US 3785571 A
A mechanical breakup aerosol valve button or actuator with an annular feed chamber which feeds passageways leading into a central swirl chamber immediately ahead of the forward portion of a cylindrical terminal orifice feed post which includes a centrally disposed cavity formed in the face thereof and immediately behind a recessed terminal orifice contained within a terminal orifice which cooperate to produce a homogeneous spray pattern.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
App]. No.: 250,604
US. Cl 239/492, 239/337, 239/579 Int. Cl B05b l/34, B65d 83/l4 Field of Search 239/337, 490, 492, 7 239/579 References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIQNS 8/1969 Great Britain 239/492 United States Patent i191 [111 3,785,571
Hoening Jan. 15, I974 MECHANICAL BREAKUP AEROSOL 1,160,064 2/1958 ,France .l239/492 Primary Examiner-R0bert S. Ward, Jr. AttorneyStefan M. Stein, John Orman and Arthur W. Fisher, Ill
 ABSTRACT A mechanical breakup aerosol valve button or actuator with an annular feed chamber which feeds passageways leading into a central swirl chamber immediately ahead of the forward portion of a cylindrical terminal orifice feed post which includes a centrally disposed cavity formed in the face thereof and immediately behind a recessed terminal orifice contained within a terminal orifice which cooperate to produce a homogeneous spray pattern.
15 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] JAN 1 5 I974 FIG.7
Flee MECHANICAL BREAKUP AEROSOL SPRAYER BUTTON BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a mechanical breakup button or actuator for an aerosol valve and more particularly to a button or actuator including an annular feed chamber which feed passageways which lead to a central swirl chamber immediately ahead of a feed post having a cavity formed therein which cooperate with a terminal orifice to produce a homogeneous spray pattern.
2. Description of the Prior Art There are numerous designs for mechanical breakup buttons or actuators for aerosol valves. Generally, such buttons or actuators comprise structures specifically configured to impart a swirling action to the product prior to leaving the terminal orifice such that the emitted product is actually mechanically-broken-up into a fine mist as it is dispensed outwardly from the terminal orifice in a predetermined spray pattern. Such mechanical breakup buttons and actuators have been widely employed commercially in conjunction with a variety of products. A survey of these reveals, however, that considerable room for improvement remains.
In addition, the swirling action generated during the breakup of the product usually produces an annular or hollow cone shaped spray pattern. In many instances the production of a solid or homogeneous spray pattern is desired. However, this design goal is not available with most existing simple mechanical breakup buttons or actuators.
Thus, a need exists for a mechanical breakup button of simple construction capable of producing a solid or homogeneous pattern.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a valve button or actuator for an aerosol valve having a substantially vertical discharge passageway formed therein leading to a terminal orifice insert recess formed in the side wall thereof. The vertical passageway may be contained within the body of the valve .button with an enlarged lower recess to receive the customary valve stem or it may extend at its lower end into a tube which inserts into the valve. A cup shaped terminal orifice insert is inserted into the insert recess where it surrounds a post disposed in the upper portion of the valve stem recess.
The cup shaped terminal orifice insert has a stepped terminal for controlling the spray rate and the spray pattern; the smaller, inner diameter portion controlling the spray rate, the larger, outer diameter portion controlling the spray pattern. Since the stepped orifice is recessed away from the exterior face-of the insert, there is very little chance of nicking the edge thereof during assembly or shipping. This further insures a high degree of spray pattern quality. Of course, the terminal orifice may be straight or tapered rather than stepped.
The insert may also include four swirl producing passageways which lead to a central swirl chamber that is formed when the insert is press fitted around the post.
A centrally disposed cavity is formed in the forward face of the post immediately behind the central swirl chamber.
The inside surface of the insert may also include a plurality of fillets which cooperate with the post to antomatically center the terminal orifice insert with respect to the post during assembly.
In operation with an aerosol valve, the button or actuator is depressed to cause pressurized product to move vertically upward into and through the discharge passageway. It is then forced forwardly about the base of the feed post toward and through the annular feed groove formed between the terminal orifice insert and the post into the chordal passageways and into the central swirl chamber. This flow imparts a rotational, centrifugal movement to the product. As the product flows forward through the swirl chamber, the stepped terminal orifice which has a reduced diameter relative to the swirl chamber, generates a back pressure forcing the produce rearwardly into the cavity formed in the face of the feed post. The cavity tends to break up the centrifugal flow of the product. The product is then forced forward through the vortex of the swirling product in the swirl chamber and out the terminal orifice in a forward motion rather than the customary rotational motion thereby producing a homogeneous or solid spray pattern. It should be noted that simply by changing the shape and relative dimensions of the cavity, the coarseness and spray pattern may be changed.
Since the smaller diameter portion of the orifice governs the spray rate and the larger diameter portion of the orifice governs the spray pattern, one can customize the spray rate and pattern for'any particular product merely by changing the terminal orifice insert.
The passageways and orifices of many existing mechanical breakup button tend to become clogged with dried product deposits due to the complex structure. Thus, it is preferable that the passageways leading into the swirl chamber are chordal at about a 20 angle. This causes new product to be sprayed over any solidified product residue remaining in the swirl chamber from previous use without shearing the residue loose from the swirl chamber. Thus, the residue is retained and subsequently dissolved by the new liquid product. This substantially reduces clogging of the passages and orifices.
This invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations 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.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 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 a cross-sectional side view of the valve button with the terminal orifice insert contained therein.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of the feed post.
FIG. 3 is a front view of the feed post.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the terminal orifice insert taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1 showing the chordal passageways leading to the central swirl chamber.
FIGS. 5 through 8 are detail front views of alternate embodiments of the feed post cavity.
FIG. 9 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the feed post.
Similar references characters refer to similar parts throughout the several view of the drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As shown in FIG. 1, the valve button, generally indicated at 10, enlarged at its lower end to receive a male stem 18 from the valve, comprises a button body 12 and a cup shaped terminal orifice insert 14. In this embodiment the discharge passageway comprises a valve 16 which receives the stem 18 of the aerosol valve 20 (shown only in outer form detail). Immediately above and substantially concentric with valve stem recess 16 is a smaller rectangular swirl chamber feed recess 22. A circular support rim 24 is formed by reduced diameter of recess 22 relative to recess 16 whereby button body 12 cooperatively engages and seals with the valve stem 18. An additional seal means may be used on rim 24, if desired.
A circular recess 26 designed to house the terminal orifice insert 14 is formed in the side wall 28 of the button 10 and extends inwardly to the recess 22. Affixed to the body 12 adjacent recess 22 in the rear portion of the recess 26 is a cylindrical terminal orifice feed post 30. A centrally disposed cavity 32 if formed in the forward face 34 of post 30. The rectangular recess extending above and below the feed post 30 cooperates with the post to form two product feed channels 31 and 33. Obviously, more feed channels can be provided.
The cup shaped terminal orifice insert 14, when press fitted into recess 26, completely covers the opening thereof formed in the side wall 28. An annular feed chamber 36 is formed on the inner end of the insert 14 and surrounds the forward portion of post 30.
As best shown in FIG. 4, a plurality of fillets 38 (usually four, although more or less may be used) center the terminal orifice 40 of the insert 14 relative to the post 30. These fillets 38 automatically center the insert 14 during automatic high speed assembly. The terminal orifice insert 14 includes a stepped orifice 40 comprising a smaller diameter rate controlling portion 42 and a larger diameter spray pattern controlling portion 44. Of course, the terminal orifice may comprise a straight or tapered configuration. The insert 14 may have four (although more or less may be used) swirl producing passageways 46 formed therein. When in position, the terminal orifice insert 14 cooperates with the post 30 to form the annular feed groove 36, as well as central swirl chamber 50 inward of the passageways 46. A smoothing chamber 52 is formed between the swirl chamber 50 and the stepped terminal orifice 40. As shown in FIG. 1, the smoothing chamber 52 may comprise a substantially conical shape to funnel the product into the stepped orifice 40.
Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 9, the chordal swirl producing passageway 35 may be formed in the face of post 37 to feed a central swirl chamber 39 having a centrally disposed cavity 32 therein.
Orifice insert 14 may also include an anchoring ring 56 on its outer surface which corresponds to an annular slot 58 in recess 26 to firmly lock the insert 14 in place. As best shown in FIG. 3 and FIGS. 5 through 8, the cavity 32 may comprise any one of several configurations. Specifically, FIG. 3 shows a conically shaped cavity 64, FIG. 5 shows a pyramid shaped cavity 60, FIG. 6 shows a triangular shaped cavity 62, FIG. 7 shows a conically shaped cavity 66 including a plurality of baffles 68 and FIG. 8 shows a conically shaped cavity 66 including a plurality of baffles 68 and FIG. 8 shows a conically shaped cavity 70 including a plurality of grooves 72.v These baffles 68 or grooves 72 further upset the slack pressure of the emitted product whereby a more homogeneous spray effected.
In use, when the button 10 is depressed, pressurized produce passes upwardly through valve stem recess 16 an swirl chamber feed recess 22, via passageways 31 and 33 into annular feed groove 36. The product is then forced by the propellant through the passageways 46 into central swirl chamber 50. Since, in the preferred form, these passageways 46 are not tangential but are chordal with respect to the swirl chamber 50, the new product is sprayed over the residue remaining from previous sprayings thereby minimizing potential clogging of the valve.
The driving pressure then forces the product which now has a centrifugal movement from the swirl chamber 50 to the smoothing chamber 52. Due to the reduced diameter of the stepped orifice a back pressure forces the product rearwardly into the cavity 32 formed in the post 30 where the centrifugal How of the product tends to break up. The product is then forced forwardly through the vortex 52, and discharged through the stepped orifice 40 in a forward motion rather than the customary rotational motion thereby producing a homogeneous or solid spray pattern instead of the common funnel-like spray pattern.
By changing the shape and structure of the cavity 32, the coarseness and spray pattern may be altered. For example, the conically shaped cavity 32, FIG. 3, generates a light ring doughnut shape. The pyramid shaped cavity-60, FIG. 5, and the triangular shaped cavity 62, FIG. 6, form a heavier to solid ringed doughnut shape with only a portion of the center of the pattern open. The conically shaped cavity 66 with blades 68, FIG. 7, and the conically shaped cavity 70, including the grooves 72, FIG. 8, form a solid pattern. Further, the homogeneity of the pattern and the particle size are regulated by the number and shape of the baffles and cone angle (diameter to altitude ratio). By the introduction of various shaped terminal orifices in the insert, it is possible to form a square, rectangular, oval and other spray patterns.
The structural design just described can easily be incorporated into an actuator as well as the button to which the above description was directed.
It will thus be seen that the objects of this invention, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained, and since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. A mechanical breakup button or actuator comprising a body, having a discharge passageway formed therein leading to a terminal orifice insert recess formed in said body, a post disposed in said insert recess, said post including a cavity formed therein, a cup shaped terminal orifice insert including a terminal orifice located in said insert recess such that said terminal orifice insert and said post cooperate to form at least one feed groove, said feed groove communicating with a central swirl chamber between the forward end of said post and the interior of said terminal orifice insert, said cavity formed in the forward end of said post imshaped recess includes at least one groove formed in the inner surface thereof.
5. The button of claim 3 wherein said conically shaped recess includes at least one protrusion formed on the inner surface thereof.
6. The button of claim 1 wherein said cavity comprises a triangularly shaped recess.
7. The button of claim 1 wherein said cavity comprises a pyramidallyshaped recess.
8. The button of claim 1 further including a swirl smoothing chamber communicating with both said central swirl chamber and said terminal orifice.
9. The button of claim 8 wherein said swirl smoothing chamber is arranged between said central swirl chamber and said terminal orifice;
10. The button of claim 1 wherein the interior base of said terminal orifice insert is provided with fillets to automatically center the terminal orifice relative to said swirl inducing chamber.
11. The button of claim 1 wherein said terminal orifice insert is removably disposed within said insert recess and said button further includes locking means to secure said terminal orifice insert in said insert recess.
12. The button of claim 11 wherein said locking means comprises an anchoringring formed on the periphery of said terminal orifice insert and a correspondingly shaped anchor slot formed on said insert recess,
.said anchoring ring and said anchor slot cooperatively engaging each other to secure said insert in said insert recess.
13. The button of claim 1 wherein said feed groove comprises an annular space formed between said termi nal orifice insert and said post.
14. The button of claim 13 wherein said feed groove leads to at least one swirl producing passageway which communicates with said central swirl chamber.
15. The button of claim 1 wherein said discharge passageway includes a valve stem recess.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent 3 Dated Januarv 1 s 1Q7A Inventor 5 Kevin J. H'oening It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 15, "produce" should read product Column 5, line 6, after "spray" insert rate Signed and sealed this 17th day of September 1974.
McCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents r ORM 1oso (10-69) uscoMM-oc 60376-P69 US. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I959 0-366-334,