|Publication number||US3063601 A|
|Publication date||Nov 13, 1962|
|Filing date||Dec 9, 1958|
|Priority date||Dec 9, 1958|
|Publication number||US 3063601 A, US 3063601A, US-A-3063601, US3063601 A, US3063601A|
|Original Assignee||Phyllis G Herman|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (42), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Nov. 13, 1962 A. HERTZ 3,063,601
' SELF-SEALING, COLLAPSIBLE TUBES Filed Dec. 9 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. F/G. Z
. INVENTOR ABRAHAM HERTZ m/ 6 MM AT TORNE V Nov. 13, 1962 A. HERTZ 3,063,601
SELF-SEALING COLLAPSIBLE TUBES Filed Dec. 9, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 8
INVENTOR ABRAHAM HERTZ v yew/4 6. MM
ATTORNEV United States Patent Ofiice Filed Dec. 9, 195a, Ser. No. 779,247
Claims. e1. 222 21s This application is a continuation-in-part of the patent application Serial No. 447,620 filed on August 3, 1954, now Patent No. 2,878,973 and relates to self-sealing collapsible tubes.
Collapsible tubes have heretofore been emptied by first squeezing the tube at its distal or sealed end and then progressively squeezing the tube closer and closer to the tube neck and dispensing opening. If pressure is first applied to the tube adjacent the tube neck, some of the tube contents are forced away from the dispensing aperture towards the sealed end.
An object of this invention is to provide a self-sealing collapsible container that can be substantially emptied by squeezing the container at only one location adjacent the neck of the tube.
In one specific embodiment of this invention the foregoing object is accomplished by providing a resilient plastic tube which restores to its original shape when pressure is removed. The Wall of the tube has a thickness which varies transversely to form two thin flexible longitudinal sections running the length of the tube. When the tube is squeezed near the tube neck, the two thin longitudinal sections are distorted to permit the thicker tube sides to pivot towards each other about the sealed end of the tube. In effect, the tube sides function as two rigid plates of a bellows to force the viscous tube contents towards the dispensing aperture. The two relatively thick tube sides are also non-circular being slightly flattened partially because the seal at the sealed end of the tube causes the tube body to assume a conical shape with the curvature being greatest at the thin longitudinal sections of the tube body.
A feature of this invention relates to the walls of the flexible tube which are tapered longitudinally as well as which vary transversely. As disclosed in my application Serial No. 447,620, the longitudinal tapering causes the tube walls to flex first at the distal or sealed end and then gradually towards the dispensing end when the tube is squeezed near its neck. The transverse variation in wall thickness reduces any tendency of the tube to buckle adjacent the tube neck by permitting the sides to readily pivot towards each other. The combination of longitudinal and transverse Wall thickness variation assures the discharge of all of the tube contents with pressure being applied to the tube only adjacent the tube neck and it also reduces the amount of pressure required to cause the discharge of the tube contents as the tube is less rigid. The portion of the tube near the sealed end of the tube need not be squeezed by the user in order to discharge the tube contents near the sealed end.
The tube neck is connected by thin highly flexible sections to the tube body. The thin flexible sections function as expansion joints when the tube sides are compressed to permit the sides of the tube neck to pivot inwardly and thereby to force open the dispensing aperture at the top of the tube neck. The sides of the tube neck in this manner move sympathetically with the sides of the tube body. The dispensing aperture, which is a slit partially at the top of the tube neck, is parallel to the direction of compression and movement of the tube sides. The opening and closing of the dispensing aperture is directly controlled by the rotation of a thick portion of the tube neck when the neck wall pivots. The thick portion, which is split by the aperture, provides for a 3,063,601 Patented Nov. 13, 1962 2 positive dispensing operation to permit the tube contents to be readily dispensed when the tube is compressed.
Another feature of this invention pertains to the interaction between the body of the tube and the thick portion of the tube neck. The dispensing aperture is not completely closed by the thick portion until the tube body has completely restored to its normal position. In this manner the vacuum created by the removal of pressure to the tube body is completely neutralized before the dispensing aperture closes.
Still another feature of this invention relates to the provision of a shipping seal which seals the dispensing aperture to prevent the accidental dispensing of the tube contents during shipment. In one embodiment the ultimate purchaser discards the shipping seal, which fits over the aperture, and in another cuts the seal to form the dispensing aperture.
A further feature of this invention relates to the provision of a collapsible tube neck which extends before the aperture opens when the tube is squeezed. The extension of the neck clears the aperture from a cover member which protects the aperture.
Further objects and features will become apparent upon consideration of the following description taken in conjunction with the drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top view of the self-sealing collapsible container of this invention with the shipping seal removed;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the collapsible container of this invention with the shipping seal removed;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along line 33 of FIG. 1
illustrating one embodiment of this invention with the dispensing aperture opened;
'FIG. 4 is a sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 illustrating a second embodiment of this invention with the dispensing aperture closed;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the dispensing aperture and shipping seal of this invention;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional View taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a front View of the ship-ping seal of this invention;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of another embodiment of a dispensing member of this invention;
FIG. 9 is a sectional View taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view of a portion of another embodiment of the self-sealing tube of this invention;
FIG. 11 is a sectional vie-w of a portion of still another embodiment of the self-sealing tube of this invention; and
FIG. 12 is a front view of the self-sealing tube shown in FIG. 11.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the collapsible tube of this invention includes a body 10 and a neck 11 which is joined to the body 10 by two thin flexible sections or shoulders 12 and 13. The sections 12 and 13 are contiguous with the tube body 10 and the tube neck 11 as the entire tube is molded in single operation, being made of a resilient plastic such as polyethylene or of rubber or of other resilient material. The entire tube, including the self-sealing dispensing portions or members which are hereinafter described, consists therefore of one piece of resilient material.
The body 10 has a somwhat oval shape, shown particularly in FIG. 2 and also in the sectional view of FIG. 9, due to a transverse variation in thickness of the wall of the body 10 and due to the effect of a seal 14. The thickness of the wall of the body 10 varies transversely around the body 10, with the variation in thickness being gradual. The wall of the body 10 is thinner at sections 17 and 18 which run the length of the body 10 from the thin flexible sections 12 and 13 to the seal 14. The major curvature of the wall of the body 10 is 3 at the sections 17 and 18 because the sections 17 and 18 are more flexible than the sides or rest of the body and due to the flattening effect of the seal 14. The seal 14, which completely seals the end of the body 10, may be a separate member or merely a glue or adhesive or a heat seal.
When the body 151 is compressed due to pressure being applied to the portion 19 of the body 10, the two relatively flat and thick sides, of the body 10 pivot about the seal 14 with the thin longitudinal sections 17 and 13 collapsing or distorting so that the tube contents are forced forward through the tube neck 11. The portion 19, which is designated by a dash circle in FIG. 1, is the only place on the body 10 that need be squeezed in order to dispense all of the tube contents. It is not necessary to firstsqueeze the body 11} adjacent the sealed end and then gradually force the tube contents forward.
As the two sides of the body 10 are pivoted towards each other, the thin sections 12 and 13 are distorted to function asexpansion joints between the body 10 and the tube neck 11. The thickness of the Wall of the tube neck 11 also varies transversely around the tube neck 11in a similar manner as does the body 10 with the thin sections or portions of the tube neck 11 being lined up with the thin sections 17 and 18 of the body 19. As the body 10 is squeezed, pivoting the two sides towards each other, the thicker portion of the tube neck 11 moves in sympathy therewith. The thicker portion of the tube neck 11 is hinged to the thicker portion or sides of the tube body 11) at the hinge or grooved section 9. Any unsympathetic movement of the tube neck 11 with respect to the body 10' is taken up by the sections or expansion joints 12 and 13. The tube neck 11 has dispensing sections or thick portions at the top of the tube neck 11 which functions to open and close a dispensing slit or aperture 16. The dispensing aperture 16 extends across the face of the tube'neck 11 and is parallel to the direction of movement of the sides of the body 10 and the neck 11 and to the seal 14.
' When the sides of the tube body 10 are pivoted toward each other to pivot inwardly the sides of the tube neck 11, the roughly rectangularly shaped thick sections 15 of the tube neck 11, as shown particularly in FIG. 6, is rotated slightly to open the aperture 16. The phantom lines in FIG. 3 illustrate the normal shape of the tube with the aperture 16 closed. As the sides of the body 10 rotate slightly about the seal 14 there is a slight ihward rotation of the sides of the tube neck 11 about the section 15. The sympathetic movement or rotation of the neck 11 in this manner opens the dispensing aperture 16. The combination of this action opening the aperture 16 and the forward pressure of the tube contents in the tube neck 11 due to the compression of the sides of the body 10 thereon causes the tube contents to exit in a somewhat oval ribbon from the dispensing aperture 16.
As indicated above, the tube body 10 is made of a resilient plastic suchas polyethylene or rubber or other similar material which restores to its original shape when pressure is removed therefrom. When the pressure is removed, the tube body It) therefore tends to create a vacuum causing air to enter the tube through the aperture 16 to restore the body 10- to normal and thereby close the dispensing aperture 16. The section 15 keeps the aperture 16 open until the vacuum inside the tube body 10 is neutralized and the body 11) restores to normal. Due to the fact that a relatively small compressive force at portion 19 of the tube body 10 causes the tube contents to be dispensed, a shipping seal 20 shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 is utilized. A relatively small compressive force causes the tube contents to exit through the dispe'n'sing aperture 16 because it is positively opened by the inward movement of the body wall 10 in addition to the tube contents being forced forward.
The shipping seal 20, which is made of a resilient plastic or similar material, has two finger members or flaps 21 and 22. The flaps 21 and 22, which are utilized to remove the seal 2tl from the tube neck 11, include the depressions or grooves 23 and 24, respectively. The depressions 23 and 24 mate respectively with two pointed protrusions 25 and 26 on the'tiib'e neck 11. The resilient flaps 21 and 22 are bent away from the neck 11 to clear the protrusions 25 and the application of pressure to finger depressions 2? and 30' thereof while forcing the top of the seal 20 against the aperture 16 at the top of the neck 11. The seal 21 also has a finger depression 31 which is utilized to keep the seal v2t in place as the flaps 21 and 22 are bent away from the neck 11.
The seal 21? includes a gasket 32 which fits over and eifectively seals the aperture 16 of the tube neck 11. The shipping seal 20 exerts a compressive pressure on the neck 11 to keep the aperture 16. When the user removes the seal 2d it is usually discarded as it is not required to close the tube which is self-sealing.
The embodiment of applicants invention which includes the thin sections 12 and 13. is utilized when the body material is only slightly elastic. If the material is highly elastic, thin sections or expansion joints joining the neck to the body are not required for ease of compression. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 the tube is made of a highly elastic material such as rubber. The various parts of the tube shown in FIG. 4 are designated by a number which is the same as for its corresponding part in FIG. 3 with the addition of the letter A. For example in FIG. 4, body 16A corresponds to body 10 in FIG. 3. V 7
Referring to FIG. 4, the two walls or sides of the body 10A vary longitudinally from the thicker section adjacent the tube neck 11A to a thinner section adjacent the seal 14A. The longitudinal variation of each wall, which is in addition to the transverse, variation of the walls, is utilized when the tube is made of a flexible material for ease of compression in lieu of the sections 12 and 13. The transverse variation of the walls is depicted in FIGURE 9 which was described above as being a sectional view of the body 10, the transverse variation of the body 10 may be exactly the same as that of the body 10 having a wall thickness which is greater at the top and the bottom of the body 1031 when viewed in 1 FIGURE 4. At any cross-section of the body 10a, the
body walls vary transversely in thickness. As is hereinafter described, in addition to the above-described pivoting action about the seal 14A; the flexible tube walls flex first at the sealed end and then gradually towards the dispensing end of the tube as pressure is applied only at the portion 19A adjacent the tube neck 11A. In order to empty the contents of the tube body 10A, it is necessary to apply pressure only at the portion 19A which is also designated by the dash circle in FIG. 1 adjacent to the neck 11.
The walls of the body 10A are linearly tapered from a relatively large thickness adjacent the tube neck 11A to a relatively small thickness at the sealed end. When pressure is applied at portion 19A the tube body 10A flexes inwardly adjacent the sealed end due to its greater flexibility thereat than at the portion 19A. The end of the tube body 10A at the sealed end is in this manner the first to be emptied. As further pressure is applied to the portion 19A the walls flex inwardly nearer to the tube neck 11A, as shown by the dash line, until finally the entire tube contents are dispensed. It is as if the tube body 10A is squeezed first at the sealed end and then gradually further and further towards the tube neck 11A although pressure is only applied at the portion 19A.
The combination of transverse wall thickness variation and longitudinal wall thickness variation insures that the entire tube contents are dispensed although pressure is only applied adjacent the tube neck 11A. If only transverse wall variation is utilized it is possible uponrthe sudden application of pressure to the portion 19A to cause some distortion thereat depending upon the resiliency of the tube material. The additional variation of wall thickness longitudinally insures that the flexing will be first at the sealed end even though the body A is very flexible. In this manner the tube contents are never forced towards the sealed end even though pressure is applied only at portion 19A adjacent the tube neck 11A.
In the embodiments of my invention, described above, the dispensing aperture is not covered when the shipping seal 20 is removed. In an embodiment shown in FIG. 8, a dispensing aperture 33 is protected by wedge shaped segments or fingers 35 except when pressure is being applied to the body of the tube to dispense the tube contents. The aperture 33 is essentially the junction of two internally extending flaps or diaphragm members 37 which are supported on an extensible member 38. The extensible member 38 is integral with the tube body. When pressure is applied to the tube body, a collapsed portion 32 of the member 38 is extended to force the dispensing end of the member 38 against the fingers 35. The fingers 35 are part of a cover 39 which is friction fitted over the neck of the tube. The mating fingers 35 are forced apart by the member 38 as it is extended until the shoulders 36 of the member 38 abut against the fingers 35. The pressure of the tube contents then forces open the dispensing aperture 33 by pushing outwardly the tapered flaps 37. The dash lines in FIG. 8 indicate the extended position of the member 38 and the position of the fingers 35 when the member 38 is extended. In order for the tube contents to be dispensed, a pressure sufiicient to bend the two flaps 37 outwardly must be provided which does not occur until after the shoulders 36 abut against the fingers 35. The dispensing aperture 33 does not therefore open until after the fingers 35 are opened.
When pressure is relieved the two flaps 37 restore to their position which permits the ready entry of air to the tube interior allowing the member 38 and the fingers 35 to restore to their normal positions. The flaps 37, which normally extend inwardly, are designed to permit the ready entry of air to the tube interior when pressure upon the body of the tube is removed, and the fingers 35 permit the entry of air even when closed.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 a complete seal is not provided. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 10 a sealing member or tab 40 is integral with the tube neck 11B to provide for a complete seal during shipping. The tab 40 may be partially hollow as shown or completely hollow. When the tube is to be utilized the tab 40 is cut or severed by the user. In FIG. 10 the dispensing apparatus includes a spreading pin 41, which functions as a pivot pin for the sides of the tube neck 11B, and a gasket 42 which closes the aperture 16B when pressure is not applied to the sides of the tube. The pin 41 and gasket 42 are preassembled and then inserted in place before the tube is sealed. When the tube is squeezed the sides of the neck, which varies transversely in thickness, pivot about the pin 41 to open the aperture 1613. The tube contents are forced around the gasket 42 through the aperture 163. In another embodiment shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 the tube is also completely sealed during shipment. The ultimate user cuts a thin section along line 16C which becomes the dispensing aperture of the tube. The aperture 16C is between two tapered flexible flaps 45 and 46 which are on an oval shaped dispensing neck 47. The dispensing neck 47 is supported on the tube neck 11C by thin sections 50 and 51 which function as hinges. The flaps 45 and 46 ex tend inwardly to readily permit the entry of air into the tube to neutralize the vacuum created when the sides of the tube body 10C are released. Though only two flaps 45 and 46 have been shown, a larger number may be provided so that the aperture is in the center of a diaphragm consisting of a number of flaps.
The embodiments shown in FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 include in this manner an effective shipping seal which is an integral part of the tube. The seal is cut by the ultimate user. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 the seal, which is disposable, is not an integral part of the tube.
It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are illustrative of the application of the principles of this invention. Numerous other arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the sides of the tube body may actually be two flat plates with a discontinuity in thickness variation occurring between them and the thin longitudinal sections running from the tube neck to the sealed end. Moreover, the thick section 15 of the tube neck 11 may be a separate insertable member if its resiliency is desired to be different from that of the rest of the tube. It is evident, therefore, that numerous other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A collapsible tube which can be emptied by the ap plication of pressure solely to a small portion of the tube comprising a tube neck, a substantially conical unrestrained shaped body integral with said tube neck to form a single piece therewith, and a restraining seal which seals one end of said body and thereby modifies the shape of said body, said body having a wall thickness which varies transversely in a non-discontinuous manner to provide two thin areas of said body running from said neck to said seal which serve as hinges to facilitate collapsing the body, said neck having a wall thickness which varies transversely to provide two thin areas that are aligned with said thin areas of said body whereby said tube neck collapses when said body collapses, the thickness of said thin areas of said body being thinner than the wall thickness of the rest of said body, said thin areas of said neck being thinner than the wall thickness of the rest of said neck.
2. A one piece collapsible tube which can be emptied by the application of pressure solely to a small portion of the tube comprising a resilient tube neck having a selfsealing dispensing member; a one piece substantially c0nical unrestrained shaped resilient body; a restraining seal which seals one end of said body and thereby modifies the shape of said body; said body having a wall thickness which varies transversely in a continuous manner to provide alternate thin sections and thick sections running from said tube neck to said restraining seal said thick sections having a wall thickness greater than the wall thickness of said thin sections; and thin expansion joint sections interconnecting said body and said tube neck to permit the sympathetic movement of said neck with said body when pressure is applied to said thick sections of said body.
3. A collapsible tube in accordance with claim 2 wherein said self-sealing dispensing member includes two abutting thick portions defining a dispensing aperture therebetween and which opens the dispensing aperture therebetween when said thick sections are moved toward each other.
4. A collapsible tube in accordance with claim 2 wherein said self-sealing dispensing member includes two inwardly extending thin flexible flaps forming an aperture therebetween which opens when said thick sections are moved toward each other.
5. A collapsible tube in accordance with claim 2 wherein said tube neck has a thickness which varies transversely to provide two thin sections aligned with said thin sections of said body and two thick sections hinged to said thick sections of said body, said thick sections of said neck having a wall thickness greater than the wall thickness of said thin sections of said neck said tube neck including a dispensing member forming an aperture which is controlled by the position of said thick sections of said tube body and which remains open until said thick sections of said body have restored to normal.
6. A collapsible tube which can be emptied by the application of pressure to the tube solely near its neck comprising a fiexibletube body having a thickness which varies transversely to provide for two longitudinal thick sections and two longitudinal thin sections alternately positioned between said thick sections, said thick sections having a thickness greater than therthickness of said thin sections, aflexible tube neck at one end of said body having a self-sealing dispensing member which is operated when the sidesof said tube neck are rotated, a seal at the other end of said body, and expansion joints between said thick sections of said body and said tube neck whereby the rotation of said thick sections about said seal to partially collapse said thin sections causes a corresponding rotational movement of the sides of said tube neck to operate said dispensing member and dispense some of the contents of the tube. 7
7. A collapsible tube in accordance with claim 6 wherein said dispensing member includes an apertured extensible member, and a cover for said extensible member, said cover having a plurality of fingers normally enclosing said extensible members which are opened by the extension ofsaid extensible member when pressure is applied to said thick sections of said tube body, said extensible member having a plurality of resilient flaps normally sealing off the tube contents, which flaps are distorted by the pressure of said tube contents after said fingers are opened.
8. A collapsible tube which can be emptied by the application of pressure to the tube solely near its neck comprising a flexible tube body having a thickness which varies transversely to provide for two longitudinal thick sections and two longitudinal thin sections, a flexible tube neck at onejend of said body, having a self-sealing dispensing member which is operated when the sides of said tube neck are rotated, a seal at the other end of said body, and expansion joints between said thick sections of said body and said tube neck whereby the rotation of said thick sections about said seal to partially collapse said thin sections causes a corresponding rotational movement of the sides of said tube neck to operate said dispensing member and dispense some of the contents of the tube, said dispensing member includes a pivot pin about which the sides of said tube neck pivot, and a resilient gasket supported by said pin for unsealing an opening in said neck when the sides of said tube neck are r otated about said pin.
9. A collapsible tube in accordance with claim 8 cornprising'in addition a sealing tab integral with said neck which is severed before the tube is utilized.
10 A collapsible tube in accordance with claim 8 wherein said tube neck has a thickness which varies transversely in a gradual manner to provide 'two thin sections aligned with the thin sections of said flexible tube body and two thick sections hinged at said expansion joints to said thick sections of said flexible tube body whereby said tube neck moves sympathetically with the movement of said tube body when said tube body is collapsed.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,682,355 Robbins June 29, 1954 2,699,888 Crane Ian. 18, 1955 2,730,274 Brown Jan. 10, 1956 2,761,598 Darling'ton Sept. 4, 1956
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|U.S. Classification||222/213, 222/476, 222/490, 222/493, 222/215|
|International Classification||B65D35/08, B65D47/04, B65D35/02, B65D47/20|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D47/2031, B65D35/08|
|European Classification||B65D47/20E2, B65D35/08|