US 3420449 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 7, 1969 F. J. MINCIELLI ETAL 3,420,449
DEVICE FOR CONTROLLING THE RATE OF FLOW OF A FLUID Filed Feb. lO, 1967 FIG.
INVENTORS FRANK J. MINCIELLI BY YVONNE MINCIELLI /wl F4144,
.ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,420,449 DEVICE FOR CONTROLLING THE RATE F FLOW OF A FLUID Frank J. Mincielli and Yvonne Mincielli, both of 92-13 52nd Ave., Elmhurst, N.Y. 11373 Filed Feb. 10, 1967, Ser. No. 615,106 U.S. Cl. 239-576 Int. Cl. B051; 1/30 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Background of the invention This invention relates generally to a device for controlling the rate of flow of a fluid and, more particularly, pertains to a device which is adapted to be connected between a source of Huid and a dispensing apparatus to selectively control the pressure vof the dispensed fiuid.
The :majority of operations in beauty salons usually require treating the hair of a person with some type of solution such as a shampoo or a hair coloring dye. Accordingly, a hair rinse step is usually included as an integral part of the procedure to cleanse the hair of the hair treating solution. Presently, the rinsing step is accomplished by an apparatus which includes a spray head or the like which is connected to the spout of a conventional faucet by a flexible tube. In use, the faucet tap is adjusted to obtain a desired fluid flow rate in accordance with the desired pressure of the fiuid which is dispensed from the spray head. However, there are a number of drawbacks associated with the use of an apparatus of this type.
One such problem that arises is due to the fact that different values of fluid pressure are required during the rinsing step to effectively and efficiently clean the hair. This would require the beauty technician to continuously adjust the faucet tap `during the rinsing operation. However, any adjustment of the faucet during rinsing is exceedingly difficult because the faucet control is usually inconveniently placed with respect to the operator. Moreover, it is extremely -diicult for the operator to obtain a desired flow rate because the faucet, at best, is a very coarse control. As a result, the faucet is not adjusted during the rinsing step and the pressure of the .fluid is usually constant throughout the whole rinse procedure.
Other difficulties associated Ivvith the above-described method arise from the fact that a beauty operator or technicians hands are usually coated with the hair treating solution during the rinse operation. In those applications in which the solution is a shampoo or the like, it becomes difficult for the operator to retain a grip on any device, much less an active device such as a spray head (i.e., a device that moves as a result of its flexible coupling). Thus, it is a common occurrence for an operator to lose control over this device and spray the surroundings in addition to the customer with the rinsing fluid.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a device which may be connected between a faucet and a spray head for controlling the rate of flow of the fluid exiting from the spray head.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a device for controlling the rate of vflow of a fluid which may be held in the hand without danger of dropping the same.
A further object of the present invention resides in the novel details of construction which provide a device which may be held in one hand and which varies the rate of flow of a fluid moving therethrough in response to hand pressures.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a. device of the type described which is simple to operate and reliable in operation.
In furtherance of the above objects, the device of the present invention comprises an enclosed housing having an inlet bore and an outlet bore connected by a passage. Valve means is provided in the housing for varying the flow rate of a fluid moving through the passage. The valve means includes first and second members movably mounted on the housing. The members are provided with respective openings. Moving means connected to the first and second members are provided for shifting the members relative to each other so the openings are moved into and out of communication with each other and with the passage. The rate of flow of the fluid through the passage is dependent upon the degree of communication or alignment between the respective openings in the first and second members and the passage. Thus, by operating the moving means to selectively control the degree of communication between the respective openings and the passage, different -desired fluid ow rates may be obtained.
A feature of the present invention is to provide a device Which includes movable members having openings which may be moved into and out of communication with each other to control the flow of a liquid.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. l is a perspective View, to a reduced scale, of a device constructed in accordance with the present invention as utilized in conjunction with a spray head;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the valve portion of the device shown in FIG. 2, in the valve-open position;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the valve portion of the present device, similar to FIG. 3, showing the Valve in the valve-closed position; and
FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view of the device shown in FIG. l, with parts broken away and to an enlarged scale, illustrating the connection between the valve members and the valve housing.
In the detailed description which follows, the device of the present invention will be described in conjunction with a faucet and a spray head of the type utilized in beauty salons to rinse hair treating solutions from the head of a customer. However, it is to be emphasized that this particular use is by way of illustration only and is not to be interpreted as being a limitation on the present invention. That is, the device of the present invention may be utilized in conjunction with any source of fluid to selectively vary the pressure of the dispensed fluid.
The fluid control device of the present invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2, and includes an enclosed housing 12. More particularly, the housing 12 includes a hollow open-ended tubular member 14 having respective internal beads 16 and 18 adjacent its open ends. In practice, the tubular member 14 is fabricated from a relatively thin flexible and resilient plastic material so that the wall forming the member 14 easily may be compressed. Additionally, the wall returns to its normal circular configuration when the compression force is removed.
Removably received within the open ends of the tubular member 14 are respective end caps 20 and 22. The end caps 20 and 22 close the open ends of the tubular member 14 to provide the enclosed housing 12. In practice, the end caps 20 and 22 are fabricated from a relatively rigid plastic material.
The end cap 22 includes a circular wall 24 having a forwardly extending peripheral flange 26. (For purposes of identification, the Aright-hand portion of the device shown in FIG. 2 will be referred to as the forward end and the left-hand portion of the device will be referred to as the rear end.) A portion of the outer wall forming the peripheral flange 2.6 is recessed to define a shoulder 28. An annular groove 30 is provided in the recessed portion of the flange 26 adjacent to the shoulder 28. T-he groove 30 cooperates with the internal bead 18 of the tubular member 14 to releasably connect the end cap 22 with the member 14.
In other words, when it is desired to connect the member 14 and the end cap 22 together, the end cap is inserted into the open end of the tubular member 14. Since the tubular member 14 is fabricated from a flexible and resilient material, the diameter of the opening will expand somewhat to receive the flange 26. The tubular member 14 is then moved into abutment with the shoulder 28 whereupon the internal bead 18 will snap into the groove 30 in the peripheral flange 26 to releasably retain the end cap 22 in place. The end cap 22 may be removed simply by grasping the cap 22 and the member 14 and pulling them in opposite directions.
Integral with the wall 24 is a centrally located rearwardly projecting connector 32, the outer surface of which is provided with spaced annular ribs 34. The connector 32 is adapted to be received within a flexible connecting tube 36 or the like to connect the fluid control device 10 with a source of fluid. The annular ribs 34 engage the walls of the tube 36 in a tight frictional fit to maintain the tube in place and to prevent leakage of the fluid.
Extending forwardly from the wall 24 of the end cap 22 is a circular member 38 which is in alignment with the connector 32. An axially extending through bore 40 is provided in the members 32 and 38 to provide an inlet bore for the fluid flowing through the control device 10.
The end cap 20 is connected to the tubular member 14 in a manner similarly to the connection between the end cap 22 and the member 14. That is, the end cap 20 includes a circular wall 42 having a rearwardly extending peripheral flange 44. A portion of the outer wall forming the flange 44 is recessed to define a shoulder 46. Provided in the recessed portion of the flange 44 adjacent the shoulder 46 is an annular` groove 48 which is adapted to receive the internal bead 16 of the tubular member 14. During assembly, the flange 44 is inserted into the open end of the member 14 until the forward edge of the member 14 abuts the shoulder 46, whereupon the internal bead 16 snaps into the annular groove 48 to maintain the end cap in place. The end cap 20 easily may be removed from the tubular member 14 simply by grasping the end cap and exerting a force on the end cap 20 in a direction away from the member 14.
Centrally located on the wall 42 is a forwardly projecting connector 50 which is provided with spaced annular ribs 52. The connector 50 is adapted to receive a tube 54 in tight frictional and sealing engagement therewith to connect the device with a fluid dispenser such as a spray head, as noted in greater detail hereinbelow.
Connected to the end of the peripheral flange 44 is a rear wall 56. Integral with the rear wall 56 is a centrally located rearwardly extending member 58 which is in alignment with the forwardly extending member 38 of the end cap 22. The members 58 and 50 are provided with respective aligned through bores 60 and 62. The bore 62 defines an outlet bore for the exit of the fluid flowing through the fluid control device 10.
Connecting the members 38 and 58 to provide an axial passage for the flow of the fluid from the inlet bore 40 to the outlet bore 62 is a tube 64. More specifically, the tube 64 extends between the members 38 and 58 and receives the members in a tight frictional engagement to prevent the liquid from flowing between the tube and the walls defining the respective member 38 and S8. Similarly to the end caps 20 and 22, the tube 64 is fabricated from a substantially rigid plastic material. More particularly, the tube 64 is constructed to withstand the pressures applied thereto by operating levers 96 and 98, in the manner indicated below, without flexing inwardly to constrict the fluid passage.
Received between the walls 42 and 56 of the end cap 20 is a valve designated generally by the reference nu- Imeral 66. The valve is operable to control the rate of flow of the fluid moving through the fluid control device 10, thereby to control the pressure of the dispensed fluid. As shown more particularly in FIGS. 3 and 4, the valve 66 includes a first or lower shutter 68 and a second or upper shutter 70. The shutter 68 is superposed on the shutter 76 and the shutters are mounted on the end cap 20 for sliding movement relative to each other. More particularly, as shown in FIG. 5, the end cap 20 is provided with opposed open-ended grooves or slots 72 and 74 which receive the shutters 68 and 70 for sliding movement with respect to each other. The height of the shutters 68 and 70 is substantially smaller than the diameter of the end cap 20 so that the shutters easily will be movable within the end cap 20 between a plurality of valve-open positions and a valve-closed position.
To be more specific, the shutter 68 is provided with a semi-circular recess or opening 76 which is approximately centrally located in the upper edge of the shutter and which extends downwardly therefrom. Similarly, the shutter 70 is provided with a complementary formed semicircular recess or opening 78 which is approximately centrally located in the lower edge of the shutter and which extends upwardly therefrom. As noted hereinbelow, the opening 76 is adapted to be moved into communication with the opening 78 to control the flow of the fluid through the device 10.
Provided on each side of the respective recesses 76 and 78 are open-ended slots 80. The slots 8f) in the shutter 68 extend downwardly from the top edge thereof. Similarly the slots Sil in the shutter 70 extend upwardly from the botiom edge thereof. Accordingly, when the shutters 68 and 70 are assembled in overlapping relationship, the open-ended slots 80 in each shutter complement each other to form enclosed slots, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.
Received in the enclosed slots 80 are respective springs 82, the ends of which are connected to the shutters 68 and 70. The springs 82 exert a force on the shutters which biases the shutters toward each other A stop in the form of a forwardly projecting pin 84 is provided on the shutter 70 to limit the upward movement of the shutter 68, as shown in FIG. 4. It is to be noted that the stop 84 is positioned to engage the shutter 68 when the openings or recesses 76 and 78 just move out of communication with each other. In other words, the movement of the shutter 68 will be arrested when the bottom of the recess 76 is spaced slightly above the bottom of the recess 78. This position corresponds to the valve-closed position of the valve 66. Thus, the springs 82 are operable to bias the shutters 68 and 70 to the valve-closed position.
As noted in greater detail below, means are provided in the fluid control device 10 for moving the shutters 68 and 70 away from each other to bring the openings 76 and 78 into communication with each other. In other words, the shutters 68 and 70 are adapted to be moved in the directions indicated by the respective arrowheads 86 and 88 shown in FIG. 4. Thus, as the shutter 68 is moved downwardly and the shutter 70 is moved upwardly,
portions of the recesses or openings 76 and 78 begin to communicate with each other to define an opening through which the fluid passes.
As the shutters 68 and 70 move apart, the effective area of the through opening will increase due to the fact that openings 76 and 78 are semi-circular in shape. Hence, the rate of ilow of the fluid passing through the opening defined by the communicating portions of the recesses 76 and 78 will likewise increase in proportion to the area of the opening.
When the shutters 68 and 70 have moved apart to their greatest extent, at which point the bottom edge of the shutter 68 and the top edge of the shutter 70 will abut the ends of the respective slots 72 and 74, a circular opening 90 will be delined by the recesses 76 and 78, as shown in FIG. 3. For this aforementioned position of the shutters 68 and 70, it will be obvious that the fluid flow through the opening dened `by the openings 76 and 78, will be a maximum. However, as noted above, when the area of the opening is smaller than the full circular opening 90, the fluid flow rate will be less than maximum. That is, when the area of the opening is small the fluid flow rate through the opening will be relatively small. However, when the area of the opening is large, the rate of flow of the fluid through the opening will be correspondingly increased. Accordingly, it will be noted that the valve 66 may be operated between a plurality of valve-open positions.
As shown in FIG. 5, the rear wall 56 is provided with recesses 83 which receive the springs 82 of the valve 66 so that the shutter 70 slightly engages the wall 56 in a fluid abutment. Accordingly, the shutter 70 will normally seal the bore 60 when the valve is in the valve-closed position to prevent the flow of the fluid or liquid to the outlet bore 62. However, the shutters are sized and positioned so that the opening dened by the recesses 76 and 78 in the respective shutters 68 and 70 communicates with the bore 60 when the valve 66 is moved to any one of the plurality of valve-open positions. In effect, therefore, the valve 66 varies the effective area of the iluid passage in the device thereby to control the rate of flow of the uid.
In order to insure that fluid flows directly through the outlet bore 62 and to reduce turbulent flow, the outer well 42 of the end cap 20 is provided with a rearwardly extending member 92 which terminates adjacent to the valve 66 in sliding engagement with the shutter 68. The member 92 is provided with a central bore 94 which communicates with the outlet bore 62.
Movement of the shutters 68 and 70 to the valve-open positions is controlled by respective operating levers 96 and 98. Since each of the levers 96 and 98 is identical in construction, only the lever 98 will be described in detail. Accordingly, the lever 98 includes a front tang section 100 (FIG. 5) which is xedl-y connected to the shutter 70. Extending rearwardly from the tang section 100 and positioned adjacent to the tube 64 is a section 102, which is of slightly greater width than the section 100. The lever 98 also includes a rearwardly extending section 104 which is positioned adjacent the tubular member 14 and which terminates in spaced relationship to the end cap 22. The section 104 is connected to the section 102 by a transverse section 106. The elements of the lever 96 corresponding to the sections 100, 102, 104 and 106 of the lever 98 are respectively designated by the reference characters 108, 110, 112 and 114. Mounted on the side of the portions 110, 102 facing the tube 64 are rounded members 116 and 118, respectively, which provided fulcrums for the pivoting of the levers in the manner indicated below. As shown in FIG. 2, the fulcrums 116 and 118 normally abut the tube 64.
As noted hereinabove, the operation of the fluid control device 10 Will be described in conjunction with an apparatus for rinsing the hair of a customer in a beauty salon. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 1, the member 32 of the end cap 22 is connected to a source of uid under pressure, such as a conventional faucet F, by the flexible tube 36. When the faucet F is turned on, water will ow through the tube 36 to the iiuid control device 10 in the direction indicated by arrowhead 120 in FIG. 2. Additionally, the member 50 of the end cap 20 is connected to a spray head S by the tube 54 so that the iluid passing through the device 10` will ow through the tube 54, in the direction indicated by an arrowhead 122, to the spray head S, which is connected to the other end of the tube 54. In practice, the tube 54 is relatively rigid so that the spray head S will not move relative to the device 10y as would be the case if the tube were flexible. In other words, the rigid tube 54 gives the operator better control over the direction of the fluid emitted from the spray head S.
In operation, the faucet F is turned completely on so that water ows to the device 10 with maximum pressure. The water or fluid enters the fluid control device 10 through the inlet bore 40 and flows through the passage defined by the tube 64 and the bore 40 to the valve 66. However, as noted hereinabove, the springs 82 bias the shutters 68 and 70 to the valve-closed position so that the uid will not exit from the device.
When it is desired to dispense the fluid through the spray head S, the device 10 of the present invention is held in the hand so that the hand of the operator overlies the sections 104 and 112 of the respective levers 98 and 96. As noted hereinabove, the tubular member 14 is fabricated from a flexible and resilient material. Accordingly, when the beauty technician or operator clenches her hand or tightens her grip on the member 14, a compression force is exerted on the tubular member. Hence, the walls of the tubular member 14 undergoing such forces move toward each other until the walls engage the sections 104 and 112 of the respective operating levers.
The continued inward compression force on the tubular member 14 causes the levers to pivot about the fulcrums 118 and 116 thereby causing the tang ends 100 and 108 of the respective levers to move apart or outward. This movement of the operating levers 96 and 98 will cause the shutters 68 and 70 to move apart to the valve-open positions as indicated by the arrowhead 86 and 88 in FIG. 4. Further inward movement of the sections 104 and 112 of the operating levers causes the junctions of the members 102, 106 and 112, 114 to engage the tube 64. These junctions will now form a new fulcrum point for the operating levers 96 and 98 thereby increasing the moment arms of the operating levers.
It will now be apparent that by exerting a preselected magnitude of force by the hand on the tubular member 14 to compress the walls thereof, the shutters 68 and 70 will be moved apart until the respective recesses or openings 76 and 78 in the shutters define an opening which provides the desired flow rate of the fluid through the device 10. In other words, the force which the operator exerts on the housing 14 selectively controls the degree of communication between the openings 76 and 7S and the fluid passage in the device 10. Accordingly, the pressure of the uid dispensed from the spray S will, in effect, be determined by the force which the operator exerts on the tubular member 14. In other Words, the pressure of the dispensed fluid, at al1 times, will be controlled by the operator in accordance with the force the operator exerts on the tubular member 14. Accordingly, the need to continuously adjust the setting of the tap of the faucet F to vary the pressure of the iiuid dispensed from the spray head S thereby is eliminated.
As a further feature of the present invention, the tubular member 14 of the housing 12 may be provided with a knurled external surface, as shown in FIG. 1, to increase the frictional forces between the hand of the beauty technician and the device 10. Accordingly, the
possibility of dropping the fluid control device 10` even in those applications in which the operators hands are covered with soap thereby is eliminated.
It is to be noted that the device 10 of the present invention easily may be taken apart for cleaning purposes and the like simply by separating the end caps and 22 from the member 14 in the manner noted above. Additionally, the valve v66 easily may be replaced if it wears out simply by removing the worn-out end cap 20 and replacing the same with a new end cap. Thus, the cost of maintenance of the device of the present invention is relatively low.
Accordingly, a device has been disclosed which is adapted to be used in connection with a spray head for rinsing hair which is operable to continuously and selectively control the pressure of a fluid flowing therethrough simply by exerting a desired force on the device.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described herein, it will be obvious that numerous omissions, changes and additions may be made in such embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
What is claimed is 1. A device for regulating the flow of a iuid comprising an enclosed housing, an inlet bore in one end of said housing adapted to be connected to a fluid source, an outlet bore in the other end of said housing, a ypassage in said housing communicating with said inlet and said outlet bores to provide a path for the ow of fluid from said inlet bore to said outlet bore, valve means in said housing for varying the rate of ow of a fluid moving through said passage, said valve means including a irst and a second member, mounting means for movably mounting at least one of said rst and second members on said housing for linear movement, respective through openings in said first and second members sized and positioned to be moved into and out of communication with each other and said passage when said one of said members is moved to control the rate of ow of the uid, and moving means in said housing for moving at least one of said rst and second members relative to the other, whereby said openings are moved into and out of communication with each other.
2. A device as in claim 1, in which said first member comprises a lower shutter and said second member comprises an upper shutter, said mounting means including means to mount said lower shutter in front of said upper shutter, said opening in said lower shutter comprising a recess extending downwardly from the upper edge of said shutter, said opening in said upper shutter comprising a recess extending upwardly from the lower edge thereof, whereby said recesses are moved into communication with each other when said one member is moved away from the other member.
3. A device as in 4claim 2, in which said mounting means comprises opposed open-ended slots in said housing receiving said upper and lower shutters for sliding movement with respect to each other.
4. A device as defined in claim 2, wherein said openings in said upper and lower shutters comprise complementary formed semicircles.
5. A device as in claim 1, in which said housing includes a tubular member fabricated from a flexible and resilient plastic material, said moving means including at -least one operating lever movable in said housing and being connected to said one member, said lever having at least a portion thereof positioned adjacent said tubular member, whereby said tubular member may be exed inwardly to operate said lever to move said one of said members relative to the other.
6. A device for regulating the rate of flow of a uid comprising an enclosed housing, an inlet bore in one end of said housing adapted to be connected to a source of fluid, an outlet bore in the other end of said housing adapted to be connected to a dispensing apparatus, a passage in said housing connected with said inlet and outlet bores to provide a path for the flow of a fluid from said inlet bore to said outlet bore, valve means in said housing for regulating the rate of flow of a fluid moving through said passage, said valve means including a rst and a second member mounted on said housing for relative movement between a valve-closed position to prevent the ow of a fluid through said passage and a plurality of valve-open positions to produce different rates of ow of a fluid through said passage, respective through openings in said first and second members sized and positioned to be moved into and out of communication with each other and said passage when said first and second members are moved relative to each other, biasing means connected to said rst and second members to bias said members to the Valve-closed position for which said openings are moved out of communication with each other, and moving means connected to said tirst and second members for moving said first and second members to a preselected one of said plurality of valve-open positions wherein a predetermined portion of said openings communicate with each other and said passage to provide a desired rate of ow of a uid through said device.
7. A device as in claim 6, and a stop on said rst member engageable with said second member to limit the movement of said members in a rst direction, whereby said first and second members are in said valveclosed position.
8. A device as in claim 6, wherein said housing includes a tubular member having at least one open end, an end cap received in said tubular member and closing said open end, opposed slots in said end cap receiving said first and second members for sliding movement with respect thereto and for positioning said members across said passage, whereby said members close said passage when said members are in said valve-closed position.
9. A device as in claim 8, and cooperating means on said tubular member and said end cap for releasably connecting said cap with said tubular member.
10. A device as in claim `6, and a dispensing apparatus,
Vsaid dispensing apparatus comprising a spray head,
and a substantially rigid tube connecting said spray head with said outlet bore to provide a path for the flow of a uid from said device to said spray head.
FOREIGN PATENTS 2/1951 France. 12/1951 Germany.
M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner.
H. NA'ITER, Assistant Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.