Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3915354 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 28, 1975
Filing dateSep 6, 1974
Priority dateSep 6, 1974
Publication numberUS 3915354 A, US 3915354A, US-A-3915354, US3915354 A, US3915354A
InventorsLo Mei-Kuo
Original AssigneeJohnson & Son Inc S C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic relocking device
US 3915354 A
Abstract
An automatic relocking device is disclosed. An exemplary embodiment is a pressurized package having features discouraging valve actuation by a young child. The invention is characterized by two principal interacting members, one movable and the other fixed. One of these members includes a projection extending toward the other, and the other has a blocking member and camming means attached to it which provide desired interaction of the two principal members upon relative axial movement caused by attempts to actuate the valve and by actual actuation and closing thereof. The blocking member prevents actuation when the two principal members are in a first lateral relationship by interfering with the projection, while actuation is unobstructed if these members are in a second lateral relationship. The camming means directs the two members back into the first lateral relationship upon return axial movement after product discharge.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

i United States Patent [191 Oct. 28, 1975 AUTOMATIC RELOCKING DEVICE [75] Inventor: Mei-Kuo Lo, Racine, Wis.

[73] Assignee: S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine,

Wis.

[22] Filed: Sept. 6, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 503,898

[52] U.S. Cl. ZZZ/402.11; 251/100 [51] Int. Cl. B65D 83/00 [58] Field of Search..... 222/402.l1, 402.13, 402.14,

Primary Examiner-Allen N. Knowles [5 7] ABSTRACT An automatic relocking device is disclosed. An exemplary embodiment is a pressurized package having features discouraging valve actuation by a young child. The invention is characterized by two principal interacting members, one movable and the other fixed. One of these members includes a projection extending toward the other, and the other has a blocking member and camming means attached to it which provide desired interaction of the two principal members upon relative axial movement caused by attempts to actuate the valve and by actual actuation and closing thereof. The blocking member prevents actuation when the two principal members are in a first lateral relationship by interfering with the projection, while actuation is unobstructed if these members are in a second lateral relationship. The camming means directs the two members back into the first lateral relationship upon return axial movement after product discharge.

30 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 1 of 5 F I G. 2

Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet20f5 3,915,354

US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 3 of5 3,915,354

FIG.9

FIGIS FlG. w

U.S. Patent 0a. 28, 1975 Sheet 5 of 5 3,915,354

FIG.I9

FIG. I8

AUTOMATIC RELOCKING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to the field of locking devices. Certain embodiments relate to pressurized packages, such as aerosol containers, which may be used for convenient manually controlled dispensing of various products. In particular, this invention relates to devices for rendering such packages inoperable unless certain manipulations, normally beyond the ability or comprehension of a child of tender years are carried out.

The broad invention will be described herein by reference to the embodiment for use in pressurized packages. However, the invention has broad application in many devices in which automatically relocking locks are needed. One example is its use in gun safety devices. The description in relation to pressurized packages is for purposes of convenience; no limitation is intended.

Many highly corrosive and potentially harmful products, which are dangerous if improperly used, are conventionally packaged in pressurized cans for ease of application of the product. Such products, include various household chemicals such as insecticides, starches, and oven cleaners, and other products such as paints, hair sprays, and the like which may, under certain circumstances, be harmful to small children and pets or injurious to furniture, carpets, and the like. Many suggestions have been made for child-proof pressurized cans having dispensing means which cannot readily beactuated by a young childyet can be operated with ease by an older child or adult to dispense the contents.

Many of the known child-safe devices lack safety under certain conditions, even assuming the child-safe feature is operable. For example, a number of devices on the market have their child-resistant features in an overcap. Once the overcap is removed the devices functions in the same manner as any other aerosol can. Other devices have a locking device requiring a specific intentional act by the user to return such packages, after use, to the child-safe condition. Such packages may readily be stored in an unsafe or unlocked condition. With such packages the negligence or forgetfulness of the user may pose a threat to a child.

Some attempts have been made to develop automatic-locking child-safe pressurized packages. Many such Another object of this invention is to provide a pressurized package which overcomes the aforementioned problems and is uncomplicated in structure and operation.

A further object of this invention is to provide an automatic-locking child-safe pressurized package which may be equivalent in appearance to well-known Yet another object. of this invention is'to provide aunique concept for child-safe pressurized packages which is usable in packages with or without actuatorovercap structures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects of this invention will become apparent from the following description and from the drawings showing preferred embodiments, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a full perspective view ofa pressurized container having the child-safe feature of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the valve structure of the pressurized container shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the valve stem shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the valve body shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the valve body shown in FIG. 4, taken along section 5-5 as indicated in FIG. 2, and further including phantom line indications of the sequential positions of the projection from the valve stem piece, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, during the cycle of operation of this device.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5, except that it illustrates an alternate embodiment of a portion of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view as in FIG. 5, but illustrating another embodiment of a portion of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view as in FIG. 5, but illustrating still another embodiment of a portion of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2, but including a unique feature useful in embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view as indicated by section 10-10 in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of a portion of another pressurized package of this invention, having an actuator-overcap structure.

FIG. 12 is a partial sectional view taken along sectio 12-12 as indicated in FIG. 11 and including phantom line indications of the relative sequential positions of the projection from the overcap structure shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 12, but illustrating another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 14 is a sectional view of a portion of another pressurized package of this invention.

FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along section 15-15 as indicated in FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary perspective view of the device of FIG. 14, specifically the top portion thereof.

FIG. 17 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 15, but illustrating another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 18 is a cutaway view of an alternative embodiment of this invention, including an actuator-overcap.

FIG. 19 is a cutaway view similar to FIG. 17 but illustrating another embodiment of the invention.

A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now in detail to the drawings, like numerals will be used to describe similar parts in the embodiments shown in the several figures.

FIG. 1 is a pressurized package 20 of this invention having 'a container body 22, which may be a standard metal container, and a valve 23 having an actuator button 24-attached to a valve stem 26 which protrudes from container body 22, as clearly illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 9, ll, l4, l8, and 19.

Valve 23 in FIGS. 1, 2, and 9 is a standard aerosol valve, including, however, the invention described and claimed herein. A valve body 28 is secured to container body 22 and is a generally cylindrical-shaped hollow piece defining valve cavity 30. Valve body 28 includes a tail portion 32 to which dip tube 34 is attached. Tail portion 32 defines an inlet 36 to valve body 28 to receive the fluid product contained within container body 22. Valve stem 26 has an enlarged portion 38, which is generally cylindrical in shape, and a smaller portion 40, likewise of cylindrical shape, which sealingly extends through gasket 42 to protrude from container body 22. Valve stem 26 is slidable along its axis within valve cavity 30. Valve stem 26 defines a discharge passageway 44 along a portion of its length. Passageway 44 terminates in a lateral opening 46 in valve stem 26 well above enlarged portion 38. Coil spring 48 within cavity 30 extends between valve body 28 and valve stem 26 and provides a means to axially bias movable valve stem 26 to the position shown in FIG. 2.

Manual depression of button 24 will insert valve stem 26 axially further into cavity 30 to a position exposing lateral opening 46 to the contents of cavity 30. In such position product will be discharged by means of pressure within container 22, through valve stem 26, cavity 30, opening 46, passageway 44, passageway 50 in button 24, and discharge orifice 52 defined in button 24. Release of manual pressure from button 24 will allow coil spring 48 to axially return movable valve stem 26 to the position shown in FIG. 2. The position illustrated in FIG. 2 is referred to as the of position of valve stem 26, while the position in which stem 26 is depressed, such that lateral opening 46 is exposed to the contents of cavity 30, is described herein as the on position of the valve stem 26. Throughout operation, valve body 28 is fixed with respect to container body 22.

The interaction of valve body 28 is fixed with respect to container body 22.

The interaction of valve body 28 and valve stem 26 is used in this invention to provide a child-safe pressurized package. FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 illustrate the relationship of valve stem 26 and valve body 28. It is seen that stem 26 has a lateral surface 54 parallel to and facing inner surface 56 of valve body 28. Valve body 28 is a fixed member with respect to container 22, while valve stem 26 is movable with respect to valve body 28 and container body 22. The movement of valve stem 26 is along its axis or may also be described as along a line between valve stem 26 and valve body 28 and adjacent innersurface 56 of valve body 28.

Valve stem 26 has projections or pins 58 extending from lateral surface 54, on opposite sides thereof, at right angles to the axis of valve stem 26 and to the direction of principal stem movement. Projections 58 extend toward valve body 28. Valve body 28 defines two grooves networks 60 on inner surface 56, on opposite sides thereof, near the upper edge 62 of valve body 28. Projections 58 are received in groove networks 60. Each of the grooves in each of the groove networks 60 is slightly wider than the width of projections 58, which are cylindrical in shape, and deep enough to receive said projections without there being contact between the end surfaces 64 of projections 58 and groove bottoms 65. Projections 58 are fixedly attached to valve stem 26 and are preferably integrally molded therewith.

The interaction of one or more of projections 58 in one or more of groove networks 60 of valve body 28 provides the child-safe operation of this embodiment of the invention. Each groove network 60 of valve body 28 of FIGS. 2 and 4, as clearly illustrated in FIG. 5, includes an of area 66 and an axially adjacent on area 68. The movement of valve stem 26 is restrained and directed by the interaction of projection 58 with valve body 28. Projection 58 will be in a groove network 60 at all times. When projection 58 is in "off area 66 of network 60, then valve stem 26 is in an off position. On the other hand, when projection 58 is in on area 68 of groove network 60, then valve stem 26 will be in on position, lateral opening 46 being exposed to the contents of valve cavity 30.

Each groove network 60 includes a first groove 70, a second groove 72 and a third groove 74. First groove 70 and second groove 72 are entirely in off area 66 while third groove 74 has a portion in on area 68. A more thorough description of the various grooves of groove network 60 is facilitated by reference to the several positions of projection 58 in groove network 60, as indicated in phantom lines. Such positions are labeled by letters representing the sequential positions of projection 58 during operation of the pressurized package of this invention.

Positions A, B, C, and D of projection 58 in groove network 60 define first groove 70 as shown in FIG. 5. Positions E, F, G, and H define second groove 72. Positions I, J, K, L, and M define third groove 74. First groove 70 extends from upper edge 62 of valve body 28 in axial direction to a blocking member 76 which is attached to inner surface 56 of valve body 28. When projection 58 is in first groove 70 and the operator of pressurized package 20 depresses button 24, valve stem 26 moves axially in a downward direction such that projection 58 moves from position A to position B until it contacts blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76 which prevents further axial depression and thus prevents an actuation of valve 23. Projection 58 is retained in off area 66. After contacting blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76, projection 58 slides laterally for a very short distance to position C where it contacts surface 80, thus cradling projection 58 so further lateral or axial movement upon continued manual depression is impossible. Upon release of actuator button 24 by the operator, coil spring 48 will cause valve stem 26 and projection 58 thereon to undergo return axial motion. During such motion projection 58 moves from position C to position D at which point it contacts ramp surface 82 of separation member 94, which deflects it laterally upon continued axial return motion, returning projection 58 to position A.

When projection 58 is in first groove 70, valve stem 26 and valve body 28 may be said to be in a first lateral relationship. In the first lateral relationship, blocking member 76 is in position to engage projection 58 to prevent axial movement of valve stem 26 from the off to on" position. Blocking member 76 and separation member 94 are preferably integrally molded with valve body 28.

Actuator button 24 provides a grip means facilitating relative lateral displacement of valve stem 26 and valve body 28. By relative lateral displacement reference is made to the movement of lateral surface 54 of valve stem 26 relative to inner surface 56 of valve body 28. A simple manual twisting of actuator button 24 and attached valve stem 26 will effect a relative lateral movement of surfaces 54 and 56. Referring again to FIG. 5, such relative lateral displacement would move projection 58 over separation member 94 from position A* to position E, thus placing valve stem 26 and valve body 28 in a second lateral relationship in which manual axial displacement of valve stem 26 from the offto the on position is possible, allowing discharge of product.

Axial depression of actuator button 24 will move valve stem 26 axially such that projection 58 moves through second groove 72 intothird groove 74, moving successively from positions E to F to G to H to I to -J. In the embodiment illustrated by FIG. 5, projection 58 will contact ramp surface 84 and then ramp surface 85, which will allow projection 58 to move laterally around blocking member 76 and from there tothe full on position represented by position J. It will be noted in FIG. 5 that in position I the center of projection 58 is to the left of point 86, which is the end of ramp surface 84, such that projections 58 will be deflected or guided to the third groove 74 upon the release of actuator button 24.

Upon release of actuator button 24, coil spring 48 will urge valve stem 26 in a return axial direction causing projection 58 to move through third groove 74 back to first groove 70, moving successively from position J through positions I, K, L, and M, back to position A. After such movement is initiated, projection 58 engages first camming surface 88 which, upon continued return axial movement of valve stem 26, directs projection 58 leftwardly, as shown in FIG. 5, until it contacts second camming surface 90 which, upon continued return axial movement of, causes projection 58 to move rightwardly, as shown in FIG. 5, directing it to return to position A. First camming surface 88 and second camming surface 90 are formed in valve body 28 and are generally perpendicular to inner surface 56 and groove bottom 65. Together, the first and second camming surfaces 88 and 90 form a camming means affixed to fixed valve body 28 to direct valve stem 26 and valve body 28 into the first lateral relationship upon return axial movement of movable valve stem 26. The third groove 74 communicates first groove 70 and second groove 72 and the camming arrangement allows the normal return biasing force of spring 48 on valve stem 26 to move the valve stem, without intervention of the user, to the first lateral relationship with valve body 28, in which the device is locked in the off position.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a portion of the inner surface of a valve body showing a slightly modified groove network 92. Groove network 92 has curved surfaces including first camming surface 88 and second camming surface 90. In other respects the embodiment of FIG. 6 is similar to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5. Of area 66 and on area 68 are essentially the same. First groove 70 in FIG. 6 extends from position A of projection 58 axially to blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76. Second groove 72 extends from position B downwardly and to the right, along ramp surface 85 to position C and until projection 58 enters on area 68. Third groove 74 connects the lower end of second groove 72 and extends around blocking member 76 through positions D and E to position F where third groove 74 is in communication with first groove 70. Separation member 94 is between first groove 70 and second groove 72 along upper edge 62 and has surface 82 which provides a means to hinder inadvertent relative lateral displacement of the valve stem and valve body from the first lateral relationship, in which projection 58 is in first groove 70, to the second lateral relationship, in which projection 58 is in second groove 72. The curved camming surfaces of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 improve the operation of the child-safe pressurized package of this invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates a simplified groove network 96 which can be used in place of the networks shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Network 96, rather than forming a loop as in FIGS. 5 and 6, is generally V-shaped. Blocking member 76 is formed in the inner surface of valve body 28 adjacent network 96. First groove extends axially between upper edge 62 of valve body 28 and blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76. Positions A and B of projection 58 are within first groove 70. A twisting action on actuator button 24 will move valve stem 26 and its projection 58 into the second lateral relationship, represented by position C of projection 58. Separation member 94, which is preferably integrally molded with valve body 28, provides a means to hinder inadvertent lateral displacement of valve stem 26. Ramp surface 82 on the separation member 94 provides a means to necessitate a certain amount of force, depending on the ramp angle and length, to rotate the actuator button 24 and the valve stem 26 and thus the projection 58 from first lateral relationship in first groove 70 to second lateral relationship in second groove. The unlocking force is made such that a rotation cannot, or at least cannot easily, be imparted by a child, while an adult can unlock the device with relative ease.

In the second lateral relationship of valve stem and valve body represented by position C, the valve may be actuated by manual depression of actuator button 24, causing projection 58 to move from position C to position D, thus opening the valve for discharge of product contained within the pressurized package. Second groove 72 includes that portion between positions C and D which is in off" area 66 of network 96. Third groove 74 extends from second groove 72 through positions D and E and to the right, as shown in FIG. 7, along camming surface 88. to join with first groove 70. Return axial movement of valve stem 26, upon release of actuator button 24, causes projection 58 to move upwardly, as shown in FIG. 7, to contact camming surface 88 which, upon continued return axial movement of valve stem 26, directs projection 58 back to first groove 70, thereby placing valve stem 26 and valve body in the first lateral relationship. This action automatically locks the pressurized package.

FIG. 8 illustrates another embodiment of the invention. Complex groove network 98 may be used on the inside surface of valve body 28 in a pressurized package which is like that shown in FIGS. l-4 in all other respects. FIG. 8 represents only a small arcuate portion of the upper edge adjacent portion of a valve body 28. Groove network 98 extends entirely around the annular inside surface of valve body 28 near upper edge 62 thereof. Groove network 98 has a plurality of first grooves 70, second grooves 72, and third grooves 74, and on successive operations of the valve, valve stem 26 rotates within valve body 28 such that projection 58 moves from left to right, as shown in FIG. 8.

First groove 70 extends from upper edge 62 to blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76, that is, between positions A and B, representing the first lateral relationship of valve stem and valve body. A twisting action on the actuator button will rotate the valve stem such that projection 58 moves from position A to position C, around separation member 94. In position C, the valve stem and valve body are in the second lateral relationship. Thereafter, depression of actuator button 24 axially moves valve stem 26 such that projection 58 moves successively from position C to D, E, and F, the full on position. In its downward movement projection 58 contacts ramp surface 100 which directs the peripheral portion of valve stem 26 laterally such that in position F, the center of projection 58 is offset to the right of point 86. Then, on return axial movement, projection 58 moves rightwardly when it contacts point 86 and camming surface 88, moving through positions F, G, and H to position I, which is equivalent to position A. Position I is in another first groove similar to the first groove having position A. At position I, valve stem 26 is in the first lateral relationship with valve body 28 and axial displacement would be impeded by surface 102 which is part of a blocking member 76. From position I, a twist of the actuator button will move the valve stem such that projection 58 moves to position H, which is equivalent in operation to position B, and so FIG. 9 is a sectional view of a valve for a pressurized package including a preferred embodiment of the invention. This embodiment includes bearing member 104 situated between coil spring 48 and valve stem 26. Coil spring 48 abuts lower surface 106 of bearing member 104. Bearing 104 has an annular bead 108 which bears upon the lower surface 110 of valve stem 26 to minimize the rotational friction therebetween. As illustrated in the sectional view of FIG. 10, the lower portion of valve body 28 in FIG. 9 is cut out in a square cross-section and bearing member 104 has a corresponding square cross-section to prevent rotational movement thereof. Coil spring 48 is received in cylindrical well 112 on the underside of bearing 104, as shown in FIG. 9, which properly secures it to bearing 104. The use of bearing member 104 facilitates the rotational motion caused by the various camming surfaces and ramp surfaces of the groove network within valve body 28. Using bearing member 104, valve stem 26 can turn freely without placing undue twisting strain on coil spring 48 which otherwise might tend to rotate the stem 26 back to its original position. Bearing member 104 is particularly useful when a groove network such as that shown in FIG. 8 is used in this invention, since a twisting action continues in the same direction in such embodiment.

The general concept used in the embodiments described in detail thus far can be used in other ways. For example, in valves of the type shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 9, a projection may extend radially inwardly from inner surface 56 of valve body 28 to mate with a groove network formed on lateral surface 54 of valve stem 26. Of the two primary members, that is, the valve stem and the valve body, the valve stem would remain the movable member and the valve body the fixed member, in relation to container body 22. In such an embodiment, the projection from the valve body would direct the lateral displacement (rotation) of the valve stem as the various camming surfaces and ramp surfaces on the valve stem come in contact therewith.

Other embodiments of this invention, in which pressurized packages include actuator-overcaps, are illustrated by FIGS. 11-18. The principles of operation remain generallyunchanged. Each pressurized package in which this invention is used has two relatively movable adjacent members associated with a discharge valve, one fixed and the other movable between on and off positions along an axis adjacent to the fixed member, and means such as spring means to axially bias the movable member to the off position. In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. l-lO, the movable member was valve stem 26 and the fixed member valve body 28. No actuator-overcap is used in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-10. However, an actuatorovercap can be used with the embodiments of FIGS. 1-10, provided a grip means facilitating the aforementioned relative lateral displacement is available to the user. For example, an actuator-overcap may be used in the embodiments of FIGS. 1-10 provided the actuator button may be gripped and twisted or provided there is some other means to impart the relative lateral displacement required in valve stem 26 to move it to an unlocked position.

Referring specifically now to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 11-18, it may be seen that the two relatively movable adjacent members required in the invention are included in the actuator-overcap 114. For example, in FIG. 11 actuator-overcap 114 includes overcap actuator button 116 and adjacent overcap structure 118. Actuator button 116 is movable with respect to adjacent overcap structure 118 and container body 22, and is attached to valve stem 26, the axial de pression of which causes product to flow from container body 22, through stem 26 and through passageway 120 and discharge orifice 122 defined within actuator button 116. Release of manual downward pressure on actuator button 116 allows biasing means, such as a spring (not shown) within the valve, to return button 116 to its full upward position closing the valve from further discharge of product.

Actuator button 116 has a generally cylindrical lat- I eral surface 54 and adjacent overcap structure 118 has a generally cylindrical inner surface 56 facing laterall surface 54, both of said surfaces being substantially parallel to the vertical axis of stem 26 and button 116. Extending from inner surface 56 of adjacent overcap structure 118 are projections 58, which are on opposite portions of overcap structure 118. Projections 58 extend into grove networks 124 in lateral surface 54 of actuator button 116. Groove network 124 is duplicated on opposite sides of actuator button 116, each duplicate network receiving one of the projections 58.

FIG. 12 is a partial sectional view of actuator button 116 showing groove network 124 and discharge passageway 120. As in the groove networks of embodiments earlier described, network 125 has an of area 66 and an on area 68 axially adjacent thereto. The movements of actuator button 116 are best described by describing the sequential positions of projection 58, which are indicated in phantom lines. Positions A and B indicate the extent of first groove 70. In such positions downward movement of actuator button 116 causes blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76 to contact projection 58, making further axial movement of button 116 impossible. However, if button 116 is twisted with sufficient strength, separation member 94 will snap past projection 58 such that projection 58 is in position C, with respect to groove network 124. Thereafter, axial depression of button 116 will cause ramp surface 84 and thereafter ramp surface 85 to bear on projection 58 directing button 116 laterally around blocking member 76, the relative position of projection 58 shifting through positions D and E to position F, which is in on area 68 of network 124.

Release of actuator button 116 will allow return axial movement thereof until camming surface 88 contacts projection 58, and will continue thereafter as camming surface 90 contacts projection 58 directing actuator button 116 to move laterally such that the relative position of projection 58 moves successively from position F through positions G and H to return to position A. Further return axial movement of button 116 will be restrained either by internal restraints on valve stem 26, or as stop surface 125 contacts projection 58. At position A, actuator button 116 and the adjacent overcap structure are in the first lateral relationship wherein the device is in child-safe condition.

FIG. 13 illustrates a portion of an alternate embodim'ent of the device of FIG. 11, having a simplified groove network 126. In this embodiment, groove network 126 is provided on the lateral surface 54 of actuator button 116, just as in FIG. 11. Groove network 126 has first groove 70 illustrated by position A in FIG. 13 and extending axially to blocking surface 78 of blocking member 76, which constitutes a portion of later surface 54. A twisting action of the actuator button causes separation member 94 to snap under projection 58, thereby locating projection 58 in position B, in second groove 72, and placing button116 and the adjacent overcap sturcture in the aforementioned second lateral relationship. As is apparent from FIG. 13, button 116 may then be depressed sufficiently to locate projection 58 in "on area 68 of groove network 124. Return axial movement of button 116 will cause camming surface 88 to contact projection 58 as shown by position C thereby urging button 1 16 laterally to return projection 58 to position A, the locked position.

InFIGS. 11-13, the actuator button, which is relatively movable adjacent the surrounding overcap structure, has a blocking member and camming means, while the fixed surrounding structure 118 has a projection to interact therewith upon relative axial movement. In FIGS. 14-17, projection 58 extends radially outwardly from an actuator button 116, an opposing sides thereof, while the fixed adjacent overcap structure includes a blocking member and cammingmeans with which projection 58 may interact. Groove network 128, shown in FIG. 15, provides blocking member 76 and first and second camming surfaces 88 and 90 on adjacent overcap structure 118. Groove network 128 includes first groove 70, second groove 72, which joins first groove 70 and extends in generally axial direction to the border of off area 66, and third groove 74, which extends from position C to and through second groove 72 to join first groove 70.

The operation of the embodiment of FIGS. 14, 15, and 16 is aided by additional biasing means 130, a coil spring extending between the bottom 132 of button 116 and an annular member 134- which is secured to overcap structure 1 18. Annular member 1 34 defines an opening 136 through which a lower extension 138 of button 116 extendssAn actuator member v140 is secured .to valve stem 26 and is in- .axial alignment with lower extension 138 of actuatorbutton 116, but is not attached thereto. As shown in FIG. 14, actuator 140 has a radially extending passageway 142 which is directed through an opening 144 in overcap structure 118. As shown in FIGS. 14 and 16, actuator button 116, which is generally cylindrical in shape, has a groove 146 defined therein to receive the finger of an operator to facilitate a small rotational movement for the purpose of obtaining lateral displacement of projections 58 to avoid blocking members 76 and thereby allow axial depression of the button to actuate the valve.

In FIG. 15, projection 58 of the device of FIG. 14 is shown in phantom lines, representing various positions of button 116 during operation. Position A represents unattended locked position, which has been referred to herein as the first lateral relationship of the movable and fixed members. Axial depression of button 116, while projection 58 is in position A, will cause projection 58 to contact locking surface 78 of locking member 76, thereby preventing relative axial displacement of movable actuator button 116 sufficiently to allow projection 58 to move from off area 66 to on area 68. A slight rotation of button 1 16, by means of a finger in groove 146, will move projection 58 to position B and further axial depression of button 116 will move projection 58 to position C.

Valve 23 (not shown), in FIG. 14, is actuated when the axial depression of button 116 causes lower extension 138 to contact actuator member 140 and thereby depress valve stem 26. Release of actuator button 116 permits the return biasing means of valve 23'to cause stem 26 and actuator member 140 to undergo a return axial motion, thereby closing valve 23. Coil spring 130 aids return axial motion of button 116 removing lower extension 138 from contact with spray member 140. Spring 130 provides a very positive interaction of projection 58 and groove network 128 and also insures that valve stem 26 will return to its full off position. During return axial motion of button 116, projection 58 contacts camming surface 88 and thereafter camming surface 90 to move projection 58 around blocking member 76 and return button 116 to position A.

FIG. 17 illustrates another embodiment of a groove network for use in a device of the type shown in FIG. 14. One differnce between the embodiment of FIG. 15 and that of FIG. 17 is that FIG. 17 has only a single camming surface 90, while FIG. 15 has a plurality of camming surfaces. Another difference is tht the position of the projection 58 in on position C is laterally displaced from its position in off position A in FIG. 17, unlike FIG. 15. Operation of the embodiment of FIG. 17 is essentially the same as operation of the embodiment of FIG. 15.

FIGS. 18 and 19 represent two'additional embodiments of the invention. As in FIGS. ll-13, the embodiments of FIGS. 18 and 19 have actuator-overcap structures and have a movable actuator button 116 having groove networks therein to receive projections from the adjacent fixed overcap structure 118. Unlike all embodiments of the invention which have been previously described, which have provided relative lateral :displacement of the movable and fixed principal memcross-section and have freedom of movement, as directed by their groove networks, along a straight line which intersects the axis of valve stem 26 of each package.

FIGS. 18 and 19 illustrate the of or locked position. Displacement of button 116 in the direction indicated by the arrows in each figure will place buttons 116 in position to undergo axial depression, thereby allowing discharge of product contained within the container body 22, in each case. Upon release of actuator buttons 1 16, camming surfaces 188 contact projections 58 to direct buttons 1 16 to move, upon return axial motion of button 116, in the direction opposed to the arrows in FIGS. 18 and 19, to return buttons 116 to the locked position indicated in the figures.

Materials which may be used in constructing the various embodiments of this invention would be apparent to those skilled in the art to whom this invention has been disclosed. The valves and overcaps used in this invention are preferably of plastic. However, a wide variety of other materials are acceptable.

While in the foregoing specification this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments, and many details have been set forth for purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the principles of the invention.

1 claim:

1. A pressurized package including two relatively movable adjacent members associated with a discharge valve, one fixed and the other movable between on" and of positions along an axis adjacent said fixed member, and means to axially bias the movable member to the of position, and further comprising:

a projection affixed to and extending from a first of said two members toward said other member;

a blocking member affixed to said other member in position to engage said projection to prevent axial movement of said movable member from off to on" position when said two members are in a first lateral relationship;

grip means facilitating relative lateral displacement of said two members to a second lateral relationship placing said projection in a path allowing manual axial displacement of said movable member from said off to on position; and

camming means affixed to said other member in position to engage said projection, upon return axial movement of said movable member from on" to off" position by operation of said biasing means, to direct said two members into said first lateral relationship.

2. The package of claim 1 wherein said movable member is said first member and said fixed member is said other member.

3. The package of claim 2 wherein said fixed member is a valve body, said body defining a valve cavity, said blocking member and camming means being attached to the inside surface of said body, said movable member being a valve stem within said cavity.

4. The package of claim 3 wherein said biasing means is a coil spring within said cavity extending in a axial direction between said body and said valve-stem, said package further including a bearing member between said stern and said spring to prevent twisting of the spring, said bearing member being non-rotatable relative to said valve body.

5. The package of claim 1 wherein said movable member is an actuator button and said fixed member is a surrounding overcap structure.

6. The package of claim 5 wherein said button has said projection extending therefrom and said surrounding overcapp structure has said blocking member and camming means attached thereto.

7. The package of claim 5 wherein said projection extends from said surrounding structure and said button has a blocking member and camming means.

8. The package of claim 1 wherein said movable member is rotatable with respect to said fixed member, around a line substantially parallel said axis, to provide said lateral displacement.

9. The package of claim 1 wherein said movable member is translationally movable with respect to said fixed member, to provide said lateral displacement.

10. The package of claim 5 wherein said movable member is rotatable with respect to said fixed member, around a line substantially parallel said axis, to provide said lateral displacement.

11. The package of claim 5 wherein said movable member is translationally movable with respect to said fixed member, to provide said lateral displacement.

12. The package of claim 1 wherein said two members having facing surfaces substantially parallel said axis, the surface of said other member defining a network of grooves, said projection extending from the surface of said first member into said groove network, said network having an off area which contains said projection when said movable member-is in said off" position and axially adjacent on area which contains said projection when said movable member is in said on" position and including at least one first groove and at least one second groove in said of area and at least one third groove having a portion in said on area and communicating with adjacent first and second grooves, said projection extending into a first groove when said two members are in said first lateral relationship, each of said first grooves extending axially to a blocking member attached to said other member in position to prevent axial movement of said movable member, said projection extending into a second groove when said two members are in said second lateral relationship, relative axial movement of said projection being unobstructed in each of said second grooves, each of said third grooves being defined in part by said camming means, said camming means being in position to direct said projection, upon said return axial movement, in a relative lateral direction into one of said first grooves.

13. The package of claim 12 further having a means to hinder inadvertent lateral displacement and to necessitate a certain amount of force which is beyond a normal childs capacity but within a normal adults ability to exert the said lateral displacement of said two members from said first to said second lateral relationship.

14. The package of claim 13 wherein said movable member is said first member and said fixed member is said other member.

15. The package of claim 14 wherein said fixed member is a valve body, said body defining a valve cavity, said blocking member and camming means being attached to the inside surface of said body, said movable member being a valve stem within said cavity.

16. The package of claim 15 wherein said biasing means is a coil spring within said cavity extending in axial direction between said body and said valve stem, said package further including a bearing member between said stem and said spring to prevent twisting of the spring, said bearing member being non-rotatable relative to said valve body.

17. The package of claim 13 wherein said movable member is an actuator button and said fixed member is surrounding overcap structure.

18. The package of claim 17 wherein said button has said projection extending therefrom and said surrounding overcap structure has said blocking member and, camming means attached thereto.

19. The package of claim 17 wherein said projection extends from said surrounding structure and said button has a blocking member and camming means.

20. The package of claim 17 wherein said movable' member is rotatable with respect to said fixed member, around a line substantially parallel said axis, to provide said lateral displacement.

21. The package of claim 17 wherein said movable member is translationally movable with respect to said fixed member, to provide said lateral displacement.

22. The package of claim 1 wherein said two members having facing surfaces substantially parallel said axis, the surface of said other member defining a network of grooves, said projection extending from the surface of said first member into said groove network, said network having an of area which contains said projection when said movable member is in said off" position and an axially adjacent on" area which contains said projection when said movable member is in said on position, said network including first and second grooves in said off area, said first groove containing said projection when said two members are in said first lateral relationship, said blocking member being fixed in said groove, said second groove containing said projection when said two members are in said second lateral relationship and being unobstructed to relative axial movement of said projection, said network also including a third groove communicating with said first and second grooves and having at least a portion in said on area, said third groove being defined in part by said camming means, said camming means being in position to direct said projection, upon said return axial movement, in a relative lateral direction into said first groove. i

23. The package of claim 22 wherein said movable member is said first member and said fixed member is said other member.

24. The package of claim 23 wherein said fixed member is a valve body, said body defining a valve ,cavity, said blocking member and camming means being attached to the inside surface of said body, said movable member being a valve stem within said cavity.

25. The package of claim 24 wherein said biasing means is a coil spring within said cavity extending in an axial direction between said body and-said valve stem, said package further including a bearing member between said stem and said spring to prevent twisting of the spring, said bearing member being non-rotatable relative to said valve body.

26. The package of claim 22 wherein said movable member is an actuator button and said fixed member is a surrounding overcap structure.

27. The package of claim 26 wherein said button has said projection extending therefrom and said surrounding overcap structure has said blocking member and camming means attached thereto. 7

28. The package of claim 26 wherein said projection extends from said surrounding structure and said button has a blocking member and camming means.

29. The package of claim 26 wherein said movable member is rotatable with respect to said fixed member, around a line substantially parallel said axis, to provide said lateral displacement.

30. The package of claim 26 wherein said movable member is translationally movable with respect to said fixed member, to provide said lateral displacement.

Patent No.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Dated October 28, 1975 Inventor(s) Mei-Kuo LO It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column Column [SEAL] line line line line line line line @CDUIQWUJWW Q *1 delete lines 38 and 39.

12, line 32, after "and" insert an 13, line 26, Waving should read have Signed and Scaled this second Day Of March 19 76 A ttes t:

C. MARSHALL DANN Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks RUTH C. MASON Arresting Officer

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3252626 *Oct 2, 1963May 24, 1966Erich BelkaHand unit for spraying aerosols and similar spray agents
US3591128 *Jun 27, 1969Jul 6, 1971Valois SaValve assembly
US3729120 *May 11, 1971Apr 24, 1973Sterling Drug IncChildproof relockable actuator overcap
US3844448 *Apr 27, 1972Oct 29, 1974Sette JValve actuating safety cap assembly for pressurized dispensers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4570677 *Mar 31, 1983Feb 18, 1986Paratech IncorporatedUnitary multiple control valve assembly
US7044341Mar 27, 2002May 16, 2006L'orealDevice for packaging and dispensing a product, such as a cosmetic product
US7588171Sep 12, 2006Sep 15, 2009Masterchem Industries LlcActuator for an aerosol container
EP1245506A1 *Mar 4, 2002Oct 2, 2002L'orealDevice for storing and dispensing of a cosmetic product
WO1998028207A1 *Dec 23, 1996Jul 2, 1998Hart Gerald LeslieActuator cap for an aerosol dispenser
WO2006064128A1 *Dec 14, 2005Jun 22, 2006Nouvel OeuvreFluid or pasty product dispensing device
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/402.11, 251/100, 401/101, 401/190, 401/65
International ClassificationB65D83/16, B65D83/14
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2215/04, B65D83/205, B65D83/20, B65D83/48, B65D83/206, B65D2215/02
European ClassificationB65D83/20, B65D83/20C, B65D83/20C2, B65D83/48