US 3556171 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Primary Examiner-Robert M. Walker AttorneyStrauch, Nolan, Neale, Nies & Kurz ABSTRACT: A relatively large aerosol-type container contains compatible liquid ingredients of a formulation such as a hair spray blend and a charge of inert gas under pressure. A small aerosol-type container contains an incompatible or unstable mixture forming liquid ingredient at a pressure higher than the total pressure within the large container. This latter ingredient may be any other ingredient such as a perfume desirably segregated until the time of use. The containers are coupled together with the valves of both held open so that the small container ingredient is transferred into mixture with the ingredients in the large container. Then the small container is purged of any remaining gas, and the containers are recoupled to transfer perfumed mixture into the small container which can be usedin the conventional manner by the consumer. The small container has a passage in its housing between-the interior of the container and that of the valve that is automatically closed while the container is upright and opened while the container is inverted.
PATENTEDJAMQIQYI 5 SHEET 1 0F 3 INVENTORS g I WILLIAM JEROME GANGWISCH u ,*-i 11 JOHN JANES KEHOE ATTORNEYS PATENTEU JAN 1 9 I97! INVENTORS I WILLIAM JEROME GANGWISCH JOHN JAMES KEHOE ATTQRNE 'PATENTEB JAN 1 919m SHEET 3 OF 3 74 5 54 75 66 7| 4} 69 g 2 59 1 III] r I 12' a 5 J .29 75 83 3| a INVENTORS H WILLIAM JEROMEGANGWISCH w JOHN JAMES KEHOE ATTORNEYS BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION It has been known for some time that it is desirable to keep certain ingredients of an aerosol or like formulation segregated as long as possible to prevent undesirable chemical reactions or any unstable admixture that might reduce the cffectiveness of the formulation when used by the ultimate consumer. It may also be desirable for esthetic reasonsto maintain segregated portions of the total composition. An example of this which relates to a preferred embodiment of the invention is the mixing of perfume oils with the remaining ingredients of a sprayable hair spray-formulation. These remaining ingredients, which represent unperfumed hair spray comprise, for example, mainly anhydrousethanol admixed with a resinlike binding material. If the perfume is added'by the ultimate consumer, it is possible to offer a choice of different perfumes for a single unperfumed container having the remaining ingredients. The invention here includes the concept of reusing the small container by transferring into it some of the mix ture from the large container, which has not been thought to be possible heretofore.
There have been a number of systems proposed wherein a mixture from a highly pressurized socalled mother container may be dispensed into a smaller so-called daughter container by means that simultaneously couples the containers and opens the valves of both containers but these arrangements cannot satisfactorily effect transfer in both directions.
The invention provides for the first time a novel method and apparatus for transferring an essential liquid ingredient from a small container to a large container, and then transferring some of the mixture back into the small container, without any special manipulation instructions and without structural modification of either. container between thetransfers, and this is the major object of the invention. D
The invention further involves special arrangements and relative pressure values in the respective aerosol-type containers that provide a novel method of formulating and dispensing. While the invention will be described in its preferred embodiment for formulating perfumed hair spray and dispensing it, it is equally applicable to the formulation and dispensing of any incompatible or reactive ingredients that mix in optimum association only just prior to use, as for example the mixing of odor agents, flavoring materials, sunscreen agents and the like with remaining ingredient vehicles.
Another advantage of the invention relates to mixtures which normally have a very short stability period which reduces their shelf age and storage capabilities. The invention segregates parts of the mixture until in the hands of the consumer, and once the mixture is completed it will be stable for the normal consumer use period.
