US 2747573 A
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May 29, 1956 w. A. scHAlcH VALVED NURSING NIPPLE Filed July 16, 1954 INVENTOR W/zm/Pfl. 54/9/01 United States Patent C VALVED NURSING NIPPLE Wilbur A. Schaich, Toledo, Ohio, assignor to Owens- Illinois Glass Company, a corporation of Ohio Application July 16, 1954, Serial No. 443,855
6 Claims. (Cl. 128-252) This invention relates to an improved nursing nipple of the type incorporating a unidirectional flow value to improve the feeding properties thereof.
It has heretofore been proposed that the uniformity of feeding can be increased, and the amount of air taken in by the infant decreased, through the incorporation in the nipple of a unidirectional flow or check-valve. However, in the constructions heretofore proposed, the check-valve was fabricated by assemblage of two or more elements, and the valve assemblage was mounted in the nipple as a unit. Such check-valves were relatively expensive to manufacture, and, due to the fact that they constituted an assemblage of two or more members, were diflicult to clean.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved nipple and valve construction wherein the check-valve constitutes a simple disc-like member, which cooperates with a seating surface defined by the nipple to produce the desired unidirectional flow action. Accordingly, it is an important object of this invention to provide an improved nipple and valve construction characterized by a substantial reduction in manufacturing costs and a substantial improvement in ease of cleaning and assembling of the valve and nipple elements.
The specific nature of this invention, as well as other objects and advantages thereof, will become familiar to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the annexed sheet of drawings on which there is shown, by way of preferred example only, two embodiments of this invention.
On the drawings:
Figure l is a side elevational view of a well-known form of nursing bottle, on which a nipple and valve unit embodying this invention is assembled;
Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view of the nipple and valve element embodying this invention;
Figure 3 is a sectional view taken on the plane 3-3 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a sectional view taken on the plane 44 of Figure 2;
Figure 5 is a vertical sectional view of a modified valve and nipple construction embodying this invention.
As shown on the drawings:
The nipple 2 embodying this invention has a conventional exterior configuration, including a bulbous tip portion 3 and a base flanged portion 4, which rests upon the open mouth of a conventional nursing bottle 1 and is secured thereto by the application of an internally-threaded collar 1a in conventional fashion. The nipple tip portion 3 is provided with one or more discharge apertures 3a and defines the end of a central fluid passage 5 which extends to the bottom end of nipple 2, terminating in an enlarged counterbored portion 5a. Above the counterbored portion 5a, the central fluid passage 5 is radially enlarged at angularly spaced intervals, as indicated by the chambers 5b. The remaining wall portion of the fluid passage 5 between the adjacent chambers 5b thus defines a plurality of vertically extending ribs 5c. The chambers 5b have a common upwardly facing annular surface 5d, which, as will be later described, functions as a valveseating surface. That portion of the ribs 50 immediately above the valve-seating surface 5d is radially notched, as indicated at 5e, to provide downwardly facing surfaces 5 which function as a stop for movement of the valve disc. A valve disc 6 is provided which is formed of lightweight, impervious sheet metal or plastic having suitable non-corrosive properties, and is dimensioned so that its periphery will overlie the annular valve-seating surface 5d and cooperate therewith in sealing relationship. Valve disc 6 can be inserted within the notches 5e by flexible distortion of the nipple material. When thus inserted, it is apparent that only limited vertical movement of the valve disc 6 is permitted, as defined by the space between the stop shoulder 5 on the ribs 50 and the valve-seating surface 5d.
In a modified form of this invention, illustrated in Figure 5, a valve-seating surface 5g is provided which is of frusto-conical or tapered configuration, and a valve disc 7 is then provided which has its periphery correspondingly shaped so as to cooperate with the frusto-conical seating surface. The modified structure has the advantage of producing a more effective sealing action when the valve disc is pressed against the valve-seating surface.
When the aforedescribed nipple 2 and enclosed valve are assembled to a nursing bottle 1 by the cap 1a, it will be apparent that when the bottle is inverted, the milk in the bottle can readily flow into the hollow tip portion 3 of the nipple by unseating the relatively lightweight valve disc and flowing around the periphery of such valve disc through the fluid passages provided by the pinrality of radial chambers 51;, thence through the central fluid passage 5 to the nipple discharge openings 3a. When the feeding infant compresses the bulbous tip 3, the resulting increase in fluid pressure within the nipple will cause a seating of the valve disc on the cooperating annular seating surface. Thus the interior of the nipple is effectively isolated from the remainder of the bottle, and the pressure exerted by the jaws of the infant will be sufiicient to force a quantity of fluid out through the discharge apertures 3a. In this manner, the infant is not required to overcome whatever degree of vacuum may exist in the entire bottle, but has only to exert sufficient pressure to discharge the relatively small volume contents of the hollow nipple.
It will be apparent also that the nipple and valve construction embodying this invention provides the utmost economies in manufacture and is very easily cleaned. After each use, the valve disc may be readily removed from the notches 5e by distortion of the nipple and, being a single piece of simple configuration, may be thoroughly cleaned and just as easily reinserted in the nipple for the next feeding.
It will, of course, be understood that various details of construction may be modified through a wide range without departing from the principles of this invention, and it is, therefore, not the purpose to limit the patent granted hereon otherwise than necessitated by the scope of the appended claims.
1. In combination, a feeding nipple of flexible material having a base portion and a bulbous feeding tip, said nipple defining a central fluid passage extending from said base portion to said feeding tip, said nipple also defining an annular valve-seating surface formed in surrounding relation to said central fluid passage, an impervious valve member axially movably mounted in said central fluid passage and having an annular portion engageable with said valve-seating surface to resist fluid flow in said central fluid passage in the direction away from said feeding tip, and means in the wall of said central fluid passage defining axially extending fluid passages disposed outwardly of said valve member, whereby fluid flow toward said feeding tip may occur whenever said valve member is displaced from said valve-seating surface.
2. The combination defined in claim 1, wherein said valve member comprises a thin, impervious disc sufliciently light in weight to permit the ready axial displacement thereof in said central fluid passage by the alternate suction and pressure force normally developed within said nipple by the feeding action of an infant.
3. The combination defined in claim 1, wherein said valve-seating surface is of frusto-conical configuration, and said valve member comprises an impervious disc hav-' ing a frusto-conically shaped peripheral portion cooperable with said valve-seating surface. 7
4. In combination, a feeding nipple of flexible material, having a base portion and a bulbous feeding tip, said nipple defining a central fluid passage extending from said base portion to said feeding tip, said nipple also del fining an annular recess surrounding the lower portions of said central fluid passage, the lower-surface of said annular recess constituting atvalve-seating surface, an impervious, rigid valve disc insertable in said recess by flexible distortion of said nipple and freely axially movable in said annular recess between a lower closed position of engagement with said valve-seating surface and an upper open position displaced from said valve-seating surface, the top surface of said annular recess functioning to limit movement of said valve disc toward said feeding tip, and at least one axially extending fluid passage formed in said nipple to permit fluid flow toward said feeding tip around the perimeter of said valve disc whenever said valve disc moves to said open position.
5. The combination defined in claim 4, wherein said valve member comprises a thin, impervious disc sufficiently light in weight to permit the ready axial displacement thereof in said central fluid passage by the alternate suction and pressure force normally developed within said nipple by the feeding action of an infant. t
6. The combination defined in claim 4, wherein said valve-seating surface is of frusto-conical configuration, and said valve member comprises an impervious disc having a frusto-conically shaped peripheral portion cooperable with said valve-seating surface.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1.. "Mi mi