US 2746651 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 22, 1956 N. J. LEWIS CLOSURE FOR RESILIENT DISPENSERS Filed July 8, 1953 United States 2,14 ,651 CLOSURE FOR RESILIENT DISPENSERS Norman J. Lewis, Minneapolis, Minn. Application July s, 1953, Serial No 3 66,746
6 Claims. (CL 222-213) This invention relates to resilient dispensers and more particularly to a closure therefor which will be self operating in nature. l 1 j The type of dispenser with .which this invention is concerned is that which has a'degree of flexibility which will permit squeezing and collapsing the walls, yet which on release of the squeezing pressure thereon will have a resilience capable of returning the dispenser to its original shape. Such dispensers are commonly made of plastic material such as polyethylene and are adapted to retain liquids which can be atomized or sprayed from an opening atthe top upon applying'pressure to the sides of the dispenser. p i
it is, however, my purpose to adapt to such dispensers a type of closure which will enable them to contain and dispense light or heavy pastes as well as liquid material, the flexible and resilient dispenser tending to assume its original relaxed form with air di splacing the portion of material removed at each use in contradistinction to collapsible tubes conventionally used for paste material during the dispensing of which the tube is progressively collapsed until emptied. i i
It is an important object of the invention to provide a convenient and novel dispenser and closure in which compressing will extrude paste or liquid retained in the dis penser through said closure and the release of pressure will create a partial vacuum which will assist in sealing the closure to prevent drying, exposure or further release of unextruded material, 9 p Q 7 It is another object of the invention to provide an auto matically operated'closure for flexible and resilient con: tainers in which the closure will flex outwardly under presssure to expose an orificefor dispensing some of the fluid or paste contents and which, on release of pressure, will suck backjtl'ie closure to seal off the orifice and to cover it as well. i a
it is a further object of the invention to provide a dispenser and closure for toothpaste and the like which will regain its original shape andappearance after each usage, thereby not becoming collapsed and misshapened during its period of usefulness.
These and other objects and advantages will more fully appear from the following description made in connection with the accompanyingdrawings wherein like reference characters throughout the several views denote like elementsand in which: 1 i h Fig. 1 is a side elevation of one embodimentof my invention; v
Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the closure in inverted position, a portion of the closure being broken away in vertical section to better show the internal structure thereof;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary view of the closure extended in operable position for dispensing some of the contents in the containenaportion of the closure being broken away in vertical section, and v 1 Fig. 4 is a side elevation of another embodiment of my invention employing a similar closure with the dispenser in inverted position-during non use.
Referring now to Fig. 1, a resilient container 10 1s provided with my flexible valve or closure 11, the entire unit being adapted to contain a product such as toothpaste and to" be maintained in normal reposein upright position upon its base 12.
2,746,651 Patented May 22,- 1956 Referring now to Fig. 2, the container or dispenser 10 has been inverted and the closure 11 is shown in detail just prior to the application of compressive force. This position of the closure is referred to throughout this specification as the normal position. The walls 13 of the container or dispenser body 10 are constructed of a flexible, yet resilient material such as polyethylene. The thickness of the wall structure is selected so that the container body will be easily compressible yet will be resilient enough to tend to return to its original shape upon re lease of the compressive force. The closure itself may form a local. thin and more flexible area than the major portion of the container at walls 13. Generally speaking, the local area extends inwardly at 13a to form a flexihie flap and is preferably formed as an inwardly extend ing cylinder which is secured to or integral with thepe}. riphery 14 of the product outlet 15 of container body 10;: The inwardly directed flexible portion 1311' then is reversely bent at 16 and extends outwardly at 17 to provide a thin walled plug member with the outer continuoussul face of the local area in contact with itself for at least a portion of its area as shown in Fig. 2. The outwardly extending continuation 17 may take the form of an inner concentric cylinder which normally interfits with its outer cylindrical and resilient portion 13a. The reversely folded plug or inner cylinder 17 terminates outwardly in a bridging area 18 which seals off the product opening 15 in the normal postition of the closure as shown in Fig. 2.
