US 3242928 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 29, 1966 J. J. PETERS RECIPROCATING AEROSOL TOOTHBRUSH WITH SELF-SEALING ELASTIC VALVE MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 29, 1964 5 3 N11. we m J n m J March 29, 1966 J. J. PETERS' 3,242,928
RECIPROCATING AEROSOL TOOTHBRUSH WITH SELF-SEALING ELASTIC VALVE MEANS Filed Jan. 29, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I NVENTOR.
John J Peier BY QM,
United States Patent RECIPROCATING AEROSOL TOOTHBRUSH WITH This invention relates to novel and useful improvements in aerosol toothbrushes.
A variety of aerosol toothbrushes are described in the literature. None, however, are as commercially practicable or as simple in operation as the aerosol toothbrush of this invention. The aerosol toothbrush of this invention is inexpensive to manufacture and lends itself to both highly desirable throwaway usage as well as to re-use by substituting new for spent cartridges.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide novel aerosol toothbrushes of simple and inexpensive construction.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a simple, inexpensive throw-away aerosol toothbrush.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an aerosol toothbrush having a toothbrush head movable with respect to an aerosol cartridge in which an elastic valve member serves both to open and sealingly close the aerosol cartridge and to restore the toothbrush head to a position in which said cartridge is sealingly closed by said elastic valve member.
Also within the purview of this invention is the provision of a novel aerosol toothbrush in which a toothbrush head and an aerosol cartridge are movable toward and away from each other to a predetermined limited extent and in which said toothbrush head defines means for engaging an elastic valve member which normally sealingly closes said aerosol cartridge and for unseating and stretching or tensioning said elastic valve member thereby to provide communication between said cartridge and said toothbrush head and in which the resiliency of said elastic valve member tends to restore'it to said sealingly closed position and to move said head away from said cartridge.
So also is it an object of this invention to provide an aerosol toothbrush having a toothbrush head and an aerosol cartridge in which an elastic valve member normally closes said aerosol cartridge and in which means in said toothbrush head are provided to unseat and stretch said elastic valve member to provide communication between said cartridge and said head in which the resiliency of said elastic valve member tends to restore itself to a seated position and to return said head to an inoperative position and wherein said cartridge serves as a major portion of the toothbrush handle.
Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the following description and drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a presently preferred embodiment of an aerosol toothbrush of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side sectional view of the toothbrush of FIG. 1 taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the toothbrush of FIG. 1;
3,242,928 Patented Mar. 29, 1966 "ice FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the elastic valve member of FIG. 2 in its undeformed state;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modified embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged side sectional view of the toothbrush of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary side sectional view showing a modified means for permitting reciprocation of the cartridge and toothbrush head with respect to each other.
Referring first to the preferred embodiment of this invention illustrated in one form there-of in FIGS. 1 to 4, a throw-away toothbrush 1 which is intended to be used until its cartridge is emptied and then thrown away is Toothbrush 1 comprises a plastic toothbrush head 10 and an aerosol cartridge 12 secured to each other by connecting means 14.
Toothbrush head 10 comprises a generally flat head in which tufts of bristles 16 are anchored in any suitable conventional manner. The cartridge end of head 10 terminates in a valve operator means 18 adapted to operate the cartridge valve in a manner to be described. The valve operator means 18 is generally cylindrical in shape. The very end of the valve operator means defines one or more rectangular notches 20 as best seen in FIG. 3. It is through notch 20 that dentrifrice will ultimately pass into the elongated axial passage 22 defined by toothbrush head 10. Passage 22 extends substantially the entire length of head 10 and communicates at one end with the discharge end of the cartridge 12 and at the other end with a plurality of transverse head end openings 24 in the toothbrush head which open adjacent the bases of the tufts of bristles 16. It is through openings 24 that the dentifrice is ultimately delivered to the bristles for use in brushing.
Aerosol cartridge 12 is charged with any suitable aerosol propellant and a predetermined quantity of dentifirice. The propellant and the viscosity and composition of the dentifrice are adjusted to facilitate the flow of the dentifrice from the cartridge through passage 22 to the vicinity of the bristles 16. The cartridge has a closed end 26 and a discharge end 28. The discharge end is provided with a discharge opening which is normally closed by an elastic valve member 32. Valve member 32 is displacable from its normally closed, sealing relationship to the discharge opening to permit communication between the interior of the cartridge 12 and passage 22.
As shown, elastic valve member 32 is fabricated from a suitably elastic resilient stretchable material such as synthetic or natural rubber or other material having similar elasticity and properties of resilient stretchability. Valve member 32 in its undeformed condition is generally fiat and circular in shape and comprises a centrally located dome 34 and a peripheral bead 36 connected by a web 38 having a plurality of openings 40 spaced both from the dome 34 and from peripheral head 36.
Valve member 32 is fixed in a predetermined position in cartridge 12 by means for gripping peripheral bead 36. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4 that means includes a generally transverse annular cartridge end flange 42 and a valve operator receiving member 44. Member 44 comprises a generally cylindrical dome-engaging flange 46, a
tapered connector segment 48, an annular shoulderStl and an outwardly extending peripheral flange 52. It is between cartridge end flange 42 and shoulder 50 and peripheral flange 52 that peripheral bead 36 is sealingly squeezed and held. Since the distance between the inside edge of flange 42 and the intersection of shoulder St and peripheral flange 52 is substantially lesss than the diameter of head 36, head 36 is firmly held by those members.
That relationship of flange 42 and valve operator receiving member 44 is maintained in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4 by connecting means 14. As shown, connecting means 14 at its cartridge end closely conforms to the contour of the cartridge itself. Thus the connecting means includes a crimped segment 54 closely conforming to the annular neck 56 of the cartridge and a tapered terminal segment 58 closely adjacent the cartridge shoulder 60. The connecting means, forwardly of erimped segment 54, comprises a cylindrical segment 62 terminating in an inwardly extending annular flange 64. Flange 64 cooperates with shoulder 50 and flanges 42 and 52 to grip firmly and to hold peripheral bead 36 in place even when the valve member is stretched in the manner to be described.
At its toothbrush head end, and extending forwardly from its annular flange 64, connecting means 14 comprises asleeve segment 66. This closely conforms to the external configuration of the toothbrush head portio'n'it circumscribes but is spaced sufficiently therefrom so that head and cartridge 12 are easily moved and reciprocated toward and away from each other within a limited and predetermined range. To that end toothbrush head is provided with at least two elongated depressions 68 which are adapted to receive complementary dimples 70 formed in sleeve segment 66. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, dimples 70 'do not completely fill depressions 68 so that toothbrush head 10 and cartridge 12 may be moved toward and away from each other by an amount limited by the longitudinal extent of depressions In its normally sealed condition, cartridge 12 is sealed by engagement between the edge of cylindrical flange 46 and elastic valve member 32. The edge of flange 46 contacts'valve member 32 at the outer periphery of dome 34 and in'the normally closed sealed condition stretches elastic valve member 32 sufficiently to effect a sealing relationship between those two members. The peripheral bead 36 of valve member 32 is retained in the manner previously described.
When a discharge of dentifrice into passage 22 is desired, toothbrush head 10 and aerosol cartridge '12 are reciprocated toward each other to the extent permitted by cooperating depressions 68 and dimples 70. As they are movedtoward each other the valve operator means 18 slides within cylindrical flange 46. The outside diameter of valve operator means 18 and the outside diameter of cylindrical flange 46 are substantially identical so that when dentifrice is discharged it will preferentially pass through passage 22 rather than between valve operator means18 and flange 46. The fit, however, must not be sotight thatthe'frictional forces to be overcome are too greatfor valve 32-to return toothbrush head to its sealed closed position.
As the valve operator means moves inwardly of cylindrical flange 46 it contacts dome 34 of elastic valve member 32, gradually unseating and displacing it. The extent to which valve member 32 will be tensioned and stretched, hence moved inwardly of cartridge 12, depends upon the longitudinal extent of depressions 68. The inward thrust of operator means 18 should not be great enough to cause head 36 to disengage from the means retaining it in the desired position. The extent to which toothbrush head It) may be moved inwardly toward cartridge 12 may also be limited by shoulder 72 at the cartridge end of head 10. Shoulder 72 may be spaced fromthe valve" operator receiving member '44 a distance less than the longitudinal extent of depressions 68 so that contact between shoulder 72 and member occurs before dimples 70 contact the forward ends of depressions 68. In any event, the distance the valve member 32 is displaced inwardly of the cartridge is regulated and limited by connecting means 14 or by means such as shoulder 72.
Once valve member 32 has been unseated the propellant in the aerosol cartridge urges the dentifrice through web openings 40, past the innermost edge of flange 46, through notches 20, into passage 22, thence through head openings 24 into a position adjacent bristles 16. When a sufficient amount of dentifrice has been dispensed the force urging the valve operator means 18 against the valve member 32 is discontinued. Once relieved of that tensioning force, the valve members elasticity and resiliency drives the valve operator 18 outwardly sufficiently to cause valve member 32 to become firmly seated against the edge of flange 46, rescaling the cartridge.
Understandably the fit and tolerance between the various parts of the toothbrush 1 are such that the total frictional forces therein are no greater than the recovery force of valve member 32 in an open or unseated position.
Since the cartridge seal depends upon the connecting means 14 to retain the peripheral bead, the toothbrush illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 4 is ideally a throw-away unit, one which may be disposed ofafter the cartridge is spent. The combination of the valve operator with the elastic valve member in the toothbrush combination otfers a highly efiicient valving means in which a single member serves both as the valve itself and as the means for restoring the toothbrush head and the cartridge to a valveclosed position. So also does the combination toothbrush of FIGS. 1 to 4 provide a simple and inexpensive aerosol toothbrush in which the cartridge itself serves as the handle for the toothbrush.
The embodiment of FIGS. 5 to 6 is one in which the cartridge is removable when spent so that a new cartridge may be substituted and the toothbrush head re-used. There the toothbrush comprises a plastic toothbrush head and an aerosol cartridge 112 secured to each other by connecting means 114 integral with head 110 and engageablewith cartridge 112.
Toothbrush head 110 comprises a generally flat head end in which tufts of bristles 116 are anchored in any suitable conventional manner. The cartridge end of head 110 terminates in a valve operator means 118 generally cylindrical in shape which is adapted to operate the cartridge valve in a manner to be described. The end of the valve operated defines one or more rectangular notches 120 through which dentifrice ultimately will pass into elongated cylindrical axial passage 122 having a reduced diameter section adjacent the bristles. Passage 122 extends substantially the entire length of head 110 and communicates at one end with the discharge end of cartridge 112 and at the other end with a plurality of transverse head end openings 124 which open adjacent the bases of bristle tufts 116. It is through openings 124 that dentifrice is ultimately delivered to the bristles for use in brushing.
Aerosol cartridge 112, charged with a suitable .propellant and dentifrice, has a closed end 126. and a discharge end 128. The discharge end has a discharge end has a discharge opening which is normally closed by an elastic valve member 132 which is displaceable from its normally closed sealing relationship to the discharge opening to provide communication between the cartridges interior and passage 122.
Elastic valve member 132,"as shown, is of the same structure and material as was valve member 32 and comprises a centrally located dome, a peripheral bead,
a connecting web and a plurality of openings 1-40 spaced both from the dome and the peripheral bead.
Valve member 132 is secured in a predetermined position in cartridge 112 by means for gripping its peripheral bead. That means includes an inwardly inclined cartridge container end flange 142 and a valve operator receiving member 144. Member 144 comprises a cylindrical dome engaging flange 146, a tapered connector segment 148, an annular shouldr 150, a bead engaging annular semicircular channel segment 151 and sleeve segment 152 which closely conforms to a portion of the outside surface at the discharge end of cartridge 112. It is between cartridge end flange 142 and shoulder 150 and channel segment 151 that the peripheral bead is sealingly squeezed and held. The grip is maintained even under tensile forces which would tend to withdraw the bead since the distance between the inside edge of flange 142 and the intersction of shoulder 150 and channel 151 is substantially less than the diameter of the bead.
The desired relationship between the valve member 132 in the discharge end of cart-ridge 112 is maintained by a Crimped segment 154 integral with sleeve segment 152 of valve operator receiving member 144. Crimped segment 154 conforms closely to cartridge neck 156.
The connecting means comprises a cylindrical section 158 terminating rearwardly in an outwardly extending shoulder 160 from which extends a sleeve 166 having an inner cylindrical dimension substantially identical to the outer cylindrical dimension of the complementary portion of cartridge 112 and having an outer octagonal configuration. However, the internal dimension of sleeve 166 is such that head 110 and cartridge 112 are easily moved and reciprocated toward and away from each other within a limited and predetermined range.
To that end dimples 170 integral with the shoulder 160 are provided on the inside surface of shoulder 160. These dimples are located at the cartridge neck 156 and contact crimped segment 154 in this illustrative embodi- They extend sufliciently far into the hollow at the cartridge neck so that they make unintentional separation of the cartridge and head very diflicult. However, they do permit separation of cartridge 112 from head 110 when one desires to replace a spent cartridge.
In its normally closed condition cartridge 112 is sealed in the same manner as the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4. When dentifrice is to be discharged, toothbrush head 110 and aerosol cartridge 112 are reciprocated toward each other up to a predetermined maximum distance. Limited reciprocation is obtained by the proper proportioning of the parts. In this case dimples 170, defining a circle of greater diameter than the rearward portion of neck 156, may be moved rearwardly until, if permitted, they contact a rear wall of neck 156. However, before such contact is made, annular shoulder 172 will engage channel 151 to stop the movement of head and cartridge toward each As long as satisfactory limiting means are provided, a suitable friction fit to secure the toothbrush head to the cartridge may be used.
As head and cartridge are reciprocated valve operator means 118 slides within cylindrical flange 146 in the manner of the embodiment of FIG. 1. Valve operator means 118 contacts the dome of elastic valve member 132 and begins to stretch valve member 132, eventually thrusting inwardly far enough to disturb the sealing relationship between the dome and the inner edge of flange 146. The extent to which the dome is moved inwardly of cartridge 112 thereby stretching the elastic web depends upon the means for limiting the thrust of valve operator means 118 just described. In any event it should be no greater than necessary to provide ample communication between passage 122 and the interior of the cartridge.
Once valve member 132 has been unseated, the propellant in the cartridge will force dentifrice through the web opening,s through the discharge opening, past the innermost edge of flange 146, through notches 120 and into axial passage 122, thence through head openings 124 into a position adjacent bristles 116. When a suflicient amount of dentifrice has been discharged, the force having reciprocated head and cartridge with respect to each other is relieved and the elasticity of the stretched valve member 132 itself drives the valve operator means outwardly until the dome once again becomes firmly and sealingly seated against the edge of flange 146. At that point the flow of dentifrice through the discharge opening ceases.
FIG. 7 illustrates a modified means for providing limited reciprocatory motion between a toothbrush head and an aerosol cartridge. It is desirably integrated with a connecting means such-as that of FIGS. 5 and 6 and may be used in place of the neck-dimple arrangement of FIGS. 5 and 6. In that event a cartridge 200 to be used is provided with two or more depressions 201. The rearward terminal edge of a sleeve 202 is provided with complementary dimples 204 which extend inwardly of depressions 201. The permissible range of reciprocatory movement of sleeve 202 and cartridge 200 is limited therefore by the forward and rearward walls of depressions 201. Dimples 204 as shown are retractible from depressions 201 so that a spent cartridge may be replaced with a new cartridge to make the associated toothbrush head re-usable.
It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the embodiments of the inventions illustrated and described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. An aerosol toothbrush comprising, a generally cylindrical aerosol cartridge containing dentifrice .under pressure and having one end thereof enclosed and means at its other end comprising a central inwardly extending cylindrical flange defining a central discharge opening for the release of dentifrice therefrom, elastic valve means stretched over said cartridges other end and having sealing engagement with the axially innermost end of said flange to close off said discharge opening, said valve means having a plurality of openings therethrough located to admit dentifrice about the exterior of said flange; an elongated toothbrush comprising a head portion at its outer end fitted with plural bristle tufts and a cylindrical valve operator at its inner end, said toothbrush having internal passageway means communicating between lateral intake openings formed through the walls of said operator and openings adjacent the base ends of said bristle tufts; and connecting means mounted over and enclosing the said other end of said cartridge and including a portion concentrically encasing and extending along a portion of said cartridges exterior axially beyond said valve means, said connecting means being locked to said cartridge and holding said toothbrush coaxially outwardly of said cartridges other end while positioning said valve operator thereof concentrically within said cylindrical flange for engagement with said valve means opposite said discharge opening; said connecting means including locking means preventing the toothbrush from rotating relative to said cartridge while affording limited linear reciprocating movement thereof coaxially toward and away from the same whereby said valve means is unseated from the inner end of said flange to permit the flow of dentifrice through said discharge opening and passageway means to the bristle tufts of said toothbrush in response to limited axial movement of the toothbrush toward said cartridge.
2. The toothbrush combination of claim 1 wherein said connecting means is atfixed onto the exterior of said cartridge and comprises a cylindrical sleeve projecting coaxially beyond the said other end of said cartridge which concentrically encases a cylindrical body portion of said toothbrush, and said means preventing rotation of said toothbrush while affording limited reciprocating movement thereof comprises dimple means projecting radially inwardly of the cylindrical walls of said sleeve and matingly into elongated depressions formed inwardly of and extending partial-1y along the cylindrical exterior of the said toothbrlishs body portion within said sleeve.
3. The. toothbrush combination of claim 1 wherein said connecting means and toothbrush are of integral unitary formation, and said means for preventing rotation of said toothbrush while affording limited reciprocating movement thereof comprises dimple means extending radiallyinwardly of the said portion of said connecting v means, extending along said cartridges exterior and projecting into elongated indentations formed inwardly of the cylindrical exterior of said cartridge, intermediate its ends.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Powell 132-84 Ayres 222394 XR Bridges 12820'8 Birch et al. 132-116 Wiener 13284' Silson et al. 128173 Gorman 128173 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. RONALD L. FRINKS, Assistant Examiner.