US 3478933 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 18, 1969 F. ROUSSELOT 3, 7
VALVE AND PROPELLANT CARTRIDGE ASSEMBLY FOR PUSHBUTTON AEROSOL DISPENSER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 23, 1968 A 3 I2 51 4 2 INVENTOR A FELIX ROUSSELOT p n P\ P 5 %WJZ% 5 fm ATTORNEYS Nov. 18, 1969 F. ROUSSELOT 3, 7
VALVE AND FROPELLANT CARTRIDGE ASSEMBLY FOR PUSHBUTTON AEROSOL DISPENSER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 23, 1968 INVENT OR FELIX ROUSSELOT ATTORNEYS United States Patent 92 713 Int. Cl. 367d 5/54; B 65d 83/14; A62c 13/38 US. Cl. 222193 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A valve and cartridge assembly for aerosol type dispensers of fluid products adapted to be attached to a product container for containing the fluid product to be dispensed and accommodate the propellant cartridge within the product container, said assembly comprising a hollow valve stem, a pushbutton actuator on the upper end of said stern and having a nozzle therein communicating with said hollow stem, a cap member adapted to fit over a product container and having an aperture therein through which the hollow stem is movable, a collar depending from the under side of the cap, a valve assembly in the collar comprising two annular flexible gaskets having a rigid ring between them, the inside diameter of the ring being greater than the inside diameter of the gaskets so that the stem which engages the inner peripheries of the gaskets can flex the gaskets when the stem is depressed, a dip tube opening into the assembly and communicating with a flow path for the fluid product through the assembly and the stem, and a propellant cartridge having a mouth held by the collar against the lowermost of the gaskets and holding the gaskets and rings tightly together, the mouth of the cartridge being open to a propellant flow path through the valve assembly and the hollow of the stem, said assembly also having an air flow path therethrough for admitting air to the container, the gaskets obturating the respective flow paths and opening them when the hollow stem is depressed.
The present invention relates to an aerosol type dispenser with pushbutton control for fractional distribution, especially in spray form, of various products in a fluid, i.e. liquid or pulverulent solid state, and more particularly to a valve and propellant cartridge assembly therefor.
The dispenser is generally of the type comprising an outer or product container containing the product to be distributed, an inner vessel or cartridge containing a propellant gas under pressure, especially in liquefied form, and a three-way valve actuated by the pushbutton and mounted on the outer or product container and having the propellant cartridge mounted thereon.
The function of the valve, when actuated, is to allow the propellant to escape to the outside while aspirating the fluid from the product container by a venturi effect into a suitably fashioned spray nozzle. The valve transmits the suction from the spray nozzle to a tube dipping into the fluid to be dispensed, thus effecting aspiration of the latter. Finally, the valve serves to connect the normally closed product container to the atmosphere, to prevent subatmospheric pressure in the product container due to withdrawal of the dispensed product which pressure would interfere with the discharge of the product.
The three-way valve thus required comprises a highpressure obturating member in the path of the propellant and low-pressure obturating means in the paths of the product to be dispensed and the venting of the product container to the atmosphere.
Dispensers of the kind in question are very convenient 3,478,933 Patented Nov. 18, 1969 to use and very dependable in operation. They provide a fine spray. Furthermore, separation of the stored dispensed product and the liquefied propellant is often advantageous.
One disadvantage of this type of dispenser, however, is the comparatively large number of parts required to make the valve, and the fact that assembly likewise involves many operations. Besides, due to the short travel of the pushbutton, fairly close precision must be observed in the manufacture and assembly of the parts in order that the various closure means will function properly when the pushbutton is pressed. Finally, in such dispensers, some parts, especially the propellant cartridge, are generally made of metal. If the dispenser should be incinerated before this cartridge has been completely emptied, an explosion may result, causing accidents from the violent projection of the metal fragments.
The chief object of the present invention is to eliminate these disadvantages and shortcomings.
According to the invention, the dispenser of the kind referred to above is provided with valve means for three- Way closure, the valve having two elastic packing rings traversed by the stern of the pushbutton. Passages are provided in the valve means for delivery of the product to be dispensed and propellant, respectively, to the spray nozzle. The two gaskets are separated by a rigid ring against which the outer periphery of the gaskets is pressed, the inside diameter of the ring being greater than the inside diameter of the gaskets to allow the gaskets to yield under the action of the stem of the pushbutton.
Preferably, the stack formed by the two gaskets and the spacer ring is housed inside a collar provided on a cap closing the top of the product container, which collar in turn supports the cartridge containing the propellant. The stack is thus imprisoned between the said cap and the mouth of the propellant cartridge held in the collar.
According to an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the gasket between the mouth of the cartridge and the spacer ring has one face controlling the propellant and the other face controlling the active agent, while the other gasket between the ring and the cap controls the admission of outside air.
In an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the stem of the pushbutton has an annular bulge between the two flexible lips of the gaskets, opposite the spacer ring, said control stem, where it passes through the opening in the cap, being smaller in diameter than the cap so as to leave a clearance to let through outside air.
Preferably, the stem of the pushbutton is resiliently urged toward the closed position by a center piece accommodated in the mouth of the propellant cartridge and having a depression therein opening towards the said stem, the annular edge of which depression bears against one of the gaskets around the orifice of the passage provided for the propellant. In particular, this center piece may be attached to the neck of the cartridge by spaced flexible fingers acting as springs and fixed at the other end in the neck of the propellant cartridge. If moreover the propellant cartridge is of plastic material, a distributor which will have no metal parts and having only a very small number of parts which need be assembled can be built.
Other details of the invention will appear from the following description and the accompanying drawings, which show, by way of example and not of limitation, a preferred embodiment of the invention, and in which:
FIG. 1 is an axial cross section of the dispenser with the parts in the rest or non-dispersing position;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the upper part of the disepenser of FIG. 1 with the parts in the operating or dispensing position;
FIGS. 3, 4 and are sections on lines IIIIII, IV- IV and VV, respectvely, of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the valve of FIG. 1 on a larger scale.
The particular embodiment of the invention to be described With reference to FIGS. 1 to 6 of the accompanying drawings, has been shown as a pushbutton distributor for a product 1 to be dispensed in a liquid or possibly a solid pulverulent form. The product 1 is contained in a product container 2, preferably of plastic material in the present embodiment. l
The container 2, after being filled, is closed by a cap 3 likewise of plastic material, for example ultrasonically welded to container 2. The cap 3 is part of the valve means. Depending from the under surface of the cap 3 is an annular collar 4 in which is held the mouth 5 of a propellant cartridge 6. The cartridge 6 is preferably made of highly impermeable plastic material capable of withstanding the pressure of the propellant. For example, if the propellant is a chlorofluorinated hydrocarbon, the cartridge 6 can be made of acetal resin. This cartridge can be manufactured in one piece by injection or extrusion blowing.
In the embodiment shown, the cartridge 6 is made in two parts, in the form shown, and has a fitted bottom part 31 in the form of a hemipshere, fixed by welding to a top part 31a. For this purpose, the top part 31a and the bottom part 31 have beveled edges 32 matching each other. These two parts are welded together along the edges 32 by rotary welding or any other known method. This form of the cartridge 6 makes it possible to modify its size by providing an elongated bottom part corressponding to a longer container 2, while utilizing the same top part 31a.
In all cases, the cartridge 6 is filled with a propellant consisting of a liquefied gas under pressure, schematically indicated at 7. The mouth 5 can be fixed in the collar 4 by bonding or ultrasonic welding of the two parts, providing a completely gas tight joint. In a preferred embodiment, the rim 33 on neck 5 is force fitted into the bottom part of the collar 4 and the free end of the collar 4 is hot flanged under the rim 33 of the neck 5.
In the space between the rounded rim 33 of the neck 5 and the inner face of the cap 3, the distributor valve is arranged. It essentially comprises a stack composed of two annular packing rings 11 and 12 (FIG. 6) between which is interposed a spacer ring 13. The inside diameter of the inner opening of the ring 13 is greater than that of the inner openings of rings 11 and 12, leaving flexible lips 15 and 16 on the inner peripheries of the rings. The assembly formed by the gaskets 11 and 12 is traversed by the stem 17 of the pushbutton, which, Where it passes through a hole 18 in the cap 3, has a diameter smaller than hole 18 so as to provide a rather large clearance.
The control stem 17 is surmounted by a pushbutton 19 in which is provided the spray nozzle 21, for example of the venturi type. This nozzle 21, in a well known manner, comprises a propellant intake chamber followed by a converging portion 23 and a diverging portion 24 opening to the outside of the button 19. In the neck of the ven turi, radial passages 25 are provided, to supply the product 1 to be sprayed. The chamber 22 and passages 25 communicate respectively with two passages 26 and 27 extending parallel to each other in the stem 17. The stem has orifices 28 and 29 opening out of passages 26 and 27, respectively, and arranged at right angles to the centerline of the stem 17 and located at different distances from the transverse wall 41 closing the bottom end of stem 17 Further, the stem 17, near the bottom transverse wall 41, has an annular bulge 42 therearound located opposite the ring 13 and engaging between the lips 15 and 16 of the gaskets 11 and 12. The bulge 42 has tapered shoulders 43 and 44 in contact with the lips 15 and 16 respectively. An annular groove 45 is provided above the shoulder 43 and the annular groove 45 has the edge of gasket 12 engaged therein. The orifice 29 of passage 27 opens out of the bulge 42.
At the rest or non-dispensing position, the stem 17 is held in the position shown in FIG. 1, with the annular bulge 42 urging the gasket 12 against the under side of cap 3. The force is applied to the stem 17 by a center piece 46 in the mouth 5 of the cartridge 6 and attached thereto by a plurality of spaced flexible fingers 47 acting as springs. At rest, these fingers are slightly flexed as shown in FIG. 1. They can be molded in one piece with the cartridge 6. The part of the center piece 46 facing the gasket 12 has a depression therein with a beveled annular edge 48 hearing against the opposing face of gasket 12.
In the embodiment described, the gasket 11 controls not only the passage of propellant in gaseous form to the nozzle 21' by way of passage 26, but also the escape of the product 1 to the nozzle 21 by way of passage 27. The gasket 12 controls the admission of outside air into container 2 through orifice 18, such admission taking place as the container is emptied.
To control dispensing of the product, the spacer ring 13 has on one of its faces a radial groove 51 and has the corresponding outer edge beveled to define with the gasket 11 and collar 4a truncated conical chamber 52 into which the radial groove 51 opens. A nipple 53 located on the inner periphery of the ring 13 normally closes the inner end of radial groove 51 by engaging the surface of gasket 11. A dip tube 54 extends through the collar 4 of cap 3 into the annular chamber '52 and extends to' the bottom of the container 2.
To admit outside air, another groove 55 is provided in the under face of cap 3, and at one end opens into an orifice 56 extending through the collar into the interior of container 2, and at the other end is normally closed by a nipple 57 engaging the upper surface of gasket12.
The dispenser is completed by an annular collar 58 on the top surface of cap 3 surrounding the opening 18 and serving as a stop for the bottom of the pushbutton 19 when pressed by the user. This stop serves to limit the stroke of the pushbutton stem 17. The collar 56 is provided with notches 59 permitting entry of outside air.
The operation of the dispenser thus constructed is easily understood. When the pushbutton 19 is pressed in the direction F (FIG. 2), the parts are moved to the FIG. 2 positions, and the action of the edge of the annular groove 45 on the gasket 12 and of the tapered shoulder 44 on the gasket 11 will flex the two lips 15 and 16 of said gaskets. At the same time, the bottom 41 of the stem 17 thrusts the center piece 46 down, flexing the fingers 47. As a result, the annular edge 48 on the member 46 is withdrawn from its contact with the gasket 11. The propellant contained in cartridge 6 can then flow to the orifice 28 and into the passage 26 and thence to chamber 22 of nozzle 21, where it expands and flows into the atomsphere through the venturi (arrows P).
