US 3464597 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 2, 1969 L. F. KUTIK 3,464,597
TILTABLE SPRAY BUTTON Filed Jan. 8, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet l I N V ENTOR. LOUIS F: KUT/K F Wa /4W ATTOPNE V5 s6pt. 2, 1969 F. KU-HK TILTABLE SPRAY BUTTON 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 8, 1968 INVENTOR. LOU/S F UTIK ffomvsrs United States Patent 3,464,597 TILTABLE SPRAY BUTTON Louis F. Kutik, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., assignor to Precision Valve Corporation, Yonkers, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 8, 1968, Ser. No. 696,337 Int. Cl. B67d /06 US. Cl. 222-529 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A valve actuating spray discharge button for a pressurized dispenser is configured to permit tilting about a horizontal axis to allow the user to direct the spray pattern while maintaining the container vertical.
Many products are packed in pressurized dispensers of the aerosol type wherein a pressurized propellant is used to force product from the container through an eduction tube to a spray discharge orifice. A valve in the top of the container is actuated by depressing a push button actuator which also includes the discharge orifice. The button has appropriate product passages which originate in the socket by which the button is mounted on a vertically movable hollow valve stem which protrudes from the top wall of the container. The button passage, the valve stem, the valve and the eduction tube form a conduit for conveying the contents of the container to the discharge orifice.
Many spray dispensed products such as laundry starch, insecticides, paints, etc., are applied to horizontal surfaces. It is necessary to tilt the pressurized container to direct the spray pattern at such a surface. When the liquid product is partially depleted such tilting may expose the normally submerged lower end of the eduction tube thereby allowing propellant gas to escape without dispensing product. The resulting interrupted spray action worsens as the contents are depleted or as the container is tilted farther from the vertical. This effect virtually precludes complete utilization of a product which ordinarily is applied only upon horizontal surfaces. Because the plastic tubing used for making eduction tubes has an inherent bend or curl, the conditions of product depletion and tilt angle which result in unsatisfactory spraying will vary dependent upon the relationship of the eduction tube curl direction and the direction of container tilt. In order to minimize unsatisfactory spraying, the spray button must be rotated into alignment with a mark placed upon the container by the filler. The location of the mark is related to the eduction tube curl to promote emptying the container. Many aerosol users are unaware of the significance of the mark or forget to make use of it.
The present invention avoids the above noted problems by allowing the spray discharge axis to be rotated with respect to the container axis through a relatively large arc.
An embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings in which,
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a valve actuating spray button;
FIGURE 2 is a horizontal sectional view taken along plane 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an elevational view in section taken along plane 33 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is an elevational view in section taken along plane 44 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5a is a section through a conventional dispenser; and
FIGURE 5b is a section through a dispenser equipped with a button in accordance with the present invention.
3,464,597 Patented Sept. 2, 1969 The actuator button shown in the drawings is adapted to be mounted on the hollow valve stem of a vertically actuated valve utilized in pressurized dispensing containers of the aerosol type. A valve stem receiving socket 10 is provided in the lower portion 2 of the button. The socket 10 is adapted to frictionally engage a container valve stem 12 to secure the button thereto. A sloping shoulder 11 seats against the top edge of the valve stem to permit downward force on the button to result in downward motion of the valve stem to cause the valve to open.
A flexible tubular portion 3 integrally connects the lower portion 2 with the upper portion 1 of the button. Flexible portion 3 has a bore 14 which provides a path for product issuing from the valve stem bore 13 which path leads to product passage 15 in the upper portion 1 of the button. Prod-uct passage 15 leads to a discharge orifice 16 for dispensingthe product as a spray. To improve spray characteristics, actuator buttons are frequently provided with means to swirl the product as it travels toward the spray orifice. Such swirling provides a break-up of the moving product stream into spray droplets. The illustrated embodiment includes such mechanical break-up means in the form of a disc 20 having tangential ducts 21 leading inwardly from peripheral product passages 22 to a swirl chamber 23 immediately proximate the discharge orifice 16-. A finger engaging surface 4 is provided on the top of the upper portion 1 of the button.
The lower surface of upper portion 1 is provided with two diametrically opposite bosses 6 and 7 in vertical alignment with similar bosses 8 and 9 on the upper surface of lower member 2. The bosses are provided with rounded surfaces at the confrontation of each vertically aligned pair to provide for a rocking motion between the upper and lower portions 1 and 2 of the button. The bosses thus form a trunnion or hinge having a horizontal axis generally perpendicular to the spray axis. Because tubular portion 3 which joins the upper and lower portions is flexible, the upper portion '1 can be rocked or tilted with respect to the lower portion 2 to effect a change in elevation angle of the discharging spray. As can be seen in FIGURES 2 and 4 the bosses 6-9 are separated from the tubular portion 3 by a clearance space. This separation allows the bending of the tubular portion 3 to occur smoothly throughout its length. Without such separation, bending of the tubular portion 3 would be concentrated in the region of the hinge axis and may cause rapid failure of the tubular portion. To insure that the passage 14 of the flexible tubular portion 3 remains open during bending, longitudinal keys 17 and 18 are provided on the inner wall. Such keys or ribs prevent collapse of the tubular portion.
The container valve is actuated by vertical force applied by finger on surface 4 on the top of the button. This vertical compressive force must be transmitted to the valve stem through the structure of the button. The flexible tubular portion 3 of the button is not suitable for transmitting compressive force. The vertically aligned pairs of bosses 6, 8 and 7, 9 form columnar structures which are of sufficient stature to readily transmit the compressive force from the upper portion 1 to lower portion 2 and thence to the valve stem 12. The rounded confronting surfaces of the vertical boss pairs can abut to carry this force. When the upper portion 1 is tilted with respect to the lower portion, the vertical pairs remain in adequate alignment to permit valve actuating force to be transmitted through them. A thin web 24 may be provided between the confronting faces of each vertically aligned pair of bosses to act as a hinge and to prevent misalignment of the bosses which might result from relative twisting of the upper and lower portions.
The ability to tilt the discharge axis with respect to the container valve stem allows the user to hold the container upright while directing the discharge stream up or down at the receiving surface. This ability better enables the user to exhaust the container contents. FIGURE 5 permits comparison of a conventional dispenser 30 equipped with a conventional button 33 angled to dispense downwardly with a similar container 40 equipped with a button 43 in accordance with the present invention when dispensing at the same downward angle. The eduction tube 31 of the conventional dispenser 30 is not immersed in the remaining product 32 because of the container angle, whereas, the similar eduction tube 41 of container 40 remains immersed in an identical quantity of remaining product 42.
1. A valve actuator button suitable for vertically actuating the valve of a pressurized container, said actuator comprising a lower portion provided with a product passage, said portion being adapted to be associated in communication with the container valve, an upper portion having a product passage terminating in a discharge orifice, and a flexible tubular portion interposed between and integral with the upper and lower portions and interconnecting said product passages, said flexible tubular portion permitting relative motion of the upper and lower portions.
2. The actuator of claim 1 including means to transmit downward force from a finger engaging surface on the upper portion to the lower portion to permit actuation of a vertically actuated container valve.
3. The actuator of claim 2 wherein the force transmitting means comprise diametrically opposite columnar members adapted to hinge near their mid-points.
4. The actuator of claim 2 wherein the force trans- 35 mitting means comprise a pair of diametrically opposite members which protrude upwardly from the lower member and a similar pair of members which protrude downwardly from the upper member, said pairs being aligned such that their adjacent extremities can contact to transmit the valve actuating force and provide surfaces which relatively hinge to permit said relative motion.
5. The actuator of claim 1 wherein the flexible tubular portion is provided with at least one longitudinal rib to prevent collapse of the tube when flexed.
6. A one-piece plastic valve actuator for actuating a pressurized container comprising an upper portion having a product passage leading to a discharge orifice and a surface adapted to receive a users finger for causing actuation, a lower portion having a product passage leading from a valve stem receiving socket adapted for mounting the actuator on the valve stem of the container and for forwarding product from the container through the product passage, and
a hollow tubular flexible portion interposed between and integral with said upper and lower portions, the interior of said tubular portion being in communication with the product passages in the upper and lower portions,
said upper and lower portions being provided on their neighboring surfaces with two diametrically opposite pairs of vertically aligned bosses, said bosses of each pair forming a hinge point about which the upper and lower portion can be relatively moved and through which valve actuating force can be transmitted from the finger receiving surface to the valve stem.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,203,210 6/1940 Young 239--588 2,892,574 6/1959 Noe 222--529 X 2,968,441 1/1961 Holcomb 222527 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner H. S. LANE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.