US 3446401 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 27, 1969 T. R. FLOWERS 3,446,401
FOAM DISPENSING NOZZLE AND FOAM DISPENSER WITH HEATING MEANS Filed Jun 24, 1966 Sheet 012 INVENTOR THEODORE R FLOWERS BY 4 Q1 M a W 47 AT T'YS.
y 7, 1969 T. R. FLOWERS 3,446,401
FOAM DISPENSING NOZZLE AND FOAM DISPENSER WITH HEATING MEANS Filed June 24. 1966 Sheet 2 of 2 INVENTOR THEODORE R FLOWERS BY gw, KW
United States Patent US. Cl. 222-146 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A foam dispensing nozzle expressly adapted for use with foam products emerging from foam heater means associated with an aerosol can. A nozzle is provided having an inlet with a given cross-sectional area, and an outlet with a larger cross-sectional area, the inlet and outlet being connected by a passageway which is divided into separate passageways by bafile means therein. -In a preferred embodiment, the baffle means includes a divider having a generally triangular cross-sectional shape and forming a side wall portion of each of the passageways, and further includes deflector means for directing streams flowing in each of the passageways together to form a single, enlarged emergent stream at said outlet. The invention includes the method of enlarging the cross-sectional area of a fluent stream of foam which includes dividing it into two or more streams and subsequently uniting the streams to form a single stream of larger cross-sectional area.
This invention relates to nozzle constructions and more particularly is directed to a new and improved product dispensing nozzle particularly adapted to dispense foam and foam-like products in a large area cross sectional stream.
In my co-pending application, Ser. No. 521,118, filed on Jan. 17, 1966, now US. Patent No. 3,358,885 and entitled Dispenser With Heating Means, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, there is disclosed an electrically heated dispenser arrangement particularly adapted for use with products packaged in aerosoltype containers. In this arrangement, an aerosol container dispenses foam into a heat exchanger which is warmed by an electrical heating means. The heated foam is discharged through an outlet in the heat exchanger into a product dispensing nozzle of generally uniform cross section. The present application generally relates to improvements in nozzles for dispensing foam, and in addition has application to existing types of aerosol foamed dispensers in which it is desirable to have the product dispensed in a large cross sectional area stream.
In known types of dispensers the foam or form-like product is emitted from conventional types of nozzles having round or square cross sections in the form of a long stream having relatively small cross sectional area. The foam or foam-like product does not have the appearance which is desirable from the marketing standpoint, that is, a rich and creamy full-bodied appearance which is highly desirable for obvious reasons. In the past, the user of the foam would place the palm of his hand immediately adjacent the nozzle to cause the foam to back up, which in effect buries the nozzle in the initial charge of foam emitted from the nozzle thereby causing the subsequently emitted foam to well up in the palm of the hand intoa ball of lather having a better appearance after dispensing but having a tendency to adhere to the nozzle when the users hand was removed.
The present invention is concerned with a new and improved nozzle which dispenses foam and foam-like products in a large cross sectional stream to provide a creamy and rich appearing lather which is uniformly heated for 3,446,401 Patented May 27, 1969 greater ease of application to the users face, and to provide for more even dispensing of the foam or foam-like product. An additional advantage is obtained since the foamed product released is easier to handle when contrasted with the thin stream of the prior art.
One of the problems which has been encountered in the past is that little is really understood about the behavior of foam dispensed from aerosol containers. It does not flow or react to pressure in the manner known with pure liquids or gases. Foam being comprised of both a liquid substance and a gas (air and/ or propellant) reacts or behaves in a manner which is more analogous to gas than liquid. Broadly stated, the following material pushes the preceding material along the passageway and thus the cross section of the stream is determined by the size of the passageway so long as it approximates that of the inlet. What would seem to be the obvious solution to the problem stated above would be to merely enlarge the passageway from the inlet to the outlet. However, this does not result in a foam discharge of large cross sectional area because of the unusual behavior of the foam and because the foam stream has a tendency to remain of the same cross sectional size that it was when released from the aerosol container. Hence, unless some means is provided in the nozzle to enlarge the stream size, it will remainsubstantially the same at the discharge end of the nozzle as it was when it was released into the nozzle.
The present invention consists of a unique nozzle having a central passageway which is obstructed or baflled to divide it into two branch passageways. Each of the branches extends along opposite sides of the obstruction with baffle means provided adjacent the outlet opening of the nozzle to re-combine or comingle the foam from the two branches in such a manner that a large cross sectional area or stream of foam is emitted from the nozzle. [Due to the unique shape of the nozzle construction, the entire volume of the passageway is filled before dispensing can commence to insure that a stream of foam having a relatively large cross sectional area will be emitted. The subject invention finds special application in aerosol-type hot shaving cream dispensers as well as other heated foam product dispensers. The presence of heat in an aerosol product undergoing expansion or foam formation has a tendency to reduce to some extent the final viscosity of the foamed product and such product can appear more fluid. This tendency further impedes discharge of the product in streams of acceptable cross sectional area. The advantages of the present nozzle and one particular application of the principles embodied herein will be more clearly understood after a consideration of the objects achieved and a description of a representative embodiment.
It is an object of this invention to provide a novelly constructed product delivery nozzle adapted for use in dispensing foam and foam-like products.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a novelly constructed product delivery nozzle particularly adapted for use with product heating and dispensing means utilizing replaceable aerosol containers as a product supply.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a new and improved product delivery nozzle construction having a passageway including an obstruction or bafile means which is strategically placed to form a product delivery stream of large cross sectional area providing for a creamier appearance in the foam-like substance dispensed.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a new and improved product delivery nozzle particularly adapted for use with foam and foam-like products which may be readily manufactured and assembled by known techniques.
Other objects other than those specifically enumerated will become apparent on consideration of the drawings and the attendant description.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dispenser with heating means embodying a nozzle construction of the type described;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of one half of the nozzle of the dispensing arrangement shown in FIG. 1 having a portion of the shell shown fragmentarily;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of a co-operating half of the nozzle with the associated shell shown fragmentarily;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken generally along the lines 44 of FIG. 3 after assembly of the nozzle halves;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken generally along the lines 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken generally along lines 77 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary axial elevational view of a nozzle having a modified form of obstruction at the discharge end of the passage.
Referring to FIG. 1, a dispenser with heating means is indicated generally by reference character 10, and includes a pair of shells 11 and 12 joined together to support a heating unit 13 and form a housing for an aerosol container (not shown). A base 14 facilitates insertion and locking of the aerosol container within the housing, which is depressable to cause heated foam to be emitted from a nozzle indicated generally at 15. The details of the foregoing described dispenser unit may be best understood by reference to my copending application alluded to above. Each of the shells has formed integral therewith, a nozzle forming portions 16 and 17 which when assembled together form the nozzle 15 which conveys the foam from the heat exchanger (not shown) for discharge out of the nozzle.
The nozzle forming portions 16 and 17 are illustrated in the enlarged axial elevational views of FIGS. 2 and 3, respectively, and are generally identical insofar as they cooperate to form a passageway 21] of generally rectangular cross section. At the inlet end of the passageway is formed an inlet opening 21 of annular construction adapted to receive a tubular conduit 22 (shown fragmentarily) leading from the heat exchanger (not shown) mounted on the heating unit 13 into the inlet opening 21. An annular sealing means 23 is positioned in an annular bore 24 formed in the nozzle and precludes the back flow of foam along the circumference of the tubular conduit 22. The tubular conduit 22 includes an inlet passageway 25 which is in direct communication with the passageway 20, one-half of which is formed by each of the nozzle forming portions 16 and 17.
The passageway 20 includes a baffie or obstruction 26 positioned directly in the middle of the passageway 20, extending continuously across the passageway 20 and being formed by congruent portions carried in each of the respective nozzle forming portions 16 and 17. The obstruction 26 is positioned in the passageway 20 which flares outwardly as at 27 and serves to divide the area into two branch passageways 30 and 31 which are of generally equal cross section and extend along opposite sides of the obstruction 26. In the axial elevational views of FIGS. 2 and 3, the bafile or obstruction 26 resembles an island in the passageway 20 with a downstream end portion generally flat as indicated at 32. Described in another way, the baffle 26 is shaped like an equilateral triangle having rounded corners, with two sides of the triangle forming sidewalls of the passageways Siland 31, and the third side forming the flat end 32.
The outer walls of the branch passageways 30 and 31 have the outer ends generally parallel as at 33 and 34-, re-
spectively, terminating in bafiies or obstructions 35 and 36, respectively, which are formed generally transverse to the projected flow path of material moving in the passageways and 31. Bafiies and 36 serve to direct the flow of foam-like product inwardly toward the downstream end 32 of the obstruction 26. As will be described below, this construction causes a co-mingling or mixing of the two streams for emission from the outlet or discharge opening shown at 37.
As seen in FIG. 4, when the discharge opening 37 is viewed in elevation, the obstruction 26 appears to substantially fill the discharge opening 37 leaving only a very slight portion of the passages 30 and 31 visible at opposite margins of the opening 37. When the co-operating nozzle forming sections 16 and 17 are joined, the obstruction 26 co-operates in the manner shown in FIG. 5 to form the passageways 30 and 31. As is apparent in FIG. 5, the passageways are of rectangular section, however, if desired, they may be of any other cross sectional shape which is suitable for economical molding and provides suitable flow properties.
When the passageway 20 is viewed along the lines 66 in FIG. 3 after assembly of the co-operating nozzle forming portions 16 and 17 as shown in FIG. 6, it can be observed that the obstruction 26 formed by the co-operating halves in each of the nozzle forming portions 16 and 17 appears to completely block the passage 20, however, in actuality causes enlarging of the cross sectional area. This can be readily appreciated by observing the shape of the passage 20 when viewed along the lines 77 of FIG. 3 and reproduced in FIG. 7, and comparing it with FIG. 6 taken along the lines 66 of FIG. 3.
During dispensing the foam enters the passageway 20 through the conduit 22 and then flows in any general direction towards the obstruction 26 which impedes its progress and causes a filling of the entire passageway up to the obstruction. The foam then divides and flows along the passageways 30 and 31 until it strikes the obstructions 35 and 36 adjacent the outlet opening 37 The obstructions cause the flow of foam to stop if either of the passageways 30 or 31 is incompletely filled, causing a filling thereof, after which the foam uniformly flows in a path transversely of each of the respective passageways towards the downstream end 32 of the obstruction or baffle 26. When the two streams of foam encounter each other flowing at substantially the same rate, they fill the entire discharge opening 37 resulting in the foam once again moving generally parallel to the original path to provide a rich and creamy appearing large cross sectional area stream of foam-like product at the discharge opening 37. While the discharge opening 37 has been illustrated as being rectangular, it is obvious that it may assume other shapes and sizes to provide foam streams of different areas.
Each of the respective nozzle forming portions 16 and 17 are formed with relieved portions 40 and 41 at the thicker portion of the nozzle which co-operate with identical relief portions 42 and 43 in the nozzle forming portion 17. The relief portion 43 is provided with a boss having an annular bore 44 which receives an alignment dowel 45 integrally formed in the relief portion 41. Such relief portions reduce the amount of material required to form the nozzle and provide uniform curing of the nozzle forming portions 16 and 17 after molding with less chance of warpage as is well known in the molding art.
Referring now to FIG. 8, a modified form of nozzle is shown in axial eleavtion similar to the illustration of FIG. 3. The nozzle includes a passageway 51 having an inlet end 52 and on outlet end 53. Passageway 51 is formed by side walls 54 and 55 which diverge at 56 and 57 to form enlarged passageway branches as described in connection with FIGS. 2 and 3. An obstruction 58 of generally triangular shape forms inner wall portions spaced from the side walls 56 and 57 to form branch passageways. Each of the walls 56 and 57 merges with straight wall portions 60 and 61 which terminate in transversely extending generally arcuate baffies 62 and 63 conforming generally in function to the baffles 35 and 36 on the previously described nozzle. In the modified form of FIG. 8, however, the obstructions are generally arcuate to redirect the flow towards the downstream end 64 of the obstruction 58. This provides for good blending of the foam and insures that both of the branch passageways will be completely filled before foam leaves the discharge or outlet end 53 of the nozzle. The arcuate surfaces 62 and 63 in the design of FIG. 8 cause the foam to be positively directed against the downstream end 64 of the obstruction 58 for good blending of the two foam streams into a stream of large cross section having a creamy rich appearance.
In each of the illustrated embodiments a particular shape or form of baffle means has been illustrated and described. Obviously, other forms or shapes may be used for creating back pressure to fill up the entire nozzle passage for the purpose of obtaining the largest possible cross sectional stream within the space limitations normally imposed. When considering the speed of dispensing, practical space limitations and dispensing pressure however, it is preferable to sub-divide the product into diverging streams and bafiling or obstructing such streams adjacent the discharge ends to cause complete and uniform comingling. This design requires a minimum of space while permitting a wide selection of discharge openings, shapes and sizes without unduly resisting or delaying actual dispensing. Additionally a delicate or fragile foam will be least adversely affected.
From the foregoing discussion it can be appreicated that a nozzle construction is described which provides a means to control the dispensing of foam and foam-like product being uniquely designed to compensate for the unusual behavior of foam and foam-like substances and provide adequate control over discharging the same, especially after heating. The present invention provides a means whereby the foam may be expanded to the largest possible cross sectional area within the given physical dimensions of the dispensing nozzle for proper blending and good appearance. While the foregoing nozzle has been described in conjunction with a shaving lather dispensing device, it is obvious that such nozzle may be used directly as a dispensing nozzle on aerosol-type containers or any other application which would involve the dispensing of foam or foam-like products.
Upon a consideration of the foregoing it will become obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made without departing from the invention embodied herein. Therefore, only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated by the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. A nozzle for dispensing foamed products, said nozzle comprising, in combination, inlet means having a given cross-sectional area, outlet means having a substantially greater cross-sectional area than said inlet means, and passage means connecting said inlet means to said outlet means, said passage means including first imperforate wall portions at least partially defining portions of said passage means, baffle means, including second imperforate wall portions, disposed in said passage means and dividing said passage means into at least two separate passageways, each of said passageways being separate from the other throughout a substantial length, said passageways being defined by said first and said second imperforate wall portions, said first imperforate wall portions and a portion of said bafile means also defining, in combination a confluent area adjacent said outlet means, and in which said baffle means comprises a generally triangular shaped member having the two legs thereof defining respective wall portions of said separate passage ways, and in which the base thereof is disposed generally adjacent said outlet means, whereby product flowing in said passage means is divided into at least two separate streams by said baflle means and reunited into a single stream adjacent said outlet means.
2. A dispenser for heating and discharging a foamable product, comprising, in combination, means for receiving a foamable product, means for heating said product, and product outlet means for discharging said heated foamable product, means for receiving a container having foamable product therein, means for connecting said product inlet with the product outlet of said container, and a nozzle comprising, in combination, inlet means having a given cross-sectional area, outlet means having a substantially greater cross-sectional area than said inlet means, and passage means connecting said inlet means to said outlet means, said passage means including first imperforate wall portions at least partially defining portions of said passage means, baflle means, including second imperforate wall portions, disposed in said passage means and dividing said passage means into at least two separate passageways, each of said passageways being separate from the other throughout a substantial length, said passageways being defined by said first and said second imperforate wall portions, said first imperforate wall portions and a portion of said baffle means also defining, in combination, a confluent area adjacent said outlet means, whereby product flowing in said passage means is divided into at least two separate streams by said baffie means and reunited into a stream adjacent said outlet means, said nozzle being in communication with said foamable product outlet for receiving a heated foamed product therefrom and dispensing said product from said nozzle.