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Publication numberUS3788523 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 29, 1974
Filing dateJan 29, 1973
Priority dateJan 29, 1973
Also published asCA992923A, CA992923A1
Publication numberUS 3788523 A, US 3788523A, US-A-3788523, US3788523 A, US3788523A
InventorsThomas D
Original AssigneeAmerican Home Prod
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Overcap safety mechanism for an aerosol container
US 3788523 A
Abstract
A childproof, safety overcap for aerosol containers is disclosed which has a closed end slotted conduit connected to the fixed member so that the movable member must pass through the slot to actuate the valve. A ball is free to roll in the conduit and to move in or out of the slot depending on the position of the container. The position of the ball in the slot permits or prevents the actuation of the valve and discharge of the contents. In a normally vertical discharge position, discharge of the contents is prevented, but is accomplished by rotating the container to an inverted position to roll the ball out of the slot and simultaneously depressing the first movable member into the slot and then righting the container to permit the discharge of the contents from the vertical position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Thomas 1 OVERCAP SAFETY MECHANISM FOR AN AEROSOL CONTAINER [75] Inventor: Douglas W. Thomas, Toms River,

[73] Assignee: American Home Products Corporation, New York, N.Y.

22 Filed: Jan. 29, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 327,376

ZZZ/402.12, 394

{56] References Cited 7 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,954,904 10/1960 Potoczky ..222/402.12x

3,419,187 12/1968 Bazarnic...; 222/153 X Jan. 29, 1974 Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Assistant Examiner-James M. Slattery [57] ABSTRACT A childproof, safety overcap for aerosol containers is disclosed which has a closed end slotted conduit connected to the fixed member so that the movable member must pass through the slot to actuate the valve. A ball is free to roll in the conduit and to move in or out Of the slot depending on the position of the container. The position of the ball in the slot permits or prevents the actuation of the valve and discharge of the'.contents. In a normally vertical discharge position, discharge of the contents is, prevented, but is accomplished by rotating the container to an inverted position to roll the ball out 'of the slot and simultaneously depressing the first movable member into the slot and then righting the container to permit the discharge of the contents from the vertical position.

1. .75 Qltimsfl D qrL i y PATENIEDJANZSIHH SHEET 1 BF FIG.2

FIG.I

tainer is in the vertical position. To discharge the contents the container must first be inverted and the actuating push button, or movable member, partially depressed, and then the. container rotated to the upright position so that the contents, rather than the propellant, are discharged from thecontainer.

It is recognized that the prehensile movement of children in the accident prone age of 24 to 48 months is not fully developed. The present invention requires the use of a well developed prehensile capability in order to discharge the contents of aerosol containers. Moreover, it requires three consecutive motions to discharge the contents, 1, inversion of the container, 2, partial depression of the push button, or movable member, and 3, rotation of the container to an upright position.

As a further safety feature the overcap need never be removed from the container to actuate the valve mechanism. v i e Many aerosol containers require that the container be in an upright position in order'todischarge the contents. If the container is in position substantially different from the upright only the propellant gas is discharged. While the invention willbe described with regard to such containers, it will be apparent to those skilled'in the art how the invention may be applied to aerosol containers designed for discharge from other positions. 'Variations of the. invention are possible by simple rearrangement of the relation of the parts with regard to" the discharge configuration of the aerosol container.

-The closest known prior art is the following three United States patents. U .S. Pat. No. 2,643,799issued June 30, 1.953 to Countryman shows a valve actuation mechanism for a pressure dispenser which utilizes a ball to close the outlet port when the device is in the vertical positionThe, ball is held in place by a cap which must vberemovedto release the pressure on the ball which will be unseated by gravity when the container is moved, out of avertical position. US. Pat. No. 2,954,904 issued Oct. 4, 19 60 to P- toczky which utilizes a metal ball as part of a mechanical linkage to transmit an operative pressure from the top of the cap to the actuating valve to permit discharge of the contents. The ball is positioned for discharge when the container is in a position such that the ball is at its lowest kinetic energy level due to the force of gravity. I

US. Pat. No. 3,186,605 issued June I, 1965 to P0- toczky utilizes, a non-compressible sphere in the internal valve mechanism of a gas pressure type dispensing container as part of a mechanical linkage to actuate the valve to permit discharge of the contents when the container is in a position such that the sphere is at its lowest kinetic energy level due to the force of gravity, normally the vertical position. When the container is in other than the pre-determined position, the sphereengages anon-movable member and prevents the valve from being actuated or the contents discharged.

It is an object of this inventionto provide a safety overcap for an aerosol container which need not be removed to dispense the contents of the container and thus the safety features are always operative and not dependent on the action of the user to return the overcap to the safety position.

It is another object of this invention to provide a childproof overcap for an aerosol container in which the valve dispensing mechanism is automatically locked after use.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a childproof overcap for an aerosol container which requires the succession of three motions in order to accomplish the discharge of the contents of the container.

Other and further objects of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following description in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a partial elevational view, partly in section, taken from the discharge side showing the overcap of the present invention in position on an aerosol container;

FIG. 2'is a top plan view of the container in Fig. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view partly cut away showing the blocking of discharge by the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the container of FIG. 1 partly cut away showing the rotation of the container to permit discharge of the contents;

FIG. 5 is a partial elevational view, partly in section, showing the application of the present invention to a lever-type overcap in use on an aerosol container;

FIG. 6is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken generally along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6. I A preferred embodiment utilizing a vertically reciprocable moving member is shown in FIGS. 1-4. As is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the present invention is used in combination with an aerosol container 10, which, as is well known in the art, is a metallic container having its contents pressurized by a propellant and dischargeable through a valve 12 which is normally biased to the closed position. More particularly the present invention resides in the overcap 14. The overcap 14 has a non movable member 16 which is fixably connected to the container 10 and a movable member 18 supported in and by the non-movable member 16. The movable member 18 is adapted-to engage the valve 12 and move it through a distance A to permit discharge of the contents.

The present improvement comprises a conduit 20 which is connected to the non-movable member 16. The conduit 20 may be connected by well known means, such as by adhesives, or may be formed directly in the non-movable member. The conduit 20 has an internal dimension .3 which is preferably equivalent to the distance of travel A of the valve 12. The conduit 20 is closed at both ends by walls 22 and 24. A slot 26 is defined in the conduit 20 so as to intersect the path of -wall portion 28 of movable member 18. A noncompressible sphere 30 is disposed in the conduit 20 and when the container 10 is in the upright position the sphere 30 is interposed in the slot 26 and prevents the movement of the movable member 18 into the slot 26 position, the sphere 30 is interposed in the path of movement of the wall portion 28 so that the action of the valve is prevented and discharge of the contents is also prevented.

As may be seen in FIG. 4 when the container is rotated to a position so that the end wall 24 of the conduit is lower than end wall 22 of the conduit the sphere 30 rolls to the lower end of the conduit adjacent end wall 24. The movable member 18 may be depressed and the wall portion 28 passes into the slot 26 so that the valve may be depressed. The contents are discharged by returning the container to the upright position while the valve is depressed.

An alternate embodiment utilizing a lever action moving member is shown in FIGS. 57. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 the present invention is used in combination with an aerosol container 50 having its contents dischargeable through a valve 52 which is normally biased to the closed position. The overcap 54 is fixably connected to the container 50. The overcap has a nonmovable member 56 and a movable member 58 supported in and by the non-movable member 56. The movable member 58 is adapted to engage the valve 52 and move it through a distance D to permit discharge of the contents.

The alternate embodiment comprises a conduit 60 which is connected to the non-movable member 56. The. conduit 60 may be connected to well known means, such as by adhesives, or may be formed directly in the non-movable member. The conduit 60 has an internal dimension E which is preferably equivalent to the distance of travel of the valve D. The conduit 60 is closed at both ends 62 and 64. A slot 66 is defined in the conduit so as to intersect the path of wall portion 68 of movable member 58. A non-compressible sphere 70 is disposed in the conduit 60 and when the container 50 is in the upright position the sphere 70 is interposed in the slot 66 and prevents the movement of the movable member 58 into the slot 66 by engaging the wall portion 68.

The axis 72 of the conduit intersects the axis 74 of the aerosol container 50 and its valve 52 at an angle F.

As may be seen in FIG. 7 when the movable member 58 is depressed while the container 50 is in the upright position the sphere 70 is interposed in the path of movement of the wall portion 68 so that the action of the valve is prevented and discharge os the contents is also prevented.

