US 3260412 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 12, 1966 M. E. LARKIN 3,260,412
DISPENSING CONTAINER WITH COLLAPSE SECURING MEANS Filed March 25, 1965 INVENTOR M. E. LARKIN BY Vw dw g ATTORNE Y5 United States Patent 3,260,412 DISPENMNG CUNTAINER WITH COLLAPSE SECURING MEANS Mark E. Larkin, Bartlesville, Okla, assignor to Phillips Petroleum Company, a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 25, 1965, Ser. No. 442,583 7 Claims. (til. 222-107) This invention relates to a resilient, collapsible dispensing container which retains its collapsed configuration after part or all of its contents have been forced therefrom.
The materials such as plastic, rubber and the like employed at present to form collapsible dispensing containers are quite resilient and as such after the formation of same into acontainer configuration they tend to return to that originally formed configuration despite repeated collapsing of the container to remove the contents therefrom. This tendency to return to the originally formed or molded shape, sometimes called a memory action, creates a suction which pulls air into the interior of the container and which tends to dry out the contents that remain therein. With numerous products it is highly desirable and sometimes imperative to prevent air drying of same in the dispensing container, Also, it is desirable to be able to visually ascertain the quantity of the contents that remain in the container. A visual quantity check is also prevented by the memory action of resilient containers.
Heretofore in order to efiect permanent collapsing of the plastic tube containers as the contents were gradually withdrawn therefrom, metallic strips were longitudinally inserted in the plastic walls of the tube. These strips retained the tube in a rolled-up configuration. Generally, the use of a metal strip in a plastic tube is more expensive and difficult to effect as compared to tubes or containers formed substantially completely from plastic, rubber and the like.
It has now been found that a collapsible dispensing container composed substantially completely of resilient material will maintain its collapsed configuration despite the memory action of the material from which it is formed if mechanical interlocking means are carried on the interior walls of the container in opposed relation and adapted to interlock upon collapse of at least part of the container and thereafter maintain the interlocked relationship which in turn maintains the container in the at least partially collapsed state.
By this invention plastic containers can be formed from highly resilient plastic, rubber and the like without risking drying of the contents remaining in the partially emptied container. Also, this invention provides a container that allows for a visual quantity check of the contents remaining therein.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved resilient, collapsible dispensing container which upon at least partial collapsing thereof resists the tendency of the material of which it is made to return to its originally formed configuration.
Other aspects, objects and the several advantages of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the description, the drawing, and the appended claims.
In the drawing,
FIGURE 1 shows a collapsible dispensing tube adapted for the use of this invention.
FIGURES 2, and 7 show a cross section of the tube of FIGURE 1 employing this invention.
FIGURE 3 shows the tube of FIGURE 1 in a partially collapsed condition.
FIGURES 4, 6 and 8 show the cross sections of FIG- URES 2, 5 and 7, respectively, in the collapsed state.
More specifically, FIGURE 1 shows a tube 1 which has a tubular body 2 terminated at one end by folded and heat-sealed portion 3 and a necked down or reducing portion 4 which itself terminates in a hollow tubular member 5. Member 5 is externally threaded for receiving a suitable cap or other closure means.
FIGURE 2 shows a cross section of body 2 of tube 1 having on opposite interior walls, protrusions 6. The upper series 7 of protrusions 6 is laterally offset from the lower series 8 so that each protrusion in series 7 is opposed to a space between two protrusions in series 8. The space between the protrusions in series 8 is sufiiciently small to require force fitting of a protrusion from series 7 therein. According to this invention frictional or force fitting of a protrusion between two opposing protrusions can be employed per se. However, if more positive interlocking is desired the free end or side of the protrusions can be formed with a shoulder or an enlarged head as shown by 9 which must be forced between the enlarged heads of opposing protrusions but which fits into notches 10 in the sides of those protrusions so that the underside of the head of each protrusion bears upon the underside of the head of two opposing protrusions when in an interlocked state. Of course, a combination of force fitting and enlarged head protrusions can be employed. The protrusions themselves can extend along the longitudinal length of tube 2 for any desired distance. The protrusions can also extend transversely to the longitudinal axis of tube 2 or at any angle between the longitudinal axis and a line perpendicular to that axis.
FIGURE 3 shows tube 1 after it has been partially collapsed, for example by squeezing to remove the contents therefrom, in area 11 thereby forming curved sides 12, 12.
FIGURE 4 shows the cross section of FIGURE 2 when in the collapsed or interlocked position as represented by 11 of FIGURE 3. In FIGURE 4 upper protrusion series 7 is intermeshed with lower protrusion series 8 to form a mechanical lock between opposing sides of body 2 of tube 1 which lock retains body 2 in the collapsed configuration thereby preventing body 2 from returning to its originally formed configuration shown in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 5 shows an alternative embodiment of this invention by which opposing grooves and teeth for subsequent interlocking can be employed. In this figure, body 2 has opposite walls corrugated to provide both the teeth or protrusions and the spacing between the teeth for receiving opposing teeth. The opposing corrugation series are laterally offset relative to one another so that the teeth 13 of upper series 14 oppose the spacings 15 in lower series 16. Here also, the corrugations can extend longitudinally, transversely or at any angle therebetween and for any length desired on body 2 of tube 1.
FIGURE 6 shows a cross section of FIGURE 5 in a collapsed state so that upper series 14 engages lower series 16 in a retaining relationship.
FIGURE 7 shows yet another embodiment of this invention wherein separate and distinct protrusions 17, for example right cylinders, rectangular or square upright legs and the like, oppose individual depressions 18. Each depression 18 is separately formed to receive and retain a single protrusion 17. These separate pairs of opposing, distinct protrusions and receiving depressions can be arranged in any manner or design desired since a single protrusion has a single depression therefor and the two can be located at will in body 2 of tube 1.
FIGURE 8 shows body 2 of FIGURE 7 in the collapsed state wherein independent protrusion 17 is interlocked with a single, independent receiving depression or zone 18.
Although the protrusions discussed above have been shown as integral with the body 2 of tube 1, it is to be understood that, if desired, these protrusions can be physically attached in any conventional manner such as by gluing and the like to body 2 after the formation thereof. Generally, this invention is applicable to any type of container which requires at least two sides thereof to be brought into a contiguous relationship in order to extrude the contents of the container therefrom. The containers can be formed by any conventional process such as blow molding, vacuum molding and the like. Also, the container can be formed from a tube of resilient material which is sealed at one end and has a hollow, capped reducing member at the other as shown in FIG- URE 1.
Generally, the containers of this invention can be formed from any plastic presently in use, including polymers formed from mono-l-olefins such as ethylene, propylene and the like as well as other polymers such as polystyrene, polyvinylchloride, and the like. Copolymers of two or more monomers, such as ethylene-butene, ethylene-vinylacetate and the like copolymers, can be employed. This invention is also applicable to rubber and synthetic rubbers such as butadiene, butadiene-styrene and the like rubber. Although it will vary widely, generally the thickness of the collapsible walls of the container will vary from about 2 mils to about 25 mils.
Example A l-inch diameter right cylinder 6 inches long of polyethylene having a melt index of 0.9, a density of 0.960, is heat sealed at one end and has integral with opposing interior sides a series of longitudinally extending protrusions having an average height of about 65 mils and an average lateral distance between one another of about 65 mils. The opposing series of protrusions are laterally otfset from one another a distance equal to the width of one protrusion so that each protrusion opposes in the opposing series of protrusions a space between two protrusions in that opposing series.
Reducing end members similar to members 4 and 5 of FIGURE 1 can be fixed to the open end of the cylinder before or after filling thereof with a moldable, fluid material.
The tube is pressed together to flatten same and force a part of the contents therefrom. The flattened portion remains flat after the pressure is relieved therefrom thereby preventing suction of air into the interior of the tube.
It should be noted that in the drawings spaces are shown between the teeth and their receiving apertures, e.g., 17 and 18 of FIGURE 8, for sake of clarity only. Realistically there will be substantially no such spacing due to the friction holding of the teeth in the apertures.
Reasonable variations and modifications are possible within the scope of this disclosure without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. In a resilient collapsible dispensing container externally and internally extending corrugations in at least two opposed sides of said container, said corrugations being offset relative to each other so that the peaks of the corrugations of one wall oppose the valleys of the corrugations of the opposing wall, the width of said peaks and valleys being sufiicient to cause friction fitting of a peak into a valley.
2. The container according to claim 1 wherein the peaks have integral therewith laterally extending shoulders and the sides of the valleys have depressions therein adapted to receive the shoulders of said peaks so that after insertion of a peak into a valley, the peak is retained therein at least in part by the depressions in the sides of the valley and the shoulders on the peaks that terminate the sides of said valley.
3. In a resilient collapsible dispensing container at least one series of separate and distinct upright peg-like projections having cross sectional dimensions substantially less than the internal longitudinal and lateral dimensions of said container and at least one series of alined individual apertures, the series of projections and apertures being carried on opposing interior walls of said container, the cross-sectional configuration of each of said apertures being such as to cause mechanical interlocking and holding of a single projection in a single aperture.
4. The container according to claim 3 wherein each projection has a laterally extending shoulder on its uppermost surface and the walls of each aperture have a depression spaced below the surface of said aperture and adapted to receive and hold the shoulder of an opposing projection.
5. The container according to claim 1 wherein said container is formed from plastic.
6. The container according to claim 5 wherein said plastic is polyethylene.
7. The container according to claim 1 wherein said container is formed from rubber.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 972,095 10/1910 Booth 22292 2,635,788 4/1953 Snyder et al 222107 3,160,323 12/1964 Weisberg 222-107 FOREIGN PATENTS 89,633 9/ 1960 Denmark. 1,074,166 10/1954 France.
RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.
HADD S. LANE, Assistant Examiner.