US 3146904 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. l, 1964 H. M. HANSEN ETAL FOOD DISPENSING PACKAGE Filed Dec. 1l, 196].
TTOE/VEYS' United States Patent O Filed Dec. 11, 1961, Ser. No. 158,512 Claims. (Cl. 215-11) The present invention relates broadly to the container art, and is more particularly concerned with a food dispensing package especially designed for infant feeding and having among its features a significantly reduced cost permitting discard after use.
In the past the preparation of infant foods, and particularly milk formulae, has been a laborious and timeconsuming task for the householder largely by reason of the need to sterilize the bottles and nipples each time before use. Further, while the use of plastics in the formation of bottles has reduced the weight and breakage thereof, cost considerations require that the bottles not be discarded when emptied, and during travel and on many other occasions this is a definite inconvenience.
It is accordingly an important aim of the present invention to provide a food dispensing package in readyto-use form and at minimum cost such that significant home preparation is eliminated and the package can be discarded after use.
Another object of the invention lies in the provision of an infant feeding container which is easy and convenient to render ready for use and has the parts thereof so arranged as to essentially entirely preclude the sterility of the container being readily compromised.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an infant feeder wherein the bottle portion thereof takesY the form of a collapsible tube which permits expulsion of the contained food without the problems of admitting replacement air to maintain the internal pressure.
A further object of the instant invention lies in the provision of a food dispensing package in which the tubular body portion thereof is securely sealed until ready for use, the seal being broken merely by tightening a nipple-bearing cap.
An even further object of the invention is to provide a dispensing device for infant foods and the like, including a relatively thin-walled tubular body closed at one end and having a neck portion formed at the opposite end thereof, wall means closing the neck portion, cap means received on the neck portion and mounting an apertured plug member having at one end a severing surface for piercing the wall means upon advancement of the cap means along the neck portion, a nipple supported by the opposite end of the plug member, and a closure received on the cap means and housing the nipple prior to usage' of the package.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds, particularly when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings, wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:
FIGURE 1 is a telescoped elevational view of a container constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, but with the closure or overcap removed;
FIGURE 4 is a View similar to FIGURE 2, but showing the container with overcap removed and the inner cap tightened to an operative position to pierce the seal means; and
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating a modified form of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings, and first to FIGURES 1 to 4 therein, a container embodying the novel concepts of this invention is therein designated in its entirety by the numeral 1), and comprises a relatively thin-walled tubular body portion 11, heat sealed or otherwise closed along one end as indicated at 12. The tube 11 adjacent the opposite end thereof is provided with a smoothly rounded shoulder portion 13 of relatively greater wall thickness, and also integral with the tube body is an increased wall thickness neck portion 14 equipped with a set of external threads 14a. The tube 11 is desirably formed of branch or high density polyethylene having a wall thickness of about 0.005 inch, although other thermoplastic materials such as polyamides, polyesters, vinyl polymers and copolymers, polymers of vinylidene chloride, polystyrene and polypropylene and its copolymers may be employed. A preferred molding technique is that shown and described in Strahm Patent No.
2,673,374; however the tube may be headed generally with less efficiency by other methods, as by compression molding.
The neck portion 14 at the mouth thereof is formed during the heading operation with a relatively thin transverse wall 15 provided generally centrally with an opening 15a which is closed or sealed prior to use of the container 10 by a disc 16 heat sealed to the wall 15, adhesively secured thereto, or in any other manner affixed in good fluid tight relation. As appears from FIGURES 2 and 4, the disc or sealing means 16 is provided by a plastic-metal-plastic sandwich structure and the outer layers 16a and 16C may be polyethylene and the interlayer 16h aluminum or other suitable foil material. The metal interlayer 16h has the advantage of facilitating the cutting operation, to be later described, and the entire disc assembly provides an etiicient hermetic seal. The foil 16b may have the plastic iilms 16a and 16e` applied thereto by a spraying technique, or separate adhesively attached layers may be utilized. Further, the upper plastic strip 16a is not at all times required.
The orifice or opening 15a, prior to attachment of the sealing disc 16, provides a convenient inlet through which to ill the tube body 11 with contents subsequent to sealing the end 12 thereof. It is believed now apparent, however, that the neck wall 15 could be imperforate and the filling accomplished through the end 12, followed by sealing said end. In such an arrangement the disc 16 could then be conveniently eliminated.
Threadably associated with the container neck 14 is an inner cap 17 equipped at 17a with complementary threads on the inner diameter of an annular skirt 18 integral with a transverse wall or roof portion 19. The cap 17 is of suicient thickness to provide the requisite rigidity, and the material providing the cap may be the same as the tube body 11, or any of the other plastics noted hereinabove.
Formed integral with the cap 17 in essentially the radial center of the Wall portion 19, and performing the dual function of supporting a nipple 20 and severing the seal disc 16, is an apertured plug member generally indicated at 21. The plug member is centrally passaged at 21a, and is molded to provide an upstanding button portion 22 and a downwardly depending tubular portion 23 cut obliquely at its extreme end to form a cutting or severing edge 23a. As appears in FIGURE 2, the severing edge 23a is disposed upwardly or out of contact with the seal disc 16 prior to use of the container 10 as a feeder, that is, prior to turning the cap 17 in a tightening direction upon the container neck 14. In the position illus- 53 trated, the cap wall 19 is spaced from the neck wall 15 as at 24, and this void is progressively reduced in volume as the cap is tightened to the position of FIGURE 4, as will be later described in connection with a discussion of the operation of the container 10.
The nipple 20 is preferably constructed of rubber, and is molded to form a relatively thin-walled mouth-engaging portion or upper end 20a and a lower end or base portion 20b of relatively greater wall thickness complementarily contoured to grasp the button portion 22 of the plug member 21. Along the dome of the nipple upper end 20a there is provided a plurality of fluid discharge orifices 25 through which the container contents are withdrawn by the sucking action, the milk or other food of course being forced from the container interior through the passage 21a in the plug member 21 and into the nipple cavity 26. As also appears in FIGURES 2 and 4, the base portion 20b of the nipple 20 is firmly seated against the upper surface of the cap top wall 19 in good sealing relation therewith. Normally a press iit is sufcient for this purpose, although the nipple can be adhesively secured to the cap top wall 19, if desired.
Prior to use of the container as a feeder, the nipple is housed within an overcap or closure 27, which may be plastic or could be of thin metal wall construction. Desirably, however, the closure is polyethylene and is shaped by vacuum forming techniques to provide a relatively slender upper tubular portion 27a containing the nipple 20, a radially extending shoulder portion 27b, and a depending skirt portion 27C engageable with the skirt 18 on the inner cap 17. As is revealed in FIGURES 2 and 4, the base portion 2012 of the nipple has a radially outwardly directed flange 20c formed thereon against which the juncture of the overcap tubular and shoulder portions 27a and 27b press to assure an effective seal in this region.
The overcap 27 may be retained on the inner cap 17 by a friction iit, or can be held in place by a snap arrangement such as is provided by a complementary bead and groove. However, in experience to date leakage is more thoroughly prevented, and the sterile character of the nipple less likely to be compromised, if the overcap is retained in the position of FIGURE 2 by a pressure sensitive adhesive strip or band 28 which engages the lower periphery of the overcap 27 and an annular portion along the inner cap skirt 2S. Alternatively, between the overcap and inner cap skirt portions 27e and 18 a tear string may be located with one end thereof exposed, and the two skirt portions heat sealed to one another.
The container 1t) as shown in FIGURE l is, as was noted hereinabove, iilled to the desired level by admitting the formula or other food through the aperture a in the neck top wall 15 subsequent to sealing the lower end of the tube body portion as at 12. The disc 16 is then heat sealed in the position shown, and the inner cap 17 threaded upon the tube neck 14 to the extent illustrated, whereby the cutting edge 23a of the plug tube portion 23 is spaced from the sealing disc 1.6. The nipple 20, if not previously seated upon the plug button portion 22, is located in place and the overcap 27 placed over the nipple with its skirt portion 27 overlying the upper end of the inner cap 17. The sealing tape is then wrapped about the skirt portions of the overcap and inner cap in adhesive contact therewith, as shown.
The food dispensing package 10 as thus assembled is suitably sterilized and housed in any desired outer container. This may take the form of a foil pack as known to the art, or a plurality of containers 19 may be located in a can containing a measured amount of water and the can then sealed. The container water is then later employed to heat the food in the package 16.
To utilize the container ltl after removal from the overwrap or outer package, the adhesive band 2S is stripped therefrom and the overcap 27 removed. Then,
by grasping the skirt portion 18 of the inner cap 17 and turning the same in a tightening direction, the cutting edge 23a enters the sealing disc 16 and penetrates therethrough, leaving a disc cut-out portion as indicated at 36 in FIGURE 4. In this position the tubular portion 23 of the plug member 21 is received in and extends through the opening 15a in the neck top wall 15 to communicate the interior of the tube body portion 11 with the cavity 26 in the nipple 20. It will be noted that during this tightening action there is no necessity for the exposed nipple to be touched by the hands or any other contaminating inliuence, as so often characterize a known feeder in which the nipple is normally housed in an inverted position within the bottle when the feeder is not being used.
It is to be further observed that the container 10 of this invention features a relatively thin-walled or collapsible body portion 11 and non-collapsible or semirigid shoulder and neck portions 13 and 14, respectively, which at their juncture may illustratively have a Wall thickness of the order of tive times that of the body portion 11. This combination of different wall thickness portions has at least two advantages. First, by using a thin tubular body, material and weight savings are not only realized, but there is no noticeable resistance to the nipple sucking action and no need to provide air entrance openings in the nipple or inner cap to permit ingress of air for replacing the liquid removed. The body walls collapse as the contents are removed and thereby prevent a vacuum being formed behind the contents, which under ordinary conditions would result and impede uniform ow of contents to the babys mouth.
Second, the thickened shoulder and neck portions prevent complete collapse of the container during feeding. Further, by having the body thinner than the head portion, the body collapses first as the contents are being gradually withdrawn, thereby facilitating withdrawal of contents freely, irrespective of the position of the body of the container.
It is, of course, not at all times required that the nipple be mounted upon the precise plug member 21 as described above. Alternatively, the nipple may be so formed as to be held in place between the top wall of the inner cap and the means which performs the disc cutting action.
This aspect of the invention is shown in FIGURE 5, and is this view like parts from FIGURES l to 4 are designated by like numerals, raised by a factor of As appears in FIGURE 5, a collapsible plastic tube is provided with a neck portion 114 having external threads 114:1, the uppermost of which make initial snap engagement with a bead 5019 forming part of the internal thread configuration of an inner cap 50. The neck portion is formed at the mouth thereof with an apertured wall 115, and the sealing disc 116 can be identical to that of the iirst form of the invention.
The inner cap 50 is internally threaded, as was noted, and downwardly spaced from top wall 50a thereof is an anular bead 51 which provides a shelf for an apertured plug member 52. The latter member has a radially outwardly directed ange 52a which bears against flange 53a on nipple 53, said flange 53a being thereby engaged between the plug member tlange 52a and wall 50a of the inner cap 50. If desired, the nipple in a location spaced from the flange 53a may have an annular bead 53b formed thereon to provide snap engagement between the nipple and inner cap.
The apertured plug member 52 is centrally passaged at 5S, and on opposite sides of the ange 52a there is integrally formed a tubular nipple engaging portion 56 and a tubular diagonally cut disc severing portion 57.
The assembly of FIGURE 5 will, of course, embody an overcap of essentially the configuration indicated at 27 in FIGURES 1 and 2, and the mode of operation of the embodiment of FIGURE 5 is believed manifest from the detailed description earlier given in connection with the lower numbered views.
It is to be seen from the foregoing that there is herein provided a food dispensing package in ready-to-use form of substantially reduced cost which eliminates extensive home preparation and can be economically discarded after a single use. The container is easy and convenient to render ready for use, and has the parts thereof so arranged as to essentially entirely preclude the sterility of the container being compromised.
Various modiiications have been described herein, and these and other changes may be efected without departing from the novel concepts of the instant invention.
1. A unitary nursing container comprising a collapsible plastic tube having a thin walled body and an integral relatively rigid headpiece terminating in an upstanding threaded neck closed at its upper end with a relatively .thin rupturable wall, a screw cap received on said threaded neck, said cap having an internally threaded skirt portion and a transversal Wall centrally mounting a centrally passaged plug member, said plug member having a depending tubular portion terminating in an oblique cutting edge, said skirt portion normally threadably engaging the out-most end of said neck with said depending tubular portion initially remote from said rupturable wall and being adapted to be turned onto full threaded engagement with said neck to cause said cutting edge to pierce said rupturable wall, a nipple seated on said plug member, and a protective closure removably sealed to the exterior of said cap and enclosing said nipple.
2. The article of claim 1 wherein said plug member includes an upstanding portion tightly engaging the interior of said nipple.
3. The article of claim 2 wherein `said cap and said nipple have cooperating interlocking portions providing a snap-together connection.
4. The article of claim 1 wherein said nipple is provided with `a ange portion `overlying said cap and said protective closure sealingly engages said flange portion.
5. The article of claim 1 wherein said neck is centrally apertnred and said rupturable wall is a laminated disc of plastic and metal foil sealed over the end of said neck.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,073,292 Waite et al. Mar. 9, 1937 2,438,299 Relis Mar. 23, 1948 2,604,222 Teague et al July 22, 1952 2,694,500 White Nov. 16, 1954 2,793,776 Lipari May 28, 1957