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Publication numberUS3318159 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1967
Filing dateSep 13, 1965
Priority dateSep 13, 1965
Publication numberUS 3318159 A, US 3318159A, US-A-3318159, US3318159 A, US3318159A
InventorsEdward Cielaszyk
Original AssigneeGen Time Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Timed actuating device for aerosol dispenser
US 3318159 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 1967 E. CIELASZYK 3,318,159

TIMED ACTUATING DEVICE FOR AEROSOL DISPENSER Filed Sept. 13, 1965 INVENTOR. EDWARD C/ELASZVK OYM m ATTORNEY United States Patent Delaware Filed Sept. 13, 1965, Ser. No. 486,926 Claims. (Cl. 74-3.52)

This invention relates to timing devices and more particularly to novel improvements for actuating automatically and periodically a spray dispenser, more commonly termed an aerosol container or can. More specifically, the apparatus of this invention is adapted to automatically and periodically control the opening and closure of a valve which forms part of the aerosol container. The valve may be of the metered or unmetered type, both of which are very well known to those skilled in the art of aerosol dispensing.

In brief, the mechanism to be more thoroughly described hereinafter comprises a compact timing device which features simplicity of operation and ease of manufacture. The device includes a pair of circular mounting plates of Which the upper supports a synchronous motor and further serves as one bearing medium for a 'novel actuating element Which is in the form of a ratchet wheel. The lower mounting plate serves as the lower bearing medium for the ratchet wheel and supports for reciprocal movement a free-floating, valve-actuating plunger and is further utilized to mount an apertured bracket which serves to support the aerosol container.

The ratchet wheel has a plurality of function tabs formed from the body thereof and is rotatable anti-clockwise and clockwise or, for purposes of this description, first and second directions, respectively. A torsion spring loosely mounts on the hub of the ratchet wheel and is anchored so as to urge the wheel in the second direction. A detent serving as an escapement pawl or control means is arranged to engage the teeth of the ratchet wheel during the conditioning phase of the spray cycle. That is, the detent allows es-capement of the wheel in the first direction to thereby wind the torsion spring and prevents escapement of the wheel in the second direction until such time as the spring is fully wound.

The wheel may start from what is herein termed a home position and be intermittently stepped in the first direction by a single-tooth member which is fixed to the output shaft of the motor and is synchronously driven thereby to gradually wind the torsion spring and thereby spread out the Work load imposed on the drive motor during the conditioning cycle. After a prescribed angular rotation of the wheel from the home position, a first of the function tabs formed from the wheel causes decoupling of the detent from the wheel teeth whereupon the now fully wound torsion spring drives the wheel in the second direction to home position. Upon arrival thereat, a second of the function tabs depresses the valve plunger which causes operation of the aerosol container valve to effect a spray emission while the first of the function tabs causes re-engagement of the detent with the teeth of the wheel. Thus the actuating element or ratchet wheel effects a spray emission and is then readied for another operational cycle.

When using'the unmetered type valve, a cam which is fixed to the output shaft of the motor engages the first function tab and rotates the wheel from the home position to allow closure of the aerosol can valve after a timed spray duration. When a metered type valve is used, the cam may be retained or be eliminated. In the later instance, the single-tooth member is effective to delayedly rotate the wheel off home position to allow closure of the valve and commence another spray cycle. In both instances, the apparatus of this invention periodi cally and automatically causes operation of a valve to effect an aerosol spray.

It is therefore an important object of this invention to provide an improved spray dispenser for periodically and automatically operating the valve of an aerosol container whether the valve be of the metered or the unmetered type.

Another object is to provide a spring-driven, composite actuating member in the form of a ratchet wheel to perform the above function.

A further object is to provide a control means that performs as an escapement pawl which is enabled and disabled by the actuating member.

A still further object is to provide a simple drive means for periodically conditioning the actuating member in intermittent steps and thereby gradually tension the drive spring which periodically and automatically is instrumental in causing an aerosol spray.

Another object is to provide a cam to effect a timed interval of spray emission when using an unmetered valve.

