Title:
HAND-HELD DISPENSER WITH MIXING VALVE AND PRESSURIZING VALVE
United States Patent 3862705


Abstract:
A hand-held dispenser with multiple valves and multiple containers wherein the discharge passages and propellant pressures are controlled by the valves. An outer container, which is pressurized, encloses another container or bag that is in a practical manner subjected to internal pressures. A single, especially simple, manually operable valve stem is reciprocatively movable in a multi-chambered valve housing, said stem carrying a valve shoulder or cup which simultaneously controls both the mixing and the discharge of the liquids. The stem has a second, lower or inner valve arranged to control the introduction of pressurized gas to the interior of the inner container (which can be either flexible and collapsible, or else rigid). The stem actuates both valves simultaneously, thereby at one and the same time effecting the internal pressurizing of the inner container and also the mixing and discharge of the liquids of the dispenser.



Inventors:
Beres, Steven W. (Bridgeport, CT)
Carrion Jr., Carmelo (Bridgeport, CT)
Application Number:
05/395354
Publication Date:
01/28/1975
Filing Date:
09/07/1973
Assignee:
RCA CORPORATION
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D83/14; (IPC1-7): B65D35/24
Field of Search:
222/94,95,132,136,193
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3653551AEROSOL DISPENSER VALVE1972-04-04Koch
3606963N/A1971-09-21Marand
3592364RETAINING RING INCORPORATING A CUTTING EDGE FOR USE IN AN AEROSOL DISPENSER VALVE ASSEMBLY1971-07-13Thornton
3581946AEROSOL PACKAGE1971-06-01Meshberg



Primary Examiner:
Tollberg, Stanley H.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lehmann, Gibner Lehmann Gibner H. K.
Claims:
I claim

1. A valve construction for aerosol dispensers, comprising in combination:

2. A valve construction as in claim 1, wherein:

3. A valve construction as in claim 1, and further including:

4. A valve construction as in claim 1, wherein:

5. A valve construction for aerosol dispensers, comprising in combination:

6. A valve construction as in claim 5, wherein:

7. A valve construction for aerosol dispensers, comprising in combination:

8. A valve construction as in claim 7, wherein:

9. A valve construction as in claim 2, wherein:

10. A valve construction for aerosol dispensers, comprising in combination:

11. A valve construction as in claim 10, wherein:

12. A valve construction as in claim 11, wherein:

13. A valve construction as in claim 1, wherein:

Description:
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS IN THE FIELD

Copending application of Wolf Steiman and Steven Beres, entitled "Aerosol Valve Construction For Dispensing Two Fluids," Ser. No. 153,170 filed June 15, 1971 and having common ownership with the present application.

PRIOR ART OF INTEREST ______________________________________ (1) U.S. Pat. No. 2,973,883 (7) U.S. Pat. No. 3,499,581 (2) U.S. Pat. No. 3,217,936 (8) U.S. Pat. No. 3,503,539 (3) U.S. Pat. No. 3,241,722 (9) U.S. Pat. No. 3,525,997 (4) U.S. Pat. No. 3,272,389 (10) U.S. Pat. No. 3,543,965 (5) U.S. Pat. No. 3,352,056 (11) U.S. Pat. No. 3,550,813 (6) U.S. Pat. No. 3,326,416 (12) U.S. Pat. No. 3,598,290 ______________________________________

BACKGROUND

This invention relates to small, hand-held pressurized dispensers such as are used for shaving cream and the like. The invention particularly involves a dispenser of the kind indicated, wherein several different liquids are stored and kept separate, these becoming mixed only during the dispensing action by a mixing valve means.

A prior dispenser of shaving lather, which effects a mixing of two separate liquids at the valve means to obtain a heating of the lather, is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,326,416. One liquid suitable for such use is hydrogen peroxide, and the other liquid can contain sodium hypophosphite or an equivalent chemical. The reaction of these substances results in an exothermic, nonexplosive decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide, which thereby supplies heat to lathering ingredients to the end that the discharge comprises a heated, foam-forming mixture of lather. Potassium sulfite may be utilized to react with the hydrogen peroxide, instead of the sodium hypophosphite, as well as other substances.

Different mixing valve arrangements are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,973,883; 3,217,936; 3,241,722; 3,272,389 and 3,325,056. While these prior devices were operative in most circumstances and enjoyed various degrees of success, the valves and dispensers as shown were either complicated and costly, difficult to manufacture, not fully reliable when in extended use, or else lacked convenience of operation. Further, the inner bag or container, which carried one of the liquids to be mixed, could not as a rule ever be completely emptied of its contents as the dispenser was near the end of its use. The valve arrangements had, as a rule, a multiplicity of parts which necessitated considerable tooling, inventories, and assembly labor. Where the movements were complicated, or depended on critical values of resilience there ensued unreliability of operation, malfunctioning, etc. If critical dimensions were involved, there was as well the matter of added cost.

In addition to the foregoing drawbacks, however, many of the prior devices lacked a precise coordination of the flow through the valves even though the valves were mechanically coupled and therefore theoretically properly timed. Or, the prior devices lacked means to prevent malfunctioning of the valves if they were not mechanically coupled. Sometimes the prior dispensers were susceptible to inadvertent operation when merely shaken. In general, the reason for the lack of precise coordination of the flows was due to the valves being of different types, as for example where one was a poppet type and the other a slide or spool type. The opening and flow characteristics of these different types differed considerably, whereby the coordination suffered even though there was a mechanical coupling of the valve actuators. As a result there was at times a wasteful use of the several liquids intended to be mixed. With valves which were not mechanically coupled but depended on spring operation, there was a considerable likelihood of inadvertent operation due to the splashing action of the liquids against the valve parts, in the event the dispenser was shaken or subjected to rough handling.

Besides the above shortcomings, prior co-dispensing valves and containers were characterized by interior bags which had to be collapsible in order that the contents thereof would be subjected to the container pressures, to effect the desired discharge. Flexible or collapsible bags sometimes worked loose from the nipples to which they were secured. Also, it was often found that complete collapsing of the bag could not be effected, resulting in incomplete discharge of the bag contents. In some cases, in addition, the plastic material of the bag as formulated to obtain the necessary flexibility and collapsing characteristic was not wholly compatible with the liquids which were to be dispensed. The requirement that the interior bag or bags be flexible and collapsible thus also represented a disadvantage, since the plastic materials that were used did not have the required resistance to the action of the liquids.

SUMMARY

The above disadvantages and drawbacks of prior, mixing-type dispensers are obviated by the present invention, one object being to provide a novel and improved, multiple-chamber dispenser and semi-automatic mixing valve organization which effects an internal pressurizing of the inner chamber or bag of the dispenser, in a practical and simple manner by which there is eliminated the likelihood of contamination of the multiple liquids. A related object is to provide an improved, multiple-chamber dispenser as above, which enables the inner container or containers to be constituted either of flexible plastic by which they are collapsible, or else constituted of rigid plastic by which they need not be collapsible. The dispenser is unique by the provision of an inner bag or container which is internally pressurized in response to actuation of the same valve which controls the discharge. In accomplishing this object, the invention provides for pressurizing the inner bag by allowing propellant vapor to flow into the same, from the propellant carried in the outer container.

Another related object of this invention is to provide an improved hand-held mixing-type dispenser as above characterized, which is especially simple in its construction and fool-proof in operation, thus achieving an especially low cost together with improved and reliable performance.

The above objects are accomplished by a novel arrangement of valve, valve housing and inner bag structure wherein essentially the discharge, mixing and pressurizing functions are accomplished all by a single, simple valve stem cooperating with seats in the valve housing. The parts are constituted mostly of molded plastic substance, the housing having multiple chambers one of which is a central interior bore or chamber while the two remaining chambers are in the form of annular halves surrounding and concentric with the inner chamber. Short transverse walls isolate the outer chambers from each other, said outer chambers having dip tubes communicating one with an inner container and the other with the space exterior to the inner container but enclosed by the outer container. A channel or passage of the valve housing, which communicates with the inner container, is continually in communication with the housing bore, which latter can become pressurized through a valving action of the stem by which it opens the bore to gas pressure existing in the outer container. The valves are of the slide and poppet type, in an arrangement which makes for relatively few parts and low fabrication cost, together with high performance.

Still other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of a mixing-type dispenser embodying the invention, this view illustrating the structures of the valve housing and stem with the latter in the closed, nondispensing position.

FIG. 2 is a view somewhat like that of FIG. 1 but showing the valve stem in the depressed, discharging and pressurizing position.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the valve stem per se.

FIG. 4 is a top end view of the valve stem.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the valve housing per se, the section of FIG. 1 being taken on the line 1--1 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the valve housing per se.

FIG. 7 is an axial sectional view of the valve housing, taken on the line 7--7 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is an axial sectional view of the valve housing, taken on the line 8--8 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the inner container or bag.

FIG. 10 is a top end or plan view of the inner container or bag.

Referring first to FIG. 1, the dispenser shown therein comprises an outer container or can 10 having a dome-shaped top closure 12 which carries a metal mounting cup 14 for a valve assemblage which is designated generally by the numeral 16. The valve assemblage 16 has an upright, vertically movable valve stem 18 which carries a depress button 20 of usual type, guided in an outer cap 22 that is mounted on the dome-like top closure 12. Depressing the button 20 as illustrated in FIG. 2 shifts the valve stem 18 downward to its discharging and pressurizing position. The mixing products now pass through the hollow upper portion 24 of the stem, and out through a nozzle or orifice 26 of the button 20, as will be later explained in more detail.

The valve assemblage includes a molded plastic valve housing 28 which has an annular outer wall 30 terminating at a thickened upper rim 32 that is gripped by a crimped, central portion 34 of the valve mounting cup 14. The rim 32 is clamped against a resilient annular valve seat 36 having the shape of a flat washer which underlies the central top wall 38 of the mounting cup. Both the valve seat 36 and the top wall 38 have aligned central apertures through which the hollow upper portion 24 of the valve stem 18 passes. A bore 40 of the valve stem communicates with side openings 42 which are normally sealed by the valve seat 36, the latter being engaged by a poppet or shoulder 44 on the stem and the above arrangement constituting a discharge valve in conjunction with a resilient, plastic valve element or cup 46 which also engages the undersurface of the seat 36 and constitutes a second, resilient poppet. A locating shoulder 48 on the stem positions the element or cup 46, these parts being rigidly affixed to each other.

By moving the stem 18, the valve cup 46 slides in a central bore 50 of the housing 28 formed by a cylindrical wall 52 which is concentric within and spaced from the outer housing wall 30. A pair of short transverse walls or partitions 54, 56 join the walls 52, 30 and form therewith two semi-circular or curved chambers 58, 60. At its top edge the inner cylindrical wall 52 has a plurality of cuts or notches 62, 64 and 66 which break the seal otherwise established between the top edge of the wall 52 and the valve seat 36.

The notches 64, 66 are hereinafter also referred to as valving apertures in the wall 52, and the notch 62 is referred to as a cut or valving opening in the wall 52. It will be understood that seals exist between the tops of the transverse walls or partitions 54, 56 and the valve seat 36, and that the latter seals against the top rim portion 32 of the outer housing wall 30.

In accordance with the present invention the valve housing 28 has a plurality of depending nipples 70, 72 and 74. The nipple 70 has a passage 76 by which it communicates with the inner bore 50 of the housing, by means of a small continuation of the passage 76 disposed in the bottom housing wall 78, which latter carries the above three nipples. The nipple 72 communicates with the chamber 58 through an opening 80 provided in the bottom housing wall 78, and the nipple 74 communicates with the chamber 60 through an opening 82 provided in the wall 78. The chamber 60 and its walls constitute a means on the housing, providing a passage from the dip tube 74 to the apertures 64, 66; also, the chamber 58 and its walls constitute a means on the housing, providing a passage from the dip tube structure 92 to the valving opening or cut 62. The nipple 74 carries dip tube 104 which occupies a part of the interior space in the can or container 10, extending to the bottom of the container.

As provided by the invention, the nipples 70, 72 mount a two-headed bag or inner container 86 which is disposed within the can 10 and which has neck portions 88 and 90 respectively receiving the nipples 70, 72 with a tight fit. Additionally, the nipple 72 mounts within it a dip tube structure 92 which extends to the bottom of the bag 86.

The valve stem 18 has a valving means in the form of a solid lower portion 94 the tip 96 of which is of reduced diameter and is provided with a helical slot 98 constituting a gas passage. Normally, with the stem 18 in the raised, non-discharging position of FIG. 1 the lowermost solid stem portion 96 will occupy a hole 101 formed by a laterally offset, circular valve seat portion 100 of the housing bottom wall 78, such seat portion comprising a bottom passage from the underside of the valve housing into the central bore 50 thereof.

When the valve stem 18 is depressed as indicated in FIG. 2, the helical slot 98 will provide a bypass passage through the hole 101 defined by the seat portion 100, enabling gas under pressure to enter the central chamber 50 of the valve housing and to pass through the passage 76 thereof and through the nipple 70 into the upper portion of the bag 86. This will result in pressurizing the interior of the bag, and will tend to force the liquid contents thereof out of the bag through the dip tube 92 and the nipple 72, into the semi-circular compartment 58. For the depressed position of the valve stem 18 shown in FIG. 2 the cup valve element 46 will have uncovered the valving opening 62 whereby such liquid from the bag 18, forced into the chamber 58 can be discharged through said opening and out through the passages 42 and bore 40 of the stem. Also, the cup or valve element 46 has uncovered the valving apertures 64, 66 which establish communication between the chambers 50 and 60, and liquid from the outer container or can 10 will pass upward through a dip tube 104 carried by the nipple 74, into the semi-circular chamber 60 and thence out through the apertures 64, 66 and valve passages 42, 40. Such liquid from the container will thereby mix with the liquid which is being discharged from the bag 86, and the mixture will emerge from the spout 26 of the depressed button 20.

In the case of reactive liquids, such as the hydrogen peroxide in the bag 86 and the sodium hypophosphite in the can 10, the mixing results in an exothermic decomposition of the peroxide whereby heat is formed. Thus the discharged mixture will be quite hot and suitable for use as a shaving lather.

It will now be seen from the foregoing that we have provided a novel and improved mixing-type dispenser wherein the inner container or bag need not be flexible and collapsible but instead can be formed of rigid plastic substance having stable characteristics by which chemical reaction with the dispensing liquids is minimized. The single valve controlling the discharging and the mixing also effects the entire pressurizing of the inner container or bag whereby the latter can have a rigid structure if desired, while still being capable of complete emptying.

The valve and valve housing are seen to be especially simple and uncomplicated, the various parts being capable of being readily molded of plastic substance whereby the entire assemblage can be produced at low cost. The single valve stem, actuating both the upper and lower valves, represents a practical arrangement which permits propellant vapor to be introduced into the inner bag with the least likelihood of contamination of either of the two liquids. The invention provides a practical means for pressurizing the inner bag by the propellant vapor which surrounds the upper portion thereof, to the end that the internal pressurizing will enable virtually all of the liquid contents of the inner bag to be used up.

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