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Publication numberUS3901412 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 26, 1975
Filing dateJun 20, 1974
Priority dateJun 20, 1974
Publication numberUS 3901412 A, US 3901412A, US-A-3901412, US3901412 A, US3901412A
InventorsSam F Copia
Original AssigneeVca Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Child-resistant actuator for aerosol dispenser
US 3901412 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Copia [451 Aug. 26, 1975 Inventor:



Int. Cl. B65D 83/14 Field of Search. 222/153, 182, 402.11, 402.13,

[ 7] ABSTRACT A safety-type, child-resistant actuator comprising a jumbo size, two-piece overcap which is freely turnable on the top of the aerosol container. The overcap has the appearance of a single plastic molding, even Sam F. Copia, N. Riverside, lll.

VCA Corporation, Greenwich,

Conn though it actually consists of an inverted dome portion June 20, 1974 which is screwed to an annular collar or base portion,

481 388 the latter being held captive although it is freely turnable. By grasping and holding the base portion while twisting the dome, the latter can be readily removed, revealing a locking-type actuator button provided with a hook which can be latched under an annular shoulder of the top closure for the container. The latching of the actuator is normally prevented, due to an obstruction provided on the tumable base. However, by aligning an inconspicuous notch of the base with the ZZZ/402.14; 220/39 R, 85 P [56] References Cited latching hook of the actuator button, the latter can be UNITED STATES PATENTS deflected or tilted to cause its hook portion to latch 2 573 624 /1951 Svendsen ZZZ/402 1 1 X under the shoulder of the container closure. The com- 3 081 918 3/1963 Scoggin JQ'QLJL'IIIIII..- 222 4i12.14 binatio of the deceptive appearance of 3 149 757 9 1964 Safianof 222 153 the overcap with the inconspicuous nature of the 3:595:42? 7/1971 Markowitz 222/182 X notch in the tumable base has the net result P 3,601,290 8/1971 Nigro 222 402.13 x eming Considerable difficulty to a Child Of tender 3,721,423 3/ 1973 Shay ZZZ/402.11 X years, if he should endeavor to place the dispenser in 3,797,705 3/1974 Cooprider 222/153 e Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant ExaminerDavid A. Scherbel 1 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures Attorney, Agent, or Firm-H. Gibner Lehmann; K. Gibner Lehmann; E. Donald Mays 26 .4 p 50 44 2 4 In 4H L 1' PATENTED'AUBZE 1915 3, 9 0 1 ;412

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CHILD-RESISTANT ACTUATOR FOR AEROSOL DISPENSER NO CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS BACKGROUND This invention relates to safety-type childproof or childresistant actuator devices for small hand-held aerosol dispensers. Previously it has been proposed to provide a deceptive-appearing jumbo-type overcap for aerosol dispensers which actually consists of two pieces screwed together, although it normally gives the impression of being but a single molded part. Such overcap, being loosely held captive on the upper portion of the dispenser, quite successfully tends to defeat efforts of young children to actuate the dispenser. Although the dome portion of the overcap can be easily removed by twisting it while grasping the narrow base portion so as to unscrew these from each other, the uninitiated or unknowing person would normally not realize that such unscrewing or separation of the overcap portion is possible. The collar or base portion of the overcap, although loosely held and readily turnable, is so securely mounted that normally the device resists all efforts to remove it, even with the use of prying tools. Such a safety device has proven to be quite effective until the unauthorized person learns the secret of unscrewing the dome portion by first holding the base.

Another prior aerosol actuator involved a lockingtype button having a laterally projecting arm with a hook portion that is adapted to latch under the usual annular shoulder surrounding the metal valve mounting cup of the dispenser. A release finger-piece carried by the arm readily enables the button to be returned to its non-discharging condition when so desired. This locking-type actuator button also advantageously presents difficulties to children of tender years or other unauthorized persons, but here again the possibility exists that the child will at sometime or other learn the technique for actuating and latching the button in the operative position. v

The foregoing two systems which provide for child resistant characteristics, when utilized together, constitute supplements to each other and increase the required know-how of actuation whereby the likelihood of a child being able to operate the dispenser is further minimized. However, there still remains the distinct possibility that an observant child will, after a while, discover the procedures required to place the combination actuator in operation. Where added safety is a requirement, even the combining of the above systems can be considered as not completely adequate.

SUMMARY The disadvantages and drawbacks existing with prior child resistant actuators of the kind explained above are obviated by the present invention, which has for one object the provision of a novel and improved childresistant aerosol dispenser which combines three safety features in one package, thereby to further increase the difficulty of actuation by unauthorized personnel and to additionally reduce the likelihood of such personnel learning how to put the dispenser in operation. A further object of the invention is to provide an improved child-resistant actuator assemblage as above characterized, which is especially simple in its construction, economical to fabricate and assemble, and especially efble of separation so as to reveal the actuator button, a

latching-type spray button having a lateral arm with a release finger piece and a hook portion adapted to latch over the existing annular shoulder of the aerosol container, together with a notched obstructing portion of the separable base of the overcap which acts to prevent latching of the button for all rotative positions of the base except a single one which requires careful attention to align a notch of the base with the hook portion of the button. When such alignment is effected, the button can be latched and unlatched readily in the usual manner. However, for all other random rotative positions of the screw base, the button cannot be latched in the discharging position. In an alternate embodiment, discharge of the dispenser is completely prevented unless the screw base is first turned to a predetermined rotary release position with respect to the actuator button. The captive screw base and the cooperable overcap dome are readily molded of plastic substance without difficulty, it being merely necessary to additionally provide the clearance notch in the base where none previously existed. Fabrication and assembly are thus economical and quick.

Still other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.

In the accompanying drawings, illustrating one embodiment of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a child resistant aerosol dispenser as provided by the invention.

FIG. 2 is a view partially in vertical axial section and partially in elevation of the upper portion of the dispenser.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the dispenser, but with the over-cap dome portion removed.

As shown, the dispenser comprises a pressurized container 10 having a usual type of crowned top closure portion 12 to which there is attached a circular valve mounting cup 14 carrying a discharge valve (not shown) having a projecting valve stem 16, all of usual construction. The valve mounting cup 14, when assembled to the crowned closure 12, results in an annular under shoulder 18 of a well known type.

In accordance with the invention there is provided on the pressurized container above described a novel combination safety jumbo-size overcap, and a latching-type valve actuator button in conjunction with a unique safety-lock or obstruction for the latter, all for the purpose of increasing the difficultyof operation of the dispenser for unauthorized persons, especially children of tender years.

The jumbo-size overcap is constituted of two pieces, a somewhat flat screw base or collar which carries an inverted domelike cap portion 22 in such a manner that these two appear as a single molded piece incapable of separation. The base 20 has an annular, upwardly-facing recess 24 in which the bottom rim 26 of the dome portion 22 is received, and such rim is provided with internal screw threads 28 cooperable with exterior screw threads 30 in the inner wall of the annular recess 24. By such arrangement, the dome portion 22 can be assembled to the base 20 by screwing it onto the latter or removed from the base by a simple unscrewing operation, both requiring that the base be held against turning while the dome portion is turned or twisted.

The screw base 20 has a large central opening 32 whereby it is in the form of a collar. The lower edge of the opening 32 is rounded as indicated at 34, so that it can be forced downwardly over and past the flange or periphery of the valve mounting cup 14, to the position indicated in FIG. 2. After the collar 20 has been thus assembled, it is held captive on the upper portion of the dispenser while being freely turnable and having a sloppy fit therewith. The sloppy fit and freely-turning nature of the mounting gives persons the impression that there are no cooperable screw threads involved, since normally screw threads do not permit a great deal of slop. Thus, an unauthorized person would be somewhat deceived with respect to the presence of screw threads, due to the extremely loose fit of the base 20.

The valve stem 16 of the dispenser has a latching type actuator button 36 provided with a top discharge orifice 38, and with a sloping projection 40 adapted to have finger pressure applied to it. Opposite the projection 40 the button 36 has a resilient, laterally extending arm 42 provided with downwardly extending hook portion 44 and with a finger piece 46 constituting an upwardly projecting extension of the hook portion 44.

When the button 36 is dislodged laterally or tilted by pressure applied to the projection 40, the hook portion 44 is able to latch under the shoulder 18 of the valve mounting cup 14 as illustrated by the broken outline in FIG. 2. However, in accordance with the present invention such latching is, for most of the rotative positions of the collar 20, prevented by the provision of an upstanding circular bead 50 on the collar, which extends in close proximity to the outer periphery of the valve mounting cup 14.

Also, as provided by the invention, the screw collar 20 is provided with a clearance notch 52 in its inner periphery, which is so arranged that when aligned with the arm 42 of the button and the hook portion 44 thereof, no obstruction will be presented to the hook portion and therefore the button 36 can be fully tilted and held in the discharging position by latching of the hook 44 under the annular shoulder 18. This requirement for turning the collar 20 to align the notch 52 with the latching arm 42 presents additional difiiculty to unauthorized persons or young children, while at the same time it represents no increased difficulty whatsoever to a person who is knowledgeable with respect to the function of the notch. The aligning of the notch with the latching arm must be carefully carried out, however, and maintained while the button is being actuated to the latching position, since the width of the notch 52 is not much greater than the width of the hook portion 44 of the button. Thus, there is minimized any incidental alignment of the notch with the hook, which could otherwise defeat the purpose of the collar 20 (as for example, if the notch 52 were appreciably wider than the button hook portion).

From the foregoing it will now be understood that an additional manipulation is required of persons desiring to use the dispenser, such additional manipulation representing increased difficulty if the person is unauthorized or not knowledgeable, as for example, a child of tender years. The first operation requires the grasping of the screw base 20 and the twisting or unscrewing of the dome portion 22 of the overcap. The next operation requires the precise placement or turning of the screw base to align the notch 52 with the latch portion 44 of the button 36. Finally, the last operation requires holding the very loose collar 20 still so as to maintain such alignment while tilting the button 36 by applying finger pressure to the projection 40 so as to latch the hook 44 under the annular shoulder 18 of the valve mounting cup 14. All of the foregoing required operations represent obstacles to the operation of the dispenser by a young or unauthorized person, each contributing to the overall difficulty presented the erstwhile user. The fabrication of the two-piece overcap with the notch 52, and the fabrication of the latching button 36 can be readily, economically carried out in relatively simple molds, and the assemblage of the parts can be easily and quickly effected. The safety value of the combination is greater than that of an assemblage wherein no obstruction is presented to tilting of the button 36, or wherein there is not required any precise rotative positioning of the screw base 20 to permit tilting of the actuator button.

Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 9, wherein like reference numerals designate parts similar to those of the first embodiment. A modified collar 20a is shown, being turnably carried on the crowned top closure portion 12 of the container 10 and having a central opening with a rounded annular shoulder 34 which is forced past the curl of the valve cup 14 during assembly. The collar 20a is thus retained and held captive on the container 10 by means of the under shoulder 18. An upwardly facing annular recess 24a has external screw threads 30a which are engaged by the corresponding internal screw threads 28 of the cap portion 22 when the latter is assembled to the container in the manner of FIG. 1.

As provided by the invention, the collar 20a has a relatively high upstanding bead 50a surrounding the cup 14, the bead having a clearance notch 52a to receive the hook 44 of the arm or control portion 42 of the actuator button 36 when the collar is properly oriented. It is seen that the bead 50a thus constitutes an annular abutment shoulder which, together with the annular surface formed by the top of the valve mounting cup curl 14, interferes with even slight downward and outward movement of the hook 44 and thus prevents any significant tilting of the button 36 or valve stem 16. It is noted that the bead 50a in FIG. 9 is substantially higher than the bead 50 of FIG. 2. By such an arrangement, discharge of the dispenser is completely prevented for all rotary positions of the collar 50a except where the notch 52a is aligned with and can receive the hook 44 when pressure is applied to the finger piece 40 by the user. It has been found that small children are unlikely to comprehend the combined operations necessary to use this dispenser, namely, first unscrewing the cap with one hand while holding the collar 20a stationary with the other, and second, turning the collar to a position wherein the notch 52a is aligned with the hook 44. It is intended that the above construction be employed with a suitable tilt-type valve rather than one of the axial-movement type, for reasons which are readily apparent. With the collar disposed in a suitable position, the button 36 may be tilted a limited extent to effect momentary discharge of the dispenser, or may be latched as illustrated in FIG. 2, for effecting a continuous or prolonged discharge, as required.

Variations and modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. An aerosol dispenser comprising, in combination:

a. a pressurized container having a tilt-type discharge valve provided with a protruding tiltable valve stem, and having a valve mounting cup carrying said valve and stem,

b. said cup having an annular exterior shoulder provided with an undercut,

c. an annular collar surrounding said cup and turnable thereabout,

d. an orificed actuator button carried by the valve stem,

e. said button having a laterally extending hook which is adapted to latch under the shoulder of the cap when the button is laterally displaced to tilt the valve stem for discharge,

f. said collar having inner peripheral portions adapted to engage and obstruct said hook so as to prevent discharging movement of the button,

g. said collar having a recess in it, adapted to register withand receive said hook when the collar is suitably turned, whereby the obstructing action of the collar is obviated.

2. A dispenser as in claim 1, and further including:

a. an overcap, and

b. concealed thread means removably mounting the overcap on the collar,

c. said collar having an accessible finger grip adapted to be grasped to prevent its turning when the overcap is unscrewed for removal.

3. A dispenser as in claim 2, wherein:

a. the collar has a sloppy fit under the shoulder of the cup, enabling it to be canted as well as turned, thereby suggesting removal of the overcap by an action other than turning.

4. A dispenser as in claim 2, wherein:

a. the collar has an annular groove in its top, extending along the outer periphery of the collar,

b. said overcap having a bottom rim adapted to extend into said groove.

5. A dispenser as in claim 4, wherein:

a. the concealed thread means comprises internal threads in the bottom rim of the overcap, and external threads disposed in the annular groove of the collar.

6. A dispenser as in claim 5, wherein:

a. the outer peripheral portion of the collar has knurling and has a smooth circular shoulder disposed above the knurling and adapted to extend closely adjacent the exterior surface of the overcap, thereby to give the appearance of constituting an integral part of the overcap.

7. A dispenser as in claim 1, and further including:

a. a finger piece on said hook, engageable by the fingers to stress the hook for releasing the latched hook thereof from the shoulder of the cup.

8. A dispenser as in claim 7, wherein:

a. the finger piece constitutes a continuation of the hook,

b. said hook being resilient whereby pressure applied to said finger piece causes a displacement of the hook from the cup shoulder.

9. A dispenser as in; claim 8, wherein:

a. a thin section is provided adjacent the hook and finger piece, enabling it to bend readily in response to pressure applied to the finger piece.

10. A dispenser as in claim 1, wherein:

a. the recess in the collar comprises a notch disposed in the inner peripheral portions thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2573624 *Jul 13, 1950Oct 30, 1951Robert W SvendsenCap for aerosol bomb
US3081918 *Apr 18, 1960Mar 19, 1963Cook Chemical CompanyContinuous spray device for aerosol valves
US3149757 *Oct 10, 1961Sep 22, 1964Gillette CoMeans locking valve actuating mechanism against accidental operation
US3595427 *Aug 18, 1969Jul 27, 1971Markowitz Isral JSafety aerosol cover cap
US3601290 *Jul 11, 1969Aug 24, 1971Gillette CoAerosol dispenser actuator
US3721423 *Dec 17, 1971Mar 20, 1973Scovill Manufacturing CoChildproof actuator for aerosol valve
US3797705 *May 2, 1973Mar 19, 1974Diamond Int CorpLocking means for shipper type liquid dispensers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4195756 *May 11, 1978Apr 1, 1980Riviana Foods, Inc.Aerosol container cap and actuator
US4243161 *Mar 17, 1978Jan 6, 1981Seaquist Valve Co., Div. Of Pittway Corp.Continuous spray button
US4941600 *Aug 31, 1989Jul 17, 1990Technical Chemical CompanyDispenser lock assembly for a pressurized container
US5297685 *Jul 16, 1993Mar 29, 1994Ramey Arthur JMethod and apparatus for displaying a plurality of articles
US5503303 *Oct 14, 1994Apr 2, 1996S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Dual function self-pressurized aerosol actuator overcap
US5520305 *Mar 29, 1995May 28, 1996Pierson Industries, Inc.Container and two piece safety cap having a locking collar and cover
US7128233 *Sep 23, 2003Oct 31, 2006Jamie HoganTamper-resistant container and methods
US8201710Oct 15, 2008Jun 19, 2012S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Attachment mechanism for a dispenser
US8870030Feb 4, 2011Oct 28, 2014S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Attachment mechanism for a container
US8985398Feb 4, 2011Mar 24, 2015S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Attachment mechanism for a container
US20050061816 *Sep 23, 2003Mar 24, 2005Jamie HoganTamper-resistant container and methods
US20080095620 *Oct 20, 2006Apr 24, 2008Sun Microsystems, Inc.Sync method for reducing fan noise
US20090173739 *Dec 16, 2008Jul 9, 2009Jamie HoganTamper-resistant container and methods
EP0227510A1 *Nov 7, 1986Jul 1, 1987VALOIS Société Anonyme dite:Locking device for an aerosol dispenser
U.S. Classification222/182, 222/402.11, 222/402.14, 220/915, 220/288, 220/319, 215/218
International ClassificationB65D83/16, B65D83/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/00, Y10S220/915, B65D83/40, B65D83/20, B65D83/24
European ClassificationB65D83/24, B65D83/20, B65D83/40
Legal Events
Apr 16, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860331
Effective date: 19860228
Mar 6, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840201
Mar 1, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840201