US 2976561 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 28, 1961 ngzzaj R. M. CULVER.
SEAL FOR BALL APPLICATORS Filed Feb. 17. 1958 INVENTOR.
AT TORNEY-S Unitfd 65 Patent SEAL FOR BALL APPLICATORS Robert M. Culver, Hillside Ave., P.0. Box 35, Flanders, N .35.
Filed Feb. 17, 1958, Ser. No. 715,811
3 Claims. (Cl. 15-572) This invention relates to applicators and more especially to applicators of the type in which a ball is retained in a holder attached to the mouth of a container and the ball is held loosely so that as it is rotated in contact with a surface it will apply liquid from within the container to that surface. Such applicators are widely used for deodorant containers, but can be used for the application of any other liquid to the skin or to another surface.
With ball applicators of the character indicated, caps are used for closing and sealing the container when not in use. It is .desirable that such caps eliminate the clearance between the ball and holder so that the liquid fro-m the container can not run out into the cap when the container is lying on its side.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved construction for a ball applicator assembly, and more especially to provide a construction in which the cap applies pressure to seal any clearance around the ball holder and the lip of the container, as well as the clearance between the ball and its holder.
More particularly, it is an object of the invention to provide a ball applicator assembly in which a cap presses the ball holder downwardly into contact with the lip of a bottle, or other container, and downward movement of the ball holder pushes the ball upwardly to seal its clearance from the holder. In the preferred construction the cap also has an annular surface immediately above the ball holder for limiting any distortion of the ball holder by the upward movement of the ball.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear or be pointed out as the description proceeds.
In the drawing, forming a part hereof, inwhich like reference characters indicate corresponding parts in all the views;
Figure 1 is a sectional view through a ball applicator assembly made in accordance with this invention, the assembly being shown attached to the upper end of a container;
Figure 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1; and with the ball omitted; and
Figure 3 is a diagrammatic sectional view showing the way in which the invention operates.
The applicator assembly includes a ball holder or ring 10 which is preferably made of a resilient plastic material. The ball holder has a groove 12 for receiving a flange 14 at the mouth of a bottle or other container 16. The flange 14 is circumferential in the preferred construction, and the holder 10 is sufliciently resilient so that the lower wall of the groove 12 can be distorted radially outward to snap the holder 10 over the flange 14 of the container. The lower wall of the groove 12 is made with a slope so that the holder 10 has a flaring entrance into which the upper end of the container 16 is pushed toexpand the holder 10 radially outward when snapping the holder over the flange 14.
There are a number of angularly spaced lugs 20 exthe groove 12 and into contact with the lip of the con-' tainer 16. The lugs 20 thus maintain the holder in the position shown in Figure 1 with a clearance between the lip of the container 16 and the upper wall of the groove 12. The flange 14 is narrower than the groove 12 so as to provide for this clearance.
The lugs 20 preferably extend radially inward som what beyond the inner edge of the lip of the container 16; and these lugs 20 support a ball 24 which is preferably made of plastic but of a stiff plastic so that there is no distortion of the ball in the operation of the applicator. The lower wall of the groove 12 grips the flange 14 with suflicient pressure to prevent leakage of liquid when the applicator is in use. The ball 24 fits freely within the holder 10 and has sufficient clearance from the inside wall of the holder 10 to prevent the holder fromscraping liquid off the ball as the ball rotates. The upper part of the holder 10 has an annular Zone bearing surface 26, located above the equator of the ball 24, for preventing the ball from coming out of the holder 10 in an upward direction. This zone bearing has a slight clearance from the ball when the ball is resting on the lugs 20 and the holder 10 is not distorted by any pressure from a cap 28. This cap is used to seal the applicator when not in use.
nular abutment surface 36 on the inside of the cap 28 in position to contact with a shoulder 38 on the outside of the holder 10.
The cap 28 has another annular surface 40 located immediately above the upper end of the holder 10 and on the side of the holder opposite the zone bearing surface 26. The cap 23 is constructed so that the annular surface 40 has a substantial clearance from the upper end of the holder 16) when the abutment surface 36 first contacts the shoulder 38 as the cap is screwed downwardly on the container.
When the applicator is to be used, the cap 28 is removed. The container 16 is tilted so that the liquid contents of the container wet the portion of the ball 24 which is exposed at the lower end of the opening through the holder 10. The upper end of the ball is then placed against the skin, or other surface to which liquid is to be applied, and the container is moved sideways so as to roll the ball along the surface. This rotation of the ball carries the wet portions of the ball into contact with the surface on which the ball is rolling and causes liquid to be applied to that surface. There is no consequential pressure between the ball 24 and any portion of the holder 10, except the lugs 20, when the applicator is in use. Because of the small area of the lugs 20, very little liquid is removed from the ball surface by hearing pressure of the ball against any part of the holder 10;.
This operation of the applicator is conventional.
When the cap 28 is applied to the container 16 and screwed down, it is necessary to seal the top wall of the groove 12 against the lip or flange 14; and it is also necessary to seal the clearance at the zone bearing surface 26 where leakage between the ball 24 and the holder, 7 10 must be prevented and where air should be excluded- Patented Mar. 28, 1961 3 parts of the applicator were of precision manufacture and all parts remained with such accurate dimensions during the life of the applicator assembly.
With this invention the cap 28 exerts its downward pressure against the shoulder 38, as indicated in Figure 3 by the arrow 51. This is the only downwardpressure which the cap 28 exerts as it is screwed. downwardly on the threads 34, and the pressure is distributed around the entire circumference of the holder because the shoulder 38 and the abutment surface 36 are of annular extent.
As the cap 28 moves downwardly on the container, the force of the cap against the shoulder 3S'r'noves the holder 10 downwardly and closes the clearance between the top wall of the groove 12 and the confronting top surface of the fiange 14. With this clearance closed, further downward movement of the cap 28 sets up a force, indicated by the arrow 52, whereby the'top wall of the groove 12 is pressed against the flange 14 to effect a seal between. the holder 10 and the lip of the container.
This downward movement of the holder 10 causes the flange 14 to exert a force, indicated by the arrow 53, against the lugs 29' which were in contact with the lip of the container before the holder 10' was displaced downwardly. This force 53 distorts the lugs 24 upwardly with respect to the remainder of the holder 1%, and causes the lugs to exert a pressure, indicated by the arrow 54, against the lower part of the ball 24.
The ball 24 is thus moved upwardly in the holder 1i and is pressed into firm contact with the zone bearing surface 26. The force of the ball 24 against the zone bearing surface 26 is indicated by the arrow 55. Although the lugs 20 exert pressure at only four angularly spaced locations around the ball 24, the stiffness of the ball causes it to exert an even pressure against the zone bearing surface 26 around the entire circumference of the zone bearing surface. Thus, the clearance between the ball 24 and the zone bearing 26 is closed and the force represented by the arrow 55 seals the ball and holder against leakage at the zone bearing surface 26.
In order to permit a tighter seal between the ball 24 and holder 10, the annular surface 40 is provided immediately above the upper end of the holder 10, as previously described. Upward distortion of the zone hearing surface 26 is limited by this annular surface 40. As the zone bearing surface 26 is thrust upwardly by distortion of the resilient material of which the holder '10 is made, the upper surface of the holder contacts with the annular surface '40 and any further distortion is prevented by the reaction pressure of the surface 40, as indicated by the arrow 56, against the top of the holder 10.
From the above description it will be apparent that no precision tolerances are necessary for any of the parts of this invention, and that the application of the force indicated by the arrow 51, against one circumferential shoulder 38 applies all of the sealing forces with the sealing of the ball against the holder a resultant force. This means that as greater force is applied by the holder against the container lip, greater force will be applied by reaction of the lip, through the lugs and ball, to the upper sealing surface at the zone bearing surface 26.
The preferred construction has been illustrated and described but changes and modifications can be made and some features can be used in different combinations without departing from the invention as defined in the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A ball applicator assembly including a container having a mouth at its upper end with an'annular lip around the upper end of the mouth, a holder having an opening therethrough in line withthe mouth and made of resilient material, said holder having inwardly extending lugs at angularly-spaced locations around the lip, means securing the holder on the container with the lugs in contact with the lip and supporting the holder from the lip, the holder having lip confronting surfaces radially outward from the lugs and spaced above the lip when the holder is in an undistorted condition, a ball within the opening through the holder and supported therein by contact with said lugs under the ball, the holder having an inwardly extending flange at the upper end with a zone bearing surface thereon above the equator of the ball and confronting the surface of the ball, said zone bearing surface being annular and of less diameter than the ball,
said ball projecting partially beyond the zone bearing surface and top of the flange at the upper end ofthe holder, a circumferentially-extending shoulder on the outside of the holder intermediate the upper and lower ends thereof, the flange having an annular top surface surrounding but below the projecting portion of the ball and above the zone bearingsurface, a cap that fits over the holder, means for securing the cap to the container, lower and upper annular shoulders in the cap confronting the shoulder and annular top surface respectively, of the holder, the spacing of the shoulders in the cap being at leastas great as the spacing of the shoulder and annular top surface of the holder, and the shoulders on the cap being close enough to the shoulder and annular top surface of the holder at the same time for the upper shoulder to restrain upward bending of the flange and the zone bearing surface by the ball when the lower shoulder on the cap presses the holder downwardly far enough to displace the lugs inwardly and to lift the ball into firm contact with the zone bearing surface.
2. The ball applicator assembly described in claim 1 and in which the annular top surface on the holder, the shoulder on the holder and both of the shoulders in the cap are all disposed in planes substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of the applicator assembly and the cap is rotatable about the same longitudinal axis.
3. In a ball applicator having a resilient ring with lugs supporting a ball within the ring and with a zone bearing surface of the ring confronting the ball above the equator of the ball and in position to seal the ball when the lugs are distorted to raise the ball into contact with the zone bearing surface, and a cap with an inside abutment surface that causes a'distortion of the lugs to raise the ball into contact with the zone bearing surface when the cap is moved downward on the ring, the improvement which comprises a second abutment surfaceonthe cap located above the end of the ring and above the zone bearing surface for restraining distortion of the ring and stretching of the zone bearing surface by the ball, said second abutment surface being spaced from the first abutment surface by a distance that brings the second abutment surface into contact with the top of the ring at the same time that the first abutment surface causes the ball to rise into firm contact with the zone bearing surface of the ring.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,749,566 Thomas June 12, 1956 2,823,403 Whitney -e Feb. 1a, 1958 2,923,957 Gentile r Feb. 9, 1960