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Publication numberUS3521792 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1970
Filing dateApr 1, 1968
Priority dateApr 1, 1968
Publication numberUS 3521792 A, US 3521792A, US-A-3521792, US3521792 A, US3521792A
InventorsWilliam G Davidson
Original AssigneeDow Chemical Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing actuator for component pressure cans
US 3521792 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

w. G. DAVIDSON 3,521,792

DISPENSING ACTUATOR FOR COMPONENT PRESSURE CANS July 28, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 1, 1968 INVENTOR. W/l/iam 6.0aw'ason Jul 28, 19 70 w. G. DAVIDSON 3,521,792

DISPENSING ACTUATOR FOR COMPONENT PRESSURE CANS Filed April 1, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet INVENTOR. M/f/bam 6.0owbsor 18 0 BY 5 {9 5 wiim Arm/away;

United States Patent DISPENSING ACTUATOR FOR COMPONENT PRESSURE CANS William G. Davidson, Zionsville, Ind., assignor to The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 1, 1968, Ser. No. 717,877 Int. Cl. B65d 83/14 US. Cl. 222-136 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A dispensing actuator for multiple component pressure cans having a plurality of dispensing valves, the actuator having conduits adapted to direct dispensed ingredients to a mixing chamber and a dispensing nozzle at another end of the mixing chamber.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Pressurized dispensing containers for fluid products are in widepsread use for the packaging and dispensing of a number of materials, including lubricants, foods, medicaments and the like. In many cases, the ultimate product to be dispensed is a mixture of two or more components which is not stable in storage. Several types of pressure can units have developed in which a plurality of components are stored in separate chambers, dispensed through separate valves and mixed immediately before use. Representative multiple component pressure-operated dispensing containers and the representative problems encountered in dispensing of multiple component fluid products are illustrated in US. Pat. Nos. 2,939,610; 2,941,696; 2,973,883; 3,181,737; 3,217,931 and 3,241,722.

The present invention is concerned with pressure-operated dispensing containers which are intended for repeated dispensing of less than all of their contents. In such devices, it is essential that the several components of the mixture be separated at all times and that only the dispensed portion of the ingredients be mixed. Many such containers and mixing devices are generally well suited for certain applications but are not adaptable to other uses. In particular, the pressurized dispensing of viscous fluid mixtures which are susceptible to solidifications, such as the mixture of an epoxy resin and a curing agent, is not entirely satisfactory in such devices. The component materials are too viscous to be adequately mixed by the convergence of two streams of material. Also, the relatively complex structure of some of the prior mixing devices can be clogged by the solidified mixture. When the mixing device is an integral portion of the container, such clogging can render the entire container unusable after the first use.

Summary of the invention The present invention is directed to multi-compartment pressure-operated dispensing devices. More particularly, the present invention is directed to devices adapted to communicate with the several valves of a multi-compartment pressure-operated dispensing container, to actuate the valve of said device, to mix the separate product components dispensed through said valves and to dispense the resulting mixture to a point of use. It is an object of the invention to provide a mixing device for pressure-operated dispensing containers which can be employed in successive dispensing of less than all of the contents of the pressure-operated dispensing container. It is another object of the invention to provide an inexpensive device for mixing the several components dispensed from a conventional pressure-operated dispensing container, the device being such that it can be cleaned in place after each use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent on consideration of the following description and claims and the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a device of the invention engaged with the valves of a multi-component pressure-operated dispensing container, with part of the dis pensing container broken away to show the compartments thereof;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 1 taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view thereof taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 and showing the mixing chamber, nozzle, conduit and flushing line;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the cover portion of the housing of the device; and

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the second portion of the housing of the device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more particularly to the drawings, the device 10 comprises a walled housing 12 having a mixing chamber 14 and nozzle 16 therein, the housing 12 including conduits 18 which are communicatively and operably engaged with valves 20 of a multi-compartment pressure-operated dispensing container 22. The housing can be constructed of any suitable material, the preferred materials being plastics such as polystyrene, polyethylene and the like. The dispensing container 22 is of a conventional sort having a rigid wall 24 defining a propellant chamber 25. A plurality of collapsible product compartments 2-6 are disposed in propellant chamber 25. Each product compartment 26 is in communication with a separate product valve 20. The fluid products to be dispensed are contained in the compartments 26 and a pressurized propellant such as a fluorinated hydrocarbon, compressed air, compressed carbon dioxide, compressed nitrous oxide or the like is disposed within the container 22 in the propellant chamber 25. The pressure of the propellant on the collapsible product compartments 26 serves to force the products from the product compartments through product valves 20 when the valves are open.

