Title:
Spray Devices
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hand held spray device is disclosed. The spray device includes a body with a reservoir, an actuator having a discharge orifice, a composition stored within the reservoir that is sprayable from the discharge orifice, a means for pressurizing the composition, and a valve assembly attached to the body in fluid communication with the reservoir. The valve assembly includes a housing, a valve stem slidably disposed within the housing and having a valve bore that is in fluid communication with the discharge orifice, a valve that seals the valve bore, and a spring biasing the valve stem and surrounding a lower portion of the valve stem. The valve stem includes a plurality of channels, each channel having an entrance adjacent a proximal end of the valve stem and an exit spaced downstream from the distal end of the spring.



Inventors:
Smith, Scott Edward (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Franckhauser, Andrew William (Batavia, OH, US)
Application Number:
14/074516
Publication Date:
05/15/2014
Filing Date:
11/07/2013
Assignee:
The Procter & Gamble Company (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D83/48
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CARROLL, JEREMY W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hand held spray device, comprising: a body comprising a reservoir; an actuator comprising a discharge orifice; a composition stored within the reservoir that is sprayable from the discharge orifice; a liquid propellant stored within the reservoir; a valve assembly attached to the body in fluid communication with the reservoir, the valve assembly comprising a housing, a valve stem slidably disposed within the housing and having a valve bore that is in fluid communication with the discharge orifice, a valve for sealing the valve bore, and a spring biasing the valve stem and surrounding a lower portion thereof; and wherein the valve stem comprises a plurality of channels, each channel having an entrance and an exit and wherein each channel is configured to direct the composition from an interior volume defined by the spring and the lower portion of the valve stem to an outer surface of the valve stem that is disposed downstream of the spring.

2. The hand held spray device according to claim 2, wherein the valve stem comprises from 2 to about 8 channels.

3. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the valve stem in combination with an interior surface of the housing define an annulus thru which the composition passes at least in part to reach the valve.

4. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein the valve assembly further comprises an elastomeric seal having an inner wall that forms a first mating surface of the valve.

5. The hand held spray device according to claim 4, wherein the valve stem further comprises an axial bore in fluid communication with the valve bore and the discharge orifice.

6. The hand held spray device according to claim 5, wherein the valve stem further comprises a groove having a wall into which the valve bore opens, wherein the wall of the groove forms a second mating surface of the valve such that the inner wall of the elastomeric seal and the wall of the groove cooperate to seal the valve bore when the actuator is not depressed.

7. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein the liquid propellant has a concentration from about 30% to about 65% by weight of the total fill of materials.

8. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein the composition has a particulate concentration from about 30% to about 60% by weight of the composition.

9. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein the spray device has a composition mass flow rate less than 0.3 g/sec.

10. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein the composition is an antiperspirant composition comprising particulates of an antiperspirant active.

11. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, further comprising a dip tube connected to the valve assembly and extending into the reservoir.

12. The hand held spray device according to claim 11, wherein the valve assembly further comprises a cup-shaped insert disposed within the housing between the dip tube and the valve stem, the cup-shaped insert comprising a plurality of passages in gaseous communication with the reservoir for directing at least some gaseous propellant stored in the reservoir into mixing contact with a flow of the composition exiting the dip tube.

13. The hand held spray device according to claim 12, wherein the cup-shaped insert further comprises an insert bore disposed in a bottom wall of the cup-shaped insert, wherein the insert bore is in fluid communication with the plurality of channels and the wherein the insert bore receives a combination of the gaseous propellant from the passages and the composition from the dip tube.

14. The hand held spray device according to claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of channels is defined by a pair of walls.

15. The hand held spray device according to claim 14, wherein each of the walls extends from the valve stem and comprises a notch for receiving a distal end of the spring.

16. The hand held spray device according to claim 15, wherein the distal end of the spring bottoms on a surface of the notch and wherein the spring has at least one free portion extending between the pair of walls.

17. The hand held spray device according to claim 15, wherein the spring comprises a plurality of coils.

18. The hand held spray device according to claim 17, wherein the exit of each channel is disposed downstream of the notch and a last coil of the spring disposed within the notch so that at least a portion of the composition may exit from the interior volume without passing between a pair of adjacent coils of the spring.

19. A hand held spray device, comprising: a body comprising a reservoir; an actuator comprising a discharge orifice; a composition stored within the reservoir that is sprayable from the discharge orifice; a means for pressurizing the composition; a valve assembly attached to the body in fluid communication with the reservoir, the valve assembly comprising a housing, a valve stem slidably disposed within the housing and having an valve bore that is in fluid communication with the discharge orifice, a valve for sealing the valve bore, and a spring biasing the valve stem and surrounding a lower portion thereof, the spring having a proximal end furthest from the valve and a distal end closest to the valve; and wherein the valve stem comprises a plurality of channels, at least a portion of each of the plurality of channels being surrounded by at least a portion of the spring and wherein at least a portion of each of the plurality of channels extends downstream of the distal end of the spring.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

