US 3764046 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
, United States Patent [1 1 Riecio [5 COMPRESSED AIR FLUID PRODUCT DISPENSER Pasquale R. Riccio, Salem, N .H.
 Assignee: Ciba-Geigy Corporation,
 Filed: Dec, 9, 1971 ] Appl. No.: 206,355
 US. Cl 222/193, 222/325, 239/350  Int. Cl B67d 5/54  Field of Search 222/193, 209, 455,
Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Joseph J. Rolla Attorney-E. F. Wenderoth et al.
[5 7] ABSTRACT A fluid product dispenser has an assembly in the form Oct. 9, 1973 of a piston, the piston having a compressed air flow path therethrough, a valve member movable in the piston and obturating the compressed air flow path, aspirating means at one end of the compressed air flow .path, the other end of the compressed air path opening out of the piston remote from said aspirating means, and a product containing means in the device and. a product flow path through the device from the product containing means to the aspirating means. A closed end cylinder is fitted around the piston in air tight sliding engagement with the closed end over the end of the compressed air flow path, so that the cylinder and piston are movable toward each other in a compression stroke to compress air within the cylinder. An extension means on either or both the valve member and the closed end of the cylinder engages the other at the end of the compression stroke for moving the valve member to open the compressed air path only after the air is compressed in the cylinder. The piston has a detachable portion which includes the product container and the aspirating means. The device also includes a special product flow control diaphragm with a slit therein, and a special air return means in the form of a gasket held in place over aper tures in the closed end of the cylinder by a cylinder return spring.
10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Oct. 9, 1973 United States Patent [191 Riccio Patqnted Oct. 9, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.3
INVENTOR PASQUALE RICCIO BY 9 M flf wet ATTORNEYS 1 COMPRESSED AIR FLUID PRODUCT DISPENSER PRIOR ART Therehas recently been developed a type of dispenser for fluids which utilizes compressed air for dispensing fluids in the form of a spray. There are many advantages to such a dispenser, among which are the fact that a conventional aerosol type propellant, such as Freon, is unnecessary, whereby avoiding possible harm to users of the dispenser due to inhalation of the Freon propellant after it has been used to dispense the fluid, and the fact that the dispensers have a shelf-life limited only by the shelf-life of the fluid product to be dispensed, since the compressed air used to dispense the product is compressed by the users of the dispenser for each dispensing action. Such dispensers are disclosed in copending applications Ser. No. 44,694, June 9, 1970, now U. s. Pat. No. 3,672,545, and Ser. Nos. 90,897, Nov. 11, 1970; 139,027, Apr. 30, 1971; and 148,753, June l, 1971.
While the various forms of this type of dispenser as disclosed in these applications are satisfactory from the standpoint of their operation, they have a somewhat complex structure, and certain problems in their manufacture can easily arise.
OBJECTS AND BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved fluid product dispenser of the type described above which is more easily manufactured and is some what more reliable in performance than the similar types of devices disclosed heretofore.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an improved fluid product dispenser of the type described having a replacable product container and in which the aspiratinginsert is attached to the replacableproduct container, so that the aspirating insert is replaced each time a full product container is substituted for an empty product container.
Another object of the invention is to provide a fluid product dispenser of the type described in which the valve housing becomes the piston for compressing air for use in dispensing the fluid product.
Still another object of the invention is to provide, in a fluid product dispenser of the type described, improved air return to the cylinder after compression of air therein, and an improved product flow control means for controlling flow of product from the product container.
These objects are achieved by the provision of a fluid product dispenser comprising an assembly in the form of a piston, said assembly having a compressed air flow path therethrough, a valve member movable in the piston and obturating the compressed air flow path, aspirating means at one end of the compressed air flow path, the other end of the compressed air path opening out of the piston remote from said aspirating means, and a product containing means in the device and a product flow path through the device from the product containing means to the aspirating means. A closed end cylinder is fitted around the piston in air tight sliding engagement with the closed end over the end of the compressed air flow path, so that the cylinder and piston are movable toward each other in a compression stroke to compress air within the cylinder. An extension means on either or both the valve member and the closed end of the cylinder engages the other at the end of the compression stroke for moving the valve member to open the compressed air path only after the air is compressed in the cylinder. A product container mounting which includes the product container and the aspirating means is detachably mounted on the piston. The device also includes a special product flow control diaphragm with a slit therein, and a special air return means in the form of a gasket held in place over apertures in the closed end of the cylinder by a cylinder return spring.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a sectional view of the device according to the invention with the parts in the rest or nondispensing positions;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 1 with the parts in the dispensing positions;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged partial sectional views showing details of the air return means in the rest and dispensing positions, respectively; and
FIG. 5 is a plan view, partly in section, of the interior of the cylinder showing part of the air return means.
As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, an assembly has a body portion 10a which has a longitudinally extending passage 14a therein which opens out of the bottom of the body portion in an enlarged recess 13a. A product container 10b has a recess 13b in the bottom thereof into which the upper end of the body portion fits. A seal 12 is provided between the body portion 10a and the mounting 10b. A passage 14b extends through the mounting 10b from the upper end of the recess 13b in alignment with passage 14a, and is intersected by a lateral opening 38 having a larger diameter portion. Aspirating means in the form of a venturi nozzle insert 39 is positioned in the recess 38 so as to define a product supply chamber 44 around the nozzle insert. The passages 14a and 14b form a compressed air flow path through the body portion and mounting 10a and 10b to the nozzle insert 39.
Against the bottom of the body portion 10a over the recess 13a is an apertured valve seat member 34, and within the recess 13a over the valve seat member is a poppet valve member 15 which is urged toward the valve seat member 34 by a return spring 23 positioned in the recess 13a. Depending from the poppet valve member 15 through the aperture in the valve seat member is a poppet valve actuating pin 15a.
The assembly has a second valve body portion in the form of a sleeve 10c fitting over the body portion 10a and having the open end threaded to a depending threaded portion on the mounting 10b and having the closed end fitting tightly over the valve seat member 34 and holding it in place. An annular spring locating projection 11 depends from the closed end of the sleeve. The outside diameter of the sleeve 10c is the same as the outside diameter of the mounting 10b, and together with the body a and the mounting 10b forms a piston in a manner which will be described hereinafter.
A closed end cylinder 17 is fitted over the piston formed by the parts 10a, 10b and 10c, which cylinder extends all the way to the end of the upper mounting 10b which is remote from the body 10a. The cylinder thus also serves as a cover for the piston. An aperture 17a is provided in the sleeve 17 which, when the device has the parts in the dispensing positions as shown in FIG. 2, is aligned with the recess 38 in the mounting 10b and the nozzle insert 39 therein. The closed end of the cylinder has an inwardly extending projection 18 thereon which is aligned with the poppet valve actuating pin a. A piston return spring 19 is held between the projection 18 and the spring retaining projection 11. A sealing ring 20 is positioned between the inside cylindrical surface of the cylinder 17 and the outer cylindrical surface of the sleeve 10c. In the closed end of the cylinder 17 is an air return means which will be described in greater detail hereinafter.
A product container means is provided at the end of the mounting 10b remote from the cylinder 17. In the present invetion, a recess 21 is provided in a portion of the mounting which projects beyond the open end of the cylinder 17 when the parts are in the nondispensing positions, as seen in FIG. 1. The recess 21 is closed by a closure means 22, here shown as a sealed cap. The exterior surface of the projecting portion of the mounting 18b is knurled or scored, as shown in 22a, in order to provide a grip for turning the mounting 10b. Within the recess 21 is a product flow control means 24 for controlling the flow of the product out of the recess so that it flows only when compressed air flows through the nozzle insert 39. A product flow path in the form of a passage 25 is formed from the bottom of the recess 21 through the mounting 10b into the product supply chamber 44.
With this arrangement, the mounting 10b including the product container means and the nozzle insert 39 are replaceable. All that is necessary is to grasp the knruled exterior surface 22a and unscrew the mounting 10b from the open end of the sleeve 100. Since this threaded engagement is the only interfitting engagement between the mounting 10b and the remainder of the device, once the threaded engagement is ended, the mounting 10b can simply be withdrawn from the remainder of the device. Replacement requires only threading a new mounting 10b into place. The advantage of this arrangement is that not only is the supply of the product in the recess 21 replaced, but a whole new product dispensing system is provided, i.e. the product flow control means 24, the passage 25 and the nozzle insert 39. This avoids manfunctions of the device due to clogged or improperly operating product flow control means and passages, and clogged nozzle insertes.
The product flow control means 24 is a novel feature of the present invention. It is a diaphragm of flexible material, such as rubber or plastic which is unaffected by the product being dispensed, and it has at least one slit 24a therein. The bottom of the recess 21 is concave, as at 21a, while the diaphragm is sufficiently stiff so that in its normal condition it bridges the concave portion 21a of the recess 21 while supporting the weight of the product within the recess 21. However, it is sufficiently resilient that when a reduced pressure is created in the concave portion 210 due to compressed air flowing through the nozzle insert 39, it is drawn downwardly sufficiently to stretch and open the slit 24a, as shown in FIG. 2. This condition will persit as long as the flow of compresed air is sufficient to create a reduced pressure in the concave portion 21a. When the reduced pressure is no longer present, the resiliency of the diaphragm 24 will cause it to return to its normal condition as shown in FIG. 1, thus closing the slit 24a. This arrangement prevents leakage of the product through the passage 25 and out through the nozzle insert 39 when the device is not in use.
The air return means in the closed end of the cylinder 17 is shown in more detail in FIGS. 3-5. The closed end of the cylinder 17 has apertures 27 therethrough opening into an inner annular groove 28 around the inner surface of the closed end. Grooves 29 extend from the annular groove 28 up the side of the projection 18. An annular gasket 30 is provided which overlies the groove 28 and is held between the closed end of the cylinder 17 and the end of the spring 19. The grooves 29 extend past the inner edge of the gasekt 30.
In operation, the parts of the device are normally in the positions as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. The spring 19 holds the chylinder 17 and the piston 10a, 10b, 10c spaced apart, the air passage through the air return means in the closed end of the cylinder is open, and the flow control means 24 is closed. Pressure is then exerted on the closed end of the cylinder 17 and the closure 22, for example by the thumb and forefinger, to urge the cylinder 17 and the piston 10a, 10b, 10c toward each other while compressing the spring 19. The air return means prevents flow of air therethrough so that air is compressed within the cylinder 17, the poppet valve member 15 being held seated by the spring 23, and the sealing ring 20 preventing escape of compressed air between the interior of the cylinder 17 and the sleeve 10c. When the parts reach the positions shown in FIG. 2, the projection 18 in the inside of the closed end of the cylinder 17 engages the poppet valve actuating pin 15a and lifts the poppet valve 15 from its seat. Compressed air then escapes through the compressed air flow path formed by the passages 14a and 14b and through the nozzle insert 39. The flow of compressed air through the nozzle insert creates a reduced pressure through thepassage 25 and in the concave portion 21a of the recess 21, thus causing the diaphragm 24 to bend downwardly to open the slit 24a. Product is thus aspirated through the passage 25 and is entrained in the flow of comprssed air and dispensed as a spray from the nozzle insert.
Release of the pressure on the parts of the device enables the spring 19 to urge the cylinder 17 and the piston apart. The spring 23 immediatley seats the poppet valve 15. The air return means relieves the vacuum within the cylinder 17, and the parts return to the positions of FIGS. 1 and 3. When the flow of compressed air through the nozzle insert stops, the diaphragm 24 returns to its normal position with the slit 24a closed, thus stopping further flow of the product.
The air return means operates as follows. With the parts in the positions as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, i.e. the rest or non-dispensing positions, the pressure of the spring 19 on the annular gasket 30 is not sufficient to force it into the annular groove 28, so that there is an air passage into the interior of the sleeve 17 through the apertures 27, the groove 28 and the grooves 29. However, when the cylinder 17 and piston 10a, 10b, 10c are pressed toward each other, the spring 19 is compressed, and the gasket 30 is forced into the annular groove 28 and closes the apertures 27, as shown in FIG. 4. This blocks passage of air back through the air passage which is normally present, so that air trapped within the cylinder 17 can be compressed. When the cylinder and piston are released, the poppet valve closes and the spring 19 urges them apart, creating a vacuum within cylinder 17. The atmospheric pressure outside the device forces the gasket 30 away from the apertures 27 and groove 28, again opening the air passage and permitting air to flow into the cylinder 17 to relieve the vacuum.
It will be seen that because the parts 10a, 10b and 100 forming the piston have been shaped so that together they form a piston within the cylinder 17, this eliminates the need for a separately formed piston as has been used in the prior art devices. This has enabled the number of parts of the device to be reduced, and as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the parts are relatively easily molded sleeves and body parts.
Moreover, in addition to making the product container means replaceable, the device of the present invention also includes in the replaceable element the nozzle insert and the product flow control means. Further the product control means which is provided is a simple diaphragm which is easily manufactured and inserted in place, and yet is reliable in operation.
The air return means is also simplified and yet reliable in operation, and consists only of the gasket 30 and the configuration of the inside of the closed end of the cylinder.
It will also be seen that this system by its very nature dispenses a metered dose of product and the dose can be varied by changing the size of the piston cylinder.
It is thought that the invention and its advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it is apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention or sacrificing its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described and illustrated in the drawings being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. A dispensing device comprising: an assembly in the form of a piston, said piston having a compressed air flow path therethrough; a valve member movable in said piston and obturating said compressed air flow path; a product container mounting forming part of said piston and being detachably connected thereto; aspirating means in said mounting at one end of said compressed air flow path, the other end of the compressed air flow path opening out of the piston remote from said aspirating means; said product container mounting having a product container means therein and a product flow path therethrough from said product containing means to said aspirating means; a closed end cylinder around and in air tight sliding engagement with. said piston and having the closed end around said other end of the compressed air flow path, said piston and said cylinder being relatively movable toward each other in a compression stroke to compress air within said cylinder air return means at the closed end of said cylinder, and extension means on at least one of said valve member and the closed end of said cylinder and engageable with the other at the end of the compression stroke for moving said valve member relative to said piston for opening said compressed air flow path only after the air in said cylinder is compressed.
2. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which said mounting is threadedly connected to the remainder of said valve body.
3. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which the part of said piston other than said mounting comprises a lower body portion having a recess in the end thereof remote from the mounting into which the compressed air flow path opens, a valve seat member over the end of said recess, and a closed end sleeve over said lower body portion holding said valve seat member in place and having fastening means on the open end for detachable engagement with said mounting, said valve member being a poppet valve engageable with said valve seat member.
4. A device as claimed claim 3 in which sealing means are provided between said mounting and said lower body portion, said comprpressed air flow path 7 extending through the joint between said lower body and said mounting within the periphery of said sealing means.
5. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which said mounting has a recess therein and a closure member closing said recess, said recess and closure member defining said product containing means.
6. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which said product containing means further has product flow control means therein controlling product flow to said aspirating means.
7. A device as claimed in claim 6 in which said product flow control means is a flexible diaphragm having at least one slit therein, said diaphragm being sufficiently flexible and resilient to be flexed under the aspirating action of said aspirating means to open said slit to pass product therethrough, and to close to prevent produt flow therethrough when the aspirating action of aid aspirating means ceases.
8. A device as claimed in claim 7 in which said product containing means is a recess in said mounting and has a concave end out of which said product flow path opens, said diaphragm being at the wide part of the concave end and flexing into said concave end under the aspirating effect of said aspirating means.
9. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which said air return means comprises a gasket, said closed end of said cylinder having apertures therein covered by said gasket, said device having spring means between said closed end of said cylinder and said piston urging said cylinder and piston away from each other, said spring means being engaged with said gasket for holding it in air tight engagement over said apertures during said compression stroke.
10. A device as claimed in claim 9 in which said closed end of said cylinder has said extension means thereon, said gasket being around said extension means, the inside surface of said closed end having an annular groove therein into which said apertures open, and said extension having grooves therein opening out of said annular groove past the edge of said gasket.
* a l= a: