US 3390821 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J y 2; 1968 J. MULLAN 3,390,821
COLLAPS IBLE CONTAINER Filed Sept. 28, 1966 28heets-Sheet l FIG. I v V 4 FIG.2 s 9\ I INVENTOR 6 5 1 JOSEPH MULAN I BY ,1
'July 2, 1968 J. MULLAN COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 28. 1966 FIG. 4
INVENTOR. JOSEPH MULLAN FIG. 6
United States Patent Office 3,390,821 Patented July 2, 1968 3,390,821 COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINER Joseph Mullan, 217 Northway, Baltimore, Md. 21218 Filed Sept. 28, 1966, Ser. No. 588,232 1 Claim. (Cl. 222-212) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A container having vertically collapsible side walls and a valved outlet passage at the top, the valve thereof being operable by downward pressure thereon to open the same and simultaneously to collapse the container to eject the contents thereof through the outlet passage.
The present invention relates to containers; and more specifically to containers and/or bottles made of flexible material, such as plastic. The container is adapted to be collapsible and is provided with accordion type side walls. The side walls of the container may be so constructed that the height of the container may have various normal positions when empty, or partly filled, that is, the side walls of the container may be so constructed that the container will normally be in extended position, or the walls may be constructed so that the container will be in a collapsed position. Also, the side walls may be constructed in such a manner that it will only be supported to the corresponding height of the liquid therein. The construction of the container may be varied with respect to the type of liquid contents to be dispensed and the particular operation in which the contents and the container are to be employed wherein the container may be used to control the dispensing and/or the preserving of the contents.
In use, the collapsible bottle is always devoid of air. As long as there is liquid in the bottle, the air may be expelled by collapsing the bottle until the liquid is adjacent the outer edge of the opening when the opening is closed by attaching to the bottle the cap. After the cap is attached no air can enter the bottle to cause oxidation or spoilage, or both.
Another object is to produce a bottle which can be readily manufactured on existing machinery by well known methods and which will result in a bottle having neatness of appearance and one which may be readily handled and manipulated.
A still further object is to produce a bottle as mentioned above in combination with a dispensing cap which will not only enable easy removal of the contents without spilling, but will effectively seal the bottle and prevent ingress of air to the contents at all times.
The above and further objects and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view partly in elevation and partly in section;
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the bottle in fully collapsed condition;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the bottle and a dispensing cap combination with the valve of the dispensing cap in closed position;
FIG. 5 is a section on line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 4 with the valve of the dispensing cap in open position; and
FIG. 7 is a modified form of cap including a spout for withdrawing the contents from the bottle.
Referring specifically to the drawings the preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a bottle having a top wall 1 with a screw threaded neck 2 and cap member generally designated 3 which latter will be hereinafter more specifically described.
Integrally joined to the peripheral edge of the top wall 1 is side wall 4 which is in the form of a corrugated or accordion pleated tube which preferably tapers outwardly slightly from top to bottom, giving it a general overall frusto-conical shape. However, the bottle may be constructed with a rectangular, square, or any other cross sectional formed walls if desired.
In the construction of the circular container, the lower end of the corrugated tubular side Wall is closed by a bottom member generally designated 5 having an annular outer portion joined at its outer edge to the lower end of the corrugated side wall and at its inner edge to the larger diameter end of a tubular frusto-conical portion 7 which extends upwardly into the lower end of the corrugated side wall 4. The upper smaller diameter edge of the tubular frusto-conical portion 7 is closed by a flat wall portion 8.
Portion 6 of the bottom is provided with an upward and outward taper giving it a general frusto-conical shape when the bottle is fully distended as shown in FIG. 1, but which may also assume a flat form when the bottle is fully collapsed as shown in FIG. 3.
The frusto-conical portion 7 is of a height and lateral size such that when the bottle is fully collapsed, i.e., the corrugations or pleats are fully folded and the portion 6 of the bottom flattened, as shown in FIG. 3, it will fit neatly within the corrugations and portion 8 of the bottom will contact the top 1. It is evident that to assume the fully collapsed condition shown in FIG. 3 substantially all of the contents of the bottle must have been expelled. It is thus evident that the waste of the contents is reduced to a minimum. It may also be noted that this type bottom may be incorporated into other cross-section forms of the bottle.
The flat wall portion 8 of the bottom member may be provided with an upstanding ring or loop member 9, if desired, to facilitate hanging the bottle in an upsidedown position for certain conditions of use.
The collapsible bottle may be made to initially assume the fully distended shape as shown in FIG. 1, or may be made to assume the fully collapsed shape as shown in FIG. 3, to be distended by forcibly filling the bottle with its contents. In the latter case, it will be evident that the contents will be under slight pressure due to the inherent tendency of the bottle to return to it fully collapsed condition which will facilitate expelling the contents and may be found desirable for certain conditions of use.
The bottle may be so engineered that it will remain at substantially the height of the liquid filling the bottle, that is, the liquid will exert pressure on the surface of the folds 4' and 4" of the sidewall, which will cause the container to be extended to the point to which it is filled and will collapse in the area in which the liquid does not fill. When the container is fully collapsed the opening may be closed for holding the container in collapsed position.
The cap may be of a conventional type (not shown) for simply closing the opening, or it may be of special construction, as shown in FIGURES 4, 5 and 6. When a conventional cap is used, as shown at 3 in FIGURE 7, the cap may be provided with a discharge portion or spout 12', to which may be attached a hose h. The spout 12' is normally sealed off by a washer w. The washer seals the bottle off from the spout opening preventing dispensing of the contents tering the :bottle. When it is desired to dispense part or all of the liquid the cap, of course, may be completely removed and the contents emptied. However, the contents may be drained off through the cap and hose h. To accomplish this the cap is removed from the bottle and the washer w removed from the cap wherein the contents will be allowed to flow through the spout opening 3"- to the valve v at the outer end of the hose [1 where the flow of the contents through the hose is controlled by the handle member v' which is adapted to operate the valve v. The 'hose may be of any convenient length, however, the bottle should be slightly elevated above the outlet end of the hose .to obtain the best result in removing the contents. If the contents are being withdrawn it will be noted that thecontainer will be collapsed by atmospheric pressure, whereby if the container is originally free from air it will be collapsed entirely by atmospheric pressure without any air whatsoever being admitted to the bottle. If the special constructed valve is used asillustrated in FIGURES 1 to '6 -it is generally used on the bottle when the bottle is supported in an upright position,- and is adapted to expell the contents when the outer knob portion 20 is depressed, the depressing of the knob 20 simultaneously opening the valve and compressing the container to the extent of the dispensed contents; This particular closure is leak-proof, whether the valve is in open or closed position and comprises a member 3 consisting of a body of any suitable material, such as metal, plastic or the like, having a hub portion 11 screwed or otherwise sealingly secured ot the neck portion 2 of the bottle and a discharge portion 12 which may be made in the shape of a spout as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6.
Within the hub portion 11 there is provided a valve, comprising a valve stem 13 having at its lower end a valve disc 14 adapted to seat and sealingly engage a seat member 15 built as an integral part of the body 10.
and anyoutside air from en- The stem 13 extends upwardly through a bore 16 in the body 10, the bore being of larger diameter than the ,valve stem to provide space for passage of the contents of the bottle around the stem and into the discharge portion 12. The stem 13 is further provided with a number of equally spaced splines 17 adjacent the valve disc 14 which splines slide in grooves 18 in the body bore 16 to guide the stem and confine its movement tolongitudinal motion only. The upper end of the stem where it emerges from the body is provided with a combined sealing means and spring member 19. This member 19 which may be made of plastic or similar material is in the form of a convex or arched disc sealingly engaging both the stem and the valve body 10 and is normally slightly tensioned to hold the valve disc 14 against the seat 15 as shown in FIG. 4, but which may be deflected under downward pressure to open the valve as shown in FIG. 6.
The upper end of the valve stem 13 is provided with a knob 20 to facilitate opera-tion of the valve.
It is believed that for certain purposes, the combination container and dispensing cap therefor, as described supra, provides a useful and particularly handy facility for storing and dispensing various liquids, as the valved cap not only completely seals the container and prevents spillage of the contents and ingress of air when not in use, but provides a readily operable means for dispensing the contents, when desired, as a slight downward pressure on the knob 20 not only functions to open the valve but also places pressure on the collapsible bottle to assist in ejecting the desired quantity of the contents through the spout 12. If the bottle is initially made in In the use of this collapsible container or bottle, air maybe present within the bottle as the bottle is filled to the top of the opening and sealed in this position. The bottle may thereafter be collapsed to a point in Which the contents have been withdrawn in which the contents completely fill the bottle after it has been collapsed and the cap'applied or thevalvecl'osed,whichever the case may be. This will prevent outside'air from entering the bottle which may cause oxidation or spoilage, or'both, of the contents. v
One of the'more important aspects of the container is that when the contents are drawn olf, a vacuum is created within the container and the container will be collapsed by atmospheric pressure. This operation may be carried out equally well regardless of the position of the bottle, that is, in upright, inverted, orv at any other angled position.
The container has a still further important use in the field of aerosol, wherein gas or an evaporated liquid is mixed-with the contents and used to force the contents out through a-controlled outlet. By: the use of this type container, the container may be collapsed to extract any leftover contents that may "remain in the container should the expellent become exhausted.
The container may be readily refilled from bulk supply by placing the supply liquid under pressure, or elevating the bulk supply to a point above the bottle and connecting a conventional hose to the spout 12, whereby the liquid will fiow, past the valve 12 when opened into the container, filling the container for another operation.
The container is particularly advantageous when used for intravenousfeeding and blood transfusions, etc., which will prevent any contamination of the contents by allowing air or gases to move into the container, which normally are allowed to enter the container. In this respect, the present container has a very useful purpose.
As previously mentioned, the operation and use of the container depends upon the scientific and calculated construction of the collapsible walls for a particular use and for the particular contents the container is to dispense.
While .the invention has been described in considerable detail, I do not wish to be limited to the specific structure shown and described; as it is my intention to cover hereby all novel adaptations, modifications and arrangements thereof which come withinthe practice of those skilled in the art and as defined by the following'claim.
1. A collapsible container of resilient material comprising a top Wall having a discharge opening, a tubular side wall extendingdownwardly from the top wall, said tubular side wall formed with a series of pleat-like corrugations of increasing diameter from the upper to the lower end thereof, a'bottom wall closing the lower end of the tubular side wall, said bottom wall having an annular outer portion of substantially frusto-conical shape with the large'r'diameter portion thereof joined to the lower end of the side Wall, an intermediate portion also of frusto-conical'shape with its larger diameter portion joined to the smaller diameter portion of the annular outer portion and a central fiat portion closing the smaller diameter portion of the intermediate portion, said intermediate portion extending upwardly within the tubular side wall and the annular outer portion of the bottom wall, said pleat-like corrugations and said frusto-conical outer portionof said bottom wall being normally completely collapsed with the" intermediate frusto-conical portion substantially contiguous with the inner edges of the corrugations and the central flat portion of the bottom-substantially contiguous with the top wall of the container, saidcontainer being held in distended condition by the contents thereof, a cap member closing the discharge opening of the container,- at discharge passage through thecap member, a normally closed valve in said passage and manual means operable upon downward 5 6 pressure thereon to simultaneously open the valve and References Cited" create an axial downward pressure on the container to UNITED STATES PATENTS collapse the same and eject the contents thereof through said passage, the inherent tendency of the container to 687,790 12/1901 scales 222-92 return to its normal completely collapsed condition plac- 5 Eag 35 -5? mg the contents under slight pressure thereby asslsting 3,157,323 /19 K terman 222 212 X in ejecting the contents when the valve is open and preventing the ingress of air when the valve is closed. WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.