US 3913842 A
A spray head for an aerosol can having a depressible valve stem includes a delivery tube, a cap, and nozzle means. The nozzle means comprises an extending nozzle concentric to and communicating with a short tube or protrusion. The nozzle is disposed within the delivery tube so as to space the nozzle orifice from one end of the delivery tube. The protrusion projects from the other and opposite end of the delivery tube. The cap has bore means that is adapted to seat on the valve stem and detachably receive and communicate with the protrusion whereby operation of the spray head dispenses substantially all of the aerosol mixture beyond the delivery tube end to reduce aerosol deposition on the inside surface of the delivery tube. In the preferred embodiment, the delivery tube is provided with pressure relief means to vent potentially harmful excess pressurization therein to the atmosphere.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,913,842
Singer Oct. 21, 1975 SPRAY HEAD FOR AEROSOL CAN Primary Examiner-John J. Love Inventor: Arnold J. g South g Attorney, Agent, 07' Firm-Ostrolenk, Faber, Gerb &
NHL Soffen  Assi nee: Block Dru Com an lnc., Jerse g City, N]. g p y y  ABSTRACT  Filed: 14 1973 A spray head for an aerosol can having a depressible Appl. No.: 424,750
valve stem includes a delivery tube, a cap, and nozzle means. The nozzle means comprises an extending nozzle concentric to and communicating with a short tube or protrusion. The nozzle is disposed within the delivery tube so as to space the nozzle orifice from one end of the delivery tube. The protrusion projects from the other and opposite end of the delivery tube. The cap has bore means that is adapted to seat on the valve stem and detachably receive and communicate with the protrusion whereby operation of the spray head dispenses substantially all of the aerosol mixture beyond the delivery tube end to reduce aerosol deposition on the inside surface of the delivery tube. In the preferred embodiment, the delivery tube is provided with pressure relief means to vent potentially harmful excess pressurization therein to the atmosphere.
2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 3,913,842
1 SPRAY HEAD FOR AEROSOL CAN.
This invention relates to an aerosol dispenser spray head. More particularly, the present invention relates to a spray head or nozzle apparatus adapted to guide aerosol propelled medicaments into various body openings, for example the ear canal. v
Pressurized apparatus for dispensing atomized particles are well known in the art. The particles so dispensed might comprise atomized droplets of liquids or powders which are ejected through a nozzle orifice on demand. Further, it is known to provide dispensing means that is operable to cause the aerosol nozzle to supply a measured or metered amount of spray in aerosol form. Delivery means are presently available to somewhat confine the spray-front of the propelled mixture. The delivery means normally comprises a tubular member. With this construction, the delivery tube is positioned in or on the aerosol cap so that one end of the tube contains a nozzle orifice. The orifice communicates through a valve to the fluid or medicament under pressure. The opposite end of the delivery tube is open for dischargingthe propelled mixture. Thus, with spray heads heretofore, the delivery tube spaces the discharge opening a'considerable distance from the nozzle orifice. As the medicament-is propelled through the nozzle orifice and exits thereat', a spray front proceeds towards the delivery tube open end. -As the spray front travels, it diverges causing alarge portion of the propelled'mixture' 'to impinge against the delivery tube interior surface where it coalesces into large drops and remains unavailable for application on the desired body portion. Then too, it will be appreciated that the medicament in the aerosol container will be at some multiple of atmosphericpressure. With this condition, a potentially dangerous situation arises in the event that, the valve sticks or somehow admits more than a desired or premeasured amount of combined propelling fluid and medicament. If the spray head is inserted in the ear canal and the valve sticks, the sentitive parts of .the ear will be exposed to a pressure which might cause permanent injury.
Accordingly, the present invention overcomes the problems in the prior art by providing means to guide the resulting spray. The inventive means will confine the spray within the delivery apparatus to reduce the probability of contact with the interior surface of the delivery tube. Moreover, the present invention includes a means which will prevent the pressure existing in the delivery tube from rising over atmospheric pressure.
Generally, the present invention provides an aerosol dispenser that includes a stem mount or cap. The cap includes bore means to guide the propelled mixture therethrough. Detachably affixed to the cap is a spray adapter orspray head that communicates with the bore means disposed through the cap. The spray adapter comprises a delivery tube that is concentrically disposed around and partially covers a portion of a nozzle extending thereinQAnother portion of the nozzle extends rearwardly of thespray adapter along the central longitudinal axis thereof, and is in the form of a short tube. This rearward tube protrusion is designed to seat in andbe frictionally held by a channel in the aerosol cap. The channel is dimensioned to forcefittingly engage the protruding tube and communicate with the capbore means so that the propelled mixture will be guided into the nozzle. The nozzle portion extending within the delivery tube closes the other end thereof.
Thislast mentioned nozzle portion is likewise positioned along the delivery tubes central longitudinal axis and ends in a nozzle orifice spaced inwardly from the discharge opening thereof. Thus, the flow of medicaments through substantially the entire length of the delivery tube is confined within the nozzle. This prevents an unwanted spray front from diverging within the delivery tube that will act to deposit medicaments along the delivery tube walls. Since the nozzle orifice is spaced inwardly from the delivery tube opening by a small distance, the exiting aerosol travels only a short distance within the delivery tube reducing the tendency for the aerosol mixture to coalesce therein and form droplets. Furthermore, in the preferred embodiment aperture means are provided through the delivery tube wall which vent the delivery tube interior to the atmo sphere. 1
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an aerosol spray head that guides and confines the aerosol spray.
It is another object of the present invention to provide means for guiding an aerosol spray that prevents the spray-front from diverging while traversing through the apparatus and thereby prevent deposition along the apparatus walls g It is a further object of the present invention to provide an aerosol spray guiding means that is adapted to fit within the ear canal and guide the aerosol mixture against the timpanic membrane and yet prevents a pressure rise thereagainst greater than atmospheric.
It is a still further objectof the present invention to provide an aerosol spray apparatus that can be detachably removed from the aerosol container and that is easily dismantled for cleaning and washing.
.Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood that the drawings are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not as a definition of the limits of the invention to which reference should be made to the appending claims.
In the drawings, wherein similar reference numerals denote similar elements throughout the several views:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of the present invention showing the cap adapted to seat on the aerosol valve stem and revealing the nozzle position in the spray head;
FIG. 2 is a combined sectional view of the parts shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 2a shows a sectional view of an alternative arrangement of the apparatus of FIG. 2.
FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
Referring now to the drawings there is shown a pressurized container 10 containing a liquid or powdered medicament (the medicament not shown) existing under pressure as common in the art. Secured to the top of container 10 is a flange 12 which may be pressfit, welded or otherwise attached to container 10. Integrally formed with and extending from flange 12 is a shoulder 14. It will be observed that shoulder 14 has a slight bell shape or bows outwardly as it extends from flange l2. Projecting through the center of shoulder 14 is a valve stem 16. Valve stem 16 is adapted to be depressed downwardly when looking at FIG- 2 and has one end thereof not shown for purposes of simplicity, communicating'with the medicament under pressure by valve means common in the art. Preferably, the
valve means will release a predetermined amount of medicament when valve stem 16 is depressed.
A cap 18 is force-fitted upon the upper end of valve stem 16. As shown, cap 18 includes bore means 20 disposed therethrough. In order for the cap to seat on valve stem 16 the cap contains an enlarged crosssectional area 22 that conforms to the outer periphery of stem 16.
Bore means 20 communicates with a chamber 24 and is substantially centrally located within cap 18. Disposed laterally from chamber 24 and communicating therewith is a bore 26. Preferably, bore 26 will be orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of bore 20. A conduit 28 is concentric to and communicates with bore 26. The diameter of conduit 28 is somewhat larger than the diameter of bore 26. Adjacent to, and concentric with the opening of channel 28 is a recessed portion 30 in cap 18. The lower portion of cap 18 further includes an integral skirt 32. Skirt 32 is concentric around stem 16 and has its interior diameter dimensioned so that its inside periphery slidably engages the outside periphery of shoulder 14. The length of skirt 32 is such that when the cap is in its upward position (ready for a depressive stroke) it covers a portion of the top of shoulder 14 as seen in FIG. 2. On the other hand, the length of skirt 32 will be such so as not to abut against the top of flange 12 and thereby interfere with depression of stem 16.
The spray head of the present invention further consists of a tubular section 34 that includes an open end 36. Disposed along the central longitudinal axis of tubular portion 34 so as to be concentric therewith, is a nozzle apparatus seen generally as reference numeral 38. The forward portion of nozzle 38 will preferably comprise a frustro-conical section 40. Frusto-conical section 40 flares outwardly into an integrally formed annular collar 42. The positioning of annular collar 42 is such so as to be coincident with the central longitudinal axis of the conical portion 40. A protruding tube 44 of reduced cross-section extends rearwardly of annular flange 42. As with annular collar 42, protruding tube 44 is concentric about the central longitudinal axis of frusto-conical portion 40. Disposed along and through the central longitudinal axis of nozzle 38 so as to be concentric therewith, is a nozzle passage 46. Nozzle passage 46 runs substantially the length of nozzle 38 and terminates at an opening 50 of reduced diameter, that serves as a discharge orifice.
The entire nozzle apparatus 38 is positioned within tubular portion 34 so that nozzle discharge orifice 50 is spaced inwardly from tube opening 36. Preferably, the lateral rearward wall of discharge tube 34 that consists of annular collar 42 will be integral with the cylindrical wall of tube 34 so that the entire apparatus may be molded as one member. However, it will be understood that this does not necessarily have to be the case and that nozzle apparatus 38 comprised of frustoconical portion 40, annular collar 42 and protruding tube 44 may be supplied as a discrete package, separate from delivery tube 34. As a discrete package, nozzle apparatus 38 may then be mounted within delivery tube 34 in any suitable manner. Indeed, it may be possible to further vary the construction so as to form delivery tube 34 with integral annular collar 42 and then insert therein frusto-conical portion 40 carrying only integral protruding tube 44.
Positioned through the delivery tube walls is a pair of pressure relief means 48 which comprises slots or apertures for venting the interior of the delivery tube to the atmosphere. It is to be understood that the number, size, and location of the pressure relief apertures are shown for the purposes of illustration only. For example, the delivery apertures might comprise a plurality of bores disposed through the cylindrical wall of delivery tube 34 adjacent annular collar 42. Or, as another example, the exhausting apertures might be disposed through annular collar 42. The only criterion for the location of the apertures or slots is that they be spaced from discharge opening 36 so that when inserted in the body canal, for example, the ear canal, they remain uncovered so as to vent the tube interior to the atmosphere as above noted.
The external or outside diameter of protruding tube 44 is dimensioned to provide an interference or pressfit with the inside diameter of channel 28. This interference fit insures that the force resulting from a blast of medicament through nozzle passage 46 will be insufficient to dislodge protrusion 44, and consequently nozzle apparatus 38 from channel 28. However, the interference fit readily yields to a pull by the user so that the novel spray head can be broken down into cap 18 and delivery tube 34, the latter carrying nozzle assembly 38 as described above.
