US 3770170 A
A small hand-held dispenser of the pressurized container type, provided with a jumbo-size confining- type cap arranged with a deep, cup-like depression in which the dispensed product is initially restricted. Such product, discharged in the form of a foam, reacts after discharge to form a cotton-like mass that is initially confined by the cup portion of the cap. The cup-like cap configuration is characterized by two oppositely-disposed deeply cut-away rim portions which give the rim a scallop-like shape whereby not only is there facilitated the removal of the product as a somewhat fluffy mass but in addition there is had the advantageous effect of large venting passages during the initial discharge, while the cap is being pushed inward by the palm of the user's hand. An adapter ring, which can be applied to a conventional pressurized container can, constitutes a locking means. It has a configuration enabling it to be snapped onto the top wall of the can and also to control the cap by permitting restricted turning movement of the latter between end stops. A cooperable locking arrangement on the adapter ring and cap body prevents the latter from being depressed or pushed inward to effect discharge of product after it has been turned to engage one of the end stops. Upon opposite turning to engage the other end stop, the cap can be depressed to effect the discharge.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,770,170
Hayes Nov. 6, 1973 CONFINING HAND-HELD DISPENSER CAP tainer type, provided with ajumbo-size confiningtype  Inventor: Thomas H. Hayes, Westport, Conn. Cap arranged with a j f i dePression in which the dispensed product 15 initially restricted. Such prodl Assigneel VCA Corporation, Greenwich, uct, discharged in the form of a foam, reacts after disconn- 1 charge to form a cotton-like mass that is initially con-  Filed: Aug. 28, 1972 fined by the cup portion of the cap. The cup-like cap configuration is characterized by two oppositelypp 284,429 disposed deeply cut-away rim portions which give the rim a scallop-like shape whereby not only is there facili- 52 US. Cl. 222/402.11 taed the removal of Pmduc as a SOmewha Huffy 51 Int. c! B65d 83/14 mass but in addltiaa is had advantageous  Field of Search 222/402.11, 402.13, large Venting Passages during the initial 222/402J2, 394 402A 402.24 146 HA; charge, while the cap is being pushed inward by the 128/173 R palm of the users hand. An adapter ring, WhlCl'l can be applied to a conventional pressurized container can,
 References Cited cgpstitutesg locking crineans. }It has a cplnfifglilration enda mg it to e snappe ontot e top wa o t e can an UNITED STATES PATENTS also to control the cap by permitting restricted turning Ramis movement of the latter between end stops A cooper- 3,170,462 2/1965 Hall 222 402.1 x able locking arrangement on the adapter ring and cap g f g body prevents the latter from being depressed or 312031454 8/1965 Minna r111: 1:: 22140212 x Pushed inward to effect discharge of Product it Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney-H. Gibner Lehmann et al.
 ABSTRACT A small hand-held dispenser of the pressurized conhas been turned to engage one of the end stops. Upon opposite turning to engage the other end stop, the cap can be depressed to effect the discharge.
6 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures M f/ l 20 v 7; 6O I K 2 i 22 My PATENTED NEW 6 I973 SHEET 2 OF 2 CONFINING HAND-HELD DISPENSER CAP CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS l. Copending application of Steven W. Beres and Wolf Steiman filed June 18, 1971, Ser. No. 154,340 and entitled Mass or Bulk Forming Dispenser Cap for Pressure Cans.
BACKGROUND This invention relates to small hand-held dispensers of the type employing pressurized cans, and more particularly to the discharge cap or actuator devices provided for such dispensers. In the past, numerous jumbotype actuator caps for pressurized hand-held dispensers have been proposed and produced. With the advent of different kinds of products that were intended to be dispensed to satisfy a variety of purposes, the dispenser caps were often modified or adapted so as to suit the particular product being used, thereby adding to the convenience and practicability of the dispenser.
One newly developed product is a formulation which is discharged as a foam, and which reacts after its discharge, so as to form a cotton-like mass. Such a product has been provided with cleansing and antiseptic ingredients whereby the resultant cotton-like mass is found useful as a means of cleansing and sterilizing cuts, small wounds and the like, as well as providing a soft antiseptic dressing for the same. In the co-pending application of Wolf Steiman above identified, a jumbotype cap is disclosed, having a cup-like or hollow top configuration adapted to contain such a cotton-like mass in the manner of a serving means by which it is readily formed and antiseptically confined until removal. While this prior serving type cap has in general been satisfactory, I have found that due to the pressurized nature of the discharge there is a tendency for the users hand, when forcing the cap inward, to shut off or sea] the cup-like configuration with the result that pressure builds up within the hollow of the cap, tending to find an outlet whereby the discharging product sometimes squirts free past the cap edges which are confined by the users hand. While this has no serious or tragic results, it constitutes an unexpected occurrance which sometimes startles the user and/or results in an untidy condition.
With the advent of increased sophistication in packaging, actuator caps for aerosol devices are now being considered unacceptable if they can be accidentally actuated during shipment and storage. In consequence, newer trends now stress locking-type actuator caps which have various detent-or latch mechanisms intended to prevent accidental discharge of the contents thereof during rough or improper handling. These prior safety devices in most cases required modification of the pressurized container, or else special designs of the top wall portions in order to effect the locking and safety features. Thus, a conventional type pressurized container in general could not be used if the safety feature was a requisite.
SUMMARY The above drawbacks and disadvantages of prior dispenser actuators are obviated by the present invention, which has for one object the provision of a novel and improved actuator cap for foamy or fibre-forming prducts, which cap can be readily incorporated in or attached to conventional pressurized cans and still provide a safety or locking feature, such cap being also arranged to provide large venting passages, thereby eliminating the likelihood of squirting of the product or messiness during use of the dispenser. A related object of the invention is to provide an improved actuator cap construction as above characterized, which is especially simple in its construction, economical to produce, and which permits quick and easy assemblage to pressurized containers. These objects are accomplished bh the provision of a jumbo-type cylindrical cap body having in its top portion a deep cup-like recess or confining surface, arranged with deep scalloped opposite sides by which large air vent passages exist even when the users hand is applied to the cap body to force the same inward. The cap body has a centrally disposed depending skirt adapted to telescope within the metal valve mounting cup of the conventional pressurized can, and has oppositely located abutments or shoulders which are cooperable with an adapter and retainer ring so constituted that it can be snapped over the outer periphery of the valve mounting cup of the pressurized can. Cooperable detent means on the metal mounting cup and the skirt of the cap body hold the latter captive. Also, cooperable end stops on the cap and the adapter ring effect proper orientation of these parts so that the cap can be turned from one extreme position wherein it is locked against actuation, to another extreme position wherein it is released and capable of being depressed or forced inward to effect discharge of the container contents. Thus, all the objectives of the invention are attained by the provision of only two pieces, namely the adapter ring and the jumbo-size cap body, these being cooperable with each other and with the metal valve mounting cup of conventional pressurized dispenser cans.
Still other features and advantages of the invention will hereinafter appear.
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of the upper portion of a pressurized dispenser having the improved safety, locking-type jumbo cap provided with a venting, squirtpreventing hollow serving surface. The cap is shown in the non-discharging, locked position.
FIG. 2 is an axial sectional view similar to that of FIG. 1 but taken in a plane at right angles to the plane of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the cap body per se.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the cap body.
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the cap body, looking in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the novel adapter ring as provided by the invention.
FIG. 7 is a diametric sectional view of the adapter ring, taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of the adapter ring, taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary side elevational view of another embodiment of the invention, comprising a pressurized dispenser having the actuator cap rim larger than and surrounding the upper portion of the container.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown a pressurized container or can 10 having a circular top closure wall 12 which is secured at its periphery by the usual crimped edge 14. As usual, the top wall 12 is dome-shaped and has an upper circular edge 16 to which there is attached a metal mounting cup 18, as by curling outward and downward the outer periphery or rim 20 of the cup 18 in the usual manner. Th cup 18 carries the usual type of valve housing 22 which has an upstanding hollow depressable valve stem 24 of conventional construction. The valve housing 22 is secured in an inverted center cup portion 26 of the mounting cup 18 in the usual manner. The peripheral side walls 28 of the mounting cup 18 are of undercut configuration whereby its lower portion has a larger inside diameter than the inside diameter of the upper or curl portion 20. All of the foregoing construction is generally conventional, being common to pressurized dispensing cans.
In accordance with the present invention there is provided a novel and improved jumbo, product-serving or holding-type actuator cap designated generally by the numeral 30, such cap having a cylindrical outer side wall 32 the lower edge 34 of which is shown as received in an annular groove 36 in the container top wall 12. The actuator cap 30 has a hollow or concave, cup-like transverse top wall 38 provided with'a depending hollow boss or sleeve 40 adapted to loosely fit over the valve stem 24. The wall 38 has a central discharge opening 42 by which the product to be dispensed, passing out through the valve stem 24, can be discharged into the cup-like formation of the wall 38.
By the present invention, the actuator cap 30 is provided with a scalloped-edge type of formation, comprising in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-9 a pair of diametrically opposite, deep and wide curved notches 44 adapted to constitute air venting passages at such time that the users hand is applied to the top or end of the actuator cap 30 to depress the latter, with the container held in the inverted position. The notches 44 are-seen to have a depth greater than half the depth of the cup-shaped top wall 38. The top scalloped edge of the cap 30 is defined by a narrow top wall portion 46 which has two opposite convex portions 48 joined together by two opposite concave portions 50, in a sinusoidal configuration.
Depending from the cup-like top wall 38 is a guide skirt 52 which telescopically fits within the peripheral curl portion 20 of the mounting cup 18, thereby constituting a guide for the cap 30 to enable the latter to have vertical depressing movement'for depressing the valve stem 24 to effect discharge of the product.
In accordance with the invention, the depending guide skirt 52 is provided with a plurality of detent beads 54 which are engageable with the inner surface of the curl 20 of the mounting cup 18 to hold the cap 30 captive on the container while permitting limited vertical movement thereon. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the cap 30 is in its raised, non-discharging position from which it must first be turned (approximately 90 and then shifted downward or inward to a slightly depressed position so as to actuate the valve stem 24 and open the valve (not shown), thereby to enable product to be discharged into the cavity formed by the cup-like wall 38 of the cap. Such depressing movement of the actuator cap 30 is effected with the dispenser inverted, by applying the palm of the hand to the cap rim or edge 46, 48 and pressing the container downward toward the palm. When this is done, the notches 44 will ordinarily not be closed by the users hand but instead will constitute large, venting openings that prevent pressure build-up in the cup portion 38 of the cap and accordingly minimize the likelihood of any squirting out of the product or messy discharge wherein the product is not fully contained wholly in or on the wall portion 38. It will be understood that, as the foam-like product is discharged from the valve stem 24 a reaction will occur, resulting in a rapid physical change from the soft foamlike consistency to a fibrous or cotton-like consistency so that a cotton-like mass will be formed against the palm of the hand and within the cup portion 38 of the cap.
The present invention also provides a novel adapter member by which a safety, locking feature of the cap is had. The said adapter member is in the form of a ring or annulus 58, FIGS. 6-8 comprising a depending circular flange 60 having an internal detent bead 62 by which the ring can be snapped over and retained by the peripheral curl portion 20 of the mounting cup 18. During such procedure the ring 58 will yield or expand radially and circumferentially a slight extent, due to the resilient nature of the plastic of which it is formed. The ring 58 has a circular top surface or track 64 on which there rides the bottom edges of a pair of locking-wall formations 66, such formations having curved wall portions 68 and end wall portions 70 as seen in FIG. 4.
The end wall portions 70 of the locking-walls 66 constitute end stops, and are cooperable with raised portions 72 provided on the tracks 64 of the adapter ring 58. By such arrangement the cap 30 can be turned approximately between the end stops, from a raised locked position as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 to a raised unlocked position wherein the wall formations 66 register with elongate notches 74 in the track 64 of the ring 58. For such latter condition, clearance space is had below the locking walls 66 whereby the cap 30 is no longer locked in its raised, non-discharging position but instead can be depressed, enabling the wall formations 66 to occupy the notches 74. Small detent nibs 76 which are elongate horizontally, are provided at the inner sides of the adapter ring 58 and bear against the guide skirt 52 of the cap. By their placement the ribs 76 provide a frictional engagement with the cap to prevent looseness and to hold the cap in either its unlocked dispensing position or else its locked, nondispensing position, without the likelihood of the cap popping up, off of the container.
The ring 58 is frictionally secured in place and normally can be turned only with difficulty, whereupon the locking and unlocking of the cap is effected by turning the latter approximately 590, between the two extreme positions as determined by the end stops 72 of the ring 58.
The assemblage of the adapter ring 58 to the pressurized can be quickly and easily effected by a suitable pressing or stamping operation, and the assembly of the cap 30 to the can 10 can be likewise easily and quickly effected. Only two molded plastic parts are thus involved, namely the cap 30 and the ring 58, and such parts can be readily molded in simple cavities, and can be economically mass produced.
The construction is seen to be specially simple, reliable and foolproof in its operation, and there is had not only the safety feature of a locking-type cap but also the safety feature of providing large air vents to prevent pressure build-up and squirting of product when the cap is forced inward or upward (with dispenser inverted) by applying the palm of the hand to the cap rim and pressing.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 9, wherein the cap 30a is applied to a container a having a crimped edge 14a which is of reduced diameter compared with the remainder of the container so that the lower rim portion of the cap extends around the outside of, and conceals the crimped edge. This results in a neater, flush appearance. Also, the cap 30a has three deep curved venting notches 44a as compared with the two notches 44 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-8. The notches 44a serve the same function as the notches 44, in providing vent passages and preventing squirting and messiness during the discharge.
Other variations and modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. In a hand-held dispenser, in combination:
a. a container having a top closure wall including a mounting cup provided with an annular rim,
b. an adapter ring attached to said rim and having an upper track and a notch in said track,
0. an actuator cap turnably carried by said closure wall, having means for engagement with a valve stem to actuate the same, and having a locking portion adapted to ride along the upper track of the adapter ring when the cap is turned,
d. means for holding said cap captive on the closure wall while enabling it to be turned between locking and unlocking positions,
e. said locking portion being registerable with and receivable in the notch of the track for the unlocked cap position, to permit depressing movement of the cap so as to operate the valve stem,
f. said locking portion when out of said notch and out of registration therewith being engageable with and blocked against downward movement by said track for the locked cap position, thereby to prevent the cap from being depressed,
g. cooperable stop means on the ring and cap, for halting the latter in either of its said two positions when it is being turned, and
h. a bearing skirt depending from the underside of the cap and engageable with said mounting cup to turnably mount the cap,
i. said means for holding the cap captive comprising a plurality of detent shoulders disposed on the exterior of the bearing skirt and located adjacent the rim thereof, and comprising undercut walls of said mounting cup, engaged by said shoulders.
2. A dispenser as in claim 1, wherein:
a. the locking portion of the cap comprises a depending wall having a curved portion extending along and spaced from the bearing skirt, and having end portions joining the curved portion to said skirt.
3. A dispenser as in claim 1, wherein:
a. the detent shoulders are three in number, spaced apart 4. A dispenser as in claim 2, wherein:
a. the stop means on the ring comprises a pair of upstanding projections,
b. said stop means on the cap comprising the end portions of the locking wall thereof.
5. A dispenser as in claim 4, wherein:
a. the upstanding projections on the ring are substantially V-shaped.
6. A confining-type actuator cap for a hand-held dispenser, comprising in combination:
a. a tubular cap body having an annular side wall and an open bottom, and having a hollow top portion,
b. said hollow top portion of the body comprising a concave, cup-shaped transverse top wall, the outermost peripheral edge portion of which is connected to said annular side wall,
c. said cap body having a notched top rim comprising said connection between the annular side wall and the concave top wall,
d. said top rim comprising a continuous narrow band of wave-like configuration surrounding the cupshaped transverse top wall,
e. said narrow band comprising a plurality of deep notches having a depth more than one-half the depth of the cup-shaped top wall.