Liquid dispensing container
US 3124275 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 10, 1964 R. A. LAKE LIQUID DISPENSING CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 9, 1962 Ill/f/I/l/ ll/l/l/l R m w W.
March 10, 1964 Filed April 9, 1962 lfrllllllllll7a R. A. LAKE LIQUID DISPENSING CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I 75 IIIII'IIIIII INVENTOR.
United States Patent Ofiice 3,124,275 LIQUID DISPENSING CONTAINER Robert A. Lake, 1311 Wildwood Lane, Northbrook, Ill. Filed Apr. 9, 1962, Ser. No.- 186,149 4 Claims. (Cl. 222--182) This invention relates to a liquid dispensing container and particularly to a combination of a container, a dispenser and a cap that are inexpensive to manufacture and capable of storing and shipping liquids in a form that is convenient to market andto the ultimate consumer.
Packaging that makes a product attractive and easy to use by the consumer is very important in increasing the sales of that product. Liquidproducts must be marketed in containers that are suitable to contain liquids, and preferably in containers-that are not so fragile that they break during shipping, handling or use. The containers should be capable of easy sealing, easy opening and in many cases, easy re-sealing, and the size and shape of the container should be such that it is readily handled. In those uses where a liquid container is too large to be easily lifted by a consumer or where small amounts of liquid are occasionally dispensed from a relatively large capacity, it is desirable to provide some ready means of dispensing the liquid as part of' the container. Without intending any limitation, for example, in liquid dishwashing detergents, a small amount such as a capful of detergent is employed from a bottle containing many such capfuls. The use of this material'requires unscrewing the cap, measuring the appropriate amount of liquid into it, adding the liquid to the dishwater, and screwing the cap back onto the bottle. The latter job is usually preceded by an annoying step of rinsing of extra detergent from the cap. As an alternative to this, flexible bottles closed with caps having small holes are employed and by turning the bottle upside down and-squeezing the bottle, a squirt of detergent is dispensed into the water, but in this method of use, the amount that is used cannot be measured, and a wasteful overabundance of detergent is usually employed.
Dispensing pumps which also act as the container closure have been used. Such a pump is desirable, because it forms a dispensing means which also acts as a closure and the simple operation of the pump dispenses the liquid without the necessity of opening and closing the container. They are usually designed to dispense the proper amount of liquid and therefore prevent wasting the product. Since a pump dispenser must contain a vent so that air can displace the pumped liquid, it is usually necessary to seal the container with a separate cap to prevent leakage through the vent during shipping, and to provide the pump as a separate item to be installed by the consumer,
The present invention is a novel combination including a plastic bottle or other appropriate container having an opening in the top such as an ordinary bottle neck to which a flexible bellows-is connected in liquid-tight relationship. The bellows is provided with inlet and outlet valves to form a pump. The pump is adapted with a tube that extends from the inlet valve into the container.
The combination also includes one or more vent holes adjacent the container opening which permit air to enter the bottle to displace the liquid that is being pumped. The combination also includes threads or other means for holding a rigid cap in place to enclose completely the pump bellows and to form a liquid-tight seal with the vents when it is screwed or otherwise fastened in place.
The combination of this invention can best be explained with reference to the accompanying drawings which illustrate several presently preferred embodiments of the in- 3,124,275 Patented Mar. 10., 1964 vention and are intended as illustrative rather than limitmg on its scope.
FIG. 1 is an elevation view partly in section of a container embodying this invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial elevation view in cross-section illustrating an embodiment in which the cap and bellows portions act cooperatively;
FIG. 3 is a partial elevation view partly in section of another embodiment of this invention; and
FIG. 4 is an exploded partial view, partly in section illustrating an embodiment in which the pump bellows is formed as a portion of the bottle.
A container 10 is shown in the form of a bottle made of plastic, glass or other suitable material. The container has a threaded neck 11 and vent holes 12. FIG. 1, which illustrates the overall appearance of the combination, illustrates a cap 13 and, in phantom, a pump assembly designated generally as 15. Leading into the pump assembly is an inlet tube 16 which extends to the bottom of the container 10.
The details of one embodiment of the pump assembly are best shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 2 the pump assembly is covered with a cap 13 which encloses the bellows and other external structure of'the pump and which, when in place, has a sealing surface 17 forming a closure over the vent holes 12. Protruding threads 18 extend from the interior surface of the cap 13 to engage the bellows 20, which in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, consists of helical or thread-like corrugations of flexible plastic material instead of the usual disc-like or circular corrugations.
The inlet tube 16 opens into a valve housing 21 which forms a seat for a disc 22 that is free to rise and fall within a valve chamber 23. An inlet 24 opens beneath disc 22. In a similar valve chamber 25, a disc 26 is free to rise and fall, opening and closing a discharge port 27. The valve mechanism acts as a double check valve such as used in most positive displacement pumps. When the bellows is depressed, disc 26 rises expelling air or liquid as the case may be from the diminished volume within the bellows. The action exhausting the bellows causes a pressure which forces disc 22, to seat more firmly. When the bellows expands, a vacuum is created which pulls disc 26 firmly against its seat and causes liquid from within container 10 to lift disc 22 and fill the expanding chamber within the bellows 20. The next depression of the bellows causes the liquid to be ejected through chamber 28 and discharge spout 30,
When storing, shipping or otherwise handling thecontainer 19, the cap 13 is maintained in place by causing threads 12"; to engage the corrugations of bellows 20. When screwed on tightly, the bellows will be extended and the resiliency of the bellows will force sealing surface 17 tightly over the vent holes 12 to prevent any leakage of liquid through the vent holes. When the cap is unscrewed and removed prior to use, the vent holes are uncovered so that air may enter the container to displace the liquid that is pumped, and the bellows will no longer be rigidly held in extended condition but will be free to be contracted and expanded,
FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of this invention. In FIG. 3, the bellows 31 is the conventional type of bellows with circular rather than spiral corrugations. The bel ows 31, however, operates similarly to the bellows 20 in that expansions and contractions cause the operation of inlet and outlet check valves to discharge a stream of liquid through spout 30. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the valve housing 32 is provided with a radially extending flange 33 which extends beyond the radial extent of either the bellows 31 or the discharge spout 36. This flange terminates in threads 35 which are formed and positioned to engage internal threads 36 on the interior of the cap 13. As may be seen from the drawings, the tight engagement of threads 35 and 36 will cause the sealing surface 17 of the cap 13 to form a liquidtight seal with the vents 10. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the discharge spout 36 has a fused or sealed end. When extremely rough handling is anticipated, a spout made of soft plastic may have its end sealed to prevent any leakage during handling and it may be opened prior to use by snipping the end off with scissors. The end of spout 39 may also be threaded to receive a small cap 37 for this purpose, as shown in FIG. 2, which cap may be removed and thrown away by the ultimate consumer.
FiG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein various of the elements of the combination are formed as a single integral piece. In FIG. 4, a flexible plastic bottle 10 has an opening 49 surrounded by a helical bellows 20 which is integral with the bottle 16 and formed at the same time of the same or of compatible material and as a part of the bottle structure. The upper opening 41 in the bellows 26 is larger in diameter than lower opening 46 and it is threaded with threads 42 on the outside. The inlet valve body 43 includes an enlarged lower opening 45, a restricted lower opening 46 and a valve seal 47 in an enlarged chamber 48 in which the valve disc 50 operates. An upper ledge-like flange 51 prevents disc 50 from leaving chamber 48'.
The outside diameter of valve 43 is such that it may be pressed with some difiiculty into the opening 40 and the extent that it enters opening 40 is limited by flange 51 engaging the material around the opening. Before installing the valve 43, inlet tube 16 is installed in enlarged opening 45.
With opening 41 being substantially larger than opening 49, the valve 43 may easily be installed after filling bottle 16. Installation of valve 43 is effected, for example, by contracting the bellows Z and pressing valve 43, with whatever force is necessary, into opening 40 until the flange 51 engages the material surrounding opening 40.
The outlet valve, designated generally as 53 consists of cylindrical sidewalls 55 of a diameter to fit closely, but not necessarily tightly within opening 41, and a lower disc-like element 56. The element 56 is formed with an opening 57 in the center thereof which opening is surrounded on the top by a raised valve seat 58. An upper flange 66 forms a chamber 61 in which a valve disc 62 operates, and flange 60 also forms a shoulder to engage the upper portion of the opening 42 to prevent valve 53 from entering bellows 20.
An internally threaded closure element 65 is adapted to be engaged with threads 42. The closure element 65 has internal threads 66 and an inwardly protruding shoulder 6'7 which engages the flange 66 of valve 53 and presses it tightly against the material surrounding opening 41. When thus assembled a chamber 68 is formed from which spout 70 provides an outlet.
Finally, a cap 71 is provided with inwardly projecting elements 72 that are positioned and formed to engage the helical grooves in bellows 26 to form a threaded closure for all of the portions which in combination become the bellows pump. The lower annular surface '73 of the cap '71 is positioned to form a liquid seal with the vents 12 formed in bottle 16 adjacent the bellows 20.
The structure of FIG. 4 operates the same as the structures of FIGS. 2 and 3. By causing bellows 20 to expand and contract, liquid is pumped from bottle and discharged through spout 76. Air enters bottle 10 through vents 12 to displace the pumped liquid. When no liquid is needed, the cap 71 is screwed onto the helical grooves in bellows 2i) and it completely encloses the entire pump assembly as Well as sealing vents 12.
A gasket 75 is shown between the valve 53 and the closure 65. This gasket may be employed during shipping to prevent any possibility of leakage from bottle 10.
Prior to use by a consumer, closure 65 will be unscrewed, gasket 75 removed and discarded, and closure 65 reassembled. The gasket 75 may be of the usual material for gaskets such as cork, plastic, rubber, laminated paper or the like.
It is evident that many modifications of this invention may be made within its general concept, and it is intended therefore that the invention be limited in scope only by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A device for containing and dispensing liquids comprising in combination (1) a liquid container of flexible material having an outlet therein,
(2) a flexible pump bellows formed integrally with the walls of said container in surrounding relation with said outlet and having a helically corrugated wall,
(3) said bellows having an open end larger in diameter than said container outlet,
(4) a first check valve means formed to pass through the open end of said bellows and mounted over said container outlet,
(5) second check valve means mounted adjacent the open end of said bellows,
(6) closure means over the open end of said bellows and including a discharge conduit passing through the wall thereof, and
(7) a substantially cylindrical cap formed with one open end and having internal thread-like projections adapted to connectively engage the helical corrugated wall of said bellows whereby the cap may be threaded onto and over said bellows to force said open end thereof against the walls of the container.
2. A device for containing and dispensing liquids comprising in combination (1) a liquid container of flexible material having an outlet therein and a vent adjacent said outlet,
(2) a pump bellows having a helically corrugated wall formed integrally with said container and surrounding said outlet,
(3) said bellows having an open end larger in diameter than said container outlet and formed with a peripheral wall having outside threads,
(4) a first check valve formed to pass through the open end of said bellows and mounted over said container outlet,
(5) a second check valve mounted over the open end of said bellows,
(6) a closure means having internal threads connectively engaged with the outside threads on said peripheral wall and including a portion adapted to engage said second check valve and hold it over the open end of said bellows, said closure means enclosing an internal chamber,
(7) a spout communicating with said chamber, and
(8) a cap including internal projections formed to engage the helical wall of said bellows in threading relationship and having an annular surface formed to engage the walls of the container and make a liquid-tight seal with said vent, said cap being large enough in internal diameter to enclose said closure means, said spout and said bellows.
3. A device for containing and dispensing liquids comprising in combination, a liquid container having an outlet, a bellows-type pump mounted over said outlet and having collapsible bellows formed with corrugated walls surrounding said outlet, a substantially cylindrical rigid cap open at one end and formed with internal projections adapted to connectively engage the said corrugated walls of said bellows whereby said cap may protectively enclose said pump and the open end thereof may be forced against the Walls of the container to maintain the said bellows extended.
4. A device for containing and dispensing liquids com- 5 6 prising in combination, a liquid container having an of against the walls of said container and seal over said outlet and a vent adjacent said outlet, a bellows-type pump vent. mounted over said outlet and having collapsible bellows References Cited in the file of this patent formed with helically corrugated Walls surrounding said UNITED STATES PATENTS outlet, and a rigid cap open at one end and having interior 5 projections which cooperatively engage the said helical 2 g gs g corrugation of said bellows in threading relationship 3: ersc ng 3 58 whereby said cap may be threadingly advanced over said 3344 Lerner ay pump toward said container to force the open end there- 2870943 Scoggin 271 1959