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Publication numberUS3306252 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 28, 1967
Filing dateDec 3, 1963
Priority dateDec 3, 1963
Publication numberUS 3306252 A, US 3306252A, US-A-3306252, US3306252 A, US3306252A
InventorsFrancis J Knight, Francis A Mina, Wallace H Steinberg
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shielded aerosol medicament dispenser
US 3306252 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 28, 1967 F. J. KNIGHT ETA; 3,306,252

SHIELDED AEROSOL MEDICAMENT DISPENSER 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec.

Feb. 28, 1967 F. J. KNIGHT ETAL SHIELDED AEROSOL MEDICAMENT DISPENSER 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 5, 196 3 urJr ATTORNEY Feb. 28, 1967 F. J. KNIGHT ETAL SHIELDED AEROSOL MEDICAMENT DISPENSER Fi led Dec.

3 $heets$heet C5 m; 2% N KMJVW 52 2 02% MM. a A B United States Patent Office 3,306,252 Patented Feb. 28, 1967 Jersey Filed Dec. 3, 1963, Ser. No. 327,761

2 Claims. (Cl. 118-3) The present invention relates to aerosol units for spraying medicament directly upon the skin, and to spray sur face actuatable aerosol dispensers.

This invention is particularly concerned with providing such a spray unit which will allow a medicament to be applied to any part of the body in complete darkness, if necessary, neatly in a confined area in such a way that it wont run or be sprayed onto clothing, bedding, or the like. For instance, this invention contemplates the application of an insect bite medicament to a bite, as soon as possible, and might involve spraying the back of the neck or any other exposed part of the body during the night without the benefit of artificial light.

According to the present invention, an aerosol spray unit is provided which is capable of being actuated merely by pressing the unit against the skin at the spot to be treated to apply medicament to the spot, and only to the spot, in a thin film in such a way that it wont run or contact the clothing. An aerosol valve or nozzle is provided which directs the medicament in a fine coneshaped spray toward the application surface. This unit controls the direct spray, i.e., that defined by the cone, to assure uniform application to the surface and confines any overspray, or mist, generated by the direct spray to assure that clothing, bedding, and other parts of the body itself, are protected.

The present invention contemplates an aerosol spray unit which comprises; an aerosol vessel having a pressure chamber containing a fluid under pressure, a valve member having a passage normally not in communication with the pressure chamber and yieldably mounted in said vessel for displacement inwardly to place the passage in communication with the pressure chamber, and a hood mounted in a fixed axial position wtih respect to the valve member and being adapted for inward axial movement toward the vessel to displace the valve member inwardly to actuate the unit and eject fluid under pressure through the passage in the valve member. A spray orifice is associated wtih the valve member for defining a fine spray cone when the unit is so actuated. The hood forms a spray chamber, or space, surrounding the valve member and defines a spray opening spaced axially of the spray orifice or nozzle. The spray opening has a cross dimension greater than the diameter of the spray cone at the Opening so that the direct spray does not normally strike the hood. Thus, the shape of the direct spray cone is controlled primarily by the nozzle. A pressure relief passage spaced radially outwardly of the orifice is provided for minimizing any pressure build up within the hood when the unit is actuated by pressing it against the skin or other application surface. If pressure relief is not provided when the unit is operated in this manner, the spray cone will be distorted by the pressure built up within the hood. Preferably, the pressure relief passage is in communication with the atmosphere surrounding the hood in a way which will assure that there will be no such pressure buildup.

Preferably, the hood is adapted for telescopic axial movement over the valve and the aerosol vessel and is spaced radially outwardly of the sides of the vessel where it telescopes therewith to define with said vessel an annular air space open to the atmosphere. Preferably also, the hood is free from internal obstructions and Cir shaped so that the annular air space performs a double function. When the unit is actuated by pressing the hood directly against the area to be sprayed, the annular air space acts as the pressure relief passage. However, when the unit is used for spraying a surface spaced somewhat from the spray opening in the end of the hood, air is drawn into the hood through the annular air space and leaves the hood through the spray opening in the space surrounding the spray cone to provide a venturi effect which tends to confine the overspray.

The hood of this invention is mounted from the valve member itself, or from a centrally located nozzle or other unit associated with the valve member, on a plurality of angularly spaced supporting walls extending radially between the valve member and the side wall of the hood. Thus, in its preferred form, the hood is supported radially outwardly of the valve in telescopic relationship with the valve and the pressure vessel and is shaped to define a smooth inside surface extending from the spray opening at the outer end of the hood to the annular air space at the inner end of the hood. The supporting walls preferably extend axially and radially in such a way that they do not interfere with the passage of air through the hood. Preferably, also, the supporting walls cooperate with an annular cam positioned around the valve member between the valve and the hood in such a way that; in one rotative position of the hood with respect to the pressure vessel, the unit is open, i.e., ready for actuation; and in another rotative position of the hood with respect to the vessel, the unit is closed, i.e., incapable of actuation. The walls act as stops which contact corresponding portions of the cam when rotated with respect thereto for this purpose.

Other and further advantages of this invention will occur to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims taken together with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective showing the aerosol spray unit according to a preferred embodiment of this invention being actuated by pressing its end against the arm to apply medicament to a confined area of the skin;

FIG. 2 is a view in perspective similar to FIG. 1 and showing the unit of FIG. 1 being actuated by pressure exerted through the hand holding the unit to spray a surface spaced from the unit;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged top plan view of the unit of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a partially broken away sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a view partly in section and partly in plan taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4 showing the open position of the unit with the hood positioned angularly with respect to the cam to allow its full axial movement;

FIG. 7 is a partially broken away sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 4 and showing the hood rotated to its closed position with respect to the cam;

FIG. 8 is a view in perspective of the cam of the unit of the preceding figures; and

FIG. 9 is a developed view of a portion of the cam of FIG. 8.

Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, there is shown an aerosol spray unit according to a preferred embodiment of this invention which comprises an aerosol vessel 11 having a pressure chamber 12 containing a fluid, not shown, under pressure, and a hood 13 mounted for telescopic movement with respect to the valve end of the aerosol vessel 11 for actuating the unit and confining the spray to a limited area. The hood 13 comprises a somewhat frustro-conical outer section 14 and a cylindrical inner section 15, and defines a circular spray opening 16 'at the end of the outer sec- 3 tion 14 and an annular air space 17 between the hood 13 and aerosol vessel 11 at the inner end of the cylindrical section 15. The spray opening 16 at the outer end of the hood communicates with the annular air space 17 at the inner end of the hood through a spray chamber, or spray space, 18 defined by the inside of the hood.

FIG. 1 illustrates how the spray unit according to this invention is adapted to be operated simply by pressing the outer end of the hood 13, defining the spray opening 16, against the skin; and FIG. 2 illustrates how the same unit may be operated by drawing the hood 13 telescopically over the aerosol vessel 11 by pressure exerted inwardly upon a finger grip 19 provided for this purpose. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the unit may be operated easily using either one of these techniques by one hand holding the unit. The operation of this embodiment will be described more fully hereinafter.

The aerosol vessel 11 comprises a basically cylindrical container 21 having an open neck surrounded by an internal head 22, and a depressed cap 23 which is fitted into the container neck. The cap 23 includes a flange 24 which snaps over the bead 22 on the container, and is permanently secured to the container 21 to provide a pressure-tight seal.