An orifice 19 is disposed through the thin local area of the dispenser in one of the inner or outer cylinders, the orifice being disposed in outer cylinder 13a in the-form shown in Fig. 2. The orifice 19 is so positioned as to lie within the portion of the local area which lies against itself in contacting relation, thus providing a seal for the orifice 19 when in normal retracted position shown in Fig. 2. A shouldered stop 20 may be providedatthe outer end 18 of the cylinder or plug member 17 so as to engage the periphery 14 of the product outlet 15 in the container 10.
An air vent 21 may be provided in the end'18 of the cylinder or plug 17 so as to permit air to enter the vent and replace product as it is extruded from the container 10 during normal usage. The air vent 21 maycomprise a hinged flap member 22 which is secured to the end 18 at '23. An upwardly extending boss 24 passesthrough .the vent hole 25 formed through the wall of outer end 18. Paste or liquid in contact with the inner surface of the flap 22 will not pass through the air vent 25.: A partial vacuum within container 10 will, however, permit air to seep inwardly through the vent 2 5 and pass the flap 22. In the event the flap 22 shouldbecor'ne adhesively sealed, slight manual pressure upon 'the' boss 24 Will bring it back to operative condition.' a
Another form of dispensing container is shown in 4, the body thereof. being indicated generally at 2 6 In this case the closure 11' is intended to remain in downwardly disposed position both during use and during standby. Legs 27 are secured at a lower position upon .body 26 and extend downwardly for contacting with a rest surface with the closure ll maintainedin clearance therewith. The form shown in Fig. 4 is primarily for use with pastes of a consistency comparable to those presently used in the collapsible, metal tube typeof dispenser. Such pastes do not flow readily and hence wouidtend'to permit air pockets to form therein if thedispenser were shifted and inverted before and after each usage. By employing the continuously downwardly disposed closure," the paste is kept in continual contact with the-inner sur-'- faces of closure 11, the'displacing air which is permitted to return to the inside of the container 26'thus being caused to move upwardly and away from the closure 11:
In the use and operation of my dispensing container, the closure 11 is held in inverted position as. in Fig. 2. In such case, where toothpaste or liquid tooth cleaning solution is employed, the users toothbrush is brought in readiness; beneath the closure. Upon application of compressive or squeezing force to the flexible and resilient walls 13 the paste or fluid within the container will exert pressure upon the closure. It will be observed that the thin walled flap 13a has a slight angulation toward the center of product outlet 15. In the form where the flap forms an outer cylinder, the slight taper will result in a slightly reduced diameter of the product outlet adjacent the inner fold 16. This tapered configuration assists. in starting the closure to unfold when the pressure is applied. The inner cylinder or plug 17 then moves outwardly with the outer cylinder turning inside out as shown in Fig. 3. Simultaneously therewith, the surface contacting and orifice sealing relation is broken and orifice 19 is exposed to the outer air. On continued pressure, the product is extruded outwardly at 28 as shown in Fig. 3 and may be transferred, as upon a toothbrush for subsequent use.
Upon release of the compressive force upon the walls 13 of container 10 a partial vacuum will be created thereby. Flexible flap or cylinder member 13 will then move inwardly and the plug or inner cylinder 17 will follow until the shouldered portion 20 of the outer end 18 abuts the periphery 14 of the container, thus reestablishing the orifice sealing quality of the closure.
Since a certain quantity of product has been removed from the container, it will be necessary to replace an equivalent amount of atmospheric air to permit the closure to regain its original shape. Thus when the shoulder abutment 20 prevents further inward movement of the closure 11, the air vent flap 22 will recede from end 18 and permit air to seep inwardly through air vent opening 25. When sufficient replacement air has entered the container, the air vent will then become sealed off.
