US 3491951 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 27, 1970 L. H. KNIBB 3,491,951
ATOMIZING HEAD AND-BOTTLE COMBINATION-F0R A LIQUID HAIR SPRAY 0R THE LIKE Filed Sept. 18. 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet l lN11-ed sept. 16, 1967 Jan. 27, 1970i. l L j-l. KNIB'B d 3,491,951
-ATOMIZING HEAD AND BOTTLE COMBINATION FOR- A LIQUID HAIR SPRAY 0R THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 LEROY H. Kl/V/BB By @Ma 5 Attorney United States Patent O 3,491,951 ATOMIZING HEAD AND BOTTLE COMBINATION FOR A LIQUID HAIR SPRAY OR THE LIKE Leroy H. Knibb, 181 E. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill. 60611 Filed Sept. 18, 1967, Ser. No. 668,501 Int. Cl. B051 7/32; A45d 19/02 U.S. Cl. 239-346 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An atomizing head adapted for screw-on connection to a bottle and having an atomizing needle valve and dual control valves therefor. One of the control valves vents the bottle to atmosphere and the other control valve supplies pressurized air, first to retract the needle and open the atomizing valve, and secondly to supply atomizing air. The needle is capable of being manually rotated in its environment for cleaning purposes.
The improved atomizing head and bottle combination comprising the present invention is designed for use primarily in connection with the dispensing of liquid hair spray which is particularly susceptible to congealing when exposed to the atmosphere. The invention is, however, capable of other uses and the present atomizing head and bottle combination may, if desired, be employed in connection with the dispensing of a wide variety of liquids other than hair spray. Irrespective of the particular use to which the invention may be put, the essential features thereof are at all times preserved.
Specifically, the invention relates to an atomizing head and bottle combination wherein the bottle preferably, but not necessarily, is formed of exible plastic material and has a narrow neck part which leads to a filling and dispensing opening and embodies an external screw thread for threaded reception thereover of the cap portion of the atomizing head. Such an atomizing head and bottle combination is well known and usually the bottle thereof is provided with a plastic stopper having a anged rim which seats on the open rim of its neck part, the stopper being provided with a small central hole or bore in communication with the upper end of a depending dip tube by means of which liquid hair spray in the bottle is drawn upwardly and applied to the liquid inlet opening of the atomizing head when the head is actuated for hair spray applying purposes.v Such a bottle, in the case of liquid hair spray, is substantially iilled through the open rim of the neck part before the stopper is applied, and thereafter the stopper is pushed into the bottle neck with a press fit to the end that the dip tube extends downwardly in the bottle. After application of the stopper, the temporary cap is applied to the bottle neck part in order to prevent discharge of the liquid hair spray through the dip tube during shipment of the bottle. It is contemplated that at the place of use, the consumer will replace the temporary cap with the atomizing head of the combination immediately before the bottle is put to use.
An atomizing head and bottle combination of the type brieliy outlined above is possessed of certain limitations, and included among these is the diiculty of properly venting the bottle during atomization so that the expelled liquid hair spray will not create a partial vacuum within the bottle and hinder proper atomization. An open vent causes bottle leakage when the bottle is not in use and a valve-controlled vent, utilizing a single control valve for both atomization and venting, is subject to clogging of the vent passage. The present invention overcomes this difliculty by providing dual control valves, one for atomization and the other for venting.
3,491,951 Patented Jan. 27, 1970 "ice Another diiculty that is atendant upon a conventional atomizing head and bottle combination arises from the use of a iixed orifice venturi atomizing passage which becomes effective only when atomizing air is applied thereto, and the operation of which ceases when such air is cut olf. One of the principal features of the present invention resides in the provision of a variable oriiice venturi arrangement in which the venturi suction passage is normally maintained closed by a needle valve which becomes open when the atomizing head is put to use. By such an arangement, clogging of the suction passage is avoided due to the fact that repeated entry and reentry of the needle into the suction passage tends to clear said passage of any congealed liquid. Further than this, the needle that is associated with the needle valve is capable of being manually rotated for cleaning purposes thus further inhibiting any tendency for the suction passage to become clogged.
A further and important feature of the invention resides in a novel porting system including an automatic control of the movements of the needle that is associated with and forms a part of the aforementioned needle valve. The porting arrangement is such that manipulation of one of the two control valves admits air under pressure to the usual annulus that is associated with the venturi arrangement, and it also admits air to a piston and cylinder assembly which controls the movements of the needle. Such admission of air retracts the needle so that the previously admitted pressurized air in the venturi annulus then becomes effective to initiate atomization of the liquid hair spray.