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is provided in the small container a passage into the valve body thereof which passage is normallyclosed while the container is upright and open while the container is inverted. It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide a novel small container structure wherein a passage is formed at the extreme top of the container which is automatically closed when the container is upright and open when the container is inverted. Other objects include valve structure details including a counter weighted pivoted device for closing and opening thepassage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view mainly in section showing the small and large containers in operative assembly with their valves open for transfer of the liquid content of the small container into the large container;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary viewinsection showing the valve structure and flow path in the FIG. Lassembly;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary viewin section showing the valves in closed position prior to assembly to the FIG. 1 position;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary fragmentary section showing the I pivot of the counterweighted passage closure of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view mainly in section showing the container of FIG. 6 inverted over the upper end of the large container as they approach transfer position so that for example the vapor tap passage in the valve body is automatically opened for discharge of the liquid ingredient to be transferred to the lower large container when this small container enters the assembly of FIG. 1.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF INVENTION In the invention a relatively large aerosol-type container is filled with one of the compositions to be mixed, and a smaller aerosol-type container 12 is filled with the other of the compositions to be mixed to form a usable product. Initially the two containers are physically separate Container 11 comprises a sidewall 13 having a fixed bottom wall 14 for closing the lower end, and a top closure structure comprising an outer annular top wall member 15 crimped' over the sidewall at 16 and a central topwall member 17 crimped over the member 15 at 18 and mounting the valve assembly 19. Preferably all of these container walls are thin gauge sheet metal formed to desired shape, and the wall connections are gastight.
Valve 19 comprises a body 21 which is hollow to define a chamber 22 open at its upper end and a reduced diameter. passage 23 at its lower end opening into the interiorof container 11. A sealing annulus 24 of synthetic rubber or lie like i resilient material is seated across the top of body 21. The inner periphery of top wall member 17 is formed at 25-to extendv under the enlarged upper end of valve body 21, up around the body end and terminate in an inwardly projecting ledge 26 overlying sealing annulus 24. This fixes body 21 on the upperwall and also tightly and sealingly clamps the outer periphery of annulus 24 upon the valve body.
Within chamber 22 a valve element27 having an annular central top recess 28 surrounded by a flat ended rim 29is nor:- mally biased by a compression spring 31 to sealingly engage rim 29 with annulus 24. This is the normal closed conditionof' this container valve and is illustrated in FIG. 3.
Valve element 27 is guided for reciprocationlongitudinally" within chamber 22 and its outer periphery iseither ofsuch.
diameter or so formed with longitudinal flutes as to provide:
one or more unobstructed fluid-conducting spaces 301 nor mally closed by seal 24 as shown in FIG. 3.
A hollow dip tube 32 has its upper end seated'in. avalve body recess 33 surrounding passage 23, and its open-lower end 34 is disposed adjacent the bottom wall of the container.
Container 12 comprises a sidewall 35 iintegralwith a. bottom wall 36. and a top wall assembly 37 is crimped upon the. sidewall at 38 and mountinga valve assembly 39-.
Valve assembly 39 comprises a hollow body 41 containinga I chamber 42 open at the top and having a reduced'diameter passage 43 connecting chamber 42 withthe container interior. A resilient sealing annulus 44 is seatedaeross the top ofbody 41. The inner periphery of top wall assembly 37is formed' at 45 to extend under the enlarged upper end of .body 41', up
around the body end and terminate in an inwardly projecting ledge 46 overlying annulus 44. This fixes body 41 on the upper wall and tightly and sealingly clamps the outer periphery of annulus 44 on the valve body.
Within chamber 42 a reciprocable valve element47 having its periphery spacedfrom the chamber wall to define a fluid conducting space 48 is formed withan upwardly open recess 49 surrounded by a flat rim 51. Element 47 is biased by compression spring 52 to normally sealingly engage rim 51 on annulus 44 in the valve-closed position of FIG. 3. An internal fixture 53 has a boss 54 by which it is mounted on the inner end of valve body 41 and a hollow bore 55 aligned with passage 43 and one end of a dip tube 56 secured on the fixture and terminating in an open end 57 at bottom wall 36. A passage 58 through the fitting intersects bore 55 above the dip tube, and when the container 12 is upright this passage is usually closed by an annular flat ring 59 slidably supported on the fixture seating by gravity upon the outer end of passage 58. FIG. 3 shows in solid lines the ring 59 in its normal passage-closing position before it drops to the dotted line position when container 12 is inverted.
A hollow valve stem 61 is secured to one of the containers. Here valve stem 61 has one end fixed with recess 49 of valve element 47 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and projects outwardly through the aligned openings sealing annulus 44 and ledge 46. A side port 62 in stem 61 is located to be disposed within the closely surrounding opening 63 of annulus 44 when the parts are in the valve-closed condition of FIG. 2. A side port 64 is provided near the outer end of tube 61 for a purpose to appear.
The invention for example contemplates providing for dispensing of a hair spray that may be perfumed at the choice of the user. Thus the larger container 11 may be a fourteen ounce container in which at room temperature there is as indicated at F in FIG. 1 a liquid blend of hair spray concentrate without perfume and also a charge of liquified gas propellant at a suitable vapor pressure, say about 30 p.s.i. gauge pressure. This container would also contain in its upper portion a charge P of a compressed inert gas such as nitrogen at a suitably high pressure, say about 60 p.s.i. gauge pressure.
The small container 12 may be about a 2 ounce container, corresponding to that called purse size, and in this container is the liquid perfume oil or oil blend in solution in ethyl alcohol as indicated at F and also a charge of liquified gas propellant indicated at P having a vapor pressure of about 100 p.s.i. gauge pressure.
The two containers are charged with their contents in the usual way.
The user, in purchasing hair spray, will purchase the larger container of unperfumed material and select a small container of a desired perfume. By thus providing for customer choice of the perfume, composite dual container packages for each perfume odorare eliminated and inventory costs and related factors minimized.
Having obtained the larger container 11 and the small container 12, the user now proceeds to transfer the liquid perfume contents of small container 12 into container 1 1. This is done by inverting small container 12 and assembling the parts to the illustrated FIG. 1 position with stem 61 projecting into valve 19. In FIG. 3 the two adjacent valve ends of the respective containers are shown in the relative positions they assume prior to assembly in FIG. 1. The end of stem 61 projecting from container 12 passes through the central opening of seal annulus 24 to seat in valve element recess 28, and then the containers are axially pushed toward each other. This results in stem 61 unseating both valve elements 27 and 47, and in closure ring 59 dropping to the full line position of FIG. 2 to uncover passage 58 to the interior of container 12, and the liquid contents of small container 11 now will be forced to flow along the path indicated by the arrows in FIG. 2 from the interior of container 11 through passage 58 and bore 55, passage 43, chamber 42, the space 48 at the periphery of valve element 47, valve stem 61 and ports 62 and 64, past displaced valve element 27 in space 30 into chamber 22 and passage 23, and through dip tube 32 directly into the hair spray blend F in the lower interior of container 12. This transfer takes place because the initial pressure P is greater than the total pressure within the large container.
The containers are so held in assembly until the liquid perfume contents F are all transferred into the larger container where they become mixed with the hair spray ingredients below the gas space at P and thus complete ready to use formulation of the hair spray. This formulation, when the the containers are separated, will remain in the large container available for refill or direct use by the customer. Valve 19 recloses of course when stem 61 is withdrawn.
The small container 12 is now purged by depressing valve stem 61 for allowing remaining internal pressure to exhaust and the interior pressure to reduce to atmospheric pressure.
The customer now may use the small container 12 to extract a small amount of the hair spray mixture from container 11. This is done by inverting the small container and reassembling the containers as shown in FIG. 4 which is of course the same physical assembly as FIG. 1 in that stem 61 projects into valve 19 and effects opening of both valves and ring 59 drops to uncover passage 58.
At this time however, container 11 contains the completed mixed hair spray formulation with liquified propellant as above explained and, since the interior of container 12 is at atmospheric pressure, pressurized flow of the mixture will take place in the direction of the arrows of FIG. 4, which is exactly opposite to the flow shown by the arrows of FIG. 2, until container 12 is filled with the perfumed mixture.
The small container as shown in FIG. 5 which may be provided with a suitable combination actuator and cap 65 to close the open outer end of stem 61 and provide a lateral outlet aligned with port 64. This small container may be carried about in a purse available for use at any time, and when empty may be again refilled from the large container. As shown in FIG. 5, ring 59 now closes passage'58 in the normal upright use position of the small container and so there is nointerference with normal hair spray discharge through the dip tube 56 and valve 39 when stem 61 is depressed.
It is essential only that the large container contain a sufficiently high overpressure of the compressed inert gas to force the mixture up through dip tube 32 when the valve 19 is opened at this time.
Referring to FIGS. 6-8, small container 12 is provided with a different valve structure and vapor tap passage arrangements, but otherwise the similarly numbered parts as the same as in the other embodiment.
FIG. 6 shows the small container 12 upright. The sheet metal top wall 66 of the container is formed at 67 to grip the enlarged upper end of body 68 of the valve 69. Valve body 68 has a radial flange 71 that seats gastight on the underside of wall 66, and a passage 72 provides fluid communication between the interior of container 12 and chamber 73 within the valve body.
Valve element 74 within chamber 73 is normally biased by spring 75 to seat tightly on the resilient annular seal ring 76 which is peripherally clamped between the container wall 66 and the valve body. Stem 61 has one end fixed in valve element 74 and it projects through the seal annulus as in FIG. 3,
being formed with a port 62 normally closed by annulus 76 and the outer port 64. Dip tube 56 is attached to the valve body below passage 72 and extends to the bottom of the container as in FIG. 1.
When the container is upright as in FIG. 6, the inner end of passage 72 is automatically closed by a pivoted closure device 77 which comprises an annular central portion 78 of sufficiently larger diameter than stem 61 for free pivoting within a limited angular range on transverse pivots 79 on the stem. Diametrically opposite arms 81 and 82 extend from central portion 78. Arm 81 carries a counterweight 83 which biases the device to the FIG. 6 position when the container is upright to press a closure element 84 on arm 82 over the end of passage 72.
When container 12' is inverted, as shown in FIG. 8, closure device 77 automatically shifts under action by the counterweight to displace closure element 84 away from passage 72 and thus open passage 72 to the interior of container 12.
In operation small container 12 is assembled with large container 11 as in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, with closure x device 77 functioning like ring 59 in selectively opening and closing the vapor tap passage.
- Theinvention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereofaThe present embodiments. are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the
' pressure, providing a second aerosol type'container containing a second fluid composition maintained under a second pressure lower than said first pressure, transferring said first composition from said first container to said second container by the pressure differential therebetween and mixing said first and second compositions in said second container to form therein said completed mixture under pressure, purging said first container to expel excess gas, and transferring a portion of said mixture from said second container to said purged first container by the pressure differential therebetween whereby said mixture may be dispensed from said first container for desired use.
2. In the method defined in claim I, said first container pressure being provided by a liquified propellant gas.
3. In the method defined in claim '1, said second pressure being formed in part by a charge of inert gas under pressure and in part by a liquified propellant gas and said first container pressure being greater than said second pressure in the second container.
4. A system for formulating and dispensing a desired mixture of mainly liquid ingredients comprising two aerosol containers having means for selectively transferring contents in either direction between them, one of said containers containing a major portion of said ingredients maintained under a first a the container lower end. means at the upper end of said other internal pressure and the other of said containers containing at least one further ingredient maintained under a higher internal pressure, each of said containers having a valve unit at its upper end including a valve element normally spring-biased to closed position and dip tubes extending from the valve unit to container and interiorly of said valve element therein providing a passage in fluid communication with the interior of said other container independently of said clip tube, a movable closure device in said other container automatically'shiftable between a position where it closes said passage when that container is upright and another position where it unblocks said passage when that container is inverted, and a hollow valve stem mounted on the valve element in said other container adapted to be inserted into said one container into operative engagement with the valve element .of said one container whereby when said other container is inverted and connected in assembly with said one container by said insertion of the valve stem and the containers are displaced toward each other said valve elements are displaced to connect the interior of said one container in fluid communication with the interior of said other container through the dip tube therein and as sociated valve, through said stem and through the valve in said other container and both the dip tube therein and said passage.
5. In the system defined in claim 4, said valve stem having a lateral port adjacent the valve element of said other container that is sealed shut by the associated valve when said containers are separated and a lateral port adjacent its other end adapted to connect the interior of said stern in fluid communication with the interior of said one container when the associated valve element is displaced to valve open position.
6. In the system defined in claim 4, said valve in the other container having a chamber normally closed by the valve elejacent interior of said other container.