US 3375957 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1968 c. o. KUFFER 3,375,937
PRESSURE FILLABLE AEROSOL VALVE ASSEMBLY Filed June 8, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 J m 30 -HV-T- 49 26 34 74 I V /6 4 47 35 44 I2 /4 43 f 42 20 57 jiq 6 ;?4/ I] I I "J 1 A A 7% 45 VIVIVIIIIIIII fi H M/VE/V TOR A TTORNEYS A ril 2, 1968 c.o. KUFFER PRESSURE FILLABLE AEROSOL VALVE ASSEMBLY Filed June 8, 1966 United States Patent ABSTRACT (IF THE DISCLOSURE This application illustrates and describes a pressure fillable aerosol valve assembly in which pressurized propellant maybe forced rapidly into an associated container through a valve shell portion intermediate the periphery of the shell and the valve housing portion of the shell, such as through an apertured diaphragm interconnecting the peripheral portion of the valve shell and the valve housing portion of the valve shell.
This invention relates to aerosol valves, and particularly to those which are adapted for pressure filling of associated aerosol containers with a pressurized propellant. The invention contemplates an aerosol valve for rapid, sure pressure filling of an associated aerosol container with a pressurized propellant even where an associated dip tube or shell inlet port is restricted.
Aerosol valves are used in large quantities to dispense various types of materials from an associated container. The container generally contains a mixture of an active material and a propellant, the propellant usually being a liquefied gas partially in its gaseous phase. When the aerosol valve is opened, a mixture of propellant and active material is dispensed therethrough.
There are two common methods of filling the container with a pressurized propellant. One, the so-called cold filling method, takes place at atmospheric pressure and requires the propellant to be maintained at a temperature at which it is liquid. As such refrigeration equipment is required and the filling usually must take place at subzero temperatures. So also must the aerosol valves be sealingly secured to the containers after filling at subzero temperatures, because the valve assemblies cannot be aifixed to the containers until after the propellant is deposited therein. Cold filling for those, as well as other well known reasons, is not convenient.
The other well-known method of charging aerosol containers is called pressure filling. The popularity of this method has increased substantially recently because of its well-known advantages. A typical pressure filling operation takes place at ordinary room temperatures. It generally consists of first pouring a measured quantity of the active material, if any, into the container, and then sealingly securing the aerosol valve assembly to the container. After the valve assembly is sealed to the container, the propellant is injected under pressure through the valve assembly and into the container in a direction generally opposite to the path of flow of the aerosol during dispensing.
Although the use of the pressure filling technique obviates refrigeration problems, the pressure filling technique requires a valve construction that will permit the propellant to be forced therethrough and into the container as well as one which permits dispensing from the container. It is of course important for such an aerosol valve to permit very rapid pressure filling without permanently distorting the valve Or any portion of the valve so that it would then be ineffective to seal the container and to dispense the aerosol after filling.
An aerosol Valve assembly constructed in accordance with this present invention allows the container to which it is secured to be rapidly filled under pressure. That is so even where the shell inlet port or dip tube is restricted.
A typical aerosol valve assembly of this invention includes a valve body, a valve stem connected to the valve body, a valve shell or housing defining a main body portion housing said valve body, a sealing gasket surrounding the stem and in sealing engagement with said valve body and said valve shell in an inactive position, and a mounting cup for sealingly securing the valve assembly to an aerosol container. During pressure filling a propellant path is provided between the sealing gasket and said valve shell directly into the interior of a container and exteriorly of the main body portion of the valve shell. Thus even if an associated dip tube is restricted or if the inlet to the valve shell or housing is restricted, a filling path exteriorly of the main body portion of the shell will permit rapid pressure filling.
Furthermore, as will appear a variety of filling paths may be provided in accordance with this invention. One is through the main body portion, through the shell inlet and an associated dip tube, and the others are along the sealing gasket through an apertured portion of the valve shell externally of the valve shell main body portion, and directly into the container.
Further advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description and drawings, of which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view through an aerosol container and a valve assembly which incorporates the principles of the present invention, with the valve assembly shown in closed position;
FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, but showing the valve in a tilt-open position;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged cross-sectional view of the valve as positioned during a representative pressure filling of the container;
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the valve shell of FIG. 1;
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the valve shell of FIG. 4, witih a valve body and associated stem positioned therein; an
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 1 showing a restricted dip tube inlet.
Referring first to FIGURES 1 to 3, an illustrative aerosol valve assembly 8 constructed in accordance with this invention is shown to be sealingly secured to an associated container 10. A mounting cup 12 defining a central pedestal portion 16 is sealingly secured to the neck of the container 10 as by a can crimp 74. Conventional gasketing 76 intermediate the mounting cup and container 10 is provided.
Valve assembly 8 also includes a sealing gasket 18, a valve body 20 and a valve body associated valve stem 22. Stem 22 defines a longitudinal bore 24 and a bore communicating internal metering orifice 26. Valve stem 22 extends through a central opening 28 in the top of pedestal portion 16, and through a central aperture 30 in sealing gasket 18. Stem 22 and the surface defining central aperture 30 fit snugly to provide a displaceable seal therebetween.
Valve body 20 also comprises a continuous annular nm 32 which is spaced laterally or radially outwardly of valve stem 22 to circumscribe valve stem 22. As shown most clearly in FIGURES 3 and 5, a plurality of lands 33 extend inwardly from annular rim 32; Each land 33 15 provided with an associated rib portion 34, lands 33 and rib portions 34 lying below the upper edge of the annular rim 32 whereby they do not interfere with the normal sealing engagement of annular rim 32 and sealing gasket 18. Lands 33 and rib portions 34 are spaced apart from adjacent ones, each terminating in a generally vertical side wall 37 (see FIG. 5). The land and rib construction may be in accordance with that described in US. Patent No. 3,219,069 and for the purposes there described. The alternative constructions there described and contemplated likewise may be used in connection with the valve assembly of this invention.
The annular rim 32 is normally biased into displaceable sealing engagement with the lower surface 35 of gasket 18 by a spring 36 which is seated within a valve shell 38. Spring 36 contacts an annular valve body shoulder 42 and nestingly receives depending valve body portion 39.
Valve shell 38 includes a main body portion 41 which houses valve body 20. On its internal surface main body portion 41 is provided with a plurality of radially extending ribs which serve to centrally position spring 36 therein. At its base, valve shell 38 is additionally provided with spring seat ribs 57 which extend radially inwardly adjacent the base of ribs 40. Upper edges 43 of ribs 40 are proportioned to limit downward movement of valve body 20 during filling and/or during dispensing by contacting valve body shoulder 42 while spring seat ribs 57 serve to prevent the closing off of the entrance to the dip tube by the spring during pressure filling and dispensing.
Main body portion 41 of valve shell 38 comprises a sealing shoulder 44, the uppermost surface or edge of which sealingly engages gasket 18 thereby to define a valve shell which is normally sealed from access to the container except through an associated dip tube 45.
Valve shell 38 defines a peripheral skirt 48 crimped to pedestal 16 by the inwardly projecting crimp 14. In the embodiment illustrated herein skirt 48 surrounds and normally sealingly engages the outer peripheral edge 47 of sealing gasket 18. Skirt 48 and main body portion 41 are connected as by a bridging portion or diaphragm 46. Skirt 48, shoulder 44, diaphragm 46 and the enclosed portion of surface 35 define an annular chamber 49 in constant communication with the container via filling channels 51.
As shown most clearly in FIGURES 4 and 5, diaphragm 46 defines one or more apertures or filling channels 51. Filling channels 51 provide entrant passages into the interior of container 10 for the pressurized propellant during pressure filling of the container, as will be discussed subsequently.
Shell 38 also includes a nipple 55 which defines a longitudinal opening which provides a passage between the shell interior and the interior of the container. As is conventional in many aerosol valve assemblies, a dip tube 45 is secured to nipple and extends to approximately the bottom of the container, effectively providing an extension of longitudinal opening 50.
Valve shell 38, including the main body portion 41 and sealing shoulder 44 thereof, as well as the associated skirt 48, diaphragm 46, ribs 40 and 57, and nipple 55 are preferably molded of plastic in a one-piece construction, such as of nylon or Delrin plastic. Delrin is a thermo-plastic acetal [resin made by Du Pont.
An aerosol button or tip 53 encloses the top portion of stem 22. Tip 53 defines a channel 52 which communicates with the upper end of longitudinal stem bore 24 and with a suitably configured terminal orifice 54. Tip 53 defines a shoulder 56 which abuts the top of the valve stem 22 to locate the tip properly with respect to the valve stem.
To dispense material from container 10 at least a portion of annular rim 32 is moved out of contact with the lower surface 35 of sealing gasket 18. That is accomplished by urging tip 53 against spring 36 downwardly or inwardly, as by finger pressure, as seen in FIGURE 2. In that manner, a flow path is provided between annular rim 32 and sealing gasket 18, and the pressurized contents of the container flow through the dip tube 45, through passage 50 in nipple 55, into the main body portion 41 of valve shell 38, into longitudinal bore 24 of stem 22 via metering orifice 26, and thence outwardly through terminal orifice 54.
As best seen in FIG. 6 the effective cross-sectional area of longitudinal passage 50, the housing inlet port, may be restricted as by molding with the nipple 50 a restricted central aperture 62 aligned with the nipple passage and with the associated dip tube 45. Aperture 62 may be cooperably proportioned with metering orifice 26 to control the dispensing rate of flow during dispensing in a known manner. Other known tail tube restriction means or shell inlet restriction means may be utilized as desired to perform the function of central aperture 62.
