US 3343724 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 26, 1967 c. H. MALPAS 3,343,724
TAP FOR A CONTAINER INCLUDING A PROBE AND A VALVE ASSEMBLY Filed Aug. 2, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I NVENT 0R. O/A RA 5 Haw? y M41 PAS A T TOR/V5) Sept. 26, 1967 c. H. MALPAS TAP FOR A CONTAINER INCLUDING A PROBE AND A VALVE ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 2, 1965 IN WLVTOR.
HA RLES HENR Y MA L PAS A 7' TORNEY,
United States Patent i 3,343,724 TAP FOR A CONTAINER INCLUDING A PROBE AND A VALVE ASSEMBLY Charles Henry Malpas, Newton, Geelong, Victoria,
Australia, assignor to American Flange & Manufacturing Co. Inc., New York, N.Y., a company of Delaware Filed Aug. 2, 1965, Ser. No. 476,548 1 Claim. (Cl. 222-90) This invention relates to taps for containers and is particularly concerned with such taps for dispensing the contents of flexible plastic receptacles housed within substantially rigid shipping containers. More specifically the invention is concerned with such taps providing a probe for puncturing the plastic receptacle within the rigid container, while making a tight joint with the wall of that container, also providing for a rigid seating with respect to the wall of the container bordering an opening therein, and, finally providing valve means for selective dispensing of the contents of the receptacle.
In marketing of fluid products, in relatively small quantities, considerable development work has been done in the provision of flexible bag-like receptacles carried within and substantially filling the space Within relatively rigid containers. Those containers may be formed of corrugated board, relatively rigid plastic or other suitable material. The shipment of various fluids in this manner is particularly advantageous for commodities which do not keep well when in contact with air, of which Wine is an outstanding example. The flexible receptacle for which the dispensing device of the invention is adapted, achieve this advantage because they collapse due to atmospheric pressure as the liquid within them is withdrawn, thus eliminating any substantial space capable of containing air in contact with the fluid. In spite of such collapse the tap of the invention maintains a tight joint with the receptacle wall.
Economy of tap construction and of securement to the receptacle is an important factor inasmuch as the plastic bag-like receptacles and their surrounding cartons are expendable, normally, being only intended for a single use. If, however, a dispensing device is formed for integral joining with the receptacle and the receptacle is, in turn, formed to join with, or receive, the dispensing device, the cost of the package becomes prohibitive. On the other hand efforts heretofore exerted toward the provision of a separate dispensing or tap device applied by the consumer have been relatively unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons. Some of them have initially failed to make a tight joint with the resilient plastic bag-like member at the outset. Others, even though making such a joint at the outset, have failed to maintain it against such actions as the wobbling of the tap member in the dispensing of the contents. Such wobbling has heretofore been due, in part, to the inadequate provision for securing the tap member rigidly with respect to the rigid container.
Moreover the provision of the prior art valve members of this category themselves has not been sufliciently complete and exact to provide leakproof constructions capable of foolproof operation.
The tap member of the invention eliminates all of the prior art drawbacks and provides a fully effective economical probe-type device combined with a valve member which tap can be used over and over again as the user receives periodic shipments of commodities packaged in bag-like members carried in rigid containers. First oh. the probe member is so designed that when it pierces the wall of the flexible plastic bag and is forced into it, a tight joint with the bag material will be made maintained so long as the bag member is formed of a material which is stretchable and has a memory tending to return it to its 3,343,724 Patented Sept. 26, 1967 original state. Polyethylene is a nonlimiting example of such material.
In particular the invention tap also provides for simple and foolproof securement with respect to the wall of the rigid container. All one needs to do is to introduce the probe through the already perforated and indicated section of the container wall, and, after it is forced to the full extent allowed by its construction, rotate the tap to the extent indicated so that the tightening cam members formed inegrally with the tap will draw it tightly against the container wall. This tight securing having been effected, the valve can be rotated for dispensing Without any way disturbing the joint between the tap body and the rigid wall.
Additionally, the invention includes provision for preventing the turning of the tap member too far in either direction, thus assuring that it will be fully closed when it is intended to be closed and vice versa. By this means effective pouring and tight closing are achieved.
All of the foregoing features are incorporated in a tap construction made up of only two parts which are easily assembled and disassembled, yet will stay in assembled state unless exertion of special force is effected to separate them. These two parts are also capable of being made in large quantities, in multiple cavity dies operating on short time cycles.
It is accordingly a principal object of the invention to provide effective probe-type taps for puncturable walled flexible receptacles.
Another object is to provide such taps which form a tight leakproof joint with the walls of such receptacles.
Still another object is to provide such taps which can be readily secured to the rigid walls of the carrying containers for flexible receptacles in easily ascertainable foolproof manner.
Anther object is to provide such taps with effective valving, the terminating of whose movement at its extremes is effectively controlled.
A further object is to provide such taps having valve members which may be assembled or disassembled by the exertion of suitable force but which maintain their assembled leakproof relationship under normal dispensing operation.
A further object is to provide such taps which are of economical construction and can be economically manufactured of a resilient stretchable plastic material.
A still further object is to provide such taps, the application of which to receptacles and the proper utilization of which are readily apparent to the user of the same.
Further and more detailed objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out as the description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, proceeds.
In that drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a container and the tap prior to securement of the tap in the wall of a container.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the tap secured to the wall of a container.
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the tape with certain parts broken away to more clearly illustrate the invention.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side elevation view of the tap taken along lines 44 of FIG. 2 and showing the tap secured to the wall of a container.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional horizontal view of the tap taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional end elevation view of the valve portion of the tap taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6A is a cross-sectional end elevation view of the probe portion of the tap taken along the lines 6a6a of FIG. 3.
FIG. 7 is a perspective end view of the outer end of the probe portion of the tap; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional horizontal view similar to FIG. showing a modified construction of the tap.
The novel tap 14, as best shown in FIG. 3, comprises a probe member and a valve member 16. The probe member is molded in a conventional manner from a resilient plastic material of which polyethylene is a nonlimiting example. The valve member is molded in a conventional manner from a more rigid plastic material of which polypropylene is a non-limiting example. The probe member 15 comprises a straight thin walled cylinder 17 and an integrally formed and axially aligned hollow coni cal member 18 tapering to a point 19. A plurality of openings 20 are spaced about the circumference of the conical member 18 to permit a liquid to freely flow into the interior of member 18 and into cylinder 17. A circular collar 21 extends radially outwardly from the probe and is integrally formed with the base of the conical member 18 at one surface thereof and is integrally formed with the cylinder 17 at the other surface thereof. A pair of oppositely notched areas 22 and 23 are formed in collar 21 and extend radially outwardly from the base of the conical member 18 and extend through the outer periphery of the collar. A pair of integrally formed lugs 24 and 25 extend radially outwardly from the surface of the conical member 18. The lugs 24 and 25 are positioned axially in alignment with the notched areas 22 and 23 respectively and are axially spaced from the inner surface of the collar by a distance slightly less than the thickness of the wall of the container to which the tap is ultimately secured. Lugs 24, 25 have a width at least equal to the width of notched areas 22, 23 and have a length at least equal to the width of the collar. As shown in FIG. 3 one side surface of each of the notched areas 22 and 23 has a cam surface 26 which inclines toward the lugs 24 and 25. The side surface of each lug 24 and 25 positioned opposite from the cam surfaces formed on the notches 22 and 23 has a cam surface 27 which inclines toward the collar 21. Thus after the conical member of the probe is inserted into an opening of a container, as hereinafter disclosed, and as it is rotated clockwise as shown in FIGS. 3 and 6A the container wall material immediately surrounding such opening will be guided by said cam surfaces 26 and 27 between the lugs 24 and 25 and the inside surface of the collar 21.
A pair of axially extending lugs 30 and 31 are integrally formed in the outer surface of the collar member 21 in such a manner that lug 31 is in radial alignment with the center of aperture 32 and lug 30 is positioned 180 degrees from lug 31. In such position each lug 3t), 31 is positioned 90 degrees from the notched areas 22 and 23 and serve as a gripping means whereby the probe may be rotated. An indicating arrow 36 is integrally formed on the outer edge of collar 21 in radial alignment with the lug 30 to provide a convenient guide to assure that aperture 32 will be positioned facing downwardly when the probe is properly secured to the container wall. Cylinder 17 has a circular aperture 32 extending through its side wall. The outer end surface of cylinder 17 is recessed throughout 180 degrees of its circumference thereby forming inward axially extending shoulders 33 and 34. The shoulder 33 is positioned such that it is in axial alignment with the center of aperture 32.
The valve member 16 comprises a head portion 40 and an integrally formed cylinder 41 having an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the cylinder 17 of the probe to effect tight frictional engagement when cylinder 41 is telescopically received within cylinder 17. Such engagement however is not sufficient to provent rotational movement between the said cylinders. A circular groove 42 is formed in the inner surface of the head portion 40 and surrounds the inner end of cylinder 41 at the juncture where it joins the head portion 40. A stop member 43 radially extends across the groove 42. An
aperture 44 having substantially the same diameter as aperture 32 in cylinder 17 extends through the side wall of cylinder 41 and is positioned so that its center is in axial alignment with the stop 43. A groove 45 is formed in the outer surface of cylinder 41 and is positioned adjacent the outer end thereof. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 the inner surface of cylinder 17 is provided with a circular shoulder 46 having a thickness substantially the same as the depth of the groove 45 and a width substantially the same as the width of the groove 45. Thus when cylinder 41 is telescopically received within cylinder 17 the outer end of cylinder 17 is fully seated within the groove 42 of the valve member and the shoulder 46 Within cylinder 17 is seated within the groove 45 on cylinder 41 to prevent axial displacement of cylinder 41 from cylinder 17.
As previously described, the outer end of cylinder 17 has one half of the end surface recessed by a distance equal to the width of the shoulders 33 and 34. The shoulders 33 and 34 have a width slightly greater than the depth of the groove 42 so that in assembled relation ship of probe 15 and valve 16 the unrecessed end surface of cylinder 17 seats itself against the bottom surface of the groove 42 and the recessed surface end of the cylinder rides free of the stop member. Consequently, in such an assembled relationship the valve portion 16 is freely rotatable in either direction through an arc of degrees. The center of aperture 32 is positioned the same axial distance from the end of cylinder 17 as the center of the aperture 44 is positioned from the bottom surface of the groove 42 so that in such assembled relationship the centers of apertures 32 and 44 are in the same radial plane. As was stated earlier, the center of aperture 44 in cylinder 41 is in axial alignment with the stop 43 and the center of the aperture 32 is in axial alignment with the shoulder 33 on the end of cylinder 17. Thus, upon counter-clockwise rotation of cylinder 41 the stop 43 will contact the shoulder 33 at which point the apertures 32 and 44 will be in mating position to permit a free flow of liquid therethrough. Upon clockwise rotation of cylinder 41, the stop 43 will contact the shoulder 34 on the end of cylinder 17 at which position the apertures 32 and 44 will be positioned 180 degrees apart to block the flow of fluid.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the novel tap construction of the invention is employed in conjunction with a container 10 within which is placed a polyethylene bag 11 filled with a liquid. The liquid expands the bag 11 to conform to the contour of the container so that the bag itself is retained against the inside surface of the container without necessarily being an integral part thereof. A punchout circular area 12 having outwardly extending ear areas 13 is prescored at the lower edge of one side Wall of the container so that it may be easily pushed out to form an opening of the same contour as the p re-scored area.
In operation the pointed end 19 of the probe member 15 is pressed afiainst the pre-scored area 12, 13 to push the same out of the container wall. Since the bag 11 is flexible and is not secured to the container wall it yields sufficiently to permit the knocked out portion to fall within the container clear of the pre-scored opening. Upon continued inward movement of the probe its pointed end 19 pierces the bag 11. As the conical member 18 of the probe is forced into the wall of the polyethylene bag 11 its increasing diameter stretches the material surrounding the bag opening. The polyethylene material comprising the bag 11 as a memory, that is, a material is stretched it tends to pull back to its original shape. As the probe is forced into the initial bag opening the stretching causes a small amount of such material to lie along the conical surface of the probe and, because of its memory characteristics, to form a liquid tight seal with the surface of the probe. The probe is oriented relative to the container 10 so that the lugs 24, 25 are in alignment with the areas 13 in the container wall and the arrow 36 points to the left as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2. The conical member 18 of the probe is forced into bag 11 until the lugs 24,
25 pass through the areas 13 in the container wall and until the inner surface of the collar 21 abuts the outer surface of the container wall. The lugs 30, 31 are grasped by the operator and the probe rotated 90 degrees clockwise until the arrow 36 extends vertically. In this position the aperture 32 faces downwardly and the container wall material surrounding the area 12 is secured between the inner surface of the collar 21 and the lugs 24, 25. As the probe is rotated 90 degrees in said clockwise direction the cam surfaces 26, 27 on the lugs 24, 25 and on the side wall of the notched areas 22, 23 in the collar 21 guides the wall material surounding the area 12 in the container between the inner surface of the collar and the lug and at the same time causes the probe to be drawn tightly to the wall of the container. Furthermore, since the broad surfaces of the lugs 24, 25 are in axial alignment with the notched areas 22, 23 and are axially displaced from the inner surface of collar 21 by a distance slightly less than the thickness of the container wall, the Wall material surrounding the opening 12 in the container wall is permitted to expand slightly into the notched areas to more effectively lock the probe member to the container wall and prevent it from working loose on the container wall by the subsequent repeated operation of the valve member. Prior to the insertion of the probe into the container wall the valve member 16 is assembled with the probe member 15 and rotated relative thereto so that its aperture 44 is out of alignment with aperture 32 of the probe so that when the probe is firmly secured to the container wall no liquid will escape. After the probe is thus secured to the container wall the valve member can be selectively rotated for dispensing the liquid without disturbing the joint between the probe and the container wall.
In the modified construction shown in FIG. 8 a recessed area 47 is formed in the surface of the conical member 18 adjacent of that member with collar 21. In such modification the stretched material of bag 11 surrounding the pierced opening in said bag lies within the recess 47 to form a tight seal.
Changes in the modifications of the construction and difierent embodiments of the invention would suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and could be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is accordingly intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing, shall be interpreted as being illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
In a tap for insertion into a container wall, the combination of a probe member and a valve member, said probe member comprising a hollow cylinder molded of synthetic plastic resin having an inner end formed into a closed conical portion and an open outer end, an inlet opening adjacent said inner end communicating with the interior of said probe member, a lateral discharge opening adjacent said outer end of said probe member, a radially outwardly extending collar surounding said probe and positioned between said openings, securing means extending radially outwardly from said probe positioned between said collar and said inlet opening, said collar and said securing means adapted to cooperatively engage and tightly compress the peripheral portion of a container wall opening therebetween so as to prevent axial and rotational movement of said probe relative to the container wall during actuation of said valve member, said valve member comprising a hollow cylinder formed of synthetic plastic material having an open inner end and a closed outer end and telescopically and rotatably received within said probe member, a discharge opening in said valve member positioned in alignment with said probe discharge opening so as to be rotatable into communication there with, an axially inwardly facing groove including and outer wall surrounding the outer end of said valve member, for telescopically and rotatably receiving the outer end of said probe member, gripping means extending outwardly of said outer wall, said outer end of said probe member having a recessed portion providing circumferentially spaced apart axially inwardly extending shoulder portions, a stop member extending across said groove for selectively engaging said shoulder portions upon rotation of said valve member to position said valve member discharge opening in or out of alignment with said probe discharge opening and interengaging gasketing means formed along the outer cylindrical surface of the inner end portion of said valve member and the interior cylindrical surface of said probe member to prevent inadvertent axial displacement of said valve member relative to said probe member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,159,685 11/1915 Killefer et al 222-91 1,476,700 12/ 1923 Feldstein 222-553 1,576,388 3/ 1926 Whitesides 222- 1,725,689 8/ 1929 Witt 222-553 1,940,719 12/1933 Le Blanc 222-553 1,998,586 4/ 1935 Maggenti 222-91 2,687,831 8/1954 Miller 222-569 2,925,991 2/1960 Hempel 251-352 2,981,448 4/ 1961 Anderson 222-569 3,108,717 10/1963 Kindseth 222-89 3,207,390 9/1965 Short 222-553 FOREIGN PATENTS 675,333 12/ 1963 Canada.
679,540 2/ 1964 Canada.
591,583 4/ 1959 Italy.
WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.