Still another feature of the invention resides in a novel atomizing head and bottle connection whereby positive venting of the bottle during each atomization period is assured, regardless of the relative angular positions that are assumed by the atomizing head and the bottle neck after the screw-on connection between the two parts has been completed.
The provision of an atomizing head and bottle combination such as has brieiiy been outlined above and possessing the stated advantages constitutes the principal object of the present invention. Other objects and the various advantages of the invention, not at this time enumerated, will become readily apparent as the nature of the invention is better understood from a consideration of the following detailed description.
In the accompanying two sheets of drawings forming a part of this specification, one illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an atomizing head and bottle combination embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3a is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken on the line Str-3a of FIG. 3;
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the line 5 5 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a schematic perspective view illustrating the nature of a pair of valve-controlled passages in the atomizing head of the combination.
Referring now to the drawings in detail and in particular to FIG. 1, a plastic bottle of conventional downwardly ared conguration is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 10 and is designated for use in connection with an atomizing head 12. The design of the bottle or material of which it is made is immaterial insofar as the present invention is concerned and in the exemplary form, the bottle comprises a generally circular bottom wall 14 and a gradually upwardly tapered or frustoconical side wall 16, the latter being provided in the upper region thereof with an annular bead 18 of V-shape cross section. The bottle 10 also comprises a reduced generally cylindrical neck part 20 which is provided with an external screw thread 24. The plastic material of which the bottle 10 is formed is such that the side and bottom walls of the bottle are flexible to a slight degree, but nevertheless, are self-sustaining under the presence of an appreciable degree of relative internal and external pressure differential.
According to the present invention, the bottle 10 is adapted to be substantially lled with liquid hair spray of low viscosity and after the lling operation which takes place through the open rim 26 of the neck part 20, a plastic dip tube and stopper assembly which is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 28 is applied to said neck part. This assembly 28 comprises an inverted cup-shaped stopper 30 having a planar circular disk-like sealing wall 32 and a depending annular skirtlike wall 34. The latter is provided with an external annular. bead 36 which is designed for interlocking engagement with a mating annular recess 38 in the neck part 20 of the `bottle 10. The sealing wall 32 is provided with a central liquid outlet opening 40 which communicates with the upper end of a depending tubular pilot boss 42. The latter surrounds the upper end of an elongated vertically extending dip tube 44 which is retained in the boss by means of a press fit.
The dip tube and stopper assembly 28 is adapted to be assembled at the factory and shipped with the bottle to the consumer who then performs the bottle filling and assembly operations. Alternatively, in a case where the bottle and the dip tube and stopper assembly are shipped to a bottle-filling plant for subsequent shipment to the ultimate consumer, the purveyor of the liquid hair spray will perform the filling and assembly operations, and thereafter, will apply a conventional closure cap (not shown) by threading the same onto the neck part 20 of the bottle, after which the thus sealed bottle will be shipped to the consumer who will remove the closure cap and substitute the atomizing head 12 therefor.
Application of the dip tube and stopper assembly 28 to the substantially fully filled bottle 10 is facilitated by means of a small eccentrically disposed venting opening 50 in the sealing wall 32 of the cup-shaped stopper 30'. When the stopper with the dip-tube mounted thereon is pushed into the bottle neck part 20 in the usual manner of assembly, no internal pressure will be developed within the bottle, only air escaping through the venting opening 50. When the filled bottle is shipped to the consumer, the aforementioned disposable closure cap will serve to retain the liquid within the bottle and prevent its leakage through the venting opening 50. When the filled bottle 10 is installed with respect to the atomizing head 12 of the present invention, the Venting opening 50 in the sealing wall 32 of the stopper 30 communicates with the lower end of a passage leading upwards to a valve controlled outlet opening by means of which the bottle may be vented to the atmosphere at such time as liquid atomization takes place, all in a manner that will be made clear presently.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 to 5, the atomizing head 12 involves in its general organization a machined casting which constitutes a valve body 60. In addition to the valve body 60, the atomizing head involves or comprises an attached threaded closure cap `62 by means of which the casting may be operatively applied to the bottle neck part 20. The closure cap 62 comprises a circular top wall 64 and a depending cylindrical skirt 66. The latter is internally threaded as at 68 for mating engagement with the external screw thread 24 en the bottle neck part 20. When said bottle neck part is fully and telescopically threaded into the closure cap 62, the sealing wall 32 of the stopper 30 lies ush against the top wall 64 of the closure cap and the venting opening 50 registers with an annular groove 70 in the underneath side of said top wall 64 (see FIGS. 3 and 4). The top wall 64 of the closure wall 62 is provided with a small port 72 (see FIG. 4) and this port communicates with the annular groove 70 in order that regardless of the relative angular position of the bottle neck part 20 and the closure cap 62 when full threaded, engagement therebetween is eifected, the venting opening 50 will be in uid communication with the port 72. In FIG. 3 of the drawings, the opening 50 and the port 72 are shown as being in actual vertical register, but it will be understood that such a disclosure has been made in the interests of drafting simplication and that other relative positions between the bottle neck part and the closure cap -62 will be encountered in actual practice.
The closure cap 62 is held in position on the underneath side of the valve body 60 by means of a fastening screw 73 which projects through an outwardly extending lug 74 on the top wall 64 of the closure cap and is threadedly received in the valve body 60, and also by an externally threaded bushing 75 which passes a central hole in through the top wall 64 of the closure cap 62 and communicates at its lower end with the upper end of the depending tubular pilot boss 42 and at its upper end with an inverted L-shaped passage 76 in the valve body 60. The function of said passage will be set forth subsequently.
The valve body is of generally rectilinear block-like configuration and the front end face thereof is provided with a threaded socket 77 within which there is received an atomizing nipple assembly 78 (see FIG. 3) including an outer nozzle element 79 and an inner tubular needle guide and sealing element 80, the latter being threadedly received in a small socket 82 which communicates with the central portion of the inner end wall of the socket 82. As shown in FIG. 3a, the inner tubular needle guide and sealing element is hexagonal in transverse cross section. It fits within the cylindrical confines of the outer nozzle element 79 and, so far as its interior is concerned, defines a venturi opening. A reduced hollow nosepiece 84 is formed on the outer end of the needle guide and sealing element 80 and projects into a central nozzle opening 01 orifice 86 in the outer nozzle element 79. The needle guide and sealing element 80 and the nozzle element thus establish therebetween an interrupted or divided annulus 88 for the longitudinal flow forwardly therethrough of pressurized atomizing air, the annulus communicating with a passageway 90 in the valve body 60. The needle guide and sealing element 80 has disposed therein a small elastomeric O-ring 92 which is held in position by a retainer 94, the latter being press-fitted within the needle guide and sealing element 80. The rear end of the small socket 82 communicates with the previously mentioned L-shaped passageway 76, the bushing 75, and the dip tube 44.
An elongated needle valve element (hereinafter referred to simply as the needle) projects horizontally through the valve body -60 and has a reduced front end 102 which normally projects through the O-ring 92 and the nosepiece 84. The needle 100 is slidable in the valve body 60 and the rear end thereof projects into a hori- -zontally extending cylindrical cavity 104 (hereinafter referred to as the cylinder) in the rear portion of the valve body 60. The rear region of the needle 100 is formed with an enlarged spring-pressed piston 106 which is reciprocable in the cylinder 104 and is sealed thereto by an O-ring 107. A spiral compression spring 108 normally urges the piston 106 forwardly in the cylinder 104. The needle 100 projects axially through the upper horizontal portion of the L-shaped passage 76 and is sealed to the inner end wall of the cylinder 1.00 by means of an OQ ring and retainer assembly 109 (see FIG. 5), thus preventing ow of liquid from the passage 76 into the cylinder 104. The function of the cylinder and piston arrangement 104, 106 is to effect automatic rearward retraction of the needle 100 from the O-ring 92 when pressurized air is admitted between the inner end wall of the cyl1nder 104 and the adjacent or opposed side of the piston 106 and at the same time that pressurized air is admitted to the passageway 90 for atomizing purposes and, as will be described in detail presently, such retraction of the needle and admission of air under pressure is adapted to be effected under the control of a dual valve assembly which is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 110 in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 and serves to vent the bottle to ambient atmosphere during actual atomization of the liquid flowing from the bottle via the dip tube 44, the passage 76, and the nozzle orifice 86.
