US 3351240 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 7, 1967 R. GRAY AUTOMATIC AEROSOL DISPENSER INVENTOR.
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A177zzemne1/ United States Patent() 3,351,240 AUTOMATIC AEROSOL DISPENSER Robert L. Gray, San Carlos, Calif., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Chem-Spray Controls, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Jan. 17, 1966, Ser. No. 521,010 3 Claims. (Cl. 222-70) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE v Aerosol dispensing apparatus including a housing, means for attaching the housing to an aerosol container and thereby opening and maintaining open the containers normally closed dispensing valve, a conduit system in the housing for conveying iluid from the container to atmosphere including a normally closed housing valve, and means including a solenoid and power and control means therefor in control relation to the housing valve.
This invention relates to an automatic aerosol dispenser wherein contents of a pressurized can such as a conventional aerosol can containing various liquids of the type of insecticides, medications and deodorizers is dispensed in short bursts at timed intervals. The invention has particular adaptation where small quantities of a vapor are emitted into a room to maintain a desired concentration of vapor within the room.
A feature of the invention is the provision of a housing which snaps over the upper end of an aerosol can and engages the valve stem of the can, supplanting the valving arrangement which is initially installed in such Y an aerosol can with the valving arrangement hereinafter explained in detail. The device hereinafter described opens the `can to the atmosphere in short, timed bursts. In a preferred embodiment of the invention the interval between bursts and hence the quantity emitted may be `adjusted.
In a preferred form of the invention, there is provided a battery powered circuit having a capacitor installed therein which discharges periodically to energize the coil of a solenoid controlling emission of vapor from the can through an aperture. The choice of the value of the capacitor determines the interval between bursts. A variable resistor may be incorporated in the electronic circuit to vary the timed interval.
The use of vaporized liquid for such purposes as insecticide, deodorizer, medication, and the like, is becoming increasingly common. However, heretofore convenient and practical means for dispensing the contents of the cans at intervals has not been achieved. Mechanical devices for such purposes are cumbersome, subject to mechanical failure, noisy and otherwise undesirable. The present invention eliminates the undesirable features of prior construction. In addition, the device is inexpensive to manufacture and maintain. Other advantages are its simplicity and freedom from problems of maintenance and its easy installation and removal.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings in which similar characters of reference represent corresponding parts in each of the several views.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view through a device in accordance with the present invention showing the device installed on the upper end of a conventional aerosol can.
FIG. 2 is a top plan.
3,351,240 Patented Nov. 7, 1967 FIG. 3 is a section taken substantially along the line 3 3 of FIG. l.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the structure of FIG. 1, shown with the valve in open position.
FIG. 5 is'a schematic circuit diagram.
The present invention has particular application in conjunction with conventional aerosol cans as partially illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4. Such a can has a cylindrical body 11 surmounted at its top with a breast 12 joined to body 11 at its periphery with a circumferential outward protruding bead 13 and having at its top a tting 14 provided with an upward extending valve stem 16. In normal operation, depressing stem 16 opens an internal valve structure to dispense contents. In accordance with the present invention the valve structure is replaced with the valve structure of this device and hence, when the device is installedon the can, the stem 16 is continuously depressed and the valve of the can is continuously open.
The device attached to can body 11 comprises an elongated cylindrical housing 21, preferably cylindrical in shape and open at the bottom and closed at the top with top disc 22 which may be formed to snap into a groove 23 yin the upper end of housing 21. A partition 24 is disposed approximately midway of the interior of housing 21. An internal groove 26 is formed spaced upwardly from the lower end of housing 21 and shaped to engage bead 13 of the can. The lower edge 27 of housing 21 is formed with a bevel. The material of construction of housing 21 may be a plastic of suicient resiliency to enable the housing to slip over bead 13. There is suflicient springiness in the material so that the housing cannot be dislodged from the assembled position shown in FIG. -1, except intentionally by the application of sucient manual force. The beveled edge 27 facilitates seating of the housing on can 11.
Partition 24 is formed on its bottom surface with a downward extension 31 formed on its bottom surface with a cavity 32 which receives stern 16. The bottom edge 33 of protuberance 31 is beveled to facilitate seating of the stem 16 as is best shown in FIG. 4. When bead 13 is seated in groove 26, stem 16 is forced downwardly to open the valve. Above recess 32 is an upward extending duct 34. The upper surface of partition 24 is formed with a central recess 36 having progressively stepped recesses 37, 38. A nozzle 39 projects up from the bottom of smalldiameter recess 38 and terminates at the vlevel of the bottom of recess 37. The upper' edge of nozzle 39 forms a valve seat as hereinafter described. A second or horizontal duct 41 is formed in partition 24 extending out from recess 38 and aligned with a hole 42 in casing 21.
The valve arrangement for the device consists of an imperforate rubber disc 43 litting into the bottom of recess 37 and held in place by a centrally apertured metal disc 44 of similar diameter. Coil 46 is disposed inside coil housing 47 which is disposed so that its lower end lits inside recess 36 and is closed at the top with a top 48 and at the bottom with an apertured bottom 49. Disc 44 partially closes olf the aperture in bottom 49. A sleeve 51 is located inside coil 46 and ts against the top of apertured disc 44. Reciprocating inside sleeve 51 is an armature 52. At the lower end of armature 52 is a pin 53. The upper end of armature 52 is formed with a recess 54 receiving helical spring 56 which bears against the underside of top 48 and the bottom of recess 54. Thus spring 56 normally presses armature 52 downwardly so that pin 53 bears against the top surface of rubber disc 43 closing off the upper end of nozzle 39. However, when coil 46 is energized, the force of spring 56 is'overc'ome,'lifting pin 53 and permitting the pressure within can body 1:1 to lift the disc to the position shown in FIG. 4 so that vapor is 3 dispensed from the can through duct 34 past the upper end of nozzle 39 into recess 38 and thence out through duct 41 and hole 42 into the surrounding room.
The power for-coil 46 is supplied by a plurality of fiashlight-type batteries 61 located in casing 21 above partition 24 and wired in series by means of fittings 62 engaging the terminals of the battery in a manner well understood in this art. A circuit board 63 is mounted inside the top of casing 21 immediately below cover 22 and various electrical components hereinafter described in detail are mounted upon and wired to said board in a manner well understood in the art. A principal component is variable resistor R1 having an upstanding control stem 64 which projects up and through boss 66 on the top of cover 22. A control knob 67 is attached to the upper end of stern 64 and by turning said knob the resistor R1 may be adjusted. An ofi-on switch (not shown) may be incorporated in the circuit likewise controlled by knob 67, las is well understood in the art. As scale 68 may be inscribed in proximity to knob 67 so that an indication of the setting of the resistor may be observed.
FIG. 5 is a schematic wiring diagram of a preferred circuit. It will be understood that other circuits may be substituted provided the same result is achieved. A table of values of the various components is hereinafter set forth, it being understood that the values also are merely representative.
Essentially, by adjustment of the setting of resistor R1 the rate at which a charge builds up on capacitor C1 is adjusted. The capacitor is quite accurate and its range of operation is such that the cycle of operation of the circuit may vary up to a 9-minute maximum. The operating time for holding plunger 52 open is 0.25 second. This time is, of course, electronically adjustable.
The use of resistor R6 and capacitor C2 is optional. When such elements are included in the circuit, the battery life is increased.
When capacitor C1 discharges, unit junction transistor Q1 functions as an amplifier and triggers transistor Q2 so that current iiows through coil 46.
Energization of coil 46 raises core 52 and pin 53 from the rest position shown in FIG. 1, wherein pin 53 closes the opening in duct 34. The pressure within can 11 raises the diaphragm 43 permitting discharge of the aerosol through duct 41 to the room or other enclosure in which the device is installed. Since the capacitor C1 is discharged for only a short period of time, upon termination of discharge the coil 46 is de-energized.
A tabulation of component values is as follows:
solid tant, leakage less than 0.5 microamp. at V.
C2 300 micro f. elect.
Although the foregoing invention has been described in some detail, by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity and understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A combination of means for effecting timed, poweractuated, periodic dispensing of fluid from an aerosol container, said container having a movable valve stem-conduit and a spring urging said valve stem-conduit outwardly of said container to a valve-closed position, whereby the power required to effect such periodic dispensing is minimized, comprising housing means having first conduit means adapted to interiit with and move said valve stemconduit against the resistance of said spring inwardly of said container to a valve-open position; second conduit means adapted to effect communication between said first conduit means and the exterior of said housing means; movable valve means adapted in a first position to interrupt ow communication between said first and second conduit means and in a second position to effect tiow communication between said tirst and second conduit means; power means adapted upon being activated to move said valve means from said first position to said second position and adapted upon being de-activated to move said valve means from said second position to said rst position; timer means to activate and de-activate said power means; and means adapted to connect said housing means and said container together to effect, during the course of the making of such connection, the inter-fitting of said first conduit means With said valve stem-conduit and the movement of said valve stem-conduit against the resistance of said spring inwardly of said container to a valve-open position, thereby de-activating said spring and rendering the same non-opposing to activation of said power means.
2. A timed spray dispensing device for use with an aerosol container having a valve stem at its top and an internal valve opened by depressing said valve stem and first gripping means, said device comprising a casing shaped to fit over the top of said container and having second gripping means cooperably engageable with said first gripping means to hold said casing on said container, said casing having an internal partition, said partition being arranged to depress said valve stem and being shaped to establish fluid communication with said valve stem when said rst and second gripping means are cooperably engaged, said partition being formed with a valve chamber, a first port in said partition adapted to receive fiuid from said valve stern and to transmit fluid to said valve chamber, a second port in said partition adapted to receive duid from said valve chamber and to transmit fluid to the exterior of said casing, valve means in said valve chamber normally closing off communication between said ports, and timer means arranged to operate said valve means at timed intervals to provide communication between said ports, said timer means comprising a solenoid controlling said valve: means, a source of electric current, a capacitor, and an electric circuit arranged to charge said capacitor from said source and to energize said solenoid when the charge on said capacitor has built up to a predetermined value upon the elapse of a predetermined time interval, said valve means comprising a diaphragm disposed in said valve chamber across one of said ports, a pin on said solenoid, and resilient means biasing said pin against said diaphragm to normally close said one port.
3. A timed spray dispensing device for use with an aerosol container having a valve stem at its top and an internal valve opened by depressing said valve stem and rst gripping means, said device comprising a casing shaped to fit over the top of said container and having second gripping means cooperably engageable with said first gripping means to hold said casing on said container, said casing having an internal partition, said partition being arranged to depress said valve stem and being shaped to establish fluid communication With said valve stem when said first and second gripping means are cooperably engaged, said partition being formed with a valve chamber, a tirst port in said partition adapted to receive iiuid from said valve stem and to transmit iiuid to said valve chamber, a second port in said partition adapted to receive uid from said valve chamber and to transmit fiuid to the exterior of said casing, valve means in said valve chamber normally closing olf communication be'- tween said ports, and timer means arranged to operate said valve means at timed intervals to provide communication between said ports, said timer means comprising a solenoid controlling said valve means, said Valve means comprising a diaphragm disposed in said valve chamber across one of said ports, a pin on said solenoid, and resilient means biasing said pin against said diaphragm to normally close said one port.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS '1'1/ 1954 Peltz 222-70 X 6/ 1965 Mangel 222-70