US 3386793 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 4, 1968 D. c. STANTON APPLICATORS FOR LIQUIDS, PASTES OR OTHER FLOWABLE SUBSTANCES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 11, 1966 AT'roaNE- June 4, 1968 D. c. STANTON 3,386,793
APPLICATORS FOR LIQUIDS, PASTES OR OTHER FLOWABLE SUBSTANCES Filed March 11, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,386,793 APPLICATQRS FUR LIQUIDS, lASTEfi GR ()THER FLOW /ABLE SUBSTANCES David tChristopher Stanton, (Zhiswiclr, England, assignor to Reekitt dz Colman (Overseas) Limited, Hull, En land, a British company Filed Mar. 11, 1966, Ser. No. 533,534 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Mar. 13, 1965, 11,492/65; July 29, 1965, 30,8tl3/65 ll Qlaims. (CL 491 132) ABSTRACT @F THE DILUURE A compressible reservoir of flexible sheet material has sides long enough to be gripped between a pair of fingers, is closed at one end and has a wide mouths, from which a flange extends essentially transversely and strong and wide enough to underlie the gripping fingers; an applicator pad, for example of foam or sponge material, is secured to the flange and across the mouth; by squeezing the reservior, flowable material can be squeezed through the sponge and applied by pressure against the flange, to apply shoe polish, oven cleaner, or similar materials.
This invention concerns applicators for liquids, pastes, powders or other fiowable substances (all of which are hereinafter referred to as fiowable substances) and relates more especially to applicators which are used once and then thrown away. These applicators are sometimes referred to as one-shot disposable applicators. One-shot disposable applicators are particularly useful for applying shoe polish (e.g. self-shining polish) the applicator containing sufficient polish for one pair of shoes and being discarded after use. However, the invention is not so limited and finds general utility in applying a liquid, paste, powder or the like. For instance, an applicator according to this invention may be used for cleaning and disinfecting the hand-piece of a telephone (a fresh applicator being used for each hand-piece) or it may be used for medical purposes e.g., applying spirit to a part of the body prior to vaccination or prior to use of a hypodermic syringe, again a fresh applicator being used for each patient. An applicator according to this invention may be used also for cleaning or polishing small objects (jewellery, spectacle lenses), or as an oven cleaner, a bath cleaner, a window cleaner, for applying a shampoo to the scalp, for applying liquid or cream polishes to furniture, for applying leather dyes, for applying cosmetics (cg. to the face), for cleaning suede leather and for many other uses. Disposable applicators are known comprising a compressible reservoir having a mouth and a permeable applicator-pad secured over the mouth so that if the reservoir is compressible part or all of its contents can be squeezed into the applicator-pad and the pad thus impregnated can be rubbed over a surface to which the contents are to be applied.
This invention is characterised by a disposable applicator for flowable substances comprising a compressible reservoir, usable as a handle, having a mouth with a permeable applicator-pad secured over the mouth. The reservoir has a flange around its mouth forming a sheet backing-member and the applicator-pad extends substantially entirely over and is supported by the face of the backing member which is opposite from that on which the reservoir is located.
In use the reservoir can be compressed by the fingers to expel part or all of its contents into the applicator-pad as and when required and, quite independently of pressure exerted on the reservoir to expel its contents, pressure can be exerted by the hand on the back of the backihdddfidd Patented June 4, i968 ice ing plate to apply the fiowable substance to the surface which is to be treated so as to clean or polish it or otherwise aifect it. The possibility of using the reservoir as a handle and applying pressure to the pad independently of pressure on the reservoir is an important feature of the present invention.
It is a further feature of importance that if the applicator is employed in applying material such, for example, as shoe polish to a shoe, the sheet backing member enables pressure to be applied on the pad around its edges so that the polish or the like can be applied in crevices or indented places such as around the welt of the shoe. The mouth of the reservoir may be open to the applicatorpad when the applicator is made. Alternatively, however, the applicator-pad may be separated from the reservoir by a diaphragm or film which is pierced with a flowlimiting aperture or apertures, or can be so pierced or ruptured immediately prior to use.
Preferably the reservoir has walls which are indented like a bellows so as to render it more readily deformable. The backing member and the reservoir may be integral with one another being both formed out of a single piece of flexible sheet material.
Preferably the applicatonpad is made from cellular or spong-like thermoplastic synthetic resin material. The backing member may also be of thermoplastic synthetic resin material and the pad be secured to it by heat-sealing, welding or the like around the outer margin of the pad, thereby sealing the margin of the pad from lateral migration of the flowable substance, while leaving a portion of the pad in absorbent condition over the remainder of the face of the backing member.
It is possible to manufacture applicators in accordance with the invention in pairs which are secured together with applicator-pads face to face, by means which are readily rupturable, so that the two applicators are easily detached from one another for use.
A practical application of this invention will now be described, by way of example only, as applied to a one-shot disposable applicator for applying polish to a pair of shoes, together with certain alternatives.
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the parts of an applicator shown separated from one another, and separately in the lower portion of the figure showing them assembled;
FIG. 2 is a section through the applicator of FIG. 1 showing the way in which the reservoir can be grasped between finger and thumb;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the applicator in use;
FIG. 4 is a section through an alternative construction of the applicator;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 showing the preparation of this applicator for use;
FIG. 6 is a rear plan view of the reservoir and back plate;
FIG. 7 shows an alternative applicator;
'FIG. 8 shows a further alternative app icator;
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing an alternative form of applicator;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2 of a pair of applicators secured face to face.
Referring to FIG. 1, a backing-member 20 is made from a thin film (cg. 10 to 15 thousandths of an inch thick) of PVC. The film is deformed in known manner under vacuum and/or pressure to produce a central depression 21 in a flat surrounding portion of square outline. The material of the de ression 21 constitutes the hollow reservoir which acts as a handle. The backingmember and integral reservoir are flexible and readily deformable. An applicator-pad 22 of cellular PVC and of square outline overlies the surface of the backing member 29 on the opposite side from the handle 21. The pad is secured to the backing-member as around its entire marginal edges by adhesive or otherwise but preferably by heat sealing, or H. F. welding. The pad 22 is of the same size as the backing member 29 and its marginal edges are compressed during heat sealing thereby destroying the cellular nature of the pad around its marginal edges. Consequently the shoe polish cannot migrate outwardly beyond the marginal edges.
A cover piece 23 is made from aluminum foil with a heat scaling adhesive coating, the cover piece being secured to the heat sealed edges of the pad 2?; on exposure to heat. The cover piece 23 completely overlies the pad.
As can be seen from the lower part of FIG. 1, which shows the applicator completely assembled, the tear-off cover piece 23, which is applied after the applicator is otherwise complete, is heat sealed to the margin 24 of the pad 22 along a line which at one corner extends diagonally and leaves a tab 3-: outside the sealed margin, which tab can be grasped by the user and drawn away from the corner 34a where the pad 22 and backing-memher are sealed together, to tear off the cover 34 before use of the applicator.
In manufacturer, the hollow reservoir 23 is partly filled with the flowable substance before sealing the pad 22 in place. The flowable substance (such as liquid shoe polish) is indicated at 26. The reservoir 21 affords surficient grip as a handle to enable the cover .23 to be torn away when the handle is held between finger and thumb as shown, if a suitable heat-softened adhesive is used on the under face or" the cover 23. The cover-piece 23 prevents leakage of liquid 2-6 through the porous applicatorpad 22 during storage prior to use.
After moving the cover piece 23 the applicator can be used on a shoe, as shown in FIG. 3.
The hollow reservoir 21 is preferably in the form of a bellows as shown with an indented portion 33 between the two sides and ridges 31 on each side. The side faces of the bellows are nearly parallel and afford a good grip so that the handle may be squeezed between the thumb and index finger to expel substantially all of the contents of the reservoir without material deformation of the backing-member 2t) and of the cellular applicator-pad 22 se cured thereto. This formation of the reservoir like a bellows permits the handle to be readily compressed in the manner indicated in FIG. 3. FIG. 6 shows the reservoir and back-plate in plan.
Referring to FIG. 4, the applicator is here shown as provided with an impervious diaphragm 29 (e.g. of PVC) which is secured around its marginal edges to the backing-member and the cellular pad 22 overlies the diaphragm and is secured around its marginal edges to the diaphragm. When an impervious diaphragm 29 is provided it is convenient in certain uses, as leakage cannot take place through the diaphragm, to dispense with the tear-off cover piece 23 though this may be provided if it is thought necessary to keep the pad 22 clean. The contents to be applied are retained in the instance of FIG. 4, entirely within the hollow handle by the diaphragm 29. Prior to use of the applicator a pin 3% (FIG. or other pointed implement is thrust through the cellular pad 22 and the diaphragm (the tear-off cover piece 23, if provided, having been previously removed) and is then withdrawn to provide a communicating hole through the diaphragm between the interior of the hollow handle and the cellular pad. When the hollow handle is gripped and compressed as described above the contents are expelled from the handle through the communicating hole and forced into the pad. The content-s are then applied by the pad as in the case of FIG. 3.
The applicator contents may be of such a nature as to cause deterioration of the cellular pad. For example, a caustic substance for cleaning ovens. In such event the provision of the diaphragm 2% prevents the contents from coming in contact with the pad until the diaphragm is pierced immediately prior to use of the applicator.
When the applicator is to be used with a strong scouring actionfor instance an oven cleanerthe handle preferably comprises a pair of elongated, parallel, spacedapart ridges 32 FIG. 7, the ridges 32 being spaced apart by the thickness of the second finger of the users hand. In use the second finger lies lengthwise between the ridges while the index finger and the third finger are lengthwise along the outside of each ridge as shown in the figure. A. good grip is thus ensured. The ridges 32 are compressed by the index and third fingers against the second finger to expel the contents. The portion of the handle between the ridges 32 may be in the form of a channel curved to the shape of the second finger and the curved surface of the channel may be offset from the plane of the backing-member e.g. about half-way between said plane and the top of the ridges.
When the applicator contains a shampoo the pad 22 may be constituted by a scalp massaging material.
Referring to FIGURE 8, this shows a further modification of the applicator shown in FIGS. 1 to 7; in this case, the general shape is similar to FIG. 1 but the backing member 21 has its edge set back behind the plane of the pad 22 by formins a recurved portion 84 between the margin of the backing-member and the reservoir 21. This has the effect of placing the sealed (and therefore non-porous) margin of the pad 22 in a plane behind its porous surface, where it will not scrape on concave surfaces to which the pad is applied. The porous surface becomes in effect convex.
Referring to FIG. 9 this shows a cover piece 23, foam applicator-pad 22, a diaphragm 29 and a back-plate 2%) made in one piece with the reservoir 21, in a similar way to what has already been described. However, the diaphragm 259 is proivded with an aperture 35 of predetermined size which is small enough to limit the flow through the diaphragm 2% but which would in practice be larger than could be made by piercing with a pin such as 30, FIG. 5. The foam pad 22 also has an aperture as piercing it. Tie reservoir 21 could be filled through this aperture when the applicator is being made and the aperture 35 limits the rate of expulsion of flowable substance into the foam pad 22 while the applicator is in use. The cover 23 prevents loss of the flowable substance during storage and it may be removed for use in asimilar way to that described already in connection with FIG. 1.
FIG. 10 shows an assembly of a pair of applicators secured together with the pads face to face by a readily rupturable attachment iii.
It will be seen that the essential features of this invention are:
Firstly, the provision of a flange around the mouth of the reservoir, which flange for-ms a backing-member for the permeable pad; in use, this enables pressure to be brought to bear by the users fingers in the direction to urge the pad on to the surface to which the flowable substance is fto be applied, independently of the squeezing pressure on the reservoir itself to expel the fiowable substance. It is important to be able to rub the pad on a surface, such as the surface of a pair of shoes, after polish or the like has been expelled from the reservoir, without expelling more polish;
Secondly, the use of a reservoir with flat sides which can be gripped between finger and thumb; this enables the reservoir to be used as a handle;
Thirdly, the indenting of the walls of the reservoir like a bellows to make compression easier.
Fourthly, the employment of means to prevent exudation of the fiowable substance in storage, either in the form of a rupturable or pierceable diaphragm between the pad and the reservoir or in the form of a removable cover over the pad or in the form of a second applicator-pad removably secured face to face with the first pad;
Fifthly, the manufacture of the reservoir and the flange of one integral piece of plastic sheet material;
Sixthly, the use of cellular or sponge plastic material for the pad, sealed to the backing-member around its edges;
Seventhly, the use of a tear-off cover which is sealed around its edges to the pad and backing plate but has a tear-off tab outside the sealing-line.
1. A disposable applicator for flowable substances comprising a compressible reservoir of flexible sheet material having sides adapted to be gripped between two fingers; a mouth, and a flange extending essentially transversely to said reservoir and around the mouth, and forming a backing-member and of suflicicnt lateral extent to have finger pressure applied thereagainst at the side adjacent the reservoir; and an applicator-pad extending over the mouth and further extending substantially entirely over said flange and supported by the other side of the backing-member said pad-applicator being normally uncompressed in the region overlying said flange.
2. An applicator as claimed in claim 1 wherein the walls of the reservoir between the sides are formed with bellows-like folded indentations to facilitate compression and expulsion of the flowabl-e substance.
3. An applicator as claimed in claim 1 wherein the reservoir and the flange which forms the backingmemher are integral, both being formed from a single sheet of flexible sheet material.
4. An applicator as claimed in claim wherein the backing member is of thermoplastic synthetic resin material the pad is made of sponge like thermoplastic synthetic resin material and is sealed to the backing-member around its edges, thereby sealing the margin of the pad from lateral exudation of the flowable substance, a major portion of the pad overlying the face of the backingmember within the edges thereof being left in absorbent condition.
5. An applicator as claimed in claim 4 having also a tear-oif cover piece, wherein the cover piece is also secured along the sealed margin of the pad, and has a tab portion which extends outside the sealing line of the margin to facilitate removal.
6. An assembly consisting of a pair of applicators as claimed in claim 1 secured together with the pads face to face by a readily rupturable attachment.
7. A disposable applicator for flowable substances comprising a reservoir of flexible plastic material formed with flat sides, indented walls connecting the sides and a mouth surrounded by a flat flange of the same material extending a substantial distance from the sides so that finger pressure can be applied to the flange without compression of the reservoir, a sponge-like applicator-pad covering the mouth and the flange, overlying the flange essentially over its entire extent and scaled to the flange around the edges thereof, said pad applicator being normally uncompressed in the region overlying said flange, a filling of a flowable substance in the reservoir, and a rupturable seal to prevent exudation of the flowable substance, whereby pressure can be applied to the applicator-pad by application of finger pressure against the flange backing said pad on the side of the reservoir.
8. An applicator as claimed in claim 7 wherein the reservoir has walls which are formed with bellows-like folded indentations so as to render said walls more readily deformable.
9. An applicator as claimed in claim 7 wherein the seal consists of a detachable covering over the outer surface of the applicator-pad.
10. An applicator as claimed in claim 7 wherein the seal consists of a second reservoir with flange and applicator-pad secured with its applicator-pad face to face over the first applicator-pad.
11. An applicator as claimed in claim 7 wherein the reservoir is formed with the indented walls sufliciently deep and wide to accommodate a finger of the hand in the indented position between the flat sides.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,176,308 10/1939 Larkin l5539 X 2,695,704 11/1954 McGredy 15-539 X 2,911,664 12/1959 Zecehini 15-539 2,947,015 8/1960 Burt 15541 2,961,677 11/1960 Zecehini 15-539 2,986,762 6/1961 Webb 15541 X FOREIGN PATENTS 797,033 6/1958 Great Britain.
77,632 2/ 1962 France.
CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.
R. I. SMITH, Assistant Examiner.