The cap 23 includes a raised central housing 25 for mounting a hollow tubular valve member 26 to be used for dispensing purposes. The top of the housing 25 contains a circular opening 27 located approximately on the axis of the unit and the valve member 26 passes through the opening in slideable relation therewith. A disc shaped annular sealing diaphram 28 is positioned in the top of the housing 25 around the valve member 26. The diaphram 28 has a central cylindrical opening of a diameter equal to or slightly less than the outer diameter of the tubular valve member 26, and is formed of a resilient material, such as valve rubber, which is somewhat flexible yet durable. The diaphram 28 is held in position in the top of the housing 25 by a cylindrical fitting 29 which snaps over an inwardly extending annular shoulder 31 presented at the bottom of the housing.

The valve member 26 normally is urged upwardly into contact with the annular diaphragm to seal the unit by a spring 32 which exerts pressure upwardly (in FIGS. 4 and against the underside of an annular sealing flange 33 integral with the valve member 26. The valve member 26 defines an axial passage 34 which normally is not in communication with the pressure chamber 12 of the aerosol vessel. The axial passage 34 is only connected with the exterior of the valve member by an inlet opening 35 passing through one side wall of the valve member above the annular sealing flange 33. As shown most clearly in FIG. 5, when the sealing flange 33 is pressed against the diaphragm 28 to seal the unit, the inlet opening 35 is located well above the bottom of the sealing diaphragm 28. To operate the unit, the valve member 26 merely is depressed against the pressure of the spring 32 until the inlet opening 35 moves below the sealing diaphragm. The space immediately below the sealing diaphragm 28 is exposed to the pressure chamber 12 so that fluid under pressure will enter the axial passage 34 in the valve member 26 through the inlet opening 35 as soon as the inlet opening is depressed below the diaphragm.

The hood 13 of this embodiment of the invention is an integral part of an assembly which also includes a set of four vertical supporting walls 36 spaced approximately 90 from one another about the axis of the unit, and a centrally located nozzle mounting fitting 38. The nozzle mounting fitting 38 comprises an outer base section 39 and an inner sleeve section 41. The sleeve section 41 is adapted to fit tightly over the outer end of the valve member 26 to provide a press fit therewith for mounting the whole hood assembly on the unit. The fitting 38 is integrally molded with the supporting walls 36, and defines a central recess 42 which is adapted to 4 receive a cylindrical fine spray cone defining nozzle 43 and retain it in position therein. The nozzle 43 is pressed into close fitting relationship with the sides of the recess so that it is retained in position therein against the pressure exerted by the emerging fluid.-

Preferably, all parts of the hood assembly are formed from a resilient plastic material which is inexpensive yet durable and adapted to be molded in one piece to form the assembly shown. Polypropylene is quite satisfactory for this purpose although various other materials such as linear polyethylene and others also are suitable. The aerosol vessel 11 itself, and the above-described valve member 26, and the nozzle 43, all may be formed in a conventional manner from conventional materials.

The outer section 14 of the hood 13 presents a smooth curved inner surface which connects the spray opening 16 at the outer end of the hood with the cylindrical inner surface of the inner section 15 of the hood and the am nular air space 17 defined between the hood and the aerosol vessel. The spray opening 16, itself, is spaced axially outwardly of the nozzle 43 and of the spray orifice 44 defined by the nozzle, and the side wall of the hood 13 extends axially inwardly from the spray opening to define the spray chamber, or space, 18 which surrounds the nozzle 43 and the valve member 26. The hood widens considerably in the vicinity of the valve member 26 to define a pressure relief passage 45 spaced radially out-' wardly of the spray orifice 44 for preventing pressure buildup within the spray chamber 18 when the unit is operated by pressing the outer end of the hood defining the spray opening against the surface to be sprayed. The pressure relief passage 45 is in communication with the outside atmosphere at the inner end of the hood 13 through the annular air space 17 surrounding the aerosol vessel 11.

The nozzle 43 defines a fine spray cone 46 of a definite shape, as shown schematically in FIGS. 4 and 5, and the spray opening 16 has a cross dimension greater than the diameter of the spray cone 46 at the spray opening so that the direct spray, i.e., that within the spray cone itself, does not normally strike the hood 13. When the unit is operated by pressing the spray opening 16 against the skin, for example, the spray opening is closed by contact with the skin so that ejection of the medicament (or other liquid) would build up pressure within the hood if the pressure relief passage 45 were not provided. However, in the unit of this invention any pressure differential created by the spray is quickly relieved through the pressure relief passage 45 and the annular air space 17 at the inner end of the hood. Thus, in the unit of this invention the spray cone retains its shape and the nozzle is designed to deposit a thin film of the spray liquid upon the application surface where the spray cone strikes the surface. In this way the area of direct application is controlled by the nozzle 43 itself. Any overspray in the form of mist or the like created by the unit will be confined within the hood 13 so that there is no danger of applying the liquid to the wrong place and damaging clothing or the like when medicament is applied.

As indicated hereinhefore, the hood 13 is shaped to define a smooth inside surface extending from the spray opening 16 at one end of the hood to the annular air space 17 at the other end of the hood. The four supporting walls 36 connect the hood 13 to the nozzle fitting 38 and extend axially and radially between the hood and the fitting in such a way that they merely divide the spray chamber 18 into four quadrants and do not interfere with the passage of air through the hood. Thus, when the unit is operated with the spray opening 16 spaced from the surface to be sprayed, air will be drawn into the hood 13 through the annular air space 17 and will leave the hood with the spray through the spray opening. The hood 13 is shaped, by virtue of its relationship with the spray cone 46 and its converging frustro-conical outer section 14, to provide a venturi effect when the unit is operated in this manner. In other words, the air passing outwardly through the hood leaves the hood by passing through the space surrounding the spray cone 46 between the hood and the cone and tends to confine the spray and minimize overspray.

A cylindrical cam 51 is provided for holding the hood 13 in prescribed operative and inoperative, or on and off, positions with respect to the aerosol vessel 11. The cam 51 also is preferably formed of a resilient plastic, such as polypropylene or linear polyethylene, and is adapted to be pressed into the annular recess in the depressed cap 23 of the aerosol vessel. The outer diameter of the cam 51 preferably is such that as soon as the cam is jammed into position in this recess it cannot be rotated with respect thereto.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 6-9, the cam 51 comprises four quadrants which correspond with each of the four supporting walls 36 of the hood assembly and are adapted to cooperate therewith. The cam comprises four vertical stops, or positioning shoulders, 52 located on centers spaced approximately 90 about the centerline of the unit. The supporting walls 36 act, both as members preventing telescopic movement of the hood 13 with respect to the aerosol vessel 11, and, in conjunction with the shoulders 52, as stops limiting relative rotation of the hood 13 on the aerosol vessel 11. If the valve member 26 is rotatably mounted in the aerosol vessel, the whole hood assembly will rotate therewith. However, if the valve member is not capable of rotating in the aerosol vessel, the press fit between the inner sleeve section 41 of the nozzle fitting and the valve member 26 may be designed to allow rotation of the hood assembly with respect to the valve member while preventing axial removal of the assembly therefrom.

One quadrant of the cam 51 adapted to cooperate with one of the supporting walls 36 is illustrated between the lines A and B in the developed view of the cam in FIG. 9. The line A is a center line through one of the vertical shoulders 52, which, in this quadrant, prevents rotative movement of the hood in one direction, and the line B is a vertical center line through another of the shoulders 52 which prevents rotative movement of the hood in the opposite direction. The lines A and B are spaced 90 from one another whereas the adjacent opposite edges of the two stops 52 in this quadrant are somewhat closer to one another, or approximately 77 apart, according to FIG. 9. The hood 13 cannot be moved axially outwardly to the point where the supporting walls 36 would clear the cam shoulders 52 on rotation of the hood with respect to the cam. Since the cam 51 is fixed in position on the aerosol vessel 11, relative rotation of the hood and the cam always is limited to the space between adjacent stops 52, or approximately 77 according to FIG. 9. In each of its quadrants, the cam 51 has a depressed horizontal operating portion 53' adjacent one shoulder 52, and a raised horizontal nonoperating portion 54 adjacent the other shoulder 52. These depressed and raised portions 53 and 54 of the cam are connected by an inclined intermediate portion 55. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 1 and 2, the finger grip presents a positioning groove 56 and the outside of the aerosol vessel is marked with i-ndicia which indicate the open and closed position of the hood 13 with respect to the aerosol vessel 11 when the positioning groove 56 is registered therewith. These open and closed positions correspond with rotative positions of the hood with respect to the cam wherein the supporting walls 36 of the hood assembly are located in axial alignment with the depressed and raised portions 53 and 54, respectively, of the cam quadrants. The inclined intermediate portion 55 of each quadrant is intended mainly to insure that the hood may be rotated easily from its open to its closed position and will not jam in the open position. Thus, when the hood is rotated in one direction with respect to the cam until one of the supporting walls strikes a cam shoulder 52, the hood will be capable of axial movement with respect to the aerosol vessel to actuate the unit; and when the hood is rotated in the other direction with respect to the cam until one of the supporting walls strikes another cam shoulder 52, the hood will be incapable of the axial movement necessary to actuate the unit, thereby providing on and off positions for the unit. This arrangement is important to assure that the unit will not be operated accidentally.

Having now described the invention in specific detail and exemplified the manner in which it may be carried into practice, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that innumerable variations, applications, modifications and extensions of the basic principles involved may be made without departing from its spirit or scope.

The invention claimed is:

1. An aerosol spray unit which comprises an aerosol vessel having a pressure chamber containing fluid under pressure; a valve member yieldably mounted in said vessel and having a passage normally not in communication with the pressure chamber, said valve member being axially displaceable inwardly with respect to said vessel to place said passage in communication with the pressure chamber and allow fluid to be ejected under pressure through said passage; and a spray head comprising a hood mounted in a fixed axial position with respect to said valve member and being adapted for inward axial movement with respect to said vessel to impart inward axial movement to said valve member, said hood defining a spray opening spaced axially outwardly of said valve member and said hood extending axially inwardly from the opening beyond and in radially spaced relation with said valve member; a plurality of angularly spaced supporting walls extending radially between said valve member and said hood for supporting said hood radially outwardly of said valve member; and an annular cam spaced radially inwardly of said hood around said valve member, said cam being shaped and positioned with respect to said supporting walls to contact said supporting walls and block their inward axial movement in one rotative position of said hood with respect to said vessel and thereby prevent actuation of the unit, and to permit the inward axial movement of said walls and said hood in another rotative position of said hood with respect to said vessel and thereby permit actuation of the unit.

2. An aerosol spray unit according to claim 1, wherein the cam is shaped to block rotative movement of the supporting walls and thereby limit relative rotation of the hood and the vessel in such a way that when the hood is rotated in one direction until one of the supporting walls strikes the earn, the hood will be capable of axial movement to actuate the unit, and when the hood is rotated in the other direction until one of the supporting walls strikes the cam, the hood will be incapable of axial movement to actuate the unit, thereby providing on and oflf positions for the unit.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,806,739 9/1957 Drell 239-579 X 3,001,524 9/1961 Maison et al 128-208 X 3,050,219 8/ 1962 Sagarin et a1 222-394 3,137,414 6/ 1964 Steinkamp 222394 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,204,554 8/ 1959 France. 1,322,998 2/ 1963 France.

DANIEL BLUM, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification118/710, 222/402.11, 222/182, 239/579, 239/499, 239/337, 128/200.23
International ClassificationA61M35/00, B65D83/14, B65D83/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/00, B65D83/206, A61M35/003, B65D83/30, B65D83/22
European ClassificationB65D83/30, B65D83/20C2, B65D83/22B, A61M35/00B