US 3239111 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 3,239,111 DISPENSING CONTAINER Leonard Thomas La Croce, Dumont, N.J., assignor to American Can Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Sept. 1, 1964, Ser. No. 393,540 6 Claims. (Cl. 222-480) The present invention relates generally to dispensing containers and more particularly to a new and improved dispensing container of the type wherein a flexible and resilent rotary dredge assembly is snap-fitted within an aperture in an end closure of the container.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a flexible and resilient rotary dredge assembly which can be easily mounted within an opening in a dispensing container. 7
Another object is to provide such a dredge assembly wherein the parts are simple in construction and formed of a flexible and resilient plastic material so as to be readily and easily manufactured and assembled.
A further object is to the provision of such a dredge assembly which comprises two parts which may be preassembled or snap-fitted together so that one of the parts is rotatable within the other, and which may thereafter be snap-fitted within the container opening.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a two-part, flexible and resilient dredge assembly for a dispensing container wherein one part is rotatably mounted within the other part and is provided with various forms and sizes of dispensing openings which may be aligned with a dispensing opening in the other part to selectively vary the dispensing rate of the product within the container.
A still further object is the provision of such a dredge assembly wherein the parts are maintained in sufficiently tight slidable engagement to prevent the product within the container from becoming wedged between the parts.
Numerous other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.
Referring to the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a dispensing container having a dredge assembly constructed in accord ance with the principles of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along line 22 in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view, with parts broken away, of the component parts of the dredge assembly shown in FIG. 1.
As a preferred and exemplary embodiment of the instant invention, FIG. 1 illustrates a dispensing container 10 adapted to package granular or powdery products, such as ground seasoning or spices. The container 10 comprises a generally rectangular body 12 formed of any suitable sheet material such as tin plate, and a pair of end members 14 and 16, also formed of a suitable sheet material such as tin plate, which are secured to the 0pposite ends of the body in end seams 18 of any suitable type, such as conventional double seams.
3,239,111 Patented Mar. 8, 1966 As shown in FIG. 2, the central panel 22 of the top end member 14 preferably is provided adjacent one end thereof with a circular aperture 26 which is defined by an upwardly and inwardly tapered annular wall or burr 24 formed integral with the central panel 22. The wall 24 serves as a resilient retaining member for the dredge assembly of the instant invention when it is mounted within the aperture 20, in a manner to be described hereinafter.
The rotary dredge assembly of the present invention preferably comprises two parts, a stator or base element 26 and a rotor or dredge 28, each of which is molded in one piece and formed of a flexible and resilient plastic material, such as a polyolefin, e.g., polyethylene or polypropylene; a vinyl resin, e.g., polyvinyl chloride; or a suitable polyamide such as nylon.
The stator 26 preferably comprises a fiat, circular base panel 30 which is of greater diameter than the aperture 20 in the central panel 22 of the top end member 14. A dispensing opening 32 is provided in the panel 30 adjacent one side thereof. In some container sizes, the aperture 32 may be of a sufficient size and suitable shape to permit passage therethrough of a measuring utensil such as a spoon.
Extending upwardly from the base panel 30 is an annular wall 34 having a generally vertical outer face 36 and a radially outwardly curved inner face 38 (see FIG. 2). The annular wall 34 preferably is of substantially the same height as the tapered annular wall 24 of the top end member 14, and the outer diameter of the annular stator wall 34 preferably is substantially equal to or slightly greater than the inside diameter of the uppermost portion of the tapered end member wall 24.
The upper end of the stator wall 34 merges with an enlarged annular bead 40 having downwardly and outwardly tapered faces 42 and 44 which terminate in curved corners 46 and 48 that merge with the outer face 36 and inner face 38, respectively, of the stator wall 34. The stator bead 40 is also provided with a generally flat upper race 50.
As shown in FIG. 2, the stator 26 is snap-fitted within the aperture 20 of the end member panel 22, the annular bead 40 of the stator being pushed upwardly through the opening 20 in the end member central panel 22 until the outer corner 46 of the bead snaps over the upper end of the annular end member wall 24 to cover the raw edge thereof. The engagement of the annular wall 24 with the undersurface of the head 40 adjacent the corner 46 thereof serves to fixedly retain the stator 26 within the aperture 20 of the central panel 22 and also urges the upper peripheral surface of the stator base panel 30 into sealing engagement with the adjacent undersurface of the central panel 22.
The dredge 28 of the instant dredge assembly preferably comprises a flat circular disc 52 having a raised annular head 54 formed on the peripheral portion thereof. The diameter of the disc 52 is substantially equal to the inside diameter of the stator wall 34 so that the dredge 26 can be snap-fitted under the stator bead annular corner 48 and into engagement with the inner curved face 38 of the stator wall 34 (see FIG. 2). The stator bead 40, therefore, serves both to retain the stator on the end member panel 22 and to retain the dredge within the stator. The dredge head 54 preferably is provided with an outer curved surface 56 having a radius of curvature substantially equal to that of the inner curved face 38 of the stator wall 34, thereby providing for relatively easy slidable movement between the outer bead surface 56 and the inner curved face 38 of the stator wall 34. The dredge 28, therefore, is mounted for slidable, rotary movement within the stator 26.
In order to facilitate the rotation of the dredge 28 within the stator 26, a radially extending, elongated, raised knob 58 is formed on the upper surface of the dredge disc 52 (see FIGS. 1 and 3). Spaced approximately 90 in a clockwise direction (as seen in FIG. 3) from the knob 58 is the center of an aperture 60 formed in the dredge disc 52 and corresponding in size and shape to the aperture 32 in the stator base panel 30. The aperture 60 is so positioned in the dredge disc 52 as to be in substantial alignment with the stator aperture 32 when the dredge 28 is rotated to position the aperture 60 over the aperture 32 (see FIG. 2).
In order to provide for the selective dispensing of the granular product within the container 12, the dredge disc 52 is provided with a plurality of sift holes 62 spaced approximately 180 from and covering an area of approximately the same size as the aperture 60 (see FIG. 3). Spaced between the sift holes 62 and the aperture 60, and approximately 180 from the knob 58, is another dispensing opening 64 which is surrounded by a raised pouring lip 66 formed on the dredge disc 52. It will be readily seen, therefore, that by merely rotating the dredge 28 within the stator 26 to an appropriate position, the granular product within the container may be dispensed with a spoon or other utensil through the opening 60; by pouring it through the opening 64 and surrounding lip 66; or in limited quantities through the sift holes 62 in the dredge disc 52. It will be realized that one or more of the dispensing openings in the dredge 28 may be omitted, if desired.
When it is desired to close the dispensing opening 32 in the stator 26, the dredge 28 is rotated to a position wherein the knob 58 overlies the center of the dispensing opening 32 so that the portion of the dredge disc.52 adjacent both sides of the knob 58 covers the opening 32 to prevent the escape of the granular product therethrough.
It is noted that the granular product within the container 10 is prevented from wedging between the dredge disc 52 and the stator base panel 30 by the relatively tight engagement between the annular dredge head 54 and the portion of the stator bead 40 beneath the curved corner 48 thereof, which serves to urge the dredge disc 52 downwardly into relatively tight engagement with the adjacent surface of the stator base panel 30 to thus prevent the occurrence of spaces therebet-ween into which the product might enter.
In order to prevent excessive frictional resistance to movement between the dredge 23 and rotor 26, the lower peripheral surface of the dredge disc 52 is cut away to form an upwardly and outwardly tapered annular face 68, as seen in FIG. 2, thereby providing an annular space between the dredge disc 52 and the adjacent surfaces of the stator base panel 30 and wall 34 to insure that the dredge 28 will be easily rotatable within the stator 26.
It is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the instant invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. A dredge assembly for a dispensing container having a generally circular opening therein, said assembly comprising:
a stator formed of a flexible and resilient plastic material and comprising a generally fiat circular base panel having a dispensing aperture therein and a diameter greater than that of the container opening, an annular wall extending from one surface of said base panel adjacent the periphery thereof, and an annular bead formed on the end of said wall remote from said base panel, said bead extending radially inwardly and outwardly from said wall and being disposed radiallyinwardly of the periphery of said base panel,
said wall having an outer diameter which is substantially the same as the diameter of the container opening, and said annular bead being adapted to be snapfitted into engagement with the outer surface of the portion of the container defining the opening therein to position said stator wall within the opening and to urge the peripheral'portion of said base panel into engagement with the inner surface of the portion of the container adjacent the opening, and
a dredge formed .of a flexible and resilient plastic material and comprising a generally flat circular disc having the peripheral portion thereof snap-fitted under saidannular stator bead and into slidable engagement'with the inner face of .said stator wall to enable said dredge to be rotatable with respect to said stator,
said dredge disc having at least one dispensing aperture so formed and positioned therein as to be movable to a position over said stator aperture by rotation of said dredge.
2. The dredge assembly of claim 1 wherein the inner face of said annular stator wall is curved outwardly, and wherein said dredge disc is formed with an annular bead on the periphery thereof, the outer surface of said annular bead being in slidable engagement with said inner stator wall face and having a radius of curvature substantially the same as said inner face.
3. The dredge assembly of claim 2 wherein said annular dredge disc bead extends upwardly from said dredge disc and is in engagement with the adjacent undersurface of said stator head to urge said dredge disc into engagement with said stator base panel.
4. The dredge assembly of claim 3 wherein the peripheral portion of said dredge disc adjacent said stator base panel is cut away to form an outwardly and upwardly tapered annular face, thereby reducing the frictional resistance to relative movement between said dredge and said stator.
5. A dispensing container comprising:
an end closure having a generally circular opening therein defined by an upstanding annular wall, and
a dredge assembly formed of a flexible and resilient plastic material and being mounted within said end closure opening,
said dredge assembly comprising:
a stator having a generally flat base panel of a size greater than that of said end closure opening, said base panel having a dispensing aperture therein and being in engagement with the undersurface of the portion of said end closure surrounding said opening therein, an annular wall formed on and extending upwardly from said base panel through said end closure opening and having the outer face thereof in engagement with said end closure wall, and an an nular bead formed on the upper portion of said stator wall and being in engagement with and extending radially beyond the upper end of said closure wall, said bead being disposed radially inwardly of the periphery of said base panel, and
a dredge comprising a generally flat circular disc having the peripheral portion thereof snap-fitted under said annular stator bead and into slidable engage ment with the inner face of said stator wall to thereby urge said disc into engagement with the adjacent surface of said stator base panel and to enable said dredge to be rotatable with respect to said stator,
said dredge disc having dispensing apertures of varying configuration so formed and positioned thereon as to be selectively movable over said stator aperture by rotation of said dredge with respect to said stator.
6. The dispensing container of claim 5 wherein said end closure wall is tapered radially inwardly and upwardly, and wherein the upper end of said end closure 6 wall engages said stator approximately at the junction of the outer faces of said stator wall and said stator bead.
References Cited by the Examiner 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,777,616 1/1957 De Shazor 222480 X 2,954,148 9/ 1960 Corrinet et a1 222548 X LOUIS J. DEMBO, Primary Examiner. 10 CHARLES R. CARTER, Examiner.