US 3600325 A
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United States Patent Ofice 3,600,325 Patented Aug. 17, 1971 3,600,325 AEROSOL FABRIC DE-WRINKLER Karl L. Kaufman and Doris N. Martin, Indianapolis, Ind., and William J. Brown, Chicago, Ill., assignors to CPC International Inc. No Drawing. Filed July 2, 1968, Ser. No. 741,382 Int. Cl. C09k 3/30 U.S. Cl. 252305 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This application discloses a fabric de-wrinkler employing an aerosol spray composition which removes wrinkles without the need for pressing or ironing.
The present invention concerns a fabric de-Wrinkler. In general, the present invention provides means for removing wrinkles from a fabric or garment by the use of an aerosol spray composition. More particularly, the present invention concerns a non-flammable, non-staining, relatively quick-drying aerosol spray which quickly and effectively removes wrinkles without the need for ironing or pressing.
The desirability and usefulness of a fabric de-wrinkler which would quickly and effectively remove the wrinkles from a fabric or garment without the need for ironing or pressing is apparent. A fabric de-wrinkler employing an aerosol spray composition is a potentially attractive product for several reasons. It would be relatively simple to use. It would be suitable for travel use. It has been found, however, that providing a satisfactory de-wrinkler employing an aerosol spray composition is no small task.
According to one theory, wrinkles occur in clothing when fibers of the fabrics are bent. The outside of this bend or fold will be under tension, while the inside of the bend will be under compression. Any recovery of the fabric is primarily associated with the inherent properties of the fiber, especially the elastic recovery from extension.
The wrinkles in most fabrics may be removed by one of two procedures. The first method and the most common, is ironing or pressing. This method employs pressure, heat and time to produce a tension in the fabric which removes the wrinkles.
The second method, which is not applicable to all garments, is the use of moisture. Wrinkled fabrics will generally show a rapid recovery or loss of wrinkles in a moist atmosphere. However, the moisture must be carefully controlled or else desirable creases may also be removed. This latter method also suffers a disadvantage in that substantial drying time is required before the garment is wearable.
One object of the present invention is to provide a fabric de-wrinkler.
Another object of the invention is to provide an aerosol spray composition suitable for use in removing wrinkles from a wrinkled fabric garment.
A still further object is to provide a package containing an aerosol spray composition which will provide a nonfiammable, non-staining, relatively quick-drying aerosol spray which will quickly and effectively remove wrinkles.
These as well as other objects will be apparent from the disclosure and claims which follow.
The fabric de-wrinkler of the present invention comprises a package containing, under pressure, an aerosol spray composition.
The package can be one constructed of any of the conventional materials employed in fabricating aerosol containers. The package must be capable of withstanding internal pressures in the range of about 20 to about 70 p.s.i. g. The one important requirement concerning the package is that it be provided with valve means which will permit the aerosol composition contained in the package to be dispensed in the form of a spray of very small or finely divided particles or droplets. It has been found that packages provided with so called vapor tap valves are eminently suitable for this purpose. A vapor tap valve permits mixing of the propellant vapor phase with the aqueous alcoholic liquid phase (described hereafter) when the valve is actuated. Packages containing vapor tap valve means are known in the art and one such package is described in U.S. Pat. 3,137,416.
In addition to the necessity for providing the package with suitable valve means, such as a vapor tap valve, an optional feature of the package may be a so called re stricted body. As is known in the packaging art, a restricted body is a means for reducing, or restricting, the opening in the outlet end of the dip tube which is found in aerosol packages of the type herein employed. As is known in the art, the dip tube of such a package is a tube which extends from the valve means essentially to the bottom of the package, where the inlet end of the tube provides a means for allowing the liquid phase contained in the package, and to be dispensed from the valve, to pass through the tube to the valve. Although the restricted body is not a required feature of the valve means employed with the packages used in the present invention, it has been demonstrated that a restrictive body does, generally, give a more desirable spray pattern, particularly in those instances where the aerosol spray composition is dispensed without first substantially shaking the package.
Briefly, the aerosol spray composition, employed in the fabric de-wrinkler of the present invention, consists essentially of a suitable propellant and an aqueous alcoholic liquid phase. In the package, the aerosol spray composition comprises three phases. At the top, or upper portion, of the package is a propellant vapor phase. In the middle of the package is a propellant liquid and at the bottom is an aqueous alcoholic liquid phase.
The propellants suitable for use in the present invention are normally gaseous hydrocarbons having a density in liquid phase substantially less than that of the aqueous alcoholic liquid phase. Examples of such propellants are: isobutane, n-butane, propane and mixtures thereof. Isobutane is a particularly preferred propellant. Small amounts of other hydrocarbons and/or halogenated hydrocarbons can be used in admixture if desired, proyided the required density is maintained.
The aqueous alcoholic liquid phase of the aerosol spray composition comprises water and, generally, isopropyl alcohol. Suitable alcohols include ethyl alcohol and the propyl alcohols. Higher alcohols tend to impart slow drying characteristics. A preferred alcohol is isopropyl alcohol.
The aqueous alcoholic liquid phase generally comprises about 5% to about 65% alcohol and about 20% to about water, based upon the total weight of the aerosol spray composition. In determining the relative amounts of water and alcohol, the flammability as well as the desired quick-drying characteristics of the composition should be considered. Too much alcohol would provide a composition which would not pass the standard flame propagation test for aerosols. On the other hand, too much water unduly wets the fabric or garment and does not give the desired quick-drying characteristics.
With the above considerations in mind, it has been found that a preferred aqueous alcoholic liquid phase comprises about 30% alcohol and about 50% Water, based upon the total weight of the aerosol spray composition.
In one aspect of the present invention it has been unexpectedly discovered that the amount of propellant employed substantially affects the performance of the fabric de-wrinkler. If insuflicient propellant is employed, the spray will not be of the extremely small particle size needed to get good, quick penetration into the fabric without leaving an excess amount of the composition on the surface of the fabric. On the other hand, if too great a proportion of propellant is used, the composition will not pass the standard flame propagation test for aerosols.
With this in mind, it has been found that about 15% to about 35%, preferably about 17% to about 23%, and most preferably about 20% propellant should be used. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the de-wrinkler employs an aerosol spray composition that contains about 20% isobutane.
It has been discovered that the aerosol spray composition should consist essentially of the above described propellant and aqueous alcoholic liquid phase and in general should not contain any other additives. The inclusion of any surface active agent, in any significant amount, especially is to be avoided. The presence of such materials cause trouble. Real problems may be encountered if the composition contains a significant amount of a surface active agent which has a detergent effect. Since the composition of the present invention is generally applied to only a portion, i.e. the wrinkled area, of a fabric or garment, if the composition contains a surface active agent, it may, especially if the fabric or garment is at all soiled, leave an undesirable clean spot. Another problem presented by surface active agents that produce a foam on the fabric or garment, is that the user sometimes thinks that the foam will stain the garment. Thus, additives in general and surface active agents in particular are to be avoided in the present invention. However, very minor amounts of corrosion inhibitors of the type commonly employed to prevent corrosion of the package, and perfume to impart a desirable odor may be included in the aerosol spray composition of the present invention.
In general, the fabric de-wrinkler of the present invention may be used on any type of fabric or garment. It will, of course, find primary use on those fabrics or garments that are intended to be dry cleaned. The fabric de-wrinkler will find particular utility as an aid to travelers and for use in the ofiice as well as in the home.
In using the fabric de-wrinkler of the present invention, the wrinkled portion of the fabric or garment is sprayed, and preferably brushed, for example, with the hand or a brush, to insure penetration and may be pulled taut once or twice. After about to minutes, the garment is dry and the Wrinkles have been quickly and effectively removed. Preferably, the garment is hung, for example, on
a hanger so that the weight of the garment also helps to hasten the removal of the wrinkle. However, the garment can also be laid fiat.
The following example further illustrates the present invention. Unless otherwise indicated, throughout this specification, all parts and percentages are by weight.
' EXAMPLE 4 provided with epoxy phenolic lining. The package was provided with a vapor tap valve (Scovill Aerosol Valve S63). The pressure in the package was about 35 p.s.i.g. (at 70 F.).
The fabric de-wrinkler of this example was used on various fabrics and garments. For instance, wrinkles were quickly and effectively removed from wool suit coats, cotton ties, dacron-polyester fabrics and the like. In all instances, the de-wrinkler quickly and effectively removed the wrinkles and the composition was quick-drying, non-staining and non-flammable. By non-flammable it is meant that the aerosol spray composition passes the present Federal Regulations for determining the flammability of the contents of self-pressurized containers.
While the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention and the limits of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A method of removing wrinkles from a wrinkled fabric which comprises spraying the wrinkled portion of said fabric with a spray dispensed from a package containing therein under pressure, an aerosol spray composition consisting essentially of from about 15% to about 30%, by weight, propellant selected from the group consisting of isobutane, butane, and propane; from about 5% to about'65%, by weight, of alcohol selected from the group consisting of ethyl alcohol, propyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol; and from about to about 80%, by weight, of water; said package being provided with valve means, adapted to dispense said composition in the form of a spray.
2. A method as defined by claim 1, wherein the valve means is a vapor tap valve.
3. A fabric de-wrinkler comprising a package containing, at a pressure of about 35 p.s.i.g., an aerosol spray composition consisting of about 50 wt. percent water, about wt. percent isopropyl alcohol, and about 20 wt. percent isobutane, said package being provided with vapor tap valve means.
4. A fabric de-wrinkler comprising a package containing, at a pressure of about p.s.i.g., an aerosol spray composition consisting of about wt. percent water, about 30 wt. percent isopropyl alcohol, about 20 wt. percent isobutane, said package being provided with vapor tap valve means provided with a restricted body.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,096,290 7/ 1963 Duane et al 252 JOHN D. WELSH, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.