United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,863,673
Sitton 1 Feb. 4, 1975  CONTAINER DISPENSER VALVE 3,233,631 2/1966 Cornelius 137/600 x 1761 Invent berm-8111064829 Bay C1, 1:333??? 3/1313 fiiiiihifiiiijiiiij::iiiii::iii: 521/1531 Tampa, 33611 3,6l2,354 10/1971 Sitton et al. |37/6l4.9 x p 11 3,693,652 9/1972 lung 137/517 X  APPI' N0: 350,238 Primary ExaminerChar1es J. Myhre Assistant Examiner1ra S. Lazarus 52 US. Cl 137/6l4.11, 137/170.2, 222/511, Attorney. Agent or Yates  Int. Cl. 867d 1/12, Fl6k 47/16 [57 ABSTRAQT  Field of Search l37/6l4.11, 614.19, 614.2, 137/614.2l, 600, 170.1, 170.2, 613, 614.13,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,888,040 5/1959 Terwilliger et al 251/120 X 2,899,170 8/1959 Cornelius 251/122 2,924,238 2/1960 Cornelius... 251/122 X Apparatus for dispensing liquid including a stopper mounted in a container and a cooperating faucet selectively connected to the stopper. The stopper includes a selectively operated cut-off valve adjacent one end and a resiliently connected flow control valve at the opposite end in opposed relationship with the cut-off valve. The flow control valve operates automatically in accordance with the pressure within the container.
5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Ill?" 1 CONTAINER DISPENSER VALVE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to the dispensing of fluids from a container and relates particularly to selectively operated valve structure which automatically maintains a substantially constant flow of fluid from the container regardless of the internal pressure therein.
2. Description of the Prior Art In the past, valve structures of various kinds have been provided for dispensing wines, champagne, carbonated beverages and other pressurized liquids from containers, as well as valve structures for dispensing non-pressurized or non-carbonated liquids. However, the structures of the valves for dispensing pressurized liquids have been substantially different from the structure of the valves for dispensing non-pressurized liquids. Most valve structures for dispensing pressurized liquids have not been satisfactory since a constant flow of liquid from the container has not been attained due to the fact that highly charged liquids have spurted through the valve structure when the container has been initially opened due to the pressures within the container, while flow through the valve has been much slower after most of the contents have been dispensed and the pressure within the container has been substantially reduced. Some efforts have been made to provide a restricting mechanism operated in accordance with the pressure within the container, such as the patents to Gale, et al US. Pat. No. 383,877; Mueller, et al, 1,100,76l; and Reeve, et al, US. Pat. No. 3,438,395.
In prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,612,354, of which the present inventor was a co-inventor, a valve structure having a stopper and a removable faucet was provided; however, it was found that the flow of fluid from the container could not be accurately controlled due to the varying pressures within the container.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a container dispensing valve having a first portion or stopper which can be inserted into the dispensing opening of the container at the time that the contents are introduced into the container, or can be inserted when the contents of the container are to be dispensed. The second portion or faucet is selectively attached to the first portion and normally is attached thereto just prior to use. The stopper includes a resiliently mounted check valve to control the dispensing of fluid from the container, as well as a flow control valve operated by pressure within the container for regulating the quantity of material to be dispensed to attain a substantially constant flow regardless of the pressure. The faucet includes a check valve having a portion located adjacent to the check valve of the stopper when the faucet and the stopper are in assembled relationship so that the faucet valve operates the stopper valve.
It is an object of the invention to provide a dispensing valve mechanism including a stopper having a check valve adjacent one end for controlling the flow of fluid through the same and a flow control valve adjacent the other end for controlling the quantity of fluid flowing through the stopper regardless of the pressure within the container.
Another object of the invention is to provide a dispensing valve mechanism for a container including a stopper having a first valve member at one end for controlling the on-off flow of fluid through the stopper and a second valve member at the opposite end for maintaining a constant flow when the first valve is open and in which the first and second valves are connected by a resilient member and move in opposing directions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a longitudinal section illustrating one application of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the stopper illustrating the dispensing of fluid under substantial pressure.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged section similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the dispensing of fluid under small pressure.
FIG. 4 is a section on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an end view of the stoper on the line 5-5 of FIG. I.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With continued reference to the drawing, a container 10 is provided having a neck 11 through which the contents of the container are normally discharged. The container may contain liquid under pressure such as champagne, sparkling wine, beer, or other liquids which develop effervescence during a fermentation process, or such liquid could be charged with an effervescent gas such as soft drinks, soda, ginger ale, and the like. Also it is contemplated that the container could contain a non-pressurized liquid such as water, still wines, non-carbonated soft drinks, or the like.
A stopper I2 is adapted to be inserted within the neck II of the container either at the time the contents are introduced into the container or when the container is opened so that the contents can be dispensed. The stopper 12 includes a generally cylindrical body 13 having an enlarged hollow head I4 at one end integrally connected to the body by a shoulder 15. Preferably a skirt I6 is formed on the shoulder 15 and is adapted to overlie the end of the neck II of the container. The body 13 is of a diameter to be snugly received within the opening of the neck II and if desired such body can be provided with a plurality of annular seal rings 17 to maintain the stopper in the neck of the container as well as to prevent the passage of fluid under pressure around the outside of the stopper.
An inwardly extending frusto-conical valve seat 18 is integrally connected to the body at the end remote from the enlarged head. The smaller end of the valve seat 18 is connected to an axial sleeve 19 which terminates in an end wall 20. As illustrated, the sleeve I9 is spaced from the walls of the body I3; however, it is contemplated that such body could be of solid construction with an axial bore.
An axial opening 21 extends through the end wall 20 and defines a valve seat 22. A valve member 23 having a body 24, which is generally polygonal in cross section, is slidably mounted within the sleeve I9 and such valve body is provided with a conical valve 25 which normally engages the valve seat 22. Due to the polygonal configuration of the body 24, fluids from the container 10 readily flow past the body when the valve 25 is unseated, as illustrated best in FIG. 4. In order to normally cause the valve 25 to engage the valve seat 22. a spring or other resilient member 26 is located within the sleeve 19 and is adapted to exert an axial force on the valve member 23 in a direction to move the valve 25 into sealing engagement with the seat 22.
The inner end of the stopper body 13 is provided with a plurality of axial extensions and each of such extensions has a radial inwardly extending hook portion 31. Although three equally spaced axial extensions have been illustrated in the drawing, it is contemplated that any desired number can be provided.
A frustoconical flow control valve member 32 is provided having a face 33 generally complementary to the valve seat It] and such face is provided with a plurality of radial ribs 34 which extend outwardly from the face a desired distance, as for example, a distance of .005 inch. As illustrated best in FIGS. 2 and 3, the smaller end of the flow control valve member 32 engages the opposite end of the spring 26 so that the flow control member normally is urged away from the valve seat [8 into engagement with the hook portions 31 of the axial extension 30. Preferably the spring 26 is calibrated to exert a predetermined force against the valve member 23 and the flow control valve member 32. The calibrated force normally is in the range of 25 to 100 pounds with an effective operating range of 60 to 75 pounds being preferred when the container is filled with an effervescent liquid such as champagne or the like.
With reference to FIG. 1, when the sleeve 19 is spaced from the wall structure of the stopper body 13, it is desirable to reduce the amount of overflow or material which is discharged through the opening 21 but is not discharged from the enlarged portion of the stopper. in order to do this, a washer 35 is provided having a central opening which frictionally engages the sides of the axial sleeve l9 and the outer periphery of such washer frictionally engages the walls 36 of a counter bore in the enlarged head 14 of the stopper. The enlarged head is provided with external threads 37 of conventional construction so that a threaded cap (not shown) can be mounted on the enlarged head 14 when the contents of the container are not to be dispensed. Such cap protects the valve member 23 and prevents such valve member from being accidentally opened.
When the contents are to be dispensed from the container 10, a faucet 40 is provided and such faucet includes a body 41 with an enlargement 42 at one end. The enlargement 42 has an axial recess 43 terminating in a shoulder 44 and such recess is provided with threads which cooperatively engage the threads 37 of the stopper A generally frusto-conical valve seat 45 extends axially from the shoulder 44 into the body 41 and such valve seat communicates with the bore 46 ofa dispensing nozzle 47 integrally connected to the body 41.
With particular reference to FIG. 1, a valve stem 48 extends axially through a bore 49 in the body 41 and through the valve seat 45 where it is connected to the larger end of a generally frusto-conical enlargement 50. Adjacent to the enlargement 50 a resilient valve 51 is mounted on the valve stem 48 and normally is adapted to engage the valve seat 45. The tip or smaller end of the enlargement 50 has a conical recess 52 which is spaced slightly from and complementary to the center of the conical valve 25 when the stopper l2 and faucet 40 are in assembled relationship. Axial movement of the valve stem 48 in a direction to unseat the valve 51 from the valve seat 45 causes the enlargement 50 to engage the valve member 23 and simultaneously unseat the valve 25 from the seat 22 and permit fluid from the container 10 to be discharged through the nozzle 47. if desired a blceder hole 53 can extend from the top of 5 the body 41 to the bore 46 of the nozzle to permit fluid to drain from the nozzle when the valves SI and 25 are closed.
The valve stem 48 can be operated in any desired manner and one way in which this can be accomplished to is to provide a push button 54 which is connected to the valve stem 48 in any desired manner. as by a lock pin 55. As illustrated. the push button 54 is slidably mounted within a generally cylindrical recess 56 in the end of the body 41 and a spring 57 or other resilient l5 member is located within the recess to urge the valve stem 48 outwardly so that the valve 51 engages the seat 45.
in the operation of the device, the stopper I2 is placed in the neck ll of the container l0 either at the 10 time the contents are introduced into the container or at the time the contents are to be dispensed. The spring 26 within the sleeve 19 urges the valve member 23 into engagement with the valve seat 22 and simultaneously urges the flow control valve member 32 against the 25 hook portions 31 of the extensions 30. When the contents of the container 10 are to be dispensed, the faucet 40 is screwed onto the stopper 12 so that the smaller end of the enlargement 50 is located adjacent to the valve member 23. As the push button 54 is moved in- 30 wardly, the valve 51 is unseated from the valve seat 45 and the valve 25 is unseated from the valve seat 18 so that fluid from the container it] flows past the flow control valve member 32 and past the valves and is discharged from the nozzle 47. 35 When the flow control valve member is seated on the hook portions 3], a relatively large quantity of fluid is permitted to flow from the container between the face 33 and the valve seat 18, as illustrated best in FIG. 3. When the contents of the container 10 are under pressure, such as from an effervescent gas, such pressurized contents force the flow control valve member 32 against the tension of the spring 26 until the ribs 34 engage the valve seat 18 to restrict the flow of fluid between the face 33 and the associated valve seat 18 as long as the valve member 23 remains open. The restricting of the flow of the contents prevents spurting of the fluid through the nozzle 47. As the pressure within the container 10 is reduced through usage, the space between the face 33 and the valve seat 18 increases so that the flow through the nozzle remains sub stantially constant.
it will be apparent that when the contents of the container are not under pressure. the flow control valve member 32 remains seated on the hook portions 31 so that the contents of the container are discharged by gravity flow when the valve member 23 is unseated from the valve seat 22.
1. Container dispensing apparatus comprising stopper means to be selectively mounted on a container having fluid therein, said stopper means including a body having spaced first and second valve seats, first and second spaced valve members carried by said stopper means, resilient means connecting said first and second valve members and simultaneously urging said first and second valve members in opposite directions. said first valve member being urged by said resilient means toward said first valve seat and normally being in engagement therewith, said second valve member being urged away from said second valve seat by said resilient means, means for maintaining said second valve member in spaced relationship with said second valve seat. means for selectively operating said first valve member, and said second valve member being urged toward said second valve seat by fluid within the container when said first valve member is operated. whereby said second valve member controls the flow of fluid through said stopper means when said first valve member is operated.
2. The structure of claim 1 in which said means for operating said first valve member includes faucet means selectively mounted on said stopper means, said faucet means having a third valve seat, a valve stem extending through said third valve seat, a third valve member mounted on said valve stem and normally engaging said third valve seat, a portion of said valve stem located adjacent to said first valve member when said stopper means and said faucet means are in assembled relationship, and means for operating said valve stem to move said third valve member out of engagement with said third valve seat and to move said first valve member away from said first valve seat.
3. The structure of claim 1 in which said resilient means is a spring having a predetermined value, so that a pressure in said container which is greater than the value of said spring moves said second valve member toward said second valve seat to restrict the flow of fluid past said second valve member.
4. Container dispensing apparatus comprising stopper means selectively mounted on a container, said stopper means including a generally cylindrical hollow body. a sleeve located generally axially of said body. a first valve seat located at one end of said sleeve. a second valve seat located at the opposite end of said sleeve and connecting said sleeve to said body. a first valve member slidably mounted in said sleeve and normally engaging said first valve seat. a second valve member mounted axially of said sleeve. rib means for maintaining said second valve member in spaced relationship with said second valve seat, resilient means connecting said first valve member to said second valve member and urging said valve members in opposite directions. and means for selectively operating said first valve member, whereby fluid under pressure within said container moves said second valve member against the tension of said resilient means to control the quantity of fluid passing between said second valve member and said second valve seat.
5. The structure of claim 4 in which said resilient means is a calibrated spring adapted to apply a predetermined force in opposite directions to said first valve member and said second valve member.
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