US 3471065 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 7, 1969 I c; E. MALONE 3,471,065
I LIQUID SPRAYING DEVICE Original Filed Sept. 20. 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 I .22 I INVENTOR- CARL E. MALONE Q BY.
ATTORNEYS Flea M Oct. 7, 1-969 5, MALONE 3,471,065
LIQUID SPRAYING DEVICE Original Filed Sept. 20, 1965 I 5 Sheets-Shem INVENTOR; CARL E. MALONE ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,471,065 LIQUID SPRAYING DEVICE Carl E. Malone, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., assignor to The AFA Corporation of Florida, Miami, Fla., a corporation of Florida Continuation of application Ser. No. 488,454, Sept. 20, 1965. This application Mar. 11, 1968, Ser. No. 712,306 Int. Cl. G01f 11/30, 11/36, 11/42 US. Cl. 222321 20 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A manually operated, hand-held liquid spraying device which includes a non-pressurized, refillable container the open upper end of which is closed by a screw-on cover structure which also forms part of a piston pump. The other part of the pump is connected to a spray head which is slidably guided on the container by a dependent skirt which also forms a hand-hold for the device. The device is cocked for spraying by pushing the spray head down so that it telescopes onto the container while the container is supported as by resting it on a firm surface such as a table top. This movement causes liquid to be drawn from the container into the pump chamber while causing the piston driving spring to be compressed. The liquid trapped under high pressure in the pump chamber is then releasable at will in the form of a spray from the spray nozzle by the operator depressing a spray button which controls a discharge valve of the device.
This application is a continuation of US. application Ser. No. 488,454, filed Sept. 20, 1965, now abandoned.
This invention relates to liquid spraying devices and more particularly to relatively small hand-held spraying devices of the type which produce spray mist similar to that produced by the common aerosol spray bomb.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an efficient yet simple liquid spraying device low enough in cost to provide the average person with a refillable hand operated sprayer for spraying in mist form the many liquids commonly used today such as hair sprays, perfumes, toilet Waters, deodorants, insecticides, as well as for use in other fields such as medicine to provide a safe and reliable device for accurately controlled sterile dispensing of antibiotics and the like.
Another object is to provide a liquid spraying device which is easily held in the hand and which may be operated while in any position by finger actuation of a push button.
A further object is to provide a liquid spraying device of the above character which is completely safe and requires no outside power, which is capable of dispensing liquid under high pressure in the form of a fine mist, but wherein the bulk of the liquid stored in the device is merely under atmospheric pressure, thereby avoiding the explosion hazards of the common aerosol bomb.
A further object is to provide a liquid spraying device of the above character which requires no container pressurizing gas nor other foreign propellant, thereby avoiding the problems of contaminating and diluting the liquid product to be dispensed.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating one embodiment of a liquid spraying device constructed in accordance with the present invention, the same being shown held in the hand of an operator for finger actuation of the dispensing valve of the unit.
3,471,065 Patented Oct. 7, 1969 "Ice FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the device of FIG. 1 illustrating how the device may be cocked preparatory to spraying liquid from the same.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged top plan view of the device of FIG. 1. l
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view illustrating the top of the device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3 with the device shown in a position corresponding to FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a vertical section similar to FIG. 5 but illustrating the device after the same has been cocked and with the trigger depressed to release pressurized liquid from the device.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cover, cylinder guide and piston subassembly of the unit.
FIGS. 8 and 9 are horizontal sections taken respectively on the lines 88 and 9-9 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 10 is an elevational view of a modified liquid spray device also in accordance with the present invention, illustrating the device in cocked position ready for spray dispensing.
FIG. 11 is an elevational view of the device of FIG. 10 but showing the same collapsed after spraying a pressurized quantity of liquid from the same.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged top plan view of the device of FIG. 10.
FIG. 13 is an enlarged vertical section taken on the line 1313 of FIG. 12 showing the device in the cocked positlon corresponding to FIG. 10.
FIG. 14 is a vertical section taken 'on the line 14-14 of FIG. 12, but illustrating only a cap part of the unit.
FIG. 15 is a vertical center section of still another embodiment of the liquid spraying device of the present invention, illustrating the device in the expanded uncocked position thereof.
FIGS. 16 and 17 are fragmentary horizontal sectional views taken respectively on the lines 1616 and 1717 of FIG. 15.
FIGS. 18 and 19 are fragmentary enlarged vertical sectional views of the discharge valve assembly illustrating the same in closed and open positions respectively. Referring in more detail to the accompanying drawings, FIGS. l-9 illustrate one embodiment of a liquid spraying device 20 of the present invention which preferably is dimensioned to be conveniently held in the hand 21 as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2, much in the same manner as the common aerosol bomb to which the average person is accustomed. Generally speaking, spray device 20 comprises a cylindrical container 22 for storing a quantity of liquid to be sprayed, and a spray head 24 reciprocably mounted on container 22. When head 24 is pushed downwardly in the manner shown in FIG. 2 to the collapsed and cocked position of FIG. 1, the device operates to pump a small quantity of the liquid from the reservoir of the container to a small chamber wherein the liquid is pressurized by the force of a spring which is stressed during the cocking stroke. Head 24 also contains a discharge nozzle communicating with the chamber via a discharge valve which is operated by pushing a button at the top of the head to release the spray as required until the pressurized quantity of liquid is exhausted, whereupon the device may be cocked again to ready the same for further spraying, as explained in more detail hereinafter.
As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, container 22 comprises a cylindrical receptacle 25 closed at the bottom by wall 26 and having an open upper end with internal threads 28 formed therein. Container 22 also includes a removable cover unit 30 (see also FIG. 7) having an imperforate upper wall 32 with a dependent skirt 34 externally threaded to screw into threads 28 of receptacle 25 to thereby close the upper end of the container against escape of liquid from the same. Cover unit 30 has a cylindrical guide 36 extending downwardly from wall 32 which is closed at its lower end by a wall 38 spaced above wall 26. Suitable tapered reinforcing ribs 40 and 42 may be provided integral with wall 32 and guide 36. As best seen in FIGS. 7 and 9, guide 36 is generally cylindrical except for a ridge-like protuberance 44 formed in one side thereof which extends axially along the guide.
Cover unit 30 also includes a piston and feed tube assembly 46 (FIG. comprising a hollow stem 48 having a reduced diameter neck 50 which preferably has a liquid-tight fit in a hole 52 of wall 38. A snap ring 54 is inserted in a groove of neck 50 below wall 38 and cooperates with a shoulder 51 of stem 48 which abuts wall 38 to thereby secure assembly 46 to guide 36. A short tube 56 is slipped upwardly onto neck 50 below wall 38 and carries an inlet fitting 58 which is disposed closely adjacent bottom wall 26 and contains a filter 60. Fitting 58 has suitable feet 62 to space the fitting from wall 26 and insure free entrance of liquid to tube 56 via the filter.
A threaded plug 64 is slidably received on stem 48 and is internally grooved to provide a seat for an O-ring seal .66. Plug 64 may be rotated on stem 48 and slid axially thereof between wall 38 and a shoulder 68 (FIG. 6) of stem 48. A piston 70 is integral with the upper end of stem 48 and is externally grooved to carry an O- ring seal 72. A hollow sleeve extension 74 extends upwardly from piston 70 to receive and retain the lower end of a compression coil spring 76. Stem 48 has a passage 78 extending axially therethrough and communicating at its upper end with a counterbore 80 in piston 78 which is closed by a plug 82 fixed in bore 80. A valve seat 84 is formed between passage 78 and counterbore 80, and a check ball 86 is loosely disposed between seat 84 and plug 82. A series of radial ports 88 in stem 48 connect a chamber 90 formed between ball 86 and plug 82 with the exterior of tube 48 at a point above shoulder 68 and below piston 70.
A small mushroom type valve 92 is mounted at the bottom of guide 36 by a stem 94 which extends with a clearance fit through a cup 96 which in turn has a press fit in a hole of wall 38. Stem 94 is grooved to receive the upper coil of a compression coil spring 98 which bottoms on cup 96 and lightly biases valve 92 upwardly to its closed position, as shown in FIG. 5, wherein the head 98 of valve 92 seats against cup 96.
Spray head 24 is adapted to telescope onto container 22 both interiorly and exteriorly thereof to insure that its vertical reciprocating movement relative to container 22 is free sliding and non-binding. Head 24 has an outer skirt 100 which slips over and slides along the side wall of container 22. The lower edge of skirt 100 has a flange 102 which abuts a knurled flange 104, provided around the bottom end of receptacle 25, when the head has been depressed to the collapsed, cocked position illustrated in FIG. 6. Skirt 100 is connected at its upper end by a transverse wall 106 to the upper end of a cylinder 108 which is concentric with skirt 100 and shaped exteriorly complemental to the interior of guide 36 for slidable reception therein. Skirt 100, wall 106 and cylinder 108 are preferably molded integrally. Cylinder 108 has a ridge-like protuberance or channel 110 extending axially along one side of the cylinder which is received in the corresponding protuberance 44 of guide 36 (FIG. 9), thereby keying head 24 against rotation relative to cover unit 30. Cylinder 108 has a cylindrical bore 112 which receives piston 70, O-ring 72 insuring a sliding seal fit of these parts. Plug 64 is threaded into the lower end of cylinder 108 to thereby close the lower end of bore 112. A liquid pressurizing chamber 114 (FIGS. 5 and 6) is thus formed in bore 112 axially between piston 70, which provides the fixed upper wall of the chamber, and
plug 64, which serves as the movable lower wall of the chamber, and radially between stem 48 and cylinder 108. The upper end of bore 112 serves as a chamber for spring 76, the upper end of spring 76 being slipped onto a retainer sleeve 116 and abutting wall 106. The spring chamber is vented to atmosphere via a hole 118 in wall 106.
Liquid is discharged from chamber 114 via a radial passage 120 formed in protuberance 110 adjacent plug 64 which intersects a passage 122 which runs upwardly in channel 110 to a counterbore 124.The junction of bores 122 and 124 provides a valve seat 126 for a valve ball 128. The upper end of protuberance 110 is suitably shaped to receive a commercial discharge valve assembly of the type commonly used in aerosol spray bombs. A compression coil spring 132 is disposed in bore 124 between the housing of valve 130 and ball 128 to develop a predetermined closing force on ball 128. Valve 130- has an upwardly projecting stem 134 which is vertically movable through a cap plate 136 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) secured by screw 3 to wall 106.
As best seen in FIGS. 18 and 19, valve assembly 130 is a known type of push button discharge valve customarily employed in aerosol spray bombs and comprises a casing 131 having a stepped throughbore 133 the upper end of which slidably receives a fiatted cylindrical portion of stem 134. Stem 134 has a groove 137 above portion 135 in which is tightly fitted a flexible rubber washer 138, the outer margin of which is clamped between plate 136 and the upper end of casing 131. The inner periphery of washer 138 hugs the bottom of groove 137 in the raised, closed position of stem 134 (FIG. 18) to thereby seal a radial port 139 which connects groove 137 with the hollow interior of stem 134. Stem 134 is normally biased upwardly to the closed position by a coil compression spring 141 disposed between casing 131 and stem portion 135. When stem 134 is pushed downwardly to the open position of valve assembly 130- as illustrated in FIG. 19, the inner margin of washer 138 is peeled or dished downwardly which pulls the same out of seating relation with the bottom of groove 137 to thereby open port 139 and thus establish communication between bore 124 and nozzle 146.
