an adequate carbonating pressure is maintained on all the beverage at all times.

In the event that a volatile liquid such as Freon is used as the expellant, the back-pressuring, i.e. the pressure loading of the space between the barrier bag 20 and the container 10, may be accomplished either by a charge of the volatile liquid or by compressed air into which the volatile liquid is charged before the container is shipped out to the distributor or consumer.

Since, as indicated above, various changes may be made in the details of our invention Without departing from the spirit or scope thereof reference should be had to the appended claims in determining the scope of the invention.

We claim:

1. Apparatus for charging a predetermined quantity of a carbonated beverage into a chamber of a pre-pressurized container having a valved outlet which comprises a beverage-conducting nozzle adapted to be brought into connecting relation with the outlet of the chamber, means to supply the carbonated beverage to said nozzle at a predetermined rate and while continuously maintaining the beverage being supplied above the original pressure in the container, said means to supply comprising an expansible chamber having an inlet check valve for connection with a pressurized source of said beverage and an outlet check valve for connection with said nozzle, means to limit the rate of expansion of said expansible chamber to thereby prevent a drop in pressure of the beverage below a predetermined minimum value, means to limit the final expanded size of said expansible chamber to thereby meter the quantity of beverage finally contained in said expansible chamber, and means to forcibly contract said expansible chamber at a controlled rate to transfer the beverage contained in said expansible chamber through the nozzle and into the first-mentioned chamber.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 further characterized in that said expansible chamber comprises a cylinder having a closed end connected with the passages through said check valves and also having a piston therein, and means to spray the interior surface of said cylinder on the end of said piston which is opposite the end thereof facing the closed end of said cylinder.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 further characterized in that said expansible chamber comprises a cylinder with a sliding piston therein, means to control the sliding rate of said piston, and means to control the length of stroke of said piston.

4. Apparatus for furnishing a measured quantity of a carbonated beverage to a pressurized shipping container comprising a positive displacement pump having inlet and outlet check valves for connection, respectively, to a pressurized source of beverage and to a filling device for said container, said outlet check valve being operative to maintain a predetermined pressure in said pump during pumping actuation thereof, said pump having an expansible chamber arranged to be expanded by the pressure of the incoming beverage, means to control the rate of expansion of said chamber and to limit the ultimate size thereof, means to forcibly collapse said chamber, said means to control and to forcibly collapse comprising a second expansible chamber adapted to be filled with oil and a mechanical interconnection between said chambers whereby as the first mentioned chamber expands the second chamber contracts and vice versa, valve means to control the rate of outflow and inflow of oil with respect to said second chamber, and means to supply oil under pressure to said second chamber to thereby forcibly collapse the first mentioned chamber.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,613,023 10/1952 Reich 1413 X 2,785,537 3/1957 Mojonnier 141-3 X 2,815,152 12/1957 Mills 222-386.5 2,857,937 10/1958 Ayres 141-2O FOREIGN PATENTS 802,224 10/ 1958 Great Britain.

LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2613023 *Mar 11, 1950Oct 7, 1952Carter Prod IncMethod of filling pressuretight containers with a liquid product and a volatile propellant
US2785537 *Sep 28, 1954Mar 19, 1957Mojonnier Albert BFreon filling method and apparatus
US2815152 *Oct 7, 1949Dec 3, 1957Mills Lindley EDispensing package and method
US2857937 *May 10, 1954Oct 28, 1958Oil Equipment Lab IncApparatus for loading pressurized containers
GB802224A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5343901 *Mar 17, 1993Sep 6, 1994Philip MeshbergInsertable barrier bag or liner for a narrow neck dispensing container and method of filling such a barrier bag or liner
US5462099 *Jan 28, 1994Oct 31, 1995S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.System and method for pressurizing dispensing containers
USRE36410 *Aug 30, 1996Nov 30, 1999Meshberg; PhilipInsertable barrier bag or liner for a narrow neck dispensing container and method of filling such a barrier bag of liner
U.S. Classification141/18, 222/386.5
International ClassificationB67C3/32, B67C3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67C3/32
European ClassificationB67C3/32