US 3403823 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 1, 1968 w. R. ODONNELL 3,403,823
TAMPER'PROOF ACTUATOR CAP Filed Oct. 5, 1966 4 mt zgg 28 Z 24 50 l 16 4 48 43 Z2, Z1 m I so -51 r f I "'50 26 V INVENTOR.
Wifliam R. ODonneu H v B 0 ib k AGENT United States Patent 3,403,823 TAMPER-PROOF ACTUATOR CAP William R. ODonnell, Trumbull, Conn., assignor to Valve Corporation of America, Bridgeport, Conn., a corporation of Delaware I Filed Oct. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 583,794 4 Claims. (Cl. 222-153) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tamper-proof actuator cap for a dispensing container, said cap having a threaded annular body for screwing onto a bottle mouth, and having an upward body extension comprising a large-diameter lower portion adapted to snap fit onto the body and to be rotatably adjustable thereon. The extension includes an upper portion of slightly smaller diameter, joined to the lower portion by a thin frangible connector means. The upper portion has a discharge orifice and passage, and fits over the hollow reciprocable discharge stem of the container. Upon the first use, the downward force on the upper extension portion severs the frangible connector means, after which the upper portion is telescopically received by and remains within the lower portion.
This invention relates to small hand-held dispensers such as pressurized aerosol devices, pump-type sprays and the like.
The invention concerns a dispenser having a tamperproof actuator, and represents an improvement in the dispensing devices of copending applications Ser. Nos. 440,783 filed Mar. 18, 1965, now patent No. 3,306,497 dated Feb. 28, 1967, and 565,543 filed July 15, 1966, now patent No. 3,348,740 dated Oct. 24, 1967, there being common ownership of the inventions of said copending applications and of the instant invention.
In one prior device a guard-type cap body carried by a container neck comprises a base portion mounted on said neck and a guard portion surrounding a depress button and having a snap-fit rotary connection with the base portion, permitting easy and quick rotary adjustment of the button as desired. The button and guard portion are readily assembled to the base portion Without difliculty since no readily frangible sections exist.
In the other prior device a cap body has a depress button portion which is aflixed to it by a frangible joining means which constitutes a tamper-proof feature, such that the initial depressing movement of the button portion severs the joining means, after which the button portion is separate and free to move with an engaged plunger; also an indication is thereby given by virtue of the freedom of the button, to the elfect that the device has already been operated and partially used. The cap body as a whole is applied to the threaded container neck, and the engagement of said parts involves an appreciable relative axial movement whereby there is effected a satisfactory alignment of the cooperable plunger and depress button to enable these to be ultimately properly engaged, all without appreciable danger of rupturing the frangible joining means constituting the tamper-proof feature.
Objects of the present invention are to provide an improved small hand-held dispenser having both a rotatably adjustable actuator cap construction and a tamper-proof characteristic, wherein assembly of the cap body and the associated plunger assemblage to the container may be first effected, and thereafter assembly of the tamperproof depress button structure (having frangible joining means in its makeup) to the cap body by a rotary connection may be effected Without appreciable danger that such second assembly will cause a rupture of the joining means and therefore result in a false indication of use being given; to provide improved and simplified guide means for accomplishing the above broad object; and to provide a dispenser in accordance with the foregoing, which is especially simple, foolproof, reliable in use, and economical to fabricate and produce.
Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of an actuator cap made in accordance with the invention and in the process of being assembled, a neck portion only of the container being shown.
FIG. 2 is a view similar to that of FIG. 1 but showing the actuator cap fully assembled.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the assembled actuator cap and upper portion of the container, prior to operation of the dispenser.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary axial sectional view showing the relative positions of the ca parts after an initial actuation of the depress button. The new button position in FIG. 4 is also indicated by the broken line in FIG. 3.
As shown, the dispensing device comprises a container 10 having a threaded neck portion 12 on which there is screwed a cap 14 of generally annular configuration. The body 14 has an internal annular flange 16 which clamps a top flange portion 18 of a dispensing pump structure 20 against the top lip 22 of the container neck.
Above the internal flange 16 the cap body has an upstanding rim portion 24 provided with an annular exterior groove 26, said rim portion and groove constituting part of a cooperable rotary connector means between the cap body 14 and a depress button structure 28.
Details of the dispensing pump structure 20 and the associated siphon tube 21 are not disclosed herein since they, per se form no part of the present invention.
The pump construction 20 includes an upstanding depressible hollow plunger or stem 30 in the bore 31 of which there is slidably carried a valve rod 32 engageable with a ball check valve 34 which latter is held captive in a top recess 36 of the plunger 30.
The depress button structure 28 includes a cup-shapedbody portion 38 having a top, finger-engageable surface 40 and an orifice piece 42 connected by means of a horizontal passage 44 with a vertical bore 46 in the button.
The depress button structure 28 further comprises an annular mounting base portion 48 which has a mating connector means at its lower edge, comprising a bead 50 adapted to be snapped into and received by the annular groove 26 of the cap body 14.
The mounting base portion 48 of the button structure is seen to be of larger diameter than the body portion 38 thereof, and the said portions are connected with each other by a plurality of integral frangible webs 52 which are separated from each other by curved slots defining spaces between the annular mounting portion 48 and the body portion 38 of the button structure.
The frangible webs 52 are arranged to be easily broken or severed upon the occasion of the first use of the dispenser, as when the user applies finger pressure to the top wall 40 of the depress button structure and forces the said button downward for the purpose of actuating the discharge pump 20. Thereafter, reciprocation of the button 28 will effect a discharge of the container contents from the orifice piece 42.
By virtue of the rotary connector means between the cap body 14 and the base portion 48 of the button, the latter may be turned to direct the orifice piece 48 in any desired direction, as will be readily understood.
When the button body 38 is depressed, the upward flow of liquid past the rod 32 will tend to lift the ball check valve 34, and also the said ball will be engaged by the top end of the rod 32, thereby to mechanically lift the ball from its valve seat. Accordingly, the discharging liquid flowing through the bore 31 of the plunger 30' will be discharged from the orifice piece 42.
In accordance with the present invention, simplified guiding means are provided to facilitate the assemblage of the tamper-proof button structure 28 (which has the frangible portions 52) to the cap body 14 with a minimum of likelihood of breakage of the said frangible portions. The said guide means becomes engaged well ahead of engagement of the cooperable mating connector means on the cap body 14, and base portion 48 of the button, and thus maintains the alignment of said parts accurately whereby danger of breakage of the frangible webs 52 is greatly reduced if not eliminated entirely.
Referring to FIG. 1, the plunger 30 is made so that it has an appreciable length, and the body 38 of the depress button is provided with a depending hollow boss 56 which is also made to have appreciable length, and which is adapted to slidably receive and frictionally fit the plunger 30. As seen in FIG. 1, a considerable overlap or telescopic area of engagement exists between the plunger 30 and the boss 56 prior to engagement between the mating edges of the cap body 14 and base portion 48 of the button. Accordingly, an accurate and relatively stable guidance of the button structure is had whereby uniform engagement occurs between the base portion 48 of the button and the upper portion 24 of the cap body 14. Thus, as the button structure is shifted downward from the FIG. 1 position to that of FIG. 2, the relatively accurate alignment and the guidance effected by the extensive engaging surfaces of the plunger 30 and boss 56 will result in the button structure being easily and safely snapped onto the cap body 14.
As seen in FIG. 2, a slight space exists above the top edge of the plunger 30, between said edge and the opposite wall 58 of the bore 60 of the boss 56. This is to enable the button body 38 to assume a slightly lower position after it has been initially depressed and after the frangible webs 52 have been severed. Such slightly lower position is indicated in FIG. 4, wherein the said space no longer eixsts between the top of the plunger 30 and the wall 58. Even though there is no guidance for the severed bottom portion of the button body 38 as now seen in FIG. 4, the appreciable telescopic engagement between the plunger 30 and the boss 56 will result in the button having a smooth movement, whereby it will not wobble, but instead will be capable of a relatively easy depressing action.
It will now be understood that I have provided an improved dispenser characterized by a novel and sirnpli fied, effective guidance means comprising the elongated plunger 30 and cooperable hollow boss 56 by which assembly of the button structure 28 to the cap body 14 may be easily and quickly effected without appreciable danger of severance of the relatively weak, frangible webs 52 which connect the button body 38 to the mounting base portion 48 of the button.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvement may be used without others.
1. A small, hand-held pump-type dispenser including a manually-operable actuator cap construction comprising, in combination:
(a) a container,
(b) a cap body afiixed to the neck portion of the container,
(c) a depressible hollow pump plunger carried by and protruding from the container neck portion, and protruding from said cap body, said plunger being arranged to conduct a discharge fiow through it from the container when the plunger is depressed,
(d) a molded one-piece actuator button structure having a finger-engageable body portion and a mounting base portion,
(e) cooperable, mating connector means on said cap body and base portion of the button structure, providing for mounting of the button structure on said cap body as the button structure and cap body are brought toward each other and forced into engagement,
(f) frangible joining means between the base and body portions of the button structure, enabling the body portion of the button structure to be completely separated from the base portion thereof in response to downward operating force being applied to the button-structure body portion,
(g) a depending hollow boss in the button-structure body portion, frictionally receiving and gripping the depressible plunger of the container,
(h) said plunger and depending boss being of sufiicient length to experience full guiding and aligning mutual engagement prior to engagement of said cooperable mating connector means whereby the button structure is guided to effect cooperable alignment of the mating connector means as the button structure is made to closely approach the cap body with the plunger and boss engaged.
2. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) said mating connector means comprises a snap-fit bead and groove on the button-structure base portion and cap body.
3. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) said plunger only partially fills the bore of said boss when the connector means are joined and the frangible joining means is intact.
4. The invention as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) said plunger substantially completely fills said boss when the connector means are joined and the frangible joining means are broken after an initial depressing, operative movement of the buttonstructure body portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,678,147 5/ l954 Abplanalp. 2,981,446 4/1961 Campbell ZZZ-402.13 3,225,966 12/1965 Sagarin 222-153 3,228,571 1/1966 ODonnell et a1. 222-182 X 3,257,044 6/1966 Seaquest ZZZ-402.13 3,306,497 2/1967 Kenney et a1. 222-182 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner. KENNETH N. LEIMER, Assistant Examiner.