Another object is provision of a compact, portable and attractive-appearing aerosol dispensing unit having a drive motor, timing and operating assembly, and can mounting facility in vertically stacked relationship.

A prime object is to provide an aerosol spray dispenser that is extremely simple in operation and inexpensive to manufacture.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a partially exploded elevational view, partly in section, illustrating the mechanism of the present invention at a portion in the spray cycle wherein the escapement pawl is about to be decoupled from the teeth of the actuating member;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the actuating mechanism taken substantailly along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but shown slightly later in the cycle illustrating in a stop motion sequence the actuating member being driven toward home position, just prior to recoupling the escapement pawl with the teeth of the actuating member and about to cause valve operation; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the actuating mechanism as viewed substantially in the direction indicated by arrows 44 of FIG. 1, but showing the mechanism at home position, the valve plunger operated and a timed spray-emission in effect.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a compact timing mechanism which includes an aerosol can mounting means is generally indicated by the numeral 10. The assembly is supported by a pair of circular plates 12 and 14 which are separated by a plurality of posts 16. The top plate 12 mounts a motor 18 which is secured thereto as by spring clips 20. Motor 18 is a commercially available A.C. type of the commonly known synchronous variety. A pair of pillars 22 are also fixed to the top plate 12 and serve to secure a circular cover 24 as by screws 26. Screws 26 thread into pillars 22 after the cover is fitted over the assembly 10 and over the upper portion of an aerosol can 28. A grommet 30 is pressed into a hole provided in the upper portion of cover 24 to accommodate insulated lead wires which supply electric power to the motor 18 when connected to an electric supply source by means of the usual male plug (not shown).

Fixed to the bottom plate 14 of the timing assembly, as by swaging or the like, is a mounting bracket 32 having a circular opening 34 in the center thereof which serves to facilitate mounting of container 28. The container is filled with a pressurized liquid mixture and is provided with the well-known valve assembly. The reciprocative stem of the valve through which the liquid mixture is dispensed is indicated at 36. A member 38, herein termed a valve head, is provided with a circular recess that snugly fits over the upper portion of the valve stem and blends into a small bore provided in the front wall of the valve head. The details of the valve head are not shown as it is very well known to those skilled in the art that when the valve head 38 is depressed, the valve stem 36 is also depressed, and the valve is actuated to open condition, whereupon the pressurized fluid mixture is released through the small bore in the valve head to emit an aerosol spray. The valve open position herein termed the operated position,

The customary bead 40 is provided at the top of can 28 and fitted within the bead 40, adjacent the upper portion of the valve assembly, a generally circular insert 42 is fixed at the planar portion of the can 28. Insert 42 may have a plurality of upstanding tabs 44 formed intergral therewith which are angled outwardly. The insert 42 may be of plastic material that will recover after being slightly deformed allowing angled portions 46 of tabs 44 to act as gripping edges when the can 28 is mounted on the bracket 32. Accordingly, to prepare the unit for operation, tabs 44 are yieldingly entered into circular aperture 34 until the lower portions 46 are flush with the base of bracket 32 whereupon tabs 44 recover to grippingly and frictionally mount can 28. As indicated in FIG. 1, a guide finger 48, shown in dot and dash lines, is struck up from bracket 32 and acts as a positioning medium for valve head 38. The tabs are entered into bracket recess 34 with the rear of the valve head facing finger 48 and the spray emitting portion of the valve head facing an elliptical opening 50 which is cut out of cover 24. Guide finger 48 fits between a pair of tabs 44 and together with oppositely disposed tabs 44 maintain the valve head 38 oriented with respect to opening 50 during reciprocation of the valve head.

