US 3319836 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1967 R. B. CUBITT 3,319,836
SPILL-PROOF BOTTLE CLOS URE Filed March 14, 1966 ATTORgEYS United States Patent 3,319,836 SPILL-PROOF BOTTLE CLOSURE Robert Bruce Cubitt, Bound Brook, N.J., assignor to Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 534,065
Claims. (Cl. 222-207) This invention relates to dispenser assemblies of the types where in a flexible container, such as the so-called squeeze bottle, is provided with a special closure arrangement that permits normal desired dispensing of the contents when the container wall is flexed but is otherwise leakproof and spillproof.
In its preferred embodiment the invention will be described as applied to a standard-type squeeze bottle. In general use today, dispensers of hand cream and other liquid substances employ either screw-on or friction snapon closure caps for standard containers. In opening such containers usually the user must grasp the container body in one hand and twist or pull the cap off with the other. This is inconvenient, and there is danger of accidental spillage of the contents once the cap is removed. Snip top caps with small discharge openings have been proposed, but these are permanently open once the tip is cut and there is danger of accidental leakage.
The invention contemplates a novel non-removable dispensing closure assembly for a standard type squeeze container which is spillproof even when inverted, but which is capable of readily dispensing the contents when the container is squeezed, and this is a major object.
Another object of the invention is to provide for a flexible container of the squeeze bottle type, a novel closure assembly comprising resiliently biased means for normally sealing the open top of the container but releasable to permit dispensing of the container contents upon normal squeezing of the container, and a unidirectional valve for admitting air when the container is released after squeezing.
Further objects will appear as the description proceeds in connection with the appended claims and the annexed dnawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary elevation in section showing a closure attached to a container in a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the plate overlying the flow valve;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the flow valve; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary elevation in section showing a further embodiment of the invention.
FIGURE 1 shOWs the upper end of a relatively conventional type squeeze bottle 11, made of polyethylene or the like having a flexible walled body 12 and reducing to an open top neck 13 provided with external threads 14. This bottle is usually molded integrally in a known manner.
An adapter sleeve 15 having a threaded bore 16 is mounted on neck 13 and turned until the flat interface at 17 is tight and proof against liquid leakage. Sleeve 15 is advantageously of polyethylene like the container.
Sleeve 15 terminates in an annular flat smooth upper end face 18 perpendicular to its axis. Extending over the bore 19 of sleeve 15 is a valve plate in the form of a disc 21 of soft flexible preferably resilient compressible material such as rubber, polyethylene, vinyl polymer or the like. The outer periphery of disc 21 has its underside 22 in flat annular surface contact with the smooth flat annular end face 18 of sleeve 15.
As shown in FIGURE 3, disc 21 is circular about a center indicated at 23, and it is formed with an arcuate aperture 24 defining a flexible flap 25 which effectively hinges about a line 26 as indicated.
Superposed over disc 21 is a relatively stiff flat-sided disc 27 of about the same diameter and having a relatively small central port 28 which in the assembly overlies flap 25. Disc 27 is preferably made of metal, plastic, ceramic or glass.
A cap 31 in the form of an inverted cup has an internal cylindrical bore 32 sufliciently slightly larger than the outer diameter of the sleeve surface at 33 that it may be axially thrust upon the sleeve. Sleeve 15 is formed below surface 33 with an annular undercut surface groove 34 into which snaps the inturned annular lip 35 that projects from the lower open edge of cap 31. Cap 31 is made preferably of the same polyethylene or like plastic as container 11 and sleeve 15 so that its wall will flex as lip 35 passes over the sleeve surface 33 and then snap the lip into groove 34.
The space 36 within the cap above disc 27 contains a compressed resilient means for exerting a seating force upon the disc 21 through disc 27.
In FIGURE 1 this resilient means comprises a com pressed body 37 of porous rubber or polyurethane, sponge material or the like. In FIGURE 4, this resilient means comprises a set of springs 38 axially compressed between end wall 39 of the cap and disc 27.
The end Wall of the cap is centrally apertured at 41, for dispensing.
The resilient means at 37 and 38 is held compressed by the snap fit of cap 31 on the sleeve, and this force is sufficient to provide a liquid tight seal in the annular interface at 18, 22 between the top of the sleeve and the periphery of disc 21. Since flap 25 underlies port 28, there is no liquid leakage through aperture 28 even if the container is inverted. In fact when the container is inverted the contents will tend to press flap 25 over port 28.
As shown in FIGURE 1 the outer diameters of discs 21 and 27 are preferably slightly less than the cap bore 32, so that an annular space 42 exists at this point.
When the wall of container 11 is squeezed the resultant pressure on the contents will force apart surfaces 18 and 22, against the resistance of the resilient means at 37 or 38, and the liquid contents will pass into space 42 and thence outwardly through the cap and opening 41.
It is a requisite of the invention that the resilient means permit this outward passage of the liquid, and to this end body 37 is porous or otherwise apertured or channeled, springs 38 are suitably spaced, and any other resilient means that may be used permits the ultimate discharge of liquid entering space 42.
During this squeezing action no liquid escapes through aperture 28 since the internal container pressure urges flap 25 even more tightly thereover. When the user releases the squeeze on container 11, the resilient means 37 or 38 reseats the seal at 18, 22. At the same time atmospheric pressure causes air to enter port 28 and, because of the lower internal pressure in the released container, displace flap valve 35 until the interior is about at atmospheric pressure. At this point the resiliency of flap 25 asserts itself to close port 28.
Sleeve 15 adapts a standard threaded neck container to the invention. It is possible of course to mold the neck into the outer contour of sleeve 15, so that the cap may be placed directly thereon without need for an adapter sleeve.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. In a dispenser assembly, a flexible container having an opening in a wall thereof, a relatively rigid member extending across said opening and formed with a through port, means mounting a unidirectional flow valve at the underside of said member for preventing flow of the container contents through said port when the container is upended or flexed while permitting the entrance of air through said port into the container when the container is relaxed after flexing, a cap aflixed to said container over said opening and having a dispensing aperture, means mounting said rigid member within said cap for displacement with respect to said container opening, said member being movable within the cap with respect to both said cap and said container, and resilient means extending between said member and the interior of said cap for biasing said member toward said container opening for providing a liquid tight closure over said opening, so that when said container is flexed internal pressure is devel oped that is effective to displace said member sufficiently with respect to said container to permit flow of the contents of the container through said opening into said cap.
2. In the dispenser assembly defined in claim 1, said resilient means being a body of compressible material.
3. In the dispenser assembly defined in claim 1, said resilient means being a set of compression springs.
4. In the dispensing assembly defined in claim 1, said member beeing a rigid plate and said valve being a flexible sheet underlying the plate and having a flap section extending over said port.
5. In the dispensing assembly defined in claim 1, said valve being a flexible plate of compressible material having its outer periphery annularly overlying the edge of said opening, and said rigid member being a plate coextensively overlying said valve plate.
6. In the dispenser assembly defined in claim 1, said container being of the squeeze bottle type formed with a reduced diameter neck defining said opening, said valve being a flexible plate of compressible material having its outer periphery annularly seated on the end face of said neck and means providing a flexible flap in said valve plate, and said rigid member being a stiff plate overlying said valve plate and having a port aligned with said flap, said flap normally closing said port to prevent the discharge of the container contents, and said resilient means causing said stifl plate to annularly bear on the outer periphery of said valve plate to produce an annular liquid tight seal around the neck, said annular seal being broken when the container wall is flexed to develop sufiicient unseating pressure in opposition to said resilient means.
7. In the dispenser assembly defined in claim 1, said container being of the conventional squeeze bottle type wherein said opening is defined by a projecting reduced diameter threaded neck, an adapter sleeve mounted on said neck and adapted to mount said cap.
8. In the dispenser assembly defined in claim 7, said container, rigid member and sleeve all being integral polyethylene elements.
9. In the dispenser assembly defined in claim 1, said container opening being defined by a projecting neck of reduced diameter formed with an external undercut annular groove, and said cap being essentially an inverted cup having around its open end an inturned flange adapted to snap into said groove and maintain said resilient means energized.
10. In sub-combination, a sleeve having an internally threaded bore at one end and a flat annular axial end face at the other end with an annular external groove in said sleeve adjacent said face, a plate of compressible material overlying said bore and seated on said face and formed with a flexible valve flap, a plate of stiff material overlying said compressible plate and formed with a port normally closed by said flap, a cap overlying said other end of the sleeve with its rim anchored in said groove, and resilient means within said cap compressed between said cap and said stiff plate.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,704,573 3/ 1929 Matthews 222207 2,761,833 9/1956 Ward 210- 3,124,275 3/1964 Lake 222l85 3,141,579 7/1964 Medlock 222-207 3,189,223 6/1965 Mackal 143-62 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
N. L, STACK, Assistant Examiner,