A trigger button 140 (FIGS. 3, 4, 5 and 6), which may comprise a solid piece of plastic, is provided with a vertical hole 142 to receive stem 134 with a press fit and thereby support button 140 spaced above wall 106. Button 140 has a horizontal bore 144 intersecting bore 142 into which is inserted a conventional discharge nozzle 146. Nozzle 146 has a discharge orifice 148 connected to bore 144 of the trigger button. Nozzle 146 is a conventional nozzle, such for example, as shown in the US. patents to Hansen 2,118,451 and Ziherl 2,556,050, and causes the liquid to issue from orifice 148 in the form of a spray. Trigger 140* is preferably inclined at an angle to wall 106 and has a protuberance 152 at its remote end adapted to abut and seat on wall 106 when button 140- is depressed by finger pressure to the valve actuating position of FIG. 6.
Spray head 24 is completed by a cap 156 which has a cylindrical skirt 158 received with a friction slip fit on a ring 160 which extends upwardly from wall 106. Cap 156 has a top wall 162 with an oval opening 164 (FIG. 3) therein and a pair of dependent tabs 166 (FIG. 4) along opposite sides of the opening in which trigger button 140 is slidably nested and guided. Top wall 162 is inclined parallel to button 140 (FIG. 5) and is adapted to house the button 140 recessed slightly below wall 162 to help prevent accidental actuation of the discharge valve. Cap 156 has a suitable opening 163 in skirt 158 which permits unobstructed discharge of liquid spray from nozzle 146.
Preferably the above described structure of the spray unit 20 is made substantially entirely of suitable plastic material, and the part configurations illustrated are well suited to mass production injection molding techniques.
Spray head 24 and cover 30 are intended to be a self-contained unit which, although readily disassembled for service, is normally left intact once assembled. However receptacle 25 is readily removable from the spray head 24 and cover 30 assembly by grasping skirt 100 in one hand, rotating receptacle 25 by means of flange 104 to thereby unscrew the receptacle from cover 30, and then slipping the receptacle downwardly (as viewed in the drawings) out of skirt 100. Receptacle 25 may then be filled through its open upper end with a liquid 170 to be dispensed, preferably up to a liquid fill line 172 which is suitably embossed or otherwise formed on the sidewall of receptacle 25 at a point spaced sufficiently below wall 32 to insure that the liquid is not displaced beyond the top of the receptacle upon re-insertion of the spray head 24 and cover 30 assem bly. Receptacle 25 is then re-inserted upwardly into skirt 100 and cover 30 screwed back into the upper end of the receptacle, thereby closing the receptacle with a liquid tight seal. With cover 30 secured in place receptacle 25 is liquid tight with its outlets closed or sealed by valves 92, 128 and 130. Device 20 is now ready for operation, chamber 114 being empty and hence spray head 24 being held in raised position (FIGS. 2 and 5) by spring 76.
To operate spray device 20, skirt 100 may be grasped in one hand and pushed downwardly against the pressure of spring 76 while container 22 is supported against movement, as by resting the same against a surface as illustrated in FIG. 2, until flange 102 abuts the flange 104 as illustrated in FIG. 6. It is an easy matter to manually apply considerable cocking force to the device merely by placing the same on a table or counter and leaning or pressing down on the same with a straight-arm action so that the operators body weight is directly applied to the device to assist in pushing it downwardly to cocked position. As head 24 is pushed downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 5 to that shown in FIG. 6, cylinder 108 slides downwardly within guide 36, thereby compressing spring 76 and simultaneously expanding the volume of chamber 114 and thus creating a negative or sub-atmospheric pressure in the same. This pressure closes ball 128 on its seat and opens check ball 86 so that the liquid 170 under atmospheric pressure in receptacle 25 is forced upwardly via filter 60, fitting 58, sleeve 56, passage 78, past check ball 86 into chamber 90 and thence via ports 88 into chamber 114.
It is to be understood that the liquid remaining in receptacle 25 is maintained under atmospheric pressure by forcing or bleeding in air automatically as the liquid is withdrawn therefrom. Outside atmosphere preferably enters the closed container via the normal sliding clearance space between skirt 100 and Wall 25 into the headspace below wall 106, thence via the sliding clearance space between cylinder 108 and guide 36 downwardly into the space beneath the lower end of cylinder 108 and wall 38 of guide 36, and then to the interior of the container via valve 92. These air leakage spaces provided by the normal sliding clearance of the parts are shown only in FIGURE 5 and on an exaggerated scale therein, the leakage air path being indicated by small arrows in FIG- URE' 5 associated with the aforementioned sliding clearance spaces. Any excess air pressure thus generated by downward movement of spray head 24 relative to container 22 will tend to leak back to atmosphere via the same route.
When the downwardly applied manual force is released from head 24, the force of the fully compressed spring 7-6 acts upwardly on head 24, tending to raise the same on container 22, thereby tending to raise cylinder 108 and force plug 64 toward piston 70 which is fixed with respect to container 22. The spring force thus pressurizes the liquid which is trapped in chamber 114 between the closed inlet check valve 86 and discharge valve 130. Ball 128 functions as a pressure regulator and is designed to unseat under this pressure to permit the pressurized liquid to reach valve 130.
With spray device 20 now cocked and chamber 114 fully loaded, skirt may be grasped as shown in FIG. 1 and button 140 depressed by applying light pressure with the index finger, thereby depressing stern 134 of valve and opening the same to release pressurized liquid from chamber 114 via passages 120, 122, around ball 128, through valve 130, passage 144 and nozzle 146. The pressure exerted on the liquid in chamber 114 by spring 76 is sufficient to generate a high quality, very fine mist spray comparable to that produced by conventional aerosol bombs. Button may be depressed intermittently or continuously as desired until chamber 114 has been collapsed by spring 76, plug 64 then abutting shoulder 68 of stem 48 (see FIG. 5). When thus spraying liquid from sprayer 20, the user grips only skirt 100 with one hand as illustrated in FIG. 1, and hence movement of receptacle 25 downwardly out of skirt 100 is neither felt by the user nor does it in anyway hamper accurate aiming of the spray from nozzle 146. The volumetric capacity of chamber -114 is preferably no more than that required for the average single use, for example, five cubic centimeters. However, as additional spray may be required, it is a simple matter to again push down on head 24 to reload chamber 114. When all of the liquid has been withdrawn from receptacle 25, it is also a simple matter to refill receptacle 25 as described previously. The volumetric capacity of chamber 170 is greatly in excess of chamber 114, and may be for example up to eight fluid ounces. Different liquids may be used from time to time merely by rinsing the sprayer 20 before refilling with the new liquid.
Due to the telescopic movement of the device, the user will always know how much compressed liquid there is in chamber 114 merely by noting the position of head 24 relative to container 22. When the unit is full, i.e., chamber 114 loaded, head 24 is all the way down on container 22 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 6. As the liquid is sprayed, container 22 will progressively protrude from skirt 100 until it reaches the FIG. 2 position. When spray ing with head 24 in an upright position as shown in FIG. 1, the weight of container 22 plus that of the liquid contained therein acts in the direction of expansion of spring 76 and thus augments spring force in pressurizing the liquid in chamber 114.
Another feature of spray device 20 is the provision of valve 128 which automatically controls the flow of liquid being discharged under pressure from chamber 114. Ball 128 is normally maintained open by pressure liquid from chamber 114, allowing unrestricted flow of liquid therepast, provided that the liquid pressure remains above a predetermined minimum pressure. Should pressure drop below the pre-set level, spring 132 will force ball 128 closed. Valve 128 thus insures that liquid reaching the trigger valve 130 is maintained above a minimum pressure necessary to insure a consistently high quality spray with no droplets or dribble which otherwise might result from a low pressure condition occurring near the end of the expansion stroke of spring 76 as plug 64 nears its FIG. 5 position.
The automatic container pressure valve 92 maintains normal atmospheric pressure within the container by bleeding in air automatically as liquid is withdrawn during loading of chamber 114. When head 24 is pushed downwardly to cock the device, the rather rapid downward movement of cylinder 108 within guide 36 tends to momentarily pressurize the air trapped in this space. This pressurized air opens valve 92 and enters receptacle 25 until the excess air in this space can leak via the aforementioned leakage path between the moving parts 108, 36 and between skirt 100 and wall 25 to atmosphere. While some excess air may thus enter the container and temporarily pressurize it during the above action, any excess pressure thus built up within the container will be slight and will automatically keep valve 92 shut until the need for further equalization arises.
The removable cap 156 is held securely in place by a snug friction fit but may be readily removed should the nozzle require attention. Removing the cap exposes trigger 140 and spray nozzle 146. These parts may be easily removed since they too are preferably held in position by snug friction fits. Since device 20 is intended for use with many different types of liquids, more efficient operation may be accomplished by installing the correct spray nozzle when changing liquids, this being easily accomplished by the user by removing the cap and substituting the proper spray nozzle.
From the foregoing description, it will now be apparent that the present invention provides an automatic hand sprayer which amply fulfills the stated objects. Sprayer 20 is completely safe whether in the cocked or reload condition, and requires no external power source to produce the spray mist. Since container 22 is not pres surized but rather merely serves as a convenient reservoir to hold an ample supply of the liquid to be sprayed, it is not subject to the explosion hazards of the common aerosol spray bombs which, even when empty, present a serious hazard and must be carefully discarded. This result is accomplished in accordance with the present invention by extracting only a small quantity of liquid from the atmospheric reservoir and then mechanically pressurizing this quantity of liquid by a spring. Hence the quantity of liquid under pressure is only that which will be used immediately by the operator, and it is not pressurized until needed. Spray unit 20 will function regardless of altitude without danger of malfunction or leak, thereby permitting its use in fiight and making commercial shipment of filled spray units feasible. Moreover, device 20 may be used in any position, either as shown in the drawings, upside down or sideways, without thereby impairing its functioning or efiiciency, an important advantage compared to aerosol bombs which cannot be used except in an upright position. Since no pressurizing gas or other foreign propellant is required, the liquid is not subject to contamination or dilution in the container. As a result, the device is ideally suited in the field of medicine for accurate, controlled, sterile dispensing of antibiotics, etc. as well as in the cosmetic field as an eflicient, convenient personal dispenser of the many liquid products in constant use such as perfumes, fragrant waters, deodorants, hair sprays, etc. The device is reliable due to its simplified construction and operational features and is capable of delivering an extremely high quality spray. In addition, it permits an ultimate reduction in the cost of the liquid product to the consumer since it provides a refillable container.
FIGS. -14 inclusive illustrate a modified sprayer 200 which is also constructed in accordance with the present invention. Sprayer 200 is intended to be manufactured as a miniature version of sprayer particularly adapted for spray mist dispensing of liquid cosmetics and medicinals. Referring to FIG. 13, sprayer 200 comprises a container 202 made up of a receptacle 204, open at its upper end and closed at its bottom end by a wall 206, and a cover and guide unit 208 which is inserted into the open upper end of receptacle 204 to serve as the cover for container 202. Cover unit 208 has a wall 210 at its upper end externally threaded to screw into internal threads 212 provided at the upper end of receptacle 204, A flange 211 projects radially outwardly from wall 210 beyond the outer periphery of container 202 to facilitate finger gripping and operation of sprayer 200 as explained hereinafter. A guide cylinder 214 extends downwardly from wall 210 into receptacle 204 and is closed at its lower end by a threaded plug 216. Plug 216 has a center hole 218 through which is inserted the neck 220 of a piston stem 222, the same being fixed to guide 214 by a snap ring 224 received in a groove of neck 220 as in spray unit 20. A piston 226 is integral with the upper end of stem 222 and carries an O-ring seal 228 in an external groove thereof. A passage 230 extends axially through stem 222, communicating at its lower end by a filter pedestal 232 with the liquid 234 filling the sump of receptacle 204. The upper end of passage 230 opens into a valve chamber 236 containing a check ball 238 which floats between a valve seat 240 and an apertured retainer 242 press fitted in chamber 236.
