US 3572557 A
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United States Patent Cecil Robert Montgomery Graham Killara near Sydney;
Lambert Ronald Little, Eastwood near Sydney, New South Wales 72] inventors  Appl.No. 771,567  Filed Oct. 29, 1968  Patented Mar. 30, 1971  Assignee Samuel Taylor Pty. Limited Gore Hill, New South Wales  Priority Nov.6, 1967  Australia  29481/67  AEROSOL VALVES 11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.  U.S.Cl.... ..222/402.22  Int.Cl. ....B65d83/00  FieldofSearch ..222/402.20, .21, .22, .23, .24; 320/518, 542/25l/(lnquired)  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,709,111 5/1955 Green 222/402.22 3,060,965 10/1962 Taggart ZZZ/402.22
3,098,589 7/1963 Graham ZZZ/402.22 3,344,961 10/1967 Graham ZZZ/402,22 FOREIGN PATENTS 935,333 6/1948 France ZZZ/402.22
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-H5. Lane Attorney McGlew & Toren ABSTRACT: A closure for aerosol containers includes a tubular stem having a bore for discharging the aerosol and the stem has a concentrically arranged flange located at the inlet end of the stem within the container. The flange is formed on one face to provide a cup-shaped surface which is in contact with a first gasket and on its other face to afford a groove communicating between the inlet end to the bore through the stem and an opening through the flange which communicates with the cup-shaped surface. A second gasket is disposed in sealing engagement with the other face of the flange so that aerosol passing through the opening in the flange can flow through the groove only into the inlet end of the bore in the stem.
L Q 42 I2 I ll AEROSOL VALVES This invention relates to a closure for aerosol containers, the closure being of the type including a valve mechanism associated with a tubular stem which is passed with clearance through an aperture in the closure and is resiliently displaceable relative to the closure and to the container, the stem projecting outward from the container through said aperture and acting as a discharge outlet for aerosol from the container whenever it is displaced, e.g. tilted or otherwise, by finger pressure, within said aperture against the action of suitable spring means. The aforementioned valve mechanism comprises a gasket which seals said aperture and tightly surrounds the stern, and a flange on said stem, the flange being cupped, which means to say that it has an upturned edge which normally engages the gasket from within the container all around the circumference of said edge but can be detached, at least partly, from the gasket e.g. by tilting the stem, as indicated above. The valve mechanism also includes a metering hole controlling the rate of aerosol escape from the container.
The flange and said spring means are both accommodated within a shell which may be substantially cylindrical and is open at one end thereof. This open end engages the side of the gasket facing the interior of the container, whereas the other end of the shell is constricted to form a tubular outlet for aerosol from the container, this outlet allowing some of the contents of the container to escape from the latter via a dip tube into the shell when the valve mechanism is operated by displacing the stem.
In the following such a closure will be called a closure of the type above referred to." 7
ln known constructions of the above type the stem with its flange is made of metal, and the metering hole is provided laterally in the tubular wall of the stem, close to the flange and within a space surrounded by the upturned edge of the flange. Producing the metering hole at this location is in itself a difficult process, more particularly since the hole cannot be produced by any casting, diecas'ting or similar operation. This observation would apply even if the stem with its cupped flange were made of a synthetic or plastic material. To this time, however, the stem and its flange have been made exclusively of metal.
The'manufacture of the stem with its cupped flange from metal involves the further disadvantage that it is practically impossible to produce the lateral hole in the stem with any precision and, furthermore, that the hole is subject to contamination and/or corrosion, the latter particularly during prolonged periods of nonuse of the container.
The main object of the invention is to provide an improved closure for the purpose set forth having a valve mechanism of the type first above referred to, which renders it possible to arrange the hole through which the aerosol enters the tubular space of the stern, in such a position that it can be produced easily in any suitable manner and with any degree of accuracy.
A further object of the invention is to arrange the said hole in such a manner that it can easily be produced while manufacturing the stem with its flange by such processes as diecasting or moulding, which offers the additional advantage that the stem and its flange can be made in one piece of a suitable synthetic or plastic material.
The present invention consists essentially in that in a closure of the type above referred to, the hole which provides communication of the tubular interior of the stem with the space surrounding the bottom end of the tubular stem within the container is provided in the cupped flange itself and extends substantially parallel to the axis of the tubular stem, the connection between the said hole and the interior of the tubular stem being constituted by a groovelike passage provided in the outer surface of the flange whichis substantially flat, said passage extending between said hole and the open inlet into the tubular stem. To enable the operation of the valve mechanism as required, a second gasket is placed over the substantially flat outer flange surface within the aforementioned shell, said second gasket being kept firmly in sealing engagement with the flange to prevent any aerosol leaving the container on operation of the aerosol valve, from returning to the container through the shell. 7
The arrangement according to the invention also enables the provision within the hollow interior of the stem, of a second metering hole at a required-distance from the first metering hole, whereby a more effective atomization of the aerosol leaving the container is achieved before the atomized aerosol enters the nozzle usually provided in the spray head attached to the outer end of the stem.
In order to more particularly describe the invention reference is made to the accompanying drawings which, by way of example only, illustrate some embodiments of the improved closure and wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates in longitudinal section one embodiment of the closure according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view showing the stem and flange of the closure shown in FIG. I, viewed from underneath;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section similar to FIG. 1 illustrating a modified form of the closure;
FIG. 4 is a view of the cap used in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, viewed from underneath; and
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal section showing a modified form of the combined stem and flange for use in any of the embodiments of the invention.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. l the valve assembly comprises a top made, for instance, of sheet metal or of other resilient e.g. plastic material, the top having a peripheral flange 11 tobe sealed by a suitable sealing composition 12 to the upper edge 13 surrounding an opening e.g. of a bottle or of a container for aerosol. The shape of the top is immaterial as the top can be designed to fit any specific type of container or bottle and be attached thereto by crimping or otherwise.
The central part of the top l0 iscylindrical and has a flat middle portion 14 with a central aperture 15 therein, and a cylindrical wall 16. Asealing gasket 19 of rubber or other elastomeric material is placed into the cavity of the central part surrounded by the wall 16 and tightly engages the interior surface of the flat middle portion 14 of the central part of the top. The gasket 19 has a central hole 20 the diameter of which is smaller than that of the aperture 15.
A cylindrical shell 21 is accommodated within the cylindrical part of the top, the open end of said shell being provided all around with a bead 22 which, after insertion into said central part is retained by crimping a shoulder 18, the cylindrical part 16, the bead 22 being held tightly between the gasket 19 and the shoulder 18. v i
In its bottom portion the shell 21 is reduced in diameter to form a tubular socket 24 for the attachment thereto of a dip tube 25 which, as usual, extends to a location near the bottom of the aerosol container.
A tubular stem 27 made in one piece with a flange 28, by
V moulding e.g. from nylon, from an acetal resin, or from any other suitable plastic material is passed through the central hole 20 of the gasket 19, the stem 27 being a tight fit in said hole. The periphery 29 of the flange 28 is upturned as shown, and engages the interior surface of the gasket 19, which seals the aperture 15 in the top 10 of the aerosol container.
A hole 30 is formed in the cupped portion 31 of the flange 28 at a distance from the longitudinal axis of the tubular stem 27, the hole 30 extending parallel to that axis from the cupped side of the flange to the other side of the latter which faces the interior of the container. A passage 32 is formed in the substantially flat surface 33 of the flange 28, the passage being constituted by shallow groove or recess in said surface. The passage 32 extends between the hole 30 and the hollow interior 26 of the tubular stem 27 which terminates in the surface 33. The passage 32 permits the flow of aerosol from the shell 21, which accommodates the flange 28, over at least a part of the raised and upturned edge 29 of the latter, through the hole 30 and the passage 32 into the passage 26 of the tubular stem 27, whenever the stem is displaced for operation in the usual manner, by finger pressure applied to the end portion of the stem 27 which projects from the container top, e.g. via a spray head and finger piece 34. I
Providing the hole 30 at the location shown makes it possible to produce same with any desired degree of accuracy when moulding or diecasting the stem 27. Furthermore, it renders it possible to make the hole 30 so narrow that it can act as a metering hole.
A disc-shaped second gasket 35 of rubber or other elastomeric material is accommodated in a cap 36, and overlies the surface 33 of the flange 28 so as to seal the passage 32 safely against the interior space of the shell 21 and of the container accommodating the shell. Spring means accommodated within the shell 21 and acting upon the cap 36, urge said second gasket 35 into permanent and resilient engagement with the flange 28. Thereby they safely prevent any flow of aerosol between the passage 32 and the space of the shell 21 other than over the upturned edge 29 of the flange 28 during the actuation of the valve mechanism. For the purpose of improving the sealing effect of the gasket 35 the flange surface 33 is provided all around its periphery with an annular circumferential ridge 37 which is firmly engaged throughout its circumference by the gasket 35 owing to the pressure exerted on said gasket by the aforementioned spring means.
As shown in FIG. 1 the spring means may consist, as in known constructions, of a coil spring 38 one end portion of which surrounds a central projection 39 provided on the cap 36, while its opposite end rests on the bottom portion 41 of the shell 21 between its cylindrical wall 23 which carries the bead 22, and the socket 24. The projection 39 on the cap 36 retains the spring 38 in its position and also facilitates assembly of the closure.
The wall thickness of the tubular stem 27 is preferably increased in the section 42 passed through the gasket 19, for strength while the wall thickness of the outer extremity of the stem 27 is preferably reduced as shown, to keep the size of the finger piece 34 which contains the spray nozzle within desired limits. A
The interior diameter of the passage 26 in the stem 27, however, should be as large as possible to allow rapid filling of the aerosol container through the stem 27 where this filling method is desired.
A shoulder 43 is preferably provided on the stem 27, between the part 42 of the stem and the flange 28. This shoulder forms a support for the gasket 19 around the hole formed in the latter, the should preventing blockage of the hole 20 in the event of the product causing swelling of the gasket.
As will be seen from FIG. 2, the groove 32 which establishes communication between the hole and the inlet end of the passage 26 of the tubular stem 27, extends about tangentially from the hole 30 towards the circumference of the passage 26, and surrounds it, e.g. spirally as shown. Owing to this arrangement aerosol entering the stem 27 from the groove 32 is deflected from the shortest path, and centrifugal forces exerted on the aerosol where it enters the passage 26, produce a whirling motion of the aerosol ejected from the container through the stem 27.
The operation of the valve mechanism in the closure described herein does not differ from that in a known closure of the type above referred to and, therefore, does not require explanation. It will be understood, however, that the actuation of the valve may be effected, selectively, either by tilting the stem 27, or by pushing it inwardly against the action of the coil spring 28.
The present invention is also applicable to closures of the type described e.g. in Pat. application Ser. No. 530,840 according to which the metal spring is replaced by a central, resiliently deformable projection which, for instance, may project from the bottom of the shell.
This is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, which show a closure and valve mechanism which differs from the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 essentially in the followmg:
The cap 136 which is made of acetal resin or of another resiliently deformable plastic material, holds and supports the second gasket 35, which here also is provided with a central e.g. truncated cone-shaped projection 139. The middle of this projection is split, e.g. by a number of diametrically extending slits 50, into a number of substantially triangular flaps 51 which permit deformation of the projection 139 by pressure exerted thereon in the direction towards the gasket 35. These slits 50 also ensure that the pressured within the container acts on the gasket 35 and improves the seal between said gasket and the annular projection 37 from the flat surface of the cupped flange 28.
A projection 52 is also provide above the tubular socket 24 which extends into the aerosol container. The projection 52 extends into the shell 21 and is formed with a number of holes 53 which permit aerosol entering the socket 24 from the container to escape into the shell 21 and thence, to flow around the upturned edge 29 of the flange 28 through the hole 30, the groove 32 and the passage 26 of the tubular stem 27, whenever the valve mechanism is actuated by finger pressure in the manner described above.
It will be seen that the arrangement shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 may take up less space within the aerosol container than that according to FIGS. 1 and 2. Here also the stem 27 can be made in one piece with the flange 28, e.g. by moulding from a plastic material. The shell 21 can likewise be made by moulding in one piece from a suitable plastic material, the formation of the holes 53 in the projection 52 representing no difficulties. Similarly, the cap 136 with the slits 50 therein can easily be moulded from plastic material FIG. 5 shows a modification of the stem shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. The duct 226 of the tubular stem 227 is constricted at 60, i.e. at an optional distance from the inlet 61 to said duct. The constriction enables the formation within the duct 226 of a second metering hole 62 of optional diameter. In this construction an additional expansion chamber 63 is provided between said inlet 61 and the metering hole 62, the chamber 63 favoring a more thorough atomization of the aerosol leaving the spray nozzle.
We desire it to be understood that we do not wish protection by Letters Patent to be limited to the details described above and shown in the drawings, as these are capable of further modification within the scope of the appended claims.
Thus, for instance, material to be used in the manufacture of the tubular stem with its flange and of other moulded elements of the construction is not limited to acetal resins and nylon but other synthetic resins or plastic material can be used instead.
1. An improved closure for an aerosol container, having a valve mechanism for regulating the flow of aerosol from the container which comprises an axially extending tubular stern having a bore therethrough with the inlet end located within the container and an outlet end located exteriorly of the container, a flange disposed concentrically about and extending radially outwardly from the inlet end of said stem, said flange extending transversely of the bore through said stem and having a first face directed toward the outlet end of said stem and a second face orientated opposite. to said first face, the first face of said flange having an annular projection extending from its circumferential periphery toward the outlet end of said stem and forming a cup-shaped surface radially inwardly from said annular projection, a first gasket disposed about said tubular stem for effecting a seal thereabout, spring means supported within the container and normally biasing said flange against said first gasket so that said annular projection thereon is in displaceable contacting engagement with said first gasket, said flange having an opening extending therethrough from said first face to said second face and orientated in the axial direction of said stem and spaced radially outwardly from said stem and radially inwardly from said annular projection on said first face, said second face of said flange having a groove formed inwardly therein and the groove extending between and in communication with the opening through said flange and the inlet end of said bore in said tubular stem, a second gasket disposed across the second face of said flange and covering the groove therein, means including said spring means urging said second gasket against the second face of said flange in sealing engagement therewith whereby in displacing said stem against the action of said spring means said annular projection is at least in part displaced from said first gasket and aerosol is admitted to the space radially inward of said annular projection and defined between the cup-shaped surface of the first face of said flange and the oppositely arranged surface of said first gasket, the aerosol flows from the space on the first face of the flange through the opening in said flange into said groove and passes inwardly through said groove to said second gasket forms a seal across said groove in the second face of said flange so that the aerosol cannot escape from the groove and is directed into the bore through said stem.
2. An improved closure, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said groove in said second face of said flange connecting the opening through said flange with said bore in said tubular stem being disposed about the entire circumference of the inlet end to said bore so as to produce a whirling motion of the aerosol entering the bore of said stem.
3. An improved closure, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the second face of said flange containing said groove is substantially planar and at its circumferential periphery an outwardly extending ridge is urged into sealing contact with said second gasket by the action of said spring means and the internal pressure within the container.
4. A closure as claimed in 1, wherein the hole in said cupped flange is dimensioned to act as a metering hole during the operation of the valve mechanism.
5. An improved closure, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said bore through said tubular stem is constricted at a location intermediate its inlet and outlet ends for providing a second metering hole within said tubular stem and an expansion chamber for the aerosol between said metering holes.
6. An improved closure, as set forth in claim 1, wherein a shoulder is formed on said first face of said flange extending outwardly from its cup-shaped surface and disposed about the outer surface of said tubular stem for providing a support for said first gasket at its radially inner end about said tubular stem.
7 A closure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said tubular stem and flange are made in one piece from a synthetic plastic material by moulding.
8. A closure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said tubular stem and flange are made in one piece by diecasting.
9. An improved closure, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said spring means comprises a coil spring, a shell positioned within the container and supporting said coil spring, said shell enclosing said flange and said second gasket, and said means urging said second gasket against the second face of said flange including a cap in contact with the surface of said second gasket facing oppositely from said flange and said cap having a central projection thereon extending outwardly from said second gasket for locating one end of said coil spring.
10. An improved closure, as set forth in claim 1, wherein a shell retained within said container and laterally enclosing said flange said second gasket and said spring means, said shell having a tubular socket spaced from said flange in the axial direction of said tubular stem for admitting aerosol into the interior of said shell, a cap located within said shell and disposed in engagement with the surface of said second gasket facing outwardly from said flange, said cap and said spring means combining for urging said second gasket against the second face of said flange, a central projection formed on said cap and extending axially outwardly from said second gasket, said shell having a second projection formed therein extending in the axial direction toward and in engagement with said central projection on said cap, and at least one of said central projection and said second projection being resiliently compressible for providing said spring means for normally biasing said flange against said first gasket.
1 A closure as claimed in claim 10, wherein the central projection from said cap is split radially to form a number of flaps which facilitate resilient deformation in the direction towards said second gasket.