US20060243744A1 - Flow switch - Google Patents

Flow switch Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20060243744A1
US20060243744A1 US11/413,741 US41374106A US2006243744A1 US 20060243744 A1 US20060243744 A1 US 20060243744A1 US 41374106 A US41374106 A US 41374106A US 2006243744 A1 US2006243744 A1 US 2006243744A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
valve member
body portion
upper
outlet
lower body
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/413,741
Inventor
Michael Kessell
Paul Adams
Edward Scott
Original Assignee
Kessell Michael R
Adams Paul N
Scott Edward S
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US67566805P priority Critical
Application filed by Kessell Michael R, Adams Paul N, Scott Edward S filed Critical Kessell Michael R
Priority to US11/413,741 priority patent/US20060243744A1/en
Publication of US20060243744A1 publication Critical patent/US20060243744A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D47/00Closures with filling and discharging, or with discharging, devices
    • B65D47/04Closures with discharging devices other than pumps
    • B65D47/20Closures with discharging devices other than pumps comprising hand-operated members for controlling discharge
    • B65D47/30Closures with discharging devices other than pumps comprising hand-operated members for controlling discharge with plug valves, i.e. valves that open and close a passageway by turning a cylindrical or conical plug without axial passageways

Abstract

A flow switch assembly which includes a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged relative each other. The upper and lower body portions define a chamber. The housing includes an inlet and outlet to the chamber. A valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing for movement between an open position establishing at least one passage between the inlet and the outlet and a closed position wherein the at least one passage between the inlet and the outlet is non-established (preferably by said valve member sealing at least one of said inlet and outlet). There is also provided interactive cam elements associated with at least one of the upper body portion and the lower body portion, and associated with the valve member, are provided for moving the valve member between the open position and the closed position when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to the lower body portion.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/675,668 filed Apr. 28, 2005, entitled “A FLUID SWITCH,” the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a flow switch. Specifically although not solely the present invention relates to a flow switch for or of a consumer beverage container such as a beverage or water bottle, that incorporates the switch at the spout end of the container to control the dispensing of liquid from the container.
  • Specifically although not solely the present invention may also relate to a flow switch that may have application other than for beverage container applications and that will hereinafter be described with reference to the drawings and detailed descriptions.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Drink containers that are currently in common use for the purposes of containing liquid such as water are common. They normally incorporate a spout that is engaged by a valve to control the dispensing of the liquid from the reservoir of the container. A valve used for such applications is for example described in U.S. Pat. No. 6758359. It consists of a valve housing and a movable valve element that moves in an axial direction to open and close the spout.
  • The valve unit of U.S. Pat. No. 6758359 can have significant limitations and disadvantages. When such a valve is used by a consumer the valve element can require considerable force to move it between opened and closed conditions. Consumers often utilise their teeth to grasp the movable valve element to open it. This can damage teeth, particularly of younger persons having teeth that may not be able to withstand the considerable force required to open the valve unit.
  • The valve unit of U.S. Pat. No. 6758359 is also generally only capable of having a single purpose, being to open and close an outlet opening. It would be an advantage if a bottle could contain a valve that could be utilised for other purposes or have additional functionality.
  • Whilst in our published PCT application WO2004/106782 reference is made to the use of a valve for use with a beverage container, the valve largely only has an open/closed function. Further enhancements are desirable, other applications utilising a more efficient valve to perform sealing or to provide further functionality would be beneficial.
  • In this specification where reference has been made to patent specifications and other external documents, this is generally for the purpose of providing a context for discussing the features of the invention. Unless specifically stated otherwise, reference to such external documents is not to be construed as an admission that such documents, or such sources of information, in any jurisdiction, are prior art, or form part of the common general knowledge in the art.
  • Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide a flow switch and/or container or dispenser with a related flow switch, that addresses the abovementioned disadvantages or addresses the abovementioned desiderata or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.
  • It is a further object of the present invention to provide a flow switch that provides improvements over that disclosed in WO2004/106782 or that will at least provide the public with a useful choice.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • In a first aspect the present invention consists in a flow switch assembly comprising;
  • (a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged relative each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, the housing including an inlet and outlet to said chamber
  • (b) a valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) establishing at least one passage between said inlet and said outlet and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said at least one passage between said inlet and said outlet is non-established (preferably by said valve member sealing at least one of said inlet and outlet),
  • (c) interactive cam elements associated with (i) at least one of (a) said upper body portion and (b) said lower body portion, and (ii) the valve member, the cam elements positioned to effect movement of the valve member between the open position and the closed position when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
  • Preferably when said valve member is in said open position, said valve member establishes at least one passage between said inlet and outlet.
  • Preferably said valve member is seated by said valve housing for rotation relative to said valve housing, about a first axis.
  • Preferably the moving of said valve member between the open position and the closed position by said cam elements is actuated when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion about its axis of rotation that is perpendicular to said first axis.
  • Preferably said inlet is provided by said lower body portion and said outlet is provided by said upper body.
  • Preferably said inlet and said outlet are provided in diametrically of said valve member opposed locations.
  • Preferably the cam elements include (i) at least one cam surface formed at the exterior surface of the valve member and (ii) a cam follower formed at the interior surface of the upper body portion of the housing.
  • Preferably the cam elements include (i) at least one cam surface formed into the exterior surface of the valve member and (ii) a cam follower formed on the interior surface of the upper body portion of the housing.
  • Preferably the cam surface is defined by a slot into which the cam follower is located.
  • Preferably said valve member is seated in said chamber and mounted by axles positioned diametrically opposed to said valve member, for rotation relative to said valve housing about a first axis, and wherein said lower body portion is engaged (directly or indirectly) to said upper body portion to rotate relative to each other about an axis that is non parallel to said first axis wherein said cam elements include a cam follower and at least one cam surface with which said cam follower interacts, said cam follower carried by said upper body portion to rotate along an arc about said second axis lying in a plane perpendicular said second axis where said arc passes through a plane passing through and parallel said first and second axes and wherein said at least one cam surface defines two regions for engagement by said cam follower, a first region to be engaged by said cam follower when said cam follower is rotated toward a first distal end of said arc and a second region to be engaged when said cam follower is rotated towards the other distal end of said arc, said engagement effecting said rotation of said valve member about said first axis
  • Preferably said first and second axes are perpendicular to each other.
  • Preferably arc is bisected by said plane passing through and parallel said first and second axes.
  • Preferably said first and second regions are each disposed proximate one of said axles.
  • Preferably said first and second regions are each disposed on the same side as the upper housing of a plane in passing through and parallel said first axis and to which said second axis is normal.
  • Preferably said first and second regions of said at least one cam surface each define a surface of said at least one cam that are intersected by a plane in which said arc sits, at least when said valve member is intermediate of said open and closed positions.
  • Preferably said first and second regions are each defined by a discrete said cam surface.
  • Preferably a single said cam surface is defined that is of a V or U-shaped configuration to define said first and second regions.
  • Preferably said at least one cam surface is defined by two lobes on the valve member positioned in a “V” shaped configuration of said first and second region.
  • Preferably said lower body portion provides said inlet to said chamber, and wherein said lower body portion is integrally formed with a container.
  • Preferably said container is a consumer beverage container.
  • Preferably a second valve housing is provided, said second valve housing including an upper body portion (the “second upper body portion”) and a lower body portion (the “second lower body portion”), the second upper and lower body portions defining a chamber (the “second chamber”) capturing a valve member (the “second valve member”), the second valve housing including and inlet and outlet to said second chamber,
  • said second valve member seated in the second chamber of the second valve housing for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) defining a passage (the second passage) between said inlet and said outlet of said second valve housing and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said second passage is non-established (preferably by said second valve member sealing at least one of said inlet and outlet of said second chamber),
  • interactive cam elements associated with said second valve housing and the second valve member for moving the second valve member between the open position and the closed position when the second upper body portion of the second valve housing is rotated relative to said second lower body portion,
  • wherein a duct is provided intermediate of or defined by said first mentioned upper body portion and said second lower body portion to define a passage between the first mentioned outlet and said second inlet wherein said duck may preferably include an opening.
  • Preferably said first mentioned upper body portion is engaged or integrally formed with said second lower body portion.
  • Preferably said first mentioned valve member can move independently of said second valve member.
  • Preferably said duct retains a tablet.
  • Preferably said first mentioned inlet is of a size to allow the passing of said tablet from said duct through said inlet when said first mentioned valve member is in said open position.
  • Preferably, when said valve member is in said open position, said valve member establishes a plurality of said passages between said inlet and outlet.
  • Preferably said valve member includes a plurality of ducts to define at least two of said passages and wherein at least one of said lower and upper body portions includes a plurality of said inlet and outlets respectively, each duct of said plurality of ducts capable, upon the rotation of said valve member, of moving into and out of a said open position being one where at least one passage is established between (i) an or the inlet of said lower body portion and (ii) an or the outlet of said upper body portion.
  • Preferably each said plurality of ducts are mutually exclusive in providing a passage between an or the said inlet and an or the outlet, to the other of said plurality of ducts or ducts of said valve member.
  • Preferably said valve member has a plurality of ducts to each define a said passage at different angles of rotation of said valve member other than when said valve member is in the closed position.
  • Preferably said plurality of ducts are discrete ducts through said valve member.
  • Preferably said plurality of ducts is a bifurcated duct.
  • Preferably said valve member includes a duct therethrough via which said passage is established, said duct including an outlet opening, said valve member being shaped to present said outlet opening projecting beyond said outlet of said housing when said valve member is in said open position.
  • Preferably a removable overcap is provided, said housing engagable with a removable overcap to conceal said outlet of said housing.
  • Preferably said overcap can engage with said housing only when said valve member is not in said open position.
  • Preferably said upper and lower body portions each include overcap receiving regions, said receiving regions of said upper and lower body portions being movable relative to each other to be in and out of register with each other, wherein when in register they are only then capable of engaging said overcap with said housing, said means to engage being in register only when said valve member is not in said open condition.
  • Preferably a ring is provided to engage about at least part of both of said upper and lower body portions to lock relative rotation there between until such time as said ring is released from said upper and lower body portion.
  • Preferably said upper and lower body portions include a receptacle to receive a locking element to lock relative rotation of said upper and lower body portions, said receptacle being defined by both said upper and lower body portions.
  • Preferably said upper body portion and said lower body portion are rotatably engaged with each other to allow relative rotation about an axis, there being provided by said upper and lower body portions a means cooperative to, at a rotational position of said upper and lower body portions corresponding to the valve member being in at least one of said open and closed position, draw said upper and lower body portions together more to thereby effect a clamping of the valve member by said housing to encourage said valve member to thereby sealingly engage one of said inlet and outlet.
  • Preferably said means cooperative is a cam and cam follower provided by said upper and lower body portions respectively.
  • Preferably said means cooperative are complementary threads is provided by way of a threaded engagement of said upper and lower body portions.
  • Preferably said clamping by said valve housing with said valve member occurs at at least one of said inlet and outlet to said chamber to seal against said valve member about said inlet and/or outlet.
  • Preferably one of said upper and lower body portions includes a skirt region with an internally presented interface region to interface with an externally presented interface region of the other of said upper and lower body portions to hold said upper and lower body portions together for said relative rotation about said axis, said skirt region including a cam surface providing cam surface deviation in a direction parallel to said axis and over which a cam follower of the externally presented interface can slide, said deviation being such that the cam follower is displaced in a direction parallel to said axis by said cam surface.
  • Preferably said upper body portion and said lower body portion are rotatably engaged with each other to allow relative rotation about an axis, and wherein said upper and lower body portions can displace relative each other in a direction parallel the axis, said displacement controlled by a threaded engagement of said upper and lower body portions said threaded engagement being such that at a rotational position of said upper and lower body portions corresponding to the valve member being in at least one of said open and closed position, said upper and lower body portions are in a more proximate displacement to effect a clamping of the valve member by said housing to encourage said valve member to thereby sealingly engage one of said inlet and outlet.
  • Preferably said upper body portion and said lower body portion are rotatably engaged with each other to allow relative rotation about an axis, and wherein said upper and lower body portions can displace relative each other in a direction parallel the axis, said displacement controlled by a ramped surface of at least one of said upper and lower body portions interacting with a reaction surface or like ramped surface of the other of said upper and lower body portion at a rotational position of said upper and lower body portions corresponding to the valve member being in at least one of said open and closed position, said upper and lower body portions are in a more proximate displacement to effect a clamping of the valve member by said housing to encourage said valve member to thereby sealingly engage one of said inlet and outlet.
  • Preferably said upper and lower body portions are rotatable relative to each other about an axis, the rotation being indexed by indexing means of said valve housing cooperating between said upper and lower body portions.
  • Preferably said indexing means encourages the holding of a relative rotational position (herein after “an index position”) of said upper an lower body portions.
  • Preferably a said index position is when said upper and lower body portions are rotated relative to each other corresponding to said valve member being in said open condition.
  • Preferably a said index position is when said upper and lower body portions are rotated relative to each other corresponding to said valve member being in said closed condition.
  • Preferably a plurality of said index positions are provided.
  • Preferably a spring is provided to bias the rotation of said valve member for rotation towards one of said open and closed conditions.
  • Preferably said spring is mounted to act between said valve member and said lower body portion to bias said valve member.
  • Preferably said spring is mounted to act between said upper and lower body portions to bias their relative rotation to bias said valve member.
  • Preferably said valve member is mounted by said lower body portion by axles that define an axis of rotation about which said valve member can rotate and relative to which said lower body portion remains stationary and said upper body portion can rotate about said axis relative said lower body portion that is non parallel to said first axis.
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists in a consumer beverage container comprising;
  • a container portion
  • a lower valve body portion integrally formed with said container portion,
  • an upper valve body portion rotatably engaged with said lower valve body portion and defining with said lower valve body portion a chamber, said lower valve body portion including at least one passage creating an inlet to said chamber to allow fluid passage between said container portion and said chamber, the upper valve body portion including an outlet to said chamber,
  • a valve member seated in the chamber, said valve member mounted for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) defining at least one passage between said inlet and said outlet and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said at least one passage between said inlet and outlet is non-established (preferably said valve member sealing at least one of said inlet and outlet),
  • means operatively associated with (i) at least one of (a) said upper and (b) lower valve body portions, and (ii) the valve member, for moving the valve member between the open position and the closed position when the upper valve body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower valve body portion.
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists a consumer beverage container including a container defining body having an outlet for transferring fluid to and from said container defining body and a flow switch assembly as herein described to operatively control the transfer of fluid.
  • Preferably the lower body portion of said flow switch is integrally formed with said container defining body.
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists in a consumer beverage container comprising a container body portion having a flow switch assembly controlled outlet wherein said flow switch assembly is one as herein described.
  • Preferably said first mentioned lower body portion is integrally formed with said container defining body.
  • Preferably said first mentioned lower body portion is engaged with said container body portion.
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists in a flow switch assembly comprising;
  • (a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatable relative each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, said lower body portion including a plurality of inlets to said chamber and said upper body portion including at least one outlet to said chamber,
  • (b) a valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing, said valve member mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions each of said discrete positions allowing the establishment by said valve member of a passage between one of said inlets and (a) or the said outlet,
  • (c) interactive camming elements associated with said valve housing and the valve member for moving the valve member between the discrete positions when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
  • Preferably said valve member is mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions being ones (i) defining of a passage between a said inlet and a or the said outlet and (ii) defining a closed position, wherein said valve member seals at least one of (a) all of said inlets and (b) said outlet(s).
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists in a flow switch assembly comprising;
  • (a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged to each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, said lower body portion including at least one inlet to said chamber and said upper body portion including a plurality of outlets to said chamber,
  • (b) a valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing, said valve member mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions each of said discrete positions allowing the establishing by said valve member of a passage between (a) or the said inlet and one of said outlets,
  • (c) interactive cam elements associated with said valve housing and the valve member for moving the valve member between the discrete positions when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
  • Preferably said valve member is mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions being ones (i) defining a passage between one of said outlets and a or the said outlet and (ii) defining a closed position, wherein said valve member seals at least one of (a) all of said outlets and (b) said inlet(s).
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists in a container comprising;
  • a housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, the housing including an outlet to said chamber,
  • a container member seated in the chamber of the housing, said container member including a reservoir to contain a substance and including at least one outlet for said substance, said container member mounted for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) allowing at least one passage to be formed between said outlet of said container member and said outlet to said chamber and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said container member seals said outlet of said chamber,
  • interactive camming elements associated with said housing and the container member for moving the container member between the open position and the closed position when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
  • Preferably said container member includes only one outlet that is rotatable to be contiguous with said outlet of said housing when said container member is rotated to said open position.
  • Preferably, when said container member is in said open position, said container member establishes at least one passage to allow displacement of said substance between said fluid outlet and outlet of said housing.
  • Preferably said container member is mounted by said valve housing for rotation relative to said valve housing, about a first axis.
  • Preferably said container member is substantially spherical in its outer perimeter shape.
  • Preferably said chamber of said housing is of a substantially complementary shape to said spherical container member.
  • Preferably said housing includes at least one other outlet in addition to said first mentioned outlet and with which said outlet of said container member can create a passage to allow transfer of said substance from said reservoir.
  • Preferably said outlet(s) of said housing are provided by said upper body portion.
  • Preferably at least one tablet is disposed in said valve member and wherein at least one of