The exact type of multi-compartment dispensing container is not critical, so long as the container is adapted to dispense a plurality of separate fluid products through a plurality of separate valves. For example, the container can comprise a structure including a plurality of separate collapsible product compartments, each compartment being disposed in a separate propellant chamber defined by a separate rigid wall, so long as each product compartment has a separate dispensing valve.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 24, the mixing chamber 14 is enclosed by the Wall of housing 12. One end of the chamber communicates with the nozzle 16. The nozzle 16 thus provides communication between the chamber 14 and the exterior of the device 10. The nozzle 16 is preferably more-or-less circular and has an axis 28. The housing 12, chamber 14 and nozzle 16 are preferably constructed so that a substantial portion of the chamber 14 lies along the axis 28 of nozzle 16 to provide a straight flow path from the chamber through the nozzle. In order to achieve mixing of a plurality of fluid products, it is critical and essential that chamber 14 be constricted at the nozzle, so that the cross-sectional area of chamber 14, taken perpendicularly to the nozzle axis 28, be substantially greater than the cross-sectional area of the nozzle 16 taken along a plan perpendicular to the axis 28. The cross-sectional area of the chamber can be at least 1.5 times the area of the nozzle. In the preferred embodiment, the area of the chamber is from about 1.5 to 4 times the area of the nozzle. The crosssectional area of the chamber is preferably from about 2 to about 4 times the area of the nozzle when viscous materials such as epoxy resins, ointments, cake icings or the like are to be dispensed. When less viscous sprayable liquids are to be dispensed, constriction at the nozzle can be more pronounced, that is, the area of the chamber can be even greater such as from 1.5 to 4, to or more times as great as the diameter of the nozzle.

The chamber can have any suitable configuration so long as it is constricted at the nozzle. For example, the chamber can be conical, heart-shaped, spherical, ellipsoidal or cubical, so lOng as the nozzle is constricted. Likewise, the chamber can have any suitable volume consonant with the required constriction at the nozzle and with the requirement, hereinafter discussed, that the Walls of the chamber have sufficient area to accommodate a plurality of separate product and flushing ports. Suitable chamber volumes can range, for example, from about 0.1 cubic centimeter to 5, to 25, to 100 cubic centimeters depending upon the volume of product to be dispensed from the dispensing container.

Each of the conduits 18 comprises a hollow tube terminating in a base portion 30. The base portion 30 of each conduit 18 is adapted to fit detachably over a product valve 20 of a multi-compartrnent pressure-operated dispensing container. The base portion of each conduit 18 is of such dimensions as to fit snugly about a valve 20 and provide a fluid-tight seal therewith. The base portions 30 also include shoulders 32 which are adapted to operatively engage the conventional pressure can valves 20 so as to actuate the valves when the base portions 30 of conduits 18 are moved downward or to one side. Shoulders 32 are of such dimensions as to engage the valves without substantially hindering the flow of fluid products therefrom into the conduits 18. At their other ends, conduits 18 terminate in product ports 36 in the wall of chamber 14. Thus the base portions 30 of the conduits 18 are adapted to engage the valves 20 of a pressure-operated dispensing container 22 and separately to conduct fluids therefrom through the conduits 18 to the ports 36 and thereby into chamber 14. The ports 36 are more-or-less circular or elliptical and they have axes 38. The cross-sectional area of a port 36 is of the same general order of magnitude as that of the nozzle 16 and thus substantially less than the cross-sectional area of chamber 14 taken in a plane perpendicular to a port axis. The area of a product port 36 is preferably somewhat less than that of the nozzle 16. The chamber 14 must thus be of sufiicient size to accommodate the nozzle 16 and the separate product ports 36.

The conduits 18 and product ports 36 must be adapted to direct the products into chamber 14 in a line of direction generally toward the nozzle 16, that is toward points which are nearer the nozzle 16 than are the product ports 36. Such direction of the product is essential' to minimize the risk of fouling the ports 36 when a hardenable mixture is dispensed. If the ports 36 are adapted to direct the products away from the nozzle or toward another product port 36, the formation of pockets of undispensed mixture is enhanced, and the risk of fouling the ports 36 with undispensed mixture is increased. It is thus essential that the conduits and ports be adapted to direct the product into the chamber in the general direction of product flow from the chamber through the nozzle.

The product ports 36 are preferably situated in the wall of the housing 12 at points below the axis 28 of the nozzle 16 and near the wall of the chamber 14 opposite the nozzle 16. It is also preferred that product ports 36 be more distant from nozzle 16 than from each other. The conduits 18 and ports 36 are preferably so disposed as to direct the flow of fluid product through conduits 18 and ports 36 in a line of direction which is transverse to axis 28 and at an obtuse angle therewith as best shown in FIG. 4. In such an arrangement, the axes 38 of the ports 36 are in transverse relation to each other. The term transverse is employed herein to designate the relationship of lines which would intersect each other if transposed so as to lie in the same plane, whether or not such lines are actually coplanar. Such a configuration of the ports 36 and conduits 18 facilitates initial mixing of two separate dispensed components at a point removed from the ports 36 themselves.

The device 10 also includes product actuator means 45 for simultaneously actuating the product valves 20. Such actuator means 45 comprises a brace 40 of relatively rigid material disposed between the base portions 30 of the conduits 18. A strut 42, also of relatively rigid material, is secured at one end to brace 40 and at the other to a finger-depressable actuator button 44. The actuator button 44, strut 42 and brace 40 are sufficiently rigid so that manual displacement of actuator button 44 results in the simultaneous displacement of the base portions 30 of conduits 18 sufficient to actuate simultaneously the product valves 20 of the pressure-operated dispensing container.

The device can also include means for removing fluid product material from the mixing chamber. Such means include pressurized flushing means 75 for introducing a fluid under pressure into chamber 14 independently of product actuator means 45. Flushing means 75 includes one or more flushing ports 70 in the [Wall of the chamber 14. Flushing ports 70 are situated in the chamber at points more distant from the nozzle 16 than are the product ports 36. Flushing ports 70 are preferably of approximately the same cross-sectional area as product ports 36. Chamber 14 is thus of such dimensions as to accommodate the separate flushing ports 70, product ports 36 and the nozzle 16 and to have a cross-sectional area substantially greater than the cross-sectional area of any one of them. Flushing ports 70 are communicably coupled to one end of a hollow flexible flushing line 74. In the preferred embodiment, the flushing ports 70 are coupled to flushing line 74 by a Y connection 72, thereby providing communication between flushing line 74 and mixing chamber 14. It is essential that one or both of line 74 and Y connection 72 be flexible, so that the pressurized flushing means 75 can be operated independently of the simultaneous product valve actuating means 45. The other end of line 74 is connected to a source of pressurized rflushing fluid which may be carbon dioxide, air nitrous oxide, fluorinated hydrocarbon gases or liquids, water, alcohol or the like under pressure. The source of pressurized flushing fluid can be a conventional pressure can or the like. Preferably, it is the pressurized dispenisng container 22 itself, and the propellant employed to dispense the products is also the flushing fluid. In the preferred embodiment, flushing line 74 has a base portion 76 adapted to detachably and operatively engage a conventional pressure can valve 21 by a liquid or gas-tight fit. The base portion also includes a shoulder 82 which is similar to the shoulders 32 of the conduits 18 and which engages valve 21. Valve 21 is adapted to communicate with the propellant chamber 25 of the pressurized dispensing container 22 when valve 21 is opened. The base portion 76 of line 74 includes a finger-depressable actuator button connected thereto by a rigid strut 78 in the same manner in which the actuator button 44 is secured to brace 40 by strut 42. Manual displacement of actuator button 80 actuates valve 21, admitting pressurized flushing fluid into chamber 14 through flushing line 74, Y connection 72 and flushing ports 70. The pressurized flushing fluid flushes any product mixture remaining in chamber 14 through nozzle 16, thus cleaning the device and preparing it for reuse.

In a preferred embodiment, the wall of the housing 12 which defines the chamber 14 and nozzle 16 is divided into a cover portion 46 which is engaged with none of the product ports 36 and a second portion 48 in which the product ports 36 are disposed. The walls of the second portion 48 preferably extend slightly above axis 28, and the two portions 46, 48 are adapted to fit together in fluid-tight relationship to prevent exit of fluid from chamber 14 at any point other than through nozzle 16. Cover portion 46 and bottom portion 48 are releasably secured together by any suitable means to provide a fluid and gas-tight fit. Preferably, they are secured together by means of a resilient retaining ring 50. The ring 50 is adapted to slide around the housing 12 over the nozzle 16 and engage both the cover portion 46 and lower portion 48 in grasping relationship to releasably secure the two portions together. In addition, a series of compatible prongs 52 and sockets 54 can be disposed in the upper wall of the lower section 48 and the lower wall of the cover section 46, respectivel to provide for releasable, fluid-tight locking of the two sections together. Other means for releasably securing the two sections together can be employed. For example, a tongue and groove system can be employed in lieu of the resilient retaining ring.

In a preferred embodiment, a portion of the housing 12 also includes a vane 56 extending therefrom into chamber 14 along axis 28. The vane extends into chamber 14 so that at least a portion thereof is disposed between the product ports 36 to prevent mixing of fluid products dispensed therefrom at points in chamber 14 more distant from nozzle 16 than are the product ports themselves. The vane thus divides a portion of chamber 14 into a plurality of subchambers 65. Preferably, a product port 36 and a flushing port 70 are disposed in each subchamber 65.

The interior wall of chamber 14 and nozzle 16 is preferably rifled with a series of lands 58 and grooves 60. The lands and grooves 58, 60 of the rifling extend at least from the product ports 36 to the nozzle 16. The grooves 60 are sufliciently wide so that each product port 36 is disposed entirely within one groove and at least one land 58 of the rifling is disposed between each of the ports 36. Such an arrangement facilitates mixing of the components at a point distant from the product ports 36.

In operation, the cover portion 46 of the chamber housing 12 is placed on the lower portion 48 so that the prongs 52 fit within sockets 54 and the retaining ring 50 is seated over nozzle 16 and pressed rearwardly to tightly engage the housing 12. The base portions of conduits 18 are seated on the .valves 20 of a multi-compartment pressure-operated dispensing container 22. When a pressurized flushing means 75 is employed, the base portion 76 of the flushing line 74 is seated on the valve 21 of a pressurized gas or liquid source. With the conduits 18 and flushing line 74 coupled to their respective valves, the only outlet from chamber 14 to the atmosphere is through nozzle 16. Manual pressure is applied to the product actuator button 44 and is transmitted through strut 42, brace and base portions 30 of conduits 18 to the valves 20, opening the valves 20 simultaneously. Since flushing line 74 is flexible, flushing valve 21 remains closed independently of the operation of product actuator button 44 and product valves 20. The separate fluid materials in each of the compartments 26 of the multi-cornpartment pressure-operated container 22 flow into conduits 1-8 and into chamber 14 through ports 36. As the streams of fluid product enter chamber 14, they are directed by the ports in the general direction of the nozzle, toward the ports 36 and nozzle 16. The initial mixing of the two components thus occurs at a distance from the ports 36. The pressure on the fluid component streams is lower in chamber 14 than in conduits 18 due to the greater dimensions of the former and the communication of chamber 14 with the atmosphere through nozzle 16. The resulting pressure differential further contributes to the initial mixing of the fluid components. The vane 56 contributes to the prevention of mixing at points in subchambers 65 immediately adjacent the ports 36. The vane 56 and the lands 58 and grooves 60 of the rifling further encourage mixing of the components dispensed into chamber 14 at points between the ports 36 and nozzle 16. Thus, in the case of fluid product components of a material which hardens on mixing, the ports 36 remain relatively free of the hardenable mixture so that the ports themselves and the conduits 18 are not clogged or plugged by the hardened mixture of components.

The separate components of the product mixture are directed together by the orientation of the conduits 18 and the rifiing of the wall of chamber 14. The lands 58 and grooves 60 of the rifling impart a spiral motion to the mixture, further enhancing the mixture of the two separate components. As the fluid mixture approaches nozzle 16, the dimensions of the chamber decrease, thus compressing the mixture into a smaller volume. The pressure of the fluid components entering chamber 14 through ports 36 compresses the mixture, contributing to additional thorough mixing of the two components before the mixture reaches nozzle 16 where it is dispensed.

When the desired amount of the mixture has been dispensed, pressure from the actuator button 44 is released, thereby releasing pressure on the valves 20 and stopping the flow of the fluid components through valves 20 and conduits 18. Retaining ring 50 is removed from the housing 12 over nozzle 16 and the cover portion 46 is lifted upwards and removed from the lower portion 48. The interior of the chamber 14 and nozzle 16 is then exposed for cleaning by any suitable means. Since the ports 36 and conduits 18 do not contact any of the mixture, the danger of clogging or fouling these portions of the device with hardened product materials is substantially reduced. In most cases, cleaning the mixture from the chamber 14 and nozzle 16 is sufficient, and the separate fluid product components remaining in the conduits can be dispensed when the device is reused.

When pressurized flushing means 75 is employed, cover portion 46 need not be removed. Actuator button is depressed manually after the product actuator button 44 has been released. Depression of actuator button 80 opens valve 21, admitting the pressurized flushing fluid into the flushing means 75 and through flushing line 74, Y connection 72 and flushing ports 70 into chamber 14 and thence through nozzle 16, thus flushing any remaining amounts of the mixture of product out of chamber 14 through nozzle 16. When the pressurized flushing fluid is the propellant employed in the multi-compartment dispensing container 22, actuator button 80 can be released to permit rapid closure of valve 21 as soon as flushing of chamber 14 is accomplished and the residual product dispensed. Valve 21 can be a conventional metering valve adapted to admit only a fixed volume of pressurized flushing fluid to flushing line 74 each time valve 21 is actuated. By flushing the device in such a manner, suflicient propellant is retained in the propellant chamber 25 of the container 22 to elfect the dispensing of all the product and to permit flushing of chamber 25 after each use of the device. The initial charge of propellant should thus be sufficient to bring about complete dispensing of the fluid product as well as providing suflicient propellant to serve as a flushing fluid. The propellant charge in such a case can vary depending upon such factors as the construction of the container 22 and product compartments 26, the volume of chamber 14 and the viscosity of the product. Alternatively, the supply of propellant in the container 22 can be replenished by conventional procedures, if desired. For example, flushing line 74 can be detached and propellant charged through valve 21, or an additional charging valve can be provided.

It is apparent that those skilled in the art can make many modifications in the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A device comprising a chamber housing;

a walled chamber in the housing;

a constricted nozzle in the housing, the nozzle communicating with the chamber and with the exterior of the housing;

a plurality of conduits on the housing, each of the conduits having a first end and a second end, the first end of each conduit being adapted to engage a dispensing valve of a multi-component pressureoperated dispensing container in fluid conducting relation, the second end of each conduit being in communication with the chamber through. separate portions of the wall thereof, each conduit at the second end thereof being adapted to direct a fluid product into the chamber in a direction generally towards the nozzle;

actuator means on the housing for simultaneously opening all the dispensing valves While the conduits are engaged therewith; and

flushing means for introducing a flushing fluid under pressure into the chamber, the flushing means being operable independently of the actuator means.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the cross-sectional area of the chamber taken in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the second end of any conduit is substantially greater than the cross-sectional area of the conduit taken in the same plane.

3. The device of claim 1 further comprising a vane disposed in the chamber between the second ends of the conduits.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the wall of the mixing chamber is rifled, and the second end of each conduit is disposed in a different groove of the rifling.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein said means includes a flushing port more distant from the nozzle than the second end of a conduit and a flushing line, one end of the flushing line being communicably coupled to the flushing port and another end of the line being communicably coupled to a source of pressurized flushing fluid.

6. The device of claim 1 further comprising a multicomponent pressure-operated dispensing container including a plurality of product dispensing valves, each of the valves being engaged in fluid conducting relation with the first end of a conduit and each of the valves being operably engaged with the actuator means.

7. A device comprising a chamber housing;

a walled chamber in the housing, the wall of the chamber being rifled;

a constricted nozzle in the housing, the nozzle communicating with the chamber and with the exterior of the housing;

a plurality of conduits on the housing, each of the conduits having a first end and a second end, the first end of each conduit being adapted to engage a dispensing valve of a multi-component pressure-operated dispensing container in fluid conducting relation, the second end of each conduit being in communication with the chamber through separate portions of the wall thereof, each conduit at the second end thereof being adapted to direct a fluid product into the chamber in a direction generally towards the nozzle, the second end of each conduit being disposed in a different groove of the rifling of the wall of the chamber; and

actuator means on the housing for simultaneously opening all the dispensing valves while the conduits are engaged therewith.

8. A device comprising a chamber housing;

a walled chamber in the housing;

a constricted nozzle in the housing, the nozzle communicating with the chamber and with the exterior of the housing;

a plurality of conduits on the housing, each of the conduits having a first end and a second end, the first end of each conduit being adapted to engage a dispensing valve of a multi-component pressure-operated dispensing container in fluid conducting relation, the second end of each conduit being in communication with the chamber through separate portions of the wall thereof, each conduit at the second end thereof being adapted to direct a fluid product into the chamber in a direction generally towards the nozzle;

actuator means on the housing for simultaneously opening all the dispensing valves while the conduits are engaged therewith;

a multi-component pressure-operated dispensing container including a plurality of product dispensing valves, each of the valves being engaged in fluid conducting relation with the first end of a conduit and each of the valves being operably engaged with the actuator means;

a valve on the dispensing container adapted to dispense pressurized propellant therefrom; and

flushing means for conducting pressurized propellant from said valve and container to the chamber, the flushing means being operable independently of the actuator means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,178,157 4/1965 Cole 222-136 X 3,236,457 2/1966 Kennedy et al 239-304 3,303,970 2/1967 Breslau et al. 239-304 X 3,416,707 12/1968 Pollard 222-148 X 3,416,709 12/1968 Shultz et al 222-94 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner F. R. HANDREN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/136, 222/148, 239/304
International ClassificationB65D83/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/68
European ClassificationB65D83/68