US 3591088 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent H 13,s91,0ss
 Inventor Edward H. Green 3,478,933 11/1969 Rousselot 222/193 711 Army Trail Rood, Addison, 111. 60101 3,300,144 1/1967 Marraffino 239/307 3 2 Primary Examiner-Lloyd L. King I Patented J y I97 Attorney S1lverman and Cass ABSTRACT: There is provided an atomizer sprayhead which is formed of two molded components, namely, a cap member  CONSTRUCTION and a cup member, the cap member being telescopically eni g gaged over the cup member to define a sprayhead body having  US. Cl. 239/304, an internal, independent reservoir, said cap carrying a hollow Z /1 239/337, 239/4 depending stem arranged to engage the valve plunger of an Int. Cl A62c 13/60 erosol valve assembly, the interior of said stern defining a first Field Of Search 222/193, or primary expansion chamber, and said cap further carries a 1 1 3 1 307 depending riser tube adapted to be disposed within said reservoir when the cap and cup telescopically are engaged.  References c'ted Horizontal conduit means are provided communicating UNlTED TATE P TE between the primary expansion chamber and the discharge 2, l 22,639 7/1938 Faiver 239/303 X orifice, a portion of said means comprising a secondary expan- 3,040,99l 6/1962 Fedit 239/304 sion chamber, and the riser tube and said horizontal conduit 3,058,669 10/ 1962 Drell 239/426 X means being so arranged so that the discharge jet of product 3,085,752 4/1963 Drell 239/303 X from the latter is directed angularly upward relative to the out- 3,l22,325 2/1964 Mahrt et al. 239/369 X let port of the riser tube to create an area of low pressure 3,305,134 2/1967 Carmichael et al... 239/304 X thereat, whereby to draw liquid from the reservoir, through 3,390,820 7/ 1968 Marraffino et al. 222/193 the riser tube and out the outlet port into the flowing product 3,454,228 7/1969 Mossop 239/344 X stream.
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E, ;:5 20 565% e 16 5 :58 e\\\ \xcl i .L t\\\ 96 84 30 l 6 mf 14 U I"- \T PATENTEDJUL 6197! 35910 8 sum 1 or 2 M/ nu! (34 nrromve'rs PATENTED JUL 6 |97| SHEET 2 UF 2 H IIIH HI] HIM M a N I ATOMIZER SPRAYIIEAD CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF'TI-IE INVENTION l l.' Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to pressurized dispensing packages and, more particularly, is concerned with the provision of an improved actuator cap or sprayhead construction for such packages, characterized by the inclusion of additional atomizer means as a part thereof.
2. Description of the Prior Art Dispensing of personal products such as hair lacquers, deodorants, room fresheners, and the like, by means of pressurized packaging such as typified by the well-known aerosol packages, hasachieved wide acceptance. Most of these products are scented and usually consist of a basic functional formulation and a characteristic odorant component. Often it wasconsidered advantageous for the packager to package a basic formulation, say a' hair lacquer, in an aerosol dispensing package and provide some means whereby the user could select a personal perfume, for example, and introduce same to the basic formulation of hair lacquer simultaneously with dispensing of same from the aerosol canister. It has been known to provide the actuator cap or sprayhead with reservoir means to hold a quantity of liquid under nonpressurized conditions, and means have been provided to introduce the contents of the reservoir means to the flow of discharge material from the aerosol container as the same was being discharged in the atmosphere through the sprayhead.
Difficulties immediately were encountered in providing a satisfactory dispensing system for such purpose as described. Leakage from the reservoir was of considerable concern. Failure of the nonpressurized material to be transferred in proper quantity from the reservoir to the main stream of pressurized product was encountered. Inadequate mixing of pressurized and nonpressurized material likewise was characteristic of earlier attempts to provide atomizer sprayhead structures. Additionally, in some structures the construction such as to result in the reservoir being pressurized whereupon dispensing of the contents of the reservoir was materially hampered. Facile loading of the nonpressurized material into the reservoir means that had been provided was not characteristic of those structures. Ease and convenience of mounting and operation also were not functional characteristics of those few prior attempts to provide an atomizer sprayhead construction. All in all, a better, more efficient and effective atomizer sprayhead construction was desired.
.Accordingly, the object of the present invention is to providesuch an improved, more efficient and effective atomizer sprayhead construction having an internal reservoir adapted to receive and store a quantity of nonpressurized liquid and srnall .bore conduit means for conducting said liquid to a location immediately forwardly adjacent the discharge orifice of the sprayhead so that the passage of expanding pressurized product over the mouth of said small bore conduit means will conduct the nonpressurized liquid from the reservoir into the expanding stream of pressurized product in a fully mixed, nebulized or atomized condition.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an atomizer sprayhead construction for an aerosol dispenser package wherein said sprayhead has an internal reservoir for holding nonpressurized liquid isolated from communication with the interior pressurized package, and internal pressurization of the reservoir is obviated by providing a venting means therefor torthe atmosphere.
A still further object of this invention is to provide an atomizer sprayhead having additional atomizer means provided therein, said means comprising a reservoir for containing product to be atomized, capillary means leading from the reservoir to the mouth located immediately adjacent or forward 'of the discharge orifice in the sprayhead, said discharge orifice communicating with the interior of the pressurized package by way of a horizontally arranged secondary expansion conduit and a hollow primary expansion conduit formed SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A sprayhead for pressurized dispensing packages wherein is provided an additional atomizer means characterized by a vented internal reservoir for receiving and storing nonpressurized liquid and formed within the sprayhead and small bore conduit means also formed within the sprayhead leading from the reservoir to a delivery mouth disposed closely adjacent the discharge orifice of the spray downstream thereof, the sprayhead adapted to be coupled to an aerosol valve assembly mounted on a canister containing pressurized product and movable to cause a stream of expanding pressurized product from the discharge orifice over the delivery mouth drawing the nonpressurized liquid from the reservoir through the conduit means and out the delivery mouth entraining same in the stream of pressurized product.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a pressurized dispensing package carrying the sprayhead constructed in accordance with the herein invention.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of the package shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the sprayhead constructed in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 4 is an elevational front view of the sprayhead constructed in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged detailed section of the vent means carried by the sprayhead of the invention shown here in closed condition. y
FIG. 6 is an enlarged section taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary detail of the sprayhead according to the invention and illustrating the relationship of the discharge ports of the riser tube and of the sprayhead.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional detail of a modified embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The invention contemplates novel means for providing additional atomizer means in an actuator cap or sprayhead for a pressurized package. An internal reservoir is formed within the sprayhead and a vertically arranged riser tube disposed therein to terminate in a secondary orifice; the sprayhead is provided with an internal expansion chamber means and a principal discharge orifice and a secondary, substantially horizontally arranged, expansion conduit communicates therebetween. The secondary orifice is located downstream of, but closely adjacent to, the primary discharge orifice. Now, a jet of expanding pressurized material is discharged over the secondary orifice defining a localized region of low pressure. This condition causes liquid from the reservoir to be drawn up the riser tube and be sucked into the jet stream at a rate sufficient to atomize the liquid into minute particles of droplets immediately dispersed into the rapidly moving stream of discharged pressurized product. The riser tube has a capillary passage upwardly terminating in the secondary orifice, with the latter preferably being of reduced diameter. Ordinarily, the liquid contents of the reservoir wets the riser tube once the liquid is introduced into the reservoir. An entry to the reservoir is provided for introducing liquid thereto, and a vented plug is provided for closing off entry to the reservoir. The plug is removable and, in fact, is provided with a pair of flats and an undercut portion to facilitate manipulation thereof. The plug is capable of being rotated for selectively exposing the vent to the atmosphere. The sprayhead, according to the invention, is formed of two molded components, one being an outer cap carrying the riser tube integral therewith, and the other being a top opening ringlike cup telescopically engageable within the cap and defining a reservoir chamber. When the cap and cup are engaged frictionally telescopically, the lower portion of the cap fits within the well of the conventional aerosol valve covering and is provided with an annular rib or outwardly directed abutments symmetrically arranged so as to retain the sprayhead therewithin although same is capable of limited vertical movement within the well of the valve cover provided.