One aspect of the invention relates generally to hand holdable spray devices. Another aspect of the invention relates generally to hand holdable spray devices containing a composition and a propellant.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There are a number of situations where it may be desirable to spray a composition comprising one or more particulates. Some non-limiting examples include paints, surface cleaners, polishes and personal care compositions (e.g., an antiperspirant composition). In some instances, it may be desirable to utilize one or more of a propellant at a low concentration to pressurize the composition, a low composition flow rate, and/or a high particulate concentration in the composition to be sprayed. In these and other instances, it may be quite desirable to reduce or minimize the potential for clogging within the spray device, and more particularly within a valve assembly of the spray device.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,082,652 and 4,396,152 illustrate some examples of spray devices. While these designs might work well for their intended purpose, there is a continuing desire to improve the flow path design within valve assemblies of spray devices to minimize the potential for clogging. Further, there is a continuing desire to improve the flow path design within a valve assembly in a manner that is simple to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, a hand held spray device is disclosed. The spray device includes a body with a reservoir, an actuator having a discharge orifice, a composition stored within the reservoir that is sprayable from the discharge orifice, a means for pressurizing the composition, and a valve assembly attached to the body in fluid communication with the reservoir. The valve assembly includes a housing, a valve stem slidably disposed within the housing and having a valve bore that is in fluid communication with the discharge orifice, a valve that seals the valve bore, and a spring biasing the valve stem and surrounding a lower portion of the valve stem. The valve stem includes a plurality of channels, each channel having an entrance adjacent a proximal end of the valve stem and an exit spaced downstream from the distal end of the spring.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

While the specification concludes with claims, it is believed that the same will be better understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like numbers illustrate like elements throughout the views and in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional side view of one example of a spray device;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the valve assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the valve assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the valve assembly of FIG. 3, taken along line 4-4 thereof;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the valve stem shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the valve stem shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of the valve stem shown in FIG. 6, taken along line 7-7 thereof;

FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the valve stem shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the seal shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the valve stem, spring and housing of FIG. 4, taken along line 10-10 thereof

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the valve stem and a portion of the spring shown in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the valve stem and housing of FIG. 4, taken along line 12-12 thereof;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional side elevational view of another embodiment of the valve assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 14 is a bottom plan view of the cup-shaped insert shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a bottom plan view of an alternate embodiment of the cup-shaped insert shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional side view of an another embodiment of a valve stem comprising two valve bores arranged at an angle; and

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional plan view of yet another embodiment of a valve stem, the valve stem comprising a plurality of scallops and wherein the view is taken at the same location as line 12-12 of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A spray device, container, composition, propellant, etc. may comprise, consist essentially of, or consist of, various combinations of the materials, features, structures, and/or characteristics described herein.

Reference within the specification to “embodiment(s)” or the like means that a particular material, feature, structure and/or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment, but it does not mean that all embodiments incorporate the material, feature, structure, and/or characteristic described. Furthermore, materials, features, structures and/or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner across different embodiments, and materials, features, structures and/or characteristics may be omitted or substituted from what is described.

The term “antiperspirant composition” refers to any composition containing an antiperspirant active and which is intended to be sprayed onto skin, exclusive of the propellant. An antiperspirant composition may be provided in the form of a liquid dispersion (including suspensions, colloids, or solutions).

The term “bulking or suspending material” refers to a material which is intended to reduce settling of a particulate from a liquid and/or reduce the severity of particulate caking post settling. Some non-limiting examples of common bulking or suspending agents include, but are not limited to, colloidal silicas and clays.

The term “clogging” refers to either a blocked passage, orifice, hole or other opening resulting in little or no mass flow out of a container when the actuator is activated or a valve stuck at least partially open from accumulated composition, resulting in semi-continuous or continuous leakage of the composition and/or a propellant from a spray device.

The term “composition” refers to any composition intended to be sprayed from a spray device, exclusive of propellant.

The term “container” and derivatives thereof refers to the package that is intended to store and dispense a composition in a spray type form. A container may typically comprise at least one reservoir for storing the composition, a valve for controlling flow of the composition, and an actuator by which a user can actuate the valve. A container may or may not be configured to store a propellant.

The term “controlling orifice” refers to the orifice(s), hole(s) or other opening(s) which principally control or meter the mass flow of the composition thru container. In some instances, the controlling orifice may comprise a plurality of orifices, holes or openings which are arranged in a generally parallel fashion with respect to the mass flow of the composition and which in combination principally control or meter the mass flow thru the container. The controlling orifice is typically the smallest opening(s) thru which the composition flows. The controlling orifice may sometimes be the valve opening.

The term “particulate”, as used herein, refers to a material that is solid or hollow or porous and which is substantially or completely insoluble in the liquid materials of a composition.

The term “propellant” refers to a gas that is compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure for the purpose of pressurizing the composition to facilitate egress of the composition from container. A propellant may or may not be used to atomize the composition upon exiting the container.

The term “spray device” refers to the combination of a container and a composition that is intended to be sprayed from the spray device. A spray device may or may not contain a propellant.

The term “substantially free” refers to an amount of a material that is less than 1%, 0.5%, 0.25%, 0.1%, 0.05%, 0.01%, or 0.001% by weight of a composition.

The term “total fill” refers to the total amount of materials added to or stored within a reservoir(s) of a container. For example, total fill includes the propellant and composition stored within a spray device after completion of filling and prior to first use.

Various spray devices, containers, and compositions will now be described. The spray devices and containers incorporate a novel valve stem and spring arrangement within a valve assembly that may reduce or minimize clogging within the valve assembly.

I. SPRAY DEVICES

Referring to FIG. 1, one non-limiting example of a spray device is shown. The spray device 100 comprises a container 102, a liquid propellant 104, and a composition 106 that is sprayable from the spray device. It will be appreciated that the propellant 104 and composition 106 are merely shown for purposes of illustration in FIG. 1, and FIG. 1 is not intended to limit in any way the arrangement of the propellant and composition within the container 102. For example, in some instances the propellant and the composition are miscible such that distinct layers may not be visible. The spray device 100 may be shaped and configured so that it is hand-holdable. The container 102 comprises a body 108, an actuator 110 having a discharge orifice 112, and a valve assembly 114 in fluid communication with a reservoir 118 storing the composition 106 and/or liquid propellant 104. Optionally, a dip tube 119 may extend into the reservoir 118. A gaseous propellant 120 may fill the headspace of the reservoir 118.

While reservoir 118 may be defined by one or more interior surfaces of the body 108, it will be appreciated that other reservoir arrangements may be provided. For example, the reservoir may be provided as a separate structure apart from the body 108. In one embodiment, the reservoir may be provided in the form of a collapsible bag that is disposed within the body 108 as a reservoir for storing the composition, sometimes referred to as a “bag on valve” arrangement. In this arrangement, the reservoir (bag) may store the composition 106 but no propellant. The collapsible bag (and hence the composition) may be pressurized by a propellant stored under pressure exterior to the bag (e.g., in the space between bag the interior surface of the body 108) so as to exert pressure on the bag. In another arrangement, the elasticity of the bag may be sufficient to pressurize the composition without using a propellant. Bag on valve arrangements may or may not include a dip tube. While one reservoir is shown in the FIG. 1, a plurality of reservoirs may also be provided. The body 108, actuator 110 and valve assembly 114 may be provided in a wide variety of configurations, shapes, and sizes.

Valve Assemblies

The valve assemblies described hereafter are suitable for use in variety of spray devices, including spray devices where a mixture of a liquid propellant and a composition flow thru the valve assembly; or a mixture of a liquid propellant, a gaseous propellant and a composition flow thru the valve assembly; or a composition only flows thru the valve assembly; or a mixture of a composition and a gaseous propellant flow thru the valve assembly. For example, in embodiments where a liquid propellant is combined with a composition in a single reservoir, such as shown in FIG. 1, a mixture of the composition and liquid propellant typically flows up the dip tube, thru the valve assembly, and out of the discharge orifice of the actuator. The liquid propellant vaporizes upon exiting the actuator, resulting in atomization of the composition. In contrast, in a bag on valve type embodiment, the composition (but typically no propellant) flows thru the valve assembly and out of the discharge orifice of the actuator.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, one non-limiting example of a valve assembly 114 which may be attached to the body 108 is shown. The valve assembly 114 comprises a slidably disposed valve stem 124 to which the actuator 110 attaches, a mounting flange 128 for attaching the valve assembly 114 to the body 108 (such as by crimping), and a housing 130 attached to the mounting flange 128. The housing 130 may be attached by a variety of means to the mounting flange, as known in the art, including by a press fit, positive latching, welding, etc. The housing 130 contains a spring 132 that biases the valve stem 124. The spring 132 may comprise a plurality of coils or be provided in other forms, such as an elastomeric bellows.

Turning to FIGS. 5 to 8, one non-limiting example of a novel valve stem will now be described. The valve stem 124 comprises a core 142 having an upper portion 144 and a lower portion 146. The upper portion 144 has a distal end 148 and is configured to be attachable to the actuator 110. The lower portion 146 is configured to position at least a portion of the spring 132 there about. The lower portion 146 has a proximal end 150. The proximal end 150 may have a flat surface thereat, may be tapered, may be formed by a combination of the foregoing, or may have some other conformation which preferably minimizes the potential for accumulation of a composition at the proximal end 150. One or more valve bores 152 (two being shown in the FIGS.) may be disposed between the upper portion 144 and the lower portion 146. The valve bore 152 is shown, for purposes of illustration only, arranged in a radial direction with respect to the longitudinal axis of the valve stem 124. The one or more valve bores 152 open into a wall 154 of a groove 156 and communicate with an axial bore 158 that extends from the one or more valve bores 152 to the distal end 148 of the upper portion 144. It will be appreciated that the terms “radial” and “axial”, and derivatives thereof (e.g., radially and axially), are intended to merely refer to a general direction with respect to a feature or structure, and these terms are intended, unless expressly stated otherwise, to be fully inclusive of directions that are not purely radial or axial, such as substantially radial/axial directions and combinations of radial and axial directions where the net overall directional effect is more radial than axial or vice versa. The axial bore 158 in turn communicates with the actuator 110 when it is attached to the valve stem 124.

The one or more valve bores 152 may function as a controlling orifice that principally controls the mass flow of the composition or a mixture of the composition and a propellant thru the container. It will be readily appreciated that other openings, passages or holes in the valve stem or elsewhere may function as the controlling orifice. The one or more valve bores may have a total cross-sectional area from about 0.01 mm2 to about 1 mm2, or about 0.03 mm2 to about 0.5 mm2, or about 0.06 mm2 to about 0.1 mm2. The one or more valve bores may have a maximum dimension, typically a diametrical dimension, from about 0.1 mm to about 1 mm, or from about 0.2 mm to about 0.8 mm, or from about 0.3 mm to about 0.5 mm. In a specific embodiment, the valve stem 124 comprises one valve bore 152 having a diameter from about 0.3 mm to about 0.4 mm.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 9, mating sealing surfaces formed by an inner wall 160 of a substantially flat seal 162 and the wall 154 of the groove 156 form a valve that seals the valve bore 152. The seal 162 may be formed from an elastomeric material, such as nitrile butadiene rubber (sometimes referred to as Buna-N). The seal 162 may be disposed about the core 142 of the valve stem and sandwiched between the mounting flange 128 and the housing 130, as shown by way of example in FIG. 4. The sealing surfaces are mated when the valve stem is not depressed, as shown in FIG. 4, thereby preventing flow of the composition or a mixture of the composition and a propellant thru the valve bore 152. When the actuator 110 is depressed, the sealing surfaces separate, thereby permitting the composition or a mixture of the composition and a propellant to flow through the valve bore 152 to the axial bore 158 and onto the actuator 110. As used herein, the term valve (as opposed to valve assembly) is intended to merely refer to the mating sealing surfaces that permit or prevent flow of the composition or a mixture containing the composition from the reservoir 118 to the actuator 110. The mating sealing surfaces may be provided in configurations other than shown in the FIGS and described herein. In some specific embodiments, the valve may be a continuous flow valve, meaning there is flow through the valve for as long as the actuator is depressed. In contrast, a non-continuous or metered valve allows only predetermined amount of flow thru the valve regardless how long the actuator is depressed.

Referring again to FIGS. 5 to 8 and to FIG. 10, the core 142 further comprises one or more channels 160, the channel 160 having an entrance 162 disposed at or adjacent to the proximal end 150 and an exit 164. The channels 160 may extend axially along the valve stem 124. The core 142 may comprise from about 2 to about 8 channels or from about 4 to about 6 channels, although more channels may be provided if desired. The channels may be equi-spaced about the circumference of the core 142. The exit 164 of the channel 160 is located at terminal end of the channel 160. In some specific embodiments, at least a portion of the channel 160 may be configured to direct the composition or a mixture comprising the composition and a propellant from an interior annular volume 166 (FIG. 10) to an outer surface of the valve stem 124, such as for example cylindrical surface 168 (FIG. 5) of ring 169, that is disposed downstream of the spring 132. The interior volume 166 may be defined by at least a portion of the spring 132 and the lower portion 146 of the core 142. At least a portion of the spring 132 surrounds at least a portion of the channels 160.

A wide variety of channel configurations may be provided. The channel 160 may be formed or defined in part by a pair of walls 170, which may extend radially from the valve stem core as shown in the FIGS. The walls 170 transmit a portion of the spring force to the ring 169, the latter providing additional structural integrity to the walls 170. The ring 169 also provides a load bearing surface to act against the seal 160 to return it to a closed or sealed position when the actuator is released. The valve stem 124 may comprise 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or more radially extending walls. Each wall 170 may have a bearing surface 171 that centers the valve stem 124 within the housing 130 and which slidably engages the housing 130. The bearing surface 171 may be substantially flat and rectangular in shape, although other shapes and surface contours may be provided. It is believed that a slidable valve stem 124 having too few walls 170 may not center very well within the housing 130, and a valve stem 124 having too many walls may reduce the cumulative exit area of the channels too much, thereby potentially increasing the risk of clogging. In some instances, the walls 170 may have an overall length L (FIG. 6) from about 2 mm to about 9 and a width W (FIG. 8) from about 0.25 mm to about 1.3 mm.

Each wall 170 may have a notch 172 that receives a distal end or a portion 174 of the spring 132, the distal end 174 of the spring being located closest to the valve compared to a proximal end of the spring 132 which is located furthest from the valve. In other words, the distal end of the spring is located downstream of the proximal end of the spring and the valve is in turn located downstream of the distal end of the spring. While only a portion (e.g., about 3 coils) of spring 132 is shown in FIG. 4 within the notch 172 (when the valve stem is not depressed), it will be appreciated that in some embodiments more of the spring or even the entire spring 132 may be received within the notch 172. In some specific embodiments, the notch 172 may be configured to receive from about two to about six coils of the spring 132 (when the valve stem is not depressed), wherein a last coil of the spring 132 bottoms on a surface 176 of the notch 172 of the wall 170. The surface 176 may be substantially flat. The last coil of the spring 132 may have one or more free portions 178 (FIG. 11) extending between the walls 170, wherein the free portion does not bottom on a surface (e.g., surface 176) of the valve stem 124. The notch 172 may have a notch depth D (FIG. 7) from about 0.4 mm to about 1 mm and a notch length NL (FIG. 11) from about 0.5 mm to about 3.5 mm.

At least a portion of a channel 160, together with its exit 164, may be disposed axially downstream of the notch 172 and/or the last coil/distal end of the spring 132. In other words, the exit 164 of the channel 160 may be spaced apart from the last coil of the spring 132 and/or the notch 172 so that at least a portion of the composition or a mixture of the composition and propellant may exit from the interior volume 166 without passing between a pair of adjacent coils of the spring and/or between the last coil of the spring 132 and the surface upon which it bottoms. The exit 164 may be disposed between the notch 172 and the valve and/or valve bore 152. For example, the exit 164 of the channel 160 may be located from about 1 mm to about 5 mm from the last coil of the spring 132 and/or the notch 172. In other instances, exit 164 of the channel 160 may be located at or adjacent to the last coil of the spring 132 and/or the notch 172.

A channel 160 may have an exit area from about 0.6 mm2 to about 3 mm2, although it will be appreciated that larger or smaller exit areas may be provided. As used herein, the term exit area with respect to a channel 160 refers to the cross-sectional area at the exit 164 that is defined by the walls 170, inner surface 180 (FIG. 12) of the housing 130 that is adjacent the exit 164, and channel bottom surface 182 at the exit 164. The cumulative exit area for all of the channels 160 of the valve stem 124 may be from about 2.5 mm2 to about 12 mm2, although it will be appreciated that larger or smaller cumulative exit areas may be provided.

In some embodiments, at least a portion of the channel bottom surface 182 may have a shape or conformation that directs the flow of the composition or a mixture of the composition and a propellant toward the outer surface 168 of the ring 169. In some embodiments, at least some, substantially all, or all of the channel bottom surface 168 may have a concave type conformation for directing the flow from the interior volume 166 to the exterior of the stem 124. FIG. 5 illustrates one non-limiting example of a channel having a bottom surface that is partially concave.

An annulus or gap 184 (FIG. 12) may be provided downstream of the exit 164 of the channel 160 that allows the composition (or a propellant/composition mixture) exiting the channels 160 to flow downstream to the valve. The annulus 184 may be defined by the outer surface 168 of the valve stem 124 and the inner surface 180 of the housing 130. The outside diameter of the outer surface 168 may be from about 1.5 mm to about 11 mm while the outside diameter defined by the walls 170 may be slightly less, although it will be appreciated that larger or smaller dimensions may be provided. The inside diameter of the inner surface 180 may be from about 2.5 mm to about 12 mm. The annulus 184 may have a cross-sectional area from about 3 mm2 to about 10 mm2. The annulus 184 may have a radial dimension there across from about 0.25 mm to about 10 mm.

The novel valve stem configuration allows the composition (or a propellant containing mixture thereof) to flow from the reservoir, thru the interior volume 166, and exit downstream of the last coil the spring 132 and into the annulus 184. It is believed that this flow path, which minimizes the amount of composition exiting between the spring coils, may reduce the accumulation of composition about the spring and thereby potentially minimize the risk of clogging, particularly where the composition comprises a high concentration of particulates, a low propellant concentration is utilized and/or a low composition mass flow rate is desired. Composition mass flow rates less than 0.3 g/sec, or from about 0.1 g/sec to about 0.3 g/sec, may be particularly suitable for use with the valve assemblies and spray devices described herein. Further, the novel valve stem and spring arrangement may advantageously permit a more open flow path past the lower portion 146 of the core 142 to the valve, as structures used to center the valve stem 124 within the housing 130 (e.g., the bearing surface 171) are independent of or do not otherwise form part of the flow path as in some conventional valve assemblies.

In another embodiment, the valve assembly 114 may further comprise a vapor tap for mixing gaseous propellant from the headspace of the reservoir 118 with the composition. Some non-limiting vapor tap configurations suitable for use are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,396,152. Referring to FIGS. 13 to 15, the housing 230 may comprise a one or more holes 186 for permitting gaseous propellant to pass from the reservoir 118 into the interior of the housing 230. A cup-shaped insert 188 may be installed within the housing 230 between the dip tube and the valve stem 124. The cup-shaped insert 188 may be press-fit within the housing 230 or otherwise retained within the housing by other means known in the art. The cup-shaped insert 188 may receive one end of the spring 132. An insert bore 192 may be provided in a bottom wall of the cup-shaped insert 188, thereby permitting the composition to flow from the dip tube 116 into the interior of the cup-shaped insert 188. Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, one or more passages 194 may be provided in the bottom wall of the cup-shaped insert to direct gaseous propellant from the interior of the housing 130 into the insert bore 192, where it mixes with the composition. The passages 194 may be aligned tangentially with the insert bore 192, as shown by way of example in FIG. 14, or the passages 194 may be aligned radially with the insert bore 192, as shown by way of example in FIG. 15. The passages 194 may also be aligned in other configurations with the insert bore 192, such as intermediate between a tangential arrangement and a radial arrangement. While a vapor tap arrangement may be useful in some instances, the valve assembly need not comprise a vapor tap or a cup shaped insert.

While the passages 194 are shown as generally rectangular in cross-sectional shape, it will be appreciated that the passages 194 may be provided in other shapes and sizes. Similarly, the various bores, holes, and orifices may be provided in shapes and sizes other than shown/described herein. Further, while the vapor tap arrangements shown in FIGS. 13 to 15 permit gaseous propellant to mix with the composition upstream of the valve, other vapor tap arrangements (or no vapor tap) may be implemented as known in the art. For example, a vapor tap arrangement may be provided where the gaseous propellant mixes downstream of the valve, perhaps still within the valve assembly 114 or within the actuator 110. Multiple vapor tap arrangements may also be provided. For example, a first vapor tap arrangement might provide for mixing of gaseous propellant and the composition upstream of the valve 138 while a second vapor tap arrangement might provide for mixing of additional gaseous propellant and the composition downstream of the valve.

While the valve assembly 114 is shown herein as comprising a variety of components, it is contemplated that these components may be changed, combined, deleted, or other components or structures substituted therefor without departing from the spirit and/or scope of the various invention(s) described herein. For example, FIG. 16 illustrates a valve stem comprising two valve bores 352 that are angled relative to the longitudinal axis of the valve stem, and FIG. 17 illustrates a valve stem comprising a ring with one or scallops 496 disposed within the outer surface of the ring. Each of the scallops is aligned with the exit of one of the channels so as to further increase the exit area of the channel, thereby further reducing the likelihood of clogging. In this later embodiment, the composition exits the channels, flows thru the scallops 169 and/or the annulus 184 and onto the valve.

Propellants

A spray device may optionally comprise a propellant. The propellant may be stored in a reservoir containing the composition to be sprayed, or the propellant may be stored separately, as in the case of bag on valve type arrangement. A propellant may be utilized to pressurize the composition, thereby providing a means to drive the composition thru and out of the spray device. The propellant may also be used to atomize the composition upon exiting the spray device, as is typical in an aerosol type application. A propellant may also mix with the composition to produce a mousse or foam upon spraying. Alternatively, a non-propellant compressed or liquefied gas may be incorporated in the composition for producing a mousse or foam upon spraying. For example, a first compressed or liquefied gas might be provided for producing a foaming composition while a second compressed or liquefied gas might function as a propellant. If a vapor tap arrangement is provided, gaseous propellant from the head space of the reservoir may also be used to swirl or break up the composition within the valve assembly.

The propellant may have a concentration from about 3%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 32%, 34% 36%, 38%, 40%, or 42% to about 85%, 75%, 65%, 60%, 54%, 52%, 50%, 48%, 46%, 44%, or 42% by weight of the total fill of materials (i.e., propellant and composition) stored within the spray device. The novel valve stems described herein may be particularly useful in aerosol type spray devices utilizing low liquid propellant concentrations (e.g., from about 30% to about 60% of the total fill), as lower propellant concentrations may result in less dilution of the composition thereby potentially increasing the risk of clogging compared to higher propellant concentrations. This risk of clogging may be further compounded in instances where the composition also comprises a high particulate concentration.

A wide variety of propellants may be used with the spray devices and compositions described herein. Some propellants may have a boiling point (at atmospheric pressure) within the range of from about −45° C. to about 5° C. The propellants are may be liquefied when packaged in the container under pressure. Suitable propellants may include chemically-inert hydrocarbons such as propane, n-butane, isobutane and cyclopropane, and mixtures thereof, as well as halogenated hydrocarbons such as dichlorodifluoromethane (propellant 12) 1,1-dichloro-1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethane (propellant 114), 1-chloro-1,1-difluoro-2,2-trifluoroethane (propellant 115), 1-chloro-1,1-difluoroethylene (propellant 142B), 1,1-difluoroethane (propellant 152A), dimethyl ether and monochlorodifluoromethane, and mixtures thereof. Some propellants suitable for use include, but are not limited to, A-46 (a mixture of isobutane, butane and propane), A-31 (isobutane), A-17 (n-butane), A-108 (propane), AP70 (a mixture of propane, isobutane and n-butane), AP40 (a mixture of propane, isobutene and n-butane), AP30 (a mixture of propane, isobutane and n-butane), HFO1234 (trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene) and 152A (1,1 diflouroethane).

Compositions

A wide variety of compositions may be sprayed from a spray device. While the discussion hereafter is primarily directed to antiperspirant compositions for purposes of illustration, it will be appreciated that this is a non-limiting example of only one type of composition suitable for use with the containers and spray devices previously described. Further, it will be appreciated that the ingredients, concentrations, and other features described with respect to the antiperspirant compositions described hereafter may be applicable in whole or part to other compositions suitable for use with the containers and spray devices described herein. Some non-limiting examples of antiperspirant compositions are set forth in commonly assigned application U.S. Ser. No. 61/701,201 filed Sep. 14, 2012.

An antiperspirant composition may comprise one or more liquid materials. In some specific embodiments, an antiperspirant composition may comprise at least one non-volatile or volatile silicone fluid as a liquid carrier for the one or more antiperspirant actives and/or other ingredients of the antiperspirant composition. Preferably, the antiperspirant composition comprises a non-volatile silicone fluid. As used herein, the term “non-volatile” refers to a material that has a boiling point above 250° C. (at atmospheric pressure) and/or a vapor pressure below 0.1 mm Hg at 25° C. A non-volatile silicone fluid may advantageously improve adherence of the antiperspirant active to a skin surface, thereby possibly improving the efficacy of the antiperspirant composition. Further, an antiperspirant composition comprising a non-volatile silicone fluid may reduce the risk of clogging, as the antiperspirant composition is less susceptible to drying within the valve assembly. However, high concentrations of a non-volatile silicone fluid in an antiperspirant composition may lead to the perception of a wet feel in use, which may be undesirable for some consumers.

The total concentration of non-volatile, silicone fluids may be from about 40%, 45%, 50% to about 70%, 65%, 60%, or 55% by weight of an antiperspirant composition. In some embodiments, the total concentration of non-volatile, silicone fluids may be from about 45% to about 55% by weight of an antiperspirant composition. The liquid materials of the antiperspirant composition may consist essentially of or are primarily formed from one or more non-volatile, silicone fluid(s). Some non-volatile, silicone fluids that may be used include, but are not limited to, polyalkyl siloxanes, polyalkylaryl siloxanes, and polyether siloxane copolymers, and mixtures thereof. Some preferred non-volatile silicone fluids may be linear polyalkyl siloxanes, especially polydimethyl siloxanes (e.g., dimethicone) having the molecular formula of (C2H6OSi)n. These siloxanes are available, for example, from Momentive Performance Materials, Inc. (Ohio, USA) under the tradename Element 14 PDMS (viscosity oil). Silicones Fluids from Dow Corning Corporation (Midland, Mich., USA) available under the trade name Dow Corning 200 Fluid series (e.g., 10 to 350 cps). Other non-volatile silicone fluids that can be used include polymethylphenylsiloxanes. These siloxanes are available, for example, from the General Electric Company as SF 1075 methyl phenyl fluid or from Dow Corning as 556 Fluid. A polyether siloxane copolymer that may be used is, for example, a dimethyl polyoxyalkylene ether copolymer fluid. Such copolymers are available, for example, from the General Electric Company as SF-1066 organosilicone surfactant. The non-volatile, silicone fluid may have an average viscosity from about 5 centistokes, 10 centistokes, 20 centistokes, or 50 centistokes to about 900 centistokes, 500 centistokes, 350 centistokes, 100 centistokes or 50 centistokes at 25° C. In some specific embodiments, the silicone fluid may have a viscosity about 50 cs.

While it may be desirable for the liquid materials of the antiperspirant composition to consist essentially of or be primarily formed from non-volatile silicone fluids, other liquid materials may be included in an antiperspirant composition. Some non-limiting examples include a silicone gum or a liquid perfume material. The liquid materials of the antiperspirant composition may comprise less than 30%, 20%, 10%, or less than 5% by weight of liquid materials other than non-volatile, silicone fluids. Said in another way, the liquid materials of the antiperspirant composition may comprise more than 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90% or about 100% by weight of non-volatile silicone fluids.

Some suitable silicone gums include silicone polymers of the dimethyl polysiloxane type, which may have other groups attached, such as phenyl, vinyl, cyano, or acrylic, but the methyl groups should be in a major proportion. Silicone polymers having a viscosity below about 100,000 centistokes (molecular weight below about 100,000) at 25° C. are not considered silicone gums here but are rather, typically, considered a silicone fluid. One non-limiting example of silicone gum suitable for use is a silicone/gum fluid blend comprising a dimethiconol gum having a molecular weight form about 200,000 to 4,000,000 along with a silicone fluid carrier with a viscosity from about 0.65 to 100 mm2 s−1. An example of this silicone/gum blend is available from Dow Corning, Corp. of Michigan, USA under the trade name DC-1503 Fluid (85% dimethicone fluid/15% dimethiconol). Other silicone gum materials include SF1236 Dimethicone, SF1276 Dimethicone, and CF1251 Dimethicone available from Momentive Performance Materials, Inc. of NY, USA.

An antiperspirant composition may also optionally comprise one or more liquid fragrance materials. Liquid fragrance materials are typically a mixture of perfume or aromatic components that are optionally mixed with a suitable solvent, diluent or carrier. Some suitable solvents, diluents or carriers for the perfume components may include ethanol, isopropanol, diethylene glycol monoethyl ether, dipropylene glycol, diethyl phthalate, triethyl citrate, and mixtures thereof. An antiperspirant composition may comprise from about 0.5%, 0.75% or 1% to about 4%, 3%, 2%, or 1.5% of a liquid fragrance material. The perfume component may be any natural or synthetic perfume component known to one skilled in the art of creating fragrances.

It may also be desirable to include a high concentration of particulates in an antiperspirant composition. Incorporating a high concentration of particulates is one means believed to improve the skin feel of an antiperspirant composition comprising a high concentration of a non-volatile silicone fluid. It is believed that an antiperspirant composition comprising a total non-volatile liquid material to total particulate material ratio (L/P ratio) from about 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.2, or 1.4 to about 2.3, 2.2, 2.1, 2, 1.9, 1.8 or 1.6 may balance the tradeoff between enough particulates to provide acceptable skin feel while minimizing the appearance of residue. An antiperspirant composition may have a total particulate concentration from about 30%, 35%, or 40% to about 60%, 55%, or 50% by weight of the antiperspirant composition, in keeping with the total liquid to total particulate (L/P) ratios previously described. While increasing the concentration of particulates may improve skin feel, it may also lead to an increased risk of clogging. The novel valve assemblies previously described may be particularly suited for use with these types of antiperspirant compositions to reduce or minimized the likelihood of clogging.

Some examples of particulate materials that may be included in an antiperspirant composition include but are not limited to antiperspirant actives, powders (such as tapioca starch, corn starch), encapsulated fragrance materials and bulking or suspending agents (e.g., silicas or clays). Other types of particulates may also be incorporated in an antiperspirant composition.

An antiperspirant composition may comprise from about 16%, 18%, 20%, 22%, or 24% to about 34%, 32%, 30%, 28%, or 26% by weight of a particulate antiperspirant active. These antiperspirant active concentrations refer to the anhydrous amount that is added. Some examples of suitable antiperspirant actives include astringent metallic salts, particularly including the inorganic and organic salts of aluminum. Some exemplary aluminum salts that can be used include aluminum chloride and the aluminum hydroxyhalides having the general formula Al2(OH)aQbXH2O where Q is chloride, bromide, or iodide (preferably chloride), a is from about 2 to about 5, and a+b=about 6, and a and b do not need to be integers, and where X is from about 1 to about 6, and X does not need to be an integer. Particularly preferred are the aluminum chlorhydroxides referred to as “5/6 basic chlorhydroxide” wherein “a” is 5 and “ 2/3 basic chlorhydroxide” wherein “a” is 4. Aluminum salts of this type can be prepared in the manner described more fully in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,887,692; 3,904,741; and 4,359,456. Preferred compounds include the 5/6 basic aluminum salts of the empirical formula Al2(OH)5DI2H20; mixtures of AICl36H20 and Al2(OH)5CI2H2O with aluminum chloride to aluminum hydroxychloride weight ratios of up to about 0.5.

Some other non-limiting particulate materials that may be optionally included in an antiperspirant composition include, but are not limited to, native starches such as tapioca, corn, oat, potato and wheat starch powders. These particulates may be hydrophilic or hydrophobically modified (the later tending to only be moderately hydrophobic). One particulate material believed to be particularly suitable for use is a hydrophilic or hydrophobically modified tapioca material, preferably a hydrophilic tapioca material. Tapioca is a starch which may be extracted from the cassava plant, typically from the root, which may then be processed or modified as known in the art. Tapioca starches are, advantageously, substantially non-allergenic. One non-limiting example of a hydrophobically modified tapioca material suitable for use comprises a silicone grafted tapioca starch, which is available under the trade name Dry Flo TS from AkzoNobel of the Netherlands. The INCI name is tapioca starch polymethylsilsesquioxane and may be produced by a reaction of methyl sodium siliconate (polymethylsilsesquioxane) and tapioca starch. This silicone grafted tapioca starch is commercially available as CAS No. 68989-12-8. The silicone grafted tapioca starch can be formed using any known means, including, but not limited to those methods described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,375,214, 7,799,909, 6,037,466, 2,852,404, 5,672,699, and 5,776,476. Other non-limiting examples of hydrophobically modified tapioca starch materials that are suitable for use include Dry Flo AF (silicone modified starch from Akzo Nobel), Rheoplus PC 541 (Siam Modified Starch), Acistar RT starch (available from Cargill) and Lorenz 325, Lorenz 326, and Lorenz 810 (available from Lorenz of Brazil).

In some specific embodiments, the tapioca material may be hydrophilic in order to facilitate release of the antiperspirant active during use. One non-limiting example of a hydrophilic tapioca starch material suitable for use is available under the trade name Tapioca Pure available from Akzo Nobel. A tapioca starch material may have a concentration from about 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 10%, or 15% to about 40%, 35%, 30%, 25% or 20% by weight of the antiperspirant composition.

An antiperspirant composition may optionally comprise one or more encapsulated fragrance materials for masking malodors, absorbing malodors, or which otherwise provide the antiperspirant compositions with a desired aroma during use. As used herein, the phrase “encapsulated fragrance material” refers to the combination of a perfume component and a carrier for encapsulating the perfume component. Encapsulated fragrance materials also refer to “empty” carriers (e.g., an uncomplexed cyclodextrin material) capable of absorbing a fragrance or malodor in use. The encapsulated perfume components may be released by moisture whereby upon being wetted, e.g., by perspiration or other body fluids, the encapsulated perfume component is released. Alternatively or in addition thereto, the perfume components may be released by fracture of the carrier, such as by the application of pressure or a shearing force. Encapsulated fragrance materials may be provided in a particulate form which would be considered part of the total particulate concentration of the antiperspirant composition. An antiperspirant composition may comprise from about 0.25% to about 5%, or from about 0.5% to 5%, or from about 0.5% to about 4% by weight of the antiperspirant composition of an encapsulated fragrance material. Examples of some carriers suitable for encapsulating a perfume component include, but are not limited to, oligosaccharides (e.g., cyclodextrins), starches, polyethylenes, polayamides, polystyrenes, polyisoprenes, polycarbonates, polyesters, polyacrylates, vinyl polymers, silicas, and aluminosilicates. Some examples of encapsulated fragrance materials are described in USPNs 2010/0104611; 2010/0104613; 2010/0104612; 2011/0269658; 2011/0269657; 2011/0268802; U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,861,144; 5,711,941; 8,147,808; and 5,861,144.

An antiperspirant composition may optionally comprise one or more particulate bulking or suspending agents. While it may be desirable to include some amount of a particulate bulking or suspending agent, such as a clay and/or a silica material, it is believed that a total concentration by weight of the antiperspirant composition of less than 2%, 1.5%, 1%, 0.5%, or 0.25% of a particulate bulking or suspending agent is preferred in order to minimize clogging and achieve an appropriate overall viscosity. The bulking or suspending agent may be hydrophobic, hydrophilic, or comprise mixtures thereof. In some specific embodiments, these materials may be hydrophilic in order to facilitate release of the antiperspirant active during use. Some examples of silica materials that may be used include, but are not limited to, colloidal silicas. Some non-limiting examples of silica materials are available from Evonik Industries under the trade names Aerosil 200SP, Aerosil 300SP, and Aerosil R972.

Some examples of clay materials that may be used at a low concentration include, but are not limited to, montmorillonite clays and hydrophobically treated montmorillonite clays. Montmorillonite clays are those which contain the mineral montmorillonite and may be characterized by a having a suspending lattice. Some examples of these clays include but are not limited to bentonites, hectorites, and colloidal magnesium aluminum silicates. Clay materials may be made hydrophobic by treatment with a cationic surfactant, such as a quaternary ammonium cationic surfactant. One example of a clay material is available from Elementis Specialities, Plc. of the UK under the trade name Bentone 38. A clay activator, such as propylene carbonate or triethyl citrate, may also be included in the antiperspirant composition.

II. EXAMPLES

Examples 1, 2 and 3 further describe and demonstrate some non-limiting embodiments of antiperspirant compositions suitable for use with the spray devices described herein. The examples are given solely for the purpose of illustration and are not to be construed as limitations of the invention as many variations thereof are possible without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention.

TABLE 1
IngredientExample 1Example 2Example 3
Aluminum chlorohydrate1282819
Dimethicone48.3852.361.25
Cyclopentasiloxane2
Hydrophobic tapicoa312
Hydrophilic tapioca41212
Disodium Hectorite52
Triethyl citrate0.67
Silicone gum61
Hydrophilic silica711
Hydrophobic silica80.250.25
Perfume3.53.53.5
Betacyclodextrin fragrance333
The values are shown on a by weight of the antiperspirant composition basis.
186% assay of anhydrous active, average particle size approximately 15 microns.
2DC 200 Fluid (50 cst) available from Dow Corning
3Dry Flo TS from Akzo Nobel
4Tapioca Pure from Akzo Nobel
5Bentone 38 available from Elementis
6DC1503 (a mixture of dimethicone and dimethiconol) available from Dow Corning
7Aerosil A300 silica from Evonik
8Aerosil A300 silica from Evonik

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm.”

Every document cited herein, including any cross referenced or related patent or application, is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety unless expressly excluded or otherwise limited. The citation of any document is not an admission that it is prior art with respect to any invention disclosed or claimed herein or that it alone, or in any combination with any other reference or references, teaches, suggests or discloses any such invention. Further, to the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the same term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to that term in this document shall govern.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.