US 3400866 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 10, 1968 L. A. FATTORI TAP DISPENSER-CLOSURE WITH DIAPHRAGMIC TOGGLE- Filed Nov. 4, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet l a w W T r M Nw r W Q v v w w. w 0 4 W M M 6 4 am a? w c 3 w a M M //v. W w U 4 M A/Q e M Z, a Z8 r x k 9 M A A l/ ILA 4 Sept. 10, 1968 L, A. FATTORI 3,400,866
TAP DISPENSERCLOSURE WITH DIAPHRAGMIC TOGGLE Filed Nov. 4, 1966 3 Sheets$heet 2 Sept. 10, 1968 A. FATTORI 3,400,866
TAP DISPENSER-CLOSURE WITH DIAPHRAGMIC TOGGLE Filed Nov. 4, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 & I 52 6'3 I N VEN TOR. 4/92 z/wo/z F977'OR/ United States Patent 3,400,866 TAP DISPENSER-CLOSURE WITH DIAPHRAGMIC TOGGLE Lazzaro A. Fattori, Woodclilf Lake, NJ. 07675 Filed Nov. 4, 1966, Ser. No. 592,122 13 Claims. (Cl. 222-511) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A container delivery spout has a lateral opening inwardly of its delivery end and a transverse diaphragmic wall mounted on the spout outwardly of said opening. The diaphragmic wall extends concavely into the spout beyond said opening where it is contacted and distended by radially inwardly extending annular means of the spout forming a closure or pressure seal therebetween. Distortion of the wall by finger manipulation resiliently disengages said closure for delivering fluid through the opening, the pressure seal resiliently closing upon release.
This invention relates to spigots, taps or dispensers and more particularly is directed to a plastic molded dispenser-closure for use in drawing olf liquid from the bottom of a container.
Among the objects of the invention is to provide an improved dispenser-closure of the character described comprising few and simple parts, namely, a delivery spout and a separable snap-on closure unit therefor, which may be fabricated from resinous plastic material in quantity production by injection molding methods. The dispenserclosure shall be sufficiently low in cost for incorporation in a disposable container of the type comprising a cardboard supporting structure having a thin wall sheet material plastic liquidproof liner fitted with said delivery spout and be practical and efficient for shipping, storing and dispensing a wide variety of liquids including the special requirements for liquid food products, such as milk and juices. The dispenser-closure shall, therefore, be operable at food refrigerating temperatures, be neat and aesthetic in appearance, be foolproof in operation by the housewife, allow optimum flow of liquid by exertion of finger pressure of one hand, leaving the other hand free for holding a receiving receptacle, shall provide rapid and automatic shut off upon release of the finger pressure, be free of drip or liquid hang up after shut off, and will not leak after passing of time or when container is shock loaded in shipping. The dispenser-closure shall also be compatible for filling containers through the delivery spout using high speed automatic machinery, closure of the container being effected after filling by snap-on engagement of the closure unit which simultaneously loads the latter in prestressed shut olf position. The dispenserclosure shall be designed for mounting the closure unit on the spout in an initial relaxed condition for shipping and storing the containers while awaiting use to eliminate loss of available prestress due to cold flow of the material during such Waiting period.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.
The invention accordingly consists of features of constructions, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter disclosed, the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims following.
In the accompanying drawings in which various illustrative embodiments of the invention are shown:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a finger manipulatable dispenser-closure constructed to embody the invention shown mounted on a liquidproof plastic bag or liner of a disposable container.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the dispenser-clo- 3,400,866 Patented Sept. 10, 1968 ice sure shown in FIG. 1 with the snap-on closure unit shown mounted on the spout in partially telescoped prefilling position.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the dispenserfilloure shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, taken on line 3-3 in FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken similar to FIG. 3 but showing the container filled with liquid and the snap-on closure unit mounted on the spout in fully telescoped position wherein the diaphragm is prestressed for retention in shut off position.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken similar to FIG. 4 but showing the diaphragm deformed by application of finger pressure to liquid dispensing position.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view of the dispenserclosure taken on line 6-6 in FIG. 4, parts being broken away to show underlying structure.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view showing the dispenser-closure in open position similar to FIG. 5 but with the fingers removed.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of a dispenserclosure taken similar to FIG. 4 but showing structural variations thereof.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view taken similar to FIG. 4 showing a modified form of dispenser-closure wherein an orifice is formed in the spout portion of a two-piece structure.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view taken similar to FIG. 4 showing a structural variation of the modified form of dispenser-closure in FIG. 9, and
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary sectional view taken similar to FIG. 4, but showing still another modified form of dispenser-closure wherein the diaphragmic transverse wall is integrally formed with the spout.
Referring in detail to the drawings, 10 denotes a bag or liner made of plastic sheet material provided with a dispenser-closure generally designated as 11.
Dispenser-closure 11 may comprise a spout means and a closure therefor. Said spout means, as seen in FIG. 4, comprises a tubular member 12 mounting a snap-on closure unit 13. Tubular member 12 may be injection molded of a semi-rigid resinous plastic, such as, polyethylene, vinyl or the like, as a generally tubular structure terminating at one end in a lateral bag attachment flange 12a and at the opposite end in a bead 12b. A pair of intermediate lateral flanges extend from a midportion of tubular member 12, a relatively larger flange 12c being spaced from flange 12a and a smaller flange 12d being spaced inwardly from b'ead 12b. (Flange 12a is suitably bonded or heat sealed to the material of bag 10, attaching tubular member 12 thereto in register with an opening 10a through which liquid contents L passes into tubular member 12 for dispensing therefrom. Bead 12b may be formed as -a radially outwardly extending rounded portion terminating in a flat end which intersects with a relatively flat surface of an inwardly extending annular boss or shoulder 129 to provide a relatively sharp interior end edge 12c.
Closure unit 13 may be formed by injection molding of any suitable plastic resinous material having elasto meric properties, such as, polyolefins, polyvinyls, polyurethanes and the like and particularly ethylene vinyl acetate, .as a unitary snap-on capping structure for the free end of tubular member 12.
Closure unit 13 has a tubular skirt 14 sized to telescope onto tubular member 12 and is closed by a conoave, diaphragmic transverse wall 15 formed at the forward end thereof which skirt terminates in a peripheral edge 14a. As will be clear from FIG. 3, transverse wall 15 is relatively deeply concave, that is, depressed inwardly from the point of attachment to skirt 14, so that the outer portion 15a of wall 15 joins skirt 14 at a relatively sharp angle. Transverse wall 15 may taper radially in cross-section from a relatively thicker and substantially fiat central portion 15b to the relatively thinner frusto-conical outer portion 15a. For example, the thickness may taper approximately from .035 to .020 inch, where tubular member 12 has a 1 inch inside diameter. The interior surface of skirt 14 adjacent the point of attachment of wall 15 is undercut at 14b providing a shoulder 14c, undercut 14b, and angularly disposed wall outer portion 15a forming an annular cawity 13a seen to be wedge shaped in cross section. Transverse wall central portion 15b carries a tab 15c on the exterior side thereof seen to project axially land have a width extending diametrically with respect to skirt 14.
Dispensing of liquid L is accomplished through an orifice or opening 14d formed in skirt 14 as a cut-back from edge 14a to a point short of shoulder 140. The length of orifice 14d along edge 14a is in parallel alignment with the width of tab 15c. In order to control the proper deforming of transverse wall 15 to open orifice 14d in the manner hereinafter described, a web 15d may be formed to extend between tab 150 and wall central portion 15b in the direction of orifice 14d along a radius substantially bisecting tab 15c and orifice 14d. To improve the rate of closure, that is, rate of return, of wall 15 to its original concave configuration, a pair of spaced parallel ribs 15e may be formed in wall central portion 15b on the side of tab 150 opposite web 15a and be spaced from tab 151: to define therebetween a line x-x shown in FIG. 1, along which folding of wall 15 takes place as hereinafter described.
Edge 14a may be formed with an outwardly extending boss 14e positioned diametrically opposite orifice 14d, which may be sized for symmetry to conform substantially in length to the width of tab 150. The interior surface of skirt 14 may also have an undercut groove 14 formed adjacent the open end thereof for the purpose hereinafter explained.
In the embodiment herein disclosed, the point of attachment or juncture of transverse wall 15 to skirt 14 is recessed a relatively short distance from edge 14a, as seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, providing a web 15f as an extension of transverse wall 15 bordering orifice 14d. Web 15 is seen to correspond in width to the recess distance of wall 15 from edge 14a.
The practical utility and operation of dispenser-closure 11 will now be apparent. Bag or other container with attachment flange 12a suitably bonded thereto may be readily filled with liquid L through spout 12 by orientating bag 10 to locate tubular member 12 in an upwardly extending bag filling position. Closure unit 13 is then pressed onto the free end of tubular member 12 to the fully telescoped posit-ion shown in FIG. 4 wherein skirt 14 abuts flange 12d acting as a stop and bead 12b seats in annular cavity 13a, engaging shoulder 14c with end interior edge 12e of boss 12 engaging and distending transverse wall outer portion 15a. This radially inward distention of the diaphragmic wall 15 by boss 12 aided by substantially line contact of edge 122 thereagainst creates an effective closure around the entire circumference of boss 12f. The resultant outward pressure or head of the liquid against the relatively large surface area of the diaphragmic wall central portion 15b, when bag 10 is in normal position for shipping and dispensing, creates radial outward pressure of wall outer portion 15a against boss 12 as illustrated by the arrows in FIG. 6, which augments the sealing pressure provided by the resilient distention of outer wall portion 15a. m
To dispense liquid L, tab 150 and the region of sleirt 14 opposite orifice 14d may be grasped between thumb and forefinger and pressure applied to bring the free end of tab 150 upwardly toward skirt 14, as illustrated in FIG. 5. Tab 15c having a thickness for relative rigidity and being biased by web 15d to the portion of the diaphragmic wall 15 adjacent orifice 14d, upward toggle movement of tab 150 causes the transverse wall central portion 15b to fold or flex along fold-line xx, simultaneously lifting, that is, deforming a sector-like area outwardly in snap-action fashion forming a convex ridge extending radially along web 15d to web 15] bordering orifice 14d thereby disengaging the closure between Wall outer portion 15a and boss 12f in the region of orifice 14d releasing liquid L therethrough.
Inasmuch as the greater area of transverse wall 15 re mains in its preformed concave configuration, is prestressed, that is, loaded by the distention caused by boss 12f, and has its central portion 15b folded along line x--x, upon release of tab 150 the convex ridge in wall 15 aided by the resiliency of the folded central portion 15b snaps back into concave position to cleanly and driplessly cut olf the flow of liquid L by re-engagement with boss 12]. I
Web 15 directs the flow of liquid L passing through orifice 14d downwardly into a receiving receptacle, minimizing any forward spray which may otherwise occur, particularly at the time of opening and closing.
A feature of the invention is the freedom of stress or load of the plastic material forming the valve-like closure prior to the actual filling and closing of bag 10 or other container, thereby eliminating an important disadvantage of plastic spigots which are under prestress load at all times. Because of the time lag between manufacture and use, such prestressed spigots were found, due to cold flow of the plastic material when under stress to lose a significant amount of tension which resulted in subsequent leaking. Since time is the primary factor in cold flow loss of tension, dispenser-closure 11 is prestressed or tension loaded only after bag 10 is filled with liquid L. Where it is found desirable to supply closure unit 13 mounted on tubular member 12 prior to filling, this may be accomplished by bead 12b engaging groove 141 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, leaving transverse wall 15 in a relaxed condition.
Dispenser-closure 11 is compatible with requirements for use in high speed automatic filling and packaging machinery. Thus, the groove formed between attachment flange 12a and larger intermediate flange may be engaged by grippers or guides of such machinery for supporting bag 10 by tubular member 12 disposed in an upright position for filling and subsequent pressure fitting thereon of closure unit 13. Boss 14e may serve as an indexing means for the proper alignment of orifice 14d with respect to the bag bottom.
The groove between flanges 12a: and 12c may also be utilized as a retaining means to removably engage peripheral edges of a slotted opening provided in the wall of a rigid casing or holder (not shown) for bag 10 through which tubular member 12 projects.
It will now be understood that within the scope of the invention, bead 12b may be modified and/or orifice 14d repositioned inwardly of edge 14a. Thus, FIG. 8 shows a dispenser-closure 21 comprising a tubular member 22 mounting snap-on closure unit 23, the latter having orifice or opening 24d positioned inwardly of edge 24a of skirt 24 so that diaphragmic transverse wall 25 may be attached to skirt 24 about the entire periphery of frustoconical outer portion 250. Snap-on engagement between closure unit 23 and tubular member 22 may be accomplished by any suitable means provided inwardly of the free end of tubular member 22 shown as a tongue 22b formed adjacent small flange 22d for engagement with annular groove 24b formed on the interior surface of skirt 24. Distention of transverse wall outer portion 25a to effect a peripheral closure is accomplished by the interior end edge 22e of tubular member 22. Central portion 25b of transverse wall 25 may also carry a tab 250 and biasing web 25d.
Two modified forms of the invention are shown in r FIGS. 9 and 10 wherein the skirt of the closure unit is shortened or eliminated so that the orifice may be formed in the tubular member of the spout means.
FIG. 9 shows a dispenser-closure 31 comprising a tubular member 32 mounting a snap-on closure unit 33. Tubular member 32 terminates in a bead 32b engaging an undercut groove 34b in skirt '34 for retaining closure unit 33 thereon with outer portion 35a of diaphragmic transverse wall 35 engaging and distended by an edge 32a of inwardly extending annular boss 32 An orifice or opening 32g is formed in tubular member 32 between bead 32b and boss 32f and is positioned to clear skirt 34.
FIG. shows a dispenser-closure 41 in which tubular member 42 is formed with an annular boss 42f and orifice or opening 42g similar to boss 32] and orifice 32g of dispenser-closure 31, but in which the skirt is reduced to a radial flange 44 and concave diaphragmic transverse wall 45 is thickened at its base to provide an undercut groove 44b adjacent flange 44 for engaging terminal shoulder 42b of tubular member 42, thereby securing closure unit 43 in tubular member 42 in plug fashion. Annular boss edge 42c distends a frusto-conical portion 45a of transverse wall 45 providing the prestress and releasable closure. Central portion 35b and 45b of transverse walls 35 and 45 also are formed with tabs 35c and 450 having biasing webs 35d and 45d, respectively.
FIG. 11 shows another modification as dispenser-closure 51 having a tubular member 52, terminating in an integral diaphragmic transverse wall 55. The integral tubular member and closure unit may be molded of elastomeric material similar to closure units 13, 23, 33 and 43. Wall 55 has a frusto-conical outer portion 55a and a central portion 55b, the latter being formed with tab 55c and biasing web 55d. Orifice or opening 53 is formed in tubular member 52 inwardly of the intersection with wall outer portion 55a and outwardly of a ring 54 which may be of a semi-rigid material, such as, polyethylene, vinyl or the like and press fitted through the open end of tubular member 52 opposite wall 55 to snap-in beyond retaining shoulder 52a formed on the interior surface of tubular member 52. The outer edge 54a of ring 54 engages and distends transverse wall outer portion 55a providing the prestressed releasable closure embodying the invention.
Dispenser-closures 21, 31, 41 and 51 all operate in a manner similar to dispenser-closure 11 as hereinbefore described.
The improved dispenser-closures herein disclosed are seen to achieve the several objects of the invention and to be well adapted to meet condition of practical use. As various possible embodiments might be made in the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the disclosed constructions, it is to be understood that all matters herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A dispenser-closure comprising a spout means having a tubular member connected at one end to a container for fluids and having an opposite delivery end, a diaphragmic transverse wall closure of elastomeric material mounted on the spout means at said delivery end preformed in a deeply concave configuration extending into said spout means from a peripheral juncture therewith, said wall closure having a frusto-conical outer peripheral portion extending inwardly from said juncture at an acute angle to said spout means forming a hollow of wedge shaped cross-section therebetween, said spout means being formed with an opening and having means extending into said hollow inwardly of said opening, said last mentioned means and wall closure being constructed and arranged for contact therebetween and distention of said wall closure for closing the spout means against flow of fluid therebeyond, and finger manipulatable means on said wall closure for distorting a portion of the wall closure from said concave configuration to a convex configuration extending radially toward said opening for disengaging the closure thereat and thus directing a flow of fluid through the openmg.
2. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 1 in which said transverse wall closure includes a substantially flat central portion and tapers in thickness radially from said central portion to said outer peripheral portion.
3. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 1 in which said tubular member and said diaphragmic transverse wall closure are formed as an integral structure, said means which extends into said hollow being a ring fitted into said tubular member and having an interior edge for said transverse wall closure contact and distention.
4. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 1 in which said spout means is formed as a two-piece structure, a first piece comprising said tubular member, .a second piece comprising a closure unit formed with said diaphrag-mic transverse wall closure and a skirt telescoping said tubular member, said opening being formed as a recess from a forward edge of the skirt, said transverse wall closure being recessed from said skirt forward edge and having a Web extension across said opening contiguous with said skirt forward edge to direct the flow of fluid passing through the opening, said transverse wall closure including a substantially flat central portion and tapering in thickness radially from said central portion to said outer peripheral portion, said finger manipulatable means including a tab projecting axially from said central portion and a biasing web extending between the tab and transverse wall in a radial direction toward said opening.
5. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 1 in which said spout means is formed as a two-piece structure, a first piece comprising said tubular member having a peripheral bead terminating said delivery end, a second piece comprising a closure unit formed as said diaphragmic wall closure interconnected with a tubular skirt at said peripheral juncture, said tubular skirt having a first interior undercut groove adjacent said juncture engaging said peripheral head for retaining said closure unit on said tubular member in a predetermined telescopic position, said peripheral bead being formed with said means which extends into said hollow, the latter being effective when the closure unit is in said predetermined position, said tubular skirt being formed with a second interior undercut groove spaced from said first groove and peripheral juncture, said second undercut groove being constructed and arranged to engage said peripheral bead as a temporary interconnection between said two pieces whereby said means which extends into said hollow is positioned out of said contact with said wall closure.
6. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 1 in which said transverse wall closure includes a relatively flat central portion, said finger manipulatable means including a tab projecting axially from said central portion and a biasing web extending between the tab and transverse wall in a radial direction toward said opening.
7. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 1 in which said spout means is formed as a two-piece structure, a first piece comprising said tubular member, a second piece comprising a closure unit formed with said diaphragmic transverse wall closure and means for mounting the closure unit on said tubular member.
8. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 7 in which said closure unit mounting means includes a skirt telescoping said tubular ,member, said opening being formed as a recess from a forward edge of the skirt, said transverse wall closure being recessed from said skirt forward edge and having a web extension across said opening contiguous with said skirt forward edge to direct the flow of fluid passing through the opening.
9. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 7 in which said means which extends into said hollow includes an endless boss integrally formed on the interior surface of said tubular member.
10. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 7 in which said tubular member terminates in a free end having an interior edge serving as said means which extends into said hollow for contacting and distending said transverse wall closure.
11. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 7 in which said mounting means includes a radial flange extending from said wall closure and a thickened base formed with a groove adjacent said radial flange, said tubular member terminating in an interior shoulder engaging said groove for effecting said mounting in stopper fashion.
12. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 7 in which said closure unit mounting means includes a skirt telescoping said tubular member, said opening being formed in said skirt.
13. The dispenser-closure defined in claim 7 in which References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,992,067 2/1935 Gunn 222-490 2,243,636 5/1941 Kraetch 222-545 3,157,322 11/1964 Bernhardt 222490 XR 3,195,785 7/1965 Oram 222490 XR WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.