US 3132370 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 12, 1964 J. P. CAPEZZUTO SEALABLE LIQUID-DISPENSING APPLICATOR Filed June 14, 1962 -FIG. 2
- INVENTOR JOHN P. CAPEZZUTO BY ATTORNEYS 3,132,370 I Cfi Patented May 12, 1964 3,132,370 SEALABLE LIQUID-DISPENSING APPLICATOR John P. Capezzuto, Cambridge, Mass., assignor to The Carters Ink Company, Cambridge, Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Filed June 14, 1962, Ser. No. 202,571 1 Claim. (Cl. 15-541) This invention relates to an improved scalable applicator for dispensing liquids, and has as its primary object the provision of an improved applicator in which a liquid-permeable applicator member can be caused alternatively to protrude from a liquid container for contacting an external body for wiping the dispensed liquid thereon, or to retract when not in- -use. A cap is attachable to the applicator to sealingly engage with the liquid container and to seat directly on the retracted applicator member, thereby preventing leakage and affording a positive sealing action. It is a further object of the invention to provide an improved applicator with means for preventing injury to an absorbent abradable applicator member by contact with external bodies to which the liquid is applied. Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.
Briefly stated, in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, I may carry out the invention in a container which forms an expansible chamber for liquid storage, such as a collapsible plastic squeeze-bottle, by mounting a resilient and absorbent liquid-permeable membrane across the opening of the container within its mouth, and preferably by also mounting a resilient abrasion-resistant liquid-permeable membrane over the absorbent membrane. The membranes are peripherally secured about the mouth of the container, so that a cap threaded on the neck of the bottle may sealingly engage the mouth and the membranes.
In use, the expansible chamber formed by the collapsible bottle is contracted by hand pressure, and applies a differential pressure against membranes. Because of the restricted area of the liquid flow passages in these membranes, this pressure causes a distention of the membranes into a bulbous form protruding outwardly of the mouth to an exposed position for wiping on an external body to which it is desired to apply the liquid. Upon release of the bottle, the membranes resiliently contract to a form which may be substantially flat, or slightly hemispherical, depending on the materials employed. The cap may then be secured on the neck to sealingly engage the mouth of the bottle, and also to directly seat on the membranes, forcing them away from the mouth so that an effective seal is completed and leakage is precluded.
A variety of materials can be utilized in the absorbent and abrasion-resistant membranes, such for example as felt, cotton, foam rubber, or the like in the former, and woven or perforated plastic, fiber or sheet material in the latter. The container may be made of a variety of conventional materials, but since it is necessary to provide an expansible chamber for increasing the internal pressure to distend the membranes, I prefer to use a flexible, resilient plastic such as polyethylene, to form a collapsible squeezebottle.
Preferably, the membranes are mounted in a housing received in the neck of the container and forming an extension thereof, the housing being formed with a peripheral flange to overlie and engage the membranes, and to form a sealing surface or mouth for engagement with a cap. The cap itself can be made of any desired material, and preferably has an interior plane surface on which is seated a liner or gasket of liquid-impervious material, such as rubber, laminated paper, or plastic.
While the specification concludes with a claim particularly pointing out the subject matter which I regard as my invention, it is believed that a clearer understanding may be gained from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, referring to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in elevation of the dispensing applicator having a cap assembled thereon, with part of the container broken away;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view in elevation of the neck portion of the container, showing the applicator and cap assembled thereon in condition for storage; and
FIG. 3 is a similar view, but showing the cap removed and the applicator membranes in a distended condition for use.
In the drawing, a preferred form of the invention is shown in which a collapsible squeeze-bottle container 10 forms internally an expansible chamber 12 adapted to contain a supply of liquid 14 to be dispensed. The container terminates in a neck portion 16 having helical threads 18 thereon for cooperation with a threaded cap 20. The neck is provided with a dispensing opening 22 in which is received an annular membrane housing 24, Which terminates outwardly in a flange 26 forming mouth 28. The housing is formed with a central dispensing orifice 30 of an area suitable for the particular liquid and purpose for which the container is to be used. The flange 28 extends radially outwardly of the body of the housing 24 to overlie a radial surface 32 terminating the neck of the container proper, and extends thence into the cylindrical flange 26. The peripheries of a resilient absorbent liquid-permeable membrane 34 and a resilient abrasion-resistant liquid-permeable membrane 36 are received by the flange 26. The flange is swedged, spun, or otherwise deformed radially inwardly to overlie and secure the membranes and form the mouth 28.
The cap 20 is provided with a liquid-impervious sealing liner of gasket 38 cemented or otherwise secured upon an internal plane surface 40, for resilient sealing engagement with the mouth. As the cap is threaded fully onto the container, the liner also engages the membranes to prevent leakage therefrom, and to force them inwardly to the mouth so that a complete seal is effected.
For dispensing the liquid, the cap is removed and the container is squeezed to cause contraction of the expansible chamber 12, and thus apply a diflerential pressure interiorly against the membranes 34 and 36. Because of the restricted area of the fluid flow passages in the membrane materials, this differential pressure distends them into a bulbous form as illustrated, in which they protrude beyond the mouth 28 and can readily be contacted with an external body for wiping application of the liquid. Upon release of the pressure, the resilient membranes retract.
A great variety of materials can be utilized to form the various elements which have been described, since the functional requirements of the materials are not restrictive. For example, materials useful in the absorbent membrane include felt, cellulose acetate tow such as is used in cigarette filters, cotton, porous polyurethane, porous foam rubber and the like. This material and that of the abrasion-resistant membrane may, if desired, be suificiently resilient to contract to their original forms after repeated distentions, although this is not necessary to the practice of the invention. The abrasion-resistant membrane may be formed of fabrics of artificial or natural fibers, or simply from perforated plastic sheets. The primary function of this latter membrane is the protection of the absorbent membrane against damage which might arise from scrubbing the applicator against abrasive materials, such as paper. It may also serve to prevent disruption of low tensile-strength absorbent'membranes,
or separation from the container, under excessive pressures which might accidentally be applied to the container by impact. The container, cap, and membrane housing may assume a variety of forms, and the housing may be formed integrally in the container if so desired. Any conventional container material, such as plastic, metal and the like, can be utilized as may be suitable for the particular liquid and the intended use of the applicator, while the housing might also be made of other materials which can be worked into the desired form for securing the membranes, such as rubber or lead. The membranes could alternatively be cemented on the container.
While I have illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various additional changes and modifications may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, which I therefore intend to define in the appended claim without limitation to details of the illustrated embodiment.
What I claim is:
A liquid dispensing applicator comprising, in combination: a container of flexible resilient material capable of being compressed to expel its contents, and having a mouth portion terminating at one end in a substantially flat annular flange forming a sealing surface lying in a plane, said flange being formed with an outlet orifice, a liquid-permeable porous membrane received on said container to underlie said orifice and peripherally secured to said month, said membrane normally being disposed entirely inwardly of said container with respect to the plane of said sealing surface, said porous membrane afiording liquid flow passages of restricted area such that pressure from within said container distends the central portion of said membrane to a bulbous form protruding outwardly of said container with respect to the plane of said sealing surface for contact with external bodies to apply the dispensed liquid thereto, and a cap engageable over said opening with said container and having internal means for forcing said membrane to retract from the distended bulbous form inwardly of the container with respect to the plane of said sealing surface and for forming sealing engagement with said sealing surface and substantially the entire outer surface of said membrane.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 797,089 Trimble Aug. 15, 1905 2,853,728 Nadai Sept. 30, 1958 3,010,138 Nadai Nov. 28, 1961