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Publication numberUS3612361 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1971
Filing dateOct 20, 1969
Priority dateOct 20, 1969
Also published asDE2052859A1
Publication numberUS 3612361 A, US 3612361A, US-A-3612361, US3612361 A, US3612361A
InventorsEwald Ronald F, Platt Norman E
Original AssigneeSeaquist Valve Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-cleaning valve
US 3612361 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ill Swim Inventors lllonalol 11 lEwald Rollings Meadows; Norman E. lPlntt, Fox River Grove, 110th of 1111. Appl. No. 867,622 Filed Oct. 20, 19159 Patented Oct. 112, 19711 Assignee Seaquist Valve Company, Division of lPittway Corporation Cary, llll.

SELF-CLEANING VALVE 6 Claims, 10 Drawing lFigs.

111.5. 1111 ..222/402.18, 222/ l 9 3 lint. Cl 1136511 83/14 Field of Search 239/308,

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,867,3 5 6 1/1959 Thomas 222/402.l8X 3,283,962 11/1966 Whitrnore 222/402.l8

Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-John J. Love Attorney-Stefan M. Stein ABSTRACT: A self-cleaning valve for an aerosol container wherein a propellant is dispensed prior and subsequent to the aerosol product to clean the valve. This operation is obtained by designing the valve body with separate openings in respective communication with the aerosol product and propellant. As the valve stem is depressed, first the propellant escapes through the propellant opening and cleans the valve until the opening is closed by a valve seat on the lower portion of the valve stem; then the product is discharged. The process is reversed when the valve stem is released.

PATENTEDUBTIZIQYI SHEEI 10F 2 INVENTORS RONALD F. EWALD BY NORMAN PLATT ATTORNEY.

PMENTEDum 12 [am SHEEI 20F 2 40 L42 INVENTORS RONALD F. EWALD BY NORMAN PLATT ATTORNEY.

WW MM SELF-CLEANING VALVE This invention relates to an aerosol valve; more particularly to an aerosol valve of the self-cleaning type.

In the usual valve for dispensing the contents of an aerosol container, there are provided flow passageways of relatively small cross section through which the contents are forced during the dispensing process. These passageways are easily clogged, reducing the effectiveness of the valve and frequently even rendering the valve inoperative.

Self-cleaning aerosol valves have been devised to eliminate this clogging. However, there is still a need for a self-cleaning valve which is more effective, efficient, and economical.

In addition, there is a need for a self'cleaning valve which enables the aerosol container to be rapidly filled. The small cross-sectioned orifices and passageways of present self-cleaning valves prevent rapid filling of the container. If provision could be made to enlarge the size of these openings, the filling rate could be increased and consequently the aerosol containers would be filled more economically.

Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide an aerosol valve which is self-cleaning to maintain dispensing efficiency.

Another object is to provide a self-cleaning aerosol valve in which propellant vapor precedes and succeeds product discharge.

Still another object is to provide a self-cleaning aerosol valve with a valve body having separate product and propellant openings which are normally open and are of such size and position relative to each other such that the propellant pressure acting on the product within and outside the body is equalized whereby only propellant is discharged from the valve until the propellant opening is closed.

A further object is to provide a self-cleaning aerosol valve with orifices and passageways of such size and position relative to each other to allow rapid filling of an aerosol container.

A still further object is to provide a selfcleaning valve to which a dip-tube may be easily attached.

Another object is to provide a self-cleaning aerosol valve which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture, and highly efi icient in operation.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

In accordance with these objects, the invention comprises a self-cleaning aerosol valve in which propellant is dispensed prior and subsequent to product flow. This is accomplished by providing the valve body with a propellant orifice separate from the product orifice. The product orifice leads to the conventional dip-tube of the valve. The valve stem of the valve acts to close the propellant orifice as the valve stem is depressed during actuation of the valve. The valve stem otherwise has the discharge orifice at its lower end, which is normally sealed by the valve sealing means. Also, it is based upwardly by the conventional valve spring and is topped by a valve button.

In operation, when the user depresses the valve stem, its discharge orifice is moved downwardly and away from the sealing means whereby propellant is dispensed to clean the discharge orifice, stern passageway and button. The relative diameter of the propellant and product orifice openings neutralize the force of the propellant on the product thereby preventing product flow. As the valve stem is further depressed, the lower portion of the valve stem closes the propellant opening. Then, propellant pressure within the can forces the product up through the dip-tube and through the product opening into the valve body for subsequent discharge through the valve stem. When the valve stem is released, the process is reversed. in this manner the valve is cleaned prior and subsequent to product flow thereby assuring reliable operation. Furthermore, due to the relatively large combined propellant and product openings and their normally open condition, an aerosol container having this valve may be quickly and economically filled.

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, references should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the valve of this invention typ ically installed on an aerosol container.

FIGS. 2, 3 and A are cross-sectional views taken along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 11 and illustrate the operational sequence of the valve.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the valve modified with a plurality of annularly spaced propellant openings.

FIG. s is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the valve shown in FIG. 5 modified within a separable valve stem.

FIG. d is a cross-sectional view of the valve shown in FIG. 5 modified within a separable valve stem and sweepthrough grooves leading to the discharge orifice.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the valve modified with the lower portion of the valve stem extending through a propellant opening in the valve body.

FIG. is a cross-sectional view of the valve modified with the lower portion of the valve stem extending through the valve body and acting as a dip-tube tail.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawing.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is illustrated in FIG. ll an isometric view of the valve, generally designated 10, typically attached to an aerosol container 12.

As more clearly seen in FIGS. 2 through 4, valve 110 is secured within the mouth of an aerosol container 12 and a stern includes a sealing gasket 14, a valve body 16 and a valve stem 11%, which partially extends out of the container. The sealing gasket M is an annular elastic gasket which seals the upper end of the valve body 116.

The interior of the valve body 116, in the invention here, constitutes a fluid receiving chamber 19 in respective communication with the aerosol propellant and the product within container 12 by a substantially large, cone-shaped propellant opening 20 and a product opening 22 within the customary dip-tube tail 2% of the valve body. The tail 24 is adapted to receive a conventional dip-tube, not shown, which extends into the aerosol product within the container.

The valve stem 18, is tubular and is closed at its lower end. The undersurface of the lower end is conical-shaped to form a valve sbaifid for closing propellant opening 20. The upper end 30 of the valve stem extends through gasket 14 and is adapted to carry the customary valve button 32 (as shown in phantom in FIG. 2). The interior of the valve stem 18 comprises a discharge passageway 34. A discharge orifice 36 extends through the sidewall of the valve stem. A valve spring 38 is disposed between circular flange 28 and the base of valve housing lid, to bias the valve stem l8 upwardly.

The valve stem 18 basically has three operative positions: an uppermost or closed position shown in FIG. 2, an intermediate or cleaning position shown in FIG. 3, and a lowermost or product discharging position shown in FIG. d.

In the closed position, discharge orifice 36 is sealed by the combined action of flange 28 abutting against gasket 14 and the inside wall of the annular gasket abutting against orifice 36. In such position, the propellant opening 20 is open and in communication with the propellant within the aerosol container.

When a user depresses the valve stem 18, it passes, through its intermediate or valve cleaning position shown in FIG. 3. In such a position, the discharge orifice 36 lies below gasket 14 and is open. The valve is cleaned by the propellant flowing upwardly through opening 20, discharge orifice 36, passageway 3d, and button 32. Since the propellant opening 20 is substantially large relative to the product opening, the propellant pressure within the fluid receiving chamber 19 is approximately the same as the propellant pressure acting on the product outside of the valve body 16, even when the propellant is escaping. As a result, there is insufficient differential propellant pressure to force product through the product opening 22. Thus, no product is discharged with the propellant. This is beneficial since discharge of only the propellant cleans the valve more efficiently.

When the valve stem is depressed to its lowermost position shown in FIG. 4, the propellant flow ceases and now product is discharged. In this position, valve seat 26 is seated against propellant opening 20. As the propellant pressure within chamber 19 dissipates, the propellant pressure within the aerosol container outside of valve body 16 forces product through opening 22 into chamber 19, then through orifice 36, passageway 34 and button 32.

As should be evident, when the downward pressure on the valve member is released, spring 38 returns the valve stem to its intermediate position so that the propellant once again cleans the valve before it closes.

It is important to note that due to the large size of both the propellant and product openings, the aerosol container may be quickly filled when pressure filling of the container is used.

FIGS. and 6 show a second embodiment of the valve. This embodiment differs from the primary embodiment in that the propellant opening is formed by a plurality of cone-shaped propellant ports 40 circumferentially spaced about a central product opening 42. As in the first embodiment, a dip-tube tail 43, only a part of which is shown, surrounds the propellant opening 42 to receive a dip-tube. The lower end of valve stem 18 forms an elongated annular rim 44 on which is located a plurality of conical projections 45 adapted to seat with and close propellant ports 40. Discharge orifice 46 communicates with valve stem passageway 34. On the sidewall of rim 44 is a product discharge port 48 to aid in discharge of the product when the valve stem is seated on propellant ports. To bias the valve upwardly, spring 50 is located within the interior of the rim 44.

The operation of the second modification is similar to the operation of the first embodiment. When the valve stem 18 is depressed, from its closed position shown in FIG. 5, to its intermediate or cleaning position, propellant flows through propellant ports 40, upwardly through chamber 19, and then through orifice 46 and stem passageway 34 before being dispensed through the button. As in the first embodiment, the propellant opening is substantially large relative to the product opening such that the propellant pressure within and outside chamber 19 is approximately the same. Thus, with the propellant opening open, there is insufficient differential pressure to force the product through the product opening.

When valve stem 18 is in its lowermost position, conical projections 45 seat in and seal propellant ports 40 whereupon the propellant pressure within the aerosol container forces the product into fluid chamber 19 via product opening 42 and product port 48. Afterwards, the product is dispensed through the button as described for the propellant. When the valve is released, spring 50 returns the valve to its initial position and the process is reversed: the valve is once again cleaned as the valve member passes through its intermediate position.

FIG. 7 is a modification of the valve shown in FIG. 5 and differs primarily in that upper portion 52 of the valve stem is separable from the lower portion which acts as a valve stem sealer 44. This provision allows the valve stem to be easily removed. The lower end of the upper portion of the valve stem is reduced in diameter as shown to fit within a mating recess of the valve stem sealer 44. The operation of this modification is the same as described for the embodiment shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 illustrates another modification of the second embodiment shown in FIG. 5. In this modification, a discharge orifice 54 in communication with the valve stem passageway 34 extends through an enlarged disclike base 56 of a tiltable valve stem. Base 56 islocated within a cavity 59 on the upper surface of valve stem sealer 44. Annular rim 60 of sealer 44 effectuates the seal. A sweepthrough groove 61, cut on the base of cavity 59, leads to the discharge orifice 54.

Advantageously, by this arrangement, the valve stem may either be depressed or tilted to earn valve stem sealer 44 downwardly. Such camming produces an important mechanical advantage making the valve easier to open. Notwithstanding whether the valve stem is tilted or depressed, when the valve stem sealer 44 is moved away from the gasket 14, propellant or product (depending upon whether the valve member is in its intermediate or lowermost position) escapes through sweepthrough groove 61, discharge orifice 54, and passageway 34.

FIG. 9 represents a third embodiment of the valve. In this embodiment, upper end 62 of the valve stem is separable from the lower end, which acts as a valve stem sealer 65. A discharge orifice 64 feeds passageway 34. The lower end of the valve stem sealer 65 is serrated and passes through a propellant opening 66 in the valve body 16. The opening has an enlargement 68 to aid in propellant release. The valve body 16 also has a product opening 22, in its dip-tube tail portion. A spring 70 biases the valve stem sealer 65 upwardly against gasket 14 to provide a seal.

The operation of this embodiment is again similar to the others. When the valve stem is depressed to its intermediate or cleaning position, propellant flows through propellant opening 66 into fluid chamber 19 and is thereafter discharged through discharge orifice 64, passageway 34, and the valve button, not shown. When the valve member is depressed to its lowermost position, the lower end of sealer 65 closes propellant opening 66. Product is then discharged through product opening 22.

A fourth embodiment of the valve is shown in FIG. 10. Here, the lower portion 80, of the valve stem acts both as the propellant opening valve and as the dip-tube tail. It extends through an aperture in the valve body 16 and a dip-tube 82 is received on the inside of the tail as shown, or, if desired, it may be received on the outside wall. A product port 84 intermediate the valve seem communicates with product opening 85, and the fluid chamber 19 of the valve body I6. The lower portion of the valve stem is serrated to form propellant openings 86. A spring 88 coaxially surrounds the lower end of valve stem member and biases it upwardly.

The operation of this embodiment is again similar to those previously described. When the valve stem is depressed to its intermediate or cleaning position, propellant flows through propellant openings 86, chamber 19, discharge orifice 90, and finally through the button whereupon it is discharged. Because the propellant pressure acting on the product within and outside the valve body is approximately the same during the intermediate position of the valve stem, only the propellant is discharged. As the valve stem is depressed further to its lowermost position, the smooth lower end of the valve stem seals the propellant opening of the valve body 16. Then product is discharged through the dip-tube 82, the product opening 85, and the discharge port 84, of the valve stem and then upwardly as described above. When the valve stem is released, the process is reversed.

It should now be evident from the above description that a novel, self-cleaning valve has been provided. Advantageously, the valve is cleaned by propellant prior and subsequent to product flow. lmportantly, the orifices and passageways of the valve are of such size and position relative to each other as to allow the propellant to first escape from the valve while simultaneously preventing product discharge. Thus, the cleaning of the valve is more efficient since only propellant is released. Moreover, the relatively large propellant and product openings enable the valve to be rapidly filled thereby providing economical assembly. Since the valve is simple in construction, it is also economical to manufacture.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained, and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the 3, 6l2,3bl

above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

Now that the invention has been described:

What is claimed is:

l. A valve for an aerosol container containing a product and a propellant comprising: a valve body, valve sealing means, a reciprocating tubular valve stem with a closed bottom within said body and valve stem biasing means; said valve stem extending through said valve sealing means and out of said valve body; said valve stem having a discharge orifice sealed by said sealing means when said valve is closed, said valve body being in communication with the product through a product opening therein and with the propellant through a propellant opening therein; said valve stem being adapted to be vertically moved against said biasing means from an uppermost valve closed position to a second position with the discharge orifice in communication with said propellant and product openings, then to a lowermost position with the discharge orifice only in communication with the product opening, said propellant opening located in the lower portion of said valve body and arranged relative to said valve stem such that the lower portion of said valve stem closes said propellant opening when said valve stem is in the lower most position; said propellant and product openings being arranged substantially adjacent to one another and being of such size relative to each other, that during the second position of said valve stem, the propellant pressure acting on the product within and outside said valve body is approximately equal, thereby preventing the product from being discharged.

2. The valve of claim ll wherein said propellant opening comprises a plurality of propellant ports circumferentially spaced about a central product opening and the lower portion of said tubular valve stem has an annular rim with a plurality of conical projections disposed to mate with and seal said propellant ports when the valve member is in its lowermost position.

3. The valve of claim 1 wherein the propellant opening is conical shaped and said valve stem has a conical-shaped extension on its lower end to seat in said propellant opening when the valve stem is in its lowermost position.

i. The valve of claim 2 wherein the valve stem is of two parts, the upper part being tiltable and separable from a lower valve stem sealer, said upper part including an enlarged disclilce base in which the discharge orifice is vertically disposed and said valve stem sealer having a cavity on its upper surface to receive said base and a sweepthrough groove between the base and the walls of said cavity for fluid flow.

5. The valve of claim ll wherein the lower portion of the valve stem has a rodlilte extension, said extension extending through an aperture in the bottom of said valve body, said aperture comprising said propellant opening, said extension having a diameter less than the diameter of said aperture at its lower end and its upper end having a diameter to close said propellant opening when said valve stem is depressed.

b. The valve of claim 5 wherein the lower portion of the valve stem is hollow and extends through an opening in said valve body, and acts as a dip-tube tail and has a product port intermediate its ends, said tail acting as the product opening.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2867356 *Jul 6, 1956Jan 6, 1959Colgate Palmolive CoValve
US3283962 *Sep 9, 1964Nov 8, 1966Whitmore Max EThree-position valve for aerosol container having a chamber with spaced inlets from container interior
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5027985 *Jul 24, 1989Jul 2, 1991Abplanalp Robert HAerosol valve
US5695096 *Oct 2, 1995Dec 9, 1997L'orealDispensing valve and dispensing container equipped with such a valve
US6520377 *Feb 2, 2001Feb 18, 2003L'orealDispenser for selectively dispensing separately stored components
US6832704Jun 17, 2002Dec 21, 2004Summit Packaging Systems, Inc.Metering valve for aerosol container
US6920904May 9, 2002Jul 26, 2005L'oreal S.A.Device for packaging and dispensing at least two products
US6978916Jun 4, 2003Dec 27, 2005Summit Packaging Systems, Inc.Metering valve for aerosol container
US7124788Jul 10, 2003Oct 24, 2006Precision Valve CorporationMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US7523767Sep 12, 2006Apr 28, 2009Precision Valve CorporationMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US7730911Sep 12, 2006Jun 8, 2010Precision Valve CorporationMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US8002000Apr 27, 2010Aug 23, 2011Precision Valve CorporationMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US8800824Feb 29, 2012Aug 12, 2014Alfonso M. Gaņan-CalvoSequential delivery valve apparatus and methods
US8881956 *Feb 29, 2012Nov 11, 2014Universidad De SevillaDispensing device and methods for emitting atomized spray
US20030071080 *Sep 10, 2002Apr 17, 2003Jean-Pierre YquelVariable flow rate valve and container equipped therewith
US20030230603 *Jun 4, 2003Dec 18, 2003Smith Jeremy P.Metering valve for aerosol container
US20050005995 *Jul 10, 2003Jan 13, 2005Deutsche Prazisions-Ventil GmbhMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US20070006937 *Sep 12, 2006Jan 11, 2007Louis PericardMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US20070006938 *Sep 12, 2006Jan 11, 2007Louis PericardMeans and method for filling bag-on-valve aerosol barrier packs
US20130221036 *Feb 29, 2012Aug 29, 2013Alfonso M. Ganan-CalvoDispensing Device and Methods For Emitting Atomized Spray
US20160009481 *Mar 14, 2014Jan 14, 2016Precision Valve CorporationAerosol valve with defined flow paths
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/402.18, 222/635
International ClassificationB65D83/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/34
European ClassificationB65D83/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 1, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: APTARGROUP, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PITTWAY CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:006595/0687
Effective date: 19930422