Accordingly, the valve body 60 of the atomizing head 12 is formed with a generally L-shaped main air passage 112 which is connected at one end to an air hose 114 by means of a conventional nipple-type fitting 116. The passage 112 has a vertical leg 118 the upper end of which opens into and is in communication with a threaded socket 120 in the upper face of the valve body 60. Immediately below the socket 120, an air supply atomizing valve element 122 is threadedly received in said upper end of the leg 118 and normally closes the L-shaped main air passage 112. The inner end of the socket 120 communicates with the inner end of the aforementioned passage 90, the latter, as previously pointed out, leading to the atomizing annulus 88. The valve element 122 is preferably of the type which is commonly employed in connection with an automotive tire valve stem and is known commercially as Schraeder valve. Threadedly received in the socket 120 is a tubular cap member 124 through which there projects slidably a spring-pressed valve actuator or plunger 126 in the form of a vertical rod, the enlarged lower end of which is sealed to the inner surface of the cap member 124 by means of an O-ring 128. The enlarged lower end of the plunger 126 is engageable with the valve stem portion of the valve element 122 and is adapted, when the plunger is depressed, to open said valve element. A spiral spring 130 normally maintains the plunger 126 elevated so that the valve element 122 remains closed. A passageway 132 in the valve body 60 establishes communication between the socket 120 and the inner end of the cylinder 104. The upper end of the actuating rod 126 is threaded as at 133 (see FIG. 4) in one end of a horizontally extending, manually depressible finger plate 134 and this plate also cooperates with a venting Schraeder-type valve element 136 which is a counterpart of the air feed valve element 122 in the dual valve assembly 110.
The venting valve element 136 is disposed in a vertically extending angular passageway 138 (see FIGS. 4 and 6), the lower end of which communicates with the port 72 in the top wall 64 of the closure cap y62. The two valve elements 122 and 136 are identical and the latter element has associated therewith a spring-pressed valve actuator or plunger 140 which is similar to the plunger 126 and is similarly operable in a threaded tubular cap member 142. Whereas the plunger 126 has associated therewith a sealing O-ring 128 by means of which it is sealed to the inner surface of the cap member 124, the plunger 140 is devoid of such an O-ring so that when the valve element 136 is in its open condition, air may escape from the passageway 38 to the surrounding or ambient atmosphere for bottle venting purposes. The upper end of the plunger 140 projects snugly into a small socket 144 in the underneath side of the adjacent end of the finger plate 134.
From the above description, it will =be apparent that upon depression of the finger plate 134 both plungers 126 and 140 will be forced downwardly, thus simultaneously opening the air feed valve element 122 and the venting valve element 136. Opening of the former valve will permit air under pressure to flow from the flexible air hose 114 through the L-shaped passageway 112, then past the valve 122, and iinally through both passageways and 132. The air which passes rearwardly through the passageway 132 enters the inner end of the cylinder 104 and forces the piston and consequently the needle rearwardly so as to withdraw the reduced front end 102 of the needle from its normal sealing engagement with the O-ring 92, thus establishing communication between the passage 72 and the ambient atmosphere through the hexagonal needle guide and sealing element 80 and the nozzle orifice 86. The air which passes forwardly through the passageway 90 enters the atomizing annulus 88 and, by a venturi action, draws liquid upwardly through the dip tube 44, the passage 72, the O-ring 92, and the nosepiece 84 from whence it issues in the form of an atomized spray or jet. At the same time, depression of the plunger and consequent opening of the venting valve element 136 allows air to be drawn into the bottle through the narrow annulus which exists between the plunger 140 and the cap member 142, and from thence downwardly past the now open valve 136 and through the passageway 138, after which it enters the port 72 and the annular groove 70 and inally passes through the venting opening 50 in the bottle stopper 30. This air replacesthe volume of fluid which is drawn from the bottle 10 during the atomization process or operation.
It has been found that liquid hair spray and certain other similar viscous liquids hrave a tendency to congeal when exposed to the atmosphere and this renders many conventional atomizing apparatuses readily susceptible to clogging of the various orifices that are associated therewith, especially the nozzle orifices. Where a valve-controlled orifice is concerned, the needle or other valve element that is associate with such apparatus has a tendency to adhere to the congealed liquid and, even when it is forcibly dislodged by axial movement thereof, the clogging of the orifice is not entirely relieved. According to the present invention, means are provided for manually relieving any condition of clogging which may take place from time to time by the simple expedient of rotating the needle 100 about its longitudinal axis in one direction or the other. Accordingly, the rear end of the needle is provided with an enlarged cylindrical head which is telescopically received within a forwardly facing socket 152 in the inner end of a horizontally extending rotatable knob 154. The latter is centered within the outer end region of the cylinder 104 by means of a split washer 156 (see FIG. 5), the inner marginal portion of which is disposed in an annular groove 158 in the outer surface of the knob 154 and the outer marginal portion of which seats in an annular recess 160 in the outer end region of the cylinder 104. A snap ring 162 holds the split washer 156 in position. A forwardly facing annular shoulder 164 on the knob 154 coacts with the split washer to prevent forward or inward movement of the knob with respect to the cylinder. A cross pin 166 projects through the enlarged head 150 on the rear end of the needle 100 and the ends thereof ride in a pair of diametrically disposed spline grooves 168, the latter being formed in the side wall of the socket 152 in the knob, thus establishing a driving connection between the knob and the needle. A bumper pad 169 is disposed at the bottom or inner end of the socket 152 and is designed for engagement with the enlarged head 150 when the needle 100 is in its fully retracted position; The outer end portion of the knob 154 is knurled as at 170 to facilitate turning of the knob for needle-cleaning purposes. By such an arrangement, it will be appreciated that upon manually turning the knob 154 in either direction, and preferably by rotating the knob back and forth in opposite directions a few times, any crustaceous deposits which may accumulate on the needle in the vicinity of the O-ring 92 will be broken up so that during the next atomizing cycle of operation of the atomizing head, the resultant solid particles will be blown outwardly through the oriice 86 in the nozzle element 79.
From the above description, it is believed that the nature and advantages of the present atomizing head and bottle assembly 10 will be fully understood without further elaboration. It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the exact arrangement of parts shown in the accompanying drawings or described in this specification as various changes in the details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
Having thus described the invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In an atomizing apparatus for dispensing liquids, in combination, a liquid-containing bottle having a neck part presenting a circular rim establishing a iilling opening, a dip tube disposed in said bottle, an atomizing head comprising a valve body having an attachment portion telescopically and sealingly received over said neck portion, said valve body having a venting passage therein establishing communication between said filling opening and the atmosphere, a manually operable, normally closed, venting valve disposed in said venting passage and having a manipulating plunger, an atomizing nipple assembly including an outer tubular nozzle element threadedly received by the valve body, and an inner tubular element establishing a venturi opening and serving, in combination with said outer tubular nozzle element, to establish an atomizing annulus surrounding the venturi opening, a liquid passage formed in the valve body and leading from said dip tube to said inner tubular element, said valve body having a first air passage for pressurized air leading to said annulus. a manually operable normally closed atomizing shut-off valve disposed Within said air passage and having a manipulating plunger, a needle valve including a needle slidably disposed in said valve body and movable between a forward position wherein it projects into said inner tubular element to close the venturi opening and a rearward retracted position wherein it is withdrawn from the inner tubular element, means yieldingly biasing said needle to its forward position, means establishing a cavity within said valve body, an air pressure responsive member associated with said needle and movably mounted within the cavity, said valve body having a second air passage establishing communication between said cavity and the first air passage at a point between the atomizing valve and the annulus whereby, upon opening of said atomizing shut-ott valve, pressurized air will flow to the annulus for atomizing purposes and to said cavity to move said air pressure responsive element and thus withdraw the needle from Said venturi opening against the action of said biasing means, and a inger plate common to said plungers for actuating the latter in unison.
2. In an atomizing apparatus, the combination set forth in claim 1 and including, additionally, means constraining the control knob against axial shifting movement with respect to the Valve body, and a spline connection between the rear end of the needle and said control knob for preventing relative turning movement between the knob and needle while permitting axial shifting of the needle.
3. In an atmoizing apparatus, the combination set forth in claim 1 and wherein the attachment portion is in the form of a closure cap threadedly received on the bottle neck part and having a circular top wall formed with a venting port therein in constant communication with said Venting passage, said apparatus further including a stopper disposed within said bottle neck part and into which the dip tube extends in supported relationship, said stopper being provided with a venting opening in constant communication with said venting passage -via said Venting port.
4. In an atomizing apparatus, the combination set forth in claim 3 and wherein the stopper is of inverted cupshaped configuration and is provided with a top wall which, when the bottle neck part is threaded fully into the closure cap makes intimate coextensive face-to-face engagement with the underneath side of the top wall of the closure cap, said latter top wall being formed with a centrally disposed annular groove on the underneath side thereof and in communication with the venting port, said venting opening in the stopper being formed in the top wall of the latter and assuming an eccentric position on such top wall so that it will be in register with said annular groove regardless of the'relative angular position betweeen the stopper and closure cap when the latter is fully threaded onto said bottle neck part.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,553,401 5/1951 Carr 239-412 X 2,559,544 7/1951 Paasche 239-412 X 2,904,262 9/1959 Peeps 239-346 X FOREIGN PATENTS 92,447 7/ 1958 Norway.
M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner M. Y. MAR, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.