  • (a) said outlet; and
  • (b) said passage created when said valve member is in the open condition,
  • prevents displacement of said tablet through said outlet when said valve member is in the open position yet said inlet is of a shape to allow said tablet to pass therethrough when said valve member is in said open position.
  • Preferably said valve element can include a tablet and wherein said outlet is of a shape that prevents the passage of said tablet through said outlet.
  • Preferably said outlet is of a smaller size than said inlet.
  • Preferably said passage is formed by at least one duct passing through said valve member, said duct having an inlet and an outlet that when in an open position of the valve member are presented to the inlet and outlet of said housing respectively to create said passage.
  • Preferably a said duct includes a constriction between said inlet and outlet.
  • Preferably said duct includes a tablet that is prevented by said constriction from displacing through said outlet of said valve member.
  • Preferably said duct includes a tablet that is prevented by said constriction from displacing through said outlet of said valve member.
  • Preferably said passage formed in the open position includes a constriction wherein said tablet is prevented by said constriction from displacing through said outlet of said valve member.
  • In a further aspect the present invention consists in a flow switch assembly comprising;
  • (a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged relative each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, the housing including an inlet and outlet to said chamber
  • (b) a valve member seated in said chamber of the valve housing and rotatable about an axis of rotation between two limits of rotation, said valve member including a plurality of ducts each including an inlet and an outlet opening to said inlet and outlet of said housing to create at least two passages between said inlet and outlet of said housing wherein at least one of said passages is created at different rotational positions of said valve member between its limits of rotation,
  • (c) interactive cam elements operatively associated with (i) at least one of (a) said upper body portion and (b) lower body portion, and (ii) the valve member, for moving the valve member between its limits of rotation when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
  • Where reference herein is made to a “valve” it is understood to be a reference to a “flow switch” of any of the kind herein described with reference to the invention. Furthermore whilst reference may predominantly be made to such a flow switch or valve being used for beverage containers, it will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that other applications for the control of fluid flow or flow of solids by the flow switch of the present invention can be catered for.
  • This invention may also be said broadly to consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated in the specification of the application, individually or collectively, and any or all combinations of any two or more of said parts, elements or features, and where specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which this invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For convenient references aspects of the present invention are explained with and without reference to prior art by way of the drawings in which;
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a valve assembly of WO2004/206782,
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the valve assembly of FIG. 1,
  • FIG. 3 is an exploded view in an alternative direction and of slight variation to the valve assembly of FIG. 1,
  • FIG. 3A illustrates the fluid of FIG. 1 engaged with a consumer beverage container and wherein the valve member is shown in an open condition,
  • FIG. 3B shows the valve member positioned intermediate of a fully open and fully closed condition of the valve assembly,
  • FIG. 3C illustrates the valve member in a condition where the assembly is fully closed,
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the assembly of FIG. 1 engaged with a consumer beverage container and also illustrating an overcap,
  • FIG. 5 is an exploded view showing the components of the assembly of FIG. 4,
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a valve member illustrating an alternative configuration of lugs and camming pins to that shown in the FIGS. 1-5,
  • FIG. 7 illustrates the same valve member as shown in FIG. 5, but wherein the valve member has been rotated,
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a valve member showing longitudinal and latitudinal designations for the purposes of illustrating the mechanism of movement,
  • FIG. 9 is an end view of a valve member looking onto the pole for the purposes of illustrating the mechanism of movement of the valve member,
  • FIG. 9 a is a view from another side of the valve member of FIG. 9 illustrating an undesired positioning of the cam pin relative to the valve member 5,
  • FIG. 9 b is an end view like the end view shown in FIG. 9 illustrating the cam lobes of the valve member 5,
  • FIG. 9 c is a side view of a valve member showing a cam surface of a continuous form rather than being defined by two discrete cam lobes as shown in FIG. 9 b,
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a flow switch engaged with a beverage container,
  • FIG. 10 a illustrates the top end of a consumer beverage container having integrally formed, a lower body portion of the valve housing,
  • FIG. 11 is a side view of a flow switch assembly variation wherein provided are two valve members; a single upper body portion and two lower body portions, relative to which the upper body portion can rotate the upper body thereby simultaneously controlling two valve members,
  • FIG. 11 a is a plan view of a valve member illustrating a passage not extending through the valve member but created in part by the valve member,
  • FIG. 11 b is a side view of the valve member of FIG. 11 a,
  • FIG. 11 c illustrates a variation to the configuration shown in FIG. 11,
  • FIG. 11 d illustrates a further variation,
  • FIG. 11 e illustrates yet a further variation to those shown with reference to FIGS. 11, 11 c and 11 d,
  • FIG. 12 is a side view of a flow switch assembly in part shown in cross section wherein the valve member is not of an entirely spherical shape but includes a cutaway region to define a spout of the valve member,
  • FIG. 13 is a plan view of the assembly of FIG. 12,
  • FIGS. 14-17 a illustrate multiple flow path enabling variations of a flow switch assembly of the present invention,
  • FIG. 18 illustrates in cross section a flow switch assembly variation wherein no inlet port is provided and where the valve member defines a cavity for containing the fluid to be dispensed through the outlet,
  • FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an overcap to be utilised with a flow switch assembly in a manner such that the overcap can only be engaged when the flow switch assembly is in a closed condition,
  • FIG. 20 is a side and partial sectional view of a flow switch assembly with apertures to be aligned between the upper and lower body portions to receive the legs of the overcap as shown in FIG. 19 to allow the overcap to only be engageable with the flow switch assembly when the flow switch assembly is in the closed condition as shown in FIG. 19,
  • FIG. 20 a is a perspective view of a variation to the lock described with reference to FIGS. 19 and 20,
  • FIG. 20 b is a further variation to that shown in FIG. 19, 20 and 20 a,
  • FIG. 21-24 illustrate various views of a flow switch assembly incorporating a wedge or cam like element for the purposes of assisting in creating a tight seal at and immediately prior to where the valve member is in a substantially closed and/or open condition,
  • FIG. 21A is a plan view of for example the flow switch assembly of FIG. 21 wherein driving surfaces are provided to one or both of the upper or lower body portions to allow for a crescent or other driving device to be selectively engaged therewith,
  • FIG. 22 is a sectional view through a flow switch assembly illustrating a cam or wedge like arrangement for the purposes of sealing the valve member when in either the closed or opened condition,
  • FIG. 22A is a perspective view of the lower body portion illustrating an example of a wedge like member for engagement with an interactive portion either a lug upstand rebate or a wedge like or cam like follower of the upper body portion,
  • FIG. 23 is a sectional view of FIG. 22 wherein the valve member is shown in an intermediate position,
  • FIG. 24 is a view of FIG. 22 but wherein the valve member is in a fully open position,
  • FIG. 25 is a side view of a flow switch assembly illustrating the incorporation of a spring biased lug that can be utilised to establish indexing or ratchet like relative positioning of the lower and upper body portions to allow for the valve member to be moved to discrete angular rotations, having particular application where there is multi port alignment capabilities provided by the flow switch assembly as for example shown in FIGS. 14-17,
  • FIG. 25 a is an alternative side view of a flow switch assembly illustrating the incorporation of ratchet surfaces that can mate with each other for the purposes of an indexed locking of the upper and lower housing or providing an interference fit between the upper and lower housings to restrict or restrain or limit relative movement,
  • FIG. 26 is a plan view of a flow switch assembly in schematic illustrating how the flow switch assembly may include a spring to encourage one of the upper or lower body portions to be biased in one rotational direction relative to the other,
  • FIG. 27 is a side view of a valve member illustrating an alternative position of the cam lobes,
  • FIG. 28 is a front view of the valve member of FIG. 27,
  • FIG. 29 illustrates a flow switch assembly showing non-axially aligned inlet and outlet ports and a non-axial passage passing through or defined by the valve member,
  • FIG. 30 illustrates the flow switch of FIG. 29 but in a closed condition,
  • FIG. 31 illustrates a variation to a valve assembly of the present invention which is for example integrally formed with a container and wherein the valve assembly can contain a tablet or pill or solid which can only be dispensed into the container and not through the outlet, and
  • FIG. 32 illustrates a variation of the valve assembly of FIG. 31.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals identify similar structural elements or features of the subject invention, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a flow switch or valve assembly 1 of prior art as found in our PCT Application WO2004/106782. More detail of the valve mechanism operation are described in WO2004/106782 which is hereby incorporated by way of reference. Various flow switch assemblies of the present invention define variations from the prior art. The variations are preferably for use in consumer beverage applications however alternative applications such as but not limited to plumbing or hydraulics, may also be mentioned or be apparent. Where reference herein is made to fluid or fluid flow or fluid communication it should also be appreciated that this could also be reference to solid or particulate materials.
  • The flow switch assembly 1 includes, inter alia, a valve housing 2 having an upper body portion 3 and a lower body portion 4 and a valve member 5 preferably of a spherical shape. The upper and lower body portions 3,5 of the housing 2 define an internal cavity 6 to capture the valve member 5. The flow switch assembly may have a central axis “X”. The housing 2 preferably also has inlet and outlet ports 7 and 8 respectively, formed in the lower and upper body portions 4 and 3 respectively. These are diametrically opposed on each side of the valve member 5, but with respect to the present invention this axial alignment need not necessarily be so (see for example, FIGS. 29 and 30 for an illustration of alternatives).
  • The valve member 5 is seated within the internal cavity 6 of the valve housing 2 and has a passage 9 extending therethrough. The valve member 5 is mounted for movement within the internal cavity 6 of the housing 2 between an open position and a closed position. FIG. 3A illustrates flow switch assembly 1 in the open position; wherein the passage 9 of the valve member 5 allows fluid communication between the inlet port 7 and the outlet port 8 of the valve housing 2. In a like manner, FIG. 3C illustrates the flow switch assembly 1 in the closed position; wherein the passage 9 of the valve member 5 is positioned relative to the inlet and outlet ports 7/8 of the valve housing 2 to prevent flow of fluid between the ports. FIG. 3B, shows detail of the valve assembly 1 in an intermediate position.
  • Valve member 5 (which is preferably spherical in shape but could be slightly non-spherical) moves between the open position and the closed position when the upper body portion 3 of the housing is rotated about the central axis “X” with respect to the lower body portion 4. The valve member 5 is mounted for rotation within the interior chamber about an axis “Y” (see FIG. 3B) extending preferably perpendicular to the central axis “X” defined by the upper and lower body portions 3, 4 of the valve housing 2. The chamber need not be one that fully encloses the valve but could be one where the valve is at least partially exposed to the outside.
  • The valve member 5 may include a sealing surface 11 that is adapted for sealing engagement with annular valve seat 12 formed in the housing 2 when the valve is in a closed position.
  • Two, preferably diametrically opposed, pivot pins 13 (only one pin is shown in FIG. 2) extend radially outwardly from the surface of the valve member 5 for accommodation within diametrically opposed recesses 14 and formed in a lower body portion 4 of the housing 2 to facilitate the rotation of the valve member 5.
  • A camming or driving mechanism is operatively associated with the valve housing 2 and the valve member 5 for moving the valve member 5 between the open position of FIG. 3A and the closed position of FIG. 3C. The camming mechanism may include cam lobes 16A, 16B (protrusion or projection from the valve element 5 or recesses (such as a scallop) into the valve element 5) formed at the exterior surface of the valve member 5 and a cam pin that extends inwardly (preferably radially inwardly) from the interior surface of the upper body portion 3 of the housing 2 to cooperate with the cam lobes. The interaction therebetween allows for movement of the valve member between open and closed conditions upon relative rotation of the upper and lower body portions.
  • With reference to FIG. 8 there is shown a reference to the valve assembly including the valve member 5 rotating about the axis YY supported by the pivot pins 13. Drawn on the spherical valve member 5, are lines of longitude 50 that extend between the poles at the pivot pins 13. The sphere also includes lines of latitude 51 including the equator line 52 midway between the opposed poles.
  • As also shown in FIG. 8 is an upper body portion 3 that is shown in an exploded view relative the valve member 5 and wherein it is positioned for rotation about the axis XX. Shown on the upper body portion 3 are its lines of longitude 53 and its lines of latitude 54. Also shown is the cam pin 17 mounted by the upper body portion 3 and mounted for movement parallel to the latitudinal lines 54. In the preferred form where the XX and YY axes are perpendicular to each other, the lines of latitude 54 of the upper body portion 3 lie parallel to the YY axis. Likewise the lines of latitude 51 of the valve member 5 lie parallel to the X axis. Positioning of the cam pin 17 of the upper body portion 3 is preferably such that it is located proximate the axis YY and proximate the poles at pivot pins 13. Interaction of the cam pin with the cam lobes at this region results in favourable mechanical advantage to be provided during the rotation of the upper body portion 3 about the axis XX with the valve member 5. With reference to FIG. 9, it can be seen that a movement of the cam pin 17 along a latitudinal line or plane of the upper body portion 3 between its left most limit of movement at 17L and its right most limit of movement at 17R results in the cam pin 17 traversing across a higher density of longitudinal lines 50 of the valve member 5. In other words, for the same arc travelled by the pin 17 along one of its latitudinal lines the pin will cross more lines of longitude at this more preferred location of the pin, than at an arc that is further from the pole 13 towards the equator 52. Also the further the cam pin 17 is positioned towards the pole 56 of the upper body portion 3, the less the mechanical advantage will become. In the preferred form the cam pin 17 has its limits of movement provided on either side of the plane sitting in the X-X and Y-Y axes (i.e. the XY plane).
  • FIG. 9 a illustrates a positioning of the cam pin 17 in a undesirable position. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 9 a in this position the cam pin is located proximate the equator 52 of the valve member 5 and moves parallel to the YZ plane (i.e. in a latitudinal line 54 of the upper body portion 3 but only on one side of the XY plane of the valve housing 5). Such positioning of the cam pin is undesirable as it does not traverse a high density of longitudinal lines 50 of the valve member 5 to effect favourable mechanical advantage. Other inherent problems may also arise.
  • Although not shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the cam lobes present a reaction surface that may each extend parallel a line of longitude 50 of the valve member. However alternatively the reaction surface may traverse across the line of longitude of the valve member 5. The reaction surface of a cam lobe need not be a straight surface but may be curved yet still allow for the cam pin 17 to react therewith for the purposes of displacing and rotating the valve member 5 about the YY axis. Such a variation is for example shown with reference to FIG. 9 b, where the cam lobes 16 a and 16 b have reaction surfaces 59 and 60 respectively that each traverse a respective line of longitude 50 of the valve member 5.
  • Whilst reference herein is made to longitudinal and latitudinal lines having direct reference to a spherical valve element, it will be appreciated that other forms of valve elements will have similar principles at work given that such will still have two poles.
  • A further variation to the cam lobes is shown with reference to FIGS. 6 and 7 wherein the reaction surfaces 59 and 60 are parallel each other and intermediate of which the cam pin 17 is placed. FIG. 7 illustrates the cam pin 17 being displaced to the left side of the XY plane thereby having rotated the valve member 5 in a anticlockwise direction about the YY axis. The reaction surface 60 of the cam lobe 16 b has been interacted with by the cam pin 17 in rotating the valve in the anticlockwise direction. Rotation of the cam pin 17 about the XX axis in the opposite direction will result in a returning of the valve member 5 to the position shown in FIG. 6. The return rotation will result in the cam pin 17 engaging with the reaction surface 59 of the cam lobe 16 a. A close positioning of the two reaction surfaces 59 and 60 when the cam pin is at its extremes of rotation, will result in little or no play existing between the interaction of the cam pin 17 with the reaction surfaces 60 and 59. Such play can be minimised by a positioning of the cam pin 17 proximate more the pivot pins 13 where for example the cam lobes are in a V-shaped configuration. They may also be of a U-shaped configuration. The reaction surfaces are preferably straight when locking onto the valve but they may also be curved other than being curved to follow the surface of the preferred spherical valve member. Alternatively, an appropriate positioning of the V-shaped cam lobes such that their reaction surfaces traverse across the lines of longitude 50 or by having cam lobes that are of or tend towards a parallel configuration as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 may have similar effect.
  • However one of the potential disadvantages of parallel cam lobes as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 is for example with reference to FIG. 7. Upon the return of the cam pin 17 to rotate the valve member 5 in a clockwise direction, the angle of incidence of the movement of the cam pin 17 (parallel to the ZZ plane) with the reaction surface 59, may be an angle that is too shallow and may result in jamming or an un-rotatable valve member. The angle T as shown in FIG. 7 is relatively large and therefore a shallow angle of contact is made between the reaction surface 59 and the cam pin 17 upon the movement of the cam pin 17 to rotate the valve member 5 in the clockwise direction. The further that the angle tends towards 90 degrees or zero degrees and away from 180 degrees, the less likely that such jamming will occur.
  • A person skilled in the art will realise that variations to this preferred configuration can occur including where the XY plane and the ZY planes are not perpendicular of each other.
  • The degree of play may be dependent on the degree of separation of the reaction surfaces at the latitude of the upper body portion at where the cam pin is mounted. Where the surfaces are of a V-shaped configuration, the closer that the cam pin is mounted towards the apex of the V, the less play there will be. The apex of the V (whether or not the surfaces in fact touch each other) may be at the pole of the valve member or may terminate at a latitude of the valve member away from the pole.
  • FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a flow switch assembly engaged with a beverage container 10. The flow switch assembly 1, can be threadingly engaged to a beverage container 10 as a result of the beverage container providing a threaded spout 18. The spout is for example integrally formed with the container portion 19. The beverage container 10 may be formed using any suitable method including blow or injection moulding and may be formed of plastic or any suitable material and may be of a size sufficient to contain beverages such as water or flavoured water or soft drink or the like. The container may also include carbonated liquid. The flow switch assembly 1 may include a collar 20 that includes an internal thread that is engageable onto an external thread of the spout 18. A sealing engagement between the valve assembly 1 and the spout 18 can be established so that contents of the beverage container 10 can pass through the spout 18 and through the flow switch assembly 1.
  • Also shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 is an overcap 21 that can engage over the outlet port 8 of the flow switch assembly 1 so as to conceal both the outlet port 8 and the surrounding external region with which the mouth of a consumer is, in a usual manner of use, engaged. The overcap hence therefore provides hygiene advantages. It may also include tamper evident features. So may the valve assembly.
  • With reference to FIGS. 10 and 10 a there is shown improvements to the arrangement of FIGS. 1 to 5. The flow switch assembly 1 as shown in FIG. 10 is in part defined by a portion integrally formed with the beverage container 10. In FIG. 10 a the lower body portion 4 of the flow switch assembly is shown integrally formed with the beverage container 10. The lower body portion 4 defines those features that have hereinbefore been described with reference to the flow switch assembly but are provided in a manner integrally formed with a beverage container 10. The upper body portion 3 and valve member 5 can, in a like manner as previously described, engage with the lower body portion 4 as shown in FIG. 10, to define a flow switch assembly 1. Alternative modes of engagement of the lower body position to the container may also be provided. Such may include push fit or adhesive or welded engagement.
  • The example of FIG. 10 allows for a beverage container incorporating a flow switch assembly 1 to be provided that may utilise less plastics materials and may also be cheaper to produce as a result of fewer assembly steps.
  • The lower body portion 4 may be defined integrally with the beverage container 10. Various methods of manufacture can be employed. Such may include an injection moulding or by a blow moulding of such. Whilst the tolerances in blow moulding may not be as accurate as in injection moulding, the flow switch assembly 1 can be designed so that with lower tolerances, adequate sealing and closure of the flow switch assembly 1 can still be established. The lower body portion 4 need not in fact be of a tolerance to encourage a sealing of the container 10, by the valve member 5. In this regard, sealing may be achieved by the interaction of the valve member 5 with the upper body portion 3. The lower body portion 4 need only be of a tolerance sufficient to cradle the valve member 5 and to provide the recesses 14 and 15 for defining a pivot for the pivot pins 13.
  • With reference to FIG. 11 there is shown a variation to the flow switch assembly 1. In FIG. 11 there is shown a flow switch assembly 101 wherein there are two valve members 105. Each valve member is mounted by a respective lower body portion 104 and is actuable by camming pins or protrusions mounted from an upper body portion 103. The flow switch assembly 101 of FIG. 11 illustrates a multi valve member assembly that may utilise the basic technology as hereinbefore described. Daisy chaining of a number of valve assemblies as described herein where two or more are engaged together can be employed or used.
  • In the specific example shown in FIG. 11 the two lower body portions 104 are shown to be fixed whereas the upper body portion 103 is capable of rotation relative to both lower body portions 104. This will allow the movement of the valve members 105 by the relative rotation of the upper body portion 103 relative to the lower body portions 104. The valve members 105 may be provided so that a movement of the upper body portion 103 may simultaneously move both valve members 105. Such movement may open one and close another of the valve members or open and close both simultaneously.
  • Partial opening and closure may also be a relative positional relationship that can exist between the two valve members. The passage (or opening of the upper/lower body portion) through one of the valve members 105 may be significantly larger than the passage through the other valve member thereby allowing for one of the valve members to remain in an open or closed condition for longer than the other of the valve members during a rotation of the upper body portion 103. Such a configuration can also control different flow rates.
  • The assembly of FIG. 11 may also include a variation where the lower body portions are rotatable relative to each other and relative to the upper body portion. This will allow for independent control of the two valve members to occur. The assembly of FIG. 11 may have application for drink bottles. The openable cavity 191 provided between the valve members may contain a tablet 192 of some form that, upon the rotation of a valve member disposed between the cavity and the containment region of a bottle, can allow for the tablet to fall into the containment region of the bottle. The tablet 192 may for example be a water treatment tablet to decontaminate the water of undesirable or harmful contaminants. Once the valve member is opened to allow the tablet to drop into the containment region, the upper valve member may then be opened to allow for the contents of the containment region of the drink bottle to be consumed. The tablet may, be a flavouring tablet or a novelty tablet to change the colour of the liquid within the containment region of the bottle. The tablet may also be used for the purposes of aerating or effervescing the liquid. The tablet may alternatively be a gel, a capsule, or any other suitable form of additive.
  • The valve member 105 (or the openings through either or both its related body portions) distal most from the bottle may provide an opening or passage there through that is of a size insufficient to allow a tablet to pass through the passage or opening of the valve 105. Therefore the only way that the tablet can pass is through an opening or passage through the valve 105 proximate most the bottle so as to allow for the displacement of the tablet into the bottle only. This will prevent the removal of the tablet from the cavity or duct 191 and will only allow for the tablet to pass into the container region of the bottle.
  • FIG. 11 c illustrates a variation to that shown in FIG. 11. In FIG. 11 c the openable cavity 191 includes an outlet opening 193 that can allow the passing of a fluid or solid that enters the openable cavity 191 from either of the two inlets designated “in” of the lower body portions 104. This variation allows for a flow of fluid and mixing of fluid to occur between the inlet or inlets and the outlet.
  • With reference to FIG. 11 d there is shown a variation to that of FIGS. 11 and 11 c wherein an outlet, provided by one of the lower body portions 104, can allow for fluid to be dispensed from the device as shown wherein the fluid may be a mixture of that previously separated and contained in the cavity 191 and in a further cavity 194. An opening of the left more valve assembly 105 may occur allowing for the fluid in the cavities 194 and 191 to mix whereupon after mixing, an opening of the right more valve member 105 allows for the mixture to be dispensed.
  • With reference to FIG. 11 e, there is shown a variation wherein a directional control of flow can be established. Two outlets are provided wherein in a first mode fluid exits only from the lower more outlet as shown and in a second mode fluid through both the outlets as shown.
  • With reference to FIG. 11 a and 11 b there is shown a valve member 5 that where a passage 9 a can be defined in part by the slot 9 a of the valve member that, in co-operation with the valve housing, can establish a passage between the inlet and outlet of the valve housing. FIGS. 11 a and 11 b illustrates that it need not be the valve solely that defines the passage but that the passage may be provided in part by the valve and the valve housing.
  • With reference to FIG. 12 there is shown a flow switch assembly 201 that incorporates a valve member 205 that is of a non-spherical shape. The valve member 205 is of a partial spherical shape and includes a spout region 222 provided at the outlet end of the passage 209 of the valve member 205. The spout region 222 is shaped to allow for it to at least in part extend into the mouth of a user. The spout region 222 of the valve member 205 extends beyond the boundary of the upper body portion 203 and can hence be inserted into the mouth of a user.
  • The spout region 222 is preferably defined by a cutting away of part of an otherwise spherical (or otherwise shaped) valve member 205. The cutaway portions of the valve member 205 allow for a spout region 222 to be defined as part of the valve member 205. The upper body portion 203 may be modified to allow for the spout region 222 to be capable of projecting beyond the upper surface 223 of the upper body portion 203. In a closed condition the valve member 205 is still capable of being rotated to prevent communication between the inlet port 207 and the outlet port 208 of the valve member 205. Indeed in this example the outlet port 208 serves the function to allow for the outlet spout 222 to pass therethrough when the flow switch assembly 201 is in the open condition. In this position, the spout allows fluid communication or fluid passage via said outlet 208 of said upper body portion 203. In this condition, the fluid or solid passage or fluid communication is not strictly between said inlet and outlet of said housing but between the inlet of the housing and the outlet spout, via the outlet of the housing.
  • The upper body portion 203 may be shaped to include an outlet port 208 that may include a slot or channel 224 via which the spout region 222 of the valve member 205 can pass in moving between the open condition and the closed condition of the flow switch assembly 201. However such a slot or channel 224 need not necessarily be provided and the outlet port 208 may be of a size to accommodate full rotation of a fully spherical valve member 205. When in the closed condition the partially spherical surface 225 of the spout region 222 is still capable of sealing against a complimentary surface of the internal cavity 206 defined by the upper and lower body portions 203 and 204 to close the flow switch.
  • With reference to FIG. 14 there is shown a flow switch assembly 301 wherein the upper and lower body portions 303 and 304 include a single outlet and inlet port 308/307 respectively. In this example the valve member 305 includes a plurality of passages 309. Each such passages are capable of being moved to a position to allow for a fluid communication or flow passage for fluid or solids to be established therethrough. In this configuration it is also possible for some and not all of the passages 309 to establish such fluid communication. This variation of the flow switch assembly 301 will allow for the valve member 305 to accurately establish a variable sized flow path, because the valve member 305 can allow for a variable flow rate to be defined. Where some form of indexing of the relative rotation of the upper body portion and lower body portion 303/304 can be established (and this is hereinafter described by reference to FIG. 25) the flow switch assembly 301 can allow for variable flow path sizes to be established between the inlet and outlet ports 7/8 (307/308).
  • FIG. 15 shows a variation to the multiple flow path defining valve member 305. In this example a single inlet 326 is provided positioned adjacent the inlet port 307 of the lower body portion 304. A bifurcated passage or a multi passage branching from the inlet 326 of the passage 309 is shown in FIG. 15. Multiple outlets 327 are provided by the valve member 305. The multiple outlets 327 can be presented to the outlet port 308 to establish flow communication between the inlet port 307 and 308. Rotation of the valve member 305 can also allow for variable flow paths and variable flow rates.
  • With reference to FIG. 16 there is shown a further variation to the flow switch assembly 301 wherein multiple inlet ports 307 and multiple outlet ports 308 are provided. In the example shown in FIG. 16 a single passage 309 extends through the valve member 305. In this example the flow switch assembly 301 is capable of providing selective fluid communication between different inlet and outlet ports 307/308. This allows for a switching between different channels for, for example, dispensing different fluids or solids or controlling flow such as for hydraulics application. The flow switch assembly of FIG. 16 may for example have application in bars. The flow switch of FIG. 16 will allow for a single drinks dispenser to selectively dispense discrete or a mixture of different beverages. The outlet ports 308 may remain discrete or such may merge into a single conduit for delivery via a single outlet (not shown) for dispensing beverages into a glass. The inlet ports 307 may each individually be in fluid communication with different reservoirs containing different beverages. Indexing as for example hereinafter described between the upper and lower body portions 303 and 304 may be provided to facilitate channel selection.
  • FIG. 17 shows multiple inlet ports 307 and a single outlet port 308 to allow for selective communication to be established between individual inlet ports 307 and the single outlet port 308 by the passage 309 of the valve member 305. A variation to this is where multiple outlet ports may be served by a single inlet port. This has application in flow rate control and/or flow path control.
  • FIG. 21 illustrates a flow switch assembly 401 that includes an upper body portion 403 and a lower body portion 404. With reference to FIG. 22 it can be seen that the flow switch assembly of FIG. 21 also includes a valve member 405 rotatable in a manner as hereinbefore described to allow for fluid communication to be established between the inlet port 407 and 408. In the condition as shown in FIG. 22 the valve assembly 401 is in a closed condition as a result of the passage 409 being out of alignment with at least one and preferably both the inlet and outlet ports 407/408. In this example it can be seen that the internal cavity 406 need not be of a complimentary shape to the shape of the valve member 405. It can also be seen that the valve member 405 need not be completely spherical.
  • The valve member 405 includes sealing surfaces 428 that are capable of seating with respective seating surfaces 429 of one or both of the upper and lower body portions 403 and 404. Such seating occurs when the valve member is in a condition to define a valve assembly in a closed condition as shown in FIG. 22 and preferably also when in an open condition as shown in FIG. 24. However in the open condition as shown in FIG. 24, such seating of the sealing surfaces 428 with the seating 429 need not necessarily occur. Some fluid may in such a condition also pass through or displace into the internal cavity 406.
  • The flow switch assembly 401 shown in FIGS. 21-24 includes a feature that enables a clamped sealing of the valve sealing surfaces 428 and the valve seating surfaces 429 to be established. With reference to FIG. 22 it can be seen that the upper body portion 403 includes a ramped or wedge shaped cam member 430. The wedge 430 is rotatable with the upper body portion 403. The wedge 430 includes ramped surfaces 431 on both sides of its apex 432. The ramped surfaces extend outwardly from the apex 432 in a direction tangential or on the arc of a radius about the rotational axis XX of the upper and lower body portions 403 and 404. The ramped surfaces are of a camming nature provided to interact with a cam follower 433 provided by the lower body portion 404. In the example shown in FIG. 22-24 the cam follower may be part of the lower body portion and positioned to allow interaction with the ramped surfaces at certain angular positions of the upper and lower body portions.
  • The ramped surfaces 431 interact with the cam follower 433 at points of relative rotation between the upper and lower body portions when the valve member is at and immediately prior to both or one of the open and closed conditions. The interaction between the ramped surfaces and the cam follower is such that when sealing between the sealing surfaces 428 and the seating surfaces 429 is required (i.e. when the valve assembly is in a closed condition and preferably also when it is in the open condition), the ramped surfaces encourage a displacement in or parallel to the axial direction XX of the upper and lower body portions to bring these together.
  • The bringing together of the upper and lower body portions as a result of the interaction between the ramped surfaces and the cam follower will result in a pressing of the seating surfaces 429 onto the sealing surfaces 428. Such a clamping or pressing results in a better seal being established between the sealing surfaces 428 and seating surfaces 429. The relative tangential positioning of the ramped surfaces and cam follower or followers of the upper and lower body portions respectively, will allow for such a clamping to be established at the appropriate points of relative rotation between the upper and lower body portions corresponding to appropriate angular positions of the valve member.
  • Whilst the wedge 430 may include two ramp surfaces, one on each side of the apex 432, it will be appreciated that the wedge may only include one ramped surface for the purposes of interaction with one cam follower. In such an example, clamping would only occur in one of the open or closed positions of the valve member (preferably the closed condition).
  • Whilst reference has herein been made to cam surfaces and cam followers, it will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that such clamping may be established by a leaf spring arrangement being representative of a cam of the kind as hereinbefore described. A leaf spring arrangement may be provided to allow for a cam follower to run up the surface of a leaf spring and progressively allow for relative movement between the upper and lower body portions to be biased in a direction for sealing.
  • With reference to the FIGS. 22-24 where there is shown discrete ramped surfaces. An alternative to such an arrangement may be the provision of a threaded like arrangement. A threaded like arrangement between the upper and lower body portions can allow for the upper and lower body portions to move closer together to thereby clamp the valve member between the open or closed conditions at desired relative angular rotations of the upper and lower body portions.
  • With reference to FIG. 18 there is shown a flow switch assembly 501 that does not include an inlet port. The flow switch assembly 501 includes a lower body portion 504 and an upper body portion 503 movable relative to each other in a manner as previously described and each to interact with a valve member 505. In this example the valve member (or container member) 505 defines a fluid containing reservoir 534. The reservoir 534 can be charged with a fluid or solid to be dispensed via an outlet 527 of the container member 505. The outlet 527 can be moved in and out of communication with an outlet port 508 of the upper body portion 503. When in alignment with the outlet port 508 the fluid or solid or solids contained within the reservoir 534 can be displaced therefrom.
  • With reference to FIG. 19 there is shown an overcap 621 that has been designed to interact with parts of the flow switch assembly 601 as shown for example in shown in FIG. 20. The flow switch assembly 601 of FIG. 20 may be of a kind as herein described. The overcap 621 includes legs 635 that are capable of locating within apertures or slots 636 of both the upper and lower body portions 603 and 604. However the apertures 636 of each of the upper and lower body portions 603 and 604 may only be in alignment when for example flow switch assembly 601 is in the closed condition as shown in FIG. 20. The overcap 621 may hence only fully engage with the flow switch assembly 601 when the flow switch assembly 601 has been moved to a fully closed condition. In the fully closed condition the legs 635 can extend into the apertures 636 of both upper and lower body portions and be fully seated with the valve assembly and lock relative rotation.
  • The provision of an overcap 621 that can only engage with a flow switch assembly 601 when the assembly is in a fully closed condition provides the benefit to ensure that the valve is complete closed by a user before the overcap is engaged to the valve assembly. This may have application for example where the valve assembly is used as a valve on a petrol tank of a vehicle. The overcap 621 can hence only be engaged to the flow switch assembly when the petrol tank has been fully closed by the flow switch assembly. This should avoid the flow switch assembly remaining open or partially open. An alternative to the overcap locking mechanism as shown, is a locking pin provided to prevent rotation between the upper and lower body portions. Such a locking pin may extend through apertures of the upper and lower body portions like that shown with reference to the overcap to prevent the relative movement between the upper and lower body portions.
  • Alternatively the overcap locking mechanism or locking pin may be used to keep the valve in an open position.
  • With reference to FIG. 20 a there is shown an upper and lower body portion wherein a locking element 635 is shown to engage between the upper and lower housing 603 and 604. The locking element may be a pin that can insert between a cavity defined by the upper and lower portions. Other variations will be apparent to a person skilled in the art. Indeed a tamper evident element 639 may be provided to lock the relative rotation together. This is for example shown in FIG. 20 b. The tamper evident ring or element 639 may be severable from the upper and lower housing to allow for relative rotation to occur.
  • FIG. 25 shows part of a flow switch assembly where each of the upper and lower body portions 803/804 includes indexing means 838. The indexing means may for example include a ball bearing 839, part of the upper body portion 803, biased by a spring 840 towards the lower body portion 804. The lower body portion 804 may include a plurality of recesses 841 with each of which the ball bearing 839 can locate. The plurality of recesses 841 may be spaced so that upon relative rotation of the upper and lower body portions an indexed rotation can be established between the upper and lower body portions to discrete relative rotational positions. Such may have application with respect to the variations of the flow switch as shown in FIGS. 14-17.
  • With reference to FIG. 25 a there is shown a variation to that shown in FIG. 25 wherein a ratchet like engagement between the upper body portion 803 and lower body portion 804 occurs. Both the upper and lower body portions may include a ratchet surface or surfaces 843 that can mate with each other for the purposes of locking or providing an interference fit between the upper and lower housings to restrict or restrain or limit relative movement.
  • With reference to FIG. 21A, there is shown a profiled perimeter surface provided to at least one or both of the upper and lower body portions. FIG. 21 A shows a plan view of for example the valve assembly shown in side view in FIG. 21. A hexagonal surfaced region of one or both of the upper and lower body portions may be provided to allow for a crescent or spanner or the like to engage with the valve. In some applications it may not be desirable for relative rotation to be conveniently achieved between the upper and lower body portions but that such rotation can be achieved by the use of a torque applying device such as a wrench or crescent. Indeed in some applications the valve of the present invention may only be desired to be capable of being rotated by authorised personnel. As such specially designed driving devices with certain profiles to engage with an uncommon driving profile provided by one or both of the upper and lower body portions may be provided.
  • FIG. 26 shows a flow switch assembly wherein one or both of the upper or lower body portions is in part controlled for movement by a spring mechanism. The upper body portion 1203 may have one or two springs 1291 engaged to it the springs biasing the rotation of the upper body portion 1203 towards a certain limit of movement. For example the certain limit of movement may be where the springs are disposed to be positioned on axis AA as shown in FIG. 26. The springs may be coil springs or leaf springs or similar. The springs may work in tension or compression. Other biasing means may also be used.
  • The upper body portion 1203 may be rotated clockwise such that the points P at where the springs 1291 engage the upper body portion are displaced to positions P1. The release of the upper body portion 1203 by for example a hand rotating the upper body portion to positions P1, will result in the upper body portion returning back to the position where the points P are on the axis AA. Such biasing of rotation of the upper body portion 1203 may be to allow for an over centre or toggle position to be assumed by the upper body portion 1203 in relation to the springs 1291. Such an over centre position may allow for the upper body portion 1203 to remain in such a position without having to be held by a hand of a user in such a position. Such a mechanism would operate similar to an over centre toggle latch or spring or the like. The valve that incorporates such a bias as for example shown in FIG. 26 may be used where the flow switch is a boat bung to control the drainage of water into and out of a boat. Other applications will also be apparent to a person skilled in the art.
  • With reference to FIG. 27 there is shown a variation to the valve member of the present invention described with reference to FIGS. 1-3 wherein the valve member 5 includes the cam lobes 16A and 16B in opposed locations on the valve member on opposite sides of the valve member. This illustrates that it is not essential that the lobe pairing 16A and 16B are provided to one side of a plane extending through the axis at 13 but may be provided on opposite sides. This configuration can offer sharing of the force being transferred to the valve element 5.
  • However, preferably the lobes 16 a and 16 b as for example shown with reference to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, remain above the YX plane. This ensures that no recess, rebate or account needs to be taken for receiving the lobes by the lower body portion of the valve housing. Accordingly rotation of the valve member between its limits, is preferably effected within 180 degrees of its rotation about the Y axis and above the. Z-Y plane. In the preferred form however the reaction surfaces of the cam lobes do tend to being or towards being parallel with the ZY plane at at least one of the limits of rotation of the valve member. This enhances the force applied by the cam pin 17 in a direction parallel to the X axis and can facilitate in a pushing home of the valve member in its seat for the purposes of sealing.
  • With reference to FIGS. 29 and 30 there is shown a flow switch assembly illustrating the fact that the inlet and outlet 7, 8 to the valve housing need not be in axial alignment. Indeed the fluid passage 9 through the valve member 5 may be provided so as to allow fluid communication between the inlet and the outlet 7, 8 as shown in the position of the upper and lower body portions 3, 4 in FIG. 29. No fluid communication can be established between the inlet and outlet 7, 8 when the upper and lower body portions 3, 4 are in the rotation orientation shown in FIG. 30.
  • Wherein reference has been made to the fluid passage 9 or passage for solids, being through the valve member 5 it will be appreciated and with reference to FIGS. 11A and 11B, that the valve member may include a fluid passage defined by the valve member in conjunction with the valve housing for fluid communication between the inlet(s) and outlet(s).
  • As has hereinbefore been mentioned the flow switch or valve assembly of the present invention may include a tablet or pill or similar. With reference to FIG. 31, there is shown a flow switch assembly 1 wherein such a tablet 192 is located within the passage 9 of the valve member 5. Where the tablet is to be encouraged to be displaced into the container 10, the passage 9 may be of a shape which will prevent the tablet 192 from passing through the outlet port 8′ of the valve member 5. For example the outlet port 8′ of the valve member 5 may be of a smaller size or at least of a size to interfere with the passage of the tablet 192 therethrough, than the inlet port 7′ of the valve member 5. As can be seen with reference to FIG. 31, the inlet port 7′ is of a sufficient size such that when the valve member 5 is rotated to the open position, the tablet 192 can drop through the opening 7′ but cannot pass through the outlet 8′ due to the constriction 9′ of the passage 9 through the valve member 5. In the example shown in FIG. 31, the constriction is provided between the inlet and outlets 7′, 8′. However alternatively the constrictions could be provided at the outlet 8′. With reference to FIG. 32, it can be seen that the constriction is not provided by the passage 9 but rather by the outlet 8 of the upper body portion 3. Again in this configuration the tablet 192 is prevented from passing out through the opening 8 and is rather, encouraged to drop through the inlet opening 7 of the flow switch assembly. In applications where for example the tablet provides a water sterilisation purpose, the configuration of the passage and/or the outlet 8 (or 8′) and the inlet 7 (or 7′) will ensure that the tablet is discharged into the liquid in the container 10 rather than being lost by its passage in the wrong direction through the opening 8.

Claims (63)

1. A flow switch assembly comprising;
(a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged relative each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, the housing including an inlet and outlet to said chamber
(b) a valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing for movement between an open position establishing at least one passage between said inlet and said outlet and a closed position wherein said at least one passage between said inlet and said outlet is non-established,
(c) interactive cam elements associated with (i) at least one of (a) said upper body portion and (b) said lower body portion, and (ii) the valve member, the cam elements positioned to effect movement of the valve member between the open position and the closed position when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
2. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said lower body portion provides said inlet to said chamber, and wherein said lower body portion is integrally formed with a container.
3. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein said container is a consumer beverage container.
4. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein a second valve housing is provided, said second valve housing including an upper body portion (the “second upper body portion”) and a lower body portion (the “second lower body portion”), the second upper and lower body portions defining a chamber (the “second chamber”) capturing a valve member (the “second valve member”), the second valve housing including and inlet and outlet to said second chamber,
said second valve member seated in the second chamber of the second valve housing for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) defining a passage (the second passage) between said inlet and said outlet of said second valve housing and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said second passage is non-established (preferably by said second valve member sealing at least one of said inlet and outlet of said second chamber),
interactive cam elements associated with said second valve housing and the second valve member for moving the second valve member between the open position and the closed position when the second upper body portion of the second valve housing is rotated relative to said second lower body portion,
wherein a duct is provided intermediate of or defined by said first mentioned upper body portion and said second lower body portion to define a passage between the first mentioned outlet and said second inlet wherein said duck may preferably include an opening.
5. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first mentioned upper body portion is engaged or integrally formed with said second lower body portion.
6. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first mentioned valve member can move independently of said second valve member.
7. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 4 wherein said duct retains a tablet.
8. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 7 wherein said first mentioned inlet is of a size to allow the passing of said tablet from said duct through said inlet when said first mentioned valve- member is in said open position.
9. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein, when said valve member is in said open position, said valve member establishes a plurality of said passages between said inlet and outlet.
10. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve member includes a plurality of ducts to define at least two of said passages and wherein at least one of said lower and upper body portions includes a plurality of said inlet and outlets respectively, each duct of said plurality of ducts capable, upon the rotation of said valve member, of moving into and out of a said open position being one where at least one passage is established between (i) an or the inlet of said lower body portion and (ii) an or the outlet of said upper body portion.
11. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 10 wherein each said plurality of ducts are mutually exclusive in providing a passage between an or the said inlet and an or the outlet, to the other of said plurality of ducts or ducts of said valve member.
12. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 9 wherein said valve member has a plurality of ducts to each define a said passage at different angles of rotation of said valve member other than when said valve member is in the closed position.
13. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 10 wherein said plurality of ducts are discrete ducts through said valve member.
14. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 10 wherein said plurality of ducts is a bifurcated duct.
15. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve member includes a duct therethrough via which said passage is established, said duct including an outlet opening, said valve member being shaped to present said outlet opening projecting beyond said outlet of said housing when said valve member is in said open position.
16. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein a removable overcap is provided, said housing engagable with a removable overcap to conceal said outlet of said housing.
17. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 16 wherein said overcap can engage with said housing only when said valve member is not in said open position.
18. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 16 wherein said upper and lower body portions each include overcap receiving regions, said receiving regions of said upper and lower body portions being movable relative to each other to be in and out of register with each other, wherein when in register they are only then capable of engaging said overcap with said housing, said means to engage being in register only when said valve member is not in said open condition.
19. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein a ring is provided to engage about at least part of both of said upper and lower body portions to lock relative rotation there between until such time as said ring is released from said upper and lower body portion.
20. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said upper and lower body portions include a receptacle to receive a locking element to lock relative rotation of said upper and lower body portions, said receptacle being defined by both said upper and lower body portions.
21. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said upper body portion and said lower body portion are rotatably engaged with each other to allow relative rotation about an axis, there being provided by said upper and lower body portions a means cooperative to, at a rotational position of said upper and lower body portions corresponding to the valve member being in at least one of said open and closed position, draw said upper and lower body portions together more to thereby effect a clamping of the valve member by said housing to encourage said valve member to thereby sealingly engage one of said inlet and outlet.
22. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 21 wherein said means cooperative is a cam and cam follower provided by said upper and lower body portions respectively.
23. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 21 wherein said means cooperative are complementary threads is provided by way of a threaded engagement of said upper and lower body portions.
24. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 21 wherein said clamping by said valve housing with said valve member occurs at at least one of said inlet and outlet to said chamber to seal against said valve member about said inlet and/or outlet.
25. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 21 wherein one of said upper and lower body portions includes a skirt region with an internally presented interface region to interface with an externally presented interface region of the other of said upper and lower body portions to hold said upper and lower body portions together for said relative rotation about said axis, said skirt region including a cam surface providing cam surface deviation in a direction parallel to said axis and over which a cam follower of the externally presented interface can slide, said deviation being such that the cam follower is displaced in a direction parallel to said axis by said cam surface.
26. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said upper body portion and said lower body portion are rotatably engaged with each other to allow relative rotation about an axis, and wherein said upper and lower body portions can displace relative each other in a direction parallel the axis, said displacement controlled by a threaded engagement of said upper and lower body portions said threaded engagement being such that at a rotational position of said upper and lower body portions corresponding to the valve member being in at least one of said open and closed position, said upper and lower body portions are in a more proximate displacement to effect a clamping of the valve member by said housing to encourage said valve member to thereby sealingly engage one of said inlet and outlet.
27. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said upper body portion and said lower body portion are rotatably engaged with each other to allow relative rotation about an axis, and wherein said upper and lower body portions can displace relative each other in a direction parallel the axis, said displacement controlled by a ramped surface of at least one of said upper and lower body portions interacting with a reaction surface or like ramped surface of the other of said upper and lower body portion at a rotational position of said upper and lower body portions corresponding to the valve member being in at least one of said open and closed position, said upper and lower body portions are in a more proximate displacement to effect a clamping of the valve member by said housing to encourage said valve member to thereby sealingly engage one of said inlet and outlet.
28. A flow switch assembly as claimed in any one of claims 1 wherein said upper and lower body portions are rotatable relative to each other about an axis, the rotation being indexed by indexing means of said valve housing cooperating between said upper and lower body portions.
29. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 28 wherein said indexing means encourages the holding of a relative rotational position (herein after “an index position”) of said upper an lower body portions.
30. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 29 wherein a said index position is when said upper and lower body portions are rotated relative to each other corresponding to said valve member being in said open condition.
31. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 29 wherein a said index position is when said upper and lower body portions are rotated relative to each other corresponding to said valve member being in said closed condition.
32. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 29 wherein a plurality of said index positions are provided.
33. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein a spring is provided to bias the rotation of said valve member for rotation towards one of said open and closed conditions.
34. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 33 wherein said spring is mounted to act between said valve member and said lower body portion to bias said valve member.
35. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 33 wherein said spring is mounted to act between said upper and lower body portions to bias their relative rotation to bias said valve member.
36. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve member is mounted by said lower body portion by axles that define an axis of rotation about which said valve member can rotate and relative to which said lower body portion remains stationary and said upper body portion can rotate about said axis relative said lower body portion that is non parallel to said first axis.
37. A consumer beverage container comprising;
a container portion
a lower valve body portion integrally formed with said container portion,
an upper valve body portion rotatably engaged with said lower valve body portion and defining with said lower valve body portion a chamber, said lower valve body portion including at least one passage creating an inlet to said chamber to allow fluid passage between said container portion and said chamber, the upper valve body portion including an outlet to said chamber,
a valve member seated in the chamber, said valve member mounted for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) defining at least one passage between said inlet and said outlet and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said at least one passage between said inlet and outlet is non-established (preferably said valve member sealing at least one of said inlet and outlet),
means operatively associated with (i) at least one of (a) said upper and (b) lower valve body portions, and (ii) the valve member, for moving the valve member between the open position and the closed position when the upper valve body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower valve body portion.
38. A consumer beverage container including a container defining body having an outlet for transferring fluid to and from said container defining body and a flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 to operatively control the transfer of fluid.
39. A consumer beverage container as claimed in claim 38 wherein the lower body portion of said flow switch is integrally formed with said container defining body.
40. A consumer beverage container comprising a container body portion having a flow switch assembly controlled outlet wherein said flow switch assembly is one as claimed in claim 4.
41. A consumer beverage container as claimed in claim 40 wherein said first mentioned lower body portion is integrally formed with said container defining body.
42. A consumer beverage container as claimed in claim 40 wherein said first mentioned lower body portion is engaged with said container body portion.
43. A flow switch assembly comprising;
(a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatable relative each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, said lower body portion including a plurality of inlets to said chamber and said upper body portion including at least one outlet to said chamber,
(b) a valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing, said valve member mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions each of said discrete positions allowing the establishment by said valve member of a passage between one of said inlets and (a) or the said outlet,
(c) interactive camming elements associated with said valve housing and the valve member for moving the valve member between the discrete positions when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
44. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 43 wherein said valve member is mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions being ones (i) defining of a passage between a said inlet and a or the said outlet and (ii) defining a closed position, wherein said valve member seals at least one of (a) all of said inlets and (b) said outlet(s).
45. A flow switch assembly comprising;
(a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged to each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, said lower body portion including at least one inlet to said chamber and said upper body portion including a plurality of outlets to said chamber,
(b) a valve member seated in the chamber of the valve housing, said valve member mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions each of said discrete positions allowing the establishing by said valve member of a passage between (a) or the said inlet and one of said outlets,
(c) interactive cam elements associated with said valve housing and the valve member for moving the valve member between the discrete positions when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
46. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 45 wherein said valve member is mounted for movement relative to said valve housing between discrete positions being ones (i) defining a passage between one of said outlets and a or the said outlet and (ii) defining a closed position, wherein said valve member seals at least one of (a) all of said outlets and (b) said inlet(s).
47. A container comprising;
a housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, the housing including an outlet to said chamber,
a container member seated in the chamber of the housing, said container member including a reservoir to contain a substance and including at least one outlet for said substance, said container member mounted for movement between a position (herein after “open position”) allowing at least one passage to be formed between said outlet of said container member and said outlet to said chamber and a position (herein after “closed position”) wherein said container member seals said outlet of said chamber,
interactive camming elements associated with said housing and the container member for moving the container member between the open position and the closed position when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
48. A container as claimed in claim 47 wherein said container member includes only one outlet that is rotatable to be contiguous with said outlet of said housing when said container member is rotated to said open position.
49. A container as claimed in claim 47 wherein, when said container member is in said open position, said container member establishes at least one passage to allow displacement of said substance between said fluid outlet and outlet of said housing.
50. A container as claimed in claim 47 wherein said container member is mounted by said valve housing for rotation relative to said valve housing, about a first axis.
51. A container as claimed in claim 47 wherein said container member is substantially spherical in its outer perimeter shape.
52. A container as claimed in claim 51 wherein said chamber of said housing is of a substantially complementary shape to said spherical container member.
53. A container as claimed in claim 47 wherein said housing includes at least one other outlet in addition to said first mentioned outlet and with which said outlet of said container member can create a passage to allow transfer of said substance from said reservoir.
54. A container as claimed in claim 47 wherein said outlet(s) of said housing are provided by said upper body portion.
55. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one tablet is disposed in said valve member and wherein at least one of
(a) said outlet; and
(b) said passage created when said valve member is in the open condition,
prevents displacement of said tablet through said outlet when said valve member is in the open position yet said inlet is of a shape to allow said tablet to pass therethrough when said valve member is in said open position.
56. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve element can include a tablet and wherein said outlet is of a shape that prevents the passage of said tablet through said outlet.
57. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said outlet is of a smaller size than said inlet.
58. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said passage is formed by at least one duct passing through said valve member, said duct having an inlet and an outlet that when in an open position of the valve member are presented to the inlet and outlet of said housing respectively to create said passage.
59. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 58 wherein a said duct includes a constriction between said inlet and outlet.
60. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 58 wherein said duct includes a tablet that is prevented by said constriction from displacing through said outlet of said valve member.
61. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 59 wherein said duct includes a tablet that is prevented by said constriction from displacing through said outlet of said valve member.
62. A flow switch assembly as claimed in claim 55 wherein said passage formed in the open position includes a constriction wherein said tablet is prevented by said constriction from displacing through said outlet of said valve member.
63. A flow switch assembly comprising;
(a) a valve housing that includes an upper body portion and a lower body portion that are rotatably engaged relative each other, the upper and lower body portions defining a chamber, the housing including an inlet and outlet to said chamber
(b) a valve member seated in said chamber of the valve housing and rotatable about an axis of rotation between two limits of rotation, said valve member including a plurality of ducts each including an inlet and an outlet opening to said inlet and outlet of said housing to create at least two passages between said inlet and outlet of said housing wherein at least one of said passages is created at different rotational positions of said valve member between its limits of rotation,
(c) interactive cam elements operatively associated with (i) at least one of (a) said upper body portion and (b) lower body portion, and (ii) the valve member, for moving the valve member between its limits of rotation when the upper body portion of the housing is rotated relative to said lower body portion.
US11/413,741 2005-04-28 2006-04-28 Flow switch Abandoned US20060243744A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US67566805P true 2005-04-28 2005-04-28
US11/413,741 US20060243744A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2006-04-28 Flow switch

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/413,741 US20060243744A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2006-04-28 Flow switch
US12/926,814 US20110114677A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2010-12-10 Flow switch

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/926,814 Continuation US20110114677A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2010-12-10 Flow switch

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20060243744A1 true US20060243744A1 (en) 2006-11-02

Family

ID=37233466

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/413,741 Abandoned US20060243744A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2006-04-28 Flow switch
US12/926,814 Abandoned US20110114677A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2010-12-10 Flow switch

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/926,814 Abandoned US20110114677A1 (en) 2005-04-28 2010-12-10 Flow switch

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (2) US20060243744A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9969538B1 (en) * 2013-04-24 2018-05-15 David J. Carr Flow reduction attachment for storage vessel

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN105805373B (en) * 2016-05-03 2019-02-12 重庆市百科鼎昱科技有限公司 A kind of breather valve, fuel tank cap and fuel tank

Citations (23)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US133215A (en) * 1872-11-19 Improvement in nozzles for hose-pipes, hydrants
US1332215A (en) * 1920-03-02 henry
US3397712A (en) * 1962-12-19 1968-08-20 Thiokol Chemical Corp Valve having a rupturable seal assembly
US3690521A (en) * 1971-05-28 1972-09-12 Edward B Middleton Container including a rotatable spherical valve with ring driver gear teeth
US3703250A (en) * 1971-04-12 1972-11-21 Edward B Middleton Closure having geared rotatable ball valve
US3703249A (en) * 1970-05-08 1972-11-21 Edward Benjamin Middleton Rotatable opening container closure
US4141476A (en) * 1976-09-24 1979-02-27 Sheldon H. Applefield Valved closure for dispensing container
US4212321A (en) * 1979-04-09 1980-07-15 J. R. Butler Low noise rotary control valve
US4262691A (en) * 1979-06-29 1981-04-21 Acf Industries, Incorporated Cam means for ball valve seat rings
US4540411A (en) * 1983-11-28 1985-09-10 Sherwood Medical Company Catheter placement device
US4634098A (en) * 1984-03-15 1987-01-06 596801 Ontario Limited Ball Valve
US4867414A (en) * 1989-01-10 1989-09-19 Velan Inc. Ball valve
US4971227A (en) * 1989-06-02 1990-11-20 Calmar, Inc. Manually actuated dispensing pump sprayer having a removable nozzle locking element
US5242151A (en) * 1992-06-25 1993-09-07 Norgren Co. Fluid flow control valve
US5265845A (en) * 1992-08-05 1993-11-30 Maxie Gilliam Cam-actuated split ball valve
US5308039A (en) * 1993-09-29 1994-05-03 Robert King Ball valve
US5442151A (en) * 1993-03-08 1995-08-15 Hubbell Incorporated Button well compression seal assembly
US5478318A (en) * 1990-07-26 1995-12-26 Yoon; Inbae Multiluminal endoscopic portal
US5743437A (en) * 1993-07-08 1998-04-28 Monsanto Europe S.A. Closure for containers for liquid
US6595946B1 (en) * 2000-02-25 2003-07-22 United States Surgical Corporation Valve assembly
US6615760B1 (en) * 2002-07-10 2003-09-09 George A. Wise Boat drain plug
US6695285B1 (en) * 1999-11-23 2004-02-24 Swagelok Company Ball valve seat seal
US20040256004A1 (en) * 2003-05-29 2004-12-23 Kessell Michael Ross Rotating valve assembly

Family Cites Families (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4971277A (en) * 1987-06-11 1990-11-20 Wang Laboratories, Inc. Adapter support
US6161712A (en) * 1996-07-22 2000-12-19 Becton Dickinson And Company Ball and socket closure

Patent Citations (23)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US133215A (en) * 1872-11-19 Improvement in nozzles for hose-pipes, hydrants
US1332215A (en) * 1920-03-02 henry
US3397712A (en) * 1962-12-19 1968-08-20 Thiokol Chemical Corp Valve having a rupturable seal assembly
US3703249A (en) * 1970-05-08 1972-11-21 Edward Benjamin Middleton Rotatable opening container closure
US3703250A (en) * 1971-04-12 1972-11-21 Edward B Middleton Closure having geared rotatable ball valve
US3690521A (en) * 1971-05-28 1972-09-12 Edward B Middleton Container including a rotatable spherical valve with ring driver gear teeth
US4141476A (en) * 1976-09-24 1979-02-27 Sheldon H. Applefield Valved closure for dispensing container
US4212321A (en) * 1979-04-09 1980-07-15 J. R. Butler Low noise rotary control valve
US4262691A (en) * 1979-06-29 1981-04-21 Acf Industries, Incorporated Cam means for ball valve seat rings
US4540411A (en) * 1983-11-28 1985-09-10 Sherwood Medical Company Catheter placement device
US4634098A (en) * 1984-03-15 1987-01-06 596801 Ontario Limited Ball Valve
US4867414A (en) * 1989-01-10 1989-09-19 Velan Inc. Ball valve
US4971227A (en) * 1989-06-02 1990-11-20 Calmar, Inc. Manually actuated dispensing pump sprayer having a removable nozzle locking element
US5478318A (en) * 1990-07-26 1995-12-26 Yoon; Inbae Multiluminal endoscopic portal
US5242151A (en) * 1992-06-25 1993-09-07 Norgren Co. Fluid flow control valve
US5265845A (en) * 1992-08-05 1993-11-30 Maxie Gilliam Cam-actuated split ball valve
US5442151A (en) * 1993-03-08 1995-08-15 Hubbell Incorporated Button well compression seal assembly
US5743437A (en) * 1993-07-08 1998-04-28 Monsanto Europe S.A. Closure for containers for liquid
US5308039A (en) * 1993-09-29 1994-05-03 Robert King Ball valve
US6695285B1 (en) * 1999-11-23 2004-02-24 Swagelok Company Ball valve seat seal
US6595946B1 (en) * 2000-02-25 2003-07-22 United States Surgical Corporation Valve assembly
US6615760B1 (en) * 2002-07-10 2003-09-09 George A. Wise Boat drain plug
US20040256004A1 (en) * 2003-05-29 2004-12-23 Kessell Michael Ross Rotating valve assembly

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9969538B1 (en) * 2013-04-24 2018-05-15 David J. Carr Flow reduction attachment for storage vessel

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
US20110114677A1 (en) 2011-05-19

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US7172095B2 (en) Bottle closure containing beverage concentrate
US6994211B2 (en) Cap device for mixing different kinds of materials separately contained therein and in bottle
AU2002360572B2 (en) Closure having rotatable spout and axially movable stem
CA1300084C (en) Concentrate dispensing system for a post-mix beverage dispenser
US7708035B2 (en) Bottom fillable bottles and systems for charging the same
US4613057A (en) Closure
CA2230014C (en) Docking station and bottle system
US7261226B2 (en) Closure having rotatable spout and axially movable stem
EP2013105B9 (en) Container closure having means for introducing an additive into the contents of the container
US20020125275A1 (en) Method and apparatus for controllably dispensing powders and liquids
CN1041076C (en) Dispensing closure with a twist sleeve and two internal passage
ES2269929T3 (en) inviolate dispenser bottles.
EP1801028B1 (en) Cap structure for beverage container
US7308915B2 (en) Packaging system for storing and mixing separate ingredient components
RU2237009C2 (en) Beverage metering-and-dispensing device
US5603436A (en) Squeeze bottle and leakproof closure device
CN100460049C (en) Device and method for the storage, mixing and dispensing of components
EP0889846B1 (en) Liquid distribution valve
ES2545967T3 (en) Closure lid and sliding latch system
CN101512210B (en) Slider valve fitment and collar
US20060249476A1 (en) Venting valve-type closure for beverage container
CN102177078A (en) Post-mix beverage system
US6481571B1 (en) Dual-component container system
CA2341438A1 (en) Container and closure with dispensing valve and separate releasable internal shipping seal
US8070023B2 (en) Beverage dispensing assembly

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION