US 3005475 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 24, 1961 R. w. BEALL, JR 3,005,475
COMBINED LIQUID DISPENSING AND AIR VENTING APPARATUS Filed June 15, 1960 uwwwq imflkw INVENTOR. .R/CHQPD WBE/QLL. J22.
ATTO R N EY 3,005,475 CQMBINED LIQUID DISPENSING AND VENTING APPARATUS Richard W. Beall, In, 834 20th St., Hermosa Beach, Calif. Filed June 13, 1960, Ser. No. 35,555 17 Claims. (Cl. 141-198) The present invention relates generally to the field of liquid dispensers, and more particularly to a dispenser that permits discharge of liquid under pressure into a closed receptacle with concurrent venting of air from the closed receptacle during said liquid discharge. This application is directed to an improved and modified version of the liquid dispensing device shown and claimed in co-pending application entitled Vented Non-Drip Liquid Dispensing Device, Serial No. 753,239, tiled in the United States Patent Ofiice August 5, 1958.
A recent development in the field of packaging is the use of a collapsible bottle formed from a polymerized resin such as polyethylene or the like in which a liquid product can be stored until needed. Almost invariably the liquid product merchandised in such a container must be transferred to another receptacle, tank, or other liquid holding device prior to use of the product. The transfer of liquid from the collapsible container to the receptacle in which it will be used was, until the development of the present invention, an inconvenient and timeconsuming operation. Moreover, the transfer of liquid from the collapsible container is, due to gravity, accompanied by gurgling and substantial lateral movement of the discharging stream of liquid. As a result, it is almost impossible to direct such an irregular fluid stream without the aid of a funnel into the relatively narrow neck of a receptacle, tank, or other liquid holder into which it is to be transferred. Also, if the attention of the person transfering liquid from the collapsible container into the tank or receptacle is momentarily distracted by other matters, there is always the possibility that the receptacle or tank will be overfilled, with resultant waste of the liquid.
The primary purpose in devising the present invention is to overcome the inconvenience attendant in the transfer of liquid from a collapsible container or an open vat to a receptacle by means of equipment available heretofore, and to completely eliminate the possibility that liquid being discharged into the receptacle will rise above a predetermined liquid level therein.
A major object of the present invention is to supply a liquid dispenser that may be removably placed in communication with a liquid holding collapsible container or open vat, and when so connected, be brought into pressure contact with the outer extremity of the neck of a receptacle or tank to permit discharge of liquid from the container into the receptacle, with concurrent air venting of the receptacle.
Another object of the invention is to supply a liquid dispenser, which in addition to concurrently venting air from the receptacle during discharge of liquid therein, limits the level to which liquid can rise in the receptacle.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dispenser of simple mechanical structure which is adapted to be injection molded from polymerizable resinous materials, is easy to assemble, and may be sold at a sufficiently low retail price as to encourage the widespread use thereof.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof, and from the accompanying drawing illustrating that form in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the dispenser of the present invention when it is being used to trans- I Patented Oct. 24, 1961 fer liquid from an upper, inverted container to a lower upright receptacle through a tubular connector such as a flexible hose, or the like;
FIGURE 2 is a combined side elevational and vertical cross-sectional view showing the dispenser and connector on the hose;
FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the invention illustrated in FIGURE 2 shown connected to a hose or tube, and in the open position to fill a receptacle to a predetermined level therein while concurrently air venting the receptacle;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse cross-sectional and bottom plan View of the dispenser taken on line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the device taken on line 5-5 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of the connector shown atlixed to the upper extremity of the tube as illustrated in FIGURE 1; and,
FIGURE 7 is a top plan view and transverse crosssectional view of the connector shown in FIGURE 6, taken on line 7-7 thereof.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawing for the general use and arrangement of the invention, it will be seen that a pressuriza'ole container U such as a plastic squeeze bottle, or the like, is provided which has a connector V removably engaging the neck (not shown) thereof, which connector in turn engages a flexible tube W.. The lower end of tube W is connected to the liquid dispenser .X of the present invention shown in detail in FIGURES 2 and 3, by a connector X. The dispenser X which is normally closed, may be placed in the open position when disposed in pressure contact with the upper extremity of a neck Y on a container Z. The container Z may, of course, be a bottle, tank, or any type of receptacle having a liquid discharge opening formed therein.
The dispenser X (FIGURES 2 and 3), includes a vertically disposable, elongate, hollow, rigid member A that is defined by a cylindrical side wall 19 and a longitudinally extending interior partition 12. Partition 12 is arcuate in transverse cross section, as shown in FIGURE 4. The partition 12 and side wall 10 cooperatively define a longitudinally extending liquid discharge passage 14, and an air vent or air discharge passage 16, which latter permits air to escape from the container Z during the time fluid is being discharged therein. Although a number of materials could be used, it has been found preferable to fabricate the member A from a polymerized resin that is injection molded to the desired shape. A transversely positioned plate B is rigidly afiixed to the top of member A, and first and second openings 18 and 20 are formed in plate B that are in communication with the passages 14 and 16 respectively. The second opening 20, as shown in FIGURE 2, is much smaller in cross section than the first opening 18.
A rigid circular valve member C is transversely positioned and rigidly afiixed to the upper end of a tubular support D. A lower portion 22 of support D is of larger transverse cross section than the upper portion 24 thereof on which the valve member C is mounted. A circumferentially extending body shoulder 26 is defined at the depends from plate 32 and is in communication with openin 2 the lower portion 22 of tubular support D. The outer circumferential edge of plate 32 develops into a longitudinally extending cylindrical wall or shell 34, a portion 34a of which is situated above plate 32, with a portion 34b thereof being situated below the plate, as best seen in FIGURE 2. Threads 36 are formed on the interior surface of portion 34a, the purpose of which will be explained hereinafter.
A first guide G depends from platev32 and slidably engages a second guide 1-1 that projects upwardly from plate B. Guide G includes a rigid cylindrical wall 38 which depends from the lower surface of plate 32. Two oppositely disposed, longitudinally extending ribs 46 are formed on wall 38. Guide H is defined by a second wall 44 which projects upwardly from plate B, as may best be seen in FIGURE 4, and the interior cross section of wall 44 is such as to snugly and slidably engage the exterior surface of first wall 35;. Wall 44 is provided with two outwardly projecting, longitudinally extending groovedefining 'protuberances 46 that slidably engage the ribs 4th A compressed helical spring I is situated within the confines of guides G and H (HG RE 2), with the lower end or" the spring being in abutting contact with the upper surface of plate B and the upper end of the spring bean.
ing against the lower surface of plate 32.
overlying the plate 32 is a sheet 50 of resilient material such as rubber or the like, in which a centrally disposed opening 56a is formed that is of substantially the same transverse cross section as that of opening 32a and in vertical alignment therewith. A number of small circumferentially spacedprojections 52 are formed on the innersurfaces of the partition 12 and side wall 10. Projections' 52 are located a substantial distance below the lower surface of plate B.
A float 54, preferably fabricated from a polymerized resin that is buoyant in the lightest liquid that will be dispensed from container U, is disposed within the confines of the air vent passage 16. The float 54, includes a ball 56 which in diameter is less than that of the interior transverse cross section of air vent 16, but greater than the diametrical spacing between the projections 52. The ball 56 has an elongate shank 58 depending therefrom thatis slidably movable between projections 52. When liquid rises-in the passage 16, the float 54 is raised due to the buoyancy thereof, with the ball 56 seating against the lower edge of the opening and preventing air from passing upwardly through passage 16 and opening 20.
Connector X comprises the upper portion of the dispenser X and is rigidly fixed to the lower end of the resilient tube or hose W. Connector X is defined by a cylindrical plate 60 having a centrally disposed opening 62 formed therein. A tubular boss 64 projects upwardly from plate 60 and is in communication with opening 62. Boss 64 is of such transverse cross section as to be snugly and slidably insertable within a bore 66 formed in tube W. A longitudinally extending bore 68 is formed in boss 64 that is in longitudinal alignment with opening 62.
A number of circumferentially spaced, upwardly extending legs 70 are formed as an integral part of plate 60, and these legs are so radially spaced relative to boss 64 thatthc end portion of tube W is just slidably insertable therebetween. A first cylindrical shell 72 projects upwardly from the circumferential edge of plate 60, and a second cylindrical shell 74 depends downwardly therefrom, The lower exterior surface of shell 7 4 has threads 76 formed thereon that are adapted to engage the threads- 36, and;removably hold the dispenser X and connector X' together as an integral unit, as may best be seen in FIG- URE 3.
An inwardly projecting, circumferentially extending lip 78 is formed on the inner edge surface of shell 72. A cylindrical locking member so is provided of suflicient thickness that when inserted in an annulus-shaped opening 82 defined between shell 72 and legs 70, it forces the Sleeve 33- slidably and sealingly engages,
legs 70 into pressurecontact with the exterior surface of the tubing W to grip an end portion of the tubing between the legs and the exterior surface of the boss 64. A circumferentially extending recess 89a is formed on the upper exterior surface of locking member 8%, in which rccess the lip 78 ispermanently disposed when the locking member is fully positioned wi hin the confines of the annulus-shaped'opening 82. Once the locking member 8% is disposed within the confines of space 82 it cannot be removed. The end portion of tube W is pressure-gripped between the exterior surface of the boss 64 and legs 70, and is permanently aflixed to connector X. A number of longitudinally extending, circumferentially spaced ribs 84 are formed on the exterior surfaces or" the upper shell 72 and the lower shell 74 for each in gripping the con nector 1 when it is being threadedly engaged to the dispenser X.
The connector V' shown in FIGURES 6 and 7 is of the same structure as connector X above described, with the exception that the threads 76 are formed on the inside of the shell 74 instead of the exterior surface thereof. One other difference between couplings V and X is that the longitudinally extending ribs 34 continue the full length of coupling V rather than just a portion thereof as shown in FIGURE 2. Inasmuch as the balance of the structureof connector V is identical to that of connector X, it will not be described in detail, but the component parts of connector V corresponding to parts al ready described in connection with connector X are denoted byv the same numerals to which a prime has been afiixed.
Air-tight pressure contact of the dispenser X withthe,
upper extremity of the neckY of container Z is efiected by a resilient ring-shaped pad d0 that abuts against the lower surface of plate B. The pad 90 has an opening 92 formed therein through which the rigid member A pro"- jects downwardly, asbest seen in FIGURE 1. In tranrn verse crosssection, opening 592 is slightlysmaller thanthe exteriortransverse cross section of member A, and" in consequence, the pad 90 is resiliently held in abutment with the plate B.
Operation of the invention is extremely simple. containerU has an externally threaded neck (not shown) that may be threadedly engaged by the connector V; After threaded engagement of connector V and container U, the container may be inverted in the position shown in FIGURE 1; Liquid in container U will, of course, flow downwardly through the tube W and connector X into the dispenser X. However, due to the action of compressed spring I, the plate 32 and resilient sheet 59 at all times tend to be moved upwardly away from the plate B, and the sheet St is forced into liquid-sealing contact with the under side of the valve member C. Thus the dispenser X is-normally closed, and fluid cannot'escape therefrom.
When it is desired to dispense liquid from the recep tacle U into the container Z, the tubular member A is inserted within the confines of the neck Y, and the re silient pad 90 brought into pressure contact with the upper extremity of the neck by manual movement of the wall 34 downwardly relative to the plate B. This downward movement of wall 34, together with the connector X removably attached thereto, can continue only until the lower edge of the'first guide G comes into contact with the upper surface of plate B. The port 28 is then 10- cated above the sheet 50 whereby liquid in the valve body E can flow downwardly through the port 23 and bore 30 into the liquid passage 14 to discharge into the confines of the container Z. Concurrently with this fluid discharge intocontainer Z, the air in the container is displaced upwardly through the air vent passage 16 to flow around the ball 56 of float 54, and pas through the opening 20 into an enclosed space 94 which is defined by the upper surface of plate B, interior surfaces of guide G and H, lower surface of plate 32, and exterior surface of support portion 22. The ribs 40 fit sufiiciently loosely in groove-defining protuberances 46 that space 94 is in com munication with the ambient atmosphere. During this liquid discharge into the container Z with concurrent up ward flow of air through the vent passage 16, the float 54, due to gravity, is supported on the projections 52.
The upward flow of liquid into air vent passage 16 causes the buoyant float 54 to rise from the projections 52 and the ball 56 to move into sealing contact with opening 20. Air cannot then escape from the receptacle Z and further discharge of liquid from container U into the receptacle is prevented as a result thereof. Thus, by mews of the present invention any number of receptacles Z can be filled sequentially to the same liquid level.
It will be particularly noted that no liquid can enter the confined space 92, for the portion of the resilient sheet 50- surrounding the opening 32b is at all times in sliding liquid-sealing contact with the exterior surface of support portion 24. In the fabrication of the dispenser, it is desirable that the longitudinal distance between the lower edge of first guide G and the upper surface of plate B when the dispenser is in the closed position be as great as the length of port 28, so that the port is fully exposed to the liquid when the dispenser is in the open position shown in FIGURE 2.
As soon as the dispenser is not forcefully held in contact with the neck Y, the spring I expands and moves the dispenser from the open position (FIGURE 3) to the closed position shown in FIGURE 1. It should also be noted that while the connector X is permanently afiixed to the tube W, the connector X actually forms a part of the dispenser when removably threaded thereto. Also, when the invention starts to be moved away from the neck Y, the liquid in air vent passage 16 is no longer under pressure and quickly drains into the receptacle Z. As the liquid drains from passage 16, the fioat 54 moves downwardly therewith until the float rests on protuberances 52.
An air passage 96 extends transversely through sleeve 33, and is preferably of sufliciently small diameter as to have a high resistance to the flow of liquid therethrough. Passage 96 is so located in sleeve 33 as to effect communication between space 94 and the annulus-shaped space 95 between the external surface of the upper portion 24 of support D and the internal surface of sleeve 33 when the valve member C is in the closed position shown in FIGURE 2. As port 28 is in communication with annulus-shaped space 98 when the valve member C is in the closed position, the liquid passage 14 is vented to the atmosphere when the valve member is so disposed, and liquid as a result drains completely therefrom. This venting of passage 14 completely eliminates the Possibility that liquid will remain therein after the valve member C assumes a closed position to subsequently discharge or drip therefrom after the invention has been moved away from container Z.
It will be particularly noted (FIGURE 2) that due to the location of the air passage 96, no liquid ever tends to be forced therethrough into the space 94 where it could contact the spring I. When the valve member C is in the open position (FIGURE 3) the interioriy disposed end of passage 96 is sealed by the lower portion '22 of valve support D. When the valve member C is in the closed position (FIGURE 2)' any liquid remaining in the liquid discharge passage will tend to flow downwardly therein, and in so doing create a negative air pressure thereabove which is relieved by inward flow of air from the ambient atmosphere through the passage 6. This feature is of the utmost importance where the liquid being dispensed is corrosive in nature and could attack the spring J, which is in most instances fabricated from a metal or alloy of metals. The air passage 96 is preferably located above the lower edge of port 28 when the valve member C is in the closed position shown in FIGURE 2. When air passage 96 is so disposed, all
liquid that could drain therethrough to space 94, drains downwardly instead through port 28 and support D to liquid passage 14.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore the invention is not limited by that which is shown in the drawing and described in the specification, but only as defined in the appended claims.
l. A dispenser for use in discharging liquid under pressure to a predetermined level into a closed receptacle having a liquid discharge openingformed therein and concurrently venting said receptacle, comprising: a valve body that includes a first plate having an opening formed therein, a cylindrical shell which at least extends upwardly from the periphery of said plate and is affixed thereto, and a tubular sleeve extending downwardly from said plate and in communication with said opening; a second plate having a liquid discharge opening and an air discharge opening formed therein; a valve member of greater cross-sectional area than that of said opening in said first plate; a tubular valve member support extending upwardly from said second plate and in communication with said liquid discharge opening, said support being slidably and sealingly disposed in said sleeve, which support has said valve member rigidly affixed to the upper end thereof, with at least one port formed in the upper portion thereof; first means which tend at all times to move said second plate away from said first plate for disposing said valve member in a liquid-sealing position relative to said first plate; an internally and longitudinally positioned tubular memher that defines a liquid discharge passage and an air' discharge passage, said tubular member depending from said second plate, with said liquid and air passages being in communication with said liquid discharge and air discharge openings respectively; second means adjacent said second plate for effecting an air-tight seal with said discharge opening in said receptacle when brought into pressure contact with the portion of said receptacle surrounding said opening; third means in said air discharge passage that permit upward flow of air therethrough but seal said air discharge opening when liquid discharges upwardly in said air discharge passage; and fourth means that removably engage said shell for discharging liquid under pressure therein when said partitioned member extends downwardly into said receptacle and said valve member has been moved downwardly relative to said second plate to expose said port to said liquid, with said liquid continuing to discharge into said receptacle when said valve body is so disposed until the liquid level in said receptacle rises to said predetermined level to cover the lower end of said partitioned member, whereupon said liquid discharges upwardly in said air discharge passage to actuate said third means and flow from said liquid discharge passage ceases.
2. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein fifth means are provided for venting said liquid discharge passage to the ambient atmosphere when said valve member is in a liquid-sealing position relative to said first plate.
3. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein the upper portion of said valve member support in which said port is formed is of smaller transverse cross section than the interior cross section of said sleeve and cooperates to form an annulus-shaped space therewith, which sleeve has a transversely disposed air passage extending therethrough that is in communication with said annulus-shaped space when said valve member is in a liquid-sealing position relative to said first plate, with said air passage, annulusshaped space, and port cooperatively serving to vent said liquid discharge passage to the ambient atmosphere when said valve member is in said liquid-sealing position.
4. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein said second means is a resilient pad through which said partitioned member projects downwardly.
5. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein said third means is a buoyant member of lesser transverse cross section than that of the interior of said air discharge passage but of greater transverse cross section than that of said air discharge opening, and the configuration of said buoyant member is such as to seat in liquid-tight contact with the portion of said second plate surrounding said air discharge opening when raised upwardly in saidv air discharge passage by upward flow of liquid therein.
6. A dispenser as defined in claim l wherein said third means is a ball from which an elongate shank depends, said ball and shank being buoyant in the lightest liquid thatwill be used with said dispenser, with the diameter of said ball being less than that of said air discharge passage, and said ball sealing said second opening when sea-ted against the portionof said second plate surrounding the same.
7'. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein a plurality of circumferentially spaced projections are provided on the interior surface of said elongate member that defines said air discharge passage, with said ball'resting on said projections and said shank extending downwardly therebetween when said fioat means is in said first position.
8. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein said shell is. provided with threads and said fourth means is a threaded connector that removably engages said threads and is connected to a source of liquid that canbe placed under pressure.
9. A dispenser as defined in claim 8 wherein a flexible tube is provided, one end of which tube is connected to said source of liquid under pressure, with the other end of said tube being connected to said connector.
10. A dispenser as defined in claim 8. wherein said connector comprises: a plate having a centrally disposed opening formed therein; a tubular boss extending outwardly from said plate and in communication with said opening; a plurality of circumferentially spaced legs projecting from said plate in the same direction as said boss and radially spaced therefrom substantially the same distance as the wall thickness of said tubing; a first cylindrical shell projecting from the circumferential edge of said plate in the same direction as said legs, which shell and legs define an annulus-shaped space therebetween; a ringshaped locking member of greater thickness than the width of said annulus-shaped space, with said locking member when inserted in said space pivoting said legs toward said boss to frictionally grip and hold an end portion of said tubing that is disposed between said legs and boss; and a second cylindrical shell projecting from said plate in a direction opposite to that of said first shell, with said second shell having engageable means formed thereon.
11. A dispenser for use in discharging liquid under pressure into a closed receptacle having a liquid discharge opening therein and concurrently venting said receptacle, including: an elongate hollow interiorly partitioned member that defines a longitudinally extending liquid passage and an air vent passage; a transversely positioned rigid plate aifixed to the upper end of said member, said plate having first and second openings formed therein that are in commmunication with said liquid passage and air vent passage respectively; a tubular support communicating with said first opening that extends upwardly from said plate, which support has at least one port formed in the upper portion thereof; a valve body having a third openingforrned therein in which said support is slidably disposed; a valve member of greater transverse cross section than said third opening, which member is rigidly mounted on the upper end of said support; resilient means in. said valve body against which said valve member seals when in pressure contact therewith; first and second guide means that interlock for relative longitudinal movement only, said first guide means extending upwardly from said plate and said second guide means depending downwardly from said' valve body; spring means that at all times tend to move said valve body relative to said plate to maintain said valve member in pressure contact with said resilient means; sealing means adjacent said hollow member for removably efiecting an air-tight seal with that portion of said receptacle adjacent said liquid discharge opening formed therein; float means in said air ventpassage for controlling the flow of air therethrough, which float means normally occupies a first position where air can flow upwardly from said receptacle through said air vent passage and said second opening to escape to the ambient atmosphere, but with said float means rising to a second position where it seats against said second opening to prevent escape of air from said receptacle when the level of liquid in said receptacle rises to the extent that liquid rather than air flows upwardly in said air vent passage; and means for permitting the discharge of said liquid from said receptacle into said valve bodyabove said third opening for subsequent discharge into said container when said hollow partitioned member extends downwardly through said discharge opening formed therein and said sealing means effects an air-tight seal withsaid container.
12. A dispenser as defined in claim 11' wherein said valve body includes a first cylindrical wall portion that extends upwardly above said third opening, said first wallportion has first threads formed on the interior surface thereof, said means for permitting the discharge of said.
liquid from said receptacle is'a flexible tube that extends therefrom and communicates with the interior thereof,
and a tubular connector is mounted on the free end of said tube, said connector having second threads formed thereon that engage said first threads to r-emovably hold said valve body and connector together as anintegralunit.
13. A dispenser as defined inclaim 12 wherein said valve body defines a flat surface on the interior thereof, and said resilient means is a-resilient. sheet that lies on said surface.
14. A-dispenser as defined in claim 12 wherein said first and second guide means are defined by first and second cylindrical walls respectively, said first wall being provided with at least one longitudinally extending rib, and said second wall with a longitudinally extending ing; a first cylindrical shell projecting from the circum ferential edge of said plate in the same direction as said legs, which shell and legs define an annulus-shaped space therebetween; a ring-shaped locking member of greater thickness than the width of said annulus-shaped space, with said locking member when inserted in said space pivoting said legs toward said boss to trictionally grip and hold an end portion of said tubing that is disposed betweensaid legs and boss; and a second cylindrical shell projecting from said plate in a direction opposite to that of said first shell, with said second shell having engageable means formed thereon.
16. A connector as defined in claim 15 wherein said engageable means are threads formed on said second shell.
17. A connector as defined in claim 16 wherein said plate, boss, legs and first and second shells aremoldedas an integral'unit from a polymerized resin.
No references cited.