Referring now to the drawings, in H0. 1 there is illustrated a pressurized package designated generally by reference character and comprising a cylindrical canister 12 having an upper dome 14 terminating in a curled lip 16 to provide an open top which is closed off by a valve cover member 18 wherein is mounted the dispenser valve mechanism.
The cover member 18 comprises a sheet-metal cuplike structure having an upper curled lip 20 adapted to be crimped over lip 16 and sealed by means of suitable gasketing material conventionally provided thereat. The cover member has a well 22, in the center of which there is an integral upstanding generally cylindrical boss 24. Boss 24 is provided with a central opening 26 in its top wall and is crimped to the outwardly flared upper end of a valve housing 28 as at 30. The housing 28 is sealed at its top end by means ofa rubberlike gasket 32 sandwiched between the top wall of boss 24 and the flared upper end of the valve housing 28.
A valve plunger 34 is disposed within the interior chamber 36 of the valve housing 28 and includes a generally cylindrical portion 38 in which is defined an upwardly opening socket 40. An annular sealing rim 42 surrounds the socket 40 and is provided with an inwardly opening galley formation 44. A helical spring 46 is disposed within the chamber 36. The spring 46 urges the plunger 34 upward so that the rim 42 normally is biased tightly to engage the bottom surface of the gasket 32 so as to seal off the interior of the chamber 36 from the atmosphere. The pressurized material within the canister cannot escape from the chamber 36 while the plunger is in this defined position.
The pressurized package 10 is completed with a sprayhead embodying the herein invention and designated generally by reference character 50. Sprayhead 50 is formed. of a pair of molded members, namely, a cap 52 and a cup 54 telescopically, frictionally engaged therewithin.
Cap 52 has a substantially cylindrical body portion 56, a pair of depending cylindrical skirt portions 58 and 60, depending hollow tubular stem 62, and a depending capillary riser tube 64 disposed between the pair of skirts 58 and 60. The stem 62 is of size and configuration whereby the lower end thereof slidably and sealingly is engaged through the center opening 26 of the boss 24 and center opening of the perforate gasket 32 to terminate within the socket 40 of the valve plunger 34. A bottom opening through-slot 66 is formed at the lower end of the stem 62, the upper end of slot 66 opening to the gallery 44 and being enlarged at the lower end as at 68 whereby to provide drippage collection means preventing clogging of the upper end of the slot by residual pressurized material. The upper end of slot 66 reaches only to the annular rim 42 of the valve plunger 34 and does not extend into the gasket at any time. A precise cross-sectional area opening at the upper end of the slot 66 is exposed to the flow of pressurized material when the annular rim 42 is unsealed as by actuation of the stem 62 downwardly against the bias of spring 46. The specific slot formation here described does not form any part of the herein invention and different types of slot formations, as well as plunger formations, easily can be utilized within the scope of the herein invention.
The hollow stem 62 defines an expansion chamber 70 interior thereof, extending into the body 56 of the cap 52 through a vertical passage 72. The body 52 is provided with an internal,
' horizontally arranged secondary expansion conduit 74 terminating at its outer end in a discharge orifice 76 and being connected at its inner end with the upper portion of vertical passage 72 through narrow connecting passageway 78. Con necting passage 78 may be eliminated, in which case conduit 74 is continuous to communicate to passage 72. For ease in molding, it is preferred that the diameter of the horizontal conduit decreases from a maximum at the discharge orifice end thereof to the passage 72.
