Trigger sprayers, trigger sprayer devices, and trigger-actuated pump sprayers are well known and are commonly used in many homes and businesses. Typically, a trigger sprayer includes a pump chamber whose capacity varies due to the movement of the piston within the pump chamber. The piston is usually spring biased and attached to the trigger lever. Actuation of the trigger lever moves the piston within the pump chamber and compresses the spring; this is sometimes called the pumping stroke or pressure pumping stroke. Release of the trigger lever relieves the force on the spring and the spring pushes the piston back to the resting position; this is sometimes called the suction stroke or return stroke.
A typical trigger sprayer also includes an inlet valve and an outlet valve. During the pumping stroke, the product in the pump chamber is pressurized and when a certain pressure is reached, the outlet valve is opened, allowing the product in the pump chamber to escape through the outlet valve. During the return stroke, the outlet valve is closed and the inlet valve is opened. The return of the piston caused by the spring force draws the product into the pump chamber through the inlet valve. A typical trigger sprayer will also include a dip tube for delivering product to the trigger sprayer inlet valve and an orifice for dispensing product exiting the outlet valve. The orifice can be attached to or included in the nozzle that is part of the trigger sprayer.
Many different types of trigger sprayers are available on the market and there are numerous alternative trigger sprayer features. However, customers are always looking for cheaper and better feature and trigger sprayers. To reduce costs, the number of parts is reduced and the assembly process is simplified. Additionally, cheaper materials and less material are used to reduce costs associated with trigger sprayers. Most trigger sprayers include metal parts. For example, the springs used to bias the pistons in the pump chambers are typically made of steel. Ball valves with steel balls are also commonly used as inlet and outlet valves for trigger sprayers.
Metal springs and balls can be expensive. Additionally, the metal in the flow path of the product may have compatibility issues with the product flowing through the trigger sprayer. The steel balls used for the valve also add components to the trigger sprayer, adding complexity to assembly and procurement. The use of metal also hinders the recyclability of trigger sprayers, as many of the recycling services available do not accept products with mixed parts for recycling. Accordingly, it may be desirable to develop trigger sprayers made from a single material and to design trigger sprayers that can be assembled and produced more efficiently.