A spray head 250 is reciprocably mounted on container 202 and comprises a cylinder 252 slidably received within bore 254 of guide 214, cylinder 252 in turn having a bore 256 slidably receiving piston 226 with a liquid seal fit. A compression coil spring 270 encircles stem 222 within cylinder 252 and bears at its ends against cap 258 and piston 226. Cylinder 252 is closed at its upper end by an integral head 272 which slides in a cylindrical extension 274 of guide 214. Head 272, bore 256 and piston 226 define therebetween a liquid pressurizing chamber 276 from which liquid is discharged via an outlet 278 into a trigger valve assembly 280 similar to the previously described trigger valve assembly 130. Valve 280 is mounted in head 272 and securely retained therein by a plate 282 secured by screws 284 to head 272. Valve 280 has a vertically movable actuating stem 286 which extends freely through plate 282 to receive a push button 288 on the upper end thereof. Button 288 carries a discharge nozzle 290 similar to nozzle 146, and suitable communicating passageways are provided in nozzle 290, button 288 and valve 280- for conducting pressurized liquid from chamber 276 to discharge orifice 292 when button 288 is depressed by finger pressure.
Spray head 250 also includes a removable cap 294 having a pair of bosses 296 and 298 (FIG. 14) provided with vertical holes therethrough for receiving screws 300 (FIG. 12) which are threaded into plate 282 to thereby secure cap 294 to the head 250. Cap 294 has a skirt 302 which is slidably guided on extension 274. A suitable spray opening 304 (FIG. 13) is provided in skirt 302 to permit unobstructed discharge of the liquid spray from nozzle 290. The top wall 306 of cap 294 likewise has a circular opening 308 freely receiving the upper end of button 288.
The pressure inside container 202 is maintained in equalized condition with outside atmospheric pressure by a valve 310 comprising a flexible flat washer-type disc made of neoprene or similar material which fits within a recess 312 on the underside of plug 216 and is held in position by snap ring 224. Valve 310 operates as a one- Way check valve to admit air via a hole 314 in plug 216 to the liquid sump of the receptacle from the airspace in guide 214, this space in turn being connected to outside atmosphere via the normal working tolerance between cap 258 and bore 260, cylinder 252 and bore 254, and between extension 274 and the head parts 272 and 302. Valve 310 thus operates in a manner similar to valve 92 described previously.
To fill container 202 with liquid receptacle 204 is unscrewed from cover unit 208, the requisite amount of liquid poured into the open upper end of the receptacle and then these parts screwed back together again. To load chamber 276 with liquid, cap 294 is pulled upwardly or away from receptacle 204, against the pressure of spring 270, thereby expanding the volume of chamber 276 and thus sucking liquid up via passage 230 and past check ball 238 into the chamber. When cap 294 is released, check ball 238 seats and, assuming trigger valve 280 is closed, the liquid in chamber 276 is pressurized as determined by the force of the fully compressed spring 270. Sprayer 200 is now ready for dispensing liquid, which may be done at will by depressing button 288 to release the liquid under high pressure via discharge nozzle 290, thereby producing an extremely high quality spray. As the liquid in chamber 276 is exhausted, expansion of spring 270 automatically returns the con- 9 tainer 202 and head 250 together to the closed position illustrated in FIG. 11.
Sprayer 200 is simple in construction and provides the aforementioned advantages of sprayer unit 20, and in addition is readily adapted for manufacture in miniature form. For example, sprayer 200 is shown actual size in FIGS. 10 and 11 of the drawings, and when collapsed may be about four inches in length and about an inch is diameter, thereby easily being carried in a ladys purse and providing a diminutive and attractive personal cosmetic dispenser. When made to this scale, the device may be cocked with one hand by holding the container 202 snugly in the palm of one hand with the last three fingers and using the thumb and index finger to grasp and push upwardly on the cap 294 until the upward travel is stopped automatically.
A further feature of sprayer 200 is the manner in which index finger pressure when applied to button 288 to operate valve 280 cooperates with spring 270 to augment its expansion force and thereby increase the pressure on the liquid in chamber 276. Thus when spraying liquid from sprayer 200', the thumb and middle finger naturally encircle receptacle 204 immediately below flange 211, flange 211 thus serving as a grip stop which prevents upward movement of the thumb and middle finger as the index finger is pressed downwardly on button 288. It has been found that suflicient manually generated force may be obtained when the average person operates sprayer 200 in this manner so that the strength of spring 270 may be reduced to the point where it need only develop about twenty to twenty-five percent of the required liquid pressurizing force, the balance being developed by the operator, albeit unconsciously on his part. In addition to developing a portion of the liquid pressurizing force, spring 270 serves to hold sprayer 200 fully collapsed as shown in FIG. 11 when sprayer 200 is not in use and chamber 276 is empty, and also provides constant pressurizing force on the liquid drawn into chamber 276 after sprayer 200 has been cocked so that inlet valve 238 is maintained reliably seated by liquid pressure in all positions of the sprayer. Sprayer 200 will thus stay cocked until it is desired to spray liquid, and will hold any intermediate position between fully extended (FIG. 10) and fully collapsed (FIG. 11) upon release of trigger finger pressure. Flange 211 also insures that the operators fingers are not pinched between the lower edge of skirt 302 and container 202 as these two parts are telescoped together during spray dispensing.
FIGS. 15, 16 and 17 illustrate another modification of a liquid spraying device constructed in accordance with the present invention. Sprayer 400 includes a container 402 comprising a cylindrical receptacle 404 closed at its lower end by a bottom wall 406 and having an open upper end which is closed by a removable cover and cylinder unit 408. Cover unit 408 has a wall 410 with a dependent skirt 412 externally threaded to screw into the internal threads 414 provided at the upper end of receptacle 404. A cylinder 416 extends downwardly from the center of wall 410 and has an internally threaded open upper end and a wall 418 closing its lower end. A reduced diameter lower portion 420 of cylinder 416 provides a chamber 422 for receiving a coil compression spring 424 which bottoms at its lower end against wall 418 and at its upper end against the underside of a piston 426. A spring retainer sleeve 427 extends downwardly from piston 426 to receive the upper end of spring 424 therearound.
Piston 426 carries an O-ring seal 428 to provide a liquid tight sliding fit of the piston in a bore 430 of cylinder 416. The lower limit of piston travel is determined by a flange 484 abutting a flange 486 (described hereinafter) so that travel of piston 426 stops short of a shoulder 432 at the junction of bore 430 and chamber 422, and the upper limit of piston travel is defined by a hollow plug 434 which screws into the upper end of cylinder 416. Piston 426 has a stem 436 which slidably extends through the central opening 438 of plug 434. An O-ring 440 is carried in an internal groove of plug 434 and provides a liquid tight seal around stern 436. The spring chamber is vented to atmosphere via a passage 437 extending axially through stem 436. The upper side of piston 426 is spaced from the underside of plug 434 by a shoulder portion 442. With this arrangement, a liquid pressurizing chamber 444 is defined axially .between plug 434 and piston 426 and radially between bore 430 and stem 436. A venting valve 450', similar to the previously described flap valve 310, is provided in a recess on the underside of wall 418 to admit air from chamber 422 to the interior of receptacle 404 via a passage 452 in wall 418 to thereby maintain atmospheric pressure in the liquid reservoir of receptacle 404. Valve 450 is retained by a stud 454 inserted through wall 418 with a press fit.
Cover and cylinder unit 408 also has an integral fitting 456 disposed adjacent cylinder 416 with a stepped vertical bore 458 therein connected by a radial passage 460 with chamber 444. An inlet check ball 462 is freely movable in bore 458 and adapted to seat on a valve seat 464. A dip tube 466 has its upper end slipped onto a nipple 468 of fitting 456 and carries a filter fitting 470 at its lower end adjacent bottom wall 406. A male coupling 472 is inserted with a press fit into the upper end of bore 458 and has a narrow diameter passage 474 to provide an outlet from chamber 444.
Sprayer 400 also includes a spray head 480 comprising a cylindrical sleeve 482 closed at its upper end by a wall 483 and open at its lower end which slips over and slides along the exterior of container 402 for telescopic movement relative thereto. The lower edge of skirt 482 has a knurled flange 484 which abuts a knurled flange 486 at the base of receptacle 404 when head 480 has been depressed to a collapsed, cocked position similar to the corresponding position of sprayer 20 illustrated in FIG. 6. Skirt 482 is non-rotatably keyed to container 402 by a radial projection or key 488 (FIGS. 15 and 17) which is slidably received in a groove 490 extending axially along the inner wall of skirt 482. Wall 483 has a central aperture 494 through which extends the reduced diameter upper end 496 of stem 436. Stem 436 is fixed to wall 483 by a snap ring 498 which seats in a groove formed in end 496, stem 436 having a shoulder 500' which abuts the underside of wall 483. A cup-like well 502 depends from Wall 483 for receiving a known type of trigger valve assembly 504 which may be identical to valve described previously. Valve assembly 504 is secured in well 502 by a cover plate 506 similar to plate 136 described previously, and has a vertically movable trigger conduit 508 on which is mounted a trigger button 510, similar to trigger button 140 of FIGS. 5 and 6. Button 510 carries a spray nozzle 512 which may be identical to nozzle 146, and internal passages in button 510 connect nozzle 512 with conduit 508. A circular cap 514 has a removable slip fit on a ring 516 of head 480, similar to cap 156, and an opening 518 in the top wall of cap 514 permits access to the recessed trigger button 510.
The liquid outlet connection between chamber 444 and valve assembly 504 is completed by a flexible conduit 520 preferably comprising a plastic outer tube 522 adapted to slip snugly at its lower end onto coupling 472 and at its upper end onto a nipple 524 of valve assembly 504. Tube 522 slidably receives with a close fit a smaller diameter plastic inner tube 524 which registers at one end with passage 474 of coupling 472 and at the other with nipple 524. With this dual tube arrangement, the volumetric capacity of conduit 520 is reduced to a minimum while providing a reinforced conduit. Conduit 520 coils about around stem 436 so as to flex and accommodate telescopic movement of spray head 400 on container 402.
The operation of sprayer 400 is generally similar to that of sprayer 20, described previously. Thus, with container 402 supported against movement as by resting the same on a table top or counter, skirt 482 is grasped in one hand and pushed downwardly, thereby moving piston 426 downwardly against the pressure of spring 424, until flange 484 abuts flange 486. Air in the headspace above wall 410 escapes through the small sliding clearance between receptacle 404 and skirt 482. As head 480 is pushed downwardly, piston 426 compresses Spring 424 while simultaneously expanding the volume of chamber 444 and thus creating a negative or sub-atmospheric pressure in the same. Hence, atmospheric pressure acting on the liquid in receptacle 404 forces the same up tube 466, past inlet check ball 462 and via passage 460 into chamber 444. As liquid is thus withdrawn from the receptacle 404, air pressure therein is equalized by atmospheric air enter ing via cap 514, stem passage 437, spring chamber 422 and flap valve 450.
When the downwardly applied manual force is released from head 480, the force of the fully compressed spring 424 acts upwardly on piston 426 and thus pressurizes the liquid trapped in chamber 444 between check valve 462 and discharge valve 504. The weight of the liquid contained in receptacle 404 also acts downwardly on container 402 and thus assists spring 424 in pressurizing the liquid in chamber 444 when the sprayer is being used upright. With sprayer 400 cocked and chamber 444 fully loaded, skirt 480 may now be grasped in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 1 with respect to sprayer 20 and button 510 depressed by applying light finger pressure with the index finger. This depresses stem 508 and thereby opens valve 504 to release pressurized liquid from chamber 444 via passages 460, 474 and conduit 520. The pressure exerted by spring 424 on the liquid in chamber 444 is suificient to generate a high quality, very fine mist spray comparable to that produced by conventional aerosol bombs. Sprayer 400 may be readily opened for refilling by grasping flange 486 in one hand and the sleeve 482 in the other and then these parts rotated relative to one another to unscrew receptacle 404 from the covercylinder unit 408.
Sprayer 400 ditfers from the previous embodiments in that it has a common inlet and outlet passage 460 for conducting liquid to and from the top of chamber 444 when sprayer 400' is in its normal upright position as viewed in FIG. 15. Due to this feature, any air trapped in chamber 444 and conduit 520 is positively and immediately expelled when valve 504 is depressed with the unit held in the normal upright position. Hence any air sucked into the system, as may occur through careless cocking of the unit and also when the user allows the liquid level to drop below the inlet tip 470, will tend to accumulate in the headspace of chamber 444 above the liquid therein and hence will be expelled in advance of the liquid. Such trapped air is expelled so quickly upon depressing the trigger button that the average user is unaware that such air is being expelled in advance of the liquid spraying operation.
Sprayer 400 also represents a simplification in structure over the previous embodiments in that guide 36 of sprayer 20 is eliminated, piston 426 and cylinder 416 being guided for non-tilting reciprocating movement by the telescopic slip-fit mounting of skirt 482 onto receptacle 402 as well as by stem 436 sliding in plug 434. In addition, the cross bored feed holes 88 in piston 70 of sprayer 20 are eliminated. Due to the reduction in size of the pump structure which projects into receptacle 404, the volumetric capacity of container 402 is correspondingly increased without increasing the exterior dimensions thereof. These features also reduce mold and tooling costs, facilitate manufacturing the sprayer from plastic materials and reduce the frictional resistance to telescopic movement of the unit.
What is claimed is:
1. A liquid spraying device comprising container means including a receptacle adapted to hold a quantity of liquid with an opening for filling the same with the liquid and a cover adapted to removably close said liquid fill opening, spray pressurizing head means movably mounted on said container means, pump means including first and second members movable relative to one another and defining a liquid pressurizing chamber, said first member being operably connected in fixed relation to one of said container and head means, said second member being operably connected in fixed relation to the other of said container and head means whereby movement of said container means and head means relative to each other in one direction increases the volume of said chamber and in the other direction decreases the volume of said chamber, an inlet conduit adapted to conduct the liquid in the receptacle to said chamber, an inlet check valve in said inlet conduit, a spray nozzle mounted on said device, an outlet conduit adapted to conduct pressurized liquid from said chamber to said spray nozzle, a discharge valve in said outlet conduit for controlling discharge of pressurized liquid from said chamber via said spray nozzle, and biasing means in said device operably connected to bias said members in said other direction and to bias said head means in a direction away from said receptacle whereby said biasing means is stressed when said device is manually actuated to move said head means and said container means relative to one another and thereby draw liquid from said receptacle into said chamber.
2. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein said outlet conduit includes a pressure regulating valve between said discharge valve and said chamber and a spring biasing said regulating valve toward closed position against flow of fluid from said chamber toward said discharge valve for establishing a minim-um liquid pressure at said discharge valve.
3. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein said spray head means protrudes from one end of said device and said receptacle protrudes from the other end of said device opposite said one end, said biasing means tending to move said spray head means to elongate said device whereby said manual actuation shortens said device.
4. The combination set forth in claim 3 wherein said spray head means has a skirt open at one end slidably telescopically received open end first over the exterior of said receptacle.
5. The combination set forth in claim 4 wherein said receptacle has a bottom end adapted to protrude beyond the open end of said skirt in all positions of said spray head means on said container means.
6. The combination set forth in claim 4 wherein said receptacle is threadably connected to said cover, said cover and said spray head means having slidably engagcd cooperating keying means adapted to prevent relative rotation therebetween.
7. The combination set forth in claim 6 wherein said skirt and said receptacle each have a flange at the respective lower ends thereof to facilitate screwing said receptacle onto and ofi of said cover.
8. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein said first member comprises a cylinder and said second member comprises a piston working in said cylinder, said biasing means comprising a spring in said pump biasing said cylinder and said piston in the direction tending to decrease said chamber to pressurize liquid therein.
9. The combination set forth in claim 8 wherein said spring comprises a compression coil spring housed in said cylinder on the opposite side of said piston from said chamber.
10. A liquid spraying device comprising container means including a receptacle adapted to hold a quantity of liquid with an opening for filling the same with the liquid and a cover adapted to removably close said liquid fill opening, spray head means movably mounted on said container means, a liquid pressurizing pump including a cylinder and a piston defining a liquid pressurizing chamber, said cylinder being operably connected in fixed relation to one of said container means and spray head means and said piston being operably connected in fixed relation to the other of said means whereby movement of saidcontainer means and spray head means relative to each other in one direction increases the volume of said liquid pressurizing chamber and in the other direction decreases the volume of said pressurizing chamber, a spring in said pump for biasing said cylinder and said piston in the direction tending to decrease said chamber to pressurize liquid therein, an inlet conduit adapted to conduct the liquid in the receptacle to said chamber, an inlet check valve in said inlet conduit, an outlet conduit adapted to conduct pressurized liquid from said chamber to said spray head means and a discharge valve in said outlet conduit for controlling discharge of pressurized liquid from said chamber via said spray head means, and means defining a passage extending through said cover and communicating between an airspace in said spray head means and a liquid receiving space in said receptacle, said airspace being in communication with outside atmosphere, and a check valve for admitting air from said passage to said liquid receiving space but preventing reverse liquid flow therebetween.
11. A manually operated liquid spraying device adapted to be held in the hand comprising a normally upright cylindrical receptacle having a closed bottom end and an open top end, a cover removably secured to said receptacle for closing the top end thereof with a liquid tight seal to thereby provide a closed container for storing the liquid to be sprayed from said device, a pump assembly mounted on said cover and extending therethrough into said receptacle, a spray head having a skirt telescopically slidable on the exterior of said receptacle whereby said spray head is manually reciprocable axially of said container adjacent the upper end thereof, said spray head having a spray nozzle and discharge valve assembly mounted thereon, said pump assembly including piston and cylinder members extending axially of said container and reciprocable relative to one another to define a variable volume liquid pressurizing chamber, one of said members being rigidly connected in fixed relation to said spray head and the other of said members being rigidly connected in fixed relation to said cover whereby reciprocation of said spray head assembly reciprocates said members an inlet conduit and check valve associated therewith for conducting liquid from the receptacle to said chamber, an outlet conduit for conducting liquid from said chamber to said nozzle and discharge valve assembly and resilient means operably connected to said members for biasing the same in a direction tending to decrease the volume of said chamber whereby said resilient means is stressed when said members are manually actuated to telescope said skirt and receptacle and increase the volume of said chamber and thereby draw liquid from said receptacle into said chamber, said skirt extending axially over the major portion of the axial distance between the top and bottom ends of said receptacle in the fully telescoped condition of said members when the volume of said chamber is at its maximum whereby said skirt and receptacle serve as a pilot for the axial reciprocable movement of said piston and cylinder members.
12. A liquid spraying device comprising a container having a reservoir adapted to hold a quantity of liquid under atmospheric pressure and an opening for filling the same with liquid, said container including a cover adapted to close said opening and having guide means extending into the container, a spray head reciprocably mounted on said container including a cylinder slidably received in said guide means and having an end wall disposed in said guide means, a piston slidably disposed in said cylinder having a hollow stem extending therefrom slidably through said cylinder end wall and fixedly through said guide means into the liquid reservoir of said container, said piston and cylinder defining a liquid pressurizing chamber therebetween, a spring for biasing said cylinder in a direction tending to collapse said chamber, supply passage means including said stem for conducting liquid from the reservoir to said chamber, an inlet check valve in said supply passage means, said spray head including a spray nozzle and discharge passage means communicating said chamber with said nozzle and including a discharge valve operable for controlling discharge of liquid under spring pressure from said chamber via said nozzle in the form of a spray.
13. A liquid spraying device including in combination a container comprising an upright cylindrical receptacle closed at its bottom end and open at its upper end and a cover adapted to removably close the upper end of said receptacle, said cover having a cylinder extending into said receptacle, upper and lower support means respectively disposed at the upper and lower ends of said cylinder, a spray head comprising a cylindrical sleeve having a transverse support at the upper end thereof and a skirt open at its lower end dependent from said support and slidably telescoped open end first onto said receptacle, a piston slidably disposed in said cylinder and having a stem extending slidably through said upper support means and fixed at its upper end to said spray head, a liquid pressurizing chamber in said cylinder between said piston and said upper support means, a compression spring housed in said cylinder in a spring chamber between said piston and said lower support means for biasing said piston upwardly in said cylinder, an inlet conduit adapted to conduct liquid from the interior region of said receptacle adjacent said bottom end thereof to the upper end of said chamber, an inlet check valve operably disposed in said inlet conduit, a spray nozzle mounted on said spray head, an outlet conduit adapted to conduct pressurized liquid from the upper end of said chamber to said nozzle and a discharge valve mounted on said spray head and operably connected in said outlet conduit to control liquid flow in said outlet conduit to said nozzle whereby pushing said spray head toward said receptacle draws liquid into said chamber and compresses said spring while shortening said device.
14. The combination set forth in claim 13 wherein said stem has a passage extending axially therethrough and opening at its upper end to atmosphere and at its lower end to said spring chamber of said cylinder, said lower support means of said cylinder having a vent passage communicating between said spring chamber and the interior of said receptacle and a check valve controlling said vent passage for admitting air from said cylinder to the interior of said receptacle but preventing flow of liquid in the opposite direction.
15. The combination set forth in claim 13 wherein said inlet conduit comprises a conduit fitting integral with said cover adjacent the exterior of said cylinder with an inlet fitting dependent therefrom, a dip tube having its upper end secured to said inlet fitting, an inlet filter fitting secured to the lower end of said dip tube adjacent the bottom of said receptacle, a valve chamber in said conduit fitting above said inlet fitting, a valve seat at the upper end of said inlet fitting for said inlet check valve and a passage extending radially of said cylinder connecting said valve chamber with said liquid pressurizing chamber.
16. The combination set forth in claim 13 wherein said outlet conduit comprises flexible tube means interconnecting said liquid pressurizing chamber with said discharge valve, said tube means being disposed interiorly of said spray head between said cover and said transverse support.
17. The combination set forth in claim 16 wherein said flexible tube means comprises an outer tube and an inner tube concentrically received in said outer tube with a close fit, the hollow interior of said inner tube providing the communication for conducting the pressurized liquid 15 between said liquid pressurizing chamber and said discharge valve.
18. The combination set forth in claim 13 wherein said inlet and outlet conduits have a common passageway connected thereto between said valves and communicating with said liquid pressurizing chamber adjacent the upper end thereof, and means venting said spring chamber to the interior region of said receptacle.
19. The combination set forth in claim 13 wherein said cover and said skirt each have cooperative keying means slidably interengaged to permit said telescopic movement and adapted to prevent relative rotation between said skirt and cover, said cover and said receptacle having cooperative threads for removably securing the same to one another.
20. The combination set forth in claim 19 wherein said skirt and said receptacle each have a flange around the respective lower ends thereof each adapted to be manually grasped for screwing said receptacle onto and off of said cover.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT E. REEVES, Primary Examiner N. L. STACK, JR., Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.