US 3622052 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Peter P. Gach Evansville, Ind. [21 1 Appl. No. 881,084  Filed Dec. 1, 1969  Patented Nov. 23, 1971  Assignee Sunbeam Plastics Corporation Evansville, Ind.
 CHILDPROOF DISPENSING VALVE ACTUATOR FOR AN AEROSOL CAN 3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs. 52] [1.8. CI 222/402." 51 im. Cl B65d 83/14  Field of Search ..222/402.] 1,
l53,402.l3-402.l5; 251/89, 90, [02, H0
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,I 85,350 5/1965 Abplanalp et al 222/4021 1 Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon, Jr. Anorney0wen & Owen ABSTRACT: A childproof dispensing valve actuator for an aerosol can. The valve actuator fits on the end of a vertical, tubular valve stem. The valve actuator body protrudes upwardly through a central opening in a can cover and has a horizontal nozzle which aligns with an opening in the side of the cover. The valve is actuated by pressing the actuator body downwardly. A locking slide is carried by a part of the cover adjacent the actuator body and is movable between an open" position not engaging the actuator body and a locked" position in which the slide engages in a slot in the actuator body for preventing it from being depressed to actuate the valve.
PAIENTEDunv 231911 3. 622.052
I M INVENTOR: PETER F GAUH.
TIE -1. W H K CHILDPROOF DISPENSING VALVE ACTUATOR FOR AN AEROSOL CAN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many products which are potentially harmful to small children are packaged in aerosol cans. Because most of these cans are equipped with valve actuators which protrude from the can tops or can covers, it is relatively simple for a small child to depress the body of the valve actuator and to discharge the material from the can, often with serious risk of injury to the child or ham to his surroundings.
. It is the principal object of the instant invention to provide a dispensing valve actuator for an aerosol can which is substantially childproof.
It is yet another object of the instant invention to provide a combination can cover and dispensing valve actuator which are provided with cooperating means, easy operably by an adult or an older child, but difficult of operation by a small child, which prevent the actuation of the aerosol can valve without disengagement of the cooperating means.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a fragmentary view, partly in elevation and partly in section, showing a standard aerosol can equipped with a cover, a dispensing valve and a valve actuator embodying the invention, the actuator being shown in its locked position;
'FIG. 2 is a plan view of an aerosol can equipped with a dispensing valve actuator according to the invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view in perspective of a valve actuator body according to the invention;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view in perspective showing the assembly of one of the cooperating elements of a valve actuator according to the invention into a can cover;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken along the line 55 ofFIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view of an aerosol can cover and cooperating valve actuator according to the invention removed from a can but otherwise similar to FIG. I, however showing the valve actuator locking means in their disengaged or open" position; and
FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the cover and valve actuator with the cooperating means shown in open" position.
DESCRIPTION OF. PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A conventional aerosol can generally indicated by the reference number 10 has a centrally located dispensing valve ll sealed to the end of the can 10 by a seam l2 and having a vertically extending, tubular valve stem 13. An annular collar 14 connects the valve 11 to the can 10 and surrounds the valve stem 13.
A hollow molded cover has an outer annular skirt l6 and an inner annular skirt 1?. The inner skirt [7 has a lip 18 at its lower end which is adapted to be pushed downwardly around the collar 14 and to retain the cap 15 on the end of the can 10. The lower edge of the outer skirt 16 extends into an annular recess I9 at the seam 12.
The inner skirt l7 and outer skirt 16 both depend from a cover top 20 which defines a central actuator opening 21 and a finger groove 22 in which a user lays his forefinger when he wishes to actuate the valve 11 by depressing the body of a valve actuator 23 which protrudes upwardly through the opening 21.
A pluralityof inwardly extending ribs 24 are formed on the inner surface of the inner skirt 17 to act as guides for'the vertical movement of the actuator 23, being engaged by webs 25 on the actuator 23. The actuator 23 has a groove 26 in its upper surface which is shaped in conformity with the groove 22 in the top of the cover 15 so that when the actuator is in its uppermost position (see FIG. I) the grooves 26 and 22 are aligned for the users finger.
The actuator 23 has downwardly extending sleeve 27 which fits over the upper end of the valve stem 13 and 'a passageway 28 in the valve actuator 23 connects the tubular valve stem 13 to a generally horizontal, slightly downwardly inclined nozzle 29 integral with the valve actuator 23. The nozzle 29 protrudes horizontally through a slot 30 in the inner skirt l7 and through a vertically extending opening 31 in the side of the outer skirt 16. The noule I9 is also illustrated as having a vertical guide flange 32 which lies against the interior surface of the outer skirt 16 and serves as a closure for the skirt opening 31. i
As can best be seen by comparing FIGS. 1 and 6, actuation of the valve 13 is accomplished by depressing the actuator 23 which opens the interior mechanism of the dispensing valve 11 to release the content materials through the valve stem 13 and thus through the passageway 28 and out of the nozzle 29.
In order to minimize actuation of the valve II by a small child, the dispensing valve actuator 23 and the cover I5 have cooperating elements which can hold the actuator 23 in locked" position (as illustrated in FIG. 1) and yet allow an adult or older child to make the valve operable by disengagement of these locking means to release the valve actuator 23 (as illustrated in FIG. 6). These cooperating elements are illustrated as consisting of a grooved slide 33 that is located in a parallel sided slot 34 formed in the surface of the cap top 20 at the rear and lower side of the finger groove 22. The slide 33 has a ribbed upper surface 35 and a locking tongue 36 on its front end. The locking slide 33 is movable between an open" position as illustrated in FIG. 6 at the rear of the cap 15 and a locked" position as illustrated in FIG. I in which its locking tongue 36 engages an undercut edge 37 in the sidewall of the actuator 23 with which it is aligned when the actuator 23 is in its upper, valve closed, position. In the drawings the undercut edge 37 is illustrated as being the top side of a horizontal slot 38 cut in the back wall of the actuator 23.
When the valve actuator 23 is in its upper, valve closed position, as illustrated in FIG. 1, it may be so locked in place by moving the locking element or slide 33 forwardly and upwardly to insert its locking tongue 36 onto the slot 38. Engagement of the locking tongue 36 with the edge 37 of the slot 38 prevents downward movement of the actuator 23 and thus prevents actuation of the dispensing valve 11. When it is desired to actuate the dispensing valve 11, the slide 33 is moved backwardly to the position illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, disengaging its locking tongue 36 from the edge 37 and freeing the actuator 23 for depression by the finger of the user in order to push the valve stem 13 downwardly and actuate the valve 11 for discharge of content material out of the nozzle 29.
In assembly of the structure on an aerosol can 10, the slide 23 is first inserted in its guide slot 34 and pushed to its rearmost position. The actuator 23 is then oriented with its webs 25 aligned with the internal ribs 24 on the skirt l7 and inserted into the cover 15. The slide 33 may then be moved forwardly to hold the actuator 23 in position while the assembled cover 15 and actuator 23 are placed on the can 10 with the sleeve 27 telescoped over the upper end of the valve stem 13.
What I claim is:
l. A childproof dispensing valve actuator for an aerosol can having a dispensing valve and a cover mounted on the top of said can and overlying said dispensing valve, said cover and said actuator having cooperating parts for guiding said actuator for providing for vertical movement only of said actuator relative to said cover, there being a generally central opening in said cover and said actuator protruding therethrough, said actuator having a main body adapted to fit over the stem of said dispensing valve and an interior passageway for conveying the content material from said valve to atmosphere, and a locking element and means engaged thereby in adjacent parts of said cover and said actuator body, said locking element being movable relative to both said cover and said actuator body between an open position not engaging said means and a locked position engaging said means and thereby preventing movement of said actuator relative to said cover or actuation of said valve thereby.
2. A device according to claim 1 in which the locking e|ement is a slide mounted on the cover and the means engaged thereby is an undercut edge on the body of the actuator that is engageable by said slide in locked" position for preventing depression of said actuator and actuation of the dispensing valve.
3. A device according to claim 2 in which the slide has a 5 tongue on its end adjacent the body of the actuator and there is a recess in said actuator body into which said tongue is inserted for locking said actuator against depression.