US 3428223 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 18, 196.9 E, M, L EwlECKl ET Al. 3,428,223
AEROSOL DISPENSERS AND ACTUATOR BUTTONS THERFOR Filed Sept. 26. 1966 g t///// A ma United States Patent O 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention is concerned with aerosol dispensers having anti-clog means therein and more particularly with aerosol dispensers in which the discharge passage is sealed off during non-use by an expandable, resilient diaphragm having an expandable discharge oritice therein.
In recent years the growth in the use of pressurized dispensers such as the so-called aerosols for packaging various products has been phenomenal. Generally such dispensers comprise (l) a pressurized container having the product and a propellant disposed therein and (2) valve means for controlling the dispensing of the product from said container. In most dispensers the product usually flows through the valve into a discharge passage of considerable length before it is expelled through a discharge orifice defined by a rigid wall. Such discharge passages usually are located in the valve actuator and/ or valve stem. When using dispensers having such discharge passages, a portion of the product remains in the passages after use where it is exposed to the atmosphere through the discharge oriice. With some products and especially those comprising a non-volatile solid in a volatile solvent or carrier this is undesirable in that, upon evaporation of the solvent or carrier, solid residues build up on the walls and sometimes clog the discharge orifice and/ or the passages. For many years the art has wrestled with this clogging problem. The solutions which have been proposed heretofore have been relatively complex and dificult and expensive to manufacture.
One object of the present invention is to provide simple and inexpensive means for sealing off the discharge passages subsequent to use and thereby prevent the clogging of such passages.
Another object of the present invention is to provide simple means such as mentioned above which during use provide an effective opening for dispensing the product.
Other objects of the invention will be obvious from the following detailed decription taken together with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is perspective view of a valve actuator of the present invention mounted on the valve stem of a pressurized container;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the valve actuator and valve stem along the lines 2 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a diaphragm within the scope of the present invention; and
FIGS. 4a and 4b are perspective views of other diaphragms within the scope of the present invention.
According to the present invention the clogging of the discharge orifice and/or passage is substantially eliminated by using a puncture in a resilient, expandable diaphragm as the discharge orifice. Generally, the puncture is of such size that the walls thereof will substantially abut when the diaphragm is in the unexpanded state. Usually, such punctures may be made with a pointed instrument such as a needle or a common pin or with a similar instrument which would provide a slit or cross-slit without removal of material. It has been found that such ice diaphragms upon contracting and in some instances by contracting and entrapping a small amount of the product in the puncture form an effective seal for the discharge passages and thereby prevent clogging. In subsequent use, under the pressure of the propellant, any residual solid or caked material in or around the puncture is broken up and expelled by the exing and expanding of the diaphragm andan effective opening is provided for dispensing the product. The invention has been found to` be especially 4effective in preventing clogging in dispensers comprising an antiperspirant composition which includes a solid antipersipirant dissolved in a readily volatile solvent such as ethanol.
In general, the dispensers of the present invention comprise a pressurized container having valve means for controlling the flow of material from the container into a discharge passage, said passage leading to a discharge orifice comprising a small puncture in a resilient expandable diaphragm.
Referring to FIGS. l and 2, there is shown a valve actuator 10 embodying the present invention. The valve actuator 10 is iixedly atached to the cylindrical valve stem 12 of a valve (not shown) which may be constructed by any of the various methods well Iknown in the pressurized dispenser art and lwhich is mounted in a pressurized container 14. The valve stem 12 has an axially positioned discharge conduit 16 therein which leads into the discharge passage 18 of the valve actuator 10u The discharge passage 18 opens into a port 20` which is bound by cylindrical lwall 21. The port 20 extends only a relativelyV short distance into the actuator 10 and has a diameter which is somewhat larger than that of the discharge passage 18, thus facilitating the removal of any residual product from it. Within the port 20 there is positioned an annular ring 22 which holds and supports a circular, resilient, expandable diaphragm 24 (see FIG. 3). The annular ring 22 forms a tight seal with the cylindrical wall 21 of the port 20 and is held in place adjacent the rear port wall 23 by an annular stop 26 positioned in the cylindrical wall 21. The diaphragm 24 is generally formed from rubber or plastic material and is resilient and expandable under the pressures usually employed in pressurized dispensers, e.g. 20 to 90 p.s.i. In the diaphragm 24 there is provided a small puncture 28 which was formed by puncturing the diaphragm 24 with a regular sewing needle having a diameter of less than 0.060 inch. In especially useful embodiments of the present invention, the puncture 28 is of such size that when the diaphragm 24 contracts after use, the abutting walls of the puncture or such Walls in combination with any non-volatile product entrapped therein will form an eiective seal. The proper form of pierced orifice for each product, of course, will Vary somewhat depending on factors such as the nature of the ingredients, pressure within the can, desired spray pattern, etc., `but as can be appreciated, it can be readily determined.
The diaphragm 24 for use in the present invention may be conveniently prepared by clam-ping a sheet of rubber within a rigid annular ring and puncturing the rubber in the desired location. The type of rubber and its thickness used in forming the diaphragm will generally depend upon the size of dispensing outlet desired. As can be appreciated, a larger dispensing opening will be provided by using a more readily expandable rubber and a smaller opening will be provided by using a less readily expandable rubber.
Referring to FIGS. 4a and 4b, there are shown other diaphragms 24 within the scope of the present invention. In the diaphragm 24 shown in FIG. 4a the puncture 28a is in the form of a cross and in the diaphragm 24 shown in FIG. 4b the puncture 28b is in the form of a slit.
The present invention is especially useful in dispensers in which the product is expelled in the form of a spray.
In using the dispensers of this invention, the diaphragm 24 and puncture 28 expand under the pressure of the propellant to provide an effective opening for dispensing the product. Upon closing the valve, the diaphragm 24 and puncture 28 contract to provide an effective seal for the discharge passage. In subsequent use the expansion and deforming of the diaphragm 24 breaks up and expels any residual solid or caked material which may be in the puncture 28, and once again an effective dispensing outlet is provided.
Having thus disclosed our invention, what is claimed is:
1. A pressurized dispenser for dispensing compositions comprising a solid, non-volatile material in a volatile vehicle, said dispenser comprising a pressurized container and valve means for controlling the ow of product from said container into a discharge passage, said discharge passage leading to a discharge orifice in a resilient expandable diaphragm, the walls of said discharge orifice substantially abutting when said diaphragm is in the unex-panided state so that said diaphragm effectively seals off said discharge passage during non-use to inhibit the evaporation of the volatile vehicle from any residual composition in said passage and said diaphragm and said discharge orifice therein, upon actuation of said valve means, being expandable by the internal pressure in said dispenser to provide an effective dispensing opening.
2. A pressurized dispenser as defined in claim 1, wherein said diaphragm in combination with entrapped product in said discharge orifice effectively seal off said discharge passage during non-use.
3. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein said discharge orifice is a pin hole in said diaphragm.
4. A valve actuator for an aerosol dispenser which is used to dispense a composition comprising a solid, nonvolatile material in a volatile vehicle, said actuator having a discharge passage therein for connection to the discharge conduit of the valve of said dispenser, said discharge passage leading to a discharge orifice in a resilient, expandable diaphragm, the walls of said orifice substantially abutting when said diaphragm is in the unexpanded state so that said diaphragm effectively seals 0E said discharge passage during non-use to inhibit the evaporation of the volatile vehicle from any residual composition in said passage and said diaphragm and said discharge orifice therein, upon actuation of said valve being expandable by the internal pressure in the dispenser to provide an effective dispenser opening.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,237,866 3/1966 Lovell 222-490 X 3,286,931 11/1966 Webb 239-534 X 3,319,669 5/ 1967 Abplanalp 222-394 X ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
N. L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R.