US 3620425 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent lnventor Joseph M. Rait Buffalo, N.Y.
App]. No. 871,466
Filed Oct. 27, 1969 Nov. 16, 1971 Pelorex Corporation Buffalo, N.Y.
Patented Assignee 3,062,411 11/1962 Miles 222/402.1|X 3,180,536 4/1965 Meshberg 222/402.llX
Primary Examiner- Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner--Larry Martin Attorney-Christel & Bean ABSTRACT: A dispenser for aerosol containers comprising a container end wall member having a bore therethrough and an upstanding rim provided with spaced slots. A shank extends through the bore and is provided with a valve at its inner end and a flexible operating member at its outer end. The operating member has a downwardly flaring flexible skirt with the marginal edges thereof bearing against the outer surface of the end wall member to flexibly urge the shank outwardly and seat the valve. The marginal edges of the skirt have diametrically opposed projections which normally engage the interior of the rim to prevent actuation of the valve. The operating member must be rotated to align the projections with the slots in the rim before the operating member may be depressed to unseat the valve and effect dispensing of the aerosol contents.
PATENTEB 16 3, 620.425
IN VIJN'IK m.
JOSEDH M. RAIT ATTORNEY AEROSOL VALVE ACTUATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to dispensing closure consfructions for containers and, more particularly, to closures for pressurized dispensing containers of the aerosol type.
This invention constitutes an improvement in the dispensers of Us. Pat. Nos. 3,283,961 and 3,343,729, granted to Joseph M. Rait.
In providing a satisfactory closure for a dispensing container, the two prime considerations are an adequate leakproof seal for the contents and the pressurizing gas and low manufacturing cost. The necessity for a highly eflective closure in the case of pressurized containers is obvious and the importance of low cost relates directly to the types of products which may be economically vended in pressurized containers. Normally, low-priced products cannot be sold in pressurized containers unless the container cost is in keeping with the permissible sales price of the entire package.
A large potential field of use of aerosol or other pressurized dispensing containers is virtually unexploited because of the cost of an adequate dispensing valve closure of any of the types currently available. This field of potential use is in relatively small sized containers which, with commonly used products such as shaving cream, for example, must be sold for a very low price to be competitive. Yet the usefulness of aerosol-dispensing techniques is, if anything, greater in small containers than in relatively larger size containers since pressure dispensing of toiletries, cosmetics and the like serves its greatest needs in business and vacation travel, camping and other uses where small size is an especially important consideration. Obviously, the selling prices of a small-sized package must be proportionately low and this emphasizes the need for a low-cost dispensing means. The inventions claimed and disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,283,961 and 3,343,729 satisfied this need by providing new and improved closures for small-sized dispensing containers of the aerosol type which fell within the permissible price range of an entire pressurized package.
One problem encountered in the use of these dispensing containers, more particularly in the case of certain contents, is that the dispensing closure is generally exposed and susceptible to accidental, negligent or inadvertent engagement or abutment whereby the operating member for activating the valve may be unintentionally depressed. For example, the pressurized product is often accidentally dispensed during shipment, or handling, or while being packaged. Children will sometimes dispense some of the pressurized product in the course of playing with the container. Dropping the container or placing other articles on top of the container may result in accidental discharge of the pressurized contents therein.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The dispensing closure of the present invention, as hereinafter described, provides a solution to the above problem by providing a new and improved dispensing closure, which is simple and strong in construction, low in cost, rugged and durable in use, and includes a safety means for precluding the accidental or unintentional dispensing of pressurized contents from within the container.
Generally speaking, the dispensing closure of the present invention comprises a container including a top end wall member with a central bore therein and a slotted flange or guard rim integral with and extending upwardly from the peripheral edge of such top end wall member. A closure and operating member consists of a shank extending generally axially through the central bore of the top member and has an enlargement at its inner end which forms a valve and seats against an inwardly facing valve seat which is a part of or disposed against the inner face of the top end wall member of the container.
The outer end of the shank is secured to the operating member which has a downwardly flaring skirt portion extending radially outwardly and axially inwardly toward the container top end wall member to bear marginally against the outer surface of such top end wall member. A pair of diametrically opposed ears extend radially outwardly from the bottom or marginal edge of the flaring skirt portion of the operating member and coact with the interior of the rim of the top end wall member to prevent actuation of the valve and inadvertent discharge of the container contents. The operating member must be rotated to dispensing position wherein the projections are aligned with the slots in the rim before the operating member can be depressed to effect dispensing.
The members forming the closure and operating member may readily be molded of synthetic resin or other material and it is particularly important that the frustoconical portion and flaring skirt portion of the operating member be of plastic material, such as polyethylene for example, which is normally relatively rigid but which, at least as to the thinner portions of such skirt, is resilient and serves as a return spring by reason of such resilience.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a vertical sectional view taken centrally through one form of a container and dispensing closure combination constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention illustrating the operating member in a position wherein dispensing operation is prevented;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, vertical sectional view taken similarly to FIG. I but showing the operating member in a rotated position wherein the same may be operated; and
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the operating member and the guard rim of the top end wall member oriented in a dispensing position to permit dispensing.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT For the general purposes of the disclosure of the principles of the present invention, it may be assumed that the container of the embodiment illustrated herein is generally cylindrical although it is to be understood that the safety or locking means which forms the subject matter of the invention may be applied with equal effect to containers of other shapes and forms. ln'FlG. l the numeral 15 designates a tubular or hollow cylindrical container body having an integral bottom end wall 16 and a top end wall member 17 which, in the present instance, has an annular groove 18 in its underside which fits over the upper end of body 15.
The top end wall 17 may be permanently secured to body 15 by the use of an adhesive, by heat-sealing the same, or in any other desired manner. In the alternative, the top end wall 17 may be integral with the cylindrical body 15 and the bottom end wall 16 may be a separate closure member in which case the valve member and the contents will be introduced to the container through the bottom prior to the application of the bottom wall. The terms top, bottom, upper, lower, upwardly, downwardly, and the like, as used herein, are applied only for convenience of description with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the invention.
The top surface of the top end wall 17 is flat and wall 17 is provided with a central bore 19. Top end wall 17 is provided with a flange or rim 20, preferably integral with the top end wall 17, projecting upwardly from and around the peripheral edge thereof. A pair of diametrically opposed openings or notches 21 and 22 are provided in rim 20 for a purpose hereinafter explained.
The principal component of the container closure and dispensing means is designated generally 23 and comprises an axially extending shank 24 loosely extending through and rotatably journaled in the central bore 19 of top end wall 17. The shank 24 has a generally discoidal valve enlargement 25 at its inner end and a manual operating member 26 attached to its outer end. A washer 24 may be interposed between valve 25 and the opposed interior wall of member 17. Operating member 26 comprises an annular frustoconical flange portion 28 having a downwardly flaring skirt portion 29 at its lower end and a pair of diametrically opposed, substantially flat ears of projections 30 and 31 extending radially outwardly from the marginal edge of the skirt portion and adapted to be received in slots 21 and 22 of rim 20 for a purpose hereinafter explained. A perforation 32 in frustoconical portion 28 comprises the dispensing outlet port of the device.
The upper or outer end of shank 24 has a reduced portion 34 provided with a head formation 35 and the central opening in the operating member 26 is stepped, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, so that assembly of shank 24 with respect to the operating member 26 may be effected by inserting the upper or outer end of shank 24 through the opening in operating member 26 and the resilience of the latter will cause the head formation 35 to snap into assembled position. This assemblywill be effected after shank 24 has been assembled upwardly through the opening in top end wall member 17.
The natural resilience of the thermoplastic material from which the operating member 26 is molded is such that, while generally fairly rigid and self-sustaining it has sufficient flexibility so that the relatively thin skirt portion 29 may spread flexibly upon the application of downward manual pressure on the operating member 26. Furthermore, this natural resilience will cause operating member 26 to normally assume the closed position illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 wherein the valve is securely seated and the contents of the container are retained against egress.
In F IG. 1, the free ends of the diametrically opposed projections 30 and 31 are shown abutting the inner surface of rim 20 and are prevented from sliding radially upon the application of pressure to the manual operating member 26. Thus, the rim 20 serves as a safety guard to preclude accidental or inadvertent valve actuation and the resulting release of the pressurized contents in the container body 15. When it is desired to release the pressurized contents, the operating member 26 is manually rotate relative to the top end wall member 17 until projections 30 and 31 of the operating member are aligned with the slots 21 and 22 of rim 20. Then, downward manual pressure anywhere about the top of operating member 26 will allow the depending skirt portion 29 to spread flexibly because the projections 30 and 31 are free to slide radially in slots 21 and 22, respectively.
Shank 24 may then move axially inwardly to unseat valve 25 or, in alternative designs, may move to an inclined position to tilt valve 25 from a seated position. Material under pressure within the container will thus move over the upper side of the displaced or tilted valve, through the bore 19 in top end wall member 17 about shank 24, and discharge through perforation 32. If a more pronounced and positive tilting action of shank 24 is desired, the central bore 19 in to end wall member 17 may be of an hourglass form.
The manual operating member and the top end wall member may take various forms, shaped or configurations within the purview of this invention, the significant feature residing in the provision of an upstanding slotted rim about the peripheral edge of the top end wall member and the cooperating projections about the marginal edge of the operating member. Although two diametrically opposed slots and projections are conveniently employed for most purposes, it will be understood that any necessary or desired number may be used and that they may be arranged in any suitable pattern and formed in any suitable shape.
rotated to align the projectingfars with the slots provided in the nm before the valve can actuated to effect dispensing of the pressurized contents.
A preferred embodiment of this invention has been described and illustrated herein but is to be understood that numerous modifications may be made without departing from the broad spirit and scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims.
l. A dispensing closure structure for pressurized containers comprising a container having an end wall member provided with a bore and inner and outer annular surfaces surrounding said bore, said end wall member having a rim extending upwardly from said outer annular surface, said rim having at least one opening therein, a shank slidably and rotatably journaled in said bore and having a flexible operating means at its outer end formed of resilient material and having a discharge passage, said operating means including a skirt having a marginal edge disposed in substantially slidable abutment with said annular outer surface in a radial direction and the remainder of said operating means being normally axially spaced outwardly from said end wall member whereby downward pressure thereon flexes said operating means and moves said skirt radially outwardly, a valve at the inner end of said shank and normally biased outwardly against said inner annular surface of said end wall member by the resiliency of said operating means to seal the pressurized contents of the container, at least one projection extending radially outwardly from the marginal edge of said skirt and cngageable with an inner surface of said rim whereby radial sliding movement of said marginal edge of said operating means skirt is prevented; said operating means being rotatable to bring said projection into alignment with said opening of said rim and then depressible by flexure thereof to permit outward radial sliding movement of said marginal edge of said operating means relative to said end wall member to unseat the valve and dispense material from said container through said discharge passage.
2. A dispensing closure structure as defined in claim 1 wherein the rim of said end wall member has a plurality of openings and said operating means has a corresponding plurality of projections.
3. A dispensing closure structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said operating means comprises an annular flange portion having a downwardly flaring skirt portion at the lower end thereof.
4, A dispensing closure structure as defined in claim 3 wherein said outer annular surface of said end wall member is flat and said rim extends substantially normal to said outer annular surface around the peripheral edge thereof.
5. A dispensing closure structure as defined in claim 4 wherein said projection of said operating means is flat and disposed substantially parallel to said outer annular surface of said end wall member.
6. A dispensing closure structure as defined in claim 5 wherein said projection overlies said outer annular surface of said end wall member and is in slidable engagement therewith.