With attention now drawing to the timing and actuating apparatus of the invention, an actuating member 52 in the form of a ratchet wheel, having teeth 53 uniformly spaced about its periphery, is provided with a shaft 54 and a hub 56 rigidly fixed at the center thereof. A first tab 58 is formed upwardly and a second tab 60 is formed downwardly from the body of wheel 52. Tabs 58 and 60 are angled as shown for purposes which will become apparent later in the description. A third tab 62 is formed downwardly from the body of the wheel 52 and is utilized to limit rotation of wheel 52 in the clockwise or second direction. A half-round stud 64 fixed in lower plate 14 cooperates with tab 62 to insure such limitation and thereby establishes a home position for wheel 52. A torsion spring 66 fits over the hub 56 of wheel 52. The extremity of the upper coil of spring 66 is anchored in a slotted tab 68 formed downwardly from upper plate 12 and the extremity of the lower coil of spring 66 is anchored to wheel 52 in the cut-out established resulting from the forming of the first tab 58. The spring 66 is slightly wound during assembly to assure definite abutment of tab 62 with limiting stud 64.

A control means or escapement pawl 70 is provided with an outwardly extending tab 74, an upwardly extending tab 76, a downwardly formed tab 78 and a wing 79. Pawl 70 is loosely mounted on a shouldered screw 80 that threads into upper plate 12. A relatively light gauge torsion spring 82 fits between the underside of pawl 70 and the head of screw 80. The upper extremity of spring 82 bears against an adjacent plate separating post 16. The lower extremity of spring 82 bears downward (FIGS. 1-3) on tab 74 and inwardly on tab 76. With such arrangement it can be readily se n. t p m unted for rotational and vertical pivotal movement about the shoulder of screw 80. As best seen in FIG. 4, an opening 84 cut in the upper plate 12, into which tab 76 is entered during assembly, limits the rotational movement of pawl 70 while spring 82 biases pawl 70 inwardly to yieldingly hold tab 78 engaged with teeth 53 when the wheel 52 is at home position and during the subsequent conditioning cycle. Tab 74 and spring 82 serve to bias pawl 70 in a vertical direction toward wheel 52 for a purpose to be later described.

A valve plunger 86 is mounted for free-floating movements as by a bearing 88 which is fixed in lower plate 14. Plunger 86 is biased to the FIG. 1, elevated position by the internal compression spring (not shown) of the container valve assembly. In FIG. 1 the valve is in closed condition. The downwardly extending tab 60- of wheel 52 (FIGS. 13) is arranged to depress valve plunger 86 which causes operation of the valve when wheel 52 is rotated to home position by spring 66 following conditioning thereof.

In the preferred embodiment of this invention, a composite driven member 90 includes a single-tooth member 92 and a restoration or timing cam 94. Member 92 and cam 94 may be unitary and fastened, as by set screws 96, on the output shaft of the drive motor 18 to be synchronously driven thereby (see FIGS. 1 and 4).

In the initial operation of the unit, the motor may be energized and the wheel 52 rotated slightly off home position with the tab 60 clear of valve plunger 86. The container 28 is now mounted to bracket 32 in a manner herein before described. The unit will now function unattended, periodically and automatically emitting a timed aerosol spray until the contents of the container 28 are depleted.

For one operational timing example, the motor may be rated to revolve single-tooth member 92 two r.p.m. and wheel 52 may be provided with sixty teeth. Thus every half-minute member 92 advances wheel 52 one tooth space andtab 78 is cammed outwardly then returned into engagement with the next succeeding tooth of wheel 52 by spring 82 while spring 66 is gradually tensioned. In such manner, wheel 52 advances for a prescribed angular distance from home position, or from the FIG. 4 to the FIG. 2 position, (following the initial cycle) in a bit less than half an hour with tabs 58, 60 and 62 rotating therewith. Within the next succeeding minute following the FIG. 2 position, angled tab 58 will be advanced in the direction of the arrow to elevate and decouple pawl 70 by lifting the tab 78 clear of teeth 53, allowing spring to pivot pawl 70 and wing 79 thereof to the FIG. 3 position to the limit allowed by opening 84. Concurrently, the now fully wound spring 66 drives wheel 52 and tabs 58, 60 and 62 therewith rapidly toward home position. As wheel 52 approaches such position (FIG. 3), tab 58 engages wing 79, commences to pivotpawl 70 into recoupling position with teeth 53, angled tab 60 approaches valve depressing position and tab 62 approaches home stop 64. When wheel 52 is driven to home or FIG. 4 position, pawl 70 is pivoted outwardly clear of teeth 53 and then recoupled therewith by spring 80 while tab 60 rapidly depresses valve plunger 86 to effect an aerosol spray. Wheel 52 is now arrested in home position; but cam 94 is so positioned in relation to single tooth member 92 that a tip 97 of cam 94 immediately picks up tab 58 and moves wheel 52 and tab 60 therewith ofi home position, allowing the internal spring of the valve to elevate plunger 86 and terminate spray emission.

