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Publication numberUS3282471 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 1, 1966
Filing dateDec 22, 1965
Priority dateDec 22, 1965
Also published asDE1475176A1
Publication numberUS 3282471 A, US 3282471A, US-A-3282471, US3282471 A, US3282471A
InventorsLehmann Herbert G
Original AssigneeValve Corp Of America
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Plastic one-piece actuator and nozzle for small dispensers
US 3282471 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 1, 1966 H. G. LEHMANN 3,282,471


Herbert G. Lehmqnn United States Patent 3,282,471 PLASTIC ONE-PIECE ACTUATOR AND NOZZLE FOR SMALL DISPENSERS Herbert G. Lehmann, Valve Corporation of America, 1720 Fairfield Ave., Easton, Conn. Filed Dec. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 515,541 7 Claims. (Cl. 222-182) This invention relates to so-called one-piece actuators for small hand-held dispensers.

In the past, numerous one-piece and two-piece guardtype actuator caps have been produced for aerosol dispensers, comprising essentially a stationary guard or body portion and a movable push button portion or part, the latter carrying the nozzle and being mounted on a tubular valve stem or tubular plunger of a pressure can or a pump.

An advantage of one-piece actuators is the lower cost, since there are fewer pieces and simpler assemblies.

Due to the great travel required of a pump plunger, no one-piece cap-button actuator has ever been actually produced and employed commercially, so far as I am aware, with the pumping mechanism of small spray dispensers.

Some prior one-piece actuators utilize a hinge connection between the movable button-nozzle and the cap body. Such a connection greatly restricts the extent of movement of the button, and also requires the little movement which is possible to be of an arcuate character, different from the linear movement of valve stems or piston plungers. Accommodation is thus necessary, resulting in difficulty at times.

Other prior one-piece actuators, which do produce a linear motion and extensive travel of the button-nozzle, require costly molds and carefully held tolerances whereby they have not as yet been commercially produced.

Objects of the present invention are: to provide an improved one-piece plastic guard-type actuator which may be produced in simple molds, and which enables the button to have so great a travel that it is readily usable with a pump-type dispenser; to provide an actuator as above, where the button portion can move wholly in a straight line, and an actuator having a guarded or protected spray and which is rugged, reliable and not likely to crack, break or fail; to provide an actuator as characterized, which is extremely simple, easy and economical to mold; small, compact, easy to operate, of attractive appearance, and capable of production with either a large (jumbo) overall diameter in a double-skirt construction, or smaller overall diameters involving single skirt constructions.

Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of an improved onepiece guard-type actuator cap and spray button as provided by the invention, shown mounted on the upper portion of a pressurized container.

FIG. 2 is a view like that of FIG. 1, but showing the actuator with the button depressed or in the discharging position.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the one-piece actuator cap of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the actuator cap of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view, taken on the line 55 of FIG. 3, with the depress button being held down.

FIG. 6 is an axial sectional view of a single-mounting skirt-type actuator, carried by a pumping type dispenser.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of an actuator constituting another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of an actuator constituting still another embodiment of the invention.

3,282,471 Patented Nov. 1, 1966 "ice As shown, the improved cap is carried by a pressurized dispenser can 10 having the usual annular top edge 12, crimped closure shoulder 14, and hollow depressible valve stem 16.

In the illustrated embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-5, the cap is of the double-skirt type, although it should be understood that the larger or outer skirt is not essential to the functioning of the depress button or the mounting of the same, and the guarding against inadvertent operation.

The outer skirt 18 is shown as being generally cylindrical and concentric with an inner skirt 20. For mounting the cap, the inner skirt 20 has an internal detent bead 22 engaged with the undersurface of the crimped closure shoulder 14, in the usual manner. The outer skirt 18 engages the outer edge 12 of the can 10, and may add stability to the mounting of the cap.

In accordance with the present invention, a depress button 24 is provided and so connected to the inner skirt 20 as to enable a considerable, quite free and easy vertical straight line movement of the button to be effected, as may be seen from a comparison of FIGS. 1 and 2 showing respectively the non-depressed and depressed positions of the button. Moreover, the connector means between the button 24 and the inner skirt 20 is such as to enable onepiece fabrication of the cap with relatively simple molds, in a quick and economical manner.

Referring to FIG. 3, the depress button 24 is connected to the cap body by a plurality of thin, resilient connector strips of relatively great length, there being illustrated a substantially U-shaped inner connector strip 28, and a substantially U-shaped outer connector strip 26, said U-shaped strips having their ends joined by short yoke portions 30.

At two points intermediate their ends, the connector strips 26, 28 are also connected to each other by additional short webs 32. The depress button 24 is connected to the inner U-shaped connector strip 28 at three points, by short webs 34. Finally, the outer U-shaped connector strip 28 is connected to the inner skirt 20 of the cap body by three short connector webs 36. It will be seen that the short connector webs 36 and 34 are paired with each other, and that the short connector webs 32 are located substantially midway between the pairs 32, 36, so that the short webs are in a staggered pattern.

I have found that when an actuator cap is molded of linear polyethylene or equivalent plastic which has great resilience or flexibility and also toughness, a connector configuration as illustrated in FIG. 3 between the depress button 24 and the cap body permits a very substantial movement of the depress button to be effected without danger of cracking or tearing of the connector strips and webs. This is due to the provision of at least one long connector strip and the staggering of the short connector webs associated with the strip.

The cap body may comprise, in addition to the outer and inner skirts 18, 20, a substantially annular or continuous top connector wall or bridge 38 which as the front portion of the cap body makes a distinct dip, resulting in a deep V-noteh designated generally by the numeral 40, in FIG. 4, and an apron 45. Preferably, the notch 40 has divergent walls 42 and 44 as seen in FIG. 3, thereby to provide clearance for the divergent pattern of the spray from the depress button.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the button 24 has a small orifice piece 46 (also known as a mechanical brea and has a discharge channel 48 connecting the orifice piece 46 with the bore of the valve stem 16 on which the button 24 is frictionally mounted by a press-fit. The button 24 may be cored to reduce the mass of the plastic of which it is constituted, in a manner indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Referring again to FIG. 3 it will be seen that the depress button 24 is separated from the top wall 38 of the cap body by a plurality of arcuate grooves which are the result of the formation of the long connector strips 26, 28 and the short connector webs 30, 32, 34 and 36. While the button 24 is shown as having an oval shape, it will be understood that the button may be perfectly round, by making the connector strips 26, 28 concentric and of circular configuration rather than U-shaped, or it may be rectangular.

Considering FIG. 3 it will be seen that if the outer skirt 18 and the top connector wall 38 were to be removed from the inner skirt 20, the actuator cap would still be operative and useful, such operation resulting in a small overall size of actuator cap somewhat like the embodiment of FIG. 6, as distinguished from the large or jumbo size illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, 7 and 8.

In either case, I have found that by connecting the depress button through at least one long connector strip and the short webs along the lines of the showing of FIGS. 3 and 8, a large extent of movement of the button is permitted, such movement being also substantially linear and in fact enabling the button to exactly follow the straight line movement of the valve stem 16.

In place of a pressurized container 10 and valve stem 16 there may be utilized a non-pressurized container having a vertically movable hollow plunger or piston stem. In such case, the depress button 24 will be mounted on the top of the piston stem with the actuator body secured to the non-pressurized vessel, as in FIG. 6. Due to the great extent of movement of the button 24, an effective pumping action may be produced, involving appreciable vertical reciprocation of the plunger stem of the pump.

In FIG. 6 there is shown a non-pressurized container 50 having a hollow pump stem 52 on which there is mounted an actuator button 54 movably connected with a single depending skirt 56 of a cap body, such skirt being secured to a closure 58 of the dispenser, in which there is mounted a pump 60. This figure thus shows the use of the actuator cap with a pumping-type dispenser, as distinguished from the pressurized dispenser illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 7, wherein the main distinguishing feature over those already described resides in the depress button being substantially rectangular in shape, and in the elongate connecting strips being U-shaped with straight sides and straight bottom portions.

In FIG. 7 outer and inner skirts are designated respectively 18a and 20a, these being connected by a top wall or bridging portion 38a which dips downward a substantial distance at the front portion, providing an apron 62. The depress button 24a is connected to the inner skirt 20a by a plurality of U-shaped outer and inner elongate connector strips 261:, 28a with the inner strip being joined to the button by short webs 34a. The ends of the elongate strips 26a, 28a are joined by short webs 30a, and intermediate their ends the elongate connector strips are also joined by short webs 32a.

The outer elongate connector strip 26a is joined to the top wall portion 38a by short webs 36a. The functioning and operation of the actuator cap illustrated in FIG. 7 is similar to that already described in connection with the preceding figures. The depress button 24a has an orifice piece 46a, and when the button is depressed the material which is to be dispensed, is sprayed or discharged from the orifice piece. By the provision of the elongate connector strips and the short connecting webs, the depress button 24a has an extended straight line vertical movement suitable for pump mechanisms of pumping type dispensers, as well as for the vertically movable valve stems of pressurized dispensers.

Still another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 8. This embodiment is distinguished from the preceding embodiments in that but .a single elongate connecting web is utilized, between the depress button and the cap body portion. With such arrangement, a somewhat more limited movement can be expected of the button, but by making the connecting strips quite thin and utilizing angular or curved configurations, and also by using a very flexible plastic substance the extent of movement of the button may still be considerable and of a straight line nature, even though the elongate connecting strip experiences some slight twisting or temporary deformation.

In FIG. 8, the outer and inner skirts are labelled 18b, 20b and the top bridging wall is indicated at 3812. The top wall 38b has a front dip, providing an apron 62b below the orifice piece 461). Between the depress button 24!) and the top wall 38b there is a single substantially U-shaped elongate connecting strip 2817, having its two forward ends formed with angles and connected to forward portions of the button 2% by connecting webs 34b. The U-shaped connectingstrip 28b is also, at the center of its yoke portion, connected to the depress button 24!) by a third connecting web 34!), and the strip is connected at points intermediate its ends to the top cap wall 38b by short connecting webs 32b. By virtue of the fact that the connecting strip 28b is joined to the top wall 38b by only two short webs 3212, the depress button 24b is capable of a rocking or arcuate movement prior to the cap being assembled to the dispenser. However, after the depress button is frictionally fitted on the discharge stern of the dispenser, the button will be controlled as to its type of movement, by the straight line movement which characterizes the discharge stem. The embodiment of FIG. 8 is best used with pressurized valve controlled dispensers and with pumping type dispensers wherein a relatively short stroke is required.

'It will now be understood from the foregoing that I have provided an extremely simple one-piece plastic guard-type actuator and button combination wherein the button has an appreciable straight line vertical movement by which it may be readily utilized with pumping type dispensers which require an appreciable extent of movement of the actuator. The improved one-piece plastic cap is also effective with pressurized dispensers requiring less relative movement, and in each instance the actuator cap may be produced by relatively simple molds, at low cost and with high production techniques.

Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvement may be used without others.

I claim:

1. A one-piece plastic actuator and nozzle for small dispensers, comprising in combination:

(a) a tubular cap body having means at one end for securing it to the discharge end of a container,

(b) the other end of the cap body having an integral, elongate connecting strip of sustantially U-shape, disposed in a plane transverse to its axis,

(c) having a depress button, and a nozzle on and discharge passage in, said button,

(d) said button having means for mounting it on a tubular discharge stern of a dispenser with said passage and nozzle in communication therewith,

(c) said cap body including integral tie webs connecting opposite forward portions of the button to forward portions of the connecting strip at spaced points and in spaced relation therewith,

(f) including connecting means comprising integral outer tie webs connecting the connecting strip to said other end of the cap body at a plurality of spaced points and in spaced relation therewith,

(g) and including an integral tie web connecting a rearward portion of the button to said connecting strip,

(b) said tie webs being disposed in staggered relation with each other to provide for maximum relative 5 movement between the button and said other end of the cap body.

2. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:

(a) the connecting means, connecting strip and tie web formations provide devious connections between the depress button and said other end of the cap body.

3. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:

(a) said connecting means includes a second integral, elongate connecting strip of substantially U-shape, disposed in said plane and outside of the firstmentioned U-shaped strip but in closely spaced relation thereto,

(b) said other tie webs being joined to said second connecting strip,

(c) the connecting means, connecting strip and tie web formations provide devious connections between the depress button and said other end of the cap body.

4. The invention as in claim 3, wherein:

(a) said connecting strips are curvilinear and substantially concentric.

5. The invention as in claim 3, wherein:

(a) said connecting strips comprise straight leg portions and straight yoke portions joining the straight leg portions.

6. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:

(a) said forward portions of the connecting strip comprise the tips thereof,

(b) said forward portions being of angular shape with the tips extended inward toward each other.

7. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:

(a) there is an outer skirt portion surrounding and spaced from said cap body,

(b) a top wall connecting the upper ends of said skirt and cap body,

(c) said cap body, top wall and skirt being integral and molded as a single piece.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,761,594 9/1956 Stroh. 2,921,722 1/1960 Focht. 3,133,234 5/1964 Dietz 251141 X 3,139,223 6/ 1964 Kruck. 3,199,741 8/1965 Lehmann 222182 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.

N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2761594 *Feb 11, 1953Sep 4, 1956Scovill Manufacturing CoAerosol bomb dispensing cap
US2921722 *Aug 6, 1958Jan 19, 1960Precision Valve CorpDispensing cap for pressure packed materials
US3133234 *Jun 10, 1960May 12, 1964Penn ControlsMagnetic operator for valves or the like
US3139223 *Dec 22, 1960Jun 30, 1964Metal Fabrications IncSpray dispensing devices
US3199741 *Mar 25, 1963Aug 10, 1965Valve Corp Of AmericaActuator cap construction for aerosol dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3762611 *Jan 19, 1972Oct 2, 1973Gillette CoApparatus for controlling discharge of material from a pressurized dispensing package
US4024995 *Sep 20, 1973May 24, 1977Landen William JamesSafety dispenser for an aerosol dispenser
US5018647 *Jul 3, 1990May 28, 1991Abplanalf Robert HDispensing cap for use with pressurized container
US6004056 *Nov 3, 1997Dec 21, 1999L'orealUnit for dispensing a fluid product
US6318595Jun 8, 2000Nov 20, 2001Seaquistperfect Dispensing Foreign, Inc.Finger-actuatable spray pump package with user-ready two-piece spray-through cap, pre-assembly cap, and method for making said package
US7523845 *Dec 15, 2005Apr 28, 2009The Procter & Gamble CompanyCap for an aerosol container or a spray container
US20070007309 *Dec 15, 2005Jan 11, 2007Heiko EberhardtCap for an aerosol container or a spray container
U.S. Classification222/182, 222/398, 222/559, 251/354, 222/566
International ClassificationB05B9/04, B65D83/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/205
European ClassificationB65D83/20C
Legal Events
Apr 16, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860331
Effective date: 19860228
Mar 6, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840201
Mar 1, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840201