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Publication numberUS20080011870 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/568,080
PCT numberPCT/GB2005/001546
Publication dateJan 17, 2008
Filing dateApr 21, 2005
Priority dateApr 21, 2004
Also published asCA2560006A1, CN1946327A, CN100581436C, DE602005014960D1, EP1737333A1, EP1737333B1, WO2005102141A1
Publication number11568080, 568080, PCT/2005/1546, PCT/GB/2005/001546, PCT/GB/2005/01546, PCT/GB/5/001546, PCT/GB/5/01546, PCT/GB2005/001546, PCT/GB2005/01546, PCT/GB2005001546, PCT/GB200501546, PCT/GB5/001546, PCT/GB5/01546, PCT/GB5001546, PCT/GB501546, US 2008/0011870 A1, US 2008/011870 A1, US 20080011870 A1, US 20080011870A1, US 2008011870 A1, US 2008011870A1, US-A1-20080011870, US-A1-2008011870, US2008/0011870A1, US2008/011870A1, US20080011870 A1, US20080011870A1, US2008011870 A1, US2008011870A1
InventorsRainer Link, Karl-Ludwig Gibis, Chris Housmekerides
Original AssigneeReckitt Benckiser N.V.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispenser
US 20080011870 A1
Abstract
A dispenser for an automatic dishwasher comprises a body having an aperture for release of an active component. The extent of opening of the aperture is controllable. The active component is contained in a blister disposed in the body.
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Claims(12)
1. A dispenser for an automatic dishwasher, the dispenser comprising a body having an aperture for release of an active component, the extent of opening of the aperture being controllable, characterised in that the active is contained in a blister disposed in the body, and in that the active component is a fragrance composition which is a liquid within the blister and is released from the blister as a vapour.
2. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the fragrance composition contains a dye and/or a colouring agent.
3. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the extent of opening of the aperture is controlled by a gate mounted on the body.
4. A dispenser according to claim 3, wherein rotation of the gate relative to the body opening extent of the aperture.
5. A dispenser according to claim 3, wherein the gate comprises an apertured member.
6. A dispenser according to claim 3, wherein the dispenser has an indication system to display the degree of alignment between the gate and the body.
7. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the aperture on the body is split into a series of apertures with a bespoke aperture for each level or release.
8. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the body has a plurality of apertures to allow release of the active component.
9. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the gate has a plurality of apertures.
10. A dispenser according to claim 8, wherein the apertures are arranged in a regular pattern.
11. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the body has a means to permit attachment to the inside of a dishwasher.
12. A dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the body has a window.
Description
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a dispenser for an automatic dishwashing machine, particularly for use in the dispense of a fragrance.
  • [0002]
    Automatic dishwashing is a well recognised field. It provides convenience to a consumer in comparison to manual dishwashing.
  • [0003]
    One problem associated with the use of automatic dishwashers is that of malodour. This is typically caused by the presence of a residual amount of wash liquor retained in a part of the machine after use. Microbiological action on this residual liquor can cause a generation of malodour, which although harmless, is unwelcome.
  • [0004]
    The malodour is noticeable when the machine is left open between wash cycles and especially at the end of a wash cycle.
  • [0005]
    Usually the malodour is addressed by a fragrance emanator. The emanators used generally comprise a cage for attachment to a part of the dishwasher and a source of fragrance (such as a blister) contained therein.
  • [0006]
    Although these emanators have been found to partially alleviate the malodour issue their use is not without its problems.
  • [0007]
    The first problem is that of the rate of release of the fragrance. Normally the fragrance release follows a reverse exponential curve: initially the release of fragrance is strong, with the rate of release diminishing with time. Indeed in the early stages of use the large amount of fragrance released, whilst addressing the malodour issue, can reach an equally unpleasant level. Conversely towards the end of the life cycle of the fragrance emanator the release of fragrance is often so weak that the malodour issue is not effectively addressed.
  • [0008]
    A second problem is the nature of the fragrance released. Fragrances, whether a natural or man-made, comprise a complex admixture of components, wherein each component provides a different element to the overall fragrance. Normally the volatility of the components varies having regard to one another. Hence their release from emanators, which are normally unsophisticated devices (due to cost consideration), also varies. This has the effect that the overall scent of the fragrance alters during the lifetime of the emanator.
  • [0009]
    It is an object of the present invention to overcome/mitigate the problems above.
  • [0010]
    According to the present invention there is provided a dispenser for an automatic dishwasher, the dispenser comprising a body having an aperture for release of an active component, the extent of opening of the aperture being controllable, and wherein the active is contained in a blister disposed in the body.
  • [0011]
    Most preferably the active component is a fragrance. The fragrance is generally used to address malodour issues prevalent in automatic dishwashers.
  • [0012]
    The dispenser of the present invention has been found to have excellent properties. These properties are particularly pertinent when the release profile of the most preferred active component, fragrance, is considered.
  • [0013]
    Firstly the dispenser has been found to be able to release the fragrance in a linear fashion both over and between a large number of automatic dishwasher wash cycles (typically between 50 and 100 wash cycles. This is in contrast to previous dispensers. Furthermore with the dispenser of the invention linear release has been observed at varying opening extents of the aperture. Thus not only is the dispenser able to dispense a fragrance at a linear rate but also the rate of the release has been found to be adjustable, without having an adverse effect on the linearity of the release
  • [0014]
    Additionally the dispenser of the present invention has been found to overcome the problem of differential release of different components of the fragrances. That is to say, throughout the working life of the dispenser of the present invention the fragrance released is virtually identical to that of the ‘fresh’ fragrance. Without wishing to be bound by theory it is postulated that this effect is achieved by the creation of a zone of saturated fragrance in the headspace of the dispenser.
  • [0015]
    Preferably the extent of opening of the aperture is controlled by a gate mounted on the body. The gate is mounted such that it may be moved relative to the body to affect the opening extent of the aperture. Usually the gate is mounted relative to the body such that rotation of the gate relative to the body varies the opening extent of the aperture.
  • [0016]
    The gate preferably comprises an apertured member. In this way when the aperture of the gate is at least partially aligned with the body aperture dispense of the active component may occur. The degree of alignment may preferably be varied to affect a variable rate of release.
  • [0017]
    In a preferred embodiment the dispenser may have an indication system which displays the degree of alignment between the gate and the body (and hence the expected rate of release) to the user.
  • [0018]
    In a further embodiment the aperture on the body may be split into a series of apertures with a bespoke aperture for each level of release. Thus, as an example, the aperture on the body may be split into two separate apertures; one large aperture for a high rate of release (with the aperture on the gate being the same size as that of the body) and a smaller aperture for a lower rate of release. Obviously this arrangement of apertures may be reversed: the series of apertures may be on the gate rather than on the body.
  • [0019]
    Preferably the body has a plurality of apertures to allow release of the active component (and also for inflow/drainage of wash liquor). Equally preferably the gate also has a plurality of apertures (most preferably one gate aperture per one body aperture). Clearly it will be understood that in the embodiment where the aperture is subdivided into a series of apertures there may be a plurality of these series of apertures.
  • [0020]
    Generally the apertures are arranged in a regular pattern on a side wall of the body.
  • [0021]
    Preferably the body has a means to permit attachment to the inside of a dishwasher. Usually the attachment means is in the form of a hook or a clip.
  • [0022]
    Usually the body has a window so that the user is able to see the blister retained within the body. In this way the user is able to assess the contents of the blister and hence can obtain an indication of the likely remaining lifetime of the blister. The window is most preferably in the form of an aperture in the body. Preferably the window is sealed by being filled with the blister.
  • [0023]
    Generally the reservoir body comprises a substantially planar base.
  • [0024]
    The base is permeable to allow the contents of the blister to emanate in use.
  • [0025]
    It is preferred that the reservoir (preferably enclosed in a skin) projects from a surface of the base. Most preferably the reservoir is stepped having a lower most and an upper most portion. Preferably, in use, the upper most portion of the reservoir body extends into the window aperture of the body. Preferably, in use, the lower most portion of the reservoir body extends beneath and behind a lower edge of the window aperture of the body.
  • [0026]
    As, generally the body is opaque, only the portion of the reservoir body which extends into the window aperture is visible when the blister is mounted in the body. Thus the blister has a hidden portion, which may, when appropriate conceal a residue of a component which is to be released from the emanator. In this way the presence of any residue (particularly from a fragrance composition) does not detrimentally effect the impression of the user as to whether the blister needs to be replaced.
  • [0027]
    The volume of the portion of the reservoir body which is hidden may be varied to suit the expected amount of residue remaining in the blister. Preferably the volume of the reservoir body which is hidden comprises around 15% of the volume of the entire reservoir. (It has been found that typical fragrance compositions leave a residue of up to 15% by volume after the active components thereof have been allowed to/cause to emanate. Thus a large portion of the reservoir body (around 85% by volume) may be observed by user. This gives excellent indication of the use of the blister contents and end-of-life indication.
  • [0028]
    Generally the blister, more particularly the skin of the blister, is transparent so as to allow the user to view the contents thereof.
  • [0029]
    Most preferably the blister contains a fragrance composition. Generally the fragrance composition contains a dye and/or a colouring agent. The dye/colouring agent may give an indication of the nature of the fragrance for added consumer recognition/appeal. For example an ‘apple’ fragrance may have a green colour and a ‘citrus’ fragrance a yellow/orange colour.
  • [0030]
    The dispenser will now be described with reference to the following drawings, in which:
  • [0031]
    FIG. 1 is a plan view of the components of the body of the dispenser of the invention;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 2 is an underneath plan view of the components of the body of the dispenser of the invention;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exploded device of the invention;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 4 is an alternative perspective view of an exploded device of the invention;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 5 is a plan view of the components of the body of an alternative embodiment of the invention;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 6 is an underneath plan view of an assembled device of the alternative embodiment of the dispenser of the invention;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 7 is a side view of an assembled device of the alternative embodiment of the dispenser of the invention;
  • [0038]
    FIGS. 8 and 9 show side views of a preferred embodiment of a blister which can be used in the dispense of the invention; and
  • [0039]
    FIGS. 10 and 11 show cross sections of the blister of FIGS. 8 and 9 taken along the longitudinal access A-A and the equatorial access B-B respectively.
  • [0040]
    With reference to FIGS. 1 to 4 the dispenser 1 of the present invention comprises a body 2, a blister 3 and a gate 4.
  • [0041]
    The body 2 comprises a front section 5 and a rear section 6. Both the front section 5 and the rear section 6 include a largely circular portion 7 and an extended portion 8. The front section 5 and the rear section 6 adjoin by virtue of a ‘snap fit’ arrangement.
  • [0042]
    In the centre of the circular portion 7 of the front section 5 there is a window aperture 9 to allow a consumer to view the contents of the blister 3, mounted therein. The extended section 8 of the front section 5 includes a hook 10 for mounting the body within an automatic dishwasher (not shown). The interior side of the front section 5 has a lip 11 arranged around the window aperture 9. The lip 11 provides support for the blister 3 to be mounted within the body 2 adjacent the window aperture a 9 such that the contents of the blister 3 are visible form the exterior of the body 2.
  • [0043]
    The circular portion 7 of the rear section 6 is stepped. This provides a volume within the body 2 for retention of the blister 3. The circular portion 7 includes a number of clusters of apertures 12 arranged with regular spacing. Each cluster 12 comprises three individual apertures; a,b,c, arranged in an inverted ‘L’ configuration.
  • [0044]
    The extended section 8 of the rear section 6 includes a series of markings; ‘HI’, ‘MED’ and ‘LO’. The significance of these markings will become clear with reference to the gate 4.
  • [0045]
    The gate 4 includes a largely circular portion 7 and a limb extension 13.
  • [0046]
    The circular portion 7 of the gate 4 is stepped in the same way as the rear section 6 of the body 2. The circular portion 7 includes a number of clusters of apertures 14 arranged with regular spacing. Each cluster 14 comprises two individual apertures; I,II, arranged in an ‘I’ configuration.
  • [0047]
    The limb extension 13 of the gate 4 extends beyond the markings on the extended section 8 of the rear portion 6. The limb extension 13 includes a window 15. The markings are intended to be visible through the window 15 of the limb extension 13.
  • [0048]
    The gate 4 is mounted adjacent the rear section 6 so that the gate 4 may be rotated relative to the rear section 6. In this way the clusters of apertures 14 on the gate 4 may be arranged relative to the cluster of apertures 12 on the rear section 6.
  • [0049]
    In the illustrated embodiment three arrangements of the gate 4 relative to the rear section 6 are contemplated (although none of these arrangements is actually illustrated) as follows:
  • [0050]
    In the first arrangement the window 15 of the limb extension 13 of the gate 4 is aligned such that the marking ‘LO’ is visible therethrough. In this orientation none of the apertures I, II on the gate 4 are aligned with the apertures a,b,c on the rear section 6.
  • [0051]
    In the second arrangement the window 15 of the limb extension 13 of the gate 4 is aligned such that the marking ‘MED’ is visible therethrough. In this orientation the apertures I on the gate 4 are aligned with the apertures a on the rear section 6.
  • [0052]
    In the third arrangement the window 15 of the limb extension 13 of the gate 4 is aligned such that the marking ‘HI’ is visible therethrough. In this orientation the apertures I and II on the gate 4 are aligned with the apertures b and c on the rear portion 6.
  • [0053]
    Thus it can be seen that as the gate is moved from the ‘LO’ to the ‘HI’ setting the area of overlap of the apertures I, II on the gate 4 and the apertures a, b, c on the rear section 6 increases. This allows increased release form the dispenser 1.
  • [0054]
    It will obviously be appreciated that whilst in FIGS. 1 to 4 three separate arrangements of the gate 4 relative to the rear section 6 have been contemplated, other numbers of arrangements with other numbers of different positions are not ruled out.
  • [0055]
    With reference to FIGS. 5 to 7 an alternative embodiment of the dispenser 1 of the present invention is shown. The alternative embodiment shares many of the features described above for the first embodiment (with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4).
  • [0056]
    The body 2 comprises a front section 5 and a rear section 6. The front section 5 and the rear section 6 adjoin by virtue of a ‘snap fit’ arrangement. Both the front section 5 and the rear section 6 are dished to provide a volume within the body 2 for retention of the blister 3.
  • [0057]
    The rear section 6 includes a hook 10 for mounting the body within an automatic dishwasher.
  • [0058]
    The periphery of the front section 5 includes a number of clusters of apertures 12 arranged with regular spacing. Each cluster 12 comprises four individual apertures; a,b,c,d, arranged in a row.
  • [0059]
    The periphery of the rear section 6 is cutaway in sections to create four projections 16.
  • [0060]
    The front section 5 is mounted adjacent the rear section 6 so that the front section 5 may be rotated relative to the rear section 6. In this way the clusters of apertures 12 on the front section 5 may be arranged relative to the projections 16.
  • [0061]
    In the illustrated embodiment five arrangements of the front section 5 relative to the projections 16 are contemplated (although none of these arrangements is actually illustrated) as follows:
  • [0062]
    In the first arrangement the front section 5 is aligned such that all of the apertures a,b,c,d are adjacent the projections 16 on the rear section 6. Thus none of the apertures a,b,c,d is open.
  • [0063]
    In the second through to the fifth arrangement the front section 5 is aligned such that a decreasing number of the apertures a,b,c,d is adjacent the projections 16 on the rear section 6. Thus progressively the apertures a,b,c,d are opened with, finally in the fifth arrangement, all of the apertures a,b,c,d being open.
  • [0064]
    Thus it can be seen that as the front section 5 is moved relative to the rear section 6 the area of overlap of the apertures a,b,c,d on the front section 5 and the projections 16 on the rear section 6 decreases. This allows increased release from the dispenser 1.
  • [0065]
    It will be appreciated that whilst in FIGS. 5 to 7 five separate arrangements of the front section 5 relative to the rear section 6 have been contemplated, other numbers of arrangements with other numbers of different positions are not ruled out.
  • [0066]
    FIGS. 8 to 11 show the preferred embodiment of the blister 3 for use with the dispenser 1.
  • [0067]
    The blister 3 comprises a base 17 in the form of an oval strip. The oval base 17 comprises a permeable skin for release of the fragrance.
  • [0068]
    The base 17 is provided with two-stepped platforms 18 and 19 which project on the front side of the base 17. The platform 18 has a similar shape to the base 17, namely it is oval, yet is smaller than the base 17, thus leaving a non-platformed perimeter 20 therearound.
  • [0069]
    The stepped platform 19 has a circular surface 21. The surface 21 is inclined at an angle about an axis there-through, the said axis being arranged parallel to the equatorial axis of the blister B-B. Thus the stepped platform 19 has a depth which varies along longitudinal axis A-A.
  • [0070]
    The surface 21 and most preferably the entire blister 3 is transparent.
  • [0071]
    In use the blister 3 is preferably supported in the body 2 by the lip 11 such that at least a portion of the surface 21 of the stepped platform 19 is visible through the window aperture 9. This allows the user to visually determine the amount of fragrance contained within the blister 3.
  • [0072]
    The platform 18 extends beneath and behind a lower edge of the window aperture 9. This arrangement allows the last remnants of liquid in the blister 3 to be hidden from a user. This serves as an aid to the user for blister replacement as typically the last remnants of fragrance solution contain little or no fragrance and mostly comprise colorant, i.e. is ‘inactive’. If this portion is seen the user may perceive that the blister 3 is still capable of functioning thus the replacement of the blister 3 may be delayed. When hidden the presence of this ‘inactive’ will not dissuade the user from replacing the unit and thus the high efficacy of the blister 3 is maintained.
  • [0073]
    Generally the blister 3 is mounted such that the longitudinal axis A-A is substantially vertical with the deepest part of the recess 19 uppermost. This serves to reduce the appearance of under-fill of the blister 3—an important consideration for consumers.
  • [0074]
    Generally the surface 22A of retainer 22 against which the upper surface 21 of the blister 3 abuts is arranged so as to be co-planer therewith. In the illustrated embodiment this is achieved by surface 22A being substantially domed.
  • [0075]
    The invention will be further illustrated with reference to the following non-limiting examples.
  • EXAMPLES Example 1 Fragrance Dispense Rate
  • [0076]
    The fragrance dispense rate of a dispenser in accordance with the invention was measured in an automatic dishwashing machine.
  • [0077]
    A dispenser as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 was used. The dispenser contained a blister as shown in FIGS. 8 to 11. The blister contained 4 grams of a commercially available dishwasher fragrance.
  • [0078]
    The fragrance release rate was measured by taking the weight of the blister after a number of cycles in an automatic dishwasher (Miele, model G 676 SC, program “Universal”) which was run for a number of cycles at 65 C. The weight loss was expressed as a percentage of fragrance lost from the blister (referring to the initial weight of 4 g).
  • [0079]
    In the tests a varying number of apertures of the dispenser were set to the open position to determine the effect that this would have on the fragrance release rate. A comparative example of a dispenser which is outside the scope of the present invention, i.e. not having controllable apertures was also tested as a comparison.
  • [0080]
    The results of the weight loss are shown in Table 1 below.
    TABLE 1
    Loss of Fragrance (% w/w)
    Comparative
    No of Washes Example “LO” “MED” “HI”
    5 9.54 2.00 3.85 6.79
    10 18.71 3.75 8.79 13.40
    15 26.75 5.88 13.14 19.88
    20 34.56 7.72 17.20 26.15
    25 43.35 11.58 23.04 33.70
    30 49.85 13.39 26.60 38.63
    35 56.33 15.34 30.92 43.92
    40 63.18 17.81 35.73 49.32
    45 70.50 21.01 40.59 55.13
    50 75.59 22.58 43.82 59.61
    55 79.83 24.12 47.61 63.98
    60 83.48 25.45 50.63 67.93

    “LO” means 0 open apertures.

    “MED” means 8 open apertures.

    “HI” means 16 open apertures.
  • [0081]
    The dispenser in accordance with the present invention has excellent release properties. Not only is the fragrance release linear in mature but also the rate of release can be varied (whilst still remaining linear) to suit the output required.
  • [0082]
    The Comparative Example has a very large uncontrollable rate of release with the rate of release displaying the usual reverse exponential decay.
  • Example 2 Nature of Fragrance Dispensed
  • [0083]
    The nature of the fragrance dispensed from a dispenser in accordance with the invention was measured.
  • [0084]
    A dispenser as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 was used. The dispenser contained a blister as shown in FIGS. 8 to 11. The blister contained 4 grams of a commercially available dishwasher fragrance.
  • [0085]
    The nature of the fragrance released was tested taking a sample of the fragrance (from the inside of the blister) and feeding the sample into a Gas-Chromatograph (Agilent, model 6890 Series, columns HP-1, HP-5 Carbowax, carrier gas: Helium 1 ml/min; program 80 C. to 250 C. (10 min), heating rate 6 C./min). In this way the content of the fragrance could be measured.
  • [0086]
    For the fragrance the top note, the medium notes and the low notes were measured after 60 washes under the wash conditions in Example 1 (with the dispenser at the medium setting). The measurements for the dispenser in accordance with the present invention were compared with the pure fragrance and with the fragrance from a dispenser which is outside the scope of the present invention. The results of the analysis are shown in Table 2 (given as total peak area %).
    TABLE 2
    Fragrance Fragrance Fragrance
    Dispenser Top Notes Middle Notes Base Notes
    Type (0-30 min.) (30-50 min.) (50-81 min.)
    None (Fresh 16.3%   68% 15.7%
    Fragrance)
    Dispenser of 7.9% 74.3% 17.6%
    the Invention
    Comparative 1.5% 56.3% 42.2%
    Dispenser
  • [0087]
    In the dispenser of the present invention the fragrance after 60 washes is much closer to that of the fresh fragrance than that of the comparative Example.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8177916May 20, 2008May 15, 2012Givaudan S.A.Fragrance dissemination device
US8616375Jan 13, 2012Dec 31, 2013Whirlpool CorporationPackets for treating chemistry
US20070243507 *Apr 14, 2006Oct 18, 2007Denise TaylorMethod for associative learning based upon the use of controlled release fragrances from substrates and product produced in accordance therewith
US20090277484 *Nov 12, 2009Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate GmbhWater-conducting domestic appliance and plastic part therefor
US20100132743 *May 20, 2008Jun 3, 2010Philippe BlondeauFragrance Dissemination Device
Classifications
U.S. Classification239/55
International ClassificationA61L9/12, A47L15/42, A47L15/44
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/4481
European ClassificationA47L15/44H
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 19, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: RECKITT BENCKISER N.V., NETHERLANDS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GIBIS, KARL-LUDWIG;HOUSMEKERIDES, CHRIS EFSTATHIOS;LINK,RAINER;REEL/FRAME:018456/0598
Effective date: 20060911