|Publication number||US3517688 A|
|Publication date||Jun 30, 1970|
|Filing date||Oct 8, 1968|
|Priority date||Oct 8, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3517688 A, US 3517688A, US-A-3517688, US3517688 A, US3517688A|
|Inventors||Scholle William R|
|Original Assignee||Scholle Container Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (34), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
June 30, 1970 -w. R. scHoLLE 3,517,588
ASEPTIC FILLING VALVE Filed Oct. 8. 1968 tUnited States Patent Office Patented June 30, 1970 U.S. Cl. 137-240 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A valve assembly comprising a housing for-med with a dispensing opening at one end defining a valve seat, a valve stem, a valve head for cooperation with said seat, and a liquid inlet conduit opening to and extending laterally from said housing. The invention is characterized by an intermediate and terminal end spaced pair of discs on said stem and forming a chamber between them and the housing and an opposed pair of conduits opening to the chamber between said discs for passage of an aseptic gas therethrough. The assembly for this comprises expansion spring means in said housing tending to unseat said valve head and an aperture at the opposed end of said housing for admission of valve actuation gas under pressure and to act on the terminal one of said discs.
This invention relates to the aseptic handling and filling of plastic containers with potable liquids such as fmilk, and particularly to a filling Valve by means of 'which such precautions can be observed.
These plastic containers are usually in the form of flexible liner bags adapted to be disposed in rigid supporting cartons after being lled. The liners are first stored in groups wrapped in plastic and exposed to a sterilizing atmosphere such as ethylene oxide gas. These liner bags have a relatively rigid lling tment or nozzle which is engaged over the discharge end of the filling valve after the `fitment has been immersed in a sanitizing solution such as one containing chlorine, and after the valve and its parts have been subjected to steaming.
The filling valve of the present invention comprises a housing 'formed with a dispensing opening at one end defining a Valve seat to which the liner bag is engaged for filling, a valve stem, a valve head for cooperation with said seat, and a liquid, i.e. milk, inlet conduit opening to and extending laterally from said housing. The valve is characterized by an intermediate and terminal end spaced pair of discs on said stem and forming a chamber between them and the housing, and an opposed pair of conduits opening to the chamber between said discs for passage of a gas therethrough, for example steam or sterile nitrogen, to prevent contamination from the top side of the valve. The valve further comprises expansion spring means in said housing tending to unseat said valve head and an aperture at the opposed end of said housing for admission of valve actuation gas, for example, sterile nitrogen, under pressure and to act on the terminal one of said discs whereby to close the valve when the liner bag is filled with a predetermined weight or volume of milk.
The invention, its details of construction, arrangement of parts and other objects and advantages thereof will be explained in connection lwith the following specification and accompanying drawing lwherein the figure is a longitudinal section of the valve assembly.
Referring to the drawing, the valve assembly comprises the casing parts and 11 terminating respectively in the annular flanges 12 and 13 which are secured together by means of the clamp 14 after disposing the gasket 15 between them. The making of the housing in a plurality of parts is for the purpose of maintaining sterility and access to the component parts. The upper end of the valve housing is closed by the cap 16, this having annular ange 17 which mates with the annular flange 18 at the top of the casing component 1 1 whereat they are secured together by a clamp 19 and with the gasket 20 disposed between them. The cap 16 is formed with an axial inlet 21 for introduction of actuating gas under pressure.
Housed within the casing is the valve stem 22 having alignment means 39 terminating in valve head 23 which is embraced by resilient O-ring 24. The valve head 23 seats on the valve seat 25leading to the axial discharge aperture 26 ofthe casing portion 10.
Disposed within the casing portions 10 and 11 are the intermediate and terminal end spaced pair of discs 27 and 28 respectively, each being embraced by a resilient O-ring such as 29 and 30 respectively. The discs 27 and 29 define a chamber with the housing portions 10 and 11, this chamber being further provided with the inlet and outlet conduits 31 and 3'2-respectively for passage of an aseptic gas therethrough such as steam or nitrogen.
Disposed between the intermediate disc 27 and the housing shoulder 33 is the expansion spring 34 which normally tends to unseat the valve so as to permit liquid, i.e. milk, to be discharged from inlet conduit 35 which opens laterally to the housing component 10.
When milk is delivered through conduit 35 through the valve assembly and discharged through the outlet 26, it is employed to till a receptacle such as the flexible container 36 having the relatively rigid titment or nozzle 37 which is embraced about the lower portion of valve housing 10 in abutment with the collar 38.
The extent of filling of the container 36 is controlled by conventional means which control for example volume or weight and which act on means for example a scale and other components not shown lbut well understood in the art, to control the passage of gas through the aperture 21 to exert pressure on the upper disc 28 against spring 34 to close the valve andu seat the valve 23 on its yseat 25 to prevent further discharge.
After presanitizing (washing) of the filling head or valve assembly of the present invention and suitable connecting lines, the unit is assembled preparatory to steaming the product lines and the valve assembly. In order to build up back pressure in such lines and to obtain the highest heat possible a screw 39 is mounted in the cap 16 to act against the disc 28 and to thereby by manual manipulation force the valve to almost closed position. Steam is then employed for approximately thirty minutes and the assembly checked lwith a pyrometer to determine readiness -for use.
To insure against contamination from actuator air,
-sterile nitrogen is used as the compressor gas entering the aperture 21 to actuate the described product valve.
It -willthus be seen that the valve of the present invention provides means for aseptic handling of milk and filling of containers therewith by the novel means of the present invention.
1. A valve assembly comprising a substantially cylindrical housing formed with a dispensing opening at one end defining a valve seat, a valve stem, a valve head for cooperation with said seat, a liquid inlet conduit opening to and extending laterally from said housing, an intermediate and terminal end spaced pair of discs on said stem and forming a chamber between them and the housing and an opposed pair of conduits opening to the chamber between said discs for passage of a gas therethrough, spring means in said housing tending to unseat said Valve head and an aperture at the opposed end of said housing for admission of valve actuation gas under pressure and to act on the terminal one of said discs.
2. A valve assembly comprising a generally cylindrical housing formed with an axial dispensing opening at one end dening a valve seat, a valve stem disposed in said housing for reciprocation therein, a valve head including an embracing resilient sealing ring for cooperation with said seat, a liquid inlet conduit opening to and extending laterally from said housing, an intermediate and tenminal end spaced pair of discs on said stem each carrying an embracing resilient Sealing ring and forming a chamber between them and the housing, expansion spring means in said housing tending to unseat said valve head and embracing said stem and disposed between the intermediate one of said discs and shoulder means in said housing adjacent its dispensing opening, an apertured closure at the opposed end of said housing for admission of valve actuation aseptic gas under pressure and to act on the terminal one of said discs and to thereby close said valve, and an opposed pair of conduits opening to the chamber between said discs for passage of a protective aseptic gas there'- through.
3. The valve assembly of claim 2 including screw 'means extending through said housing end closure and adapted 4 to abut against the"terminal end one ofA said discslimit reciprocation of the valve components in said housing.
4. The valve assembly of claim 2 wherein said housing is composed of at least two sections separable at said chamber between said discs.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,315,058 3/1943 H011 137-240X 2,082,277 6/1954 Marshall 137-240X 2,920,643 1/1960 Tel-ren 251-214X 2,997,055 8/1961 Cadonau 137-240 3,043,340 7/1962 Rehbock 251-214X 3,334,648 8/1967 Probst 137240X CLARENCE R. GoRDoN, Primary Examiner Us. C1. X.R.
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|U.S. Classification||137/240, 987/159, 251/286, 251/63.6|
|International Classification||B65B39/00, F16K41/00, F16K31/122|
|Cooperative Classification||B65B39/004, F16K31/1221, F16K41/003|
|European Classification||F16K31/122B, B65B39/00A3, F16K41/00B|