US 2763395 A
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Sept. 18, 1956 G. W. MEEK DIFFUSER DEVICES Filed June 6, 1952 INVENTOR GEORGE W. MEEK BY ATTORNEY United States Patent DIFFUSER DEVICES George W. Meek, Pelham, N. Y.,
Inc., New York, N.
assignor to Airkem, Y., a corporation of New York This invention relates to diffuser devices of the type utilized for introducing volatilizable material into air. More particularly, the invention relates to diffuser devices for use with volatilizable material in essentially solid or solidified form wherein the volatilizable material is contained within a diffuser unit telescopically arranged within a container or receptacle.
Still more particularly, the invention relates to an improved diffuser unit having resilient means thereon cooperating with the outer container or receptacle to selectively support the diffuser unit in different positions of vertical adjustment with respect to the receptacle in controlling the rate of diffusion therefrom.
The introduction of volatilizable material into air, as for example in the deodorizing and freshening of air, has, to a considerable extent, been carried outwith wick bottles wherein a liquid volatilizable material is fed through :a wick which in turn is exposed to the air. While the vertical adjustments of wicks in such bottles permits adjustment of the rate of volatilization, the wicks tend to .become unsightly during use, and further the danger of :spillage or leakage of the liquid volatilizable material presents a constant problem. The use of solid or solidified volatilizable materials is therefore of distinct advantage, but unfortunately, it has been difficult in the past to provide appropriate means for regulating the rate of volatilizable material from such solid or solidified materials.
I have now discovered a novel and practical means for regulating the rate of volatilization from solid or solidified materials. Regarded in certain of its broader aspects, my invention comprises the combination of a container part and a diffuser unit telescopically arrangeable Within said container part, said diffuser unit having vapor penetrable means extending over vertical surfaces thereof, and resilient means cti-extensive with at least one portion of said vertical surface and cooperating with said container for adjustably supporting said diffuser unit in different positions of telescopic arrangement with respect to said container.
The novel features of my invention will readily be` understood from a consideration of the following specification and accompanying drawing in which various embodiments of the invention are disclosed, and in which the various parts are identified by suitable reference acters in each of the views, and in which:
Fig. l is a perspective view of a diffuser device in accordance with my invention showing the closure removed and the diffuser unit in the extended or operative position.
Fig. 2 is a partial section substantially along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a view similar to Fig. 2 showing a modification.
ther modification; and
Fig. 5 is a partial perspective view of a diffuser device as shown in Fig. 1 indicating a still further modification.
char- Fig. 4 is another view similar to Fig. 2 showinga fur- In Fig. 1 of the drawing, I have shown a diffuser device j comprising a diffuser unit 10, a container or receptacle part 11, and a cover or closure member 12 adapted to close and seal the upper end 13 of the container part. As indicated in the drawing, the container part has a beaded upper edge 13 which may be frictionally engaged by the closure or cap 12 to provide a substantially vapor-tight seal. It is to be understood that any type of engagement between the cap and container may be provided and if desired, a supplemental sealing element may be employed overlying the joint between the cap and container part. The diffuser unit 10 is arranged for telescopic engagement with the container 11, both the diffuser unit and container having essentially parallel side walls so that in different positions of vertical adjustment of the diffuser unit, the relative proximity of the walls of the diffuser unit and container remain substantially the same. While in the preferred form of the device, as shown in the drawings, both the diffuser unit and container are of essentially cylindrical form, it should be understood that any desired cross-sectional contour can be provided so long as the contour of the container corresponds closely with the contour of the diffuser unit.
The diffuser unit comprises a chamber for solid or solidified volatilizable material which is closed at the lower end 14 thereof as well as at the upper end 15 thereof and which has side walls 16 having vapor penetrable means arranged throughout the surface thereof. For purpose of illustration, the vapor penetrable means have been indicated in the drawing as holes or apertures 17 arranged at circumferentially and vertically spaced intervals. It is to be understood, however, that this showing of the holes or apertures is merely for purpose of illustration, and it is within the scope of my invention to employ as the wall 16 any material having sufficient porosity to permit free passage of the vapors therethrough. Thus,
-for example, the wall 16 may consist of a mesh or screentics are employed, the side wall 16 and bottom 14 could be molded as a single unitary body. The top wall 15 which is cemented or otherwise secured to the side wall 16, after the diffuser unit 10 has been filled, is provided with a suitable pull or fingerpiece 19 facilitating Withdrawal of the diffuser unit 10 from the container 11. As shown in the drawings, the ngerpiece 19 is in a collapsed position which it may normally assume during shipment and when not in use.
The outer wall 16 of the diffuser unit is provided with an elongated strip 20 of resilient or spring-like material extending substantially throughout the entire height of the unit 10, the strip 20 being provided with `a plurality of vertically spaced cut-out spring fingers 21 which are flexed outwardly from the strip 20 and which have at the lower ends thereof inwardly depending flanges 22 adapted .to form bearing surfaces for engaging the upper edge 13 of the container 11. As indicated in the drawing, the spring fingers 21 will normally assume an extended position to bring the bearing surfaces 22 thereof in alignment with the upper edge 13 of the container. At the same time, the fingers 21 'are readily flexed into substantial alignment with the strip 20, when individual spring fingers 21 yare arranged below the upper edge 13 of the container. The wall 16 or the overlapped edge portions 18 thereof, as shown in the drawing, `is provided with a i Patented sept. 1s, 195s.
series of spaced aper-tures 23 adapted to receive the inwardly extending ends 22 of the spring fingers 21.
In the operation of the device, it will be noted that when the diffuser unit is withdrawn from the container 11 by pulling on the lingerpiece 19, the spring fingers 21 will, yas they pass` the upper edge 13 of the container, snap or liex outwardly into the operative position to provide a bearing or stop shoulder engaging the upper edge of the container. In this way the diffuser unit can be withdrawn or elevated to any desired posiition'and retained in the elevated position by thc lowermost of the spring lingers which are arranged above the upper edge'13 of the container. When it is desired to rfi-insert the diffuser unit into the container, it is merely necessary to `depress the spring linger or lingers 21 which may be -outwardly of the container and to slide the diffuser unit downwardly into the container.
While I have shown in the drawing a single strip 2li of resilient material having spring lingers 2l thereon, it will be understood that, if desired, a plurality of such members can be employed having spring lingers arranged in common alignment or, alternatively, having spring fingers arranged in a staggered relationship thereby providing for a greater number of positions of adjustment of the diffuser unit.
The strip 2f) may be cemented, stapled, riveted or otherwise secured to the side wall 16 or `the overlapped portions 18 thereof. On the other hand, when certain types of materials are employed in constructing the side walls 16, it is possible to fashion the spring lingers by cut-outs in lthe wall itself. Thus, as indicated in Fig. 3 a plurality ofr spring lingers 24 are provided which -are cult and flexed from the wall 25 of a diffuser unit 10a generally similar to the diffuser unit 10, as shown in Figs. l and 2. The spring fingers 24, as shown in Fig. 3 function in the same manner as the spring lingers 21, the lowermost finger 24 externally of the container 11a acting as `a stop member engaging the upper edge 13a thereof. lt will be apparent, however, that the spring lingers 24 can be readily flexed to permit downward movement of the diffuser unit 10a in returning Ithe diffuser unit to the storage or inactive position.
In Fig. 4 of `the drawing is shown `a further modification of my invention wherein la diffuser unit 10b is telescopica]- 1y arranged in 'a container unit 11b generally corresponding to the diffuser unit and container shown in Figs. l and 2. The wall 16b of the diffuser unit is provided with a strip of resilient material Zdextending vertically throughout the height thereof and secured to the wall 16h by rivets, staples or other suitable means, as indica-ted at 27, in a manner to provide a series of loops in the strip 26 protruding outwardly from the w-all 1Gb. It will be noted that the loops in the strip 26, when above the upper edge 13b of the container protrude somewhat beyond or outwardly of ythe inner wall of `the container 11b. On the other hand, loops of the strip 26 which `are arranged below the upper edge 13b are flexed inwardly to form a plurality of smaller loops as indicated at 28. This resilient re-forming or reshaping of the loops in the strip 26 provides a firm frictional engagement between the diffuser unit 10b and the inner wall of the container 11b which is sufficient to support the diffuser unit in any desired position of vertical adjustment, while at the same time being insufficient to interfere with desired movement ofthe diffuser unit vertically in selectively adjusting the position thereof. In `this construction, yas in the constructions previously described the resilient supporting means may be said `to assume an outwardly flexed position above the upper edge of the container and an inwardly flexed position below the upper edge of the container.
The further modification of the device, shown in Fig. 5, indicates a diffuser unit 10c` `arranged within a container 11C. The side wall 16e` of the diffuser uni-t is provided with an elongated strip 29 of resilient Vmaterial having a plurality of` transversely arranged spring lingers 30 therein. It will be noted that the spring fingers Fill are integral with the strip 20 at one end thereof, but the opposed end of each linger is free to move transversely with respect to the strip 29. Between the strip 29 and 'free ends 3l of the spring members 30, it will be noted that the spring meinbers are bowed outwardly as indicated at 32, thus providing a stop shoulder for engaging the upper edge 33C of the container. When lflexed inwardly the spring fingers assume substantially the curvature of the ydiffuser unit 10c, `and the ends of the spring fingers assume positions indicated at 3l. Thus, it will be apparent that as the diffuser unit is withdrawn from the container llc, successive spring lingers 30 will liex into operative position `and provide a support for the diffuser unit in any desired position of vertical adjustment. W-hen it is desired to re-insert the diffuser unit in the container, it is merely necessary to depress the spring fingers, thereby allowing the diffuser unit to move downwardly into the container. Here again, it will be noted that the spring fingers above the upper edge 13C of the container are flexed outwardly, whereas below said upper edge, the spring lingers assume an inwardly flexed position.
In each of the devices shown in Figs. 3 to 5 of the drawing, it will be understood that the side walls are provided with suitable apertures as described in connection with Figs. l and 2'to permit the passage of vapors therethrough. For purpose of illustration, I have indicated in Fig. 5 the interior of the container unit 10b as filled with a particled or granular material 33 which may be, for example, pumice or some other absorbent material having a liquid air treating agent absorbed therein. In Figs. 2 and 3, on the other hand, I have indicated the diffuser -unit as being filled with a solid or solidified body 34 which may be an air treating composition in gel form adapted to evaporate and volatilize as it is exposed to currents of air passing through apertured walls of the diffuserunit. It should be understood, however, that the particular type or composition of air treating material in solid or essentially solidified form employed within the diffuser unit doesvnot constitute any part of the present invention. The diffuser device made in accordance with my invention as herein disclosed may be employed with any type of air treating composition which introduces air treating agents into the air by evaporation or volatilization.
The spring lingers or other resilient means arranged along a portion of the wall of the diffuser unit have been described primarily as providing for a bearing engagement with the upper edge of the container in supporting the diffuser unit in various positions of adjustment. It should be noted, however, by providing sufficient tension in the spring fingers or other resilient means, it is possible to `engage inner surfaces of the container therewith in a manner to support the diffuser unit in different positions of vertical adjustment, even though there is no actual bearing engagement with the upper edge of the container. In other words, this resilient frictional engagement between the diffuser unit and container may be sufficient in itself to support the diffuser unit in extended position with respect to the container. Similarly this resilient frictional engagement can be utilized when thev diffuser unit is suspended, as for example, by means of the finger piece or pull 19, to support the container on the suspended diffuser unit. In this way, regulation of the rate of evaporation of volatile components within the dilfuser unit can be effected by adjusting the telescopic arrangement of the container on the suspended diffuser unit.
Various changes and modifications in the diffuser device herein disclosed will occur to those skilled in the ar-t, and to the extent that such changes and modifications fall within the purview of the appended claims it is to be understood that they constitute part of my invention.
l. An adjustable supporting device `for an elongated cylindrical container, said device comprising a strip member co-extensive with a portion of the side wall of said container and extending longitudinally thereof, said strip member being fashioned from resilient material, longitudinally spaced portions of said strip member being normally flexed outwardly providing the supporting means of said device, and said spaced portions `being resiliently and individually retractable from said protruding position by application of external pressure thereto when lowering said container.
2. A supporting device as `defined in claim 1 wherein the longitudinally spaced portions of said member comprise longitudinally arranged spring fingers having inwardly extending bearing portions at the free ends thereof.
3. A supporting device as defined in claim 1 wherein the longitudinally spaced portions of said member comprise transversely arranged spring iingers having between fixed yand movable ends thereof outwardly `bowed portions forming transverse bearing edges.
4. A `supporting device as defined in claim 1 wherein the longitudinally spaced portions comprise longitudinally disposed loops normally protruding outwardly a uniform distance, and each of said loops when liexed centrally thereof forming a plurality of smaller loops having a lesser outward protrudence.
5. A device for adjustably supporting telescoping containers in diiierent positions of relative extension, said device comprising an elongated member iixedly secured to the inner of said telescoping parts and normally disposed between telescopically engaged surfaces of said parts, and said member having a plurality of longitudinally spaced portions normally assuming outwardly protruding positions and being resiliently and individually movable to positions of lesser outward protrudence by application of external pressure thereto when lowering said container.
6. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein said longitudinally spaced portions comprise longitudinally disposed spring ngers having inwardly extending bearing portions at the free ends thereof.
7. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein the longitudinally spaced portions of said member comprise transversely arranged spring iingers having between fixed and movable ends thereof outwardly bowed portions forming transverse bearing edges.
8. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein the longitudinally spaced portions comprise longitudinally disposed loops normally protruding outwardly a uniform distance, and each of said loops when ilexed centrally thereof forming a plurality of smaller loops having a lesser outward protrudenee.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 599,027 Thompson Feb. 15, 1898 900,748 Leiser Oct. 13, 1908 1,015,455 Neesham Jan. 23, 1912 1,339,067 Marek May 4, 1920 1,481,325 `Gris Jan. 22, 1924 1,680,539 Hadi Aug. 14, 1928 1,707,841 Broadfoot Apr. 2, 1929 2,229,475 Redmer Jan. 21, 1941 2,459,247 Skold Jan. 18, 1949 2,503,276 Kranitz Apr. 11, 1950 2,540,758 Rinnman Feb. 6, 1951 2,625,044 Christie Jan. 13, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 572,751 'France Iune 12, 1924 292,205 Great Britain June 5, 1928