US 2930063 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 29, 1960 M. B. STULL 2,930,063
. DISPENSING CAP FOR CONTAINERS Filed Feb. 11, 1958 24 A5 10 j 11 22 12 4 Z0 1 15 uncapping and squeezing the tube.
United States Patent 2,930,063 DISPENSING CAP FOR CONTAINERS Morton B, Stnll, Clifton, NJ. Application February 11, 1958, Serial No. 714,534
2 Claims. (Cl. 15-135) This invention relates to dispensing stoppers or caps for use with small, hand-held containers, and more par-.
.ticularly to caps of this type which are molded from purpose intended, there always existed the problem of dispensing the proper amount of the contained substance and spreading or applying the dispensed quantity to the desired surfaces. Where separate spatulas were provided with the tubes it was difficult to store them after use unless they were first thoroughly cleaned, and often this was not done by the user. Moreover, uponremoval of the cap for dispensing of the contents the exposed threads would become contaminated by the substance being dispensed, and this would complicate and make more difficult subsequent removal of -thecap. .Or,.if the threads were cleaned each'time, this would require extraoperations on the part of the user, and require the obtaining and disposing of a cleaning cloth or the equivalent.
Thepresent invention deals with the aforementioned problems and is aimed at providing satisfactory solutions therefor, and one object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved plastic cap for collapsible tubes or other dispensing-type containers, which in addition to providing a secure closure for the container constitutes a convenient and advantageous spreading means for the substance which is dispensedQ Another object of the invention is to provide an improved dispensing-type plasticcap as above set forth, wherein a dispensing orifice means is provided which is completely leak proof prior to initial use of the cap, thereby to insure against leakage .or loss of the substance in the container during shipping, storage and display.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel, plastic dispensing type cap ofithe above character, which is fabricated as a single unitary piece by a suitable molding procedure, and which is so constituted that a stopper portion thereof may be readily severed from the remainder of the cap by the consumer or user, so as to uncover and open the discharge orifice for dispensing of the con tained substance, said stopper portion being thereafter reversible and adapted to be applied to the orifice as a the invention is to provide a 2" novel spatula type cap as above characterized, wherein the spatula blade may have an appreciable width While;
at the same time maintaining the diameter of the cap body relatively small, thereby effecting a saving of material and making possible the exposure of a portion of the shoulder of the collapsible tube for filling adjusts ments. 7
Yet another object of the invention'is to provide an improved spatula cap having the aforementioned characteristics and which is readily usable in existing capping equipment, either without modification or else with the addition of simple and inexpensive fittings.
.A feature of the invention resides in the provision of an improved spatula or dispensing type cap of the above type, wherein the severing of the stopper portion may be quickly and easily effected by the user without likelihood of mistake. or error, and wherein there is provided" about'the discharge orifice a sloping surface leading to.
the spatula blade, which is conductive to the flowing of the dispensed substances to such. blade and which mini-- mizes to the -maximum extent the lodging of unused substance on the cap after completion of the use thereof.
Another feature of the invention resides in the provision of a plastic, spatula-type cap having the above features and advantages, which may be readily molded by an injection process, in mold cavities permitting with.- drawal of the molded piece without resorting to movable. cavity walls or the like which complicate the molding procedure and increase greatly the'niold andequipment cost. Additionally, the cap structure is such "as to have a uniform, relatively thin wall section throughout, in conjunction with the said simple mold cavities,thereby to facilitate the curing of the plastic substance and minimizeunequalshrinkage after molding. i l
A still further feature of the invention resides in the H provision of a dispensing-type spatula cap having a severable stopper portion which, when detached, reveals the discharge orifice, wherein the said portion when replaced so as to close'th'e orifice projects outwardly at'an angle which is convenient in enabling it to be readily grasped and subsequently removed.
Another feature of the-invention resides in the provision of an improved and novel spatula cap formed of molded plastic substance, wherein the spatula'blade has ing the necessity of assembly equipment which is normally required for multi-part caps, minimizing the need for critical fits and tolerances, reducing the points of possible leakage in the cap structure,'and minimizing the work involved in inventory control .as compared with multipart units.
A further advantage provided bythe cap structureof the invention resides in the consistent shrinkage of the stopper portion as compared with the dispensing orifice into which the stopper portion is later fitted, in'. Conseof commensurate dimensions. g V
Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear;
In the drawings accompanying this specification, similar characters of reference are used to indicate like.
portions wherever possible thro'ughout the several views,-f V
Patented Mar. 29,1960; 7
spatula cap made in accordance with the invention, applied to a collapsible-tube type of container.
Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the cap and container of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged axial sectional view taken through the cap and a portion of the container, along the line a -3 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is a view like Fig. 3 but showing the stopper portion of the cap as severed from the body and applied to the discharge orifice, to close the cap after use.
Fig. 5 is a side elevational view of the cap and collapsible tube, as it appears in use.
As shown, the improved and novel spatula cap of the present invention is formed or fabricated as a single, molded plastic piece. Such cap, for example, may be advantageously molded of a resilient polyethylene plastic composition, or any other suitable formulation which is resistant to the action of corrosive liquids and at the same time has a yieldable or flexible structure.
The cap of the present invention is so constituted that it may be economically formed in simple mold cavities which are devoid of undercut walls or movable wall sections, pins or the like. Moreover, the cap structure has relatively thin and uniform walls which facilitate rapid curing of the molded piece and minimize unequal shrinkage or other distorting factors.
As shown, the cap structure comprises a body portion which includes a shallow cuplike flange or skirt portion 11 having a generally frusto-conical transverse wall constituting in effect a shield, said body portion also having a depending lip or rim 12 attached to the periphery of the skirt portion 11 to strengthen the latter and also provide a grip surface by which the cap may be readily utilized in existing capping equipment.
The annular rim or lip 12 is provided on its exterior with axially-extended ribs or flutes 13, and with a terminal head 14 joining the lower extremities of the ribs 13. Such structure not only facilitates the gripping of the cap in a chuck of the capping machine, but also provides a desirable ornamentation which enhances the overall appearance of the article.
To strengthen or reinforce the transverse frusto-conical wall of the skirt portion 11 of the cap body 10 I further provide a plurality of external, radially extending ribs 15, disposed on the exterior conical surface thereof and extending inward from the peripheral portions to a central hub 16 of the cap body portion 10. It will be later brought out that the hub 16 is threaded to constitute a screw cap, and by virtue of the entire cap structure being molded of yieldable polyethylene, the ribs 15 provide an important function in reinforcing the hub portion 16 and preventing undesired excessive distortion thereof when the cap structure is screwed onto the neck of the container.
Referring to Figs. 3 and 4 it will be noted that the skirt portion 11 of the cap body 10 is so constituted as to overlie and cover a substantial area of the end wall 18 of a collapsible tube 19 to which the cap may be applied. Preferably, the maximum diameter of the flange or lip 12 is slightly less than the smallest diameter of the wall 18 of the collapsible tube whereby at least a small peripheral portion 20 of such end wall is exposed and accessible to enable filling adjustments to be made when the tube is being filled and sealed from its larger, open end.
The collapsible tube 19 has the usual, externally threaded neck 22 to accommodate a removable closure which in the past has been unscrewed when it is desired to dispense the contents of the tube. The spatula cap of this invention is screwed onto such externally threaded neck, but is intended to be permanently retained thereon, even during the dispensing of the contained substance, and further intended to facilitate the spreading of such substances and to thereafter provide a tight and effective seal until such time as the user again desires to avail himself of the product in the tube, A own in Figs- 3 4 and 4 the central hub 16 of the cap structure is internally threaded and further provided with an internal annular shoulder 24 whereby it may be attached to the dispensing end of the tube 19 and provide a tight seal therefor.
Disposed above the hub 16 of the cap is a hollow cylindrical orifice or spent portion 26 of slightly reduced diameter, terminating in an angularly disposed transverse end wall 27 having therein'a relatively large discharge orifice or opening 28.
In accordance with the invention I further provide as an integral part of the cap structure a novel detachable stopper portion 30 projecting upward from the orifice portion 26, and as seen in Fig. 4 when such stopper portion is severed from the orifice portion, the sloping transverse wall 27 of the latter has a spreading function. As viewed in Fig. 5, substance 32 which is being discharged from the orifice portion 26 will be spread over the sloping wall 27 as the cap is made to transverse the surface on which the substance 32 is to be applied.
Also, by the present invention I provide in conjunction with the sloping wall 27a flexible and resilient, integral, wide spatula blade 34 projecting upward from the skirt portion 11 alongside of and beyond the orifice portion 26 of the cap structure. The blade 34 extends an appreciable distance beyond the wall 27, thereby to constitute a spreading means as is well illustrated in Fig. 5. It is preferred that the spatula blade 34 have appreciable width whereby it will constitute an effective spreading means, andaccordingly the blade is disposed fairly close to the center of the cap structure, to take full advantage of the large extent or width of the skirt at such point.
As seen in Figs. 3 and 4, the spatula blade 34 is constituted in part by a wall of the orifice portion 26 of the cap, said blade forming a strong, distortion-resistant wall of the spout or orifice portion, and the upper projecting portion of the spatula blade may be thought of as an angular continuation or extension of the sloping outer face of the transverse wall 27. Thus, an elfective spreading action is obtained by use of the spatula blade 34 in conjunction with the sloping wall 27, as clearly depicted in Fig. 5. Further, I provide small protuberances or teeth 36 on the upper edge of the spatula blade 34, such teeth acting to space the extremity of the blade from the working surface which is receiving the spread substance. In consequence, such substance will not be spread out to thinly but instead will have a predetermined thickness as governed by the height of the teeth 36.
The present invention further provides a novel stopper structure and organization which is constituted as an integral part of the cap structure during the molding thereof, and remains as such integral part until the contents of the-container on which the cap structure is applied, are to be used. The said stopper portion is intended to be severed by cutting. or breaking it from the remainder of the cap by the user in a simple and effective manner which also precludes improper or inaccurate separation of such portion. Moreover, whereas in the present instance the stopper portion is formed as an integral part of the cap it is utilized, as provided by the invention, as an initial seal for the orifice portion of the cap, thereby positively preventing any likelihood of leakage at this point during shipment, storage or display.
Referring to Fig. 3, the stopper portion 30 is shown as constituted of a tubular extension of the orifice portion 26 but with a reduced diameter and a thin, readily breakable wall at its base. The portion 30 projects beyond the upper extremity of the spatula blade 34, and terminates in a solid plug 40 of further reduced diameter, hav ing a conical tip 41. Also, the portion 30 has an elongate bore 41 of relatively small diameter, and a shorter but larger bore 42 which is a continuation of the orifice opening 28 in the transverse wall 27 and which forms the thin, readily breakable wall at the base of the portion 30. By the provision of the enlarged bore 42 in the-stopper portion in conjunction with theisoft or yield able polyethylene plastic material andthe sloping char actor of the wall 27 I have found that the stopper por tion 30 may be easily and'quickly yet accurately severed from the remainder of the cap structure, either by bending and breaking the stopper portion or by using only an. ordinary, readily available sharp blade or instrument. For example, a razor blade may be used,-or a sharp knife blade, to sever the stopper portion 30;. Bids merely necessary to force such blade against the base of the stopper portion and along theuouter exposed surface 27 of the orifice portion 26. It will be noted from Fig. 3 that the wall thickness of the stopper portion at points adjoining the transverse wall 27 is appreciably less than the wall thickness of the remainder of the stopper portion. Thus, a. cutting implement may readily pass through such thinner wall, andv since it is guided. by the sloping surface of the transverse wall 27 there is little likelihood; of a user 28, as shown in Fig. 4. Preferably, the plug 40 is made slightly larger than the orifice opening, to provide for frictional retention of the stopper portion and prevent any tendency for leakage of the contents of the tube 19 past the cap.
It will now be understood that by virtue of the cap structure being initially made all in one piece, and by its being tightly screwed onto the end of the tube 19 there is minimized the likelihood of leakage of the contents of the tube, either during transit, storage or display. When a consumer who has purchased the article desires to use and dispense the contents of the tube for the first time, he will sever the stopper portion 30 as aforementioned and will thereafter spread the substance on the desired surface as clearly illustrated in Fig. 5. To reseal the tube after use, the severed stopper portion30 is merely replaced in inverted position as shown in Fig. 4, with the plug 40 closing the dispensing orifice 28.
It will be noted from an inspection of Figs. 2 and 3 that while the stopper portion 30 extends alongside the spatula blade 34 it is at no point connected thereto, and accordingly need not be severed therefrom. Moreover,
the stopper portion 30 is made to have appreciable length,
and is provided with knurling 43 on its exterior cylindrical surface, thereby to facilitate the grasping of the stopper bending of the same to break it ofi, and replacement of the same. Also, when the stopper is replaced it assumes an angle, extending outward or away from the spatula blade 34 as shown in Fig. 4, thereby providing a desirable clearance which facilitates its replacement and/or later removal.
It will be understood from the foregoing that I have 1 as a subsequently removable closure, after it has been aesacee orifice portion anovel guide is provided whicli in junction with the thin wall of the stopper portion enables" put into use. orifice position combines with the spatula blade in conducting and directing the flow of substance from the.
As was also mentioned previously, the length, shape and disposition of the stopper portion 30 facilitate its use severed'from the said orifice portion.
Inasmuch as the cap structure constitutes a Si gleunitary piece, 'as distinguished from a number of separate pieces, there is reduced the-tooling expense aswell-as the fabricating or molding cost. Moreover, there is molding process, and to constitute a desirable closure and dispensing means having many advantages not only to the producer but also to the consumer.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims and portions of the improvements,
may be used without others.
I claim: '1. An applicator cap having a body portion adapted to be attached to a container, and having a hollow, cylindrical spout portion integral with and extending an appreciable distance from the body portion, said spout portion constituting an integral continuation of the walls of the body portion and at its tip having a transversely disposed, annular, external end face making an acute angle with its axis, having a discharge orifice surrounded by the surface of said end face and having. a stoppcrportion formed with walls of reduced thickness at'its base, said walls being integral with said spout portion and project- 1 ing from the end face thereof, said stopper portion normally closing the said orifice and having an extremity of reduced diameter adapted to be received in the orifice to close oif the latter, said cap being constituted of a. flexible plasticv substance which may be readily cut by a sharp instrument or readily torn, thereby to enable the stopper portion at the reduced walls thereof to be severed from the spout portion to reveal the said discharge orifice and enable closure of the same to be elfected by e the stopper portion, said cap further having a flat, rectangular, Wide spatula portion provided with extensive opposite sides, said spatula portion being integral with the type plastic cap which is so constituted and organized that it may be readily pulled from a relatively simple cavity in an injection mold, without requiring movable walls, retractable pins or wall sections and the like. By initially forming the cap as a single integral piece which structure it retains until it is put into use by the consumer, there is minimized any likelihood of leakage past the cap from the dispensing end of the container, and positively prevented any likelihood of leakage between the portions of the cap structure.
Additionally, all of the walls of the cap structure are of uniform, relatively thin cross section to facilitate the molding and curing procedure. The spatula blade has a desirably great width to enhance its spreading function, while at the same time the protective skirt at the body portion of the cap structureneed not be excessively large 7 said hollow, spout portion and constituting a strong, distortion resistant part of the side wall thereof and extending In an axial direction from one. side of, and appreciably beyond, the spout portion but terminating short of the extremity of'the stopper. portion, and said spatula porboth sides thereof an appreciable distance, said spatula portion having one side of rectangular configuration with a Width greatly in excess of the diameter of the spout being spaced from said closure portion and being adapted to reinforce the spout portion and to spread a substance which is discharged from the said orifice upon proper manipulation of the cap. I
2. An applicator cap having a body portion adapted to be screwed onto a container, and having a hollow,
cylindrical spout portion, said body portion having internal threads and said spout portion constitutingan integral continuation of the walls of the body portion andatits tip having a transversely disposed, annular; external end face making an acute angle with its axis, having a discharge orifice surrounded by the surface of said end face and having a stopper portion integral with said spout portion and projecting from the end face thereof, said stopper portion normally closing the said orifice and having an extremity of reduced diameter adapted to be received in the orifice to close off the latter, said cap being constituted of a flexible plastic substance which may be readily cut by a sharp instrument, thereby to enable the stopper portion to be severed from the spout portion to reveal the said discharge orifice and enable closure of the same to be effected by the stopper portion, said cap further having a flat, rectangular spatula portion provided with extensive opposite sides, said spatula portion being integral with the said hollow spoutportion and constituting part of the side wall thereof,
and extending in an axial direction from one side of, and appreciably beyond, the spout portion and further extending laterally of the spout portion on both sides thereof an appreciable distance, said spatula portion having one side of rectangular configuration with a width greatly in excess of the diameter of the spout portion and of the same order of magnitude as the diameter of the body portion, the opposite extensive sides of the spatula portion extending to points alongside the base of the spout portion, said spatula portion further being spaced from said closure portion and being adapted to spread a substance which is discharged from the said orifice upon proper manipulation of the cap, said cap further having radially extending ribs disposed on said body portion and extending inward from the outer periphery thereof to points adjoining the internal threads of the body portion, thereby to reinforce the latter and the spatula portion.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS