US 3335961 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ug- 15, 1957 L.. MARRAFFINQ 3,335,96
MIXING HEAD Filed Feb. 4, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l HG! HG2 iNVENTOR LEONARD L, MARRAFFINO BY wf/If@ ATTORNEYS ug. l5, 1967 L. l., MARRAFFINO MIXING HEAD 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed Feb. 4, 1965 INVEN TOR LEONARD L,
ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,335,961 MIXING HEAD Leonard L. Marraio, 1824 NW. 36th Court, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33309 Filed Feb. 4, 1965, Ser. No. 430,293 7 Claims. (Cl. 239-305) This invention relates broadly to pressurized dispensers of the aerosol type and more particularly to a spray head for such dispensers.
In accordance with the invention, a unique and very compact compartmented and valved spray head is provided, including a manually operable selector device, enabling the user of the dispenser to directly control the entraining or mixing of a uent ingredient from a spray head compartment into the main steam or propellant stream discharging from the dispenser. For example, the invention spray head makes possible the introduction directly into a neutral deodorant spray an auxiliary uent material having a desired fragrance. The invention may also be utilized for the spraying of other ingredients in the desired mixed relationship including coloring materials, cosmetics, various food avoring materials, beverage products and the like.
One of the main objects of the invention is to provide a spray head attachment of the above-mentioned character which is entirely practical to manufacture and simple to operate, and wherein all of the operating parts including the valve means and associated iluent material compartments are arranged in close proximity to the discharge element of a conventional aerosol type dispenser. This renders the invention easy to use and also reduces and substantially eliminates bulkiness in the overall assembly of the dispenser and spray head.
Another object of the invention is to provide in a spray head device of the mentioned character a unique piston assembly or unit which constitutes the heart of the invention and couples directly to the discharge nipple of the dispenser for directly actuating the same.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this application and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,
FIGURE l is a vertical longitudinal section through a spray head embodying the invention with the discharge passages thereof shown in one plane for clarity, the spray head also being shown mounted upon an aerosol type dispenser;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal vertical section taken substantially on line 2 2 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the spray head as shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a horizontal transverse section taken on line 4 4 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a similar section taken on line 5 5 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 6 is a side elevation of a compartmented piston;
FIGURE 7 is a side elevation of a valve head ernployed in conjunction with the piston shown in FIG- URE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a plan View of the valve head shown in FIGURE 7; and
FIGURE 9 is a central vertical section through a housing forming the body portion of the spray head.
In the drawings, wherein for the purpose of illustration is shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, the numeral 20 designates a conventional pressurized dispensing container of the aerosol spray type, adapted to contain a suitable propellant, with or Without an added ingredient. The container or dispenser 20 has the usual centrally located top discharge nipple 21 which is urged axially outwardly to a non-discharging position by means of a spring, not shown. When the nipple 21 is forced axially inwardly against its spring, the pressurized contents of the dispenser 20 is instantly discharged through the nipple 21 in spray or mist form. The construction and mode of operation of the dispenser 20 is well known and need not be described in further detail herein.
The numeral 22 designates the invention proper or spray head in its entirety, comprising a cylindrical housing 23 which forms the body portion of the spray head and supports or encloses the other components thereof. The housing 23 has a lower annular ilange 24 for snug engagement over an upper bead 25 of the dispenser 20. The invention spray head is thus coupled to the dispenser 20 by the snug frictional engagement of the parts 24 and 25. The housing 23 has a relatively thick top wall 26 provided with an internal annular groove 27, into which is snapped a marginal flange 28 of a rotary selector member 29, preferably formed of material which is somewhat resilient, such as certain wellknown plastics. The selector member 29 is bodily rotatable upon the housing 23 and its construction and operation will be further described hereinafter.
yWithin the interior of the housing 23 is a reciprocatory piston assembly or unit 30 which forms the heart of the invention. The unit 30 comprises a compartrnented piston body 31 and an associated valve head 32 xedly secured to the top thereof as by a tongue and groove connection as shown at 33 in the drawings. In some instances, the piston body and valve head may be formed as an integral unit. In other instances, they may be separately formed and secured together permanently in assembled relationship. One such method of assembling the two parts is shown herein for illustrative purposes only. The piston body 31 has a bottom wall 34 provided with a central depending boss 35 having bottom recess 36 adapted to snugly receive the discharge nipple 21 in coupled relationship. Communicating with the recess 36 and nipple 21 is a short central vertical passage or port 37 terminating within the wall 34 and intersecting and communicating with a main centrally located discharge passage or port 37'. Near its outlet end, as best shown in FIGURE 5, the main discharge port 37 intersects and communicates with a pair of converging branchports 38 and 39 also formed within the piston wall 34. As shown most clearly in FIGURES 5 and 6, the three ports 37', 38 and 39 converge to a common discharge opening 46 through the side wall of the piston body 31. The discharge opening 46 registers at all times and in all adjusted positions of the piston unit 30 with a larger side wall opening 47 of housing 23, see FIG- URE 2.
Piston body 31 has a diametrically extending wall 40, forming with a peripheral skirt or wall 41 a pair of compartments 42 and 43 for specifically different fluent ingredients in liquid or gaseous form, such as fragranceproducing ingredients to be added to the propellant or neutral ingredient contained in the dispenser 28. Short upright ports 44 rise from the rear end portions of the ports 38 and 39 and lead into conical valve seats 45, which in turn communicate with the bottoms of compartments 42 and 43. The upper faces of piston wall 34 are preferably sloped toward the ports 44 as shown in FIGURE 2 so that liquid contents of the compartments 42 and 43 will tend to drain toward the ports 44 in all positions in which the dispenser is normally held during use. For example, when the air of a room is to be freshened, the opening 47 may be directed upwardly somewhat while the device is being held in one hand. In such instances, the slope on the upper faces of Wall 34 will aid in directing the material within the compartments 42 and 43 to the ports 44 by gravity. It might also be mentioned here that while the ports 37', 38 and 39 are shown with a slight upward slope in FIGURE 2, they may in practice be horizontal or even downwardly inclined somewhat from the top of port 37 toward the common discharge opening 46.
The aforementioned valve head 32 is a plate-like structure mounted upon the piston wall 41 and covering the tops of compartments 42 and 43, as shown. The piston head 32 also abuts the top of divider Wall 40 and may have intertting engagement therewith as indicated at 40', FIGURE 1. A pair of valve elements orplungers 48 are floatingly carried by the valve head 32 by being xedly secured to or integrally formed with flexible diaphragm portions 49, in turn formed integrally with the valve head 32 or suitably connected therewith in a iluid tight manner. The valve head 32 including diaphragm portions 49 and valve elements 48 is adapted to be formed from plastic or the like. The valve head has relatively large clearance openings for the valve elements 48. The elements 48 extend above and below the diaphragm portions 49 as shown in FIGURE 7. When assembled with the piston body 31, the valve elements 48 extend vertically through the compartments 42 and 43 and have their tapered lowcr ends 51 adapted to engage the valve seats 45 for covering the ports 44. Each valve element 48 is capable of axial movement relative to the piston unit 30 because vof the connection with such unit through the resilient diaphragm portion 49. Above the piston head 32, the upper end portions of valve elements or plungers 48 are grooved at 52 for sliding engagement within arcuate sl-ots S3, formed through the bottom wall 54 of the previously-mentioned selector member 29. The housing top wall 26 has a pair of openings 55 which receive the valve elements 48 slidably so as to guide them during vertical reciprocation, and to also prevent rotation in piston unit 30 in the housing 23. The arcuate slots 53, FIGURE 4, have reduced width portions S6 capable of slidably receiving the grooved portions 52 of the valve element and being too narrow to accommodate the full diameter portions of the valve elements. The slots 53 also include relatively wide portions 57 which are capable of slidably receiving the full diameter portions of valve elements 48.
The selector member 29 is hollow and preferably has a resilient top wall portion 58 of reduced thickness adapted to be flexed by the finger of the user. The selector member is preferably formed of some suitable plastic. An upstanding pin extension 59 on valve head 32 projects slidably through registering central openings 6i) and 61 of walls 26 and 54, respectively. Upon depression by the finger of wall portion 58, pin extension 59 will be engaged and the piston unit 30 in its entirety will be shifted downwardly in the bore of housing 23 against the spring tension of discharge nipple 21. To aid in returning the piston unit 30 to the normal elevated position shown in FIG- URE 1, a separate return spring 60 is preferably interposed between the bottom of the piston body 31 and the top of dispenser as shown.
Valve head 32 is additionally provided in its top face at points spaced from the elements 48 with conically recessed air vents 62, FIGURES 2 and 8. Top wall 26 of rigid housing 23 is correspondingly provided with spaced depending tapered projections 63 adapted to enter and substantially cover the vents 62 when piston unit 30 is fully elevated and contacting the top wall 26 of the housing. When the piston unit 30 is shifted downwardly in the housing 23 to any degree, the vents 62 are uncovered and are in communication with the surrounding atmosphere. At this time, suiiicient air passes to the vents 62 through the clearance spaces lbetween the housing 23 and selector member 29 and around the valve elements 48 and between the faces of the housing top Wall 26 and the valve head 32` Air may also enter to a certain degree through the opening 47 and `around the flange 24 to the space between the piston unit and housing bore. Through these paths suicient air reaches the vents 62 which are as shown in communication with the tops of the chambers 42 and 43. When the piston unit 30 moves downwardly, these charnbers 42 and 43 must be vented to atmosphere before the fluid contents thereof can be drawn through the ports 44, 38 and 39 into the main stream being discharged as a spray through the port 37' in common discharge opening 46.
The operation of the spray head in conjunction with the dispenser 20 is as follows.
The spray head 22 is mounted as an attachment unit upon the conventional dispenser 20 and will remain thereon by friction until dislodged by a firm pull. It may be assumed that the dispenser 20 is filled with a neutral deodorant and a suita-ble propellant, such as Freon, or a propellant alone, if preferred. The compartments 42 and 43 are preferably filled with suitable uent fragranceproducing substance, for example, substances to create the odor of pine needles and flowers. The spring tension of nipple 21 and the force of spring 60' will normally hold piston unit 30 fully elevated against top wall 26 of relatively stationary housing 23.
If it is desired to dispense through the opening 47, the neutral deodorant spray only from the dispenser 20, without any material from the compartments 42 and 43, then the rotary selector member 29 is placed in the neutral position upon the housing 23 shown in FIGURE 4. In such position, the two valve elements 48 are in the wide portions 57 of slots 53 and are therefore free or unlocked from the wall 54. The wall portion 58 is now depressed with the finger and the entire piston unit 30 moves downwardly in the housing 23, which in turn depresses discharge nipple 21 and allows the pressurized material in the dispenser 20 to escape through the nipple, port 37, main port 37' and opening 46 to the exterior of the spray head as a spray or mist. Because of the aforementioned neutral position of selector member 29, FIG- URE 4, valve elements 48 are both free to move downwardly with piston unit 30 and they both remain seated upon the seats 45 for closing the ports 44 leading from compartments 42 and 43. There is sufficient tension in the diaphragm portion 49 to hold the elements 48 seated at this time. Consequently, the neutral deodorant spray or like substance discharging through the main port 37' will not be able to entrain therein any of the substances contained in the compartments 42 and 43 by a venturi-like action because the valve elements while seated block any communication between the compartments 42 and 43 and the main discharge port 37'.
When it is desired to introduce into the main spray emitting from the spray head a particular fragrance, the. selector member 29 is turned toward one of the compartments 42 or 43 and the substance therein will be introduced into the spray emitting from the common discharge opening 46. Turning of the selector member in one direction on the housing 23 will cause one valve element 48 to remain in the adjacent wide slot portion 57, while the other element 48 has its undercut groove 52 introduced into the adjacent narrow slot portion 56. This action allows the one plunger 48 in the wide slot portion 57 to remain free for downward movement with the piston unit 30, and this plunger will remain seated at 45 and continue to prevent the material in one compartment 42 or 43 from entering the spray. However, the other element or plunger 48 whose groove 52 has now entered the narrow slot portion 56 is locked or disabled from moving downwardly with the piston unit 30 and is held elevated'by the Wall 54 when the piston unit is depressed. Therefore, when the piston unit 30 is shifted downwardly and opens the nipple 21 for spraying, the one valve element 48 which is locked to the wall 54 will remain elevated and the associated seat 45 and port 44 will be uncovered, the diaphragm portion 49 flexing to allow the necessary relative movement between the valve element 48 and piston body. When this occurs, the related compartment 42 or 43 is placed in communication with the main discharge port 37 and opening 46 through the associated ports 44 and 39 or 38.
When the spray is now discharged through the main port 37 from the dispenser 20, a suction or venturi-like action will entrain sufficient of the material in the related compartment into the main stream of the spray emitting from the spray head and this in turn will impart to the spray the desired fragrance. Whenever one of the valve elements 48 is unseated, the associated compartment will communicate with the main port or passage 37 and allow the aforementioned entraining in the spray of the substance in the compartment. The user of the invention may readily select the desired mixture to be dispensed by a mere turning of the selector member 29. The arrangement is highly convenient and does not interfere with the usual operation of the dispenser by a iinger action.
It may be mentioned here that latch means other than the specific slots 53 and coacting grooves 52 may be employed to disable the valve elements 48. For example, individually operated cam latches or the like could be used for independent operation by the user of the invention. Various conventional means may be employed in this connection.
In light of the above description, it is thought that the advantages of the invention spray head and its utility will be fully understood by those skilled in the art.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A spray head attachment for an aerosol type dispenser having a displaceable discharge nipple, said spray head attachment comprising a housing member adapted to be mounted upon one end of said dispenser and having a side discharge opening, a piston unit mounted for reciprocation within the housing member and engaging the nipple and adapted to displace the nipple during movement, said piston unit having at least a pair of separated compartments, a main discharge port leading from the nipple to the side opening of the housing member and branch ports leading from the compartments to said main discharge port, a valve means for each compartment on the piston unit adapted in a normal position to cover the branch port leading from the adjacent compartment and being capable of movement relative to the piston unit during movement of the piston unit, and movable disabling means for said Valve means on the housing member having releasable interlocking engagement with the valve means for each compartment, wherebythe valve means for each compartment may be allowed selectively to move with the piston unit or to be held against movement therewith.
2. The invention as defined by claim 1, and wherein said valve means for each compartment constitutes a valve plunger element mounted on the piston unit for reciprocation relative thereto, and said movable disabling means on the housing member has a releasable interlocking connection with each valve plunger element.
3. In an aerosol type dispenser, a pressurized aerosol container having a movable discharge nipple, a housing extension adapted to be coupled to said container so as to project beyond the end of the container having the nipple, a piston unit mounted within the housing extension for reciprocation and having separated compartments and branch passages leading from the compartments, said piston unit coupled to the nipple and having a main discharge passage leading therefrom and intersecting the branch passages, the main discharge passage opening through one side of the piston unit, the housing extension having a side wall opening communicating with the main discharge passage, valve plunger elements on said piston unit and extending into the compartments and adapted to close the branch passages leading from the compartments, said valve plunger elements also extending exteriorly of the piston unit and having interlocking parts exteriorly of the piston unit, and a rotary selector member on the housing extension having releasable interlocking engagement with the interlocking parts of the valve plunger elements, whereby the latter may be selectively locked or released relative to said selector member and housing extension during movement of the piston unit in a direction to displace said nipple, said compartments of the piston unit having air vent means open to the atmosphere when the piston unit is moved in a direction to displace said nipple. l
4. The invention as defined by claim 3, and resilient diaphragm portions interconnecting said valve plunger elements with a wall of said piston unit, whereby each plunger element may have limited axial movement relative to the piston unit for selectively opening or closing the branch passage leading from the adjacent compartment.
5. The invention as defined by claim 3, and a spring interposed between said container and piston unit and constantly urging the piston unit outwardly within said housing extension.
6. A spray head for an aerosol type dispenser having a movable discharge nipple, said spray head comprising a housing adapted to be coupled with said dispenser and extending axially beyond the nipple and having an end wall, a piston unit mounted within the housing and engaging the nipple and urged by the nipple toward engagement with the end wall and being shiftable toward the nipple, an operating part on the piston unit projecting outwardly of the end wall, the piston unit having a main discharge passage communicating with the nipple and opening through a side of the piston unit, the piston unit having separated compartments for iiuent material and branch passages leading from the compartments and intersecting the main discharge passage, said housing having a side wall opening registering with the main discharge passage in all operative positions of the piston unit, said piston unit having a valve head covering said compartments and having air vents formed therethrough individual to the compartments, said vents opened by movement of the piston unit away from the housing end wall, valve plunger elements individual to the compartments on the valve head and having a yielding connection therewith so that the elements may have limited axial movement relative to the piston unit, said valve plunger elements adapted to normally close said branch passages, said housing end wall having openings slida-bly receiving the valve plunger elements, and movable selector means on said end wall having releasable interlocking engagement with the valve plunger elements exteriorly of the housing, whereby the valve plunger elements may be selectively held against movement with the piston unit or may be allowed to move freely therewith relative to the housing.
7. The invention as deiined by claim 6, and wherein said valve plunger elements have grooves formed therein providing reduced portions on said elements, said selector means including a wall having arcuate slots individual to the valve plunger elements, each slot having a relatively Wide portion capable of receiving the full diameter portion of the valve plunger element and a relatively narrow portion capable of receiving only the reduced portion of said element, said selector means being rotatable on said housing.
References Cited UNTTED STATES PATENTS 2,296,079 9/1942 Anderson 239--379 8 Homrn 2227-136 Modderno 222-136 Marraino 222--135 Hegedic et al. Z39-305 Dalle et al 222-394 EVERETT W. KIRBY, Primary Examiner.
M. HENSON WOOD. JR., Examiner.
7/1958 Ackerman 222-136 10 R. S. STROBEL, Assistant Examiner.