The riser tube 64 has a narrow bore axial passage 80 of capillary dimension. Passageway 80 terminates at its upper end in the cap body 56 in a narrow diameter delivery mount 82 located immediately forward of the discharge orifice 76. The lower end 84 of the passageway 80 terminates interior of a reservoir as described hereinafter.
The cup 54 of the sprayhead 50 is a top-opening, cylindrical ring having spaced sidewalls 86 and 88 and a floor or bottom wall 90. The walls 86 and 88 and bottom 90 define a chamber 92 capable of containing a selected quantity of liquid. The outer diameter of the cup 54 is selected to be substantially equal to the inner diameter of skirt 58. The thickness of wall 86 is selected whereby said wall is received between the inner surface of skirt 58 and the riser tube 64.
The width of the cup 54 is selected to be equal to the distance between skirts 58 and 60. Accordingly, the skirts 58 and 60 are fitted tightly and frictionally over the cup with the bottom wall 90 of the cup flush with thelower edges of skirts 58 and 60.
The upper edges 94 of the cup walls are tapered so as to facilitate entry thereof between the skirts 58 and 60. The cap or sprayhead 50 is assembled by the telescopic engagement of cap 52'over the cupt 54, with chamber 92 defining an internal reservoir in the assembled sprayhead 50.
The lower edge of skirt 58 is provided with an outwardly directed annular ring or protrusion 96 so that when the assembled sprayhead is fitted within the well 22, the protrusion 96 functioning as stop means to prevent easy withdrawal or removal of the sprayhead from the package, said protrusions engaging under the inner curl of the valve cover as shown in FIG. 2. An annular rib may be utilized instead of protrusions 96. Clearly, the outer diameter of the assembled sprayhead 50 is substantially the same as the inner diameter of the valve cup 18 while the inner diameter of the skirt 60 is selected to be substantially equal to the outer diameter of the upper end of the boss 24. ln this manner, the sprayhead 50 is engaged tightly but yet vertically movable within the well of the valve cover. Thus, the sprayhead 50 can be urged toward the bottom of well 22 to unseat the valve plunger 34 to cause discharge of pressurized product from the interior of the canister.
The cap 52 has a sloping and concave top surface 98 terminating in a depressed ledge 100 located diametrically opposite the discharge orifice 76. The ledge 100 has a relatively planar floor 102 and an opening 104 is formed in said floor 102, preferably centrally along the ledge 100.
A plug 106 is provided which carries a depending stem 108 constructed and arranged sealingly to engage through the opening 104. An axial passageway 110 is provided in the stem I08 opening at its lower end to the open top of cup 54 (hence, to reservoir 92) and communicating at its upper end with a horizontal passageway 112 formed in the plug 106 and opening to the short wall 1 14 of the plug.
The plug 106 is of generally cylindrical configuration and has a slanted, concave top surface 116 forming a continuation of the concave top 98 of the cap 52 when the plug 106 is engaged in operating condition. A portion of plug 106 is received within a recess 118 formed in the cap 52 adjacent the ledge 100. The plug 106 has a pair of undercut flatted portions 119 to enable one to grasp the plug 106 for removal and/or rotation thereof, as will be explained hereinafter.
During use the horizontal passageway 112 of plug 106 is open to the atmosphere to provide venting for the internal reservoir 92. The plug 106 is removable to enable filling of reservoir 92 through the opening 104 with the user's choice of perfume or like odorant. Perhaps a small funnel (not shown) would be useful in such transfer from a source of the perfume. When not in use, the plug 106 is rotated to the condition shown in PK]. 5, closing off the reservoir 92 from the at mosphere and hence preventing leakage and/or evaporation.
It should be noted that the secondary expansion conduit 74 H is placed at an angle relative to the mouth 82 of passageway 80 f the riser tube 64 so that the jet discharged from the discharge orifice 76 passes over the mouth 82 at an upwardly :directed acute angle. This disposition aids in the atomization land nebulization of the material emitted from the riser tube into the jetstream of pressurized product. This relationship :may be expressed in terms of the axes of the conduit 74 and passage 80 or in terms of the intersecting planes occupied by the orifice 76 and delivery mouth 82, said planes intersecting at an angle selected between 90 and 180.
It also should be noted that diameter of thecapillary passage 80 is selected so that fluid is present continually therein so long as there is fluid within the reservoir 92. Hence, the mouth of the capillary passage 80 always is wet so long as there is fluid in the reservoir 92.
The region or area of low pressure created at the mouth 82 of the capillary passage 80 of the riser tube 64 by the passage of the jet of expanding pressurized material discharged from discharge orifice 76 not only causes the'fluid to rise from the reservoir but draws same from the mouth 82, incorporating same into the fast-moving jet. In this manner, the nonpressurized material intimately is mixed in atomized and nebulized Tcondition with the material being dispensed from the canister.
For example, in the embodiment illustrated herein, the diameter of the axial passageway 80 of riser tube 64 was one thirtysecond of an inch, the diameter of the mouth 82 was one sixtyfourth of an inch, the diameter of the secondary expansion conduit 74 and of the discharge orifice '76 was 0.025 inches while the diameter of the connecting passage 78 was 0.020 inches. The capacity of the reservoir 92 was selected to be about two milliliters. The angle of inclination of the secondary expansion conduit 74 and discharge orifice 76 relative to the mouth 82 was selected to be c As described, the sprayhead 50 according to the invention is utilized with the type of valve assembly in which a sprayhead and integral stem is operatively assembled to .an interior valvc plunger having an upwardly opening socket. Other wellknown valve structures are availablewherein the stem and plunger arrangement are integral, with the stem containing the primary expansion chamber, extending sealingly and slidably outward of the valve cover boss to cooperate with a tubular socket formed in sprayhead or actuator button. From the above discussion relative the sprayhead of FlGS. 1 through 7, it can be seen that the tubular stem 62 can be replaced by a tubular socket arrangement 62' of sprayhead 50' shown diagrammatically in FIG. 8. This socket arrangement 62' would be capable of cooperating with the outwardly extending hollow stem ofan integral stem and plunger aerosol valve arrangement 34' also illustrated in FIG. 8, the primary expansion chamber 70' being defined with said stem. Metering opening 66' also is provided in arrangement 34'. The other features of the invention described in FlGS. 1 through 7 would included in sprayhead 50' as shown in FIG. 8. What is desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A sprayhead for pressurized packages reciprocable as a unit and comprising a body, said body having first means unitary therewith to effect actuating connection between said body and an aerosol valve assembly mounted upon the pressurized package, a discharge orifice and first passage means in the body for leading pressurized product through the body mixture of said pressurized and nonpressurized products.
2. The sprayhead construction as claimed in claim 1 in which said body is formed as a pair of telescopically engageable members, one being a cap and the other being a cup, the cap frictionally engaging over the cup in a substantially permanent assembly to define said body.
3. The sprayhead construction as claimed in claim 1 in which said venting means comprises an opening in the body of diameter sufficient to enable filling of the reservoir, a plug removably received in said body and said plug having a passageway adapted to communicate between the interior of said body and the exterior hereof.
4. The sprayhead construction as claimed in claim 3 in which the plug is constructed and arranged for selective rotation to close off said passageway from the exterior of the body.
5. The sprayhead construction as claimed in claim 1 in which said capillary dimension passage means opens to the atmosphere by way of a narrower diameter mouth.
6. The sprayhead construction as claimed in claim 1 in which said first passage means comprises an elongate substantially horizontal conduit terminating in said discharge orifice and being disposed upwardly inclined relative to the capillary dimension passage .means at the atmosphere opening thereof.
