US 3856263 A
A valve comprises a plastics moulding, a relatively rigid washer and, sandwiched between the washer and the moulding, a gasket which grips a stem of the moulding and which also abuts an annular valve surface provided on a central area at the base of the stem, the moulding comprising a peripheral supporting portion which is joined to the central area by a plurality of spokes. In one valve the spokes extend to the base of slots formed in the supporting portion and in another embodiment these spokes extend substantially tangentially of the central area.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Macguire-Cooper Dec. 24, 1974 VALVES 3,385,482 5/1968 Frangos 222/402.24x 3,508,689 4/1970 Webster 222/40224  Inventor: R'chard Terence M 3,521,859 7 1970 Gronemeyer 251 353 3 Bum)? Park, Cllfton Hampden, 3,647,121 3/1972 Ayres 222 402.24 near g England 3,675,832 7/1972 Ruscitti 222/402.24
Primary Examinerl-1enry T. Klinksiek Attorney, Agent, or FirmStevens, Davis, Miller & Mosher [5 7 ABSTRACT A valve comprises a plastics moulding, a relatively rigid washer and, sandwiched between the washer and the moulding, a gasket which grips a stem of the moulding and which also abuts an annular valve surface provided on a central area at the base of the stem, the moulding comprising a peripheral supporting portion which is joined to the central area by a plurality of spokes. In one valve the spokes extend to the base of slots formed in the supporting portion and in another embodiment these spokes extend substantially tangentially of the central area.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures  Filed: Jan. 7, 1972  Appl. No.: 216,215
 Foreign Application Priority Data Jan. 8, 1971 Great Britain 1110/71 Mar. 2, 1971 Great Britain 5767/71 Dec. 14, 1971 Great Britain 57895/71  US. Cl. 251/347, 222/402.24  Int. Cl F16k 31/58  Field of Search 251/347, 353; 222/402.20, ZZZ/402.21, 402.22, 402.23, 402.24
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,248,015 4/1966 Giorgi 251/353 X 3,301,444 1/1967 Wittke 251/353 X 3,333,744 8/1967 Nilsen et a1 251/353 X ll/l/l/ PATENTED DEC 24 I974 sninlurg PATENTED 3.856.263
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VALVES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to valves and applies particularly to valves for the dispensing of pressurized fluids.
One of the types of valves available is what is known as a flow valve. This is a valve with a high flow rate and is used for fire extinguishers, cigarette lighter refills and products in which the container is inverted. At the present time such valves consist of a plurality of parts or utilise a high proportion of elastomeric material in their construction. Such valves are intrinsically unreliable and expensive. One of the problems of valves made utilising a large amount of elastomeric material is that it is difficult to preset a pressure at which they can be actuated, because the Shore value or hardness of the rubber varies according to the ambient temperature at which it is stored. It is an object of the present invention to produce a valve utilising a small number of components, said components being of low tolerance dimensions in easily available material, and which may be produced in large numbers and at low cost.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a valve which will work in an inverted position with a high discharge rate and which does not require the use of dip-tube feed devices.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a valve assembly comprising a gasket and a plastics moulded member having a valve surface normally contacted by said gasket to provide a releasable closed condition of said assembly, said moulded member comprising:
a valving region defining said valve surface;
flexible spokes integral with and extending from said valving region; and
supporting means to which said spokes extend so that said valving region is displaceable relative to said supporting means for displacing said valve surface from said gasket.
Preferably the gasket will be sandwiched between a relatively rigid member or washer and the plastics moulded member and the plastics moulded member may have an actuating stem which extends through an aperture in both the resilient gasket and the relatively rigid member. This stem may define a pathway for fluid communication to the valve surface.
The relatively rigid member may have a cylindrical inner portion in which the stem is slidable substantially to prevent tilting of the stem.
In the complete assembly, the full stem need not be moulded integrally with the plastics moulded member but may consist of a short stem or hollow stub moulded integrally with the member and a separate stem subsequently assembled to the moulded member, for example by being fitted within the short stem or stub. The stem may be provided with an integral projection or rib or with a releasable clip or like element engaged in a groove of the stem to provide a stop to hit the relatively rigid member to limit movement of the stem so that the plastics moulded member remains within its elastic limit.
A valve is formed by placing the resilient gasket over the stem of the moulded member and, according to one variant, the gasket may radially grip a portion of the stem having an orifice extending from the outside of the stem to a passage within the stem. The assembly is completed by placing over the gasket the relatively rigid member having a central orifice with a turned-up edge.
This assembly may be mounted in a container or in an intermediate mounting member and there is particular advantage in having the outside diameter of the gasket slightly greater than those of the other members between which it is interposed.
According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a valve member which is a plastics moulded member comprising:
a valving region defining a valve surface and having a projection constituting an actuator by which said region can be displaced and which projection defines a pathtway for fluid communication with said valve surface;
flexible spokes extending from said region; and
supporting means to which said spokes extend to allow said valving region to be deflected relative to the supporting means.
The integral projection can be a stern containing a passageway having an orifice communicating between the passage and the outer surface of the stem in the region of the stem to be surrounded by the gasket or possibly in the region of the stem at that side of the gasket nearer the valving surface where the stem is not to provide the or one valve surface.
A valve surface may also be provided by an annular surface portion of a flange or annular projection from the stem, for example, from the base of the stem. This annular surface portion may be provided by an upstanding annular rib.
The rib need not project appreciably to that side of the supporting means where the gasket is to be disposed because the squeezing of the gasket in use against the supporting means will also urge it into contact with the rib even though that rib is substantially flush with the supporting means. In particular, it is to be noted that a normally closed condition is thereby obtained substantially without any stress of the plastics moulded member. Substantial stress is applied to the plastics moulded member only to achieve opening of the valve.
As already indicated, the plastics moulded member will in use be assembled with a resilient gasket and a relatively rigid washer or other member. It is possible for the resilient gasket to be formed so as to adhere to the surface of the rigid washer, the washer being possibly produced by punching and the gasket being subsequently formed as a latex or like resilient layer. Where what is known as a flowed-in gasket is used, convenient ridges may be formed in the washer to provide an area of depth for the adhesion of the gasket; in the case in which the rigid washer has a turned-up inner edge, that edge may likewise be coated with resilient material to produce a seal on the outer surface of the stem.
This form of construction has the advantage that it substantially prevents movement of the gasket with the stem during operation. Any appreciable movement of the gasket might prevent opening of the valve.
In an alternative embodiment with the same aim in mind, the supporting means of the moulding are formed with zones which support the gasket and which extend towards the central region of the valve between the spokes. In this way, the region of the gasket between the spokes is supported and prevented from moving appreciably with the stem. Thus, the supporting means may be formed with slots to the ends of which the spokes extend, the material defining the slots constituting supporting zones which extend towards the centre of the valve for a major portion of the extent of the spokes, leaving a relatively small gap between these supporting zones and the central region.
It may be found advantageous to provide a number of small projections on that surface of the supporting zones facing the gasket to increase the biasing pressure on the gasket to oppose its movement with the stem or projection of the plastics moulded member. These projections may be in the region of the inner edges of the supporting zones.
One might also use the feature of adhesively securing the resilient gasket to the relatively rigid member or washer at the same time as providng the feature of supporting zones for the gasket.
To obtain a required flexibility and resilience of said spokes without making them unduly thin, it is necessary to provide them with an appropriate length. This length may be achieved by giving the spokes a curved form.
On the other hand, a certain length can be accommodated within a given size of supporting means by forming the spokes so that they extend non-radially of the moulded member, e.g., substantially tangentially of the valving region. By way of example, the valving region may be substantially circular and the spokes may project therefrom so that in each case one side of the spoke is substantially tangential to the periphery of the valving region. In this way, a desired amount of resilience may be provided with substantially flat spokes.
In order to prevent over-actuation of the valve and the stressing of the spokes beyond their elastic limit, the movement of the valving region may be limited by forming a stop which is disposed on one of the supporting zones between the spokes, the stop projecting into the path of the valving region. Alternatively, as already indicated, a projection may be formed upon the valve stem to come into contact with the relatively rigid member. A further method of limiting the movement of the valving surface would be the positioning of a rigid strip at that side of the moulding remote from the gasket so that the strip will be in the path of movement of the valving region.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS For a better understanding of the invention and to show how the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a valve assembly in an exploded and cross-sectioned view;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of a plastics valve member of the assembly of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 is a cross-section of a second embodiment of plastics valve member; and
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the valve member of FIG. 3.
FIGS. 1 and 2 show a valve assembly comprising an injection-moulded plastics valve member 1, of strong engineering plastics such as an actual resin or nylon, and an elastomeric gasket 2 to be held together by means of a relatively rigid metal washer 3 and the neck 4 of a container or intermediate mounting member. During assembly, the neck 4 is crimped over onto the washer 3 to urge the mechanism against an internal flange 5 of the neck 4. The valve member 1 is substantially incompressible as compared with the gasket.
