US 3336000 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 15, 1967 A. F. BARKER 3,336,000
AEROSOL VALVE FOR FOOD PRODUCTS Filed May 51, 1966 W 7 "7 "c 2 2 0 w \r\\ 1 wk Q INVENT OR ARTHUR FREDERICK BARKER United States Patent 3,336,000 AEROSOL VALVE FOR FOOD PRODUCTS Arthur Frederick Barker, Newark, DeL, assignor to E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Del., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 31, 1966, Ser. No. 553,775 2 Claims. (Cl. 251-212) The present invention is directed to novel aerosol valve assemblies for pressurized aerosol containers. More specifically, the present invention is directed to an improved aerosol valve assembly adapted to be self-sealing, that is, having provision for automatically closing off from the atmosphere the discharge opening in the valve assembly except during those periods when the package is in use.
In relatively recent years, a great many commodities have come to be sold in pressurized aerosol containers in which a product is discharged from the container under pressure generated by :an aerosol propellant Within the container. Control of the discharge of the product is had by means of a valve assembly ordinarily mounted at the mouth of the container. The valve assembly usually includes an actuating device for opening the valve closure and a discharge orifice through which the product is dispensed.
Despite the continually increasing number of commodities being marketed in aerosol containers, there has been heretofore a large number of comestible products which could not be effectively marketed in this manner. There are several reasons why present-day aerosol valves fail as dispensing assemblies for food products. First of all, the particle size of many food products is of such a nature that the discharge metering orifice in the standard valve is easily clogged by such particles. Secondly, the food particles, when trapped in the standard valve closure, can prevent an eifective seal from forming, thereby allowing the product to continuously seep through the closure. Finally, the standard valves are designed in such a manner that the residue product is left exposed to the air in the valve passageways after discharge. It is well known that food products are of such nature that prolonged exposure to air adversely affects their quality or other physical characteristics.
Any one of these problems is easily solved by itself, but the solution of one problem usually magnifies the other problems. It has been difiicult to design a valve assembly especially adapted to food products and the like which solves all these problems in one design.
The main difficulty :arises from the fact that in the usual arrangement of the valve assembly there is a substantial distance between the point where the valve closes and the discharge opening through which the aerosol contents are discharged to the atmosphere. As a result, the passageways connecting these point-s through which the product must pass before discharge are essentially dead spaces which are constantly exposed to the atmosphere. Inasmuch as there is always some residue of product left within this dead space between the valve closure and valve discharge, any residue product which includes a non-volatile substance, such as comestibles, will eventually dry out in these passageways. At the same time, any product which will be adversely affected by exposure to the action of aerobic bacteria will have the residue in these passages so affected. 'Ihus, upon subsequent usage of the aerosol, the dried out and/or contaminated residue will be dispensed with fresh product, rendering the discharged product totally unacceptable.
Accordingly, this invention is directed to an improved aerosol valve assembly to be used in combination with a pressurized container for dispensing comestibles or the like which will have no dead space between the Valve closure and the atmosphere, thereby eliminating the prob- 3,336,9W Patented Aug. 15, 1967 lems inherent in said dead spaces such as the drying action of air or the attack of aerobic bacteria. The valve assembly of the present invention, therefore, contains its closure at the end of the discharge spout, thereby allowing no product to stand exposed to the atmosphere. A further advantage of the present valve assembly is that the valve closure is lined with a broad expanse of resilient material, whereby any particles or fibers trapped in the closure will become temporarily embedded in the resilient lining, thus allowing a complete seal to form.
The present preferred form of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawing and will be described in detail hereinafter for the purpose of illustrating one way in which the invention may be made and used. From what has been said above, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the principles and advantages of the invention could be obtained in other forms of the invention not specifically shown herein. The accompanying drawing and description to follow are, accordingly, by way of example only and are not intended to define or restrict the scope of the invention.
A better understanding of the invention will be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawing which forms a part of this application and illustrates the preferred embodiment of this invention.
In the accompanying drawing:
'FIGURE 1 is an elevational view in section of the valve assembly when in a closed position, said view taken on plane 1-1 of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the discharge opening taken on plane 22' of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is an elevational view in section of the valve assembly when in an open or discharging position, said view also taken on plane 1-1 of FIGURE 2.
Referring first to FIGURE 1, there is shown a pressurized container valve assembly comprising a rigid tubular member 1 having a handle means 2. The tubular member 1 is adapted to slide axially over a second internal tubular member 3. The internal tubular member 3 swells to a pronounce-d conically shaped enlargement at its upper portion and is split into a plurality of wedgeshaped sections enabling the top to flare out as more clearly shown in FIGURE 2. Flared top sections 4 may be made up of any number of sections as desired, six being the preferred number as shown in FIGURE 2. The internal tubular member 3 is anchored at its bottom end between pressurized container cap 5 and the lower section of resilient grommet 6. The resilient grommet 6 is secured within tubular member 3 by hearing on ridge 12 of tubular member 3. The resilient grommet 6 has a tubular extension 13 which ends in slotted opening 7. Tubular member 1 is held in an upward position by spring means 8 wedging the flared top sections 4 against the resilient tubular member 13, thereby closing slotted opening 7. The handle means 2 is held firmly to the tubular member 1 by collar 9 and ridge 10. The handle provides means for compressing spring 3 and moving tubular member 1 axially downward. The container cap 5 is easily installed into the mouth of the average aerosol container by crimping.
If it is desired to discharge the product with the container in the upright position, this valving mechanism may be easily adapted to be used with a dip tube attachment. The dip tube is a conduit of suflicient length to extend to the bottom of the container. Such a dip tube can be attached to the valving mechanism by a number of techniques well known to those skilled in the art. The dip tube is made from any flexible material such as polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride.
FIGURE 3 shows the valve assembly in the open posi tion. It will be seen that, as valve handle 2 is depressed, tubular member 1 is moved axially downward, thereby relieving the force against the wedge-shaped sections 4. As this force is relieve-d, the contents under pressure within the cylinder flow up passageway 11 and force open the slit 7 in resilient tubular member 13. Closing is accomplished by releasing valve handle means 2, reversing the action. Particles or fibers which are present in the sealing area are embedded in the broad expanse of resilient material 13 at slotted opening 7 and do not interfere with the sealing mechanism of the slotted opening.
The resilient tubular member 13 having the slotted opening is made of any suitable elastomeric material, such as natural or synthetic rubber, or polyethylene. The preferred material is rubber. Tubular member 1 is made of a rig-id plastic, such as nylon, or a metal. The internal tubular member 3 is made of a semi-rigid plastic, such as polypropylene or polyethylene.
It will be seen that the novel valve assembly of this invention does not have the undesirable dead spaces between the valve closure and the discharge opening. It will also be seen that the resilient member 13 effects a complete seal when closed by the action of Wedge-shaped sections 4, since any particles or fibers trapped in the spout opening, which could destroy the seal, will become temporarily embedded in the broad expanse of resilient material forming the seal.
As many apparently Widely different embodiments of this invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific embodiments thereof except as defined in the appended claims.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is ciaimed are defined as follows:
1. A valve assembly for a pressurized aerosol container comprising (A) a discharge means comprising an axially movable rigid tubular member, a semi-rigid axially fixed internal tubular member, and an axially fixed discharge spout of resilient material positioned within said semi-rigid internal tubular member, said semi-rigid internal tubular member having conically shaped pivotally movable wedge sections at the top, and said discharge spout having a slotted opening at the top,
(3) spring means forcing said rigid tubular means against said conically shaped wedge sections of the internal tubular member, thereby maintaining the slotted opening in the discharge spout in a closed position, and
(C) actuating means for forceably depressing said spring means, thereby moving the external tubular member away from the conically shaped Wedge sections at the top of the internal tubular member Whereby the slotted opening in the discharge spout is opened by the internal pressure within an aerosol container.
2. A valve assembly according to claim 1 wherein the discharge spout is made of natural rubber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,055,582 9/1936 Lewis et al 251-2 12 X 2,555,490 6/1951 Horn 222-493 3,249,268 5/1966 Neuner 222549 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primmy Examiner.
N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.