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Publication numberUS20060285912 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/406,133
Publication dateDec 21, 2006
Filing dateApr 18, 2006
Priority dateApr 19, 2005
Also published asCA2610135A1, EP1976774A2, WO2008020268A2, WO2008020268A3
Publication number11406133, 406133, US 2006/0285912 A1, US 2006/285912 A1, US 20060285912 A1, US 20060285912A1, US 2006285912 A1, US 2006285912A1, US-A1-20060285912, US-A1-2006285912, US2006/0285912A1, US2006/285912A1, US20060285912 A1, US20060285912A1, US2006285912 A1, US2006285912A1
InventorsMeir Eini, Dov Tamarkin, Doron Friedman
Original AssigneeFoamix Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for releasing a measured amount of content from a container
US 20060285912 A1
Abstract
Apparatus and method for delivering a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container include a container for housing a pressurized gas and a content; a valve for releasing content from the container; a metering chamber in fluid communication with the container and the valve and having an upper wall and a lower wall, the metering chamber defining a volume proportionate to a predetermined quantity of content to be delivered; and a movable partition comprising a seal positioned in the chamber and capable of moving from a first resting position to a second sealing position, the sealing position sealing fluid communication of the chamber with the valve. When the valve is opened to deliver content from the container, the movable partition moves from a first resting position to a second sealing position.
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Claims(28)
1. An apparatus for delivering a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container including:
a container capable of housing a pressurized gas and a content;
a valve for releasing content from the container;
a metering chamber in fluid communication with the container and the valve, said metering chamber having an upper wall and a lower wall and defining a volume proportionate to a predetermined quantity of content to be delivered; and
a movable partition comprising a seal located in the chamber, said movable partition capable of moving from a first resting position spaced apart from the valve to a second sealing position in sealing arrangement with the valve.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the resting position of the movable partition is adjacent to the bottom wall of the metering chamber.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sealing position of the movable partition is adjacent to the upper wall of the metering chamber.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the movable partition substantially spans a cross-sectional area of the metering chamber.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the movable partition is of sufficient specific weight to provide vertical displacement of the movable partition within the chamber against the resistance of content of varying viscosities.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the movable partition comprises at least one aperture.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the movable partition comprises a plurality of apertures.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of apertures are arranged in a geometric configuration resembling that of a sieve.
9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said aperture has a dimension substantially approximating 0.1%-3% of the surface area of said movable partition.
10. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said aperture has a dimension substantially approximating 1% of the surface area of said movable partition.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a bias attached to the movable partition.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a bias comprises a spring, coil or lever.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a bias comprises a weight.
14. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a one-way valve in fluid communication with the interior of the container and the metering chamber.
15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the upper wall of the metering chamber is tapered.
16. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an applicator.
17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the applicator comprises an extension tube and an applicator head having at least one smooth surface.
18. A method for delivering a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container including:
(a) providing an apparatus for releasing a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container including:
(i) a container housing a pressurized gas and a deliverable content;
(ii) a valve for releasing the content from the container;
(iii) a metering chamber in fluid communication with the container and the valve, said metering chamber having an upper wall and a lower wall and defining a volume proportionate to a predetermined quantity of content to be delivered; and
(iv) a movable partition comprising a seal located in the chamber, said movable partition capable of moving from a first resting position spaced apart from the valve to a second sealing position in sealing arrangement with the valve; and
(b) opening the valve to deliver content from the container, wherein the movable partition moves from the first resting position to the second sealing position, said sealing position sealing fluid communication of the chamber with the valve to thereby halt content delivery from the container.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein said movable partition returns to the resting position after content delivery.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein return to the resting position is accomplished by application of a force on the movable partition.
21. The method of claim 20, wherein the force is gravitational force.
22. The method of claim 20, wherein the force is applies by a biasing element.
23. The method of claim 18, further comprising applying delivered content to a target surface with an applicator.
24. An apparatus for applying a foamed content to a surface, comprising:
(a) a container capable of housing a pressurized gas and a content;
(b) a valve in fluid communication with the container for releasing the content from the container; and
(c) an applicator in fluid communication with the valve for controlling application of the content, said applicator comprising at least one substantially flat surface for spreading a foamed content.
25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the substantially flat surface comprises an aperture for introducing the content from the container onto the flat surface.
26. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the substantially flat surface comprises at least one flexible membrane.
27. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the applicator comprises an extension tube and an applicator head, said applicator head having at least one substantially flat surface.
28. An method for applying a foamed content to a surface, comprising:
providing a pressurized container containing a foamable content, and comprising a valve in fluid communication with the container interior for releasing the content from the container and an applicator in fluid communication with the valve; and
releasing foamed content onto a surface and spreading the foamed content using a substantially smooth surface of the applicator.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 19(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/673087, filed on Apr. 19, 2005, entitled Foam Applicator, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

This application also claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/673088, filed on Apr. 19, 2005, entitled Apparatus and Method for Releasing a Measure of Content from a Container, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for controlled release of content from a container. In particular, the present invention relates to method and apparatus for releasing a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container. The present invention also relates to a method and apparatus for controlled application of foam released from a container.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Foam containers have existed for many years and are used for a variety of products.

Methods of administering metered doses from a dosing device are known, however, most are directed to dispensing liquid forms, such as creams, gels and fluids. See, e.g., U.S. Pat No. 6,186,367 and United States Published Appln. No. 2005/0054991.

Methods for the volumetrically controlled dosing of foams have been described using a metering valve in which valved inlet and outlet passages control the flow of a fluid into a dosing chamber of predetermined volume. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,007,556.

Prior art foam metering devices have been described as inaccurate and imprecise. Foam metering devices capable of providing a reliable measure or dose of content from a pressurized container are desired.

There has long existed the need for an apparatus and method for controlled application of foam released from a foam container. The uses of such an apparatus vary widely and can include any process requiring or enhanced by controlled application of the foam for which manual application using a brush, hands or any other implement or member is to be avoided.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method and apparatus for releasing a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container is described. A method and an apparatus for applying foam released from a pressurized container also is described.

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided an apparatus for releasing a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container including a container including a container capable of housing a pressurized gas and a content; a valve for releasing content from the container; a metering chamber in fluid communication with the container and the valve, said metering chamber having an upper wall and a lower wall and defining a volume proportionate to a predetermined quantity of content to be delivered; and a movable partition comprising a seal located in the chamber, said movable partition capable of moving from a first resting position spaced apart from the valve to a second sealing position in sealing arrangement with the valve.

In one or more embodiments, the resting position of the movable partition is adjacent to the bottom wall of the metering chamber and/or the sealing position of the movable partition is adjacent to the upper wall of the metering chamber.

In one or more embodiments, the movable partition substantially spans a cross-sectional area of the metering chamber and/or the movable partition is of sufficient specific weight to provide vertical displacement of the movable partition within the chamber against the resistance of content of varying viscosities.

In one or more embodiments, the movable partition comprises at least one aperture, or the movable partition comprises a plurality of apertures. The plurality of apertures may be arranged in a geometric configuration resembling that of a sieve. The aperture may have a dimension substantially approximating 0.1%-3% of the surface area of said movable partition, or substantially approximating 1% of the surface area of said movable partition.

In one or more embodiments, the apparatus further includes a bias attached to the movable partition, and for example, the bias includes a spring, coil or lever, or a weight.

In one or more embodiments, the apparatus further includes a one-way valve in fluid communication with the interior of the container and the metering chamber.

In one or more embodiments, the upper wall of the metering chamber is tapered.

In one or more embodiments, the apparatus further includes an applicator. The applicator may include an extension tube and an applicator head having at least one smooth surface.

In another aspect of the invention, a method for delivering a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container includes providing an apparatus for releasing a predetermined quantity of content from a pressurized container including (i) a container housing a pressurized gas and a deliverable content; (ii) a valve for releasing the content from the container; (iii) a metering chamber in fluid communication with the container and the valve, said metering chamber having an upper wall and a lower wall and defining a volume proportionate to a predetermined quantity of content to be delivered; and (iv) a movable partition comprising a seal located in the chamber, said movable partition capable of moving from a first resting position spaced apart from the valve to a second sealing position in sealing arrangement with the valve; and opening the valve to deliver content from the container, wherein the movable partition moves from the first resting position to the second sealing position, said sealing position sealing fluid communication of the chamber with the valve to thereby halt content delivery from the container.

A further aspect of the present invention relates to methods and apparatus for the non-manual application of a foam originating from any pressurized container. The foam applicator system can be attached to or integrally formed with any pressurized container and or retrofitted to any existing pressurized container.

In one aspect of the invention, an apparatus for applying a foamed content to a surface includes a container capable of housing a pressurized gas and a content; a valve in fluid communication with the container for releasing the content from the container; and an applicator in fluid communication with the valve for controlling application of the content, said applicator comprising at least one substantially flat surface for spreading a foamed content.

In one or more embodiments, the substantially flat surface comprises an aperture for introducing the content from the container onto the flat surface.

In one or more embodiments, the substantially flat surface includes at least one flexible membrane.

In one or more embodiments, the applicator includes an extension tube and an applicator head, said applicator head having at least one substantially flat surface.

In another aspect of the invention, a method for applying a foamed content to a surface includes providing a pressurized container containing a foamable content, and comprising a valve in fluid communication with the container interior for releasing the content from the container and an applicator in fluid communication with the valve; and releasing foamed content onto a surface and spreading the foamed content using a substantially smooth surface of the applicator.

The metered dose apparatus provides an integrated metering chamber and dipstick that can be readily adapted to pre-existing containers. The apparatus does not require special valves and can be used with most conventional canisters. Thus, it is versatile and can be used with a wide variety of foamable compositions and containers without the need to redesign the dosage delivery system.

Furthermore, a system according to one or more embodiments of the present invention may be used in many industrial processes requiring removal of a liquid from a container and adding and/or mixing the content in exact measurements. Further uses would include release of a controlled dose of any pharmaceutical and or cosmetic material from a pressurized container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional side view of a first embodiment of an apparatus for releasing a measured amount content from a container.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional side illustration of the metering system at rest.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional side illustration of the metering system during discharge.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional side view of a metering system illustrating the sealing mechanism according to one or more embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional side illustration of a metering system upon conclusion of discharge of a metered dose; the system is restored to its original position to administer a further dose.

FIG. 6 is schematic top view of a movable partition used in an apparatus for releasing a measure of content from a container according to one or more embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional side view of another embodiment of an apparatus for releasing a measured amount of content from a container in an inverted position.

FIG. 8 is a schematic cross sectional side view of one embodiment of a foam applicator system according to the present invention.

FIG. 9 is schematic cross sectional view of one embodiment of a foam applicator system according to the present invention.

FIG. 10 is schematic cross sectional view of one embodiment of a foam applicator system according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a container 10 including a content 14 under pressure created by gas 12. The container 10 is hollow body which may be made from any material, for example, aluminum, tin-plate, plastics including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), oriented polypropylene (OPP), polyethylene (PE) or polyamide and including mixtures, laminates and the like. When the container is metal, the interior surface of the metal container preferably is laminated with a plastic material or coated with a lacquer or with a varnish to protect the interior surface of the container from corrosion. Corrosion may weaken the container and may also lead to a discoloration of the container's content. Preferred plastic materials for lamination and lacquers or varnishes for coating are epoxy phenolic, polyamide imide, organosol, PET, PP, PE or a combination thereof.

Content 14 is flowable and can be a liquid or a semi-liquid. Content 14 includes components to provide the desired functionality of the foam upon administration, as well as additives that promote foam formation, such as surfactants and propellant. Aerosol propellants are used to generate and administer the foamable composition as a foam. The content may include a foamable emulsion, a foamable solution, a foamable suspension, a foamable gel, a viscous material, an extrudable material or a gel. The total composition including propellant, foamable compositions and optional ingredients is referred to as the foamable carrier. The propellant makes up about 3% to about 25 wt % of the foamable carrier. Examples of suitable propellants include volatile hydrocarbons such as butane, propane, isobutane or mixtures thereof, and fluorocarbon gases. In one or more embodiments, the propellant is a liquefied gas, such as butane, propane, isobutane or mixtures thereof. The liquefied gas typically forms a solution or emulsion with the other components of content 14 and is in equilibrium with propellant gas, which occupies a volume of the container (e.g., the “head space”) and generates the internal pressure used to discharge the product from inside the container. Furthermore, the gas expands to form many “bubbles” within the composition thereby creating the foam. Sufficient gas is contained in the container to substantially expel all the product from the container at the correct pressure throughout the life of the article. The quantity also depends from the type of gases used.

Container 10 further includes an integrated metering system including a metering chamber 16 in fluid communication with an upper conduit 18 and a lower conduit 20. Chamber 16 can be of any shape, e.g., of circular, rectangular, or oval cross-section or the like, and can be attached to or integrally formed with the upper 18 or lower 20 conduits, or both. Chamber 16 is selected to have a volume can hold and deliver a preselected quantity of content 14. Chamber 16 may contain shoulders 36, as is discussed in greater detail below. Alternatively, the chamber walls may be shaped to provide the desired interior volume and geometry. Chamber 16 and shoulder 36 may be constructed of a resilient material or a semi-resilient material, such as a vulcanized material, a rubber, a silicone, a polymer and a plasticized material.

Lower conduit 20 is immersed in or in fluid communication with content 14, thereby readily facilitating flow of liquids, fluids and gas from the interior of the container 10, into lower conduit 20 through chamber 16, and into upper conduit 18. In order to deliver the majority of the content from the container, the lower conduit 20 extends a distance below chamber 16, and in some embodiments, a distance into the region of container where content 14 resides. In some embodiments, the lower conduit 20 extends substantially to a floor 10a of container 10.

Upper conduit 18 includes bleed hole or unidirectional valve 31, which is located in a wall portion of conduct 18 that is housed within the container and which provides one-way fluid communication between the container interior and the upper conduit. Fluid and gas are thus capable of flowing from the container and into upper conduit 18.

In order to control the dose size and its delivery from the chamber, movable partition 28 is slidably positioned within chamber 16 and is of a size and shape that permits it to be positioned along an inner wall 16 a of chamber 16. The movable partition 28 is capable of vertical movement/displacement along the wall of chamber 16 in a direction indicated by arrow 17 by application of suitable upward and downward pressures or by gravitational forces. Movable partition 28 may have sufficient specific weight to be capable of downward vertical displacement within chamber 16 against the resistance of content 14 having varying viscosity. As discussed below, such displacement may be aided by biasing element 34. Movable partition 28 may be constructed of a resilient material or a semi-resilient material, such as for example, a vulcanized material, a rubber, a silicone, a polymer or a plasticized material.

Movable partition 28 includes sealer 30 for substantially sealing upper conduit 18 at opening 18 a. Sealer 30 may be constructed of a resilient material or a semi-resilient material, which may be the same or different from that of the movable partition. Sealer 30 may be integral with movable partition 28 or it may be attached to the movable partition, for example by co-extrusion, heat welding, adhesives or any other appropriate joining method. Sealer 30 and upper conduit 18 are positioned in vertical alignment of one another, so that sealer 30 can block or interrupt fluid communication between chamber 16 and upper conduit 18 when positioned against the lower opening 18 a of the upper conduit 18, as illustrated in FIG. 4.

Movable partition 28 includes at least one aperture 32 that provides a passageway or conduit between an upper region 16 b and a lower region 16 c of chamber 16. Aperture 32 facilitates movement of content 14 and gas 12 across or through movable partition 28 as the movable partition moves within chamber 16. The movable partition includes at least one and preferably a plurality of apertures 32. In one or more embodiments, at least 2 apertures, or at least 4 apertures or at least 8 apertures are used. Aperture size and number will vary depending on dispensing conditions, such as for example, the content viscosity and canister pressure. Optionally, apertures 32 may be configured as a matrix of apertures or in a geometric configuration resembling that of a sieve. Aperture 32 typically has a dimension inversely proportional to the pressure of gas 12 in container 10 and proportional to the viscosity of content 14. In one or more embodiments, aperture 32 may have a dimension substantially approximating 0.1%-3% of the surface area of movable partition 28. In certain embodiments, aperture 32 may have a dimension substantially approximating 1% of the surface area of movable partition 28. In one or more embodiments, a plurality of movable partitions may be used, and may include a variety of apertures 32, depending on the viscosity of content 14 and the pressure of gas 12 in container 10.

A biasing element 34 optionally may be attached to or integrally formed with movable partition 28 in order to provide an additional opposing force on movable partition 28 as it is displaced substantially vertically in chamber 16. Exemplary biasing means include springs that can be attached to a lower surface 28 a of movable partition 28 or a weight (not shown) that can be attached to the upper (28 a) or lower (28 b) surface of the movable partition [others?]. Biasing means serves the additional purpose of keeping the movable partition in its rest position between dosing. This can be particularly helpful to avoid movement during handling.

The upper conduit 18 is in fluid communication with valve 26. Lever 22 is disposed between upper conduit 18 and valve 26. By applying an external pressure to lever 22, the lever moves between a first (open) and second (closed) position. In the closed position, the passageway between conduit 18 and valve 26 is blocked and contents of container 10 are isolated from the exterior. In the open position, valve 26 is in fluid communication with the container interior and the contents of container 10 may be dispensed from the container through valve 26.

An extension tube 33 may be attached to or integrally formed with valve 26 for readily facilitating insertion of tube 33 to various hard to reach areas including but not limited to any vaginal application or any other application to a body orifice.

The operation of the pressurized container to deliver a metered dose is now described with reference to FIGS. 2-5, in which like elements are similarly labeled.

The container at rest is illustrated in FIG. 2. Pressure in container 10 by gas 12 forces content 14 into the lower conduit 20, into chamber 16 and further into the upper conduit 18, where further flow is blocked by closed valve 26 (shown schematically in FIG. 2).

Referring now to FIG. 3, when valve 26 is opened, for example, by pressing lever 22 (not shown), the pressure difference between chamber 16 and the ambient causes content 14 to flow through valve 26 and to be discharged from the container, as is indicated by arrow 50. As material is discharged from chamber 16, movable partition 28 advances along with the discharging material vertically upward through chamber 16 towards the chamber exit, as is indicated by arrow 52. The pressurized gas 12 forces addition material 14 upward through lower conduit 20 and into chamber 16 to replace the material that has been discharged, as is indicated by arrows 54.

Discharge continues until sealer 30 contacts and seals opening 18 a and halts material flow from the container (or until the user releases lever 22 thereby closing valve 26), as is shown in FIG. 4. For the purpose of improved sealing between movable partition 28 and/or sealer 30 and/or upper conduit 18, a shoulder 36 is attached to or integrally formed with chamber 16 and or upper conduit 18 such that a tapered seal is formed. A similar effect can be achieved by downwardly sloping the top surface of the chamber. In one or more embodiments, shoulder 36 contacts movable partition 28 and halts its upward movement before it reaches the end of the chamber. Shoulders 36 may provide spacing between the movable partition and chamber exit 18 a, which may be desirable, for example, in providing an optimal seal between sealer 30 and upper conduit 18. Bias 34, e.g., a spring, which is fixed at both ends, e.g., on the lower surface 28 a of the partition and on the floor 16 d of the chamber, extends with the partition as it advances through the metering chamber.

Once sealer 30 seals opening 18 a, material discharge stops. Thus, a measured dose is dispensed that corresponds to the volume displaced by the movable partition as it traverses from its resting position (FIG. 2) to its sealing position (FIG. 4). Once the dispensing force ends, gravity applies a substantially downward force on movable partition 28, and the movable partition slowly returns to its original position at the bottom of the chamber, as indicated by arrows 70. See FIG. 5. Optionally, bias element 34 applies downward force to the movable partition. Apertures 32 in movable partition 28 reduce resistance of the movable partition to downward displacement by permitting gas 12 and/or content 14 flow through aperture 32, as indicated by arrows 72. The chamber is thereby “reset” for a subsequent metered release of content 14. One-way valve 31 permits flow of gas into metering chamber 16 to maintain pressure equilibrium, as indicated by arrow 74.

Container 10 is capable of discharging a metered dose even when inverted since chamber 16 is substantially filled with content 14 prior to inverted.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of movable partition 28 according to one or more embodiments of the present invention. Movable partition 28 includes sealer 30 attached to or integrally formed with movable partition 28. Sealer 30 may be located anywhere in the face of the movable partition, so long as it is vertically aligned with outlet conduit 18. Release apertures 32 may be located anywhere in the face of the movable partition, and are shown here at the circumferential edge of the movable partition 28. In one or more embodiment, a weight 38 is attached to or integrally formed with the movable partition. Weight 38 is constructed of a material having a high specific weight such that enhances the effect of gravity on movable partition 28. Also shown is bias element 34, which may be secured to one or more faces of the movable partition. Bias element 34 is desirably arranged to apply an even or a uniform force across the face of the movable partition.

FIG. 7 shows an alternative embodiment of the present invention that is capable of charging and discharging while inverted. As above, container 10 includes gas 12 and content 14 under pressure created by gas 12. Container 10 includes a metering chamber 16 attached to, or integrally formed with, an upper conduit 18 and a lower conduit 20. Lower conduit 20 is attached to or integrally formed with an inversion conduit 35 immersed in or in fluid communication with content 14 such that gas 12 readily displaces content 14 through inversion conduit 35 into chamber 16 and through upper conduit 18, pursuant to a user downwardly displacing a lever 22, which is attached to or integrally formed with upper conduit 18. A user can readily release content 14 from container 10 by depressing an upper surface of lever 22, thereby opening a valve 26 attached to or integrally formed with lever 22.

Movable partition 28 is situated in chamber 16 such that a complimentary vertical displacement of movable partition 28 occurs as content 14 is displaced by gas 12. Movable partition 28 includes a sealer 30 for substantially sealing upper conduit 18 and at least one release aperture 32. For the purpose of improved sealing between movable partition 28 and/or sealer 30 and/or upper conduit 18, a shoulder 36 is attached to or integrally formed with chamber 16 and or upper conduit 18 such that a tapered seal is formed. A bleed hole or a unidirectional valve 31 is provided for readily facilitating the flow of air back into upper conduit 18. Optionally, an extension tube 33 may be attached to or integrally formed with valve 26 for readily facilitating insertion of tube 33 to various hard to reach areas including but not limited to any vaginal application or any other application to a body orifice.

Material is discharged in a sequence of steps similar to those shown in FIGS. 2-5, except that the canister is inverted at least during charge and optionally during discharge. By depressing lever 22, content 14 is discharged and movable partition 28 is displaced substantially vertically within chamber 16 until sealer 30 seals upper conduit 18 or until the user release lever 22 thereby closing valve 26. In one or more embodiments, the container is righted, so that gravity applies a substantially vertical force on movable partition 28. As such, gas 12 and/or content 14 “bleed” through aperture 32 formed in movable partition 28, thereby readily facilitating substantially downward vertical displacement of movable partition 28 within chamber 16 and “resetting” chamber 16 for any subsequent controlled release of content 14. In one or more embodiments, the container remains inverted and bias element 34 applies sufficient force to pull the movable partition back to its resting position.

Thus, inversion of container 10 during application does not impede proper application of content 14 due to chamber 16 being substantially filled with content 14 prior to discharge and inversion conduit 35 remaining immersed in content 14 to charge chamber 16.

In another aspect of the present invention, a foam applicator is provided that permits easy, even application of foam over the target surface without the need to use hands or other implements, e.g., a brush. The foam applicator may be used with the metered dose container described herein, or it can be used with conventional containers. For the purposes of illustration, the applicator is described using a conventional container, where like numbers indicate similar elements.

Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 8 shows a container 80 including a content 14 under pressure created by gas 12. As noted above, the container 80 is hollow body which may be made from any material, for example, aluminum, tin-plate, plastics including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), oriented polypropylene (OPP), polyethylene (PE) or polyamide and including mixtures, laminates and the like. The interior surface of the metal container may be laminated with a plastic material or coated with a lacquer or with a varnish to protect the interior surface of the container from corrosion. Corrosion may weaken the container and may also lead to a discoloration of the container's content. Preferred plastic materials for lamination and lacquers or varnishes for coating are epoxy phenolic, polyamide imide, organosol, PET, PP, PE or a combination thereof.

As noted above, content 14 is flowable and can be a liquid or a semi-liquid. Content 14 includes components to provide the desired functionality of the foam upon administration, as well as additives that promote foam formation, such as surfactants and propellant. Aerosol propellants are used to generate and administer the foamable composition as a foam. The total composition including propellant, foamable compositions and optional ingredients is referred to as the foamable carrier. The propellant makes up about 3% to about 25 wt % of the foamable carrier. Examples of suitable propellants include volatile hydrocarbons such as butane, propane, isobutane or mixtures thereof, and fluorocarbon gases. In one or more embodiments, the propellant is a liquefied gas, such as butane, propane, isobutane or mixtures thereof. The liquefied gas typically forms a solution or emulsion with the other components of content 14 and is in equilibrium with propellant gas, which occupies a volume of the container (e.g., the “head space”) and generates the internal pressure used to discharge the product from inside the container. Furthermore, the gas expands to form many “bubbles” within the composition thereby creating the foam. The quantity of gas contained in the container is such to that substantially all the product can be expelled out of the container throughout the life of the article at the correct pressure. The quantity also depends from the type of gases used.

A dipstick 86 is immersed in or in fluid communication with content 14, thereby readily facilitating flow of liquids, fluids and gas from the interior of the container 80. In order to deliver the majority of the content from the container, dipstick 86 extends a distance into the region of container where content 14 resides. In some embodiments, dipstick 86 extends substantially to a floor 80 a of container 80.

The upper opening of dipstick 86 is in fluid communication with valve 88. Lever 89 is disposed between dipstick 86 and valve 88. By applying an external pressure to lever 89, the lever moves between a first (open) and second (closed) position. In the closed position, the passageway between dipstick 86 and valve 88 is blocked and contents of container 80 are isolated from the exterior. In the open position, valve 88 is in fluid communication with the container interior and the contents of container 80 may be dispensed from the container through valve 88.

A semi-resilient extension tube 83 may be attached to or integrally formed with valve 88 to permit flow of content 14 through aperture 85 formed in applicator head 81. The applicator head 81 provides a smooth application surface that can be used to evenly distribute foam over a target surface.

Tube 83 may contain some flexibility, however, it should be sufficiently stiff to withstand forces exerted by the applicator while spreading foam over the target surface. Applicator head 81 may be a resilient, semi-resilient characteristic, pliable or soft. Applicator head 81 can be made of a vulcanized material, a rubber-like material, silicone, or other polymers. The applicator can include a plasticizer to provide the desired material or mechanical properties. In one or more embodiments, applicator head 81 is smooth so that it is not unpleasant to the user. In one or more embodiments, applicator is semi-resilient and/or smooth and is conducive to even, smooth application of content 14. As such, applicator 81 is geared towards assisting in the application of content 14 such that the user does not need to use a hand or a finger to apply content 14.

Several advantages are achieved by using applicator head 81 to apply content 14 to any desired surface, including but not limited to, the user not being required to use their hands both for hygienic, aesthetic or comfort reasons. Clearly, if content 14 is to be applied to an intimate area of the body or an orifice of the body, the user may prefer not to have to use their hands or fingers to apply content 14 thereto. By way of example only, a focus group of mothers has expressed the view that applying material to baby's behinds is an unpleasant task when performed with their uncovered hands. Thus, use of applicator head 81 to apply material in such a fashion readily alleviates such concerns as those raised by the mother's focus group. Furthermore, applicator head 81 is especially preferred when content 14 contains a medication or material that should not come into general contact with the user. Applicator head 81 can be readily used to apply content 14 to any desired surface including, but not limited to, any area afflicted by a disease, abnormality, cut, wound, pathogen, bacillus, virus, bacterium, micro-organism, infection and ailment.

FIG. 9 shows a further embodiment of the foam applicator according to the present invention. The applicator system includes a semi-resilient extension tube 90 attached to or integrally formed with valve 92 for readily facilitating flow of content 14 to applicator head 94. Applicator head 94 includes a hollow member 96 equipped with a plurality of openings 98. Upon release of content 14, applicator head 94 is used to readily apply content 14 on the intended surface. During use, foamed content is delivered from applicator head 94, into hollow member 96, and through openings 98.

Applicator head 94 may be resilient, semi-resilient characteristic, pliable or soft. Applicator head 94 may be made from a vulcanized material, a rubber-like material, silicone, or other polymers. The applicator head 94 can include a plasticizer to provide the desired material or mechanical properties. In one or more embodiments, hollow body 96 has a smooth surface 96 a that contains openings 98 so that it is not unpleasant to the user. Openings 98 are formed in the hollow body 96 such that its face 96 a is smooth. Applicator head 94 can be attached to, or integrally formed with, any foam container and or retrofitted to any existing foam container.

FIG. 10 shows a further embodiment of the foam applicator according to the present invention. The applicator system includes a semi-resilient extension tube 100 that is attached to or integrally formed with valve 102 to permit flow of content 14 through extension tube 100. Flap 104 is attached to or integrally formed at the opposing end of extension tube 100 such that flap 104 serves as applicator of content 14 as it exits extension tube 100.

Flap 104 may be resilient, semi-resilient characteristic, pliable or soft, and may be made from a vulcanized material, a rubber-like material, silicone, or other polymers. The applicator can include a plasticizer to provide the desired material or mechanical properties. In one or more embodiments, flap 104 is smooth and pliant so that it is not unpleasant to the user.

In one or more embodiments, the applicator can be retrofitted to any existing foam container.

It will be appreciated that the above descriptions are intended to only serve as examples, and that many other embodiments are possible within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8617100Sep 4, 2008Dec 31, 2013Foamix Ltd.Device for delivery of a foamable composition
WO2008074153A1Dec 18, 2007Jun 26, 2008Electronic Dietary Foods IncDevice for delivery of a substance
WO2009056991A2 *Sep 4, 2008May 7, 2009Foamix LtdDevice for delivery of a foamable composition
Classifications
U.S. Classification401/118
International ClassificationA46B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45D34/04, B65D83/54, B65D83/36, A45D2200/1018, B65D83/285, A45D2200/057, B65D83/303
European ClassificationB65D83/28B, B65D83/54, B65D83/36, B65D83/30B, A45D34/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 10, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: FOAMIX LTD., ISRAEL
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:EINI, MEIR;TAMARKIN, DOV;FRIEDMAN, DORON;REEL/FRAME:017908/0081
Effective date: 20060619