The valve member 1 comprises a stem 6 which the gasket 2 grips as a sliding fit. The stem 6 contains a passage 7 having an outlet 8 at one end of the passage 7 which is blind at its other end. Near the blind end an orifice 9 opens into the passage 7. The base of the stem 6 has a flange-like area 10 on the surface of which is an annular rib 11 to engage the gasket 2 to provide a first seal therewith. A second seal exists between the cylindrical inner surface of the gasket and the outer surface of the stem 6 normally to close the orifice 9.
The valve member also has a thicker supporting rim 12 joined to the area 10 by three, equiangularly spaced, spokes 13 of semicircular form. These spokes are thin as compared to the rim 12 and area 10 and are relatively flexible.
As can be seen from FIG. 2, the spokes extend radially in slots 14 formed in the rim to a region near the periphery of the rim. It will be appreciated that the rim 12 has portions 15 which extend close to the central area 10. The portions 15 support the gasket 2 over a major part of its radial extent to resist downward deflection of the annular sealing zone 16 of the gasket 2 as the stem 6 is deflected downwardly.
The underside of the portions 15 carry projections 17 which, during assembly, can be deformed so as to project below area 10 to limit the downward movement. In addition or in the alternative, a clip or other member 19 may be engaged about the stem 6 to abut a cylindrical portion 18 of the washer 3. The cylindrical portion 18 also has the function of opposing tilting of the stem 6.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4, like parts have been given the same references as in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The difference between the embodiments resides in the spokes 13 which, in FIGS. 3 and 4, are substantially flat and extend substantially tangentially of the central area 10.
The necessary flexibility of the spokes is achieved in the embodiments by imparting a sufficient length to the spokes. In FIGS. 1 and 2 the sufficient length is achieved by the curved form of the spokes and in FIGS. 3 and 4 by the non-radial disposition of the spokes.
In FIGS. 3 and 4, the spokes act not only as cantilevers but also as torsion bars so that the spokes twist whilst they deflect. At their outer end regions in particular the deflection is such as to urge an edge of each spoke against the gasket to provide an additional restoring force.
In the case of either embodiment, when the valve is assembled, a normally closed condition exists in which the gasket 2 grips the stem 6 and acts against the rib 11 to seal the assembly whilst the valve member 1 is substantially unstressed.
After the assembly has been attached to a container, fluid under pressure may be forced into the container from the stem 6 through the valve assembly. When fluid is to be discharged, the container may be inverted and the valve actuated by pressure on the stem 6, to break the seal between the gasket 2 and the rib l1 and the orifice 9.
Various modifications to the described embodiments are possible. For example, the stem 6 or a major portion of it may be formed as a separate part to be engaged in the area or in a hollow projection constituting one end of the stem. Moreover, the gasket could be adhesively or otherwise secured to the washer 3. The valves described have no provision for a dip tube, but such provision could be provided, for example as an additional moulded member clamped between the member l and the flange 5. Moreover, the cylindrical part of the rigid washer could be omitted if a tilt-operated valve is required.
I claim: 1. A valve assembly comprising a resilient gasket and a plastics moulded member having a valve surface normally contained by said gasket to provide a releasable closed condition of said assembly, said moulded member comprising:
a valving region defining said valve surfaces; a flexible spokes integral with and extending from said valving region; and supporting means to which said spokes extend so that said valving region is displaceable relative to said supporting means for displacing said valve surface from said gasket, said supporting means comprising a member having portions defining slots, wherein said spokes extend into said slots, and wherein said slot defining portions support said gasket at zones nearer said valving region than the outer ends of said spokes, said spokes and said slots extending non-radially of said valving region.
2. A valve member which is a plastics moulded member comprising:
a valving region defining a valve surface and having a projection constituting an actuator by which said region can be displaced and which projection defines a pathway for fluid communication with said valve surface;
flexible spokes extending from said region; and
supporting means to which said spokes extend to allow said region to be deflected relative to the supporting means, said supporting means comprising a member having portions defining slots, and wherein said spokes extend into said slots, said member with said slot defining portions defining a supporting surface having zones extending alongside said slots towards said valving region, said spokes and said slots extending non-radially of said valving region.
3. A valve member as claimed in claim 2, wherein said spokes extend substantially tangentially of an imaginary circle concentric with said valving surface.
4. A valve member as claimed in claim 3, wherein said valving region is circular and one edge of each of said spokes is substantially tangential to said region.