US 3269614 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
8- 0, 1966 R. H. ABPLANALP DISPENSING CAPFOR AN AEROSOL CONTAINER Filed July 30, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Y Mf M m 9 Em o V/ T www flu Paberl f/emy BY QQ-WLM 0, 1966 R. H. ABPLANALP DISPENSING CAP FOR AN AEROSOL CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 30, 1963 INVENTOR. flb blanalp Faber! Hemy BYQ I HTTOPNEY United States Patent 3,269,614 DISPENSING CAP FOR AN AEROSOL CONTAINER Robert Henry Abplanalp, 10 Hewitt Ave., Bronxville, N.Y. Filed July 30, 1963, Ser. No. 298,660 11 Claims. (Cl. 222-394) This invention concerns a dispensing cap for an aerosol container and is an improvement of the cap of United States Reissue Patent No. 24,555, issued October 28, 1958.
The cap of that patent embodies an upstanding side wall adapted to be supported upon a container. To this wall is integrally hinged a tab which extends across the confines of this wall and is provided on its under side with a socket to receive the valve stem of such container. A discharge outlet leads from the socket to the exterior of the cap and, when the tab is depressed in the direction of the container to lower the valve stem, opens the valve in the container to dispense material through the discharge outlet.
The so-called tab cap of that patent has been manufactured and sold in large numbers and provides a highly satisfactory and efiicient device for dispensing aerosols. There are, however, cases where a more universal movement of the tab relative to the side wall of the cap than permitted by the structure shown in the drawing of that patent, would be advantageous. The primary object of the present invention is to provide such a cap.
This object is attained by so :hinging the tab to the side wall of the cap that it may, in effect, longitudinally float and at the same time be free for bodily movement normal to its surface and be also free for pivotal movement on its hinged connection with the remainder of the cap. This floating ability of the tab is the result of providing a flexible hinge whose pivotal axis of vertical rotation is displaceable.
An important feature of the invention is that, when the tab is so mounted, the tab will naturally adapt itself to the position of the valve stem so that there is no tendency to move said stem out of plumb and bend or tilt the latter.
Another feature of the invention consists in so forming the socket which receives the valve stem as to further preclude any tendency to bend the valve stem or move the valve out of plumb when the latter is operated. This feature has the further advantage of autogenousl-y effecting proper seating of the valve in the socket even though the external diameter of the valve stem may differ under quantity production.
The foregoing object and the manner of accomplishing the same are particularly important when the valve stem is of plastic material and thus does not inherently embody the strength of a metal valve stem.
Features of the invention, other than those adverted to, will be apparent from the hereinafter detailed description and appended claims, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
The accompanying drawings illustrate different practical embodiments of the invention, but the constructions therein shown are to be understood as illustrative, only, and not as defining the limits of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a cross section of a cap embodying the present invention, said section being taken on the line 1-1 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the cap of FIG. 1 as viewed from the direction of the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a section on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the tab broken away from the wall of the cap, so as to show a portion of the hinge illustrated in the previous figures.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a modified form of construction.
3,269,614 Patented August 30, 1966 "ice FIG. 6 is an underneath plan view of the cap shown in FIG. 5, as viewed in the direction of the line 6-6 in FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the cap of FIGS. 5 and 6, broken away to show one of the hinge members for said tab.
Referring first to the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 14 inclusive, the body of the cap comprises a substantially cylindrical wall 1, the upper end of which is extended inwardly as at 2 to form a top wall provided with an opening 3 in which is hinged a valve operating tab 4. The lower edge of the wall 1 has an internal bead 5 adapted to hook under the rolled edge of the conventional mounting cup to removably mount the cap body on the dispenser container. The cap body may also include an additional outer wall 6 secured to the lateral wall 1 by extending the top wall 2 as shown, although the body may be made with or without the additional wall 6 as desired. The top wall of the cap is preferably dished as shown, although it may be made fiat without departing from this invention. Also the upper portion of the body may be provided at one side with a recess 7 which affords convenient access to the tab 4.
The tab 4 is provided on its under side with a socket 8 adapted to receive the valve stem of the dispenser. This socket may, according to the present invention, be made of substantially cylindrical form for its entire depth. However, it has been found that if the uppermost portion 9 of the socket is made cylindrical while the lower portion of the socket is tapered as shown at 9, certain advantages result. When tapered as shown, the valve stem will be guided into the cylindrical portion 9' until it seats therein to form a hermetic seal therewith. However, if the valve stem happens to be slightly oversize, so that it cannot enter the cylindrical portion 9, it will still make a hermetic seal with the tapered portion 9 of the socket. In practice, both the cap and the valve stem are generally of plastic material so that in either event a thoroughly satisfactory seal is accomplished. A further advantage of tapering the socket is that it permits tilting of the tab 4 without any tendency to bend the valve stem and throw it out of line.
All these features greatly assist in assuring many advantages of a tapered socket over a cylindrical socket and such a tapered socket is desirable in the cap of this invention.
The tab 4 is also provided above the socket with an expansion chamber 10 from which leads a discharge passage 11 of any appropriate form.
The hinging of the tab 4 to the body of the cap according to this invention may be accomplished in different ways to produce a so-called floating connection between the valve operating tab and the cap body. In the structures of FIGS. 1-4, the tab is hingedly secured to such body by a relatively narrow integral strip 12 in the form of a depending loop. This loop extends downwardly from the top wall of the cap, so as to provide sufficient material in the loop to minimize excessive bending of any part thereof during the operating of the tab.
The loop of the strip 12 is shown as longitudinally angular in form although, if desired, this lower portion may be curvilinear in shape. One upright side of the loop, indicated at 13 (FIGS. 3 and 4), is formed by molding slots 14 in a depending flange 15 about the inner margin of the opening 3, as shown best in FIG. 3. The opposite upright side of the loop is produced 'by forming slots 16 in the adjacent portions of a flange 17 which extends downwardly about the marginal edge of the tab 4, as shown in FIG. 4.
In practice, both of the flanges 15 and 17 may be slotted as at 14 and 16 as this arrangement produces the maximum floating mounting for the tab. However,
3 if desired, the cap body may be slotted at 14, as shown in FIG. 3 without slotting the tab, or the tab may be slotted, as shown in FIG. 4, without the cap body, without departing from this invention. In any event slotting in the manner described produces, with the narrow hinge strip 12, a complete or partial loop which will permit of almost universal, floating movement of the tab, so that it may readily adapt itself during operation of the valve to the proper position of the valve stem. This is so because the relatively narrow relatively thin plastic hinge strip will bend, twist or stretch as may be required to produce the results stated.
FIGS. 5-7 show another form of construction wherein floating or substantially universal movement of the tab relative to the cap body is obtained. Here, instead of slotting the cap body and/or tab, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 to provide the single hinge strip 12, as in the preceding figures, the forward end of the tab is hinged to the cap body by a pair of aligned strips 18 which interconnect the lower portion of the depending marginal flange 17 of the tab with the flange 15 which extends around the margin of the opening 3 of the cap body. In all other respects, the structure of the cap and tab are as shown in the preceding figures.
Inasmuch as the cap and tab are injection molded from plastic material, it will be apparent that the aligned strips 18 are inherently flexible and resilient and may twist to permit pivotal movement of the tab, stretch to allow up and down bodily movement of the tab within reasonable limits and also bend and stretch to allow of movement of the tab longitudinally and laterally so that the socket in the tab will adapt itself to the position of the valve stem without placing any bending strains on the latter.
It therefore follows that in both forms of the invention shown, the tab is pivoted for substantially universal movement, but is held in proper relation to the valve stem by the latter during operation of the valve. By providing the hinge at a position low on the tab, the axis about which the tab rotates upon actuation is positioned such that the horizontal component of motion of the socket is reduced in comparison to a tab hinged at its top. This reduced horizontal motion reduces the tendency of the hinged tab to tilt the valve stem by causing a motion more nearly vertical.
Furthermore the tab is so flexibly mounted that the hinged portion thereof has no tendency to autogenously exert any downward pressure on the valve stem and no such pressure is applied to the stem unless or until it is manually depressed for dispensing purposes.
The foregoing detailed description sets forth the invention in its preferred practical forms, but the invention is to be understood as fully commensurate with the appended claims.
Having thus fully described the invention, what I laim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A one-piece injection-molded cap for an aerosol dispenser comprising: a cap body having a top opening defined by a flange which extends downwardly from the top surface of the cap, a valve operating tab positioned Within said top opening and having a valve stem receiving socket therein, and a flexible hinge element having a displaceable axis of rotation compnising a relatively narrow, relatively thin strip of resilient material connecting said flange to said valve operating tab to allow said valve operating tab limited freedom of motion in any direction relative to said cap body.
2. A cap according to claim 1 wherein the hinge element is a resilient stripin the form of a loop.
3. A cap according to claim 1 wherein the hinge element is a pair of aligned resilient strips.
4. A cap according to claim 1, wherein the socket of the tab is a tapered socket.
5. A one-piece injection molded plastic cap for an aerosol dispenser comprising: a cap body having a top opening, a valve operating tab positioned with-in said opening and having a socket to receive the valve stem of a container, and a relatively narrow flexible hinge strip forming a depending loop portion extending across said opening with one end of the strip integral with the cap body and the other end integral with the forward end of the tab.
6. A one-piece injection molded plastic cap for an aerosol dispenser comprising: a cap body having a central opening with a marginal depending flange, a valve operating tab positioned within said opening and also having a marginal depending flange, the cap body and tab being hingably connected to one another by a relatively narrow hinge strip, adjacent the opposite end portions of which at least one of said flanges is provided with upright slots to extend said strip into said flange to form a flexible hinge.
7. A cap according to claim 6, wherein both flanges are slotted to form a looped hinge portion.
8. A cap according to claim 7, wherein the tab is provided with a socket to receive the valve stem of a dispenser container.
9. A cap according to claim 8, wherein the socket is a tapered socket.
10. A one-piece injection molded plastic cap for an aerosol dispenser comprising a cap body having a central opening with a marginal depending flange, a valve operating tab positioned within said opening and having a socket to receive a valve stem therein, and also having a marginal depending flange, and aligned flexible strips extending across said opening on opposite sides of said valve operating tab between said flanges said strips being integral with both flanges.
11. A cap according to claim 10, wherein the socket of the tab is a tapered socket.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,819,116 1/1958 Abplanalp.
2,887,273 5/1959 Anderson et al 239337 2,894,660 7/ 1959 Gordon.
3,101,876 8/1963 Ayres.
3,107,826 10/1963 Kruck 239-337 X 3,109,565 1l/1963 Kutik.
3,185,349 5/1965 Sagarin 222-153 RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.