Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20170029202
Kind Code A1
Joly; Olivier February 2, 2017

Assembly For Dispensing An Aerosol Comprising An Improved Area For Contact With A Neck Of A Container

Abstract

A dispensing assembly which is intended for being mounted in a neck of a container containing the fluid. The dispensing assembly includes an annular sealing shoulder intended for engaging with a complementary annular edge of the neck, and an annular bearing surface extending axially from the sealing shoulder. The annular bearing surface defines an annular contact area with a constriction of the neck, and separates, from a main space of the vessel, an annular isolated space extending between the sealing shoulder and the annular contact area. The annular bearing surface includes at least one recess intended for interrupting the circumferential continuity of the annular contact area and for forming a fluid passage between the main space and the isolated space.


Inventors: Joly; Olivier; (Grenoble, FR)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Nemera La Verpilliere S.A.S.

LA VERPILLIERE

FR
Family ID: 1000002262684
Appl. No.: 15/301534
Filed: March 13, 2015
PCT Filed: March 13, 2015
PCT NO: PCT/FR2015/050623
371 Date: October 3, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B65D 83/54 20130101; B65D 83/38 20130101
International Class: B65D 83/38 20060101 B65D083/38; B65D 83/54 20060101 B65D083/54

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Apr 2, 2014FR1452912

Claims



1. An assembly for dispensing a fluid forming an aerosol which is designed to be fitted in a container neck containing the fluid, of the type comprising: an annular sealing shoulder which is designed to cooperate with a complementary annular edge of the neck; and an annular support surface which extends axially from the sealing shoulder, and is designed to define an annular area of contact with a constriction of the neck, this annular contact area being designed to separate an annular isolated space, which extends between the sealing shoulder and this annular contact area, from a main space of the container, characterized in that it comprises at least one recess provided in the annular support surface which is designed to interrupt the circumferential continuity of the annular contact area, and to form a passage for fluid between the main space and the isolated space.

2. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the base of the recess is substantially parallel, on a radial plane, to the annular support surface.

3. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the recess extends in a manner which is inclined relative to a radial plane of the annular support surface.

4. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the inclination is progressive.

5. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the recess is formed by at least one section of a circumferential groove.

6. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the recess extends from a first axial end of the annular support surface, to a second axial end of this annular support surface.

7. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the recess extends from a first axial end of the annular support surface to a second axial end of this annular support surface, without reaching this second axial end.

8. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the recess extends between a first axial end of the annular support surface and a second axial end of this annular support surface, without reaching either of these ends.

9. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the recess has a generally longitudinal form with a width which is variable axially.

10. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, comprising a ring for arrangement of the dispensing assembly in the container, this arrangement ring being delimited radially by inner and outer surfaces, with the outer surface forming the annular support surface which is designed to define the area of annular contact with the constriction of the neck, and the inner surface delimiting a receptacle for means which form a measuring valve.

11. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the sealing shoulder is formed by an annular seal, with the arrangement ring having a cross-section in the general shape of a "U" and comprising a radially inner wing which defines the inner surface, and a radially outer wing which defines the outer surface, and is provided with a free end which is in sealed contact with the seal.

12. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that the free end of the outer wing of the arrangement ring is provided with an annular recess extension with a profile which assists its penetration into the seal.

13. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 11, characterized in that the thickness of the outer wing is substantially constant, such that the recess which is provided in the support surface corresponds both to a recess in the outer surface of the outer wing, and to a projection on an inner surface of this outer wing.

14. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the annular support surface is substantially frusto-conical.

15. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the annular support surface comprises a plurality of recesses distributed regularly around the axis of this annular support surface.

16. A device for dispensing a fluid which forms an aerosol comprising an assembly for dispensing a fluid forming an aerosol fitted in a container neck which contains the fluid, characterized in that the dispensing assembly is as claimed in claim 1.

17. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 9, wherein the width which is variable axially increases towards the sealing shoulder.

18. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the thickness of the outer wing is substantially constant, such that the recess which is provided in the support surface corresponds both to a recess in the outer surface of the outer wing, and to a projection on an inner surface of this outer wing.

19. The dispensing assembly as claimed in claim 14, wherein the annular support surface diverges as it approaches the sealing shoulder.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the technical field of means for dispensing a fluid which forms an aerosol, and in particular, but not exclusively, to measuring valves for dispensing pharmaceutical products.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Means for dispensing fluid products, in particular measuring valves for dispensing pharmaceutical products in the form of aerosols are well known in the prior art. Document FR 2 993 250 A1 describes means for dispensing a fluid product which forms a dispensing assembly comprising a cylindrical valve body comprising a measuring chamber and a valve rod. This rod slides in a sealed manner in the measuring chamber, between a position of rest (start of course), a dispensing position and an end of stroke position.

[0003] This dispensing assembly is generally designed to be fitted in a container neck which contains the aerosol, such as to form a dispensing device which is ready to use for utilization of the aerosol. This assembly thus comprises a valve cup which is designed to crimp the valve body on the neck and an annular seal provided with a face which is designed to cooperate with a complementary annular edge of the neck.

[0004] In the position of use of the dispensing device, the container is above the dispensing assembly. The aerosol which it contains flows into the measuring chamber through at least one passage opening which is provided in the valve body. In a conventional manner, and as disclosed for example in document EP 0 692 434, the dispensing assembly additionally comprises an arrangement ring, the substantial part of the volume of which is placed, when the dispensing device is in the position of use, below the passage opening, in order to prevent an excessive dead volume. In addition, the arrangement ring permits axial positioning of the dispensing assembly in the container neck, and cooperates with the face of the annular seal which is also in contact with the container neck.

[0005] This ring thus has the dual function of reducing the dead volume of the container neck and ensuring the axial positioning of the valve body in the container neck.

[0006] In order to facilitate the arrangement of the ring in the container neck, which can have allowances of diameter and shape, this ring has the general shape of a "U", which makes it sufficiently resilient radially.

[0007] This arrangement ring thus comprises a radially inner wing which delimits a receptacle for the valve body, and a radially outer wing which defines an area of annular contact with a constriction of the neck. This outer wing is also provided with a free end which is in sealed contact with the seal.

[0008] The contact area separates, from a main space of the container, an isolated annular space which extends between the seal and this area. However, as the dispensing device is used, the arrangement ring can be deformed, and since the contact area is no longer completely sealed, it may happen that variable quantities of the different components of the aerosol obtained from the main space of the container penetrate and remain trapped in the isolated annular space, thus endangering the homogeneity of the fluid.

[0009] In fact, since an aerosol is an assembly of liquid or solid particles in suspension in a gaseous medium, generally the different particles of the different components of the aerosol to be dispensed have different sizes. As a result, the smallest particles sometimes manage to pass between the arrangement ring and the constriction of the neck, whereas the largest particles do not pass.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The objective of the present invention is thus to propose a means for dispensing a fluid product comprising an arrangement ring which permits both efficient axial positioning of the dispensing assembly in the container neck, and preservation of the homogeneity of the aerosol.

[0011] For this purpose, the objective of the invention is an assembly for dispensing a fluid forming an aerosol which is designed to be fitted in a container neck containing the fluid, of the type comprising: [0012] an annular sealing shoulder which is designed to cooperate with a complementary annular edge of the neck: and [0013] an annular support surface which extends axially from the sealing shoulder, and is designed to define an annular area of contact with a constriction of the neck, this annular contact area being designed to separate an annular isolated space, which extends between the sealing shoulder and this annular contact area, from a main space of the container, characterized in that it comprises at least one recess provided in the annular support surface which is designed to interrupt the circumferential continuity of the annular contact area, and to form a passage for fluid between the main space and the isolated space.

[0014] A recess of this type permits the circulation of particles of all sizes in the container assembly: the smallest particles are no longer liable to be separated from the remainder of the aerial and trapped in the isolated space, such that the homogeneity of the aerosol to be dispensed is ensured in the long term.

[0015] Preferably, the base of the recess is substantially parallel, on a radial plane, to the annular support surface.

[0016] The recess can however have variations of depth and also have a round profile, thus having a rounded connection of the base of the recess to the annular support surface.

[0017] The recess can for example extend in a manner which is inclined relative to a radial plane of the support surface, and in addition the inclination of the recess can be progressive.

