Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3422993 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1969
Filing dateJul 26, 1967
Priority dateJul 26, 1967
Publication numberUS 3422993 A, US 3422993A, US-A-3422993, US3422993 A, US3422993A
InventorsBoehm George L, Horvath Stephen R Jr
Original AssigneeJohnson & Son Inc S C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foam dispensing device and package
US 3422993 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


G. 1.. BOEHM ET AL 3,422,993

FOAM DISPENSING DEVIGE AND PACKAGE Original Filed May 5, 1965 sheet of 2 K An.

F/a Z '1 IL K 321,1969 LBOEQM ETAL 3,422,993

FOAM DISPENSING DEVICE AND PACKAGE Original Filed May 5, 1965 Sheet 2 of 2 INVENTORS United States Patent ()fiice 3,422,993 Patented Jan. 21, 1969 3,422,993 FOAM DISPENSING DEVICE AND PACKAGE George L. Boehm and Stephen R. Horvath, Jr., Racine, Wis, assignors to S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine, Wis.

Continuation of application Ser. No. 453,256, May 5, 1965. This application July 26, 1967, Ser. No. 656,293 U.S. Cl. 222-190 3 Claims Int. Cl. B65d 37/00 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A package for dispensing fluid contained therein as a foam is described. The package comprises an outer deformable housing, rigid container within the deformable housing and a cellular material within the rigid container. The elements are constructed and arranged in order that a fluid being dispensed from the deformable housing and air are required to simultaneously pass into the cellular element where they are admixed prior to being dispensed as a foam.

This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 453,256 filed May 5, 1965, now abandoned.

This invention relates to a foam producing device and package. More particularly, the invention embraces a package containing a normally liquid material which is dispensed from the container as a uniform foam of controllable characteristics.

Foams are essentially colloidal systems comprising a gas phase dispersed in a liquid phase. These systems are most commonly prepared by agitating a liquid with a gas, or by whipping a gas into a liquid medium. Gas bubbles surrounded by a film of liquid are formed in large numbers, and if the surface forces of the liquid are of the proper magnitude, the foam will persist. The most stable foams are obtained when the enclosing liquid is viscous; whereas when the enclosing liquid is highly fluid, the foams formed will be of only short duration. Although foams are most often not desired in commercial processes, they are eminently suitable for other applications, since minor amounts of the enclosing liquid will cover a relatively large surface area. Moreover, if the foam is stable, the enclosing liquid can be applied to an absorbent surface such as fabric, with only limited wetting of the surface occurring. Therefore, it is often desirable to package cleaners, lotions, polishes, and the like in order that they will be dispensed from the package as foams.

In the prior art, numerous products such as upholstery cleaners, shaving creams, and polishes are packaged and sold in the so-called aerosol containers, for dispensing as foams. In these systems, the material to be dispensed is packaged in a container along with a liquefied propellant, or under pressure with an inert gas such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The product is dispensed through a suitable valve mechanism in order that when the mixture leaves the container, the liquid propellant or the inert gas rapidly expands, converting the dispensed material into a foam. Although these products have been highly successful on the consumer market, there are disadvantages to such packages. Thus, the charging of the aerosol containers require special pressurizing equipment and special valves of close tolerances. Moreover, it is necessary to employ containers which will withstand relatively high pressures, particularly in the event an inert gas is used. Since the containers cannot be re-used, the packaging costs are often prohibitive for normally low-cost items such as household cleaners, lotions, and the like. Additionally, with the aerosol containers, there is at least a minimum amount of danger as a result of explosive or fire hazards brought about by the pressurized container and expandable gas. Furthermore, some liquids such as acids cannot be packaged in the conventional tin aerosol container.

In an effort to avoid the problems encountered with aerosol containers, packages have been suggested which comprise a foam producing and dispensing device comprising, in combination, a closed deformable container having an opening means therein, and a compressible spongelike element in the container which does not completely fill the container and which is spaced from the opening means. When a foamable substance is introduced into the deformable container in the nonfoamy state, it is adsorbed and temporarily retained by the spongelike element and will, when the container is deformed in such a manner that the sponge element is compressed, eject the foamable substance from the container in the foamy state. These devices suggested by the prior art, while solving in some respects the problems of the aerosol container, are cumbersome and not completely practical.

Accordingly, it is the primary object of this invention to provide a dispensing device and package which is simple in construction but which permits the dispensing of a normally liquid material as a foam.

It is another object of the invention to provide a foamdispensing device and package which is capable of continuous reuse.

These and other objects of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description with particular emphasis being placed upon the drawing.

The objects of the present invention are accomplished by loading the dispensable material in a package comprising, in combination, a first deformable elongated container having an opening at one end of the container; a second container which is substantially completely rigid which is positioned in the opening of the deformable container; a porous cellular or spongelike material which is placed in the rigid container, and a closure having a foam ejecting nozzle which is in engagement with the first deformable container. The rigid container is of shorter height than the deformable container and contains breather openings therein. In operation, when the deformable container is inverted for dispensing the material and pressure is applied to the deformable container, air and the material to be dispensed are forced into and through the cellular material entrapping gas bubbles within the enclosing liquid. The material is ejected from the container as a foam. Depending upon the dispensable liquid, particularly its viscosity and other foam-forming characteristics, and the nature of the cellular element, the foam dispensed will vary from a wet, relatively nonstable foam to a dry, stable foam.

As a secondary and preferred embodiment of the invention, a dip tube is attached to the bottom of the rigid container, which tube extends to substantially the bottom of the deformable container. In this embodiment when the container is inverted for dispensing the fluid contained therein, and pressure applied to the deformable container,'air is drawn through the dip tube into the cellular structure. When employing a dip tube, the dimensions of the rigid compartment can be substantially lessened, as well as the amount of cellular material contained therein. Other modifications can be made in the presently disclosed structure which will be apparent to one skilled in the art.

In the accompanying drawing, forming a material part of the application, and wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the specification:

FIGURE 1 is a partially broken away cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the package shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional front view of a secnd embodiment of the invention utilizing a dip tube;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional front view of the rigid container employed in the modification shown in FIG- URE 3; and

FIGURE shows the completed assembly of FIGURE 3 containing a dispensable material in the inverted, foam ejecting position.

More specifically, referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, rigid container 2 is positioned in opening 1.1 of deformable housing 1. A porous cellular material 3 substantially fills container 2. Closure 4 having a foam ejecting nozzle 4.2 and an elongated inner sleeve 4.1, which is threadably engaged with container 1, functions to direct the flow of the packaged dispensable liquid and to retain container 2 and cellular material 3 in their proper position. Thus, lip 2.3 of container 2 extends over the edge of shoulder 1.2 of opening 1.1 of deformable container 1. When the container is inverted and container 1 depressed, the dispensable fluid within the container is drawn into rigid container 2 through breather openings 2.1. Air which is drawn in through nozzle 4.2 and the dispensable fluid are admixed in the cellular material and ejected from the container through nozzle 4.2 as a foam.

Although the modification shown in FIGURE 1 is highly efficient, superior foaming with smaller amounts of cellular material can be obtained by using a dip tube 2.3 positioned in opening 2.2 of container 2 as seen in FIGURE 3. When the container is inverted for dispensing the material, as seen in FIGURE 5 dip tube 2.3 will be out of contact with the fluid to be dispensed and will draw air into the cellular material as the container is depressed. When employing the embodiment shown in FIGURE 3, openings 2.1 are preferably located on the bottom of the container 2 rather than on the upper side as shown in FIGURE 1.

According to the invention, container 1 is preferably a flexible plastic such as linear polyethylene, polytetrafiuoroethylene, polyvinylchloride, and the like, or it can be a lightweight metal capable of being deformed. Container 2 and closure 4 which are non-deformable, or substantially so, can be glass, a lightweight metal, or a relatively rigid plastic body. Because of economic considerations and its non-breakability, rigid plastic materials such as linear polyethylene are preferred. The dip tube, again because of economic considerations, is preferably plastic; however, glass dip tubes can be employed.

The cellular material which is to be employed herein and retained in container 2 can be any porous material which is liquid adsorbing or absorbing. Exemplary materials are the natural sponges and the synthetic spongelike materials such as polyurethane, foam rubber, vinylite sponges, polyester sponges, and the like. The synthetic materials are preferred in that the irregular and tortuous paths extending from surface to surface of the materials are highly conducive to the production of a foam. In addition to the above spongelike material, expanded metals, porous ceramics, and the like, can be selected. Again, it is only essential that the material be porous and have an irregular tortuous path extending from surface to surface thereof.

The materials which are to be packaged and dispensed according to the present invention include the common household products for cleaning sinks, fabrics, ovens, and the like, as well as personal products such as lotions, antiseptics, and bactericides. Inasmuch as the containers can be refilled and reused, it is possible to extend the use of foamed materials into areas Where heretofore, because of the increased expense of packaging a foam product, it was impossible to do so. Moreover, the foam ejecting packages of the present invention do not employ liquefied gases, or gases under pressure, and are safe for use in any environment.

As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, the detailed description and the drawing are only set forth as illustrative embodiments of the invention. However, the invention is not to be construed as limited thereby. It is possible to produce still other embodiments without departing from the inventive concept herein described and such embodiments are within the ability of one skilled in the art.

We claim:

1. A foam dispensing device and package comprising in combination:

(1) a deformable elongated housing having an opening at one extremity thereof for retaining a fluid to be dispensed as a foam;

(2) a rigid container or shorter longitudinal height than said elongated housing positioned within said elongated housing; said rigid container having a top and bottom end, said top end having an opening which is in operable association with, and in axial alignment with said opening in said elongated housing, an opening in said bottom end for receiving a dip tube, and an air passage for receiving air into the interior of said rigid container;

(3) a cellular material within and substantially filling said rigid container, said cellular material obstructing said opening for receiving said clip tube;

(4) a dip tube in fluid communication with said opening for receiving a dip tube in said bottom of said rigid container and extending from below and being obstructed by said cellular material within said rigid container; and

(5) a closure for said elongated housing having a foam ejecting nozzle;

said dip tube, rigid container, cellular material, and housing being constructed and arranged such that fluid being dispensed from said elongated housing and air entering said rigid container through said air passage within said rigid container pass into said rigid container and into and through said cellular material prior to being dispensed from said foam ejecting nozzle.

2. The foam dispensing device and package of claim 1 wherein the deformable elongated housing is polyethylene and the cellular material is a polyvinylchloride foam.

3. The foam dispensing device and package of claim 2 wherein the elongated container contains a neck portion and said rigid container is of substantially the same height but of lesser diameter than said neck portion.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,980,342 4/1961 Armour 222-211 X 3,010,613 11/1961 Stossel 222 207 X STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2980342 *Sep 5, 1957Apr 18, 1961Plax CorpLiquid spray dispenser
US3010613 *May 3, 1957Nov 28, 1961Stossel ErnestFoam producing and dispensing device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3622049 *May 5, 1969Nov 23, 1971Schering CorpDispensing system
US3622290 *Nov 4, 1968Nov 23, 1971Owens Corning Fiberglass CorpMethod of making, supplying and applying chemical treatment to glass fibers
US3709437 *Sep 14, 1970Jan 9, 1973Hershel Earl WrightMethod and device for producing foam
US3937364 *Apr 3, 1975Feb 10, 1976Hershel Earl WrightFoam dispensing device
US3985271 *Jun 6, 1975Oct 12, 1976Glasrock Products, Inc.Foam generating and dispensing device
US4022351 *Apr 3, 1975May 10, 1977Hershel Earl WrightFoam dispenser
US4027789 *Sep 10, 1975Jun 7, 1977Glasrock Products, Inc.Foaming device for high solids content foamable liquids
US4531660 *May 29, 1984Jul 30, 1985Hershel Earl WrightFoam dispensing device
US4596343 *Apr 12, 1985Jun 24, 1986Ballard Medical ProductsFoam dispensing device
US4640440 *Apr 12, 1985Feb 3, 1987Ballard Medical ProductsFoam dispensing device
US4836422 *Feb 11, 1988Jun 6, 1989Henkel Kommanditgesellschaft Auf AktienPropellantless foam dispenser
US4846376 *Feb 25, 1988Jul 11, 1989Ballard Medical ProductsInversion foamer
US4957218 *Jul 28, 1986Sep 18, 1990Ballard Medical ProductsFoamer and method
US5037006 *Mar 27, 1990Aug 6, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanySqueeze bottle foam dispenser with threshold pressure valve
US5056689 *Jan 8, 1990Oct 15, 1991Ciba-Geigy CorporationApparatus for removing components from solutions
US5064103 *May 23, 1990Nov 12, 1991Rjs Industries, Inc.Foam dispenser having a plurality of sieves
US5080800 *Mar 18, 1991Jan 14, 1992Ciba-Geigy CorporationProcess for removing components from solutions
US5139666 *Jan 4, 1991Aug 18, 1992Domotechnica Canada, Inc.Bottle and filter
US5238155 *Feb 11, 1991Aug 24, 1993Jack W. KaufmanFoam generating device
US5339988 *Oct 19, 1992Aug 23, 1994Ballard Medical ProductsDisposable tray sump foamer, assembly and methods
US5372281 *Oct 12, 1993Dec 13, 1994Ballard Medical ProductsDisposable tray sump foamer, assembly and methods
US5445288 *Apr 5, 1994Aug 29, 1995Sprintvest Corporation NvLiquid dispenser for dispensing foam
US5452823 *Aug 24, 1994Sep 26, 1995Ballard Medical ProductsDisposable tray sump foamer, assembly and methods
US5496471 *Mar 1, 1993Mar 5, 1996Ciba-Geigy CorporationApparatus for removing components from solutions
US5612361 *Jun 2, 1995Mar 18, 1997Ciba-Geigy CorporationApparatus for removing components from solutions
US5639378 *Jun 2, 1995Jun 17, 1997Ciba-Geigy CorporationMethod for removing components from solutions
US5665332 *Mar 28, 1994Sep 9, 1997Oralcare Systems, Inc.System for delivering foams containing medicaments
US5725129 *Jun 6, 1995Mar 10, 1998American Sterilizer CompanyDual-container foam dispenser
US5803315 *Jan 6, 1997Sep 8, 1998Kaufman Products Inc.Dispenser having removable container
US5884817 *Jan 30, 1997Mar 23, 1999Kaufman Products Inc.Tilt dispenser
US5894961 *Jan 24, 1997Apr 20, 1999Kaufman Products Inc.Dispenser with resilient reservoir structure
US5904272 *Nov 12, 1997May 18, 1999Kaufman Products Inc.Dispenser for liquids
US5984146 *Sep 27, 1996Nov 16, 1999Kaufman; John G.Dispenser having foamed output
US6010683 *Oct 28, 1998Jan 4, 2000Ultradent Products, Inc.Compositions and methods for reducing the quantity but not the concentration of active ingredients delivered by a dentifrice
US6082586 *Mar 30, 1998Jul 4, 2000Deb Ip LimitedLiquid dispenser for dispensing foam
US6139820 *Jul 26, 1999Oct 31, 2000Ultradent Products, Inc.Delivery system for dental agents
US6371332Jul 13, 2000Apr 16, 2002Albert H. FoxApparatus for producing foam from liquid mixture
US6394315Aug 29, 2000May 28, 2002Deb Ip LimitedSqueeze operated foam dispenser
US6581852Dec 7, 2001Jun 24, 2003Valois S. A.Fluid dispenser
US7303099Jun 6, 2005Dec 4, 2007Gotohti.Com Inc.Stepped pump foam dispenser
US7402554Mar 22, 2006Jul 22, 2008The Procter & Gamble CompanyFoam-generating kit containing a foam-generating dispenser and a composition containing a high level of surfactant
US7651992 *Feb 26, 2004Jan 26, 2010The Procter & Gamble CompanyFoam-generating kit containing a foam-generating dispenser and a composition containing a high level of surfactant
US7708166Apr 13, 2006May 4, 2010Gotohti.ComBellows dispenser
US7770874Apr 13, 2006Aug 10, Inc.Foam pump with spring
US8474664Mar 25, 2010Jul 2, 2013Gotohti.Com Inc.Foam pump with bellows spring
US8814005Apr 27, 2012Aug 26, 2014Pibed LimitedFoam dispenser
US9403290 *Jul 12, 2012Aug 2, 2016Scott FraileyValves for creating a foam material
US20040004087 *Nov 15, 2001Jan 8, 2004Hisao IwamotoFoam delivering container and method for charging contents into the same
US20040161447 *Feb 11, 2004Aug 19, 2004Leonard PaulLiquid foam producing compositions and dispensing system therefor
US20040229963 *Feb 26, 2004Nov 18, 2004The Procter & Gamble CompanyFoam-generating kit containing a foam-generating dispenser and a composition containing a high level of surfactant
US20050257317 *May 24, 2004Nov 24, 2005Francisco GuerraApparatus and method for producing foam
US20060229227 *Mar 22, 2006Oct 12, 2006Goldman Stephen AFoam-generating kit containing a foam-generating dispenser and a composition containing a high level of surfactant
US20060237483 *Apr 13, 2006Oct 26, 2006Heiner OphardtBellows dispenser
US20060249538 *Apr 13, 2006Nov 9, 2006Heiner OphardtFoam pump with spring
US20060273114 *Jun 6, 2005Dec 7, 2006Heiner OphardtStepped pump foam dispenser
US20100260632 *Mar 25, 2010Oct 14, 2010Heiner OphardtFoam pump with bellows spring
US20130175306 *Jul 12, 2012Jul 11, 2013Him First, LlcValves for creating a foam material
USRE33564 *Dec 23, 1985Apr 2, 1991Ballard Medical ProductsFoam dispensing device
DE2610129A1 *Mar 11, 1976Oct 14, 1976Hershel Earl WrightSchaumerzeuger
EP1213229A1 *Dec 4, 2001Jun 12, 2002Valois SaFluid product dispenser
EP1340688A1 *Nov 15, 2001Sep 3, 2003Kanebo LimitedFoam delivering container and method for charging contents into the same
EP1340688A4 *Nov 15, 2001Mar 30, 2005Kanebo Cosmetics IncFoam delivering container and method for charging contents into the same
EP1428580A1 *Dec 11, 2002Jun 16, 2004Unilever N.V.Foam or mist dispenser
WO1991014648A1 *Mar 7, 1991Oct 3, 1991The Procter & Gamble CompanySqueeze bottle foam dispenser with threshold pressure valve
WO1999049769A1Mar 25, 1999Oct 7, 1999Sprintvest Corporation N.V.Improved liquid dispenser for dispensing foam
WO2003043743A1 *Oct 18, 2002May 30, 2003Unilever PlcA foam or mist dispenser
WO2006103117A2 *Mar 30, 2006Oct 5, 2006Bean Stephan DProtective device for vessels
WO2006103117A3 *Mar 30, 2006Apr 5, 2007Stephan D BeanProtective device for vessels
U.S. Classification222/190, 222/207
International ClassificationA45D27/02, B65D47/06, A45D27/00, B05B11/04, B05B7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D47/06, A45D27/02, B05B7/0037, B05B11/043
European ClassificationB65D47/06, B05B7/00C1A1, A45D27/02, B05B11/04D1