US 3315844 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April z5, 1967 G. A. KLASSON Em, 3,315,844
DI SPENS I NG APPARATUS Filed Jan. 13, 1965 ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,315,844 DESPENSING PPARATUS George A. Klassen, South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, and Justin W. Mills, Macungie, Pa., assignors to Air Products and Chemicais, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 13, 1965, Ser, No. 425,204
` 8 Ciaims. (Cl. 222-52) The present invention relates to apparatus for dispensing fluid material from containers and, more particularly, to a reusable dispenser unit particularly adapted to be secured to disposable containers for dispensing the contents of such containers under controlled pressure.
Although the present invention has wide range of utility in connection with the dispensing of various materials including such diverse materials as mustard, ketchup, hair lotion, lacquers, and fruit juices, the subsequent description will be directed to the specific application of dispensing beverages from disposable containers smaller than quarter-kegs- More specifically, the present invention will be described with reference to the dispensing of draught beer from one gallon cans.
It is the general object of the present invention to provide an improved dispensing apparatus particularly designed for sequentially dispensing fluids from disposable containers at optimum regulated pressures for the various fluids.
It is a more specic object of the present invention to provide a reusable dispenser having improved means for facilitating attachment to a disposable container.
It is another specific object of the present invention to provide a more compact and economical dispenser particularly adapted for dispensing uids in the home or in restaurants.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a fluid dispenser having a more accurate, miniaturized and fail-safe pressure regulating system.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a dispenser including means for preventing undesired fluids from entering the pressure control assembly as well as providing a dispenser which is readily cleaned between successive periods of use.
The above objects as well as others relating more particularly to details of construction and operation will become more fully apparent from the following description when taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the dispenser attached to a disposable container;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the dispenser taken along the vertical plane indicated by view line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the dispenser taken along the planes indicated by view lines 3-3 of FIG- URE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along the indicated by view line 4-4 in FIGURE 2.
Referring rst to FIGURE l, the complete system includes a disposable container' such as a one 4gallon can lil, a dispsensing unit 12 and a faucet 14 the latter of which is preferably of the push-button type including a spigot 15. Faucet 14 may 'be connected to the dispenser 12 by a rigid tube 16 as shown in FIGURE l or it will be readily Iunderstood that tube 16 may be replaced by an elongated, exible plastic or rubber hose of such length as to permit the filling of glasses heid by several persons gathered about a table, bar, or buet.
As shown most clearly n FIGURE 3, .dispensing unit 12 is composed of an integral body 18 including a cylindricafl portion 2t) and a rectangular head 22. Cylindrical portion 20 forms a cartridge chamber 23 adapted to receive plane ICC a replaceable CO2 cartridge 24 which is introduced through open end 26. The cartridge is maintained in position by a threaded cap 28 carrying an O-ring 30 and a pin 32; the latter being adapted to puncture cartridge 24 when the cap is fully threaded in place. In 'order to pro/Vide maximum safety against the accidental release of high pressure from the cartridge, cap 28 is designed such that threads 34 are securely engaged before O-ring 30 seals against the cylinder walls and, only thereafter, does pin 32 come into contact with the cartridge. Conversely, when removing cap 23, the trapped pressure in chamber 23 is released by the disengagement of O-ring 30 before the cap is completely Unthreaded from the cylinder.
As further shown in FIGURE 3, head portion- 22 of body i8 is provided with a threaded opening 36 adapted to receive a threaded -bonnet 38 the latter of ywhich includes a cylindrical portion 4i). I-liead portion 22 is countenbored at 42 so as to provide an annular seat against which the periphery of a diaphragm 44 is adapted to tbe clamped when cylindrical portion 4h is threaded in place. In order to facilitate rotation of bonnet 38, a slip ring 43 is interposed between the diaphragm and the end of portion 4t). A circular backing plate 46 is secured to diaphragm 44 by a rivet 4S so as to provide an abutment for one end of a compression spring Si). The opposite end or' spring Sti bears against a disc 52 which, in turn, ybears against the rrounded end of a set screw 54. The position of set screw 54 is adapted to be adjusted so as to set the biasing force of spring Sii and, when the screw is in its pro-per countersunk position, it is adapted to be covered 'by a tamper-proof plastic plug :76. Thus, diaphragm 144 and bonnet 3S form a spring chamber Se which is open to atmosphere through ports 60.
On the opposite side of diaphragm 44, a pressure control chamber 62 is formed #by the diaphragm and the counterbored cavity in head portion 2.2. Control chamber o2 is in communication with cartridge chamber 23 through a central bore 64 the left end of which is counterbored to receive a sintered metallic filter 65. The right end of bore 64 is threaded at 63 so as to receive `a stem valve 72 which is of the general type employed in automobile tires. The midportio'n of valve 72 is forced into sealing engagement with the tapered midportion 7h of bore 64 and the stern 74 is in engagement with rivet 48. Thus, valve 72 controls the passage of carbon dioxide gas from cartridge chamber 23 to control chamber 62 in accordance with the position of diaphragm 44. It will therefore be apparent that tlhe above described elements within head portion 22 form a pressure reduction and control assembly whereby the high pressure in cartridge chamber 23, which is in the order of 900` psi., is reduced to a regulated pressure in the order of l5 p.s.i. in control chamber 62.
As further shown in FIGURE 3, control chamber 62 is i-n communication with a check valve chamber 76 containing a resilient check valve 78 which is retained in position by a press fitted retainer 8i). As will sub sequently become apparent, the purpose of check valve it is to positively prevent the bacldlow of either gas or liquid into the pressure control chamber 62 and valve 72.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, check valve chamber 76 is in communication through passages 82 and 84 with a relief valve chamber 86 containing a resilient ball valve g8. The ball is biased into engagement with seat 37 `by a spring 9h which is secured in position by a threaded retainer 92. As will become more fully apparent from the subsequent description, valve 88 operates as a safety valve to release excessive pressure in the system in the event of a malfunction in the pressure regulator and/or in the event of a pressure build-up in the container caused V.' y a warming of the carbonated beverage Container herein. Valve 88 is set open at pressure of 2 to 5 p.s.i. tbove the pressure of p.s.i. normally maintained in :ontrol chamber 62, whereby, the valve insures the drawng of the beverage with a proper amount of foam or head.
The structure whereby the dispenser is attached to can l() will now `be described with particular reference to FIGURE 2 wherein it will be noted that head 22 con- :ains a vertically extending bore 94 and a counterbore 96 within which there is positioned a locking stem 98. Stem 98 includes a central passage 101i extending the full length of the stem and the lower end is serrated at 1112 for attachment to a dip tube 10ft adapted to extend to the bottom of container 11i. Stem 13 further includes a pair of radially extending tabs 1116 and 107, a quadruple-threaded portion 1118, and a plurality of grooves for receiving O-rings 112 and 114 which seal the stem within body 22. In addition, stem 93 includes a second vertical passage 116 which extends through the enlarged midportion of the stem from charnber 118, formed by counterbore 96, to the underneath side of tab 1%. Thus, it will be noted that chamber 118 is in open communication with the several passages including passage 32 leading to check valve chamber '76, passage S4 leading to relief valve chamber 86, and passage 116 leading to the underneath side of tab 101i.
As further shown in FIGURE 2, the upper end of stem 9S is provided with radial ports 120 and 121 which are adapted to receive the end portion of an adapter 122 whereby adapter 122 locks the stern in position against both axial and rotary movement. Adapter 122 contains a plurality of ports 123 which `connect passage liti() with a passage 12S in the adapter. In addition, adapter 122 includes threads 124, a groove for O-ring 126, a nut portion 128, and threads 13) the latter of which permit the connection to tube 16.
As illustrated in dotted line in FIGURE 2, the top of the container or can lid 132 is recessed at 131 and includes a central aperture 134 which may be closed and sealed by a removable plug (not shown) when the can is lled with the beverage; cans having such recesses, apertures, and removable plugs being commercially available and forming no portion of the present invention. In order to attach and seal the dispenser to such a can, locking stern 98 is surrounded by a threaded ring 136 adapted to move vertically downward from the illustrated position upon rotation of the ring about stem 98. A rod or handle 138 is provided in order to facilitate such rotary movement of the ring. Lastly, it will be noted that annular grooves `are provided in stem 9S and ring 136 so as to receive O-rings 140 and 142 the irst of which seals ring 136 about stem 98 while the latter is adapted to seal the ring to the top of can lid 132 when the ring is moved downwardly into engagement therewith. It will therefore be apparent that ring 136 and tabs Mi-1W are designed to removably clamp and seal the dispenser unit to can lid 132 whereby the dispenser and container become an integrated dispensing system as shown in FIGURE l.
The general use and operation of the invention will now be described with reference to FIGURES 1 through 3 taken collectively. The user first removes the plug closing aperture 134 in the top of can 11) and inserts dip tube 11141 into the can. The dispensing unit is then Vtilted slightly so that tab 1% is inserted below the edge of aperture 13d. The stern 98 is then moved laterally into engagement with the same edge of the aperture whereby tab 107 clears the opposite edge of the aperture and is inserted therein. The dispenser is then lowered so that chamfered edge 137 centers the dispenser by engagement with recess 131. Of course, it is to be understood that the radial lengths of tabs 166 and 107 are predetermined with reference to a standard size aperture such that the tabs overlap both edges of the aperture but are not too large as to prevent easy insertion upon slight tilting of the unit in the manner just described.
Once the tabs have been inserted so as to extend beneath the edges of the aperture, ring is rotated relative to stem 9S by movement of handle 138 and, due to the fact that threads 1% arequadruple-lead threads, rotation of the ring through less than degrees is suicient to bring O-ring 142 into tight sealing engagement with the top of the can lid. In this manner, the dispensing unit becomes firmly attached and sealed to the can such that the cylindrical portion 211 of the dispenser may be used as a handle in lifting and transporting the combined dispenser and can as a highly portable dispensing system.
After the dispenser is sealed to the can in the manner just described, the unit `may `be pressurized by unthreading cap 2S and inserting a commercially available CO2 cartridge 2li into chamber 23. Cap 28 is then replaced and pin 32 automatically punctures the end of the cartridge when the cap is fully threaded into the position iilustrated in FIGURE 3. As a result, high pressure CO2 gas is immediately released in chamber 23 and the gas4 begins to ow through lter 66. as a vaporizer in that the porous sintered metal provides a multiplicity of minute expansion orices permitting passage of gas but preventing the passage of any solid or liquid CO2. The gas passing through the filter flows through valve 72 which is open at that time since spring biased diaphragm 4d is unopposed by any effective pressure in control chamber 62; the diaphragm thereby engaging stern 714 and holding valve 72 open. The gas continues to flow through exible check valve 78, chamber 76, and passage 82 to chamber 118 from which it continues to ow through passage 116 into the top of container 1t) thereby pressurizing the container and the beverage therein. The above described ow of gas continues until control chamber 62 and the interior of the container reach a predetermined pressure such as 15 p.s.i. at which point the predetermined biasing force of spring 5t) is overcome, whereupon, the diaphragm moves to the right and permits the valve 72 to close. Thus, a regulated pressure is maintained in control chamber 62 and within the container until such time as the withdrawal of beverage through dip tube 104, passages 11111 and 125, tube 16, and faucet 14 reduces the pressure in chamber 62, whereupon, diaphragm 44 opens valve 72 so as to admit further gas to the chamber and restore the pressure to its predetermined value. It will therefore be apparent that the pressure is continually regulated so as to maintain an optimum pressure in the system. It will also be apparent that different optimum pressures may be utilized for dispensing different materials by employing various initial settings of set screw 54 which determines the biasing force of spring 5i).
So long as the above `described pressures in control cham-ber 62 and can 10 remain below a predetermined maximum value, safety valve l83 remains closed and is not involved in the operation. However, in the unlikely `but possible event of a component failure in the pressure regulating system, any increase of pressure in chamber 62 will be communicated through check valve 76 and passages i82 and 84 to chamber y'26 and ball valve 88 which would then open and .release the undesired pressure. Thus, valve $8 provides a secondary control to positively prevent the transmission of high pressure `from cartridge chamber 23 to can 10 thereby insuring against the danger of the can rupturing under high pressure. In addition to this function, valve 8S also provides for an automatic release of excessive pressure. in the event that a warming of the can contents causes an undesired pressure rise in the can itself. This is of particular importance in case of dispensing beverages such as unpasteurized draught beer wherein a warming of the beer is capable of creating undesirable head pressures in the can Filter 66 operates which tend to cause foaming released.
The present dispenser also provides a second safety feature in that the area and force of engagement of diaphragm -44 'by bonnet 38 is such as to permit the edges of the beer if not properly of the diaphragm to pull away from annular seat 42 in p the event of an extreme pressure build-up in chamber 62. Thus, even in the event that valve 72 was totally defective and permitted unobstructed flow of high pressure gas into cham-ber 62 at a rate faster than could 'be released by valve 88, the diaphragm 44 would pull out of clamped engagement and permit pressure release through ports `60.
It should a-lso 'be noted that the likelihood of a failure in the pressure control assembly is substantially reduced by the fact that filter 66 and check valve 78 effectively isolate the assembly from al1 harmful foreign matter. Thus, neither dirt nor the liquid Ibeing dispensed can enter the assembly and cause sticking of the valve or other malfunction of the assembly. In addition, filter 66 and valve 78 perform a sanitary function in preventing the dispensed beverage from becoming .trapped in the assem-bly.
From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that the present invention accomplishes al1 of the objects set forth hereinbefore and tha-t it provides a dispensing system which is miniaturized, economical, reliable, safe, and easy to operate. Of course, it is to be understood that the foregoing description of a single embodiment of the invention is intended to be illustrative rather than exhaustive of the principles of the invention and that numerous changes and modifications may Ibe made therein without departing from the true scope of the invention as defined in the following claims including all patentable equivalents thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. A dispensing system comprising: a source of high pressure gas, a disposable container filled with material to be dispensed, a fluid pressure regulator having an inlet for receiving high pressure gas from said source, a filter in said inlet pervious to gas and impervious to solids and liquids, an outlet for discharging gas to said container at a regulated output pressure less than that at said inlet, said regulator including means forming a chamber, a first passage connecting said inlet with said chamber, a valve controlling the flow of gas through -said passage, pressure responsive means in said cham-ber connected to actuate said valve, a second passage connecting said chamber with said outlet, a flexible check valve in said second passage, and means for setting said pressure responsive means to close said valve at a predetermined pressure less than that at said inlet.
2. In a dispensing system including a disposable container having a wall with a neckless aperture therethrough, the invention comprising: a reusable fiuid pressurizing unit, first and second clamping means positively secured to said unit, said first clamping means being nonrotationally secured to said unit and including clamping proj-ections of a size and sha-pe so as to be insertable through said aperture from the external side thereof and engage the interior surface of said wall adjacent said aperture, pressurizing passage means ex-etnding through said first clamping means, means mounting said lsecond cla-mping means for releasable engagement with the exterior surface of said wall whereby said wall is releasably clamped between said first and second clamping means, a fluid storage chamber in said unit for containing a pressurizing fluid under high pressure, a fluid pressure regulator in said unit having an inlet and an outlet, first passage means maintaining said storage chamber in communication with said regulator inlet, and second passage means connected to said regulator outlet for conducting said pressurizing fiuid through said pressurizing passage means into said container when said unit is releasably attached thereto by said first and second clamping means.
3. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 further including a faucet and third passage means connected thereto and extending through at least a portion of said unit, through said first clamping means and into said container for dispensing materia-l from said container through said faucet.
4. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said first clamping means comprise a stem having a first portion nonrotationally secured to said unit and a second portion extending away from said unit, and a pair of tabs rigidly secured to said second portion and projecting laterally therefrom a predetermined distance slightly greater than the diameter of said aperture.
5. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said second clamping means comprises a member threadedly secured to said stem so as to move into engagement with said container wall upon rotation of said member relative to said stem.
6. The invention as claimed in claim 2 wherein said rst clamping means comprises an elongated stem having one end received in said unit, and outlet adapter means locking said one end of said stem in said unit.
7. A tiuid pressurizing device for use in dispensing materials under a regulated uid pressure comprising: means forming an integral l'body having iirst and second portions, a iiuid storage chamber positioned within said first body portion for containing a charge of pressurizing fluid under high pressure, means including a iiexible diaphragm forming a pressure control chamber positioned in said second body portion, a first passage connecting said fluid storage chamber with said pressure control chamber, a filter in said passage pervious to gas and impervious to both solids and liquids, a Valve in `said first passage downstream of said vfilter for controlling the iiow of pressurizing fluid from said storage chamber to said control chamber, means connecting said diaphragm to said valve for actuating said valve in response to pressure changes in said pressure control chamber, an outlet in said body, a second passage connecting said pressure lcon-trol chamber with said outlet, a flexible check valve positioned with-in said second passage for permitting fluid iiow from said pressure control chamber to said outlet while preventing fluid How in the opposite direction, a relief valve in said body having an inlet and Ian outlet, said relief valve outlet being in communication with atmosphere, and a third passage connecting said relief valve inlet with said second passage at a point intermediate said outlet and said flexible check valve whereby said relief valve is operative to prevent excessive pressures from arising on either side of said fiexi'ble check valve.
`8. In a dispensing system including a disposable container having a wall |with a necliless aperture therethrough, the invention comprising: a reusable fiuid pressurizing unit, first and second clamping -means positively secured to said unit, said first clamping means being of a size and shape so as to be inserta-ble through said aperture from the external side thereof and engage the interior surface of said wall adjacent said aperture, means mounting said second clamping means for releasable engagement with the exterior surface of said wall whereby said wall is releasably clamped between said first and second clamping means, a fluid storage chamber in said unit for con- .taining a pressurizing fluid under high pressure, a fluid pressure regulator in said unit having an inlet and an outlet, first passage means maintaining said storage charn- `ber in communication with said regulator inlet, second passage means connected to said regulator outlet for conducting said pressurizing iluid into said container when said unit is releasa'bly attached thereto by said first and second clamping means, a fiexible check valve positioned in said second passage means immediately adjacent said regulator outlet, and a filter in said first passage means pervious `to gas and impervious to both solids and liquids.
(References ou following page) 7 8 References Cited bythe Examiner 3,127,059 3/ 1964 Lawrence et al. 222-399 X UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,149,758 l 9/1964 BUSh Gt 211 222-189 1,234,939 7/ 1917 Schmid 222-399 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,617,992 2/1927 Drake 222--475 X 5 103,116 5/1399 Germans/ 1,647,219 11/1927 Fulton 222-383 X 2,007,270 7/1935 Dodge 251-352 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner. 2,423,173 7/1947 Brady et a1. 222-189 l 3,012,694 12/1961 Johnston 222 5 EVON C- BLUNK Exammeh 3,026,006 3/1962 Frankfurt Z22-400.7 N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.
3,039,661 6/1962 Wentz et a1. 222-396 10