US 3357604 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 12, 1967 Filed May 51, 1966 v U u A :N I N Ill/II, -22 W/ k Q h: m E2 2 NI ARTHU United States Patent Ofihce 3,357,504 Patented Dec. 12, 1967 3,357,604 AEROSOL TILT VALVE Arthur Frederick Barker, Newark, DeL, assignor to E. I. du Pont de Neniours and Company, Wilmington, Del., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 31, 1%6, Scr. No. 553,776 2 (llaims. (Cl. 222402.23)
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 diflicult 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 points 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. Thus, 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 problems 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 a 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.
FIGURE 2 is an elevational view in section of the valve assembly when it is in a tilted or discharging position.
Referring first to FIGURE 1, there is shown a pressurized container valve assembly comprising a tiltable tubular spout 1 containing internally in its uppermost portion a ring-like elastomeric member 2. Positioned internally within the spout 1 is an axially situated valve stem 3, the uppermost end of which consists of an enlarged spherical tip 4 which forms a valve seat when forced against the ring-like elastomeric member 2. At the discharged end of spout 1 is a tapered flange section 11 which forms the discharge orifice 10 having a smaller diameter than the internal diameter of the spout 1. The ring-like elastomeric member 2 is held in place between the flange 11 and the enlarged tip 4 of the valve stem 3. The lower portion of spout 1 is resiliently mounted in grommet 6 and effects a seal by compressing the tubular portion of the grommet between opposing flanges 13 and 14 of spout 1. Grommet 6, being resilient, also functions in a spring-like manner so that when spout 1 is tilted in any direction, the compression setup in the resilient grom met returns the spout to the perpendicular position when the tilting force is removed. The valve stem 3 is axially fixed within grommet 6 and spout 1 by its base 8, a perforated disc, which is press fitted into an internal groove 7 in the grommet 6. A pressure seal between the grommet 6 and container cap 5 is effected by methods well known in the art, being fully described in US. Patent 2,704,261. This whole valving mechanism is attached to the aerosol container by crimping the container cap 5 at 9 to the aero sol container in a manner well known to those skilled in the art of making aerosol packages.
The elastomeric grommet 6 is made of a material such as rubber, polyethylene, or polyvinyl chloride. Rubber is preferred. Spout 1 and stem 3 may be fashioned of hard plastic such as nylon, polystyrene, polypropylene, or an acetal or a hard metal. Ring-like elastomeric member 2, which forms the valve seat, is made of rubber, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, or like elastomeric material. Rubber is preferred.
If desired, this tilt valving mechanism may be used with a dip tube attachment. A dip tube is a conduit of sufiicient length to extend to the bottom of the container to insure that all the contents are discharged by the propel- 3 lant. The dip tube is attached to the resilient grommet 6 by methods well known in the art. The dip tube is made from any flexible material such as polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride.
FIGURE 2 shows the valve assembly in the open position. It will be seen that the valve assembly is operated by applying an external force perpendicular to spout 1 as shown by the arrow in FIGURE 2. The external force causes spout 1 to tilt in the direction away from the force. Due to the difference in the location of the pivot center 15 of external spout 1 and the pivot center 16 of internal valve stem 3, an opening is formed around the spherical member 4 when, upon tilting, the spout 1 is moved up and away from the spherical member 4. In this manner, the ingredients within the aerosol are discharged to the atmosphere by passing through the perforated disc 8, up passageway 12, and out opening 10. When the external force tilting the valve spout 1 is relieved, the resilient compression setup in grommet 6 forces the external spout 1 back to the original position, thereby closing the valve as ringlike member 2 once again seats with spherical member 4. Any particles trapped between the ring-like member 2 and valve stem head 4 are embedded in the resilient material of ring-like member 2, thereby maintaining an airtight seal at the discharge opening.
It will be seen that the novel valve assembly of this invention contains no dead spaces between the valve closure and the discharge opening. It will also be seen that any particles or fibrous material trapped in the combination valve closure-discharge orifice will become temporarily 30 embedded in the resilient material forming the valve closure, thereby effecting a complete 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 claimed are defined as follows: 1. A valve assembly for a pressurized aerosol container comprising (A) a tiltably operated valve closing means consisting of a tubular spout, a resilient ring-like member fitted internally at the exterior tip of said spout, and an axially fixed valve stem, positioned within said spout, having an enlarged spherical member at the top and a perforated disc at the bottom, said valve stem so positioned that the spherical member forms a valve seat by fitting within said ring-like member when said tubular spout and valve stem are in the upright position, and (B) an attaching means consisting of a resilient grommet, said grommet having an internal groove adapted to receive and axially fix the perforated disc of said valve stem within said spout, said grommet also adapted to receive said discharge spout. 2. A valve assembly of claim 1 wherein the ring-like member of the valve closing means and the resilient grommet of the attaching means are made of rubber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,301,271 10/1942 Gill 222542 2,695,737 11/1954 Schlicksupp 222-40221 X 2,974,835 3/ 1961 Herbrick 2225 13 3,186,683 6/1965 Azechi 222402.21 X
ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
35 F. R. HANDREN, Assistant Examiner.