For purposes of this description, cam 94 is positioned with respect to the tooth of member 92 so as to allow a I five-second spray of an unmetered valve before permitting valve plunger 86 to elevate. Of course with a metered valve a set amount of spray is emitted upon each operation of the valve no matter how long the plunger 86 is held depressed. Therefore, cam 94 may be utilized to efi'ect closure of such a valve; or to further simplify the operation, cam 94 can be entirely eliminated when using a metered valve as member 92 would be adequate to rotate wheel 52 off home position and allow closure of the valve within the next half-minute.

Having described the invention by making detailed reference to the preferred forms of the elements thereof it is obvious that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is therefore understood that this invention is not limited to the exact arrangement disclosed except as limited by the state of the art to which this invention pertains.

What is claimed is:

1. In a timing device for periodically and automatically causing operation of a valve to effect an aerosol spray, the combination of:

an actuating element adapted for rotation in a first and a second direction and rotatable in intermittent steps in said first direction for a timed duration,

a timed driven member for intermittently rotating said actuating element in said first direction,

biasing means arranged to increasingly urge said element in said second direction when intermittently stepped in said first direction during said timed duration,

control means coupled to said actuating element and adapted to prevent escapement of said element in said second direction when stepped in said first direction during said timed duration,

means rotatable in unison with said actuating element adapted to decouple said control means from said element at the end of said timed duration for allowing said biasing means to rotate said actuating element in said second direction, and

valve operating means also rotatable in unison with said actuating element when rotated in said second direction for operating said valve to effect an aerosol spray.

2. The combination defined in claim 1 further comprising a cam rotatable with said driven member that is adapted to engage and rotate said actuating element in said first direction during said aerosol spray whereby said valve operating means is removed from valve operating position to terminate said aerosol spray.

3. In a timing device for periodically and automatically causing operation of a valve to effect an aerosol spray, the combination of:

mounting means for said timing device,

an actuating element,

stationary means fixed on said mounting means and located adjacent said actuating element, means on said actuating element for engaging said stationary means to thereby establish a home position for said actuating element, v

said actuating element adapted for rotation in a first and a second direction and rotatable in intermittent steps in said first direction for a prescribed angular distance from said home position,

a timed driven member for intermittently rotating said actuating element in said first direction,

biasing means arranged to increasingly urge said actuating element in said second direction during said intermittent rotation thereof,

control means adapted for coupling to and decoupling from said actuating element,

said control means coupled to said actuating element for preventing release thereof in said second direction when stepped in said first direction,

means rotatable in unison with said actuating element for decoupling said control means therefrom after said actuating element has been stepped saidprescribed distance from said home position thereby allowing said biasing means to rotate said actuating element in said second direction toward said home position, and

an actuator also rotatable in unison with said actuating element for operating said valve when said actuating element returns to said home position to elfect an aerosol spray.

4. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said actuating element is in the form of a ratchet wheel having equally spaced teeth and said control means is springurged in both radial and axial directions relative to said ratchet wheel to allow said coupling and decoupling from said ratchet wheel.

5. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said decoupling means and actuator rotatable in unison with said actuating element are tabs formed from the body of said actuating element.

6. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said home position is established by a tab formed from the body of said actuating element and wherein said stationary means is a stop provided on the mounting means.

7. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said biasing means is in the form of a torsion spring having one extremity thereof anchored to said actuating element and another extremity thereof anchored to said mounting means.

8. The combination defined in claim 3 wherein said actuating element is in the form of ratchet wheel, and wherein said control means is a pivotal detent that is springurged in both radial and axial directions relative to said ratchet Wheel to elfect said coupling and decoupling, and wherein said timed driven member includes timing means driven together therewith for removing said ratchet wheel off home position to thereby time the duration of aerosol spray.

9. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein said timed driven member is single toothed and wherein said timing means is a cam integral with the timed driven member.

10. In a timing device for periodically and automatically causing operation of a valve to etfect an aerosol spray, the combination of:

mounting means for said timing device,

a ratchet wheel,

stationary means fixed on said mounting means and located adjacent said ratchet wheel,

means on said ratchet wheel for engaging said stationary means to thereby establish a home position for said ratchet wheel, said ratchet wheel adapted for rotation in a first and a second direction and rotatable in intermittent steps in said first direction for a prescribed angular distance from said home position,

a timed driven member for intermittently rotating said ratchet wheel in said first direction,

biasing means arranged to increasingly urge said ratchet wheel in said second direction during said intermittent rotation thereof,

control means having a tab and a wing formed therefrom, said tab coupled to said ratchet wheel for preventing release thereof in said second direction subsequent to each step of intermittent rotation,

a first projection formed from said ratchet wheel adapted to decouple said control means from said ratchet wheel after said ratchet wheel has been stepped said prescribed distance from said home position thereby allowing said biasing means to rotate said wheel in said second direction back to said home position, and

a second projection formed from said ratchet wheel for operating said valve when said ratchet wheel returns to said home position to effect an aerosol spray while said first projection engages said wing to dis- 7 8 place said control means for allowing recoupling References Cited by the Applicant thereof with said ratchet wheel. P

References Cited by the Examiner l f b am ert. UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 3,179,296 4/1965 Cairelli. 2,222,217 11/1940 Solinski 74112 3,165,238 1/ 1965 Wiley 222--7O MILTON KAUFMAN, Primary Examiner.- 3,222,935 12/1965 Fetzer 74-84 X FRED c M ATTERN Examiner FOREIGN PATENTS 0 D. H. THIEL, Assistant Examiner.

734,923 8/1955 Great Britain.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2222217 *Dec 30, 1939Nov 19, 1940Exhibit Supply CompanyEscapement mechanism
US2613108 *Apr 1, 1949Oct 7, 1952Kraus George FFluid dispenser
US3107821 *Jul 5, 1960Oct 22, 1963Lambert William HAerosol dispenser
US3165238 *Feb 19, 1962Jan 12, 1965Heuer Timer CorpIntermittent actuating device for dispensers
US3179296 *Jan 13, 1964Apr 20, 1965Richardson Merrell IncDispensing apparatus for pressurized containers
US3222935 *Oct 4, 1962Dec 14, 1965Hollymatic CorpStepping device
GB734923A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3589563 *Aug 11, 1969Jun 29, 1971Gen Time CorpLong period battery-operated aerosol dispenser
US5249718 *Mar 16, 1992Oct 5, 1993Technical ConceptsAutomatic pump-type spray dispenser
US6517009Mar 30, 2001Feb 11, 2003Gotit Ltd.Automatic spray dispenser
US6540155Dec 18, 1998Apr 1, 2003Gotit Ltd.Automatic spray dispenser
US20080184614 *Oct 2, 2007Aug 7, 2008Higbee BradleyApparatus and systems for using semiochemical compositions for insect pest control
USD361375Aug 17, 1994Aug 15, 1995Amrep, Inc.Aerosol dispensing cabinet
USRE34847 *Aug 11, 1993Feb 7, 1995Technical Concepts, Inc.Metered aerosol fragrance dispensing mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification74/3.52, 74/84.00R, 239/70, 74/112, 222/647, 200/38.00R
International ClassificationB65D83/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/262
European ClassificationB65D83/26B