The suction thus created in the passage 25 is transmitted by passage 27 and orifice 29 to the chamber 61 provided between the bulge 42 and the ring 13. Because gasket 11 has been bent downwardlyaway from the nipple 53 on ring 13, the suction is transmitted through groove 51 to the dip tube 54. The liquid 1 thus rises along this tube through groove 51, chamber 61, orifice 29 entering the passage 27 and passage 25 whence it is sprayed by the flow of gas (arrows L). At the same time, the gasket 12 has been bent downwardly away from the nipple 57, enabling the outside air to pass through notches 59, the opening 18, and travel through the groove 55 and opening 56 into the container 2.
It will be noted that the dispenser has a very simple structure, and is easy to assemble. All that is necessary is a simple stacking of the gaskets 11 and 12 and ring 13, insertion into the collar 4, positoning of the cartridge G,
and the heat sealing of collar 4 around rim 33. Furthermore, the dispenser has no metal parts, so that if it is incinerated when the cartridge 6 has not yet been emptied, and the propellant explodes, there is no risk of dangerous fragmentation.
The dispenser is further distinguished by the fact that one of the gaskets (gasket 11) simultaneously performs the functions of a high-pressure obturator means for the propellant and a low-pressure obturator means for the product to be dispensed.
Obviously the invention is not confined to the foregoing embodiment, which may be modified in various ways. In particular, the propellant cartridge 6 can be made in one piece, or have a metal envelope if metal is desirable. The assembly consisting of the center piece 46 and flexible fingers 47 might then be replaced by a spring bearing on a perforated disc set in the neck 5 of the cartridge 6.
What is claimed is:
1. In an aerosol type dispenser for fluid products having a product container for the fluid product to be dispensed, an assembly comprising a cap member adapted to fit over the product container and having an aperture therein, a valve stem having a hollow therein and having a smaller outside diameter than and movable through said aperture in said cap, a pushbutton actuator on the upper end of said stem and having a nozzle therein communicating with said hollow in said stem, an annular collar depending from the cap around said cap aperture, an upper annular gasket, a rigid ring, and a lower annular gasket stacked within said collar, the rigid ring having an inside diameter greater than that of said gaskets, said valve stem having means thereon engaging said gaskets for flexing the inner edges thereof, a propellant cartridge having an upper open end engaged in the lower end of said annular collar between the lower gasket and the bottom of said collar, a center piece resiliently mounted in the mouth of said propellant cartridge and having an annular upwardly extending projection thereon normally engaged with the lower gasket, said valve stem having the lower end engaged with said center piece and having an opening therein opening out of the valve stem from said hollow into the space between said center piece and said lower gasket within said annular upwardly extending projection, a dip tube mounted in said collar and opening through said collar, said stem having a fluid product flow path therethrough separate from the hollow thereof and extending from the nozzle to a point within said annular collar, and the assembly of gaskets, ring, annular collar and cap having an air flow path therethrough from the space beneath said cap to said cap aperture obturated by one of said gaskets and a fluid product flow path from said dip tube to the fluid product flow path in said stem and obturated by the other of said gaskets.
2. A valve assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which the under face of said cap has a groove therein opening out through the outside of the valve assembly and having an obstruction in the end thereof adjacent said stem engaged by the upper surface of said other gasket when the stem is in the undepressed position and disengaged by said upper face when said stem is depressed to open said groove to the space around said stem in said cap opening.
3. A valve assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said gasket engaging means on said stem includes a bulge around said stem positioned between said two flexible annular gaskets.
4. A valve assembly as claimed in claim 3 in which said bulge has tapered annular shoulders engaged with the inner peripheries of said gaskets.
5. A valve assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said ring has a groove in the lower face thereof into'which said clip tube opens, the end of said groove adjacent the stern having an obstruction therein engaged by the upper face of said lower gasket when the stem is in the undepressed position and disengaged by said upper face when said stem is depressed to open said groove into the space within said ring, said stem having an orifice therein adjacent said space within said ring when said stem is depressed and opening into said fluid product flow path in said stem.
6. A valve assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which spaced flexible fingers extend between said center piece and said cartridge for resiliently mounting said center piece in said cartridge.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,888,208 5/ 1959 Fedit 2393O8 3,061,203 10/1962 Kitabayashi 239337 3,289,949 12/1966 Roth 239-308 X 3,326,469 6/1967 Abplanalp 222193 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 239308