REFILLABLE ATOMIZING SPRAY CAN is not user refillable, and that it uses propellant gases to spray
the texture material.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION U s pat No 4;948,054 (the '054 patent) issued to the
This invention relates to an inexpensive pneumatically- present Applicant discloses an apparatus for spraying a
operated apparatus that does the work of an aerosol spray 5 texture material onto a wall or ceiling. Positive air pressure
can, but without the use of pressurized propellant gases that is created bY closing an air escaPe opening on the apparatus
would be released into the atmosphere, robustly sprays a with a finger> forcing tne texture material downwards the
broader range of fluid viscosities, and can be refilled with apparatus and towards the exit orifice at the bottom of the
bulk fluid coatings or liquid texture materials. apparatus. However, the apparatus disclosed in the '054
1° patent cannot be held upright in a spray can-like fashion,
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION because the texture material is held in a large container
„. , , , , , , positioned above the exit orifice, requiring the user to "hug"
Disposable aerosol spray cans have become very popular f. ^ .if , if , . ^. if
, , • /, . , , ^ . f the apparatus with both arms during operation, thus not
due to the convenience of being able to spray a wide array „. . if r , if °. .,f r , . ^ ,.
r„ ., . . , r Ti-ii- r i offering the ease of use and the portability found in tradi
ot fluid materials upon a surface. Billions of aerosol cans are 1C , ,
, ., ., „ li tional aerosol spray cans, consumed and discarded each year worldwide. However,
there is a large price we pay ecologically for this conve- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION nience.
„ a-.- r , • , j ... , It is an object of the present invention to provide an
Graffiti, tor example, is commonly done with aerosol . , „„ , , . f , , •
, . . .t i j . „ j • improved refillable atomizing spray apparatus that obviates,
cans, to the extent they are banned or controlled in some 20 r ■ . , r, , ■ .
• • ,. tor practical purposes, a number of the above-mentioned
jurisdictions. ,. . . r r
Aerosol cans release propellant gases into the atmosphere T , , , , , „
,,, , , • , , j j , u , a .„ * j In general terms, a portable sprayer, powered by a small
that are believed to add to the greenhouse effect . And, . b ,'' ,. , ,, J
„ , , , • , , ,, ^t^^; air compressor or HVLP turbine, is disclosed that can spray
non-fluorocarbon propellants, which are better than CFC s r . „ _ • , , ... , . ,
, • „ 1, j • • , ,t a wider variety of fluid materials than traditional pressurized
ecologically, are generally flammable and may injure people 25 „ ,
u u tu tu j- u A ■ 1 A tu A propellant aerosol spray cans,
who breath the discharged gas in a closed area or get burned r r r 3
in a flash fire. Flammable conditions always exist when The sPray aPParatus consists of a hollow body, having a
propane is used as the propellant. Some governmental closed bottom and an open top with sealing means. Other
agencies have limited the types and amounts of propellant features and advantages of the invention will become appar
gases that may be used in disposable aerosol spray cans. 30 ent from the following detailed description, taken in con
Another problem is that current aerosol spray cans are Juncti°n with l,he accompanying drawings that illustrate by
disposable after only one use and are not refillable, creating way of examPle' varlous features and embodiments of the
tons of non-recyclable waste. If aerosol cans were recyclable invention.
or refillable, the waste factor would be reduced. BRffiF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
There are also problems of safe and user friendly discharge of some fluids using aerosol cans. For example, A detailed description of the embodiments of the invenstandard aerosol cans discharge abruptly when used with tlon wlU be made with reference to the accompanying fluids containing particulate matter in suspension, for drawings, wherein like numerals designate corresponding example. The maximum safe inflated pressure of the can is parts in the several figures.
required to discharge heavy viscous fluids. Some fluid 40 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a refillable atomizing spray
materials will not spray out of aerosols at all. apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present
The Venturi spray effect that current disposable aerosol invention,
cans use is limited to liquids with a thin-enough viscosity to FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the refillable atomizing
sustain this effect. However, atomization allows a broader 4J spray apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the
range of viscous fluids and other liquid materials to be present invention.
sprayed. Compressed air is injected just behind a spray FIG. 3 is a top cross-sectional view of the refillable
orifice along with the fluid to achieve the atomization effect. atomizing spray apparatus in accordance with an embodi
Atomization is a preferred method of controlling the char- ment of the present invention.
acteristics of the discharged spray. 5Q FIG. 4 illustrates various nozzle spray caps for the refillFurthermore, some "settling" problems are not easily able atomizing spray apparatus in accordance with an overcome by shaking aerosol cans with marbles or steel embodiment of the present invention, balls enclosed for that purpose. If the user had a way to open
the can, complete mixing could be accomplished and con- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
firmed 55 PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
It would be advantageous if there was an inexpensive As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the
substitution for the disposable aerosol spray can that is user invention is embodied in a refillable atomizing spray appa
refillable, that does not release propellant gases into the ratus. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the
atmosphere, would spray a broader range of fluids, is not refillable atomizing spray apparatus is used to spray a fluid,
useful for graffiti vandals, is user-friendly with heavy vis- 60 like that of an aerosol spray can, without the use of pres
cous fluids, uses the atomization spray effect, and would surized propellant gases and can be refilled with bulk texture
allow the user to fully mix the contained materials. or other fluid coatings. However, it will be recognized that
U.S. Pat. No. 3,062,453 to Stem et al. (the '453 patent) further embodiments of the present invention may be used to discloses a traditional aerosol spray can utilizing an aerosol- spray a broad range of materials, including those with high pressurized texture material to spray the texture onto a wall 65 viscosities and those with particulate matter, or the like. The device described in the '453 patent has the FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a perspective view and a crossdisadvantages of the prior references, particularly in that it sectional view, respectively, of a refillable atomizing spray