US 3341130 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1967 w. WEBER 3,341,130
SPRAY HEAD FOR FLEXIBLE CONTAINERS Filed Sept. 22, 1965 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. I
W. WEBER SPRAY HEAD FOR FLEXIBLE CONTAINERS Sept. 12, 1967 Filed Sept. 22, l965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent W 8 Claims. (Cl. 239-327) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A spray head for a flexible-container, having a closure member which is provided with an air inlet passage to permit entry of air to the container, the head being formed with a valve seating at the inner end of the air passage which is closed by an axially movable valve member in the air passage under the production of internal pressure in the container. A tube is fitted in a passageway through the valve member for conveying liquid from the container to a spray nozzle in the valve member under pressure applied by squeezing the container, the tube having an external cross-sectional area less than the internal crosssectional area of said passageway so that air passage are formed alongside said tube which extend between the container and the spray nozzle. A removable cap is mounted on the closure member and covers the spray nozzle and the outer end of the air inlet passage.
This invention relates to spray heads for flexible containers. More particularly, the invention is concerned with spray heads which 'are used for spraying liquids without using an power gas and simply by repeatedly compressing the flexible container by hand. A
The simplest form of such spray means for flexible liquid containers consists of a closure from which a small spray tube extends down to the deepest part of the container, through which tube the liquid together with a certain amount of air is pressed out of the spray nozzle at the end of the spray tube by compressing the walls of the container. Spray means of this type have the disadvantage that the liquid can only be sprayed slowly and jerkily since the air required to expel it has to be sucked through the spray nozzle into the container between the various spraying operations, and because of the very small diameter of the nozzle this happens only very slowly. Another disadvantage of the known spraying means is that if the container is overfilled or if the pressing movements follow one another rapidly, i.e. whenever there is too little air in the bottle for spraying purposes, instead of finely atomized liquid particles being ejected, a fine jet of liquid comes out of the nozzle orifice. Thus usually makes the surfaces to be sprayed too wet and the amount of liquid consumed is greater than was intended.
Other known spray heads for flexible containers have therefore been constructed with an air inlet aperture adapted to be blocked by a valve in addition to a spray nozzle in the internal closing cap; when there is low pressure in the bottle, air can flow in relatively fast through the air inlet aperture, and when the walls of the container are compressed, the air valve is closed by the resultant high pressure in the container. Such known air inlet valves consist either of plate valves which are pressed against the air aperture by spring force when the container is in the normal position or of freely movable plate valves which keep the air passage open when the container is in the norv mal position, the latter closing the air aperture only when there is a high pressure in the container. The valves which close the air aperture when the container is in the normal position have the disadvantage that they may easily become stuck together by exudations from the contents of Patented Sept. 12, 1967 movable valve member suspended in a central air passage and with a perpendicularly extending spray nozzle cut obliquely out of the upper portion and the holder for the rising tube provided at the side of it in the spray head. Known spray heads of this type provided with a central air passage have various disadvantages. When the flexible container is stored, any liquid flowing out into the closing cap can flow back only through the normally open air passage, whereas liquid flowing out of the spray nozzle at the side of the air passage cannot reach it and remains between the inner closure and the closing cap. It has therefore been found that when the cap is taken off such known devices after the container has been stored in a horizontal position, such as in a suitcase during a journey, some drops of the liquid which has passed between the inner closure and the cap run down the side of the contaner. Moreover it has not been possible, at reasonable cost, to produce a spray jet perpendicular to the axis of the container with the aid of the known spray heads,
since the perpendicularly extending spray nozzle always had to be cut out at a certain angle so that the jet was always directed upwardly. This meant that known containers had to be tilted in order to produce a horizontal spray jet, with the result that an unsprayable residue was a certain minimum diameter; this has a disadvantageous efiect on production costs, because of the consumption of material, and also on the appearance of such articles.
An object of the present invention is to overcome all these disadvantages of known spray heads and to provide smaller and thus cheaper and more attractive spray heads.
A further object is to provide a spray head which can produce a horizontal spray jet without inclining the container.
A still further object is to provide a spray head which, even if the container is stored horizontally, allows no liquid to pass between the inner closure and the closing cap.
According to the invention, there is provided a spray head fora flexible container; comprising a closure member adapted to be fitted to the container and having an air inlet passage extending therethrough to permit the ingress of air to the container through the closure member when fitted thereon; a valve member axially movable in the air passage and movable under internal pressure in the container to seat against a valve seating provided on the closure member at the inner end of the air passage and to seal the said air passage; a spray nozzle on the valve member; a passageway through the valve member, one
end of the passageway communicating with the spray nozzle and the other end of the passageway being adapted to receive a tube, the tube serving to convey liquid from closing gap; a movable valve member, the lower end of which is shaped as a valve disc, and also the spray nozzle; and a small rising tube which is fixed into the body of the valve and which moves upwardly therewith when there is high pressure inside the container and downwardly back into the initial position when the pressure is equalized.
In order that the valve shall be properly closed even when the spray bottle is held in an oblique position during spraying, it is advisable to use an air inlet valve in which the body of the valve co-operates with the valve seat in the manner of a spherical joint in the sealing position. For this'purpose the movable valve member may either have a hemispherical axially movable valve disc fitted into a hemispherical or circular seat, or the valve disc may be fiat and co-operate with a hemispherical seat. In each case it is preferable to provide the valve seat at a constriction in the air inlet passage.
Although in the nozzle spray head the spray nozzle may also be upwardly or downwardly inclined if this is desirable for special applications, a preferred embodiment consists of arranging the nozzle substantially perpendicular to the axis of the container.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the spray head is provided with an axially extending passage of polygonal, preferably triangular section into which the rising tube is fitted so as to leave air-expelling passages in the corners of the main passage. These air-expelling passages enable the amount of air required to produce a spray action to be forced out of the inside of the container to the spray nozzle.
The movable valve member is mounted in the air inlet passage in such a way that it does not close the orifice thereof when the bottle is in the normal position, so that the valve and inner closure cannot become stuck together by exudations. The valve member is preferably mounted on studs in the region of the air inlet passage by means of projections above the valve body member.
The nozzle spray heads according to the invention offer the advantage that, when the container is in the horizontal position, any liquid running into the space between the inner closure and the cap will all run back through the air inlet passage into the interior of the container when the latter is stood upright again and no residual liquid will be able to settle between the inner closure and the cap. Moreover, the valve member, with its top end projecting from the air inlet aperture, can easily be moved by hand; thus if the valve should become stuck it can easily be freed and the spray means set in operation again, so that it is virtually impossible for the spray head to be made unusable.
A further advantage of the nozzle spray head is the possibility of providing, if desired, for the spray jet to be directed horizontally so that the container need not be inclined for spraying vertical surfaces.
The valve member, which takes up a minimum amount of space, enables the nozzle spray head to be made smaller and to comprise less components than known heads, thereby economizing on material and reducing production costs. Added to this, these smaller spray heads have a more pleasing appearance, which has an advantageous effect on the selling power of such spray means.
The invention also extends to flexible containers fitted with spray heads according to the invention. The invention will now be further described, by way of example, with accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a vertical section through one example of a spray head mounted in a container according to the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the spray head without the container and with the closing cap removed.
Referring to the drawings, the spray head comprises an inner closure 1 which is fixed onto the edge of a flexible container C with the aid of an annular groove 2 and which is joined to a closing cap 4 by a connecting strap 3, the inner closure 1, the connecting strap 3 and the closing cap 4 preferably being made in one piece. An air inlet passage 5 provided in the center of the inner closure contains a constriction 6 shaped at the bottom as a valve seat 7. In the example illustrated in the drawings, the valve seat is hemispherical.
A movable valve member 9 is mounted on three studs 8 inside the air inlet passage 5 with the aid of three projections 10. A valve disc 11 is provided on the valve member 9 and the valve disc is also hemispherical and interacts as a spherical joint with the valve seat 7 in the sealing position, i.e. when the valve member 9 is pressed upwardly against the valve seat 7 as a result of high pressure in the bottle.
Inside the valve member 9 is a passage 12 of triangular cross-section into which a circular rising tube 13 is inserted as far as stop 14 provided in the passage 12 and fitted by contact with the walls of the passage 12. Air expelling passages 15 of substantially triangular section are formed in the corners of the passage 12 between the outer periphery of the rising tube 13 and the walls of the passage 12. The expelling passages 15 lead along the top end of the rising tube 13 and end in a narrower part 16 of the passage 12. A spray nozzle 17 adjoins the part 16 perpendicular to the axial direction of the passage 12.
When the walls of the flexible container C are compressed, high pressure is formed in the bottle so that the valve member 9, together with the rising tube 13 fixed therein is raised and pressed against the valve seat 7. Thereafter, the air in the bottle is expelled only through the air-expelling passages 15 to the constricted part 16 of the passage 12 and out of the spray nozzle 17, and at the same time liquid rises through the tube 13 also into the constricted part 16 and passes through the spray nozzle 17 into the open in the form of fine vapor particles.
When the pressure is removed from the Walls of the flexible bottle, a low pressure is formed in the bottle and the valve member 9 drops together with the rising tube 13 until the projections 10 lie on the studs 8. Air can then again flow through the air inlet passage 5 into the interior of the bottle.
If the bottle is left in a horizontal position part of its liquid contents can pass, through the air inlet passage 5 and the spray nozzle 17, only into the small space between the top part of the valve member 9 and the closing cap 4, and when the bottle is stood upright again all the liquid will flow back into the bottle through the passage 5.
This bottle is preferably made from synthetic plastic material although other flexible materials, for example rubber, can be used.
Other embodiments and modifications are envisaged without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. A spray head for a flexible container comprising:
(a) a closure member adapted to be fitted to the container;
(b) an air inlet passage through said closure member to permit ingress of air to the container through the closure member when fitted thereon;
(c) a valve seating at the inner end of said air passage;
(d) a valve member axially movable in said air passage and movable under internal pressure in the container to seat against said valve seating and seal said arr passage;
(e) a spray nozzle on said valve member;
(f) a passageway through said valve member communicating with said spray nozzle;
(g) a tube fitted in the passageway at the end opposite said spray nozzle, said tube serving to convey liquid from the container to said spray nozzle under pressure applied by squeezing the container, the external cross-sectional area of said tube being less than the internal cross-sectional area of said passageway so that air passages are formed alongside said tube which extend between the container and said spray nozzle; and
(h) a removable cap covering said spray nozzle and the outer end of said air inlet passage.
2. A spray head, as claimed in claim 1, in which said air inlet passage is so located relative to said spray nozzle that excess liquid dripping from the spray nozzle can flow back into the container through said air passage.
3. A spray head as claimed in claim 1, in which said valve seating is substantially hemispherical and in which said valve member is provided with a substantially hemispherical valve disc, whereby said valve disc can seat on said valve seating.
4. A spray head as claimed in claim 1, in which said spray nozzle extends in a direction substantially perpendicular to said air inlet passage.
5. A spray headas claimed in claim 1, in which said passageway through said valve member is of polygonal cross-section.
6. A spray head as claimed in claim 5, in which said passageway is of substantially triangular cross-section.
7. A spray head as claimed in claim 1, in which said closure member is provided with studs extending inwardly from said air inlet passage and in which said axially movable valve member is provided with projections extending radially outwardly therefrom, said projections being arranged to rest on said studs when said valve memher is not seated on said inner closure means.
8. A spray container comprising:
(a) a flexible container;
(b) a closure member fitted to said container;
(0) an air inlet passage through said closure member to permit ingress of air to said container through said closure member;
(d) a valve seating at the inner end of said air passage;
(e) a valve member axially movable in said air passage and movable under internal pressure in the container to seat against said valve seating and seal said air passage;
(f) a spray nozzle on said valve member;
(g) a passageway through said valve member communicating with said spray nozzle;
(h) a tube fitted in the passageway at the end opposite said spray nozzle, said tube extending into the container and serving to convey liquid from the container to said spray nozzle under pressure applied by squeezing said container, the external cross-sectional area of said tube being less than the internal cross-sectional area of said passageway so that air passages are formed alongside said tube which extend between the container and said spray nozzle; and
(i) a removable cap covering said spray nozzle and the outer end of said air inlet passage.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,461,620 2/1949 Wright 222-213 X 2,796,294 6/1957 McKinnon 239327