The valve assembly of the present invention enables an associated container to be rapidly filled with a propellant under pressure. A representative positioning of the components of the valve assembly during a pressure filling operation is shown in FIGURE 3. As there seen, a conventional pressure filling adapter represented by adapter 64 is sealingly positioned, in this instance against pedestal 16, to surround valve stem 22 and pedestal opening 28. Thereafter, propellant is charged into the container via adapter passage 70, initially through pedestal opening 28. Although a usual filling pressure, for example, about 600 psi, is normally adequate to open the valve to provide one or more of the filling paths to be described, a supplementary valve opening means may be provided. Such may comprise an adapter associated pin 72 positioned in the adapter to depress the valve body and stem, with or without a tip 53, a predetermined amount when the adapter is sealingly seated against pedestal 16.
When the pressurized propellant enters pedestal opening 28, it forces gasket 18 downwardly and out of sealing engagement with valve stem '22 to provide one or more filling paths, valve body 20 being downwardly depressed against spring 36. As such, sealing engagement between annular rim 32 and sealing gasket 18 is interrupted and propellant is able to flow over annular rim 32.
When the pressurized propellant displaces the sealing engagement between the valve stem and the sealing gasget and when the valve body annular rim has been displaced from sealing engagement with the lower surface of the sealing gasket, pressurized propellant will flow through adapter passage 70, through the central mounting cup aperture 28, over annular rim 32, into the interior of the valve shell main body portion 41, through central aperture 62 where an inlet restriction exists, and into the interior of the container 10. Where bore 24 is not sealed during filling as by adapter pin 70, propellant will also flow through bore 2 4 and metering orifice 26 and into the valve shell. Where, as in the embodiment of FIG. 6, the dip tube is effectively restricted, as by the small central aperture 62, the flow rate along the path through the dip tube will be relatively small.
Because of that, a further flow path is provided into the interior of the container and through the valve shell, but externally of the valve shell main body portion. As seen in FIG. 3 sealing shoulder 44 has been moved out of sealing engagement wtih sealing gasket 18, whereby a further flow path is provided through aperture 28, between rim 32 and the lower surface 35 of gasket 18, between shoulder 44 and the lower surface 35 of gasket 18, downwardly through the diaphragm filling channels 51 and directly into the interior of container 10. Thus, where the dip tube is restricted, as by central aperture 62, the rate of flow through the filling channels will be relatively great compared to flow through the dip tube. However, where the dip tube is not restricted, as, for example, in the embodiment of FIG. 3, rates of flow through the dip tube and filling channels 51 may each be relatively great.
Depending upon the proportioning of the parts, the strength of the crimp 14 and the like, yet another flow path for the propellant may be provided. Thus, as seen in FIG. 3, a flow path through central aperture 28, over the top of gasket 18, between the peripheral edge 47 of gasket 18 and skirt 48 and then downwardly through filling channels 51 may be provided. This may be in additron to or instead of the flow path beneath gasket 18 and through filling channels 51. However, in both instances it is to be observed that the filling path is parallel to a major surface of the gasket (such as surface 35) and then downwardly directly into the container externally of the valve shell main body portion but internally of the valve shell itself.
As stated, sealing shoulder 44 is withdrawn from sealing engagement with sealing gasket 18 during filling where a filling flow path exists over the upper edge of shoulder 44. To that end, diaphragm 46 is flexed or tensioned downwardly as illustrated by its downward inward slope in FIG. 3.
When the charging of the container with the pressurized propellant has been completed and adapter 64 removed, the valve diaphragm and main body portion will return to the positions shown in FIG. 1, whereby sealing shoulder 44 once again will be in sealing engagement with the undersurface 35 of sealing gasket 18.
As shown in FIG. 3, a vapor phase shell port 80 may be provided in a valve assembly of this invention. Where such a vapor phase port exists, a further filling path will exist. That will increase the speed with which a valve assembly of this invention may fill an associated container, in addition to performing its primary and known function during dispensing.
From the foregoing description, it is apparent that a valve assembly has been provided which enables an areasol container to be filled with a propellant under pressure in a rapid and efficient manner. During the pressure filling operation the propellant may be forced into the container via a flow path through the valve shell and dip tube, and via a flow path along one or both of the sealing gasket surfaces, through valve shell defined passages externally of the valve shell main body portion and directly into the interior of the container.
Although a combination pushdown and tilt-action aerosol valve has been shown and described, the teachings of the present invention can be applied to a valve that operates by pushdown action only, or one that is primarily adapted for tilt-action only. Further, materials of construction other than those shown and described may be used, and the components of the aerosol valve assembly may be fabricated using various methods and techniques other than those referred to herein. Those and other modifications and substitutions may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention, the above referred to preferred embodiments and the drawings thereof being exemplary only of the invention.
'1. A pressure fillable aerosol valve assembly through which an associated container may be pressure filled comprising a mounting cup having a central aperture therein through which a valve stem projects, -a valve body and valve stem, a sealing gasket seated in sealing engagement with said valve body and valve stem, and a valve shell comprising a main ibOdY portion housing said valve body and being seated insealing engagement with said sealing gasket, said valve shell also comprising a peripheral portion fixedly secured to said mounting cup and an intermediate ape-rtured bridging portion connecting said peripheral portion and said main body portion and defining pressure filling channels for an associated container externally of said main body portion, said gasket being in pressure displaceable sealing engagement with said valve shell to prevent leakage from the interior of an associated container and to provide a flow path and communication during filling, between said central aperture, said aper tured bridging portion and the interior of said associated container.
2. The pressure fillable aerosol valve assembly of claim 1 in which said valve shell has a restricted inlet.
3. A pressure fillable aerosol container assembly including a container and a thereto secured pressure fillable aerosol valve assembly comprising a mounting cup sealingly secured to'said container and defining a central aperture, a valve shell having a peripheral skirt portion fixedly secured to said mounting cup, said valve shell including a central housing portion and an apertured bridging segment defining filling channels positioned between said peripheral skirt portion and said central housing portion, a sealing gasket normally in sealing engagement with said valve shell, a valve body and valve stem in sealing engagement with said sealing gasket and means for urging said valve body into sealing engagement with said sealing gasket, said valve body being positioned within said central housing portion, the valve assembly being proportioned so that when pressurized propellant is forced through said central aperture the sealing engagement between said valve shell and sealing gasket will be interrupted and a flow path for said propellant will be provided between said valve shell and said sealing gasket and through said filling channels into the interior of said container exteriorly of said central housing portion and interiorly of said skirt portion.
4. An aerosol dispenser valve assembly through which an associated container may be pressure filled, said valve assembly comprising a valve body and a hollow stem portion, a valve shell having a central housing portion for housing said valve body, a peripherally spaced skirt portion fixedly crimped to a centrally apertured mounting cup and an apertured bridging portion connecting said skirt portion to said central housing portion, said stem extending through the central aperture of said mounting cup, a sealing gasket, said gasket being in pressure displaceable sealing engagement with said valve shell to pre vent leakage from the interior of an associated container and to provide a flow path and communication during filling, between said central aperture, said apertured bridging portion and the interior of said associated container.
5'. The aerosol dispenser valve assembly of claim 4 in which said gasket is in pressure displaceable sealing engagement with said stem to prevent leakage from the interior of said associated container and to provide communication, during pressure filling, between said centnal aperture and the interior of said valve shell central housmg portion.
6. The aerosol dispenser valve assembly of claim 4 in which said apertured bridging portion is spaced from said sealing gasket and defines with said skirt portion and said central housing portion an annular chamber enclosed by said sealing gasket, said sealing gasket chamber defining portion being in constant communication with the interior of said associated container both during pressure filling and dispensing.
'7. A pressure fillable aerosol container assembly including a container and a thereto secured pressure fillable aerosol valve assembly comprising a mounting cup sealingly secured to said container and defining a central aperture, a valve shell having a peripheral skirt portion fixedly secured to said mounting cup at the peripheral edge of said valve shell, said valve shell including a central housing portion and an apertured bridging segment defining filling channels and interconnecting said p6- ripheral skirt portion and said central housing portion, a sealing gasket normally in sealing engagement with said valve shell, a valve body and valve stem in sealing engagement with said sealing gasket and means for urging said valve body into sealing engagement with said sealing gasket, said valve body being positioned within said central housing portion, the valve assembly being proportioned so that when pressurized propellant is forced through said central aperture the sealing engagement between said valve shell and sealing gasket will be interrupted and a How path for said propellant will be provided between said valve shell and said sealing gasket and through said filling channels into the interior of said container exteriorly of said central housing portion and interiorly of said skirt portion, said valve shell central housing portion defining an upper annular sealing.
portion in sealing engagement with said sealing gasket, said annular upper sealing portion being displaceable downwardly during pressure filling thereby to interrupt said sealing engagement, said bridging segment being flexed downwardly when said central housing portion is displaced downwardly to provide a flow path for said propellant over said upper annular sealing portion'and below said sealing gasket, through said filling channels and into the interior of said container.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/196 4 Ferry et al 141-20 X 11/1964 Briechle 141-20 X 4/1965 Muller 14120 11/ 196 5 Kufier 222-40216 WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.