In operation, protruding tube 44 of nozzle apparatus 38 is inserted in receiving channel 28. Protruding tube 44 is pushed into channel 28 so as to be snug therein. Recessed portion 30 ensures a space between cap 18 and delivery tube 34. It can be seen that delivery tube 34 is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of cap 18. Cap 18 now carrying delivery apparatus 34 is superposed over stem 16. Skirt 32 will then cover a portion of the top of shoulder 14. The delivery tube is inserted in or against the appropriate body portion, the ear canal for example, and cap 18 depressed. Depression of cap 18 likewise depresses stem 16 whereby a measured charge of medicament will be propelled through stem 16 into bore 20 and then into chamber 24. The resulting pressure blast in chamber 24 will vent through bore 26 and be propelled through nozzle passage 46 and then through nozzle orifice 50. The flow of medicament will exit nozzle orifice 50 and proceed a short distance within delivery tube 34 to exit discharge opening 36 and impinge upon the timpanic membrane. With this construction, frusto-conical portion 40 confines the spray front of the medicament discharge while transversing within tubular portion 34. Nozzle orifice 50 empties the aerosol blast adjacent yet rearward of opening 36 wherein the spacing between these last two mentioned elements is such that the unconfined spray front travels a reduced distance when compared to prior devices that dump the pressurized flow adjacent rear cylinder wall 42. Thus, with the present construction the spray front is substantially confined until it reaches the timpanic membrane. Since the spray front is restrained from diverging within tubular portion 34, it will be unavailable to deposit of medicament along the inside surface of delivery or tubular portion 34.
In the event that the valve in flange 12 becomes stuck" or a wanted discharge of medicament increases the pressure in the delivery tube, slots or apertures 48 act to vent this excess pressure to the atmosphere.
The inward spacing of the outlet orifice 50 from the end 34a of tube 34 tends to prevent wax or serious discharge from collecting on and clogging orifice 50, as well as reducing the chilling impact of the spray and confining the spread of the spray emerging from orifice 50.
While only a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it is to be understood that many changes and modifications may be made hereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, FIG. 2a shows the cap 18 as having a tubular projecting portion 50 defining a conduit 26, while projection 44 of FIG. 2 is replaced by a hollow bore 51 for force fittingly receiving tubular projection 50. The operation of the alternative embodiment of FIG. 2a is the same as that of FIG. 2.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a container, a valve disposed in the container and including a valve stem communicating with the valve and projecting through the container for relative movement therein to operate the valve, a cap having a bore means adapted to seat on the stem and be communicative therewith, a directional spray head for insertion into an orifice and projecting from the cap and adapted to detachable seat therein, the spray head comprising a hollow delivery conduit having one open end, nozzle means disposed within the conduit, the nozzle means extending within the interior of the conduit and having one end terminating in a discharge opening spaced inwardly from the conduit open end to prevent the nozzle from contacting the orifice and to prevent the spray from striking the interior wall of said spray head, the other end of the nozzle means flaring outwardly to merge with and close the other end of the conduit, a projection extending outwardly from the conduit closed end in a direction opposite the nozzle means, the protrusion adapted to detachably seat in a portion of the bore means, and aperture means disposed in the wall of the spray head and adjacent the rear end thereof so as to vent the interior thereof to the atmosphere whereby a depression of the cap will move the valve stem to cause the aerosol to be propelled therethrough as the bore means guides the resulting aerosol flow into the nozzle means so that the last mentioned means will egress the resulting aerosol near the conduit open end as the aperture means vents any pressure rise in the spray head interior to the atmosphere.
2. Spray head apparatus for a container housing having material being dispensed and having valve means for controlling the flow therethrough including in combination:
a cap having bore means disposed therethrough and adapted to be coupled to and communicate with said valve means;
a hollow delivery tube for insertion into an orifice and having two opposed ends one of which is open, and
nozzle means comprising a hollow projection adapted to detachably seat in said cap and communicate with said bore means and an extending nozzle that includes a discharge orifice, said extending nozzle being disposed in said tube so as to position the discharge orifice spaced from said tube open end whereby a depression of said cap causes a spray of the dispensed mixture to traverse said bore and nozzle means and egress through the discharge orifice and said tube open end;
the exit opening of said nozzle being positioned inwardly from the open end of said delivery tube to prevent contact with the orifice, the spacing between said exit opening and the open end of said delivery tube being chosen to prevent the spray from striking the interior of the delivery tube; said extending nozzle having a rearward portion adapted to merge with said tube and close the other one of said opposed ends thereof; the rearward portion of said tube including aperture means to vent the interior of said tube to the atmosphere.