US 3861596 A
An improved valve assembly for a spray gun including a pair of conduit-contained fluid flow controlling check valves each spring-biased to a closed position, a manually actuated lever operable to manipulate linkage for opening the valves to permit pressurized gas and pumped liquid to flow through the conduits and to intermix, and means for controlling, sequentially, the opening and closing of the valves.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Nathan et al.
[ Jan. 21, 1975 SPRAY GUN MECHANISM Inventors: Robert Nathan, Highland Park;
Morton Fox, DesPlaines, both of Ill.
DeMert & Dougherty, lnc., Northbrook, Ill.
Filed: July is, 1973 Appl No; 380,185
[561 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1922 Birkenmaier .1 239/528 8/1933 Andvig 239/528 X 6/1937 Jenkins 239/527 X \/42\ /26e t H 24 K 22 90 i i 94; 9.2 I 36 /02 1;, l
2,246,211 6/1941 Kilich 239/375 X 2,557,593 6/1951 Bjorkman 239/528 2,619,385 11/1952 Simms 239/375 X 2,717,806 9/1955 Dale 239/528 X 3,366,337 1/1968 Brooks et al 239/414 3,658,255 4/1972 Beall 239/415 Primary ExaminerRobert 8. Ward, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmDressler, Goldsmith, Clement & Gordon, Ltd.
 ABSTRACT An improved valve assembly for a spray gun including a pair of conduit-contained fluid flow controlling check valves each spring-biased to a closed position, a manually actuated lever operable to manipulate linkage for opening the valves to permit pressurized gas and pumped liquid to flow through the conduits and to intermix, and means for controlling, sequentially, the opening and closing of the valves.
7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATEHTEU I975 3.861.596 sum 1 or 2 AIR FLOW LIQUID FLOW PATENTED JANZI I975 SHEET 2 OF 2 Inn-I l SPRAY GUN MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to improvements in spraying mechanisms. More particularly, the invention is directed to a spray-controlling valve assembly of the type finding utility in theatomization of a liquid preparation by means of a pressurized propelling gas such as air. The invention is specially adapted for use in beauty parlors and similar establishments in which hair sprays are applied to the hair of customers who patronize the shop for professional beauty and cosmetic care.
Many and varied techniques are currently employed in beauty shops for the spraying of setting materials and other hair treatment and hair control preparations onto the hair The coating compositions themselves include solutions containing such agents as shellac or polyvinylpyrolidone (PVP). The present invention is directed to the spray control mechanism used, rather than to compositions.
It has been a widespread practice in prior art procedures to rely upon packaged aerosol preparations in which a solution of the material to be dispensed is packaged in a valved, pressurized container in which the volatile propellant is a halogenated hydrocarbon such as Freon or Genetron. Such preparations have been extensively used not only by professionals in beauty shops but also by individuals in their homes. While the self-contained unitary aerosol dispensers have obvious advantages including remarkable convenience, they also have certain significant inherent disadvantages and objectionable features. Beside the con siderable cost of such packaged products, there is now a growing realization that the continued inhalation of gaseous halogenated hydrocarbons has deleterious effects, particularly on the respiratory system. The inhalation of such gases should, accordingly, be avoided wherever possible.
An alternative technique which has been adopted by some shops is the simple atomization of the hair spray preparation using an ordinary hand operated atomizer consisting of a container which is pressurized by compressing a hand compressible bulb to force air into and to discharge air and spray from a nozzle connected to the fluid container. Still another procedure which is coming more and more into favor in beauty shops is the utilization of a pressurized air supply as the propelling means for dispensing atomized hair treating preparations. Such a system has important advantages particularly in beauty shops where a single compressor unit may be used to deliver pressurized air through a conduit to a plurality of spraying stations. Each station may, in turn, include a dispensing vessel which contains the solution to be sprayed or, alternatively, the spray solution may be delivered to each station through a conduit connected to a supply reservoir. Whatever system is adapted in any particular beauty establishment, an essential element of the apparatus involved is a spray head or dispensing head and its controlling valve or valves.
It will be appreciated that in systems utilizing dual delivery lines or conduits to multiple stations, two separate valves are needed at each operating station. One controls the pressurized air and the other the flow of solution. In one prior art system the valving or the control of the flow through the tubes at the dispensing head is achieved by mechanically pinching the flexible conduit closed. However, since the period during which the tube is held closed may be quite extensive, the tubes often undergo an undesirable set" establishing a constriction which impairs effective passage of fluid and pressurized air. The tubes may become blocked permanently. The tubes also are subject to excessive wear at the area of pinching, and fail or fracture prematurely. In addition to the resulting need for replacement, it will be understood that when a tube splits there occurs an uncontrolled escape of hair treating fluid. This causes clothing damage, and necessitates extensive cleanup procedures.
It is the aim of the present invention to obviate the shortcomings of the prior art techniques and apparatus and to provide a simple yet highly effective spray head assembly and control valves which may be used in the pressurized air dispensing method for hair spray preparations and for other materials.
It is a principal object of the invention to provide a hand held, thumb actuated control for a dual valve dispenser of atomized liquid preparations. Yet another object of the invention is to provide a dual valve opening and closing mechanism actuated through a single mechanical control.
A related object of the invention is to provide, in a dual fluid flow system, means for controlling the sequential opening and closing of valves regulating the passage of fluid into a mixing chamber for atomization and release as a spray.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a valving mechanism for controlling the flow of fluid through a pair of tubes or conduits without compressing or otherwise deforming the conduit in cutting off the passage of liquid or pressurized gas therethrough.
Another important object of the invention is to provide, in a fluid spray system, a spray head which includes control valves contained in a readily replaceable cartridge, to facilitate replacement and repair.
A related object of the invention is to provide an improved spray control mechanism in which down time is avoided and repair costs are minimized.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide, for use in a fluid spray system, an expendable valve cartridge to obviate maintenance and repair problems.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a simple dual valve controlling mechanism in which the valve opening and closing is automatically sequential, as required.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dual control valve for a dispensing head in which the valve opening and closing mechanisms are subject to positive action in both opening and closing operations.
Still another object of the invention is to provide in a dual tube or conduit system including valve mechanisms for opening and closing fluid passage through the tubes, valve opening and closing means which obviate any need to pinch the tube involved, thereby eliminating the adverse effects of continued and repeated constriction of the tubes.
It is another object of the invention to provide a dual valve control mechanism in which sequential opening and closing of the respective valves is readily accomplished.
It is an important feature of the invention that in the system of delivering both pressurized air and impelled fluid to the mixing chamber for release through a spray orifice, the valve control mechanism ensures that the pressurized air is introduced into the chamber prior to introduction of liquid into the mixing chamber and that the liquid flow is cut off prior to termination of the flow of pressurized air, thereby to ensure that no liquid be dispensed which is not atomized. Moreover, undersirable dripping of liquid from the orifice is avoided.
It is a general object of the invention to provide an improved valving device for dispensing an atomized fluid product in which the mechanism used is not only simple in construction and relatively low in cost, but is also long lived and exceedingly reliable, and which can be serviced without any need for special tools or special training of personnel.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will become evident from the following specification considered in conjunction with the drawing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, the aims and objects are accomplished by providing in a spray gun assembly of the type including dual conduits for the transmission of pressurized air and a liquid for mixing and dispensing as a vaporized spray, a replaceable cartridge which includes a pair of fluid flow controlling valves each associated with one of the fluid carrying conduits and effective to control and regulate the passage of fluid (gas or liquid) therethrough. The valves are actuated by a single control element which, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, is a fingeractuated pivotal lever operatively coupled to a pair of rods to unseat check valves each controlling. respectively, air and liquid passage through given conduits. The opening and closing of the respective valves is maintained to be sequential so that the pressurized air conduit is opened first and closed last.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated the valves themselves and the means opening and closing the valves constitute an integral selfcontained cartridge which is secured within but is readily separable and removable from the the housing of the spray gun assembly. Thus, should it become necessary to repair or to replace any component ofa valve, or even the entire valve assembly, such replacement is quickly and easily achieved by simply removing the entire cartridge as a unit and replacing it with a new cartridge. This important maintenance feature ensures that there will be no equipment down time" or business interruption and that even the most inexperienced personnel may readily repair' the assembly, without delay, should this prove necessary.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will be more specifically and more fully described in connection with the accompanying drawings in which;
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the spray gun assembly of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view thereof;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken on the lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view taken on the lines 5-5 of FIG. 4',
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken on the lines 6-6 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken on the lines 7-7 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken substantially on the lines 9-9 of FIG. I and showing the mixing chamber and discharge orifice of the spray gun assembly of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 5, there is shown, for the purpose of illustrative disclosure, a preferred embodiment of one form of the spray gun assembly of the invention, incorporating the teachings thereof. As shown in FIGS. I and 4, the physical components of the spray gun assembly 20 include an outer housing, shell or casing 22, a unitary, self-contained replaceable valve cartridge 26, and a spray discharge head 30. The housing 22 includes a forward wall-like section 32 and a rear wall section 36 which, in the preferred form of the invention illustrated, are locked together by means of bolts 40 and 42 received in opposed cooperating threaded sockets 46 and 48. At its forward exterior face, the wall 32 is shaped to provide wave-like crests 52 and hollows 54 defining a convenient and comfortable hand gripping surface.
The valve cartridge 26 includes a body block 60 which seats upon an annular rim-like shoulder or ledge 64 defining a support flange integrally formed with the housing wall components 32 and 36 and extending therearound internally thereof, as seen in FIG. 4. As additional securement and stabilization means, a threaded bolt extends through the wall section 72 of the shell member 36 and into a cooperating threaded socket 76 in the cartridge body 60.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 4 and 5, the cartridge body or block 60 contains two control valve assemblies 80 and 80a, the former regulating the flw of liquid and the latter controlling the flow of pressurized airor other gas. Since the two valve assemblies are of similar construction, only one is described herein in detail. I
In each valve assembly the valve block 60 is formed with a generally cylindrical duct or passage extending through the full vertical length of the cartridge body 60. The lower section 92 is the passage 90 is somewhat enlarged radially to provide at its upper limit an internal annular flange or shoulder 94 which serves as a seat for a self closing valve 98 which, in the particular embodiment of the invention illustrated, is a round steel ball check valve. An elongated coil spring 102 disposed axially in the lower portion 92 of the passage 90 is retained in position under axial compression by means of a generally T-shaped plug 106 extending into and secured at the lower end of the passage 92, the plug being bored through its entire axial length and terminating at its lower extremity in a pipe-like extension or stub l 10 to which a flexible hose or tubing 114 is connected. The tubing, in turn is connected to a liquid supply reservoir (or compressed air source), not shown. The opposed end of the T-shaped plug 106 defines an annular shoulder 116 on which the base of the spring 102 is supported, whereby the spring is confined in compressed tension to urge the ball 98 upwardly against the valve seat 94. In the preferred form of the invention illustrated an O-ring 120 of rubber-like material is interposed between the seat 94 and the ball check 98 to obviate any possibility of fluid leakage.
That section 124 of the tubular passage 90 immediately above the ball check valve 98 is ofa somewhat reduced diameter and constitutes a sleeve-like housing or guide for a push rod 126, the lower tip 128 of which abuts the ball check valve 98 and the upper limit of which is adapted to contact a lever 130 which is pivotally supported on a pin 134 carried by the wall 32 of the housing 22 whereby downward displacement of a finger controlled extension 136 of the lever forces a cam face 138 of the lever 130 against the rod 126 which, in turn, displaces the ball check 98 to open the valve. Upon release of the lever, the bias force of the spring 102 returns the check valve 98 to its valve sealing position. Near the upper limit of the tubular passage 90 the passage is enlarged somewhat to receive an annular O- ring 140 which is sized to establish a fluid-tight seal between the body 60 of the valve cartridge and the axially shiftable rod 126. A plug 142 confines the O-ring in position.
lntersecting and communicating with the passage 90 at a point above the check valve 98 is an angled second passage or conduit 150 opening to the exterior of the book or valve body 60 and terminating in an outwardly extending stub pipe or connector 152 for attachment to a hose or pipe 160 coupled at its other end to the spray head assembly 30. The pipe 160 is connected to a centrally disposed liquid feed line 164 for delivery ofliquid to a mixing cavity or changer 170 in the spray head 30 while the tube 1600 is connected to a pipe 174 delivering pressurized air to an annular passage 180 encircling and communicating with the exit port 182 of the liquid feed line 164 whereby forced, intimate mixing of gas and liquid occur in the mixing chamber 170 and an atomized spray 184 is discharged from the orifice 190 of the spray nozzle.
It will be understood from the foregoing description considered in conjunction with the drawings that, upon actuation of the lever 130 to displace the ball check 98, fluid under pressure, from a supply, not shown, will pass the valve 98 and enter into the conduit 150 to be delivered to the spray head 30. In accordance with the practice of the invention the single lever control mechanism 130 acts upon both control rods 126 and 126a whereby both control valves are opened to deliver, concurrently, pressurized air and fluid to the spray head 301 for mixing and for discharge as an atomized spray.
lt is an important feature in the operation of the spray gun assembly of the invention that the physical arrangement of component elements ensures that the pressurized air is released from the gun prior to and the discharge of such air from the gun is terminated after the release of pressurized liquid. This arrangement obviates the discharge of a stream or jet of liquid and ensures that all liquid dispensed is atomized. Additionally, the arrangement prevents any dripping of liquid at the cut off of a spray interval. In the preferred arrangement of the structure illustrated, the sequential operation of the control valves is achieved by controlling the effective lengths of the coupling or linkages between the valve triggering mechanism and the check valves themselves. Specifically, as evident in FIG. 5, the push rod 126 which actuates the liquid flow control valve 80 is somewhat shorter than is the push rod 1260 which activates the compressed air valve a. Accordingly, upon depressing the trigger control mechanism 136 downwardly about its pivot pin 134, the camming surface 138 on the underside of the lever engages and bears upon the push rod 126a and opens the pressurized air air valve 80a prior to engagement of the camming surface 138 against the tip of the push rod 126. Thus, the pressurized air valve is opened a fraction of a second prior to opening the valve which dispenses pressurized or pump impelled liquid. The physical structure described also ensures that the pressurized air valve 800 will remain open until after the valve 80 which controls the dispensing of pressurized liquid is closed. It will be appreciated that many other sequential operation arrangements are possible including, for example, push rods or other linkage of the same length but actuated through a controlled, differential camming surfaces.
Another important feature of the improved spray gun assembly of the invention is that it effectively eliminates down time or repair interruptions during use of the equipment involved. Most equipment difficulties experienced stem from the valves which control either liquid flow or pressurized air flow. In accordance with the present invention, should any problem arise with either control valve, it requires merely a matter of a minute or two to open the casing of the spray gun assembly, remove the valve cartridge, and replace with a new cartridge The steps involved include separating the forward 32 and the rear section 36 of the housing 22 by removal of the locking bolts 40 and 42. The valve cartridge 26 is then detached from the housing by removal of the bolt 70. Finally, the rubber tubing leads 114 and 1140 at the input to the valve cartridge and the rubber tubing leads and 160a at the exhaust ports of the cartridge are removed and a new cartridge installed.
The spray gun of the invention may be fabricated of any suitable materials including a wide variety of plastics. A preferred general material is polystyrene. A plastic of high lubricity is preferred for the rods which displace the check valves. Polyhalogenated hydrocarbon materials such as polytetrafluoroethylene or polytrifluorochloroethylene sold in the trade under the trademarks Teflon and Kel-F are particularly suitable.
The foregoing description and drawings are provided merely to explain and illustrate the invention and the manner in which it may be performed, and the invention is not to be limited thereto except insofar as the appended claims are so limited, since those skilled in the art who have this disclosure before them will be able to make modifications and variations therein without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A spray gun assembly including a housing having first and second housing sections releasably interconnected, a valve cartridge, releasable means connecting said cartridge to one housing section, said cartridge having first conduit means for connection to a pressurized gas line and second conduit means for connection to a liquid spray material line, a fluid mixing zone in said one housing section and in communication with discharge ports of said conduit means, orifice means on said one housing section for dispensing an atomized mixture of gas and liquid from said mixing zone, and
control means for controlling the passage of gas and liquid from said conduit means into said mixing zone,
said control means comprises first and second valve means within respective each said first and second conduit means for controlling, respectively, flow of gas and flow of liquid through said conduit means, means for opening and closing each said first and second valve means in a coordinated unitary operation to (I) open said first conduit means before said second conduit means and (2) close said second conduit means before said first conduit means to insure that all of said liquid is discharged from said mixing chamber.
2. The improvement as set forth in claim 1 wherein each said valve means includes a check valve having a shiftable closure element,
first and second inside annular shoulder means spaced axially within said conduit means spring means supported on said first shoulder means, said spring means resiliently biasing said closure element to seat against said second shoulder means in fluid sealing engagement therewith to prevent passage of fluid through said conduit means,
displacement rod means engaging said closure element at a position opposed to said spring means, and
lever means manually operable to bear against and to shift said rod means to overcome bias forces of said spring means and unseat said closure element of said valve means to permit fluid passage through said conduit means.
3. The improvement as set forth in claim 2 wherein said lever means in combination with the effective lengths of said rod means and the relative positions of said valve means are operable to ensure the opening of and the transmittal of pressurized gas through said first conduit means prior to the opening and transmittal of liquid through said second conduit means.
4. The improvement as set forth in claim 2 wherein said lever means consists essentially of a handmanipulated actuator bar pivoted on a fulcrum fixed with respect to the spray gun assembly and operable to press axially against both said rod means.
5. The improvement as set forth in claim 2, and further comprising housings for said rods means, said housing constituting generally tubular sleeve means distinct from said conduit means, said rod means extending coaxially within said sleeve means, and further comprising ring seal means interposed annularly between outer wall surfaces of said rod means and inner wall surfaces of said sleeve means in fluid sealing engagement therewith to prevent escape of fluid from said valve means through said housing.
6. The improvement as set forth in claim 2 wherein said shiftable closure element comprises a ball check valve and wherein said second shoulder means comprises a fluid sealing seat for said ball check valve.
7. The improvement as set forth in claim 2 wherein said lever means consists essentially of a pivotally supported manually actuated cam, whereby forcible manual pressure applied to said cam overcomes the bias forces of said spring means to effect an axial shifting of said rod means to urge said rod means against and to displace said closure element, thereby to establish an open position of said valve means. i t t t