US 3179290 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 20, 1965 H. wHrrNE 3,179,290
DRIP-PREVENTING AND POURING MEANS AND METHOD FOR FORMING SAME Filed June 5, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ENTOR. Y 694 Win 1 BY fl-706:2 fi/ik or't April 20, 1965 R. H. WHITNEY 3,179,290
DRIP-PREVENTING AND POURING MEANS AND METHOD FOR FORMING SAME Filed June 5. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. fa [PHH WHITNEY United States Patent 3,179,290 DRIP-PREVENTING AND POURING MEANS AND METHOD FOR FORE MG SAME Ralph H. Whitney, Toledo, Ohio, assiguor to Owens- Illinois Glass Company, a corporation of Ohio Filed June 5, 1961, Ser. No. 115,030 14 Claims. (Cl. 222-1) The present invention relates generally to improved drip-preventing pouring means for use in conjunction with bottles, jars and like containers .to provide improved pouring and drip-preventing characteristics to liquid and semi-liquid substances which may be packaged therein, and to effectively obviate the tendency of residual drop lets of such substances to adhere or cling to the lip area of the dispensing end of the container and thereafter drip or run down the exterior surface of the container during and after each instance of pouring. To effect such a result, numerous types of pouring attachments or pour-out fitments, as they are sometimes called, have been designed to effect a sharp severance or cut-oif of the liquid fiow along the rim or pouring area provided on dispensing end of the container when pouring is concluded and the container is reverted to an upright position. Also in this respect, various types of specialized coatings have been applied on and around the dispensing end or pouring portion of containers for such purposes. Additional 'corrective measures which have been employed have involved providing such pouring lips, collars and neck rings with specialized configurations and fabricating such items from non-wettable materials.
Despite all of thevarious aforementioned types of preventative measures utilized to improve pouring characteristics and to prevent dripping, it has been found that in most instances that the tendency still remains for residual droplets of many liquid and semi-liquid substances to cling and remain on the dispensing end or pouring rim of a container as an incident of pouring. This latter tendency appears to be the result of cohesive surface tension characteristics between the pouring surface and of the liquid or semi-liquid substance coming into contact therewith. Consequently, residual droplets of the liquid have an afiinity for and tend to: adhere to the rim of the container after it has been returned to its up right non-pouring position. With many types of liquid and semi-liquid substances, and as has been particularly observed with syrupy liquid substances, these residual droplets subsequently form an objectionable residue or deposit around the dispensing or pouring rim of the container. Often, instead of remaining on the pouring or dispensing rim of the container, the droplets are jarred loose or dislodged either during the attachment of a closure to the container or during handling when the container is reused or returned .to the shelf, or the like. In instances where a closure is used, easy attachment and removal thereof is frequently hampered. Likewise it frequently becomes diflicult to properly reseal the container. Also, the exterior surface of the container is subject to becoming unsightly, sticky and oifensively odorous, all to the extreme distaste of the user.
Accordingly, it is a primary objective of the present invention to provide improved drip preventing and pouring means for use in conjunction with bottles, jars and like containers which are capable of effectively eliminating the usual tendency of residual droplets of liquid and semi-liquid substances to remain or adhere to the pouring or dispensing rim of such containers. 7
Another object of the present invention is the provision of improved drip preventing and pouring means for use on the dispensing or pouring end of a container characterized by the inclusion of an improved pouring surface which inherently tends to induce droplets of residual liquid and semi-liquid substances, such as may remain on the pouring or dispensing end of the container after pouring, to flow back towards and into the interior of the container. 7
A further object of this invention is to provide improved drip preventing and pouring means having the foregoing characteristics, which is further characterized by the inclusion of a pouring surface exhibiting differential surface tension characteristics which cooperate in such a manner as to attract or draw residual droplets of liquid and semi-liquid substances on the pouring or dispensing end of the containerfback towards and into the interior of the container;
A still further objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved drip preventing and pouring device which is capable of being utilized in conjunction with the pouring outlet of a dispensing container, and which has a pouring surface effecting a sharp cut-off or severance of the containers liquid or semi-liquid contents when the container is returned from a pouring position to an upright non-pouring position, and which in cooperation therewith exhibits dilferential surface wetability characteristics along the pouring surface of the device so that residual droplets ofthe liquid or semiliquid substances remaining on the surface of the device cooperation therewith has a pouring surface finish of reduced wettability characteristics adjacent to the outermost pouring edge thereof, and a pouring surface finish of relatively increased wettability at a location extending ilnwardly therefrom towards the containers pouring out- Other objects and advantages of the present invention will readily become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings on which two preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated, and whereon:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary elevational view of the neck portion of a container, for illustrative purposes only being herein depicted as .a bottle, in which one preferred embodiment of the present invention is represented; and
FIG. 2ris an enlarged plan view of the container neck portion illustrated in FIG. 1; and
FIGS. 3-5 represent schematic fragmentary elevational views of the container neck portion illustrated in FIGS.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary central sectional view of a pouring device assembled on the dispensing end of a conventional container, and embodying another form of the present invention.
Broadly, the present invention embodies the formation of a non-drip pouring surface exhibiting differential surface wettability characteristics. In this respect, a selected area of the pouring surface in the immediate vicinity of the pouring rim of a container is provided with a substantially non-wettable surface finish. Thus, negligible wetting, if any, occurs in such area when the containers contents pass thereover during pouring. Cooperating with the non-wettable surface finish there is a highly wettable surface finish which is formed in an area directly adjacent to the non-wettable'area and stretching towards the intereior of the container. By way of differentiation, the terms wettable and non-wettable as used herein, are meant to define a relative characteristic condition in which the wettable surface is by comparative relation substantially more wettable than the non-wettable surface finish. Consequently, residual amounts, fractions or droplets of the containers fluid contents that tend to remain on or cling to the outerjpouring edge or finish portion of the containers pouring outlet are subjected to an attractive drawing force which tends to influence and gravitate the droplets or the like back into the interior confines of the container. It is not intended that the theory giving rise to this compellingor attracting force be a limitation upon the invention herein since such-theory is not completely subject to a full exacting explanation, but the mutual aflinity of the various fractions or droplets of water remaining on the non-wettable surface finish and those remaining on the wettable surface finish are believed to possess a cohesive mutual aflinity which is of suflicient magnitude to overcome the limited surface attraction of droplets of fluid clinging or adhering to the non-wettable surface finish, but not of suflicient magnitude to overcome the greater surface attraction of'the fluid to the wettable surface finish. As a result, the fractions or droplets of fluid remaining on the non-wettable surface finish are drawn inwardly toward the droplets of fluid on the wettable surface finish and thence by gravity toward the interior confines of the container. As a consequence, the edge of the pouring rim remains free from residual droplets'of fluid and objetionable dripping or precipitation of such droplets downward onto the exterior surface of the container is effectively obviated. As a further consequence, a smooth severance of the flow of the containers contents at the cut-off edge of the pouring rim may be effected during subsequent pouring. Also, a closure. placed over the pouring outlet and attached to the exterior surface of the containers neck portion, as by neck threads, may be attached and removed without interference caused by dried-up residual fluid.
The concept of utilizing non-wettable coverings over various portions of the pouring surfaces of a container which have heretofore been employed have not effectively prevented residual fluid in the form of smallfractions or individual droplets from remaining or clinging to the sharpedge or cut-off lip of the pouring rim. Also, movement or jarring of the container tends to dislodge such droplets and cause them to precipitate downward over the exterior surface of the container. For example, attachment of a closure over the container neck portion frequently tends to cause such droplets to be displaced onto the exterior surface of the container. However, such objectionable tendencies are effectively obviated by the present invention by virtue of the provision of strategically located pouring surfaces having substantially different wettability characteristics cooperating to draw such residual droplets away from the pouring rim and back towards the interior of the container.-
Now describing the invention in greater detail and referring to the drawings wherein two preferred embodiments of the present invention are illustrated, in FIG. 1
there is shown a conventional glass container, which for the purposes of illustration and explanation is illustrated in the form of a conventional narrow neck glass bottle 10. The bottle 10 has a hollow neck portion 10a extending axially outward therefrom which terminates at its outer axial end in an annular finished portion forming a neck or pouring rim 100. Also, the neck portion 10a is provided with suitableexterior neck threads 10b for accommodation of a threaded cap or closure of conventional detachable design,'not illustrated, by means of which spillage, evaporation or other objectionable loss of the bottles contents can be prevented when removal of such contents is not desired.
In accordance with the broad concepts of this invention a surface covering 11 preferably in the form of a thin annular skin or membrane is superimposed over the surface of the pouring rim 10c and extends inward therefrom to at least the inner edge of the adjacent interior marginal surface of the pouring rim and preferably downwardly over the interior wall surface 10d of the neck portion 10a. In effect the covering 11 extends radially inward and downward from the pouring rim'ltlc and forms a' depending skirt portion 11a covering the interior wall surface of the neck portion.
A unique differential wettability is exhibited by the surface finish of the covering 11. This differential wettability of the covering litends to prevent dripping and to improve the pouring characteristics of the-container 1t and is effected by providing the covering with a relatively non-wettable annular portion 11b and a wettable annular portion 110 which cooperate in an unusual manner to prevent the retention of residual drops or droplets of fluid from clinging to and remaining on the pouring rim of the bottle 10 after pouring. The annular nonwettable portion 11b of the covering 11 exhibits a smooth, glossy surface finish which overlies the outer margin of the pouring rim 100 whereas the annular wettable portion 11c overlies the inner margin of the pouring rim 10c and extends outwardly to form a continuous annular junctu re with the non-wettable portion at a location disposed intermediate the inner and outer marginal edge surfaces of the pouring rim, as at 11d, best observed in FIG. 2.
The covering 11 is preferably formed of a plastic mate rial, such as polyethylene or some other comparable corrosion resistant material capable of being fitted snugly over the pouring rim 10c and adjacent interior wall surface of the neck portion in secure snap-fit relationship or alternatively being capable of adhering or being bonded to the glass surface of the bottle. Of course, polyethylene is merely representative of one preferable type of plastic material which may be used and other plastic and nonplastic materials having relatively similar physical properties such as being capable of formation with a high glossy surface exhibiting substantially non-wettable surface characteristics and being capable of having predetermined surface finish portions rendered highly wettable by methods "in the nature of those to be subsequently described may be successfully employed.
The formation of the covering 11 with the nonwettable portion 11b and wettable portion in 11a may be accomplished in one operation by die-molding the covering. For example, the covering 11 may be molded or fabricated in the form ofa thin skin or membrane shaped to conform snugly to the surface configuration of the neck portion with the desired differential surfacewettability characteristics formed therein during the molding operation by impressing a die in conventional manner against the material forming the covering, the die having a highly polished surface portion corresponding to the non-wettable portion of the covering and having a roughened or grit-vapor blasted surface finish corresponding to the wettable surface finish which is to be imparted to the covering.
Also, the desired surface'finish characteristicsmay be imparted to the covering 11 after it has been molded and ing on which the wettable surface finish characteristics are I desired. In this respect, it has been found that exposure ofpolyethylene to a directflame will imparthighly effective surface wettability characteristics thereto. Flame treatment of-a polyethylene plastic surface of the nature contemplated herein is fully discussed and described in U.S. Patent No. 2,648,097 issued to, M. F. Kritchever and entitled Method of Securing Decorative Matter to a Surface of a Polyethylene body. Another method of flame treatment of plastic surfaces capable of being used 'to impart wettable surface characteristics to the wettable portion 11a is disclosed in US. Patent No. 2,704,382 issued to W. H. Kreidel and entitled Method for Printing on a Surface of Polyethylene Plastics. An additional method by whichthedesired wettabilitymay be imparted to the intended wettable surface portion; involves directly subjecting that portion of the covering 11 to a grit-vapor blast process capable of producing an irregular roughened. surface on the covering. For example, a grit and vapor blast emitted under a blasting pressure of approximately 100-150 p.s.i. pressure and containing a No. 100 size grit material has been found to. produce an extremely effective wettable surface on polyethylene. It is further recognized that in some, instances it may be preferable to form the covering 11 directly on the bottle In such instances the covering may be applied t in the form of acoating by a dip-coating process, as by dipping the bottle while in an inverted or neck downward position into a bath of fluid or melted polyethylene. To prevent the polyethylene from adhering to the exterior surface of the neck portion, the neck portion maytbe' enclosed in a masking mold or coveredwith a protective removable coating. Thereafter, the desired surface finish characteristics may be imparted to the coating by the ap- 'plicable methods described above with respect to a. preformed skin or membrane-type of covering.
Although the present invention has been described in one of its preferred. embodiments in relation to the formation of a pre-formed or coated polyethylene skin ormembrane on the neck portion of a glass bottle, it is of course understood. that the concept o'f this invention 6 Another form of the present. invention is illustrated in FIG. 6. As illustrated, a pouring device in the form of an insertable annular pour-o11 t fitment 15, is constructed to fit snugly in the pouring outlet defined in the neck portion 16a of a conventional glass bottle 16 or similar dispensing container. The pour-out fitment 15 is preferably fabricated from a plastic material such as polyethylene or other material havingsimilar characteristics of moldability, smoothnesgflexibility and surfacefinish. The insertable portion of the pour-outfitment 15 is defined by an elongated tubular extensionlSa which is shaped to generally conform to the interior wall surface of the bottles outlet opening. In order to better maintain the pourout. fitment. 15 in proper assembled position and to better preclude accidental detachment thereof from the bottle, the exterior surface of the insertable portion 15a is preferably formed with an external protruding bead 151) which is diametrically larger than the outlet opening and which by virtue of its resilient construction is capable of yielding sufiiciently under manual force to permit its insertion into the pouring outlet and into snap-fit relationship within the neck portion of the bottle. Forming the non-insertable portion of the pour-out fitment 15 there is margin in a sharp-cornered cut-off edge or lip 15d which is effectual to accomplish a sharp severence or cut-off of an ,outwardly and. upwardly flaring annular pouring rim 150 which terminates outwardly along its outer peripheral the containers contents'when pouring is terminated and the container is returned to an upright non-pouring position'. Disposed radially inward from the lip 15d and be:
neath the undersideof the pouring rim 15c there is a peripheral shoulder or ledge 152. The ledge 152 projects radially outward from the outeraxial end of the insertable portion 15a" and defines a downwardly facing annular sealing surface 15f on the underside thereof arranged to the pouring rim 150, as at 15h. As previously described might also be utilized in conjunction with containers having. neck portions, fabricated directly from polyethylene. In the latter event, the polyethylene neck portion would be treated in accordance with the concepts already discussed and without the necessity of first applying a coating or covering on the neck portion of the bottle or container. For example the neck portion of the bottle or container corresponding to the wettable portion 110 of the bottle shown in FIG. 1 .may be molded, flame treated or grit blasted so as to provide the neck portion with differential wettability characteristics in a similar manner asthat previously described.
The functional aspect of the present invention is.
schematically illustrated in FIGS. 3 5. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 3, a residual droplet 12 of the fluid contents of the bottle 10 is shown as it clings or remains on the non-wettable portion 11b of the bottles pouring rim 1%): after pouring. As in FIG. 4, the droplet 12 is with respect to the embodiment of this invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the glossy pouring surface 15g may be of a molded character, in which instance the mold part utilized in formingthe interior surface of the pouring rim is preferably formed with a very smooth highly polished and glossy molding surface which consequently imparts a similar glossy surface finish to the surface of the pouring rim 150. Also, as described with respect to the previous embodiments the fitment 15 is additionally provided with'relatively wettable surface finish 15 which when wetted attracts residual droplets of fluid away from the pouring rim 15c. To further enhance the inward movement of residual droplets away from the lip 15d,the
. interior surface of the pouring rim may be tapered, as illustrated, downwardly and inwardly from the pouring lip towards the pouring outlet of the container.
It has been ascertained that among other advantages the present invention in any of the foregoing embodiments obviates the tendency of residual portion or droplets of fluid from clinging or adhering to the pouring rim orlip of the container following pouring of the containers contents. Further, the present invention is capable of being embodied either in a pre-formed pour-out attachment or in the form of an integral coating bonded directly to the rim and interior neck surface of the container.
Still further, the rim or pouring surface of a polyethylene bottle or container may be rendered dripless in accordance with the prineiples of the present invention by direct treatment or molding of the plastic rim portion of the bottle or container and without the necessity of applying a coating or attachinga fitment thereto.
Although thepresent invention and its various embodi- '7 ments have been described in substantial detail, it is' not intended that the invention herein be limited to such details or otherwise restricted inany extent other than may be necessitated by the scope of the appended claims, and having now described the invention in full detail, I claim:
1. Drip-preventing means for surfacing the pouring outlet of a'dispensing container, said means comprising an annular membrane havi'ng one end portion snugly inserta ble in the pouring endof said container and an opposite radially enlarged endportion forming a lip overreaching the marginal edges of said pouring outlet, the interior wall surface of said insertable end portion and the outer surface of said lip possessing substantially different surface wetting characteristics, the interior wall surface of said insertable end portion being substantially more w'ettable than the outer surface of said lip, whereby residual fluid droplets tending to remain on said lip. after pouring are attracted away from said lip towards said insertable end portion.
2. 'Means according to claim 1, wherein the outer surface of said lip defines a smooth polished surface finish and the interior surface of said insertable end defines a substantially rougher surface finish.
. 3. Means according'to claim .L'Wherein said membrane is fabricated from a polyethylene plastic material.
1 4. A drip-preventing plastic pour-out member for use with the pouring outlet of a container, said pour-out member comprising a plastic membrane having an inner end portion shaped to fit snugly within said pouring outlet and an outer end portion adapted to overlie the rim of said pouring outlet, said inner and outer end portions respectively defining adjoining inner and outer pouring surfaces possessingsubstantially different surface wetting characteristics, said inner'end portion and said outer end portion being fabricated integrally from the same plastic composition and cooperating to define a continuous pouring surface adapted to overlie the rim of said pouring outlet and extend into the interiorof said pouring outlet, the inner end portion of said pouring surface being substantially more wettable than the outer end portion of said pouring surface, whereby said inner end portion of said pouring'surface tends to draw residual droplets of fluid away from said outer end portion.
5. The combination comprising a fluid dispensing container having a pouring rim defining a pouring oulet, a drip-preventing plastic covering overlying said pouring rim and extending intosaid pouring outlet, said covering having adjoining inner and outer pouring surface portions respectively possessing substantially different surface wettability characteristics, said inner pouring surface portion being disposed within said pouring outlet and said outer pouring surface portion overlying said pouring rim, said inner and outer pouring surface portions being of the same plastic composition and forming a continuous pouring surface having substantially greater surface wettability characteristics at the inner end portion than at the outer end portion, whereby said covering tends to attract residual fluid droplets back into the confines of the container after pouring.
6. A method for improving the pouring and drippreventing characteristics of the pouring outlet of a dispensing container, said method comprising the steps of superimposing over the inner wall surface and upper rim surface of said pouring outlet a continuous annular covering of smoothly surfaced plastic material to thereby form a plastic pouring surface thereover, substantially roughening the pouring surface of only that portion of said plastic material overlying said inner pouring outlet wall surface to render same substantially more wettable than the upper surface of the portion of said plastic material covering the rim surface of said pouring outlet.
7. The method as defined in claim 6, wherein said roughening step includes grit-blasting said pouring surface.
8. For a dispensing container having a pouring outlet formed therein, a method of improving thepouring and drip-preventing characteristics 'of said pouring outlet, said method comprising the steps of superimposing over the inner wall surface and upper rim surface of said pouring outlet a continuous annular covering of smoothly surfaced plastic materialto thereby form a plastic pouringsurface on said container, flame treating the pouring surface of only that portion of said plastic material covering said inner pouring outlet wall surface by directly exposing said surface to a flame to render such surface substantially more wettable than the surface of that portion of said plastic material covering the upper rim of said pouring outlet.
9. A method for forming an improved drip-preventing and pouring means for the pouring outlet and rim of a container, comprising the steps of molding an open ended plastic pouring fitment with at least one surface shaped to snugly conform to the'inner wall and upper rim surfaces of said pouringoutlet and defining an inner pouring surface on said pouring fitment, said molding step including molding a smoothly polished finish on'said inner pouring surface adjacent to the pouring end of said fitment and molding a relatively rough textured finish on said inner pouring surface adjacent to the other end of said pouring fitment.
10. A drip-preventing and pour-out fitment for use in combination with a dispensing container having a pouring outlet therein, said fitment comprising an annular body portion defining a generally Y-shaped axial cross-sectional configuration, said body portion having a tubular end portion snugly insertable in said pouring outlet in fluidtight sealing contact with the inner wall surface of said pouring outlet and an opposite flared end portion arranged to extend over the lip of said pouring outlet, said flared end and said tubular end cooperating to define a continuous. internal pouring surface having surface portions possessing substantially difl?erent surface wettability characteristics, said tubular end of said internal pouring surface being substantially more Wettable than the internal pouring surface of the flared end thereof,; whereby said fitment tends to attract residual fluid droplets back into the confines of the container after pouring.
11. A drip-preventing and pour-out fitment as defined in claim 10, wherein said fitment is fabricated from a plastic material.
12. .A drip-preventing and pour-out fitment as defined in claim 10, wherein said fitment is fabricated from polyethylene.
13. A container neck portion having improved drippreventing and pouring characteristics, said neck portion having a hollow interior and terminating outwardly in an annular marginal pouring rim, the upper surface, of which is formed with a smooth glossy pouring surface exhibiting a non-wettable surface finish, said n ck portion also having a rough textured pouring surface extending I radially inward from said non-wettable surface finish, said rough textured surface exhibiting a relatively wettable surface finish cooperating with said non-wettable surface finish to draw residual fluid droplets way from the upper surface of said pouring rim and back into the interior of said neck portion. I
14. A container neck portion having improved drippreventing and pouring characteristics, said neck portion having a hollow interior defined by an interior wall surface and terminating outwardly in an annular marginal pouring rim surface, said interior wall surface and said annular marginal pouring rim surface cooperating to define a continuous pouring surface portion possessing substantially different surface wettability characteristics, said interior wall surface being substantially more wettable than said annular marginal pouring rim surface and cooperating therewith to draw residual fluid droplets away from said annular marginal pouring rim surface and back into the interior of said container neck portion after pouring.
A (References on following page) 9 10 References Cited by the Examiner 2,73 6,447 2/56 De Brock 222571 X 2,805,960 9/57 Wolinski 11738 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,834,497 5/58 Wolf 222571 X i q "ii-2;? 2,848,145 8/58 Livingstone 222571 X M m 2,917,1 8 2 5 22-571 2,587,344 2/52 Livingstone 222 571 X 5 9 1 9 f 2 2,643,097 3 53 Kritchever 7 LOUIS M i y x n r- 2,664,230 12/53 Heim 222 571 LEVERNE D. GEIGER, RAPHAEL M. LUPO,
2,732,108 1/56 Haddad 222--571 X Examiners.