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Publication numberUS20060049208 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/220,018
Publication date9 Mar 2006
Filing date6 Sep 2005
Priority date9 Sep 2004
Publication number11220018, 220018, US 2006/0049208 A1, US 2006/049208 A1, US 20060049208 A1, US 20060049208A1, US 2006049208 A1, US 2006049208A1, US-A1-20060049208, US-A1-2006049208, US2006/0049208A1, US2006/049208A1, US20060049208 A1, US20060049208A1, US2006049208 A1, US2006049208A1
InventorsWarren Daansen
Original AssigneeDaansen Warren S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slit valves and dispensing nozzles employing same
US 20060049208 A1
Abstract
An improved outlet valve assembly for a pump-type fluid dispenser includes a nozzle and a self-sealing slit valve having a valve head portion bounded by a peripheral sealing portion retained between the pump outlet and the nozzle. In further aspects, improved valve members, fluid dispensers, and a method for making a fluid dispenser are provided.
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Claims(22)
1. An outlet valve assembly for a fluid dispenser, the fluid dispenser being of a type having a pump which has a pump inlet coupled to a fluid reservoir and a pump outlet, said outlet valve assembly comprising:
an annular sleeve having a radially inwardly extending annular internal stop member;
a hollow conduit member having an end edge surface defining an opening coaxially received within said annular sleeve; and
a resiliently deformable valve member disposed within said annular sleeve, said valve member including a valve head portion having one or more slits defining an orifice and a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion, said peripheral sealing ring sealingly retained between said annular internal stop and said edge surface.
2. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, wherein said hollow conduit member defines the pump outlet and said annular sleeve defines a nozzle tip.
3. The outlet valve assembly of claim 2, wherein said annular sleeve includes a dispensing nozzle tip portion defining an axial bore and a connector portion defining a counterbore for coaxially receiving said valve member and the pump outlet.
4. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, wherein said hollow conduit member defines a nozzle tip and said annular sleeve defines the pump outlet.
5. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, wherein said annular internal stop comprises an annular protrusion.
6. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, wherein said annular sleeve portion is adapted to frictionally engage the hollow conduit member.
7. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, further comprising:
said annular sleeve having an inward facing surface for engaging an outward facing surface on the hollow conduit;
said inward facing surface having one or both of: (1) one or more projections for engaging complimentary depressions on the outward facing surface; and (2) one or more depressions for engaging complimentary protrusions the outward facing surface.
8. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, wherein said valve member is formed of a material selected from silicone rubber, neoprene, chloroprene rubber, and ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM).
9. The outlet valve assembly of claim 1, further comprising:
a vent-resistant member axially adjacent said valve head portion.
10. The outlet valve assembly of claim 9, wherein said vent-resistant member includes:
a peripheral flange for retention between said valve peripheral sealing ring and one of said edge surface and said annular internal stop;
a perforated baffle axially adjacent said valve head portion; and
an axially extending sidewall extending between said perforated baffle and said peripheral flange.
11. A valve member for a fluid dispenser, comprising:
a valve head portion having one or more slits defining an orifice;
a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion;
a first annular groove formed on a first surface of said sealing ring wherein a clamping applied to said annular groove and a second surface of the sealing ring opposite said first side does not cause distortion of the valve head member.
12. The valve member of claim 11, wherein said first annular groove includes a first surface perpendicular to an axial direction and a second surface perpendicular to the axial direction.
13. The valve member of claim 11, wherein said first annular groove includes a first surface perpendicular to an axial direction and a second surface which is inclined relative to the axial direction
14. The valve member of claim 11, further comprising a second annular groove formed on the valve head portion adjacent to and concentric with respect to the first annular groove.
15. A valve member for a fluid dispenser, comprising:
a valve head portion having a first, generally convex surface; a second, generally concave surface opposite said first surface; and one or more slits defining an orifice;
a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion; and
an annular groove formed on said second surface adjacent to the peripheral sealing ring to define a region of reduced valve head thickness adjacent to the peripheral sealing ring.
16. The valve member of claim 15, wherein said valve head portion has a cusped side cross-sectional shape.
17. A valve member for a fluid dispenser, comprising:
a valve head portion having a first, generally convex surface; a second, generally concave surface opposite said first surface; and one or more slits defining an orifice;
a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion; and
a plurality of concentric annular grooves formed on one or both of said first and second surfaces.
18. A valve member for a fluid dispenser, comprising:
a valve head portion having a first, generally convex surface; a second, generally concave surface opposite said first surface; and one or more slits defining an orifice;
a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion; and
a generally cone-shaped cavity formed on one or both surfaces at said orifice.
19. A fluid dispenser comprising:
a pump having a pump inlet and a pump outlet;
a fluid reservoir coupled to the pump inlet; and
an outlet valve assembly coupled to the pump outlet, said outlet valve assembly including:
a hollow dispensing nozzle including an annular sleeve portion adapted to coaxially receive the pump outlet and an annular internal stop extending inwardly into an opening defined by said annular sleeve; and
a resiliently deformable valve member disposed within said dispensing nozzle, said valve member including a valve head portion having one or more slits defining an orifice and a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion, said peripheral sealing ring adapted to be sealingly retained between said annular internal stop and the pump outlet.
20. The fluid dispenser of claim 19, wherein said fluid reservoir includes a flexible, non-vented container.
21. A method of making a fluid dispenser, comprising:
providing a fluid source including a pump having a pump inlet coupled to a fluid reservoir and a pump outlet; and
securing a valve assembly to said pump outlet, said valve assembly including a resiliently deformable valve member having a valve head portion with one or more slits defining an orifice and a peripheral sealing ring bounding said valve head portion, said outlet valve assembly selected from one of:
a hollow dispensing nozzle including an annular sleeve portion adapted to coaxially receive the pump outlet and an annular internal stop extending inwardly into an opening defined by said annular sleeve, said peripheral sealing ring adapted to be sealingly retained between said annular internal stop and the pump outlet; and
a hollow dispensing nozzle having an end edge surface defining an opening adapted to be coaxially received within the pump outlet, said pump outlet having an annular internal stop extending inwardly into a channel defined by the pump outlet, said peripheral sealing ring adapted to be sealingly retained between said annular internal stop and said edge surface.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein said fluid reservoir includes a flexible, non-vented container.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/608,239, filed Sep. 9, 2004. The aforementioned provisional application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to improved dispenser valves for a fluid dispenser and dispensing nozzle tips employing the same. The valves and nozzle tip assembly in accordance with the present development may advantageously be employed in connection with a dispenser of a bag-in-a-box type and will be described herein primarily by way of reference thereto. However, it will be recognized that the valve and nozzle tip may also be used in connection with all manner of fluid types and fluid dispensers.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Commonly, a bag-in-a-box dispensing system includes a housing, such as a wall-mounted housing, and a disposable dispensing system. The dispensing system includes a disposable pump assembly coupled to a flexible bag containing a supply of product to be dispensed. Although a wide variety of pump mechanisms have been developed, they generally include a resiliently flexible or deformable chamber having an inlet fluidically coupled to the bag for and a dispensing outlet having a spring loaded valve. The spring loaded valve is normally closed and includes a spring and ball within the flow passageway, wherein the spring urges a ball into sealing engagement with the pump outlet. Commonly, the chamber is of a tube type as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,464,125 or of a bubble type as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,394,316, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • [0004]
    In operation, a lever or other actuator on the housing is depressed to collapse the deformable chamber to increase the pressure in the chamber. The increased pressure in the chamber displaces the ball and liquid passes through the pump outlet, around the ball, and is expelled. When the actuator is released, the chamber returns from the collapsed state to its original volume, thereby decreasing the pressure within the chamber, thereby causing the ball to return to the seated position and to draw an additional charge of product from the bag into the chamber.
  • [0005]
    A one-way check valve may also be provided at the dispensing pump inlet to permit flow from the bag into the collapsible chamber, but to prevent product in the chamber from flowing back into the bag when the actuator is depressed. For example, a ball may be held in close proximity to the pump inlet via a perforated retainer. When the pressure in the chamber increases, the ball is seated against the pump inlet, thereby preventing flow of product from the chamber back into the bag. While the chamber returns to its original volume, the reduced pressure unseats the check ball and allows product to pass from the bag, through the pump inlet and around the ball through the perforated ball retainer. The bag collapses upon itself, thereby maintaining constant pressure within the bag.
  • [0006]
    A common problem with the ball and spring dispenser valves is that they tend to clog and become unusable, particularly when liquid product containing particulate matter is used or for highly viscous liquids. Accordingly, the present invention contemplates new and improved fluid dispenser outlet valves and nozzles which overcome the above-referenced problems and others. The valves and nozzles according to the present development also which reduce pump assembly complexity, thereby reducing manufacturing costs and simplifying manufacture and assembly.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    The invention may take form in various components and arrangements of components, and in various steps and arrangements of steps. The drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like or analogous components throughout the several views, are only for purposes of illustrating preferred embodiments and are not to be construed as limiting the invention.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 1 side cross-sectional view of a dispensing pump for a fluid dispenser incorporating a nozzle outlet assembly according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the valve member shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0010]
    FIGS. 3-6 are cross-sectional views of nozzle outlet assemblies according to further exemplary embodiments.
  • [0011]
    FIGS. 7 and 8 are fragmentary cross-sectional views of a nozzle outlet in accordance with still further exemplary embodiments of the present invention.
  • [0012]
    FIGS. 9-15 are cross-sectional views of some additional exemplary valves according to the present invention.
  • [0013]
    FIGS. 16 and 17 are cross-sectional views of exemplary embodiments employing a vent-resisting baffle.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 18 is an enlarged perspective view of the vent-resisting baffle shown in FIG. 17.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an alternative baffle member embodiment.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 20 is an enlarged view of a cross-slit valve similar to the valve appearing in FIG. 3.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative outlet nozzle assembly.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0018]
    Referring now to FIG. 1, there appears an exemplary embodiment of a pump assembly 10 incorporating an outlet valve assembly 12 according to the present invention. The pump assembly 10 includes a resiliently flexible dome or bubble 14 defining a reservoir or chamber 16 for holding a charge of product to be dispensed. Exemplary fluids to be dispensed include, without limitation, liquid soap, shampoo, body wash, hand cream solutions, lotions or lotion soaps, shaving cream, hand sanitizers, or any other flowable liquid.
  • [0019]
    The chamber 16 includes an inlet 18 and an outlet 20. The inlet 18 of the chamber 16 is fluidically coupled to a source of product, preferably a flexible bag (not shown) containing the product to be dispensed via an inlet nipple 22. The preferred bag-in-box embodiment is a closed system and venting is unnecessary, since pressure in the bag is maintained as the bag collapses upon itself.
  • [0020]
    A one-way valve, such as a ball (not shown) held in close proximity to the inlet 18 via a perforated retainer (not shown) may be provided to prevent fluid from passing from the chamber 16 back into the inlet nozzle 18 during operation. The hemispherical bubble 14 is secured to a cavity back wall 24 via a retaining ring 26. The chamber outlet 20 is fluidically coupled a pump outlet nipple 28 via a conduit 30 defining a flow passageway 32.
  • [0021]
    An outlet valve assembly 12 includes an outlet nozzle 34 having an axial bore or channel 36 therein and a counterbore 38, and which is coaxially aligned with the outlet nipple 28. A slit valve 40 is seated in the counterbore 38, which defines a sleeve portion for receiving the outlet nipple 28 and an internal stop or shoulder 39. The valve 40 includes a valve head or membrane portion 42 which is bounded by a peripheral sealing edge or flange 44. The peripheral edge 44 is compressed between the end edge surface of the outlet nozzle 28 and the base of the counterbore portion 38 of the outlet nozzle 12 to provide a sealing engagement and prevent fluid from flowing around the valve member 40. Although the valve assembly is shown in connection with a dome-type pump, it will be recognized that the nozzle assembly may be used other pump types, such as tube-type pumps and others.
  • [0022]
    As best seen in FIG. 2, and with continued reference to FIG. 1, the valve head portion 42 includes one or more slits 46 forming an orifice and defining flexible flaps 47. The membrane 42 is formed of a resiliently flexible material, such as flexible plastic, rubber, elastomers, silicone rubber, and the like. Exemplary resilient or flexible materials which may be used in making the valve member include, for example, polyurethane, polyisoprene, polybutadiene, neoprene, butadiene-acrylonitrile copolymers, ethylene-butadiene block copolymers, ethylene-propylene based copolymers including ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), natural rubber, polychloroprene rubber, polyisoprene-isobutylene copolymers, silicone rubber, styrene-acrylonitrile copolymers, styrene-butadiene copolymers, styrene-isoprene copolymers, styrene-maleic anhydride copolymers, fluoroelastomers, polyolefins, and so forth, as well as blends thereof. This list is intended to be illustrative rather than limiting. The resiliency of the valve head maintains the flaps 46 in the closed position, thereby preventing fluid flow therethrough until the fluid pressure reaches some threshold value, i.e., when the dispenser actuator is depressed, whereupon the flaps 46 separate and the product is expelled through the valve orifice 46.
  • [0023]
    The outlet nipple 28 is coaxially or telescopically received within the counterbore 38 of the outlet nozzle 34. The inner diameter of the counterbore region 38 and the outer diameter of the outlet nipple 28 are sized to provide a friction or interference fit therebetween. The outlet nipple 28 outer surface and the counterbore 38 inner surface may optionally include aligned and mating or complimentary surface features. For example, in the depicted embodiment, the outlet nipple 28 includes raised annular ribs or protrusions 48 which engage complimentary annular channels or depressions 50 formed in the couterbore region 38. The complimentary surface features 48 and 50 provide a snap fit between the nozzle outlet 34 and the nipple outlet 28 and ensure sufficient compression of the peripheral edge 44 to prevent fluid from flowing therearound during operation. Alternatively, the respective positions of the complimentary protrusions and depressions could be reversed. Other methods for securing the pump outlet nipple 28 and the connector sleeve portion of the nozzle 34 include the use of an adhesive, cross-hatching, texturing, or other surface modification of the counterbore 38 inner surface and/or outlet 28 outer surface, providing complimentary helical threads for rotational engagement, and so forth.
  • [0024]
    The nozzle outlet 34 may additionally include one or more exterior surface features (not shown) such as projections, fins, particular geometric shape, etc., which provides a keying function to ensure proper installation of the pump within the dispenser and/or to enable the pump assembly 10 to be keyed to fit a specific dispenser pump of like or mating configuration. The use of a separately attachable nozzle outlet 34 allows a common pump assembly to be readily adapted to fit any desired key configuration by installing an appropriately keyed nozzle outlet.
  • [0025]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown an alternative outlet nozzle assembly 112 including an outlet nozzle 134 defining an axial bore 136 and an annular protrusion 138 forming an internal stop member which extends radially into the bore 136. The pump outlet nipple 28 is telescopically received within the axial bore 136 of the outlet nozzle 134. The inner diameter of the nozzle 136 and the outer diameter of the outlet nipple 28 are sized to provide a friction or interference fit. A valve member 140 includes a valve head portion 142 and peripheral edge 144 as detailed above and the peripheral edge 144 is sealingly retained between the end of the outlet nipple 28 and the annular ring 138. An enlarged view of an alternative valve 140′ similar to the valve 140 appears in FIG. 20.
  • [0026]
    In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3, the outlet nipple 28 outer surface and the outlet nozzle 134 inner surface may include optional aligned and mating surface features, e.g., raised annular ribs or protrusions 48 which engage complimentary annular channels or depressions 50, as described above.
  • [0027]
    The peripheral flange portion 144 of the valve member 140 as shown in FIG. 3 is defined on the inward facing surface thereof by an peripheral annular notch 141 formed on the inward facing surface of the valve member 140 which is adapted to receive the distal end of the outlet nipple 28. This permits sealing engagement of the edge 144 without distortion of the valve head member. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, the annular notch 141 also serves to define a region 143 of reduced cross-sectional thickness with increased flexibility and/or articulability, thereby reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve 140 to open.
  • [0028]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown a nozzle assembly 212 including a nozzle outlet 134 having an inwardly extending retaining ridge 138 and which telescopically engages a pump outlet nipple 28. The nozzle assembly 212 additionally includes a valve 240. The valve 240 according to a further embodiment of the present invention includes a peripheral flange portion 244 bounding a valve head portion 242. The flange portion 244 is sealingly retained between the outlet nipple 28 and the ridge 138. The valve head portion 242 includes an inward or upstream facing surface 245 and exterior or downstream facing surface 247 which is opposite the surface 245. The inwardly facing surface 245 is convex and the exterior facing surface 247 is generally concave and cusped in cross-sectional shape. That is, the interior surface 247 cross-sectional shape 247 is defined by a series of curves or arcs defining regions of reduced thickness 243 and cusps 249 defining regions of increased thickness. The regions of reduced thickness 243 increase the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve 240 and reduce the pressure necessary to cause the valve 240 to open.
  • [0029]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, there appears a nozzle assembly 312 including a nozzle outlet 134 having an inwardly extending retaining ridge 138 and which telescopically engages a pump outlet nipple 28. The nozzle assembly 312 additionally includes a valve 340. The valve 340 according to yet a further embodiment of the present invention includes a peripheral flange portion 344 bounding a valve head portion 342. The flange portion 344 is sealingly retained between the outlet nipple 28 and the ridge 138. The valve 340 includes a peripheral annular notch 341 receiving the distal end of the pump outlet nipple 28. A second annular notch or groove 351 is disposed on the valve head portion 342, radially inward from the peripheral notch 341. The notch 351 defines a region of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve and reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open and fluid to be expelled. The valve head portion 342 also includes a first generally conical cavity 353 formed in the inward facing surface thereof and a second generally conical cavity 355 formed in the exterior facing surface of the valve head 342. The conical cavities 353, 355 are axially aligned with the slits forming the valve orifice, with the apexes thereof being aligned and facing, whereby the thickness of the displaceable flaps is tapered toward the center of the orifice. This reduced thickness at the orifice reduces the pressure necessary to cause the flaps to open and expel the fluid therethough. The conical cavities described by way of reference to FIG. 3 and elsewhere herein may be replaced with other geometric configurations, such as frustoconical, pyramidical, frustopyramidical, and so forth.
  • [0030]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, there appears an outlet valve assembly 412 including a nozzle outlet 134 having an inwardly extending retaining ridge 138 and which telescopically engages a pump outlet nipple 28. The nozzle assembly 412 additionally includes a valve 440. The valve 440 according to still a further embodiment of the present invention includes a peripheral flange portion 444 bounding a valve head portion 442. The flange portion 444 is sealingly retained between the outlet nipple 28 and the ridge 138. The base surface 459 of the flange 444 engages the ridge 138 and extends beyond the ridge 138 in the radially inward direction. The valve 440 includes a peripheral annular notch 441 receiving the distal end of the pump outlet nipple 28. A second annular notch or groove is disposed on the valve head portion 442 radially inward from the peripheral notch 441. The notch 451 defines a region of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve, thereby reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open. The valve head portion 442 also includes a first generally conical cavity 453 formed in the inward facing surface thereof and a second generally conical cavity 455 formed in the exterior facing surface of the valve head 442. The conical cavities 453, 455 are axially aligned with the slits forming the valve orifice, with the apexes thereof being aligned and facing, whereby the thickness of the displaceable flaps is tapered toward the center of the orifice. This reduced thickness at the orifice reduces the pressure necessary to cause the flaps to open and expel the fluid therethough.
  • [0031]
    Referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown a fragmentary view of an outlet nozzle assembly 512, including a nozzle outlet 134 having an inwardly extending retaining ridge 138 and which telescopically engages a pump outlet nipple 528. The nozzle assembly 512 additionally includes a valve 540. The valve 540 according to another embodiment of the present invention includes a peripheral flange portion 544 bounding a valve head portion 542. The flange portion 544 is sealingly retained between the outlet nipple 528 and the ridge 138. The peripheral flange portion 544 is defined on the inward facing surface thereof by an peripheral annular notch 541 which is adapted to receive the distal end of the outlet nipple 528. The outlet nipple 528 includes a distal end 529, which is tapered or beveled on its radially inward edge. The angle, theta, of the bevel is preferably in the range of about 5-60 degrees, and preferably about 25-45 degrees, relative to the axial or flow direction 52. The annular notch 541 also serves to define a region 543 of reduced cross-sectional thickness with increased flexibility and/or articulability, thereby reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve 540 to open during operation.
  • [0032]
    Referring now to FIG. 8, there is shown a fragmentary view of a nozzle assembly 612 including a nozzle outlet 134 having an inwardly extending retaining ridge 138 and which telescopically engages a pump outlet nipple 28. The nozzle assembly 612 additionally includes a valve 640. The valve 640 is substantially as shown and described above by way of reference to the valve 340 shown in FIG. 5, except that the conical cavities in the valve head orifice region are omitted. A peripheral flange portion 644 bounds a valve head portion 642. The flange portion 644 is sealingly retained between the outlet nipple 28 and the ridge 138. The valve 640 includes a peripheral annular notch 641 receiving the distal end of the pump outlet nipple 28. A second annular notch or groove 651 is disposed on the valve head radially inward from the peripheral notch 641. The notch 651 defines a region of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve and reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open and fluid to be expelled.
  • [0033]
    Referring now to FIG. 9, there is shown a valve member 740 according to another embodiment of the present invention. The valve 740 includes a peripheral flange portion 744 bounding a valve head portion 742. The valve 740 includes a peripheral annular notch 741 for receiving the distal end of the pump outlet nipple 28 (see FIGS. 1-8). The notch 741 further defines a region 743 of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve, and thereby reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open. The valve head portion 742 also includes a generally conical cavity 755 formed in an exterior facing surface 747 of the valve head 742. The conical cavity 755 is axially aligned with the slits forming the valve orifice, with the apex in the depicted embodiment extending roughly one-half of the cross sectional thickness of the valve head portion 742. In this manner, the thickness of the displaceable valve flaps is tapered toward the center of the orifice and reduces the pressure necessary to cause the flaps to open and expel the fluid therethough. The degree of taper and/or degree to which the conical cavity extends through the cross-sectional thickness of the valve head portion may be varied in accordance with the product to be dispensed.
  • [0034]
    Referring now to FIG. 10, there is shown a valve member 840 according to still another embodiment of the present invention. The valve 840 includes a peripheral flange portion 844 bounding a valve head portion 842. The valve 840 includes a peripheral annular notch 841 for receiving the distal end of the pump outlet nipple 28 (see FIGS. 1-8). The notch 841 further defines a region 843 of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve, and thereby reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open. The valve head portion 842 also includes a generally conical cavity 853 formed in an interior-facing surface 845 of the valve head 842. The conical cavity 853 is axially aligned with the slits forming the valve orifice, with the apex in the depicted embodiment extending roughly one-half of the cross sectional thickness of the valve head portion 842. In this manner, the thickness of the displaceable valve flaps is tapered toward the center of the orifice and reduces the pressure necessary to cause the flaps to open and expel the fluid therethough. Again, the degree of taper and/or degree to which the conical cavity extends through the cross-sectional thickness of the valve head portion may be varied in accordance with the product to be dispensed.
  • [0035]
    Referring now to FIG. 11, there is shown a valve 940 according to a further embodiment of the present invention including a peripheral flange portion 944 bounding a valve head portion 942. The valve 940 includes a peripheral annular notch 941 for receiving the distal end of a pump outlet nipple 28 (see FIGS. 1-8) and defining a region 943 of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve and reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open. The valve head portion 942 also includes a first generally conical cavity 953 formed in the inward facing surface 945 thereof and a second generally conical cavity 955 formed in the exterior facing surface 947 thereof. The conical cavities 953, 955 are axially aligned with the slits forming the valve orifice, with the apexes thereof being aligned and facing, whereby the thickness of the displaceable flaps is tapered toward the center of the orifice. This reduced thickness at the orifice reduces the pressure necessary to cause the flaps to open and expel the fluid therethough. FIG. 12 illustrates a valve 940′ essentially as described above by way of reference to the valve 940 in FIG. 11, but wherein cavities 953′ and 955′ are of differing taper and extend to a lesser degree through the valve head 942′ in the axial direction.
  • [0036]
    Referring now to FIG. 13, there appears an outlet valve 1040 according to another embodiment of the present invention having a peripheral flange portion 1044 bounding a valve head portion 1042. The valve 440 includes a peripheral annular notch 1041 receiving the distal end of the pump outlet nipple 28 (see FIGS. 1-8). A series of concentric annular notches or grooves 1057 are formed on the inward facing surface 1045 of the valve head 1042. The annular channels 1057 are concentric with an axial centerline 1052 of the valve 1040. Likewise, a series of annular notches or grooves 1059 concentric with the centerline 1052 are formed on the outward facing surface 1047 of the valve head 1042. The notch 1051, the channels 1057, and the channels 1059 provide regions of reduced valve head thickness, thereby increasing the flexibility and/or articulability of the valve, thereby reducing the pressure necessary to cause the valve to open. The valve head portion 1042 also includes a first generally conical cavity 1053 formed in the interiorly facing surface 1045. In the depicted embodiment, the generally conical cavity 1053 is axially aligned with the slits forming the valve orifice and extends through the majority of the valve head cross-sectional thickness. In this manner, the thickness of the displaceable flaps is tapered toward the center of the orifice to reduce the pressure necessary to cause the flaps to open. FIG. 14 illustrates a valve 1040′ essentially as described above by way of reference to the valve 1040 in FIG. 13, but wherein cavity 1053′ is of differing taper and extends to a lesser degree through the valve head 1042′ in the axial direction.
  • [0037]
    In the embodiments depicted in FIGS. 13 and 14, the concentric annular grooves are depicted on both the interior and exterior valve head surfaces. In further embodiments, the annular grooves may be present on either the exterior surface only. For example, in FIG. 15, a valve head 1140 is shown having annular grooves 1159 formed on the exterior facing surface only. In a further embodiment (not shown), a like valve head is provided with annular grooves formed only on the interior facing surface. Although the depicted embodiments illustrate concentric channels having curved, e.g., semicircular cross-sectional shapes, it will be recognized that other cross-sectional shapes are contemplated, such as V-shaped, rectangular, or other geometric cross-sectional shape.
  • [0038]
    The valve members of the present invention are preferably sufficiently resistant to flow in the reverse direction so as to resist venting of ambient air into the pump when the reduced pressure is present in the chamber 16, i.e., after product has been dispensed and the actuator has been released. Ambient air is potentially contaminated and, in some cases, may degrade the product to be dispensed. Referring now to FIG. 16, an outlet valve assembly 134 includes a vent resistant member 54 located adjacent to an interior facing surface of a valve member 140. The vent resistant member 54 includes a generally disc-shaped baffle 56 having radially spaced-apart perforations 58 at its periphery. During operation, product flows through the perforations 58 and through the valve orifice. After the product is expelled and reduced pressure is present in the chamber 16, the baffle central portion 56 prevents opening of the valve flaps in the inward direction, thereby preventing ingress of ambient air through the valve member. The perforated baffle 54 may be integrally formed or comolded with the outlet nipple 28 or may be separately formed and secured in place via an adhesive or other fastening means.
  • [0039]
    Referring now to FIGS. 17 and 18, an outlet valve assembly 234 incorporating an alternative vent-resistant member 154 is shown. The vent-resisting member 154 is located adjacent to an interior facing surface of a valve member 140 having a valve head portion 142 and peripheral sealing edge 144. The vent resistant member 154 includes a generally disc-shaped baffle 156 having radially spaced-apart perforations 158 at its periphery, an axially extending annular sidewall 160 and a peripheral flange 162. The peripheral flange 160 is retained along with the valve sealing edge 144 between the distal end of the outlet nipple 28 and the annular protrusion 138.
  • [0040]
    Referring now to FIG. 19, there is shown an alternative vent-resisting member 254 including transversely extending bars or baffles 256 defining perforations 258. The vent-resistant member 254 also includes an axially extending annular sidewall 260 and a peripheral retaining flange 262. In operation, the baffles 256 are adjacent to the inward facing surface of the valve member to prevent the valve flaps from opening inwardly, thereby preventing venting of ambient air following a dispensing operation.
  • [0041]
    Referring now to FIG. 21, there appears an alternative outlet nozzle assembly including a male outlet nozzle 234 received within a pump outlet nipple 128 defining an axial bore 236. The pump outlet 128 includes an annular protrusion 238 forming an internal stop member which extends radially into the bore 236. The pump outlet nipple 128 coaxially receives the outlet nozzle 234 within the axial bore 236 of the outlet nipple 128. The inner diameter of the nipple 128 and the outer diameter of the outlet nozzle 234 are sized to provide a friction or interference fit. In the depicted embodiment, a valve member 140 is sealingly retained between the end edge surface of the outlet nozzle 234 and the annular ring 238.
  • [0042]
    The outlet nozzle 234 and the pump outlet 128 may be secured via a friction fit or any of the methods described above. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 21, the outlet nozzle 234 outer surface and the outlet nipple 128 inner surface include optional aligned and mating surface features as detailed above, e.g., raised annular ribs or protrusions 148 formed on the nozzle 234 outer surface which engage complimentary annular channels or depressions 150 on the outlet nipple surface inner surface. Alternatively, the relative positions of the protrusions 148 and channels 150 may be reversed. It will be recognized that the embodiment of FIG. 21 may be adapted to employ other valve and/or internal stop configurations as described herein. Likewise, it will be recognized that the embodiment of FIG. 21 may be adapted to employ the vent-resistant members as detailed above, either by directly securing the same to the interior surface of the pump outlet or by providing a vent-resistant member having a retaining flange, e.g., as shown in FIGS. 18 and 19, wherein the retaining flange is retained between the valve peripheral sealing ring and the internal stop member 238.
  • [0043]
    The invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment. Modifications and alterations will occur to others upon a reading and understanding of the preceding detailed description. For example, the present invention has been shown in connection with a bubble-type dispenser pump. However, it will be recognized that the present outlet valve may also be used to replace the conventional output valves, e.g., spring-loaded outlet valves, employed with other pump types, such as tube-type pumps and others. Also, while the illustrated embodiments are presently preferred, it will be recognized that additional valve member and valve assembly embodiments are contemplated, i.e., resulting from any desired combination of outlet nozzle type, valve sealing flange features, valve head features, and optional vent-resisting members as shown in the depicted embodiments. It is intended that the invention be construed as including these and other modifications and alterations.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification222/212
International ClassificationB65D37/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/2031, B05B11/3032, B05B11/007
European ClassificationB65D47/20E2, B05B11/00B9R
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
29 Dec 2014ASAssignment
Owner name: DAANSEN U.S.A. INC., NEW HAMPSHIRE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DAANSEN, WARREN S.;REEL/FRAME:034593/0123
Effective date: 20141218