It may thus be seen that I have devised a simple and novel dispenser for a variety of types of paste and fluid products, the closure therefor being automatically sealable while still retaining the pleasing contours of the original container.
It will, of course, be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details, arrangement and proportions of the parts without departing from the scope of my invention.
What I claim is:
1. A dispensing container of the flexible type which can be compressed to extrude products and on release of compression will tend to regain its original shape, said container having a continuous wall surface for encasing the product, said wall surface having a local thin and more flexible area than the major portion of the container, the local area normally extending in a reverse fold with at least a portion of the outer surface of the local area lying against itself in contacting relation, said local area further having an orifice therethrough normally in sealed relation at the contacting area, whereby upon compression of the container said local area will be extended to disrupt said surface contact and expose the orifice for extrusion of product and upon release of the compressive force will retract the local area and re-establish the surface contacting and orifice sealing relation.
2. A closure for the product outlet of a dispensing container of the type which tends to regain its original shape after release of compressive force thereon, said closure comprising a flexible valve having a continuous thin wall, one edge of which is secured in liquid-tight relation with the container at its outlet edge, the thin wall normally extending inwardly of the container then reversely in surface contacting relation with the portion extending inwardly and terminating in a liquid-tight bridge across the entire outlet, and anorifice through the thin wall normally at a surface contacting and orifice sealing position, whereby upon the application of compressive force to the container said flexible valve will be extended to break said surface contact and expose the orifice for extrusion of product, and upon release of the compressive force will retract the flexible valve and re-establish the surface contacting and orifice sealing relation.
3. A closure for the product outlet of a compressible dispensing container of the type which tends to regain its original shape after release of compressive force, said closure comprising a flexible flap in liquid-tight connection with the periphery of said product outlet and normally terminating inwardly of the container, and a thin walled plug member connected with the inner terminus of said flap in liquid-tight relation and together with the flap normally bridging said outlet in sealed relation, one of said flap and plug members having therethrough an orifice normally in sealed relation against the other of said flap and plug members whereby upon application of compression to the dispensing container said plug member and the flap will move outwardly from the outlet for exposing the orifice and permitting extrusion of product through the orifice, and upon release of compression will furnish a partial vacuum to retract said plug and flap again into orifice sealing relation,
4. A closure for the product outlet of a dispensing container of the type which tends to regain its original shape after release of compressive force thereon, said closure comprising a flexible valve having a continuous thin wall, one edge of which is secured in liquid-tight relation with the container at its outer edge, the thin wall forming a cylinder normally extending inwardly of the container then reversely in a concentric inner cylinder which is in surface contacting relation with the outer cylindrical portion and terminating in a liquidtight outer end, and an orifice through the thin wall of one of said cylinders at a position normally in surfacecontacting and orifice sealing relation whereby upon the application of compressive force to the container said flexible valve will be extended to break said surface contact and expose the orifice for extrusion of product and upon release of the compressive force will retract the flexible valve and re-establish the surface contacting and orifice sealing relation.
5. A dispensing container of the flexible type which can be compressed to extrude product and on release of compression will tend to regain its original shape, said container having a continuous wall surface for encasing the product, said wall surface having a local thin and more flexible area than the major portion of the container, said local area normally extending inwardly into the internal space of the container in a reverse fold with at least a portion of the outer surface of the local area lying against itself in contacting relation, said local area further having an orifice therethrough normally in sealed relation at the contacting area and a vent through that portion of the local area normally in unsealed relation with the contacting area, whereby upon compression of the container said local area will be extended to break said surface contact and expose the orifice for extrusion of product, and upon release of the compression force will retract the local area to re-establish the surface contacting and orifice sealing relation and permit air to enter said vent and replace that portion of the product extruded.
6. The subject matter of claim 4, and a shouldered stop at the outer end of said inner cylinder for limiting the inward movement of said flexible valve upon release of the compressive force.
Renicke Sept. 1, 1936 Rieke Dec. 1, 1953