US 3583607 A
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United States Patent Theodore Andrew Beck Andover, Mass.
 Appl. No. 812,082
 Filed Apr. 1,1969
 Patented June 8, 1971  Assignee Scovill Manufacturing Company Waterbury, Conn.
 Inventor  UNITARY CAP AND VALVE ACTUATOR 2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl ZZZ/402.21  Int. Cl 865d 83/14  Field of Search ..222/402.2 l 402.13, 402.23
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,139,223 6/1964 Kruck 222/402.13
3,314,576 4/1967 Focht et al ZZZ/402.13 3,330,447 7/1967 Doblin 222/402.23 3,469,746 9/1969 Melocchi ZZZ/402.13
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Stack, Jr. Att0mey-Dallett Hoopes ABSTRACT: The combination cap and valve actuator is molded in one piece, the actuator button being joined to the cap by a flexible strip. The valve is opened by lateral pressure applied to the strip on the side of the cap opposite the spray discharge, and during this action the forward part of the but ton moves under the top wall of the cap, thus requiring only a minimum interruption of the smooth top surface of the cap.
UNITARY CAP AND VALVE ACTUATOR This invention relates to a unitary cap and valve actuator of which there are several examples classified officially in class ZZZ/402.13. It is intended especially for use with containers having a valve of the tilt action type with an upwardly projecting hollow stem which is tilted or canted to open the valve.
Some of the objects of the invention are to provide a cap and actuator button combination which can be easily molded as one piece from suitable plastic material; to provide for maximum smoothness of the complete outer surface of the cap with minimum interruptions of the top and annular walls; and to provide a unitary cap and valve actuator which is easily operable by lateral pressure applied to the side of the cap opposite the discharge passage.
The actuator button is integrally joined to a strip which is flexibly hinged to the annular wall of the cap and is flush with the top wall from which the strip and button are separated only by a narrow slit. When the button is moved laterally in the opening of the valve, the front upper edge of the button will move under the top wall of the cap thus permitting operation of the button even though in the normal position it is separated from the top wall only by the narrow slit. Other objects and advantages of the invention will hereinafter more fully appear.
In the accompanying drawings, l have shown for purposes of illustration, one embodiment which the invention may assume in practice. In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical central section through the unitary cap and valve actuator illustrating its application to the top of an aerosol container;
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the cap;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view; and
FIG. 5 is a view principally in vertical central section showing the position of the parts when the valve is open.
I have shown the cap and actuator applied to a typical aerosol container 6 having a rim 7, and an upwardly projecting hollow valve stem 8. The cap has an annular wall with a solid lower portion 9 which is adapted to be coupled to the container in some manner. In the present instance, this wall 9 has an internal bead 10 around the bottom edge adapted to snap over the container rim 7.
An actuator button 11 is arranged centrally inside the cap and has a vertical bore 12, the lower portion of which is adapted to fit tightly around the stem 8. Communicating with the bore 12 is a lateral discharge passage 13 which may be fitted with an orifice insert if desired. Integrally joined to the top of the button 11 is a strip 14 which extends rearward to the annular wall and thence downwardly into the annular wall to provide a rear hinge section 15 where the strip joins the solid annular wall portion 9, the downwardly extending portion of this trip being designated by the numeral 16. Preferably, this downwardly extending portion of the strip is reinforced by an internal rib 17 so as better to withstand lateral pressure applied to the strip portion 16 in opening of the valve in the manner indicated in FIG. 5.
The top wall extends continuously around the sides of the top strip portion 14 and across the front of the button 11, the side portions of the wall being designated 18 and 19 while the front portion is designated 20. This top wall is made flush with the top surface of the strip 14 and preferably the entire upper surface is flat. It will be observed that the side and front edges of the entire strip l4, 16, are separated from the top wall and the annular wall by only a narrow slit, the horizontal portions of which are numbered 21 and 31, the vertical portions 22 and 32 and the front portion 30. This makes for overall smoothness and maximum coverage of the top of the can. A lateral opening 23 is provided in the cap in registry with the discharge passage 13 so as to conduct the spray through the cap wall. Preferably, this opening is made in an inwardly indented wall portion 24 so as to bring it closer to the actuator utton.
It will be noted that the top front comer of the button is bevelled as indicated at 25 so as to facilitate movement of the button under the top wall portion 20 in opening the valve, this position being seen in FIG. 5.
l. A unitary cap and valve actuator for aerosol containers wherein the valve is of the tilt action type having an upwardly projecting hollow stem, comprising a. an annular wall having a solid lower portion adapted to be coupled to a container;
b. an actuator button arranged centrally inside the cap and having a vertical bore adapted to fit tightly around said stem and a forwardly directed lateral discharge passage which stops well within the confines of the annular wall;
c. a strip integral with the top of the button extending rearwardly to said annular wall and thence downwardly into said annular wall to provide a single curved rear hinge section where the strip joins said solid annular portion;
d. a top wall flush with the top surface of said strip, said wall having portions along the sides of the strip and a portion in front of the button, said strip and button being separated from said top wall by a continuous narrow slit which extends from said hinge section along both sides of said strip and around the front of the button, and
e. a lateral opening in the cap registering with said discharge passage.
2. A unitary cap and valve actuator as defined in claim 1 wherein the front upper corner of the actuator button is bevelled so that it may more readily move under the cap top wall.