[0018] According to a first variant, the recess is formed by at least one section of a circumferential groove.

[0019] According to a second variant, the recess extends from a first axial end of the annular support surface to a second axial end of this annular support surface.

[0020] According to a fourth variant, the recess extends from a first axial end of the annular support surface to a second axial end of this annular support surface, without reaching this second axial end.

[0021] According to a fifth variant, the recess extends between a first axial end of the annular support surface and a second axial end of this annular support surface, without reaching either of these ends.

[0022] According to a sixth variant, the recess has a generally longitudinal shape with a width which is variable axially, for example increasing towards the sealing shoulder.

[0023] Preferably, the dispensing assembly comprises a ring for arrangement of the dispensing assembly in the container, this arrangement ring being delimited radially by inner and outer surfaces, with the outer surface forming the annular support surface which is designed to define the area of annular contact with the constriction of the neck, and the inner surface delimiting a receptacle for means which form a measuring valve.

[0024] Since this arrangement ring is positioned around the valve body, it can thus ensure the triple function of reduction of the dead volume, axial positioning of the dispensing assembly in the container neck, and putting the aerosol to be dispensed into circulation between the two spaces of the container. The advantage of an arrangement ring which is independent from the other elements of the dispensing assembly, and from the valve body in particular, consists of its potential of being able to be provided with different forms according to the container on which the dispensing assembly must be crimped, without needing to modify the structure of the other parts of the dispensing assembly.

[0025] Advantageously, the sealing shoulder is formed by an annular seal, with the arrangement ring having a cross-section in the general shape of a "U" and comprising a radially inner wing which defines the inner surface, and a radially outer wing which defines the outer surface, and is provided with a free end which is in sealed contact with the seal.

[0026] Since the container neck can have allowances of diameter and form, a shape in the general form of a "U" facilitates the arrangement of the ring in the neck whilst making it sufficiently resilient radially.

[0027] Preferably, the free end of the outer wing of the arrangement ring is provided with an annular recess extension with a profile which assists its penetration into the seal.

[0028] The crimping of the valve cup around the container neck gives rise to additional tightening of the container neck on the arrangement ring, and increases the stresses sustained by the outer wing. This convergent form makes it possible to prevent the removal of the first extension during the crimping of the valve cup around the container neck. A beveled form also makes it possible to clear room in the isolated space, in order to prevent interactions between the curved edge of the container neck and the free end of the outer wing of the arrangement ring.

[0029] If applicable, the thickness of the outer wing is substantially constant, such that the recess which is provided in the support surface corresponds both to a recess in the outer surface of the outer wing, and to a projection on an inner surface of this outer wing.

[0030] Since the recess can have variations of depth, and a large depth can make the outer wing of the arrangement ring fragile, it is mechanically more secure, in order to form the recess, to carry out displacement of material to the interior of the wing, rather than hollowing out this material.

[0031] Advantageously, the annular support surface is substantially frusto-conical, such as to diverge as it approaches the sealing shoulder.

[0032] The stresses which are exerted axially on the annular support surface during repeated use of the dispensing assembly can have the consequence of pushing the dispensing assembly in towards the interior of the container, and breaking the contact between the latter and the sealing shoulder, thus detracting from the sealing of the assembly, and endangering the homogeneity of the aerosol to be dispensed. A frusto-conical surface makes it possible to withstand better the axial stresses in use, and to ensure long-term sealing.

[0033] The annular support surface can comprise a plurality of recesses distributed regularly around the axis of this annular support surface.

[0034] Since the dispensing assembly has a form globally of revolution, the passage of the aerosol from the main space of the container to the isolated annular space can take place around the entire periphery of the annular contact area. The presence of a plurality of recesses distributed around this annular contact area makes it possible to prevent residues of areas of trapping of the smallest particles of the aerosol, and thus to ensure better homogeneity of the aerosol to be dispensed.

[0035] The invention also relates to a device for dispensing a fluid forming an aerosol comprising an assembly for dispensing a fluid which forms an aerosol fitted in a container neck containing the fluid, characterized in that the dispensing assembly is as previously defined.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0036] The invention will be better understood by reading the appended figures which are provided by way of example, and do not have any limiting nature, in which:

[0037] FIG. 1 is a view in axial cross-section of a dispensing device comprising an assembly for dispensing a fluid which forms an aerosol according to the invention;

[0038] FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the part marked II in FIG. 1;

[0039] FIG. 3 is a view in perspective of the arrangement ring of the dispensing assembly illustrated in FIG. 1;

[0040] FIG. 4 is a view in perspective of the arrangement ring illustrated in FIG. 3, in a position which is overturned in comparison with that of FIG. 3;

[0041] FIGS. 5 to 14 are views in perspective similar to FIGS. 3 and 4, showing different embodiments of the arrangement ring of the dispensing device in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0042] FIGS. 1 and 2 represent a dispensing device 20 according to the invention. This dispensing device 20, with a generally rotationally symmetrical shape, comprises an assembly 22 for dispensing a fluid 23 which forms an aerosol fitted in a neck 24 of a container 26, preferably made of metal, which contains the fluid.

[0043] The dispensing assembly 22 comprises a valve body 28 with a generally rotationally symmetrical shape, in which a measuring chamber 30 is provided.

[0044] This valve body 28 comprises means which form a measuring valve.

[0045] The valve body 28 extends through the neck 24 of the container 26. This valve body 28 is provided with an inner end 281 comprising at least one opening 32 in order to permit the passage for fluid from a main part 26P of the container 26 to the measuring chamber 30. The valve body 28 is also provided with an outer end 26E comprising a flange 34 with a radial dimensional larger than that of the neck 24.

[0046] The flange 34 has a support surface opposite an opening which is delimited by an annular edge of the neck 24 of the container 26.

[0047] A valve rod 38 is fitted such as to slide axially in the valve body 28. This valve rod 38 comprises an outer end 38E which projects outside the valve body 28, and forms a nozzle for ejection of fluid, and an inner end 381 which extends through the measuring chamber 30.

[0048] In a conventional manner, the valve rod 38 slides into the measuring chamber 30 between a position of rest (start of stroke), an intermediate dispensing position, and an end of stroke position.

[0049] The valve rod 38 is returned resiliently to the position of rest, as represented in FIG. 1, by a helical return spring 40 which is accommodated in the inner end 281 of the valve body 28.

[0050] According to conventional functioning of the dispensing device 20, when the valve rod 38 is displaced by a user to the dispensing position, this valve rod 38 permits passage for fluid from the measuring chamber 30 to the exterior of the dispensing device 20.

[0051] The sealing between the measuring chamber 30 and the exterior of the valve body 28 is ensured by a first annular seal 42. The valve rod 38 slides in a sealed manner through this seal 42, which also participates in its axial guiding.

[0052] The first seal 42 is interposed between the flange 34 and a valve cup 43, preferably made of metal, which is crimped on the neck 24 of the container 26. This cup 43 reinforces the crimping between the neck 24 and the dispensing assembly 22.

[0053] The dispensing assembly 22 also comprises an arrangement ring 44 which, when the dispensing device 20 is in the position of use, is placed below the opening 32, in order to prevent an excessive dead volume.

[0054] The arrangement ring 44 also permits retention of the dispensing assembly 22 in the neck 24 of the container 26. In fact, the arrangement ring 44 extends around the valve body 28 and the neck 24 is tightened around this arrangement ring 44.

[0055] The arrangement ring 44 cooperates axially with a first face 46A of a second annular seal 46, and radially with the valve body 28.

[0056] The first face 46A of the second seal 46 forms, in the extension of the area of annular contact with the arrangement ring 44, a sealing shoulder 47 in cooperation with a complementary annular edge of the neck 24, this first face 46A thus being supported on the edge of the neck 24.

[0057] In addition, the second seal 46 is provided with a second face 46B opposite the first face 46A, supported on the support surface of the flange 34.

[0058] Thus, the second seal 46 is clamped between the support surface of the flange 34 and the edge of the neck 24 of the container 26, and the dispensing assembly 22 is retained axially in the neck 24.

[0059] Since the neck 24 of the container 26 can have allowances of diameter and shape, the arrangement of the arrangement ring 44 in the neck 24 can be facilitated by a shape in the general shape of a "U" of this arrangement ring 44 which makes it sufficiently resilient radially.

[0060] Thus, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the arrangement ring 44 comprises a radially inner wing 48 which delimits a receptacle for the valve body 28, and a radially outer wing 50 which is longer than the inner wing 48. The outer wing 50 of the arrangement ring 44 is provided with a free end in sealed contact with the second seal 46. In order to reinforce the sealing at the area of contact with the second seal 46, this free end of the outer wing 50 of the arrangement ring 44 is provided with an annular penetration extension 50P with a profile which assists its penetration into the seal 46.

[0061] The radially outer surface of the outer wing 50 of the arrangement ring 44 forms an annular support surface 51 which extends axially from the sealing shoulder 47.

[0062] This annular support surface 51 can be substantially frusto-conical, such as to diverge as it approaches the sealing shoulder 47.

[0063] This annular support surface 51 defines an area of annular contact 52 with a constriction 54 of the neck 24. This annular contact area 52 separates, from a main space 26P of the container 26, an isolated annular space 261 which extends between the sealing shoulder 47 and this annular contact area 52 in which certain components of the fluid 23 to be dispensed can be wedged.

[0064] Thus, as well as ensuring the dual function of reduction of the dead volume in the neck 24 and axial positioning of the dispensing assembly 22 in the neck 24 of the container 26, the arrangement ring 44 also ensures the function of circulation of the fluid 23, as well as the assembly of the aerosol components between the two, main 26P and isolated 261 spaces of the container 26. Thus, the annular support surface 51 formed by the outer wing 50 of the arrangement ring 44 comprises at least one recess 55. This recess 55 thus interrupts locally the circumferential continuity of the annular contact area 52, and forms a passage 60 for fluid 23 between the main space 26P and the isolated space 261 of the container 26.

[0065] As can be seen in FIG. 2, the recess 55 is preferably formed virtually without thinning of material of the outer wing 50 of the arrangement ring 44, in order not to make this outer wing 50 fragile. The thickness of the outer wing 50 is thus substantially constant, such that the recess 55 provided in the annular support surface 51 corresponds both to a recess in the outer surface of the outer wing 50, and to a projection on an inner surface of this outer wing 50.

[0066] As can be seen in FIGS. 3 to 7, the base of the recess 55 can be substantially parallel on a radial plane to the annular support surface 51 formed by the outer surface of the outer wing 50 of the arrangement ring 44.

[0067] As can be seen in FIGS. 8 and 9, the recess 55 can extend in a manner which is inclined relative to a radial plane of the annular support surface 51, and, as shown in FIG. 9, the inclination of the recess 55 can be progressive.

[0068] As can be seen in FIGS. 10 and 11, the recess 55 can be formed by at least one section of a circumferential groove.

[0069] As can be seen in FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 14, the recess 55 can extend from a first axial end of the annular support surface 51, to a second axial end of this annular support surface 51. The two axial ends of the annular support surface 51 are defined respectively by a core 56 (illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2) of the section in the shape of a "U" of the arrangement ring 44 and the free ends of the inner and outer wings 48, 50.

[0070] As can be seen in FIGS. 3, 5 and 12, the recess 55 can extend from a first axial end of the annular support surface 51 to a second axial end of this annular support surface 51, without reaching this second axial end.

[0071] As can be seen in FIG. 11, the recess 55 can extend between a first axial end of the annular support surface 51, and a second axial end of this annular support surface 51, without reaching either of these ends.

[0072] As can be seen in FIG. 14, the recess can have a general longitudinal shape with a width which is variable axially, which for example increases towards the sealing shoulder 47.

[0073] As can be seen in FIGS. 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 14, the annular support surface 51 which is potentially frusto-conical can comprise a plurality of recesses 55 distributed regularly around the axis of this annular support surface 51.

[0074] The invention is not limited to the above-described examples, and other embodiments of the invention will become clearly apparent to persons skilled in the art.

[0075] In particular, it is possible to form the annular support surface 51 with an arrangement ring 44 which does not have the general shape of a "U", as in FIGS. 12 and 13. In fact, in this case, the arrangement ring 44 can have a solid cross-section, with the annular support surface 51 then being formed by the radially outer surface of the arrangement ring 44.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.