7. A depressable sprayhead reciprocable as a unit and for a pressurized dispensing package of the type which includes a hollow stem unitary therewith and mountable to the dispensing valve assembly and a discharge orifice communicating with the interior of said stem, said sprayhead having an internal reservoir adapted to receive and store a quantity of nonpressurized liquid, open-ended narrow bore 'conduit means communicating between the reservoir and a mouth located downstream of the discharge orifice of said sprayhead, with the axes of the' mouth and discharge orifice intersecting at an acute angle and venting means for said reservoir whereby passage of expanding pressurized product over the mouth of the said narrow bore conduit means will draw the nonpressurized liquid from the reservoir into the expanding stream of pressurized product in an intermixed, nebulized condition therewith.
8. The construction as claimed in claim 10 in which the said sprayhead is formed of a cap member and a cup member telescopically engageable within said cap member to define the internal reservoir, said cap member having an outer skirt and outward extending protrusion means formed thereon closely adjacent the lower portion thereof defining stop means for retaining the sprayhead on the package, but said sprayhead nevertheless being reciprocable as a unit.
9. In a valve assembly for an aerosol dispenser package .of the type which is characterized by a sealing gasket having an aperture, a valve member beneath the gasket having the upper end surface thereof defining-an annular rim, a spring normally urging said valve member upwardly to seal said rim against the underside of the gasket about the aperture in the latter, a hollow stem extending through the aperture in the gasket in peripherally sealed engagement therewith and operatively engaged with said valve member, the stem having a metering opening at the lower end thereof arranged to be selectively exposed to the interior of the package on unseating of the rim, and a sprayhead having a discharge orifice and passageway means communicating between the discharge orifice and the hollow stem and being reciprocable as a unit, the improvement comprising, said sprayhead having an internal reservoir defined therein independent of said passageway means and hollow stem and capable of receiving and storing nonpressurized liquid therewithin, selectively operable venting means between said reservoir and the exterior of the sprayhead, a narrow diameter capillary bore formed in said sprayhead and terminating at one end ina discharge mouth located forwardly and closely adjacent to the discharge orifice, said bore having its other end disposed within the reservoir, depression of said sprayhead as a unit unseating the rim to permit pressurized product therepast, through the metering opening into the hollow stem, through the passageway means to the discharge orifice from whence said pressurized product is jetted over the acute angle.
12. The structure as claimed in claim 9 in which the planes of the discharge orifice and discharge mouth intersect at an angle between 90 and 180.
l3. In a pressurized package dispensing system of the type which includes an internal valve assembly mounted within a valve cover in turn mounted upon a canister containing pressurized product, the valve cover having an upstanding boss and a surrounding well formation, and a sprayhead mounted for vertical movement within said well operable to actuate said valve assemblyfrom the exterior thereof; said sprayhead comprising, a body, means in the body defining an internal reservoir for receiving and storing nonpressurized liquid, a discharge orifice formed in said body opening to the atmosphere, first conduit means formed in said body for leading pressurized product from the canister past the valve assembly through the body to said discharge orifice for discharge thereof in a jetlike stream, capillary tube means within said body and having one end thereof extending into said reservoir and a reduced diameter delivery orifice at the opposite end thereof, said delivery orifice located immediately adjacent to and downstream from said discharge orifice, actuation of said sprayhead causing the jetlike stream of pressurized product to pass over the delivery orifice drawing nonpressurized liquid from the capillary tube means and reservoir for entrainment within said stream in a nebulized condition, and means venting means comprising a plug member carrying a depending stem and a passageway extending through the stem and body to terminate to one side portion thereof, said sprayhead body having an opening formed therein communicating to said internal reservoir and said plug being rotatably engageable upon said body with the stem engaged through said opening.
ig gg UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,591,088 ed July 6, 1971 Inventor(s) EDWARD H. GREEN It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 6, line 40 change "10" to --7---. Column 7, line 6, change "15" to --9--. Column 8, line 14, insert after "venting" --said reservoir to the atmosphere, and said venting-.
Signed and sealed this 23rd day of November 1971 (SEAL) Attestk EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents