US 3361304 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 2, 1968 R. E. THOMPSON MEDICAMENT ATMIZER AND FOAMER Filed Feb. 25, 1966 lvl nl nu.
INVENTOR ROBERT E. THOMPSON ATTORNEY United States Patent() tion of New Jersey Filed Feb. 25, 1966, Ser. No. 530,219 4 Claims. (Cl. 222-189) This invention relates to an improved dispenser for medicaments and in particular to a foam dispenser which will also dispense the medicament as a spray.
Medical practitioners often desire to dispense the same medicinal in different forms for the treatment of the same or different illnesses and depending upon the nature of this illness or the zone to be medicated these medicinals may be desired to be dispensed as a spray or as a foam. h
It is, therefore, a principal object of the present invention to provide a very simple relatively inexpensive dispenser which may be selectively operated to dispense its contents as a highly desirable foam or as spray.
A further object of the present invention is to provide such a dispenser which due to its simplicity and cheapness of manufacture may be sold containing the desired medicinal and when the supply of medicinal is exhausted the entire unit may be thrown away. i
A further object of the present invention` is to provide such a dispenser including improved sealing means to prevent accidental dispensing of the contents.
These and other objects of the present invention are provided by a dispenser comprising a container having an outlet opening, an orice member carried by the outlet opening, a dip tube depending from said outlet orifice for directing liquid from the container to the outlet orifice when the container is pressurized; gas outlet'rneans adjacent said outlet orifice and communicating with the interior of the container, a foamer tment associated with the outlet orifice member, said tment having an opening therethrough and a porous element mounted in said tment across said opening.
The invention will be more particularly described and other objects and advantages will becomemore apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conJunction with the drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is an enlarged fragmentary partial sectional view of one form of dispenser incorporating the principles of the present inventiong.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged section on line 2-2 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is an exploded view of the structures shown in FIGURES l and 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary partial sectional view similar to that shown in FIGURE 1 of a modified form of the present invention; and l FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary section substantially on -S of FIGURE 4. 1mReferring to the drawings and in particulanto FIG- URES l, 2 and 3, 1t) generally designates an improved dispenser of the present invention. The dispenser 1) includes a container 12, preferably constructed of plastic, having a sidewall 14, which may be deformed by' inward pressure to produce a pressure within the container for use in dispensing the contents thereof as to be more fully described hereinafter.
The container is provided with an opstanding neck portion 16 having external threads 1S thereabout. Slidably and releaseably received in the bore of the neck portion 16 is an outlet-forming orifice member generally designated 22. The member 22 has a sloping, generally conical outer wall portion 24 which facilitates inser- ICC tion of the member 22 within the neck portion of the container and further the member 22 includes a dispensing head portion 26. Between the head portion 26 and the container neck-receiving portion is a flange 28, the lower surface of which engages the upper peripheral edge of the neck 16 of the container 1.2 when the outlet-forming member 22 is in its installed position, as illustrated in the drawings.
The outlet orifice-forming member 22 is of hollow construction and the upper end terminates in an outlet operiing 30. About the inner peripheral surface of the outlet opening 30 is a depending bore 32 which is sized to snugly receive the outer cylindrical surface of the dispenser dip tube 34, to maintain the dip tube in its illustrated depending position, whereby when the container sidewall 14 is squeezed inwardly medicament Within the container is forced upwardly through the dip tube 34. v
The assembly also includes a pair of passages 36 which provide communication between the interior of the outlet orifice-forming member 22 and the outlet 30 whereby when the sidewall 14 of the container is squeezed inwardly air within the container is forced through the passages 36 to co-rningle with the stream of medicament issuing from the top of the dip tube 34. The comingling of the air and the medicament breaks the medicament up into small droplets whereby the medicament issues as a spray from outlet 3l).
The relative sizes of the bore in the dip tube, the air outlets 36, and the opening 3i) will be more particularly described hereinafter.
As illustrated in the drawings the discharge end of portion 26 of the nozzle member is provided with a plurality of longitudinal grooves 38, which longitudinal grooves provide pressure relief passages when the dispenser is employed to discharge a spray into a body orice.
The assembly also includes a foamer fitment 40. The lower portion 42 of the fitment is adapted to mate with the upper surface of the flange 28 when the iitnient is in its installed position. The length of the iitment 4b is slightly greater than the length of the external portion of the outlet oriice-forming member 28.
The upper end of the tment 40 is provided with a porous screen-like element 42 which is secured across the upper portion of the itment and is so positioned that air and medicament issuing from the outlet orifice 30 must pass through the porous element 42 before it can issue from the opening 44 at the upper end of the fitment. The porous element 42, illustrated more particularly in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, may comprise a line nylon netting which causes the medicament :and air issuing as a fine spray from the outlet 30 to foam, when suitable foaming agents are incorporated in the medicinal composition.
The assembly further includes a closure cap 46 having internal threads 48 adjacent its lower end which internal threads mate with the external threads 18 on the neck portion 16.
In operation of the device illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 3 of the drawings, upon removing of the closure cap 46 the dispenser may be utilized to dispense a foamed medicament by squeezing the flexible sidewall 14 of the container 12 with the device held for example in a generally upright position. The liquid contents of the container flow through the dip tube 34 to be broken into ne droplets by air from within the container issuing from the passages 36. The fine spray in passing through the fine mesh screen 42 issues from the opening 44 as `a foam.
If the device 10 is to be employed to produce a fine spray the foamer ftment 40 is grasped and removed from its engagement with the upper surface of the flange 18. With the itment 40 removed a quick squeeze on the sidewall of the container will produce a fine spray in conventional manner.
Referring to FIGURES 4 and 5 of the drawings, there is illustrated a modied form of the present invention. In FIGURES 4 and 5 the container and the spray outlet member are identical to the structure shown in FIGURES 1 through 3 and have been assigned identical reference characters. The form `of the device illustrated in F-If- URES 4 and 5 differs from that shown in 1 through 3 in the form of the foamer fitment and the closure member which will be described in detail hereinafter. In this form of the invention the foamer fitment yE50 is adapted to be slidably received over the external portion of the outlet orifice-forming member 22. The foamer iitment `80 includes an outlet opening 82 and a fine mesh foamer screen 84. The foamer screen 84 is secured within the foamer litment a spaced distance from the outlet opening 82 and at a spaced distance from the outlet opening 30 in the orifice-forming member 22.
Centrally mounted either through or on the lower surface of the foamer screen 84 is a closure plug member S6. The closure plug member has a depending portion which is adapted to be received in a counter bore in the outlet orifice 30 and is adapted to seal the bore 30 when the screen 84 is depressed as illustrated in FIGURE 4. With the closure cap 88 removed from the container the depending closure member 86 is so sized in relation to the mounting position of the screen that the spray created when the sidewall of the container is squeezed inwardly will flow from the outlet orifice 30 thence about the closure plug 86, through the foamer screen to issue as a foam from the outlet 82 in the foamer fitment A80.
The closure cap 88 includes a depending linger 90 which has a diameter such that the finger 90 will freely pass through the opening 32 in the foamer tment 80. Further the finger 90 is of such a length that when the closure cap 88 is screwed into engagement with the cooperating threads 18 on the neck portion 16 of the container the lowermost end of the finger engages the top surface of the closure plug 36 forcing it downwardly against the resilience of the foamer screen S4 and into sealing engagement With the outlet orifice 30.
This form of closure is particularly advantageous as it insures a positive seal and prevents accidental discharge of the medicament from the container.
The success of the present invention is due to the discovery that the combination of la dip tube squeeze bottle type of container in conjunction with the air bypass passages designated 36 in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 provides for very uniform dispensing of medicaments as sprays and when employed in conjunction with a porous member or screen and ya foaming agent produces a very satisfactory foam. While all combinations of dip tube diameters, air outlet sizes, and orifice sizes will not function to produce a satisfactoly spray and/ or foam a wide variety of size combinations may be employed. To some extent the particular selection of orifice size, dip tube internal diameter, and air bypass sizes is dependent upon the viscosity of the medicament to be dispensed and the particular foaming agent employed with the medicaments. The following discussion of these parameters will illustrate the :general size ranges which will produce satisfactory results.
A nasal spray containing as a foaming agent benzalkoniurn chloride 1:5,000 and Triton X-lfl()` 2.5 ing/cc. was prepared and packaged in a 1% ounce polyethylene squeeze bottle. Nine different tips for the squeeze bottle were prepared as follows:
(1) 0.025" orifice, with standard air channels (two,
approximately 162" wide and 1&4 deep).
(2) 0.025 orifice, with channels enlarged (approximately llz times the cross sectional area of standard channels).
(3) 0.025 orifice, with channels enlarged (approximately twice the cross sectional area of standard channels).
4, 5, and 6-0.034 orifice, with channels as l through 3.
7, 8 and 9-0.042 orifice, with channels as l through 3.
Five different dip tubes were prepared having lthe following internal diameters: .022, .032, .042, .052, and .082.
The former tment comprised a polyethylene adapter supporting a nylon screen having a discharge orifice of %2 of an inch. The nylon screen was 5/16 in diameter and contained approximately 68 threads, about .010 diameter, per inch. The nylon screen was positioned about L716 inch above the outlet orifice.
Each of the reported tests was conducted by using one firm squeeze for each different orifice-dip-tube combination. And the resultant spray and foam discharge was observed.
lIn tabulating the results, the spray patterns were checked by discharging the spray onto a vertical glass panel. The sprays were scored as good, (G) if good amount :and patterns were provided without large droplets or delivery of too much liquid, which would cause run patterns on the vertical glass panels; poor (P) if the 'amount of the spray was low or if large droplets or jetting occurred during discharge; and fair (F) for sprays of intermediate performance.
In determining the effectiveness of the device as a foamer, foam volumes were measured by reading the foam dispensed into a calibrated polyethylene cylinder attached to the end of the dispenser. Results of the various combinations were scored as follows: Low (L) up to 2.0 cc. of foam; medium (M) from 2.0 to 4.0 ce.; high (H) from 4.0 cc. to 6.0 cc.; very high (VI-I) for foams over 6 cc.
TABLE I Tips Dip Tube LD.
0.022 0.032l 0.042 0.052 0.082 Orifice Air Vents Spray Foam Spray Foam Spray Foam Spray Foam Spray Foam L G H G VH F VH F VH M G H F VH F VI-I F VH L G H G VH F VH VP VH L G H G VH F VH P VH 0.034" L G H F VH F VH P VH 0.034 F L G H G VH F VH VP VH wet 0.042" Regular... F M G H G VH F VH P VH Wet 0.042" 1.5)( l? L F H G H F VH P VHWet 0.042-. 2X F L G H F VH F VH VP VH Wet From the foregoing description it will be seen thatthe present invention fully accomplishes the aims and objects hereinbefore set forth. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various types of foams and sprays will he produced not only depending upon the parameters of the dip tube, air outlets, the foaming screen and the foam composition; the liquid formulations can also be varied as known in the art to produce fast breaking foams, slow breaking foams or to vary the neness of the bubble size of the foams. Further, the screen or porous unit can be varied as to mesh size, composition, thickness, area, etc., to modify the foam characteristics. Further, the wall thickness and the size of the squeeze bottle can be varied to eect ease of operation of device and the Volume of foam or spray produced from one squeeze.
It Will be particularly noted that while the foam producing screen is illustrated as being of woven construction, satisfactory results are obtained through the use of perforated disks, porous plugs and the like. Further, while the containers l2 have been specifically described as of the squeeze bottle type, the dispenser per se may be operated with a rigid container having connection to a compressed source of air, nitrogen, Freon, etc.; or the container may be of the pressure fluid aerosol can type'.
1. A dispenser comprising a container having a gas and liquid outlet opening, a Idip tube depending from the gas and liquid outlet opening for directing liquid from the `container to the gas and liquid outlet opening when the container is pressurized, gas outlet means extending from the upper portion of the interior of the container to said gas and liquid outiet opening in the container about the upper end of the dip tube whereby gas within the container issuing from the gas outlet means co-mingles with the stream of liquid and breaks the liquid into small droplets and thereafter immediately issues from the gas and liquid outlet means, ya foamer tment disposed over the outlet opening, said tment having an opening substantially greater in diameter than said outlet opening.
2. The dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein the outlet opening is from about 0.025 to about 0.042 inch; said dip tube has an internal bore in the order of from about 0.022 to about 0.082 inch and the gas outlet means has an area of from about 0.00090 to about 0.0018 square inch.
3. A dispenser comprising a container having an outlet opening, a dip tube depending from the outlet opening for directing liquid from the container to the outlet opening when the container is pressurized, gas outlet means adjacent said outlet opening and communicating with the r interior of the container, a foamer tment associated with the outlet opening, said tment having an opening therethrough, la porous element mounted in said tment across said opening, closure means for the outlet opening including a plug carried by said porous element and means for deforming said porous element to force said plug into sealing engagement with the outlet opening.
4. The invention defined in claim 3 wherein the means for deforming said porous element comprises a cap carried detent.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,796,294 6/1957 McKinnon 239-327 3,010,613 1141961 Stossel 222-4119 3,064,865 `1`1/ 1962 Scoggin et al. 222-321 3,149,758 9/ 1964 Bush et al 222-189 3,286,934 11/1966 Schneller 239-327 STANLEY TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner. ROBERT B. REEVES, Examiner.