US 3648932 A
An aerosol valve button featuring an aspirator passageway having one end in communication with the atmosphere and its other end adjacent the button's discharge orifice. Product-flow through the discharge orifice causes an air-stream to flow in the aspirator passageway. This auxiliary air-stream reduces eddy currents and other turbulence at the discharge orifice; thus providing more efficient breakup and distribution of the sprayed aerosol product with less propellant.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ewald et al.
 VALVE BUTTON WITH ASPIRATOR PASSAGEWAY  Inventors: Ronald F. Ewald, Rolling Meadows; Norman E. Platt, Fox River Grove, both of I11.
 Assignee: Seaquist Valve Company, Division of Pittway Corporation, Cary, Ill.
 Filed: Oct. 27,1969
] Appl.No.: 869,521
 US. CL... ..239/337, 239/4255, 239/4285  Int. Cl ..B05b 7/32  Field otSearch ..239/337, 579,428.5,4195,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,597,033 8/1926 Gibbons ..239/4l6 2,259,215 10/ 1941 Scheurer ..239/416 2,466,100 4/1949 l-larrah ..239/419.5 X
[4 1 Mar. 14, 1972 3,018,971 1/l962 Cheney ..239/335 X 3,061,203 10/ 1962 Kitabayashi... ..239/424 X 3,498,506 3/ 1970 Charrier ..222/402. 12
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,420,750 11/1965 France ..239/337 450,310 4/ 1968 Switzerland ..239/ 337 Primary Examiner--Allen N. Knowles Assistant Examiner-John J. Love Att0rneyStein and Orman  ABSTRACT An aerosol valve button featuring an aspirator passageway having one end in communication with the atmosphere and its other end adjacent the buttons discharge orifice. Productflow through the discharge orifice causes an air-stream to flow in the aspirator passageway. This auxiliary-air-strearn reduces eddy currents and other turbulence at the discharge orifice; thus providing more efficient breakup and distribution of the sprayed aerosol product with less propellant.
6 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PAIENTEUMAR 14 m2 SHEET 1 UF 2 ATTOR'NEY.
PAIENIEBMARM 1972 3,648,932
sum 2 (1F 2 INVENTORS NA F. EWA RM E. PLA
VALVE BUTTON WITH ASPIRATOR PASSAGEWAY This invention relates to an aerosol valve button of the type having a discharge orifice from which an aerosol product is sprayed when the button is depressed.
As is well known, the contents of an aerosol container comprises the aerosol product and propellant. The function of the propellant is twofold. When the valve button on the container is depressed, the propellant forces the product through a dip tube, immersed in the product, and then through the buttons discharge orifice whereupon the product is sprayed. In addition, the portion of the propellant which is dissolved in the liquid assists firstly in breaking up the product particles, then in carrying them to the target on a stream of the expanded propellant vapor.
Unfortunately, the breakup and distribution of the product by the propellant is not as efficient as it could be. This is because in known valve buttons, the flow of the aerosol contents encounters eddy currents and other turbulence at the button's discharge orifice as well as the static air, all of which retard this flow. If these factors were not present, more advantageous breakup of the product would occur along with accompanying better distribution. Moreover, less propellant would be required enabling the container to be made smaller and correspondingly more economical, thereby reducing the containers cost to the consumer. The reduction of needed propellant would have another important advantage. With some products such as personal deodorant, it is desirable to spray only a minimum amount of propellant thereby to reduce the degree of coldness of the spray. A button which would spray a greater product/propellant ratio would be particularly advantageous for these products.
Another disadvantage of present valve buttons is that when they are used with a product which may accidentally be ignited when sprayed, such as propane, a dangerous safety hazard may exist because the flame occasionally snaps back to the button when the product flow is cut off due to the static blend of air and vapors outside the spray case. A button that would eliminate this hazardous flash-back" is needed.
Still another disadvantage of present buttons is that there is no provision to easily change the shape of the spray pattern. Spray patterns differ for the various aerosol products. For example, a spray pattern that would be efficient for paint would not necessarily be efficient for a hair spray. In known valve buttons, extensive modifications must usually be made to provide these various patterns. This makes the buttons more expensive to produce, increasing the cost to the consumer.
Although attempts have been made to overcome these disadvantages, to date they have been unsuccessful.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an aerosol valve button wherein eddy currents and other turbulence normally encountered at a button s discharge orifice are substantially eliminated.
Another object of this invention is to provide an aerosol valve button with means to eliminate static air at the buttonss discharge orifice for improved product flow.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an aerosol button that provides greater product breakup with less propellant.
A further object of this invention is to provide an aerosol valve button that projects the product further with less propellant.
A still further object of this invention is to provide an aerosol valve button that enables an associated aerosol container to be reduced in size or contain a greater product to propellant ratio.
Another object is to provide an aerosol valve button with means to easily vary the discharge spray pattern.
Another object is to provide an aerosol valve button with means to easily regulate or alter the noise produced by the discharge of an aerosol product.
Another object is to provide an aerosol valve button that eliminates the flame flash-back" normally associated with cutting ofi' a product such as propane.
Another object is to provide a means. for varying the discharge spray pattern of the button by moving a discharge end of an aspirator passageway relative to the discharge orifice of the button.
Another object is to provide means for regulating the air flow through an aspirator passageway in the button.
Another object is to provide a means for quickly sealing the discharge orifice 'of the button, thereby isolating the aerosol contents from the atmosphere.
Another object is to provide an aerosol valve button particularly adapted for spraying such products as starch that require a large product to propellant ratio.
Another object is to provide an aerosol valve button which is practical and economically feasible to manufacture.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
In accordance with these objects, the invention comprises an aerosol valve button featuring an aspirator passageway. The passageway, which may be designed in various forms, is disposed with one end communicating with the atmosphere and the other lying adjacent the button's discharge orifice. It is disposed such thatwhen the valve button is depressed, an aerosol product flowing out of the buttons discharge orifice causes an airstream, by a Bernoulli effect, to flow from the aspiratory passageway. This airstream, which affects the product-flow, engenders many important advantages. It reduces the product-flow restrictions of static air, turbulence, and eddy currents at the buttons discharge orifice; thereby allowing faster movement of the product-flow with accompanying better product distribution and breakup. Because of this improved product-flow, less propellant is needed enabling the container with which .the button is associated to be made smaller or to have a greater product to propellant ratio. Another advantage is that the airflow through the aspirator passageway can be designed to give a characteristic sound signal, such as a whistle, when the product is sprayed. This is not only important in novelty items, but also provides a desirable signal that enables the consumer to know when the product is being sprayed even though it is not seen-for example, when the product is starch, it is not visible when sprayed. With a signal such as a whistle, the user knows starch is being sprayed. Still another important advantage is that the spray pattern of the valve may easily be regulated by varying the configuration of the aspirator passageway either by permanent deformation or by a special insert inserted at the passageway's intake. Not to be overlooked is the air-stream's advantage of eliminating the hazardous flame flash-back of an ignited aerosol product such as propane.
In a modification of the button, means are provided to vary the spray pattern of the button by moving the discharge end of the aspirator passageway relative to the discharge orifice. In another modification, the spray pattern is varied by manually regulating, through an adjusting means, the quantity of air flowing through the aspirator passageway.
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, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view illustrating the valve button of this invention as applied to an aerosol container;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of one embodiment of the valve button;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the button taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the button taken along lines 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of a modification of the valve button shown in FIG. 2, the stem and button being integral;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the modified button taken along lines 66 of FIG.
FIG. 7 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the modified button taken along the lines 7-7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional elevational view of a second modification of the valve button of FIG. 2;
FIG. 9 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the second modification taken along lines 9--9 of FIG. 8.
FIG. 10 is a side cross-sectional view of a third modification of the button in which means are provided to move the forward end of the aspirator passageway relative to the discharge orifice.
FIG. 11 is an end view of the dial screw along the lines 11- ll of FIG. 10.
FIG. 12 is a side cross-sectional view of a fourth modification of the button in which means are provided to regulate the quantity of air flowing through the aspirator passageway.
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines l3 13 of FIG. 12.
FIG. 14 is a side crosssectional view of a fifth modification of the button in which another means is provided to regulate the quantity of air flowing through the aspirator passageway.
FIG. 15 is an end view of the dial taken along the lines 15- 15 of FIG. 14.
FIG. 16 is an opposite end view of the dial taken along the lines l616 of FIG. 14.
Similar reference characters refer to throughout the several views of the drawing.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a valve button 10 comprising this invention typically attached to an aerosol container 12.
As shown in more detail in the remaining figures, generally the valve button is preferably manufactured out of plastic and its casing includes a top 14 shaped to conform to a thumb ofa consumer to facilitate depressing the valve button; an annular recess 16 provided at the base of the button to make the valve button lighter and more economical to produce by eliminating a portion of the needed plastic; and a cylindrical valve stem well 18 provided to receive a standard or customary stem 20 of an aerosol valve.
An embodiment of the valve button illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 further includes a substantially cylindrical aspirator passageway 22 having a rearward end in communication with the atmosphere at the back of the button, and a forward end extending forwardly of and surrounding a centrally located discharge orifice 24 in communication with valve stem 20 via a product-flow channel 26. Orifice 24 is disposed within a housing 27 that extends into aspirator passageway 22. The orifice opens into a conical-shaped configuration that assists in guiding the spray product towards the forward opening of the aspirator passageway. If desired, a removable annular insert 28 may be wedged into the rearward opening of the aspirator passageway to modify the spray pattern and noise produced by the button.
In operation, as is customary in aerosol containers, the valve button 10 is depressed to cause the aerosol product to flow from the container through its stem 20 and from there via channel 26 to the discharge orifice 24 where it is sprayed outwardly. Spraying of the product produces a Bernoulli effect that causes an airstream, or airflow, in aspirator passageway 22 from left to right as seen in the drawings. For reasons which are not entirely understood, this airflow substantially reduces eddy currents and other turbulence which would otherwise normally be present at the outlet of the discharge orifice 24. In addition, the moving air substantially eliminates the static air mass at the outlet of the discharge orifice and assists in carrying the product outwardly from the valve button. This reduction of turbulence and additional carrying force facilitates product flow as well as causing better product distribution and breakup.
As a result, less propellant is needed to spray the product, and container 12 may either be made smaller or contain a greater product to propellant ratio. Since the airstream through the passageway affects both the spray pattern and the similar parts noise of the valve button, both of these factors may be regulated easily either by varying the diameter of the passageway or correspondingly, by providing inserts 28 with different diameter openings.
The valve button is particularly suitable for use with flammable products or products propelled by flammable propellants, such as propane. Because the airstream has momentum which continues for a very short period even after the ignited product flow is cut off, the customary flame flashback often associated with an ignited product of this type is eliminated.
The aspirator passageway is modified in a second embodiment of the valve button, shown in FIGS. 5 through 7 so that the operator cannot mistake the airflow passage in FIGS. 2 and 3 for the discharge orifice. In this embodiment, the aspirator passageway is designated 30 and is in communication with a casing opening 32 extending above the rearward portion of recess 16. The aspirator passageway continues forwardly from this casing opening into a substantially cylindrical passageway 33 leading to the forward edge of the valve button. As in the first embodiment, the orifice 24 is disposed within housing 27 and is centrally located with respect to the aspirator passageway.
The operation of the modified valve button and advantages engendered by this operation are the same as described for the first embodiment. As shown, the button and stem are integral.
A third embodiment is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. In this embodiment both the product-flow channel and the aspirator passageway are modified. The product-flow channel 34 extends upwardly from the valve stem well and enters tangentially to a cylindrical flow-chamber 36. Chamber 36 is enlarged at its forward end to receive an orifice insert 38 having a discharge orifice 40 with a conical-shaped entrance and exit as shown. The aspirator passageway 42 is in communication with the atmosphere by a casing opening 44 extending above recess 16 at the rear of the valve button, and from this opening, it extends forwardly within a housing 46 whose forward end is centrally disposed within flow-chamber 36 adjacent the discharge orifice 40.
When the valve button of this embodiment is depressed, the product is caused to swirl by flowing tangentially to the cylindrical flow-chamber 36 from the product-flow channel 34. This swirling action assists in breaking up the product to produce a finer particle size which is particularly beneficial when spraying such products as starch. As in the previous embodiments, the product-flow through the discharge orifice creates an airstream in the aspirator passageway 42 by a Bernoulli effect. This airstream results in the same advantages as discussed previously for the above two embodiments. At the point of wear, which produces the breakup, it increases the turbulence and thereby increases the breakup. It reduces eddys and other turbulence just outside of the discharge orifice and substantially eliminates the static air at the exit of the orifice. It also assists in carrying the sprayed product forwardly. All of this enables more efficient product-flow with better product breakup and distribution. Moreover, as in the other embodiments, the spray pattern and noise of the spray product may be easily controlled by varying the configuration of the aspirator passageway; and the button may be used with products which may accidentally be ignited when sprayed, e.g., hair sprays, wherein the flowing airstream reduces the hazard of a more dangerous flash-back" when the aerosol product is cut off.
In FIGS. 10 and 11, the button is modified with means for varying the spray pattern by moving the forward end of the aspirator passageway relative to the discharge orifice. As illustrated, the valve button includes a cylindrical product chamber 50 communicating with a product channel 52 and a discharge orifice 54 at the front face of the button. Received within the chamber 50 is the forward end 56 of a dial screw 58, threaded to the button as shown. An aspirator passageway 60, in alignment with orifice 54, extends through the screw. The forward end 56 of the screw has a smaller diameter than the cylindrical chamber 50. When the screw is positioned as shown, an annular opening is provided between the wall of the chamber 50 and the wall of the screw for flow of the product from product channel 52 to the discharge orifice 54.
The operation of this button is similar to those previously described. As the product flows through the discharge orifice, it produces an airstream in the aspirator passageway. As also previously described, the air stream reduces eddy currents, turbulence, and static air at the discharge orifice.
The additional advantage of this modification is that the spray pattern of the spray product may be easily and accurately regulated by moving the dial screw 58 inwardly or outwardly; thereby changing the distance between the forward end of the aspirator passageway and the discharge orifice. Another significant advantage is that after the product is sprayed, the aerosol contents may be sealed from the atmosphere by screwing 58 inwardly until it abuts against the forward end wall of the button, adjacent discharge orifice 54.
In FIGS. 12 and 13, another modification is shown wherein the spray pattern of the button is varied by controlling the quantity of air flowing through the aspirator passageway. As illustrated, the valve button differs from the prior modification shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 by having a casing well 61 at the rear of the valve body and by directing the aspirator passageways 60 into communication with this well. As best seen in FIG. 13, the downwardly directed position 64 of the aspirator passageway is widened into a pie-shaped opening. The amount of air aspirated through passageway 62 is varied by regulating the expanse of the opening by rotating the dial screw 58. As should be easily understood, the opening 64 has a maximum opening, when the dial is positioned as shown in FIG. 13 and is completely closed after the dial screw is rotated 180 when it is adjacent the body of the abutment.
Since the airstream to the passageway affects both the spray pattern and the noise of the valve button, both of these factors may be regulated easily and quickly by rotation of the dial screw.
As in the previous modification, the aerosol contents may be isolated from the atmosphere by merely screwing the dial screw inwardly until it abuts against the forward end wall of the button.
in FIGS. 14, 15 and 16, in an alternate construction, another means is shown for varying the spray pattern of the valve button by regulating the air flowing through the aspirator passageway. The general configuration of the valve button of this construction is essentially the same as that shown in the embodiment of H05. 2 and 3. As will be recalled, in that embodiment a removable annular insert 28 is wedged into the rearward opening of the aspirator passageway to modify the spray pattern and noise produced by the button. In the instant construction, in lieu of this insert, an adjustable dial 70 is provided. It consists of two disclike elements: a first manually rotatable element 72 and a narrower, second stationary element 74. The second element 74 is wedged into a groove in the wall of the aspirator passageway as shown. The first element rotates relative to the second element by being secured thereto via an integral boss 76. Both elements are provided with a plurality of bores 78 which are adapted to move into and out of alignment by rotating the hand manipulated first element 72. The quantity of air passing through the aspirator passageway is controlled simply by moving the bores into and out of alignment. I
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 fall therebetween.
Now that the invention has been described,
What is claimed is:
1. A valve button for an aerosol container comprising a product-flow opening therethrough defined at one end by a port arranged for communication with an aerosol product and at the other end by a discharge orifice, said product-flow opening including a product-flow channel leading into a product-flow chamber, said chamber being closed at its rearward end and open at the front face of said valve button, said discharge orifice disposed in the opening of the product-flow chamber and an aspirator passageway formed in said valve button, one end of said aspirator passageway formed in communication with the atmosphere via an opening extending from the base of said valve button, the other end of said aspirator passageway arranged immediately behind said discharge orifice whereby product flowing from said discharge orifice causes an airstream to flow in said aspirator passageway.
2. A valve button for an aerosol container comprising a product-flow opening therethrough defined at one end by a port arranged for communication with an aerosol product and at the other end by a discharge orifice, and an aspirator passageway formed in said valve button, one end of said aspirator passageway formed in communication with the atmosphere the other end of said aspirator passageway arranged adjacent to said discharge orifice whereby product flowing from said discharge orifice causes an airstream to flow in said aspirator passageway, said valve button including means to move said other end of said aspirator passageway relative to said discharge orifice.
3. The valve button of claim 2 wherein said means is defined by a dial screw in which the aspirator passageway is disposed, and which is threadably engaged to the body of the button such that rotation of the screw moves the other end of the aspirator passageway relative to the discharge orifice.
4. A valve button for an aerosol container comprising a product-flow opening therethrough defined at one end by a port arranged for communication with an aerosol product and at the other end by a discharge orifice, and an aspirator passageway formed is said valve button, one end of said aspirator passageway formed in communication with the atmosphere, the other end of said aspirator passageway arranged adjacent to said discharge orifice whereby product flowing from said discharge orifice causes an airstream to flow in said aspirator passageway, said valve button including a dial disposed in said aspirator passageway, said dial having first and second elements with means to rotate the first element relative to the other, a plurality of bores extending through said first and second elements for passage of said airstream and said bores being opened or closed by rotation of said first element relative to said second element.
5. The valve button of claim 1 wherein said discharge orifice is disposed in a removable insert positioned within the forward portion of said product-flow chamber.
6. The valve button of claim 3 wherein said dial screw is threadably engaged with the body of said button such that the rotation of said dial screw closes or opens said aspirator passageway.