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Publication numberUS3888392 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 10, 1975
Filing dateFeb 28, 1974
Priority dateFeb 28, 1974
Publication numberUS 3888392 A, US 3888392A, US-A-3888392, US3888392 A, US3888392A
InventorsVan Coney Robert H
Original AssigneeProcter & Gamble
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aerosol package nozzle having means for reducing product retention therein and valve actuator
US 3888392 A
Abstract
Improved nozzle and valve actuator for an aerosol package comprising a pressurized can of liquid product provided with a valve having an elongated tubular stem extending outwardly of the can to be depressed inwardly of the can for actuation to dispense the product through the tubular passage thereof. The improved nozzle-actuator has a bore extending generally longitudinally therethrough with one end portion of the bore defining a socket configured for insertion of the outboard end portion of the stem therewithin so that movement of the nozzle-actuator toward the can depresses the valve for actuation thereof. The nozzle-actuator is provided with passage means for enabling draining of the bore outwardly past the valve stem to reduce retention of product within the bore when the valve is in the unactuated and undepressed position thereof, as when the package is standing on its bottom end for storage.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Van Coney [75] Inventor: Robert H. Van Coney, Cincinnati.

Ohio

[73] Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio [22] Filed: Feb. 28, 1974 [2]] Appl. No.: 446,836

[52] US. Cl 222/108; 222/402.13 [5]] Int. Cl 867d 1/16 [58] Field of Search 222/l08, 109, 110, 402.l3

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,69l,465 10/1954 Royce 222/l08 3,377,005 4/1968 Marder 222/108 X 56 86 1'." 58? II 3 I 66 I. 32 I, 4 .2 I l 3 38 June 10, 1975 Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Assistant Examiner-Hadd Lane Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Elliot A Lackenbach; John V. Gorman; Richard C. Witte [57] ABSTRACT Improved nozzle and valve actuator for an aerosol package comprising a pressurized can of liquid product provided with a valve having an elongated tubular stem extending outwardly of the can to be depressed inwardly of the can for actuation to dispense the prodact through the tubular passage thereof. The improved nozzle-actuator has a bore extending generally longitudinally therethrough with one end portion of the bore defining a socket configured for insertion of the outboard end portion of the stem therewithin so that movement of the nozzle-actuator toward the can depresses the valve for actuation thereof. The nozzleactuator is provided with passage means for enabling draining of the bore outwardly past the valve stem to reduce retention of product within the bore when the valve is in the unactuated and undepressed position thereof, as when the package is standing on its bottom end for storage.

12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures AEROSOL PACKAGE NOZZLE HAVING MEANS FOR REDUCING PRODUCT RETENTION THEREIN, AND VALVE ACTUATOR FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to aerosol packaging and, more particularly, to an improved nozzle and valve actuator for a pressurized aerosol package.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The nozzle and actuator of the present invention is for use with a pressurized aerosol package of a wellknown type in which a pressuized can is provided with an aerosol valve having a small, generally tubular stem which, when depressed inwardly of the can, enables the dispensing of a product from within the can outwardly through a central tubular passage in the valve stem. Such valves and containers are well known and valves of this general type are disclosed, by way of example and without limitation, in prior US. Pat. Nos. 2,772,820 dated Dec. 4, 1956', 2,777,735 dated Jan. [5, I957; 3,191,8l6 dated June 29, 1965; 3,348,743 dated Oct. 24, 1967; 3,540,624 dated Nov. l7, l970, as well as in many other patents too numerous to mention. The particular valve structure does not form a part of the present invention and the present nozzle and actuator may be utilized with substantially any valve of the aforesaid type, it only being necessary that the valve be provided with a generally hollow tubular stern wherein the product is discharged through the tubular passage thereof upon movement of the stem relative the can.

Various nozzle-extensions and nozzle-actuators have been utilized with the type of valve discussed above, and the patents hereinbefore mentioned each disclose one or more nozzles or nozzle-actuators for use with valve of the aforesaid type.

When a nozzle or nozzle-actuator is combined with the aerosol valve, however, the passage in the nozzle or nozzle-actuator through which the product is dispensed adds substantial volume to the volume of the passageway in the valve stem. Accordingly, upon release of the nozzle-actuator and cessation of the dispensing function, a substantial quantity of product may remain in the passageways of the nozzle-actuator and may congeal therewithin or otherwise interfere wiith proper dispensing of the product when the valve is again actuated.

Means heretofore have been suggested for draining of nozzle passages of dispensed product and, for example, in the above-mentioned US. Pat. No. 3,540,624 there is disclosed a nozzle-actuator carried by an overcap so as to provide a gap between the nozzle-actuator and the tubular valve stem during non-use thereof to enable draining of the nozzle-actuator passages. Accordingly, the nozzle-actuator of US. Pat. No. 3,540,624 is not affixed to the tubular valve stem and the only sealing of the passageways therebetween is effected by the pressure of the nozzle-actuator against the outboard end of the valve stem during dispensing and, in addition, a relatively expensive and complex way and passageways of any connected nozzle and nozzle-actuator. However, any such drain functioning is purely incidental to the primary purposes of such side passage, which is primarily to provide an inlet to the valve stem, rather than a drain and such drain functions would only occur if the package were stored in an upright or in a horizontal position with the side passage facing downwardly. Moreover, the specification is silent as to any such function of the side passage, as well as silent as to any advantage or desirability of having such side passage normally above the gasket, as shown, rather than therewithin.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide nozzle and nozzle-actuators for aerosol valves wherein retention of product within the nozzle or nozzle-actuator passageways is reduced or precluded.

Another primary object of the present invention, in addition to the foregoing object, is the provision of novel aerosol package nozzles and nozzle-actuators.

Still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of novel means for enabling draining of nozzle and nozzle-actuator passageways when product is not being dispensed therethrough.

Still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of novel nozzles and nozzle-actuators provided with drain means independent of any drain means provided in the valve.

It is still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to the foregoing objects, to provide novel means for draining nozzle and nozzle-actuator passageways during periods of non-use without adversely affecting dispensing of product therethrough.

It is yet still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, to provide drain means for a nozzle and nozzle-actuator independent of any drain means provided in the valve and wherein such drain means is effective during storage of the container either in an upright or substantially any other storage or non-use position.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention resides in the combination, construction, arrangement and disposition of the various com ponent parts and elements incorporated in an improved nozzle and nozzle-actuator constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention generally for use with an aerosol package comprising a pressurized can of liquid product provided with a valve having an elongated tubular stem extending generally vertically upwardly of the can wherein the valve is of a type to be moved relative, as by being depressed inwardly of the can for actuation to dispense the product through the tubular stem thereof and generally comprising an elongated nozzle carried by the stem having a bore extending generally longitudinally therethrough with one end portion of the bore defining a socket configured for insertion of the outboard end portion of the stem therewithin so that movement of said nozzle moves the valve for actuation thereof and dispensing of such product outwardly through the bore together with groove means for enabling draining of the bore downwardly outwardly past the stem to reduce retention of product within the bore when the valve is in the unactuated position thereof. The present invention will be better understood and objects and important features other than those specifically enumerated above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following details and description, which when taken in conjunction with the annexed drawing, describes, discloses, illustrates and shows a preferred embodiment or modification ofthe present invention and what is presently considered and believed to be the best mode of practicing the principles thereof. Other embodiments or modifications may be suggested to those having the benefit of the teachings herein, and such other embodiments or modifications are intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and spirit of the subjoined claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of the top portion of an aerosol package constructed in accordance with the present invention having an overcap provided with a pair of camming fingers for depressing the nozzleactuator upon inward squeezing of the camming trigger fingers;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1', and

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional plan view taken along line 3 3 of FIG. 2.

For convenience in description, the term upper, "lower, inner," outer, and derivatives thereof will have reference to the package and its geometric center as appearing in FIG, 1. It is to be understood that such directional terminology, along with other similar direc tional terminology, as used in the ensuing description and the subjointed claims is to be constructed and in terpreted in its normal and accepted sense. However, such terminology is not to be construed or interpreted in a limiting sense either in the ensuing description or the subjoined claims, since the same is used merely to facilitate an understanding of and to clearly set forth and to particularly define the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Having reference now to the drawing, there is shown and illustrated therein and aerosol package designated generally by the reference character comprising a can, container or canister 12 which may be crimped at 16 to a convex dome 18 that terminates in a rolled edge opening 20. A closure member 22 of cup-shaped configuration may have its lip 24 crimped over the rolled edge of the opening and sealed thereto by suitable gasket compound 26. The center of the closure member 22 may be provided with an outstanding boss 28 with a central opening 30 in its upper wall through which there protrudes a vertically disposed tubular stem 32 having a hollow passge or expansion chamber 34. The boss 28 is thus surrounded by an annular well 36 which is capable of carrying a fair amount of residual material which may dribble from the drain means to be described hereinafter, although it is pointed out that the well 36 does not form a critical portion of the invention.

The stem 32 is a part of an internal valve designated generally by the reference character 38, the exact construction of which is of no imporatnce to the invention other than that it should have the protruding stem of generally tubular configuration. The stem will be subjccted to vertical reciprocation or depression during use so that the valve 38 should be of this type, although even if the valve is of a type which can also operate through lateral tilting movement it will be satisfactory, In any event it should have the faculty of operating when the tubular stem 32 is moved relative the can 12.

As shown, the valve 38 may comprise a plastic housing 40 having its upper flanged end 42 pinched into the boss 28 and thereby clamping a sealing gasket 44 of rubber or rubberlike material against the lower surface of the upper wall of the boss 28. There is a central perforation in the gasket 44 which aligns with the hole 30 in the upper wall of the boss 28 and through which the stem 32 passes. The housing 40 may carry a valve plunger 46 therein, this plunger being forced upwardly against the gasket 44, as by a helical spring 48 disposed in the housing 40. A dip tube 50 may extend downwardly to the bottom internal end (not shown) of the canister 12 and may be suitably permanently associated with the lower end of the housing at 52, as by being press fit therein, soldered thereto, crimped therewith, or the like,

The tubular stem 32 and the valve plunger 46 may be of unitary construction, integrally molded, if desired, and may, for example, be of the construction disclosed in, for example, US. Pat. No. 3,348,743 or U.S. Pat. No. 2,777,735. The particular structure which is illustrated is commonly used, and has the bottom of the bore 34 closed except for a perforation or perforations 54 closed off by the gasket 44 when the package [0 is not being used, but opened to the interior of the housing 40 when the tubular stem 32 is pushed downward.

As thus far described, the structure is well known and not consequential to the invention with the exception that the valve 38 should be of a type to operate upon movement thereof and should terminate in a narrow tubular vertically disposed stern 32 surrounding a hollow passage 34.

The invention may be applied to a structure in which the upper end of the tubular stem 32 is of any suitable cross-sectional configuration, providing only that it may be accommodated in a suitably configured mating socket as will be described hereinafter, but it is preferred that the stem 32 be generally cylindrical and tubular with the passage 34 being co-axial therethrough.

Connected with and carried by the outboard or upper end portion of the tubular stem 32, there may be provided in accordance with the present invention a nozzle and valve actuator member designated generally by the reference character 56. The nozzle-actuator member 56 may be integrally molded of a one-piece construction from any suitable material and may, for example, be molded of a plastic material. It is to be understood, however, the the material of the nozzle-actuator 56 is not critical to the present invention and may be fabricated of metal, plastic, or any other material suitable for use with the product to be dispensed therethrough.

The nozzle-actuator member 56 may, in accordance with the present invention, and as illustrated in the drawing, comprise a generally knob-like actuator portion 58 and a generally tubular nozzle portion 60 extending generally centrally upwardly thereof and provided with a generally central bore 62 extending axially and longitudinally entirely therethrough. The actuator portion 58 is constructed and arranged to enable mounting thereof with the outboard upper end portion of the stem 32 with the bore 62 of the nozzle-actuator 56 in general alignment and fluid communication with the passage 34 of the tubular stem 32 so as to receive the dispensed product being expressed outwardly through passage 34 of the stem 32 during depression of the valve 38.

While the nozzle portion 60 of the nozzle-actuator 56 is shown and illustrated as extending generally coaxially upwardly of the actuator portion 58 and in alignment with the tubular stem 32 of the valve 38 so as to dispense the product from the pressurized container or can 12 generally axially longitudinally outwardly thereof, the exact configuration of the nozzle portion 60 and the direction of discharge thereof is not critical to the present invention except that the bore 62 and all portions thereof, should slope upwardly and outwardly of the end of the tubular stem 32 so that, when the can or container 12 is resting on the bottom thereof or otherwise disposed in a vertical, upstanding position as shown, and the valve 38 is not actuated, any liquid or other product contained within the bore 62 or any portion thereof will tend to drain downwardly therewithin towards the upper or outboard end of the tubular stem 32.

As heretofore pointed out, the actuator portion 58 of the nozzle-actuator member 56 may be of generally knob-like configuration to provide control surfaces and edges for effective downward movement thereof for depression of the tubular stem 32 of the valve 38. Ac cordingly, the knob-like actuating portion 58 of the nozzle-actuator member 56 may comprise a generally annular upper rim 64 and a generally cylindrical skirtlike portion 66 depending from the circumference thereof. The circumferential juncture between the rim portion 64 and the skirt portion 66 define a generally circular edge 68.

The actuating portion 58 of the nozzle-actuator member 56 may further comprise a generally cylindrical core 70 depending generally coaxially from the an nular upper rim 64 within the skirt portion 66 and the actuating portion 58 may further be provided with a plurality of generally radially extending ribs 72 extending between the generally cylindrical core 70 and the generally cylindrical skirt portion 66 to provide rigidity and strength to the actuating portion 58.

The bore 62, as heretofore pointed out, may extend entirely longitudinally and axially through the nozzleactuator member 56 and, accordingly, extends generally axially longitudinally through the core 70 of the actuating portion 58.

The lowermost end portion of the bore 62 may be enlarged, as by mean: of a counterbore 74, extending upwardly coaxially inwardly of the core 70 and terminating at a generally annular shoulder 76 spaced upwardly and inwardly of the core 70 to define a socket for mating engagement of the upper or outboard end portion of the tubular stem 32 therewithin. Preferably, the tubular stem 32 and the socket defined by the counterbore 74 are each cylindrical, although it is within the ambit of the present invention to provide such a socket for mating engagement with a tubular stem of other than a cylindrical configuration. The counterbore 74 and the tubular stem 32 are, in accordance with the present invention, preferably a close fit with the shoulder 76 being spaced inwardly and upwardly of the core 70 a distance less than the height or exposed extension of the stem 32 so that upon assembly of the nozzleactuator 56 upon the tubular stem 32, the upper end of the tubular stem 32 will abut the annular shoulder 76 and the nozzle-actuator member 56 and the tubular stem 32 will become at least frictionally secured one with the other for simultaneous movement while enabling actuation of the valve 38 by depression of the nozzle-actuating member 56.

Accordingly, upon depression of nozzle-actuating member 56, the tubular stem 32 and, therethrough, the valve 38 will be depressed and actuated to enable dispensing of the product contained within the can or container 12 outwardly through the valve 38, through the passage 34 in the tubular stem 32, and through the bore 62 in the nozzle-actuator member 56.

As shown in FIG. 2 of the drawing, the product contained within the can or container 12 may be expressed or dispensed outwardly through the passage 62 generally vertically upwardly, being admitted to the housing 40 of the valve 38 from the bottom of the can or container 12 through the dip tube 50. Dispensing in a vertically upwardly direction may be desired, by way of example and without limitation, for an aerosol air freshening mist, or the like. it is to be expressly understood, however, that the subject matter of the present invention is equally applicable for downward dispensing, with the can or container 12 being inverted opposite to the position shown in FIG. 2, and by way of example and without limitation, as for the application of the product being dispensed to an underlying surface, by the elimination of the tube 50.

As heretofore pointed out, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide means for enabling a draining of the bore 62 when product is not being dispensed outwardly therethrough while yet enabling direct and position assembly of the nozzle-actuator member 56 with the stem 32 of the valve 38. Accordingly, the bore 62 may be provided with one or more generally radially extending drain grooves 78 having an upper end portion extending above and past the shoulder 76 and extending downwardly from their upper extremity entirely past the counterbore 74 so that, upon assembly with the tubular stem 32, the grooves 78 will be open and unobstructed thereby. Hence, upon the release of actuating depression of the nozzle-actuator member 56, any product remaining in the bore 62 may drain, through the grooves 78, downwardly and outwardly of the nozzle-actuating member 56 while during dispensing of product outwardly of the stem 32 through the nozzle-actuator member 56, the grooves 78 will not be in the path of flow thereof. In fact, if any effect at all results from the grooves 78, an inward flow therethrough may occur through a venturi effect.

While a single groove 78 is sufficient to provide draining of the bore 62 when the can or container is in a vertical orientation, i.e., as shown in FIG 2, there are preferably provided a plurality of such grooves 78 spaced circumferentially around the bore 62 so as to enable draining of the bore 62 even when the package 10 is in other than vertical orientation and even when in a horizontal orientation. Similarly, if te package 10 is in an inverted position, any product remaining in the bore 62 may drain outwardly through the end opening thereof, with the groove or grooves 78 providing venting thereof.

While the structure as heretofore described and disclosed is fully operative as an aerosol package in accordance with the present invention, there may be further provided an overcap 80 having a lower rim 82 snap or friction fit with and, for example, inside the crimp l6 and provided with a generally central aperture 84 through which the nozzle portion 60 protrudes. The overcap 80 may, as shown, be ofgenerally inverted cup shaped configuration, and there may be further provided, in accordance with the present invention, a pair of trigger members 84 integrally formed or otherwise hinged with the overcap 80 and provided at their inner end portions each with a camming surface 86 configured to engage the rim 68 of the nozzle-actuator member 56 and, upon the triggers 84 being squeezed towards each other, hinging around the lower end portions thereof, to cammingly engage the rim 68 of the nozzle-actuator member 56 to thereby depress the nozzle-actuator 56 and actuate the valve 38.

While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in terms of an embodiment or modification which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiment or modification herein described, disclosed, illustrated or shown, such other embodiments or modifications as may be suggested to those having the benefit of the teachings herein beng intended to be reserved especially if they fall within the scope and breadth of the claims here appended.

What is claimed is:

1. in an aerosol package comprising a pressurized can of liquid product provided with a valve having an elongated tubular stem extending generally vertically upwardly of the can wherein the valve is of a type to be moved relative, as by being depressed inwardly of, the can for actuation to dispense the product through such tubular stem, the improvement comprising an elongated nozzle carried by said stem having a bore extending generally longitudinally therethrough, one end portion of said bore providing a socket configured for secured mating insertion of the outboard end portion of said stem therewithin to define mounting means for said nozzle so that said nozzle moves with said valve for actuation thereof and dispensing of such product outwardly through said bore and being provided with at least one groove therewithin for enabling draining of said bore downwardly outwardly past said stem to reduce retention of product within said bore when said valve is in the unactuated position thereof.

2. In the improvement defined in claim 1 at least one groove extending along said bore radially outwardly thereof and extending at least completely longitudinally of said socket to define said drain groove means.

3. The improvement defined in claim 2 wherein said groove extends along said bore substantially beyond the inward end of said socket.

4. The improvement defined in claim 3 wherein there are provided a plurality of such grooves generally angularly spaced circumferentially around said socket to enable draining of said bore in substantially any position of said package.

S. The improvement defined in claim 4 wherein said nozzle bore slopes generally completely upwardly outwardly of said socket.

6. The improvement defined in claim 1 wherein said socket comprises a counterbore within said nozzle, having a shoulder abutting the outboard end of said valve stem, said drain groove means being defined by at least one shallow groove extending radially outwardly into the circumferential wall of said counterbore entirely longitudinally thereof and past said shoulder.

7. Improved nozzle-actuator for use with a pressurized can of liquid product provided with a valve having an elongated tubular stem extending generally vertically upwardly of the can wherein the valve is of a type to be depressed inwardly of the can for actuation to dispense the product through such tubular stem comprising, in combination, an elongated nozzle carried by said stem having a bore extending generally longitudinally therethrough, one end portion of said bore providing a socket configured for secured mating insertion of the outboard end portion of said stem therewithin to define means for mounting said nozzle with said stem so that movement of said nozzle toward said can depresses said valve for actuation thereof and dispensing of such product outwardly through said bore and being provided with at least one groove therewithin for enabling draining of said bore downwardly outwardly past said stem to reduce retention of product within said bore when said valve is in the unactuated and undepressed position thereof.

8. Improved nozzle defined in claim 7 wherein said drain groove comprises at least one groove extending along said bore radially outwardly thereof at least completely longitudinally of said socket to define said passage means.

9. Improved nozzle defined in claim 8 wherein said groove extends along said bore substantially beyond said socket.

10. Improved nozzle defined in claim 9 wherein there are provided a plurality of such grooves generally angularly spaced circumferentially around said socket to enable draining of said bore in substantially any position of said package.

1 1. Improved nozzle defined in claim 10 wherein said nozzle bore slopes generally completely upwardly outwardly of said socket.

12. Improved nozzle defined in claim 11 wherein said socket comprises a counterbore within said nozzle, having a shoulder abutting the outboard end of said valve stem, said drain groove means being defined by at least one shallow groove extending radially outwardly into the circumferential wall of said counterbore entirely longitudinally thereof and past said shoulder.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/108, 222/402.13
International ClassificationB65D83/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/206
European ClassificationB65D83/20C2