What is claimed is:

1. An overcap for use in combination with an aerosol container having a valve biased to the closed position through which the contents are dispensed, comprising:

A. A first member fixably connected to the aerosol container adjacent the valve;

B. A second member movably connected to said first member and adapted to move the valve to the open position and having at least one wall defined in it;

C. A conduit closed at both ends connected to said first non-movable member at a predetermined angular relation to the direction of movement of the valve;

D. A slot defined in said conduit and located to intersect the path of travel of said wall of said second member;

E. A plug member movably disposed within said conduit and adapted to be moved by gravity into and out of said slot whereby when said plug member is interposed in said slot, said second member is prevented from entering said slot and actuation of the valve to discharge the contents is prevented and when said plug member is moved out of said slot said second member can enter said slot permitting actuation of the valve and discharge of the contents.

2. An overcap as defined in claim 1 in which said conduit is of a thickness equal to the distance of travel of said valve fromthe full closed to the full open position.

3. An overcap as defined in claim 1 in which the angle between the axis of movement of the valve and the axis of said cylinder is about 45 degrees.

4. An overcap as defined in claim 1 in which said plug member is a sphere.

5. In an overcap having a non-movable element and a movable element for actuating the release of contents from an aerosol container the improvement comprising:

A. A cylindrical tube closed at both ends,

I. Said tube being connected to the non-movable element and intersecting a first portion of the movable element during its movement;

2. A slot defined in said tube into which said movable portion must enter in order to release the contents of the aerosol container, and

B. A sphere disposed within said tube, said sphere being free to roll from one end to the other of said tube under the influence of gravity so as to fill said slot and prevent full movement of said movable element when said container is in an attitude in which discharge is to be restricted and to roll out of said slot and permit full movement of said movable element when said container is in a predetermined attitude.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2954904 *Oct 13, 1958Oct 4, 1960Joseph B PotoczkyGas pressure type dispensing container cap
US3419187 *Nov 14, 1967Dec 31, 1968Peter P. BazarnicDevice for measuring, registering and pouring
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3889852 *Aug 6, 1973Jun 17, 1975Strefford PeterContainer safety dispensing closure
US4969584 *Oct 4, 1989Nov 13, 1990L'orealPressurized container including a system for blocking the valve when the container is not in a proper position
US5038964 *May 5, 1989Aug 13, 1991L'orealPressurized container including a valve and a device for actuating the valve
US5242087 *Mar 6, 1992Sep 7, 1993Plasticum B.V.Combination aerosal can and cap placed on said aerosol can
US5310086 *May 27, 1993May 10, 1994Helmut JulinotMethod and apparatus for automatically disarming self defense spray device
US5476192 *Apr 13, 1994Dec 19, 1995Julinot; HelmutSelf-defense device
US6176238 *Nov 12, 1998Jan 23, 2001Miat S.P.A.Dispenser for substances in powder or granular form
US8066682 *Aug 10, 2007Nov 29, 2011Teika Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.Eye drops container
US20100174247 *Aug 10, 2007Jul 8, 2010Teika Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.Eye drops container
WO1994028381A1 *Apr 28, 1994Dec 8, 1994Helmut JulinotMethod and apparatus for automatically disarming self defense spray device
WO1997047533A1 *Jun 6, 1997Dec 18, 1997Procter & GambleA valve for pressurized containers
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/153.4, 222/153.11, 222/402.11
International ClassificationB65D83/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/02, B65D2215/00, B65D83/206
European ClassificationB65D83/20C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 6, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: RECKITT & COLMAN SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION, NEW JERSE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BOYLE-MIDWAY HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP OFF DE;REEL/FRAME:005403/0343
Effective date: 19900629
Aug 6, 1990AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BOYLE-MIDWAY HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP OFF
Effective date: 19900629
Owner name: RECKITT & COLMAN SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION, 1655 VALL
May 26, 1987AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORPORATION, A DE. CORP.
Effective date: 19870513
Owner name: BOYLE-MIDWAY HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS, INC., 685 THIRD A
May 26, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: BOYLE-MIDWAY HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS, INC., 685 THIRD A
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORPORATION, A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004725/0166
Effective date: 19870513