US 3081006 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 12, 1963 w. H. LAND 3,081,006
TUBE LIKE CONTAINERS FOR FOOD AND A VARIETY OF OTHER SUBSTANCES Filed Oct. 13, 1959 15 a 1 Ill 2Z1. v i" 9 [w 'j *5 4 J 8 z United States Patent 3,081,006 TUBE LIKE CONTAINERS FOR FOOD AND A VARIETY OF OTHER SUBSTANCES Walter Henry Land, 4 James St, Glen I-Iuntly, Victoria, Australia Filed Oct. 13, 1959, Ser. No. 846,104 Claims priority, application Australia Oct. 13, 1958 g 3 Claims. (Cl. 222212) This invention relates to tube like containers for marketing and dispensing a wide variety of paste like substances. More particularly, the invention concerns collapsible tubes of the kind fitted at one end with a discharge nozzle which is provided with a detachable closure cap so that the contents of the tube may be discharged as required simply by squeezing the opposite end of the tube.
Hitherto, such tube like containers have been almost invariably formed from relatively soft metal which remains in a flattened state when the contents have been discharged or partially discharged and thus provides the user with a visual indication as to how much of the contents still remains in the tube.
it has previously been proposed to manufacture such tube like containers from various plastic materials including the substance known under the trademarks Polytheme and P.V.C. However, such plastic containers are considered unsuitable for many substances as they tend to remain in their expanded tube like form after having been squeezed to expel portion of the contents and thus do not provide the usual visual indication of the amount of the substance still remaining in the tube for future use.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved tube like container of the kind indicated which is composed of plastic material, but is adapted to avoid the objection mentioned. The improved container is thus adapted for marketing and dispensing a wide variety of foods and numerous other products of a viscose or paste like nature. 7
In addition the improved container is of particularly simple design and construction with the result that its cost of production is substantially less than that of correspondingly sized collapsible tubes composed of metal.
According to the present invention the improved container includes a tubular body portion composed of fiexi ble material and a non-return valve unit within said body portion adjacent to but spaced inwardly from its discharge nozzle, said valve unit consisting of an apertured disc like member extending transversely of said body portion and a displaceable membrane like member on that side of the disc facing the nozzle and adapted to overlie the aperture in said disc whereby after some of the contents of the container have been discharged by compressing the body portion, the influence of atmospheric pressure on the paste like material remaining between the valve unit and the nozzle causes such material to function as a ram and press the flap back into firm engagement with said apertured disc thus preventing the compressed part of said tubular body portion from returning to its original shape.
Referring to the drawings which form part of this specification- FIGURE 1 is a part sectional side elevation of a tube like container in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary perspective view, on an enlarged scale, or the upper end portion of the improved container in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.
FIGURE 3 is a similar view to FIGURE 2 showing a modification of the invention.
FIGURE 4 is another similar perspective view of a further modification.
3,081,006 Patented Mar. 12, 1963 The improved container has a body portion 2 formed from Polythene, P.V.C. or any other suitable flexible plastic material of a kind which may be readily moulded or otherwise formed into a tube of any desired diameter and length. i
This tube like body portion is provided at one end with a top Wall 3 which may be of substantially truncated conical form terminating in an axial nozzle 4 fitted with a screw cap or any other suitable type of stopper.
The opposite end of the body portion is closed in any suitable manner. For example, it may be heat sealed as at 7 by fol-ding and pressing the folded portion of the tube together after the container has been filled with the product being marketed.
The aforesaid undesirable feature of plastic tubes tending to retain their tubular shape after some of the contents have been expelled is due to the fact that air is normally able to leak back into the container after the discharge of portion of the contents. In order to prevent or at least reduce to a minimum, air from rc-entering the tubular body port-ion of the container, the latter is fitted near the top wall with an improved type of non-return valve unit. This unit includes a disc like member or plate 8 which is preferably relatively stiff but at the same time sufiiciently resilient that it will substantially retain or return to its original form if it is temporarily deformed when in use. For this purpose, the disc like member may also be composed of plastic material and may have a plurality of stiifening ribs on the inner face thereof.
The disc may have a thickness of the order of one thirty-second of an inch 0& more or less and may be secured in position within the tube for example, at or ad acent to the junction between the top wall 3 and the adjacent end of the tubular body. For this purpose that part of the top wall remote from the discharge nbzzle may be provided with a circular recess 9 to receive the marginal edge portion of the disc and if desired a number of circumferentially spaced and inwardly projecting ribs 11 seen more clearly in FIGURE 2, may be formed on the top wall at the side of the recess to provide a firm seating for the disc and thus oppose undue deformation thereof while the contents of the tube are being dis charged.
The disc like member 8 is provided with a central aperture 12 covered by membrane like member 13 which may be in the form of a flap secured by heat sealing or in any other suitable manner to the disc at one side of the central aperture thereof so that most of the flap may be displaced towards the discharge nozzle and permit the contents of the tube to pass out through the aperture in the disc when the tube is squeezed. Upon release of the inward pressure on the tube like body portion the flap 13 is freed to move back into close contact with the disc member 8 under the influence of atmospheric pressure acting on the paste like material remaining in the body portion on the discharge side of the flap, thus preventing the entry of air to the container after the flap has been pressed into close engagement with the disc.
The membrane like flap is also composed of any suitable type of plastic material and its principal characteristic feature is that it is relatively thin in relation to the disc in that its thickness is of approximately two thousandths of an inch more or less. Such a thin flap readily conforms to any slight irregularities on the face of the disc member and ensures desirable close contact therewith.
It will be obvious that the disc like member may be provided with more than one aperture therethrough if so desired.
According to a modification as illustrated in FIGURE 3 a separately formed annular seating member is provided for the disc 8. This annular seating is also provided with a recess 9 to receive the marginal edge portion of the disc and in addition it is preferably provided with a stepped shoulder 16 for engagement with a complementary shaped marginal edge portion 17 on the end wall of the container.
If desired the membrane like member 13 may be of ribbon like formation and be secured to the disc like member at opposite sides of the aperture or apertures therethrough so that when in use the central portion of the flap may be readily displaced by the paste like material being forced through the aperture and subsequently return into firm engagement with the disc like member under the influence of atmospheric pressure as aforesaid.
According to a further modification as illustrated in FIGURES 4, the marginal edge portion of the disc like member is in the form of an endless rim 18 having an endless rib 19 thereon adapted to fit within a complementary shaped recess 21 in the marginal edge portion of the top wall of the container. In this case the membrane like member may also be of ribbon like formation and of such a length that it may be secured between the disc like member and the top wall of the container in such a manner as to bridge the aperture through the disc.
The connections between the membrane like member and its associated disc together with the assembled body portion and its top wall and the valve unit may be completed by heat sealing, the use of an adhesive or in any other suitable manner that would be well known to per- :sons skilled in the plastic art.
It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the improved tube like container is particularly cheap to produce and that the improved valve unit may be easily fitted in the desired operative position.
Furthermore as the contents of the tube are expelled, the empty portion of the tube remains substantially fiat where its walls have been squeezed together and thus provides the desired visual indication of the quantity of material remaining in the tube similar to the conventional metal type of collapsible container.
Still another important advantage is that the inherent properties, for example, of Polythene render it particu larly suitable for marketing jams, sauces, honey, soups, fiavourings, condenser milk and many other food substances.
Should the contents of the improved container include relatively small hard particles such as the pip in raspberry jam, no difficulty is experienced in preventing the undesirable entry of air into the container when in use for the reason that the nature of the membrane like member enables it to snugly fit over any such pips that may remain on the face of the aperture disc and at the same time firmly engage the surrounding surface of the disc for sealing purposes.
In some cases it may be desirable to provide the plastic body portion with some form of protective covering. For example, if the container is adapted for use with milk or a milk product, the plastic body portion is preferably provided with a protective foil of aluminium or other material in order to prevent deterioration of the product.
On the other hand by forming the improved container from P.V.C. for example, it is particularly adapted for the marketing of paints and a wide variety of other paste like substances.
Obviously, the tube like body portion 2 need not necessarily be of circular form in cross section but may be of square, oval or any other suitable shape. Similarly the aforesaid plate like member 8 of the valve unit need not necessarily be of circular disc like form but its shape may also vary so as to fit snugly within the body portion of the container.
The thickness of the aforesaid disc like member is not critical but it should be appreciated that the associated membrane like member should be of relatively thin plastic or like material in order to function in the desired mannet. As previously mentioned a membrane like flap or ribbon of approximately two thousandths of an inch 7 thick has proved to be quite satisfactory. However it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to a membrane like member of that thickness. For example the thickness of the membrane like member may range from about five thousandths of an inch )1 down to one thousandth of an inch 0/ or even less depending upon the diameter of the container, the aperture or apertures in the disc and the type of material packed in the container.
It is to be understood that various minor alterations, modifications and/or additions may be introduced into the foregoing without departing from the ambit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Having now described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. An improved container for marketing and dispensing pastelike substances including foodstuifs having solid pips of matter, comprising a tubular body portion composed of a plastic material having the property of retaining its shape and closed at the lower end, a top section connected to the upper end of said body portion to completely close the body portion and including a top wall terminating in an axial nozzle fitted with a removable closure, a nonreturn valve unit to prevent access of air to said body portion after compression thereof for preventing return of the body to its original shape and thereby yield a visual indication of the amount of pastelike substance remaining in the container, and means for mounting said unit in said top section to form therewith a unitary assembly having space between said nonreturn valve unit and said nozzle, said nonreturn valve unit ineluding an apertured disc extending transversely of said top section and a displaceable membrane in sealing engagement with said apertured disc and located on the upper side of the disc facing said nozzle, said disc being stiff and relatively much thicker than said membrane, said membrane being formed of a plastic material and having a thickness of from about one thousandth of an inch to about five thousandths of an inch, said membrane being secured to said disc at least at one side of the aperture therein so as to overlie said aperture, said membrane also being sufliciently flexible to conform to irregularities in the upper surface of the disc and to the shapes of any solid pips of matter deposited on the upper surface of the disc, whereby after some of the pastelike substance has been discharged by compressing the tubular body portion, the influence of atmospheric pressures on the pastelike material remaining between the valve unit and the nozzle causes said material to function as a ram and to press said membrane back into sealing engagement with said apertured disc despite the temporary lodgement of solid pips of matter beneath said membrane.
2. An improved container according to claim 1 wherein said top section includes a circular recess to receive the marginal edge portion of said disc and a series of circumferentially spaced and inwardly projecting ribs between said recess and said nozzle and having their lower ends coaligned with the adjacent upper edge of said recess.
3. An improved container according to claim 1 wherein said membrane is a ribbon secured at its opposite ends between said disc and said top wall in such a manner that the ribbon bridges the apertured disc in sealing relation when the compressed container body portion is released and unseals the apertured disc when the body portion is compressed.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,122,868 Davis Dec. 29, 1914 1,972,344 Jackson Sept. 4, 1934 2,133,411 Zohe Oct. 18, 1938 2,761,833 Ward Sept. 4, 1956