US 3625400 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 3,270,920 9/l966 Nessler Primary ExaminerSamuel F. Coleman Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky A!rorney Burns, Doane, Swecker and Mathis ABSTRACT: A dispenser has two separate inner containers for liquid or pasty materials which are to be mixed and dispensed together but must be stored separately. The two inner containers are flexible and are disposed in an outer container containing a propellent. A discharge valve for the mixture comprises a closure element common to both inner containers and separate closure element for one of the inner containers. On closing the discharge valve the separate closure element closes first and a mixing passage between the two closure elements is purged by the material in the other inner container. Thus no residual mixture of the two materials remains in the dispenser.
PATENTEDuEc H971 W 1 of 3 3.625400 INVENTOR RICHARD FRIEDRICH BY CIBH QDM .31MOL'J 9 PATENTEU HEB 719m SHEU 2 BF 3 INVENTOR RICHARD FRIEDRICH INVENTOR RICHARD FRIEDRICH BY AEROSOL DISPENSER WITI-I FLEXIBLE, COMPONENT RESERVOIRS The present invention relates to a dispenser in which liquid or pasty materials are separately received and stored but can be discharged together. These materials involve the so-called two-component compositions such as vitamin preparations, pharmaceutical preparations, adhesives, varnishes, dyes etc. Such two-component compositions comprise two components which have to be stored separately and which must be united only shortly before use. The present invention relates to a dispenser in which these two components are stored separately and which are united only shortly before they are discharged from the dispenser. The present invention relates particularly to a dispenser in which the two components are forced out of the dispenser by means of a propellent, especially by means of a propellent gas.
Such a dispenser is known which has a rigid outer container for receiving a propellent, .the masses to be discharged being accommodated in a first flexible inner container arranged in the outer container and in a second flexible inner container arranged in the first inner container, the outer container having an open end to which the two inner containers are connected, the dispenser also having a valve at the open end and a sealable opening in the outer container for the purpose of filling the propellent.
During the common discharge of the two materials, it is necessary that these materials be mixed with each other in the dispenser during their path from the two inner containers to the valve. When the valve closes, portions of the materials remain in the dispenser in their mixed state. This mixed state leads to deterioration of the preparation in the case of pharmaceutical preparation. In the case of a two-component adhesive, the adhesive sticks within the dispenser and clogs the latter. Thus it should be ensured that the two materials mixed with each other are completely discharged from the dispenser. Similar filling of the dispenser. Care must be taken that the two materials are filled into their associated containers so as to be fully isolated from each other.
A feature of the present invention is to provide a dispenser in which the two materials do not remain in the dispenser in their mixed state after they have been dispensed. Further, the two materials are not to come into contact with each other when they are being filled into the dispenser. Finally, these characteristics are to be obtainable by simple means respecting the manufacturing costs, simplicity of assembly, durability, and spatial requirements. As far as possible, conventional commercial parts are to be used.
According to the present invention, the valve incorporates a closure element which is common to the two inner containers and a separate closure element for the second inner container. Thus, one inner container can be sealed independently of the other inner container. The material contained in one inner container can thus be prevented from further discharge from the dispenser while the other material is still being discharged thereby purging the portions of mixed materials from a mixing passage disposed between the closure elements.
The invention will now be further described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a longitudinal section through a dispenser constructed in accordance with the invention,
FIG. 2 is a section through the upper parts of the dispenser, but drawn to a larger scale,
FIG. 3 is a sectionalized exploded representation of the various parts of FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 is a plan view of a spring and of a valve plate, seen in the direction of the arrows 4-4 in FIG. 3.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the closure element common to the two inner containers is displaceably guided in a housing and, in its normal position, is urged by a spring into its closed position against an outwardly open valve seat. The housing encloses a longitudinal bore which leads to the valve seat from the second inner container.
The end of this bore opens into the second inner container and is closed by a valve plate which is connected to the common closure element. A transverse bore leading from the first inner container leads in to the longitudinal bore.
In accordance with a feature of the invention, the valve plate is acted upon by a spring which presses the valve plate against a valve seat and is secured to a valve stem which extends into the bore and which terminates a short distance in front of the common closure element when the latter is in its closed position, so that the common closure element during its opening movement abuts against the end of the valve stem and the valve plate is moved into its open position.
In this construction, the closure element common to the two inner containers opens the valve plate which closes the second inner container. This is effected with a time lag which is dependent upon the distance between the end of the valve stem and the common closure element. Conversely, the valve plate closing the second inner container is closed with a corresponding advance with respect to time. Material can still emerge from the first inner container during this period of time and thereby forces from the bore or from all the valve elements the portions of the materials which have already been mixed with each other. This material from the first inner container enters the bore opening into the second inner container directly at the opening of this bore into the second inner container. Thus, the entire length of this bore can be purged of the portions of the materials mixed with each other.
Advantageously, and in accordance with a feature of the present invention, the second inner container is secured to the valve housing. This means that the inner container is connected to the valve housing outside the dispenser and can be inserted into the dispenser or into the outer container commonly with the valve housing.
In detail, a sleeve is mounted on the valve housing, a socket is formed on the bottom end of the sleeve, and the neck of the second inner container is mounted on the socket and secured thereto.
It has proved to be particularly advantageous to insert the neck of the second inner container into the socket. To secure the neck in the socket, the inner wall of the socket is provided with grooves and projections, the neck is provided with complementary projections and grooves, and the grooves and projections on the socket and on the neck interengage.
Furthermore, in accordance with a further feature of the invention, a cup is inserted into the neck of the inner container, the bottom of the cup has openings for the passage of the material, and a rod extends from the bottom of the cup into the second inner container. The rod prevents the flexible inner container from folding up when this container has been partially emptied. The rod thus prevents the inner container from collapsing in an improper manner. The folds could lead to the tearing of the inner container if the inner container folds up. Moreover, a folded container could position itself in front of the valve plate and close the latter.
To secure the cup in a simple manner, the top end of the cup is provided with an outwardly projecting rim which abuts against the neck.
In accordance with yet another feature of the invention, the spring which presses the valve plate of the second inner container into its closed position abuts against the cup.
The spring can be a substantially flat spiral spring, whose innermost convolution is located below the valve plate and whose outermost convolution is secured to the rim of the cup. Advantageously, the outermost convolution of the spring is secured to a ring which is clamped between the rim of the cup and the socket.
The valve stem which carries the valve plate for the second inner container can be freely movable in the bore of the housing and the valve stem can be guided by guide ribs which are secured thereto and which cooperate with the inner wall of the bore. Advantageously, the guide ribs are formed on the top of the valve plate. This has the advantage that the valve stem is guided directly at the determinative place, i.e., where the valve plate abuts against the valve seat and where an exact fit is required.
To simplify the assembly and to facilitate the filling of the two inner containers, and in accordance with another feature of the invention, a ring is secured to the socket and carries resilient hooks which are spaced in the peripheral direction, the top ends of which hooks are located on the arc of a circle so that they can be applied to the top rim of the outer container. The function of these hooks will be described later during the description of the assembly.
Finally, in accordance with a further feature of the invention, the valve housing is insertable into the sleeve from the top, and a wedge-shaped projection is provided on the valve housing and engages into a corresponding recess in the sleeve. This feature also facilitates the assembly of the dispenser and enables a commercially available valve and valve housing to be used.
Now referring to the drawings, a first inner container 12 and a second inner container 14 are located in a rigid outer container 10. The outer container is made from a stiff material such as sheet metal or a rigid synthetic material. The two inner containers l2 and 14 are flexible. They are made from a foil of resilient synthetic material, aluminum, copper, or any suitable material. The bottom of the outer container 10 is closed by a base 16. The base 16 incorporates an opening for filling the propellent or pressure gas. This opening is closed by a stopper or plug 18. A cap 20 is mounted on the top of the outer container 10 to partially close an open end of the outer container 10. The outer rim 22 of the cap 20 is folded onto the top end of the outer container wall. The top end of the wall of the first inner container 12 is also enclosed by the rim 22, so that the entire first inner container 12 is secured. A cup 24 is inserted through an opening in the cap 20, these two parts being connected to each other along a so-called rolled edge 26 at which the internal rim of the cap 20 and the external rim of the cup 24 are rolled into each other. The inside of the cap 20 forms an upward extending dome 28. Generally the cap 20 and the cup 24 are made from sheet metal.
The outer container 10 and the first inner container 12 define an outer chamber 30. This outer chamber 30 is filled with a propellent such as a pressure gas. The first inner container l2 and the second inner container 14 define a chamber 32. The chamber 32 is filled with one of the materials to be stored and dispensed. An inner chamber 34 within the second inner container 14 is filled with the other material.
A closure element 46 is displaceably guided in a valve housing 44. This closure element 46 serves the two inner containers l2 and 14. A recess 48 is provided on the top of the closure element 46. A conventional spray head (not shown) is inserted into this recess 48. The closure element 46 is acted upon by a spring 50 which presses the closure element against a valve seat 52. A sleeve 36 is mounted on the valve housing 44. A flange 38 is formed on the top of the sleeve 36. The bottom of the sleeve 36 merges into a socket 40. A transverse bore 42 is located closely above the socket 40. The transverse bore 42 opens into the bore 64 whose one end leads to the valve seat 52 and whose other end leads to the inner chamber 34 in the second inner container 14. The valve stem 54 which carries a valve plate 56 also extends through the bore 64. The valve plate 56 cooperates with a valve seat 68. A sealing ring 58 rests on the valve plate 56. A spring 60 in the form of a spiral spring presses the valve plate 56 towards its closed position against the valve seat 68. The outermost convolution of the spring 60 abuts against a ring 62 and is connected thereto. The innermost convolution of the spring 60 is located below the valve plate 56. Guide ribs 66 are formed on the top of the valve plate 56. The guide ribs 66 are also integral with the valve stem 54. The guide ribs 66 guide the bottom end of the valve stem 54 in the bore 64 and ensure that the valve plate 56 and the sealing ring 58 assume the correct position relative to the valve seat 68.
The bottom end of the inner wall of the socket 40 has a projection 70 and a groove 72 provided thereabove, as shown particularly in FIG. 3. FIG. 3 also shows a neck 74 which is formed integrally on the second inner container 14. The neck 74 is provided with a projection 76 nd a groove 78 which are complementary to the projection 70 and the groove 72. These parts lnterengage, as illustrated in FIG. 2. A cup 80 is also located in the neck 74. Openings 82 are located in the bottom of the cup 80. The top of the cup has an outwardly projecting rim 84. The rim 84 rests on the top rim of the neck 74. A rod 86 projects downward from the bottom of the cup 80.
FIG. 3 shows a ring 88. Three, four or a similar number of hooks 90 extend from the ring 88. These hooks are resilient. Their top ends are located on the same are of a circle as the rolled rim 26. In the assembled state, the ring 88 is clamped between the top end of the inner container 14 and the socket 40.
FIG. 3 shows a wedge-shaped recess 92 in the sleeve 36. This wedge-shaped recess 92 engages over the correspondingly wedge-shaped projection 94 at the bottom end of the valve housing 44, as shown in FIG. 2.
The above detailed description will now be followed by the description of the assembly and the filling of the dispenser. The outer container 10 with the base 16 and the cap 20, and the first inner container 12, are supplied in the form of a unit by the manufacturer. The second inner container 14 with the integral neck 74 forms a second unit. The ring 88 having the hooks 90 is slipped on to the neck 74 under stress, so that the ring 88 can engage into the groove 78. At this state of assembly, the second inner container 14 is inserted through the opening in the cap 20. The ends of the hooks 90 rest on the rim 26 of the cap 20. The filling machine can incorporate a device by which the hooks are retained securely on the rim 26. The chamber 34 in the second inner container 14 is then filled. The chamber 32 between the two containers 12 and 14 is simultaneously filled through the gaps between the hooks 90. The cup 80 is then inserted until its rim 84 abuts against the neck 74. The ring 62 is then applied together with the spring 60. The valve plate 56 is now inserted, if it has not already been connected to the spring 60. During the next stage, the sleeve 36 together with its socket 40 is slipped over the neck 74. The ring 88 is thereby pressed downward slightly and assumes the final position illustrated in FIG. 1. Finally, the valve housing 44 is inserted into the sleeve 36. If required, the valve housing 44 can be inserted into the sleeve 36 at an earlier stage before the latter is mounted on the neck 74. The cup 24 and the dome 28 form part of the valve housing 44. Of course, the closure element 46 and the spring 50 have been inserted into the valve housing 44 at the correct time. To bring these parts into their final positions shown in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2, the top ends of the hooks 90 are pressed inwardly so that the hooks slide inwardly past the rim 26 and then downward. The hooks have fulfilled their retaining function and serve no further purpose. The cup 24 is then connected to the rolled rim 26 in a known manner by so-called flanging or folding. The dispenser has now assumed its final form. A propellent such as pressure gas is filled into the outer chamber 30 through the opening in the bottom 16. The opening is subsequently sealed by inserting the plug 18.
The closure element 46 is pressed to dispense the commodity. For this purpose, a spray head for example is inserted into the recess 48. The closure element 46 is released from its valve seat 52 in the first instance when it is depressed. Thus, the pressure of the propellent, which acts upon the entire outer surface of the first inner container 12, forces the material in the chamber 32 through the bore 42 into the bore 64 and from there past the closure element 46 and outwardly through the valve seat 52. This is shown by the arrows in FIG. 2. The closure element 46 abuts against the top end of the valve stem 54 after a short length of stroke which is dependent upon the dimensions of the closure element 46 and of the valve stem 54. The valve plate 56 is thereby moved away from the valve seat 68 against the pressure of the spring 60. The pressure of the propellent acting upon the first inner container 12 is transmitted to the second inner container 14 by way of the material contained in the chamber 32. The material contained in the second inner container 14 can also be discharged after the valve plate 56 has moved away from the valve seat 68. The material passes between the guide ribs 66 into the bore 64 in the direction of the arrows (see FIG. 2). The material is mixed in the bore 64 with the other material flowing in through the transverse bore 42. A whirling movement can be imparted to the two materials by an appropriate configuration of the guide ribs 66 and by orientating the transverse bore 42 obliquely of the radius vector. Thus, the materials are intimately mixed and are discharged from the dispenser at the top end of the housing 44 in the form of a homogeneous mixture.
When the opening pressure is removed from the closure element 46, the valve plate 56 is first of all applied to its valve seat 68 by the pressure of the spring 60. Thus, the chamber 34 is outwardly sealed. However, material can still flow outwardly from the chamber 32. This material presses outwardly the mixture contained in the bore 64 and in the valve housing 44 etc. Thus the bore 64 is filled with only one of the materials before the closure element 46 is applied against its valve seat 52 and thus before the dispenser is completely closed. Thus, the risk is substantially avoided of hardening of the mixture remaining in the bore in the case of a two-component adhesive, or of deterioration of the mixture in the case of a sensitive pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparation comprising two components.
l. A dispenser for separately accommodating but together discharging a plurality of liquid or pasty materials, which dispenser comprises a rigid outer container for receiving a propellent; a first flexible inner container arranged in the outer container for accommodating one of the materials; a second flexible inner container for accommodating the other of the materials and arranged within said first inner container, said outer container having an open end; means connecting said first and second inner containers to said open end; valve means; and means securing said valve means to said outer container at said open end, said valve means including a valve housing and a valve sleeve with a socket formed at the bottom end of said sleeve, said second inner container having a neck, said neck being mounted on said socket and secured thereto, said valve means having a common closure element for both said inner containers and a separate closure element for said second inner container.
2. A dispenser according to claim 1, said valve housing being insertable into said sleeve from the top, wherein said valve housing has wedge-shaped projection means thereon and said sleeve has a corresponding recess therein, said projection means engaging said recess.
3. A dispenser according to claim 1, further comprising, a first valve seat on said housing and open to the exterior of said dispenser, said common closure element being displaceably guided in said housing for cooperation with said valve seat; and a spring biasing said common closure member into its closed position against said first valve seat, a longitudinal bore extending through said housing from an inner end communicating with the interior of said second inner container to said first valve seat, a second valve seat at said inner bore end, said separate closure element comprising a valve plate cooperating with said valve seat and actuable by said common closure element, and a transverse bore leading from said first inner container to said longitudinal bore and opening into the latter directly adjacent said inner bore end.
4. A dispenser according to claim 3, which further comprises spring means acting on said valve plate to urge said valve plate against said second valve seat, a valve stem extending into said longitudinal bore terminating at an end spaced a short distance from said common closure element when the latter is in its closed position, said valve plate being secured to said valve stem whereby abutment of said common closure element against said end of said valve stem during opening movement of the common closure element moves said valve plate into its open position.
5. A dispenser according to claim 4 further comprising guide ribs formed integral with said valve stem and cooperating with said longitudinal bore.
6. A dispenser according to claim 5, wherein said guide ribs are formed on said valve plate.
7. A dispenser according to claim 1, in which said neck is inserted into said socket.
8. A dispenser according to claim 7, wherein said socket has an inner wall of the socket provided with a groove therein and a projection thereon, and said neck has thereon a complementary projection and a groove interengaging with said groove and projection of said socket.
9. A dispenser according to claim 7 further comprising ring means secured to said socket, said ring means having resilient hook means thereon spaced in the peripheral direction, said hook means having top ends located on the arc of a circle so that they can be applied to a top rim of said outer container.
10. A dispenser according to claim 1 further comprising a cup member having an apertured bottom and a rod extending from said bottom, said cup being inserted into said neck with said rod extending into said second inner container.
11. A dispenser according to claim 10 in which said cup has an outwardly projecting rim, said rim abutting against the neck.
12. A dispenser according to claim 10, further comprising spring means biassing said valve plate against said second valve seat, said spring means abutting against said cup.
13. A dispenser according to claim 10, further comprising a substantially flat spiral spring having an outermost convolution secured to said rim of said cup and having an innermost convolution acting on said valve plate to bias the latter against said second valve seat.
14. A dispenser according to claim 13, further comprising a ring clamped between said rim of said cup and said socket, said outermost spring convolution being attached to said ring.