US 3314571 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 18, 1967 J. E. GREENEBAUM u MOTHER-DAUGHTER AEROSOLS AND VALVE BUTTON THEREFOR Filed Dec. 30, 1964 I m mw Tw NW, N 0% Wm m6 s W J m M p w p V1 B Attorneys United States Patent 0 3,314,571 MOTHER-DAUGHTER AERGSOLS AND VALVE BUTTON THEREFUR James E. Greenebaum ll, Highland Park, Ill. assignor to Seaquist Valve Company, a division of Pittsburgh Railways, Cary, llL, a corporation of Pennsylvania.
Filed Dec. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 422,150 5 Claims. (Cl. 222-135) This invention relates to a valve button, and more particularly to a valve button for an aerosol valve which enables use of excessive pressure Within an aerosol container without deleterious effect on the spray pattern. The button is particularly useful for a mother-daughter container combination wherein the mother container is pressurized with an excess amount of propellant to enable repeated refilling of the daughter container. The novel button permits use of the mother container as a prime dispenser with all the attributes of an optimum spray pattern.
Aerosol containers have become quite popular in the merchandising of liquid and powdered products probably because of the convenience of use. In a new development in this field, a large and a small container are marketed as a combination deal. The larger container, commonly termed the mother container, acts as the prime storage container and is used to both refill the smaller container, more commonly termed the daughter container, and to directly dispense the product. The daughter container, since it is much smaller, is used where bulkiness would be objectionable, such as in a ladys purse, a toilet kit, or in the pocket of the user.
In the marketing of a mother-daughter combination, the practice has been to utilize stock containers, valves, caps, etc. for both containers. A stock aerosol valve usu ally comprises a valve body with a spring-biased valve stem therein which reciprocates within the body. The valve stem may be hollow with a closed bottom end and a discharge port on its side wall, normally sealed shut by a seal ring until the valve is actuated by pressing the hollow stern into the valve body. It may also be a solid inverted mushroom-shaped member with a seal ring disposed between the mushroom head and the lower surface of the valve body. An orifice tube extends upwardly from the valve body. Again, as the stem is pressed into the valve body, the seal is broken to enable release of the pressurized contents in the container.
In the usual practice, a valve button or actuator is mounted onto the hollow valve stem or the orifice tube.
About the only modification necessary for a motherdaughter combination is in the valve of the daughter container. The valve of the daughter container must be modified to enable insertion of the mother container valve stem or orifice tube after removal of its valve button or actuator.
In a mother-daughter combination, reliance is placed upon excessive pressure within the mother container to enable repeated filling of the daughter container. Obviously, when the pressure in both the mother and daughter container equalize, there can be no further refilling. So, unduly high initial excessive pressure is relied upon to prolong refilling.
Unfortunately, with the use of such excessive pressure, the spray pattern, of the mother container, is adversely affected when the latter is utilized as the prime dispenser. There is also excessive loss of propellant and even product. It has been found that the consumer is not satisfied with this arrangement even though he likes the idea of a more convenient sized refillable container.
An object of this invention is to provide a novel adapter for an aerosol valve whereby use of excessive pressure within an aerosol container without deleterious effect on the spray pattern is enabled.
3,314,571 Patented Apr. 18, 1967 Another object is to provide an easily modified valve button for an aerosol valve to effect a similar result.
Still another object is to provide an easily modified actuator for an aerosol valve to effect a similar result.
A further object is to provide an adapter for a standard valve button which is easily applied.
A still further object is to provide an adapter which is very inexpensive to manufacture and to apply to a standard valve button or valve actuator.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
It has now been found that stock aerosol valves may be easily modified and used in aerosol containers which are excessively pressurized Without deleterious effect on the desired spray pattern by simply inserting an adapter 10, as seen in FIG. 4, within the valve stem or orifice tube cavity 42 of the valve button 38, or valve actuator (not shown). The adapter is of ring shape with its inner cavity 14 comprising a restrictor orifice. Such an adapter can be made by cutting slices from a plastic capillary tube 18. These slices are inserted within the valve stem or orifice tube cavity 42 of the valve button, preferably after the cavity has been appropriately reamed for a more accurate fit of the adapter therein.
It has also been found that a more diffused spray pattern which is not deleteriously effected by the excessive pressure used and which, in fact, is a result of this excessive pressure, can be provided by forming a truncated cone shaped cavity or swirl chamber 41 as seen in FIG. 6) within the valve button 38, in communication with the dispensing orifice 40 and the orifice tube cavity 42, and by offsetting the orifice 14 in an adapter 10 so that the contents are directed against one side of the side Wall of the cavity 41, rather than centrally thereof. This construction, as explained more fully hereinafter, sets up a swirling action which functions both to break-up the spray and to diffuse it, since it is still swirling as it leaves the dispensing orifice, more fully so that a broader, fine spray pattern is provided.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objectsof the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side cross-sectional view of an aerosol container with a valve illustrating this invention incorporated therein.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the adapter of this invention.
FIGURE 3 illustrates the technique of manufacture of an adapter from capillary tubing.
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view of an aerosol valve with the adapter of FIG. 2 in place within the valve button.
FIGURE 5 is a bottom view of the valve button.
FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view of an aerosol valve, constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention.
FIGURE 7 is a bottom view of the aerosol valve of FIG. 1, with the adapter removed.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawing.
As seen in FIG. 2, the adapter 10 of a first embodiment of this invention consists simply of a plate 12 containing an orifice 14 therein. Such an adapter may be simply made by cutting slices 16 (see FIG. 3) from a plastic tube 18. The cavity of the tube 18 is selected to provide the =3 proper amount of restriction for the pressure to be encountered. It should be evident that this structure and the method of manufacture provide a very simplified solution to the problem.
Use of the adapter within a standard aerosol valve, specifically within the valve button of such a standard valve, is illustrated in FIG. 4. In the usual situation, the aerosol valve comprises a hollow tubular valve body with a dip tube attachment tail 22 and a dip tube 24 anchored thereto via anchoring ring 26. Within the cavity of the valve body 20 is a valve stem biasing means, usually a helical spring 28, the upper end of which bears against the lower closed end of a hollow valve stem 30. The spring biases the valve stem upwardly against a sealing means 32, usually a resilient washer of rubber or plastic, which is located between the upper end of the valve body 20 and a valve housing 34. The valve stem has an orifice 36 on its side wall, which is normally blocked by the valve sealing means 32. When the valve stem is depressed into the valve body by pressure upon the valve button 38, orifice 36 is moved free of the sealing means and the contents of the aerosol container expelled by the force of the propellant within the container. The contents travel up through the dip tube 24 through the hollow valve body 20, through orifice 36, up through the hollow valve stem and out through the dispensing orifice 40' of the valve button 38. To effect ditferent spray patterns, the dispensing orifice 40 may have various configurations. Only one has been shown because it does not comprise the essence of the invention. Now with respect to the adapter 10 and its function, it is positioned within the valve button 38 on top of the hollow valve stem 30 and within the valve stem cavity 42 of the valve button. An choring ring 44 on the valve stem locks the button 38 onto itself.
The function of the adapter is to adapt the standard aerosol valves for high pressure work. Such high pressures are encountered when a mother-daughter combination of aerosol containers is utilized. To enable refilling of the daughter container using the mother container as the supply container, one must fill the mother container with an excess amount of propellant. Such excess prolongs the time when the pressure within the motherdaughter containers equalize. It should be evident that when the pressures are equal within both containers, there can be no refilling of the daughter container. Unfortunately, in overly pressurizing the mother container, the excessive pressure adversely affects the spray pattern emitted through dispensing orifice 40. This is where the adapter comes into function. When placed in the position illustrated in FIG. 4, it reduces the pressure at the dispensing orifice 40 when the valve is depressed to a pressure range which the dispensing orifice 40 can tolerate without adverse effect upon the spray pattern that is emitted.
The bottom view of the valve button 38 is shown in FIG. 5. As seen therein, the orifice 14 of the adapter acts as a restrictor. However, since the valve button 38 is removed during refill of the daugther container 50, the adapter 10 does not function. Thus, all the pressure contained within the mother container 46 functions to fill the daughter container with product.
The use of adapter 10 thus permits use of the mother container to not only fill the daughter container, but also act as a prime dispenser. One particular example of use is hair spray. Here, the spray pattern is extremely critical to consumer satisfaction. A woman does not wish to apply excess hair fixative with an excessively strong blast of propellant. A similar situation applies in the case of perfume and colognes.
Although the above description is limited to the alteration of a valve button, it should be understood that an actuator for an aerosol valve could be similarly modified. Also, although the valve described in detail above is specific with respect to a hollow valve stem, one utilizing a mushroom-shaped valve member with an orifice tube extending upwardly from the valve body can be used.
In FIG. 6 there is shown a valve button 38 having a valve stem cavity 42 which is terminated by a truncated cone shaped cavity or swirl chamber 41, the smaller end of which connects with the dispensing orifice 40, as may be best seen in FIG. 7. Positioned within the valve stem cavity 42, on top of the hollow valve stem 30, is an adapter 10 having an orifice 14. The valve stem cavity 42 is offset from the swirl chamber 41 so that the orifice 14 of the adapter '10 directs the contents against the side walls of the swirl chamber, rather than centrally thereof, as normally done, as in the case of the valve arrangement of FIGS. 4 and 5.
In operation, the adapter 10 functions to reduce the pressure at the dispensing orifice 40, when the valve is depressed to a pressure range which the dispensing orifice 49 can tolerate without adverse effect upon the spray pattern that is emitted, in the same manner as the adapter of the first embodiment. Since the orifice 14 of the adapter 10 is offset and directs the contents against the side walls of the swirl chamber 41, the contents are caused to be swirled, by flowing around and against the side walls of the swirl chamber, before being expelled or dispensed from the dispensing orifice 40. After leaving the dispensing orifice 40, the contents are still swirling and, being unconfined, the centrifugal force of the swirling contents causes it to spread to provide a more diffused spray pattern. In essence, the adapter 10 coacting with the offset swirl chamber 41 function in the same manner as a mechanical breakup mechanism which is discussed in detail in Aerosol Age, September 1964, page 31 et a1. Indeed the structure could be used on aerosol containers which are not overly pressurized. The same swirl effect followed by centrifugal breakup would occur.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efiicicntly attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings sh all be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
Now that the invention has been described, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. An improved valve button for an aerosol valve to enable use of excess pressure within the container upon which the valve button is affixed comprising a body member, a dispensing orifice therein, a valve stem cavity therein, and a swirl chamber therein in communication within said dispensing orifice and said valve stem cavity, a removable adapter within said cavity comprising a ring shaped plate, its inner cavity comprising a restrictor orifice for said valve stem cavity, said valve stem cavity being offset from said swirl chamber so that said restrictor orifice directs the contents of said container against one side of its side wall.
2. An improved valve button for an aerosol valve comprising a body member, a dispensing orifice therein, a valve stem cavity therein, a truncated cone shaped swirl chamber therein in communication with said dispensing orifice and said valve stem cavity, an adapter within said cavity comprising a ring shaped plate, its inner cavity comprising a restrictor orifice for said valve stem cavity, said valve stem cavity being offset from said swirl chamber so that said restrictor orifice directs the contents of said container against one side of its side wall.
3. An aerosol valve for an aerosol container comprising a valve button having a body member, a dispensing orifice therein, a valve stem cavity therein, and a swirl chamber therein in communication Within said dispensing orifice and said valve stem cavity, a removable adapter Within said cavity comprising a ring shaped plate, its inner cavity comprising a restrictor orifice for said valve stem cavity, said valve stem cavity being ofiset from said swirl chamber so that said restrictor orifice directs the contents of said container against one side of its side Wall.
4. An aerosol valve for an aerosol container to enable use of excess pressure within the container upon which the valve button is affixed comprising a valve button having a body member, a dispensing orifice therein, a valve stem cavity therein, and a truncated cone shaped swirl chamber therein in communication within said dispensing orifice and said valve stem cavity, a removable adapter Within said cavity comprising a ring shaped plate, its inner cavity comprising a restrictor orifice for said valve stem cavity, said valve stem cavity being offset from said swirl chamber so that said restrictor orifice directs the contents of said container against one side of its side wall.
'5. A mother-daughter aerosol container combination wherein there is an aerosol valve for the mother aerosol container which is excessively pressurized to enable said mother container to be used to repeatedly refill said daughter container, said valve having a valve stem extending therefrom, a valve button for actuating said valve comprising a body member, a dispensing orifice and a valve stem cavity in communication therewith in said body member, and an adapter within said valve stem cavity comprising a ring shaped plate, its inner cavity comprising a restrictor orifice for said valve stem cavity to prevent the excessive pressure within said mother container from having a deleterious effect on the spray pattern of said mother container when used to merely spray the contents therefrom, said valve button with said plate being removably afiixed to said valve stem to permit said valve button with said plate to be removed to enable refilling of said daughter container so that said adapter does not interfere with the rapid filling of said daughter container, said daughter container having valve spray means which is adapted to engage said valve stem of said mother container for refilling said daughter container from said mother container.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1916 Ramsay 239-468 X 6/1956 Sofier et al 222-394 FOREIGN PATENTS 385,380 12/1932 Great Britain.