US 3342379 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 19, 1967 J. P. FOLEY SQUEEZE BOTTLE AND SUPPORT CAP 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 24, 1965 34 INVENTOR.
lanes F? Fixer go za Z6 Sept. 19, 1967 J P. FOLEY SQUEEZE BOTTLE AND SUPPORT CAP 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 24, 1965 INVENTOR. dAMss 2. 5L5) United States Patent 3,342,379 SQUEEZE BOTTLE AND SUPPORT CAP James P. Foley, 748 Forest Ave., Larchmont, N.Y. 10538 Filed Oct. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 584,320 6 Claims. (Cl. 222-173) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Inverted squeeze bottle and supporting cap configuration, the bottle having a neck and a central outlet opening therein, the cap having a flat expansive base and a central plug which fits closely into the bottle opening, the cap also including a plurality of displaced neck embracing guide elements and laterally positioned buttress means to insure proper alignment on the plug with the opening when the bottle is set on the cap.
This invention relates to dispensing containers and more particularly it concerns an improved squeeze bottle arrangement for containing and dispensing highly viscous fluids.
The use of flexible plastic bottles which are squeezed to dispense controlled amounts of their contents is well known. Such bottles are used, for example, as dispensers for lotions, hair dressings and even certain condiments such as catchup or mustard.
Difiiculties have been experienced where the fluid being dispensed is highly viscous. In order to dispense the fluid, it must cover the discharge opening at the time the container is squeezed. However when the bottle is not being used, the fluid settles at the bottom end of the bottle away from the discharge opening. In the case of highly viscous fluids, it may take a considerable length of time for the fluid to flow down to the opening after the container is picked up and inverted to a dispensing position. This is often quite inconvenient and a frequent source of annoyment to the user.
It has been proposed to maintain the dispensing con tainer in an inverted position while not in use, so that when it is picked up its contents will always be over the discharge opening, and therefore will be discharged immediately as the container is squeezed. There are certain problems attendant such arrangement however, and it is to these that the present invention addresses itself.
The first such problem is that of maintaining an adequate seal which will prevent leakage of the inverted container under various ambient conditions. In the past, containers have been sealed by threaded caps which were screwed tightly over the neck of the container. This technique, while providing a good seal, is disadvantageous in that it requires two-handed manipulation of the cap and container in order to replace the cap. In cases where one hand is already being used, as where a quantity of hair cream or location has been squeezed onto one hand from the container, it becomes quite difficult to replace a thread ed cap. Another disadvantage of threaded caps is that when used on necked containers they are incapable of supporting the container in an inverted position unless they are formed with their threaded portions out toward the shoulder region of the container. This however, in addition to being costly and complex often results in leakage within the cap and about the neck of the container. Finally, threaded caps have the inherent disadvantage of being limited to circularly cross sectioned containers.
The present invention overcomes all of the above disadvantages. According to the present invention there is provided a squeeze bottle arrangement which is of eco- 3,342,379 Patented Sept. 19, 1967 nomical construction, which is leak proof, and which is not subject to any of the disadvantages of screw threaded caps. With the construction of the present invention, a squeeze bottle is maintained permanently in inverted or neck down position so that its contents are maintained immediately against its dispensing aperture. Thus, whenever, the cap is removed and the bottle is squeezed, its fluid contents will immediately be dispensed.
An important aspect of the present invention lies in a unique construction which permits of practical utilization of the above-described inverted storage feature. According to this aspect, there is provided a cap construction which provides support for maintaining the squeeze bottle in inverted position and at the same time provides a positive seal to prevent any gradual running out of the containers contents. This unique cap arrangement moreover requires no screw threads and the bottle, after use may be replaced with one hand merely by setting it on the cap.
This latter aspect of the invention is achieved by means of a novel cap construction which includes an expansive bottom wall with a stub like projection rising upwardly from the center of the Wall. This stub like projection fits very closely with a dispensing aperture in the neck of the squeeze bottle. Guiding elements extend upwardly about the stub like projection; and these guiding elements are resiliently supported to guide the neck of the squeeze bottle such that its dispensing aperture becomes precisely aligned with the stub like projection. Thus, the projection will enter the dispensing aperture with no relative tilting movement, thus ensuring a positive fluid seal.
There has thus been outlined rather broadly the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject of the claims appended hereto. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures for carrying out the several purposes of the invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions as do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Certain specific embodiments of the invention have been chosen for purposes of illustration and description, and are shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a section view taken along lines 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section view taken along lines 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an exploded section view taken in perspective of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a cap portion of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 2 and showing another embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary exploded section view of the embodiment of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is an overall perspective view of a still further embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 9 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 8.
The squeeze bottle arrangement of FIG. 1 comprises a bottle 10 and a cap 12. The bottle 10, as shown, is of oblong cross section and is tapered toward its upper tip. The cap 12 extends downwardly from the widest region of the bottle 10, and follows the same outer contour as that member forming a of the bottle, tapering slightly inwardly and then terminating abruptly at 14 to form a flat expensive base surface.
The outer contours of the overall assembly are esthetically proportioned and at the same time they serve a practical function in that the bottle is easy to grasp and is conveniently supported by the cap 10 in an inverted position. I p
The bottle 10 may be formed of any resiliently flexible material, such as polyethylene or the like. The lower region of the bottle 10, tapers inwardly to form shoulders 16 which converge upon a centrally located, downwardly extending cylindrical neck 18. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, there is provided a step 20 which extends about the girth of the bottle 10 at the outer limits of the shoulders 16. This step 20, as shown in FIG. 4, serves to locate and brace the upper peripheral edges of the cap 12. The width of the step 20 is substantially the same as the thickness of the cap material so that when the cap is in place, its outer surface forms a smooth continuation of the outer surface of the bottle 10. Small indentations 22 are formed in the step 20 at each outer edge of the bottle 10 to provide a snap fit arrangement with the cap 12.
An insert piece 24 of generally cup-shaped configuration fits into the cylindrical neck 18 of the bottle 10. The insert piece includes a cylindrical wall 26 which fits tightly within the walls of the neck 18. A bottom Wall 28 covers one end of the cylindrical wall 26 and extends a short distance out from the wall 26 to form a peripheral flange 30. A small cylindrical passage 32 extends through the bottom wall 28 centrally thereof. This passage is specially dimensioned to permit metering or close control of fixed outflow from the body 10 as it is squeezed.
The cap 12 may, as shown in FIG. 2, be of the same material as the bottle 10. Essentially, the cap 12 comprises a fiat expansive bottom wall 34 from the periphery of which rises a skirt 36. The upper edge of the skirt 36 abuts the step 20 of the body 10 and the outer surface of the skirt in effect forms a smooth continuation of the outer contour of the body. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the skirt 36 is provided at opposite locations near its upper edge with head elements 38 which snap into the indentations 22 in the body 10 to hold the cap in place. The skirt 36 is also provided with lip formations 40 which protrude outwardly a short distance near the location of the bead elements 38. The lip formations allow the cap to be acted upon by thumb pressure for convenient removal from the body.
A cylindrical stub-like projection 42 extends upwardly from the bottom wall 34 of the cap 12; and, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, enters into and fits closely within the small cylindrical passage 32 when the bottle 10 is fitted to the cap 12. The close fit of the projection 42 with the passage 32, besides serving to provide a positive seal against leakage when the cap and bottle are fitted together, further cooperates with the edges of the passage 32 to provide a wiping action so that as the cap and bottle are separated, and the projection 42 is pulled out of the passage 32, the fluid on the projection is wiped ofi it so that the cap 12 remains essentially clean and free of fluid from the bottle 10. Likewise, after the container is used and the passage 32 is filled with fluid, insertion of the close fitting projection 42 serves to push this fluid back into the interior of the bottle Without waste and without undesirable dripping of fluid in and about the cap 12.
A segmented cylindrical support wall 44 extends upwardly from the bottom wall 34 of the cap 12. The 'support wall 44 surrounds and extends above the stub-like projection 42. Segmentation of the support wall 44 is provided by slits 46 which are displaced at various locations about the wall. The support wall 44 supports a plurality of guide elements 48 which extend up from the bottom wall 34 about the stub-like projection 42 and which are actually formed integrally with the support wall 44 as bead'like protrusions along its inner edge. The guide elements 48 are engaged by the peripheral flange g of the insert piece 24 when the neck of the body 10 is pushed down on the cap 12. The guide elements 48 are pushed outwardly slightly by the insert piece and, because of the segmentation of the support wall 44, they resiliently resist such outward push. The action of these guide elements in cooperation with the segmented support wall 44 serves to guide the neck 18 of the bottle 10 such that the passage 32 is properly aligned with the stub-like projection 42. Thus the stub-like projection will immediately and straightly enter into the passage 32. This particular arrangement has been found to be particularly advantageous in that it permits the bottle 10 to be fitted to the cap 12 with one hand while the cap 12 is resting on a shelf or other horizontal surface. At the same time, it permits a positive seal between the cap 12 and bottle 10 which seal may be repeatedly closed and opened without leakage or dripping of the contents from the bottle 19.
FIGS. 6 and 7 show a further embodiment of the present invention. According to this further embodiment, there is provided a container assembly comprising a bottle member 60 and a cap member 62. The cap member 62 is of essentially identical construction to the cap 12 of the preceding embodiment. The bottle member 60 is generally similar to the bottle 10 of the preceding embodiment except that in the present case the bottle member 60 is provided with shoulders 64 which extend out in a common plane with the top of a cylindrical neck 66. The shoulders 64 are displaced from the neck 66 by an annular cavity 68 into which a cylindrical supporting wall 70 on the cap member 62 fits. The cylindrical supporting wall 70, like the supporting wall 44 of the preceding embodiment, serves to aid in guiding the neck 66 of the bottle 60 in such a manner that a stub-like projection 72 on the cap 62 will accurately enter into a close fitting opening 74 in the top of the neck 66.
The provision of lateral shoulders 64 which are coplanar With the top of the neck 66 serves to permit the body to be placed in neck-down position with the cap removed. Thus where for short periods it may be desirable to set the bottle 60 down without replacing the cap 62, the arrangement of FIGS. 6 and 7 is particularly advantageous.
FIGS. 8 and 9 show a still further embodiment whereby a large plastic container, containing for example, liquid detergent, may be supported in inverted or neck-down position. As shown in FIG. 8, there is provided a plastic container having a handle 82 integrally molded near the top thereof. The lower portion of the container 80 is tapered toward a cylindrical neck 83 having a dispensing aperture (not shown) in its tip.
A stand-like cap arrangement 84 is provided for closing the dispensing aperture and for supporting the container 80 in a neck-down position as shown. The cap arrangement 84 comprises an expansive flat bottom wall 86 which extends laterally to approximately equal the width of the bottle 80. A stub-like projection 88 extends upwardly from near the center of the bottom wall 86; and this projection is surrounded by an upstanding cylindrical supporting wall 90. As in the preceding embodiments, the supporting wall 90 rises above the stub-like projection 88 and serves to guide the neck 83 of the container 80 such that the projection becomes properly aligned with the dispensing aperture; and, when the container 80 is let down on the cap 84, the close fitting projection 88 will enter readily mtrl)1 the aperture to establish a positive fluid seal therewit A plurality of radially extending fin-like buttress elements 92 are provided on the cap 84 to support the container 80 in its inverted position. These buttress elements thus perform a function analogous to that of the skirts 36 on the caps of the preceding embodiments.
Having thus described my invention with particular reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains,
after understanding my invention, that various other changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention, as defined by the claims appended thereto.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. In combination, a squeeze bottle having a neck formed with a constricted discharge opening located at the top of said neck, a cap member comprising a generally flat expansive base which extends laterally by an amount sufficient to provide stable support for holding said squeeze bottle in inverted neck-down position, a plug element protruding upwardly from a location near the center of said base, said plug element being dimensioned to fit closely into said discharge opening, a plurality of mutually displaced guide elements extending upwardly from said base and encircling and rising above said plug element, a segmented supporting wall on said base and arranged to provide flexible support for said guide elements whereby said guide elements operate as a guide passage for guiding downward movements of the neck of said squeeze bottle such that said plug element enters into said constricted discharge opening in alignment therewith to obtain a complete fluid seal and to avoid permanent distortion of either said opening or said plug element, and buttress means laterally displaced from said supporting wall, said buttress means extending upwardly from said base to engage the lateral expanses of said squeeze bottle in inverted neck-down position to maintain the bottle in such position.
2. A combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein said buttress means comprises a continuous skirt extending from the periphery of said base to a step formed about the girth of said bottle.
3. A combination in accordance with claim 2 wherein said skirt forms a continuation of the outer contour of said bottle.
4. A combination in accordance with claim 3 wherein said bottle and cap member are of oblong cross-sectional configuration.
5. A combination in accordance with claim 2 wherein there are provided cooperating lip and notch arrangements near the edge of said skirt and the body of said container for maintaining said cap member on said bottle.
6. A combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein said bottle is provided with lateral shoulders which are coplanar with the top of said neck, said shoulders being removed from said neck by an amount sufiicient to define a cylindrical slot for accommodating said guide elements and their supporting means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,619,266 11/ 1952 McDonald 222---548 2,690,861 10/1954 Tupper 222-498 3,064,844 11/1962 Hoifrnann 21546 X 3,236,417 2/1966 Linton 22292 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.
STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Examiner.