US 3457014 A
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July 22, 19 69 L. T'. WARD 3,457,014
LIQUID APPLICATOR Filed Jan. 17, 1967 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR I, Lawrence T. Word BY fl -Mwe, M, WW6 1.7 61- 1% ATTORNEYS July 22, 1969 w D 3,457,014
LIQUID APPLICATOR Filed Jan. 17, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR Lawrence T. Word B jam; 1
m c, X71 2? MW ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,457,014 mourn APPLICA'IOR Lawrence T. Ward, Hester St., Portland, Pa. 18351 Filed Jan. 17, 1967, Ser. No. 609,815 Int. Cl. B43k /02, 5/20; A47k 7/02 US. Cl. 401-41 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DESCLOSURE A liquid applicator having flexible side walls in which an absorbent applicator core and a portion of a soluble substance are positioned where the applicator has a charging hole through which a liquid solvent may be inserted prior to applicator use.
This invention relates to a liquid applicator and more particularly to an applicator construction in which the applicator may be kept in a dry condition until it is used.
Conventional liquid applicators having liquid reservoirs require careful handling in packaging and shipping in order to prevent leakage or evaporation of the liquid contents. This is particularly true where the applicator is filled with a highly volatile liquid such as an alcohol base solution which is readily subject to evaporation. In addition, where absorbent applicator nibs are used, such nibs often lose their capillary properties over a period of time due to coagulation of the liquid contents within the nib thus rendering it less effective.
It is therefore an object of my invention to provide for an applicator construction which is inexpensive to construct and in which a liquid solvent may be easily inserted prior to use. It is a further object to provide for an applicator in which a soluble substance may be readily positioned within the applicator so as to be dissolved by and to mix with the liquid solvent when introduced into the applicator by the user. In addition, it is an object of the invention to provide a positive means which will prevent any contamination of the soluble substance contained within the applicator prior to the introduction of the liquid solvent into the applicator. A still further object of the invention is to provide an applicator cconstruction which may easily be recharged once the applicator becomes empty.
Broadly, the invention comprises an applicator construction comprising a tubular casing member having flexible side walls. One end of the tubular casing member is closed while a porous absorbent core member having an applicator nib on one end is inserted through the opposite open end of the casing leaving a charging space positioned between the closed end of the casing and the end of the core member. A filling hole or opening is provided in the closed end through which a liquid solvent may be injected to dissolve a soluble substance contained in the charging chamber in pellet form or which is impregnated into the absorbent core. Preferably, a protective means in the form of a frangible tip covers the filling hole to prevent contamination of the interior of the casing and which is adapted to be broken off the casing prior to filling with a liquid.
Referring to the drawings in which several embodiments of my invention are illustrated,
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an applicator constructed according to the invention prior to the insertion of a liquid solvent;
FIG. 2 is a view of the applicator of FIG. 1 shown being filled with a liquid solvent;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view of the applicator of FIG. 1 shown in use;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of the tubular casing member illustrating a protective means preventing contamination of the interior of the applicator prior to filling with a liquid solvent;
FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of a further embodiment illustrating valve means controlling the opening through which a liquid solvent is injected into the applicator;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating a further valve means controlling the opening through which liquid solvent is injected into the applicator; and
FIG. 7 is a view of an applicator construction similar to that of FIG. 6 having in addition a protective means to prevent contamination prior to the filling of the applicator with a liquid solvent.
Referring to the drawings in greater detail and in particular to FIGURE 1, there is illustrated a liquid applicator 1 having a tubular casing member 2 made of a readily flexible plastic material. The tubular casing member 2 has a closed or first end 3 and an open or second end 4 opposite the closed end through which a porous absorbent applicator core 5 is inserted. The core is pointed at one end 6 to provide an applicator nib portion and is positioned and held within the casing by heads 7 and 8 molded therewith such that bead 7 engages with a groove 9 contained in the core and bead 8 with the flat end of the core. The core itself may comprise any absorbent material such as cotton, felt, Dacron, or cellulose acetate, and may be treated by various chemicals to give desired firinness and flow characteristics.
The core is further positioned in the casing to leave a space between the closed end 3 and the flat end of the core to provide a charging chamber 10 into which a liquid solvent may be injected through filling hole 11 contained in the closed end. Preferably the volume of that part of the casing in which the absorbent core is positioned is greater than the volume of the charging chamber in order that the liquid capacitiy of the absorbent core contained within the casing will be greater than that of the charging chamber.
A pellet 12 is placed in the casing prior to the insertion of the core 5 where the pellet comprises a soluble substance. The substance may, for example, be a coloring material, an adhesive, a medicinal preparation, or any other material that may be dissolved by a liquid and which is adaptable to be applied to a surface by a wicktype applicator. Instead of having the substance in pellet form, it could be in such a form as to be impregnated into the absorbent core and so be inserted into the casing along with the absorbent core.
The applicator may be provided with a closure cap 14 which is inserted over the nib end of the core so as to seal with the outer periphery of the casing in order to protect the nib prior'to initial use and to prevent excessive evaporation of the liquid contents between successive uses of the applicator. When the applicator is used, the cap 14 is removed and may be applied to the opposite end of the casing so as to seal with the outer periphery thereof. A longitudinally extending vent channel 16 is provided on the outer periphery of the casing adjacent '3 its closed end to allow air to flow through the channel into the charging chamber when the cap 14 is applied to the closed end of the applicator.
When it is desired to use the applicator for the first time, the closed end must first be inserted into a pool of liquid solvent as shown in FIGURE 2 and the flexible side walls of the casing compressed by finger pressure. Upon release of finger pressure, the resilient, flexible side walls will return to their initial position such that the pressure within the charging chamber will be subatmospheric thus allowing the liquid solvent to flow through the hole 11 into the charging chamber under the force of atmospheric pressure. The cap is then removed from the position shown in FIGURE 2 and may be applied to the closed end of the casing as shown in FIGURE 3. Since the absorbent capacity of the core material is greater than the liquid capacity of the charging chamber, all of the liquid which enters the charging chamber will be absorbed into the core. This prevents any liquid from flowing back through the open hole 11 in the event that the applicator is turned such that its closed end is lower than its open end.
After use, the cap 14 is then moved from the closed end of the applicator and reapplied over the nib end as shown in FIGURE 1 to again seal the nib end and so prevent excessive drying of the nib and evaporation of liquid.
It may be desirable in certain constructions, for example where the applicator is to be used for medicinal purposes, to provide a positive means to cover and close the filling hole in the closed end of the applicator prior to use in order to prevent contamination of the interior of the casing. Such a construction is shown in FIGURE 4 wherein a frangible tip portion 18 is molded with the casing to provide a positive means closing the filling hole 11. When it is desired to fill the applicator with the liquid solvent, the tip 18 is broken off by finger pressure and then the applicator is filled as shown in FIGURE 2.
It may be desirable in some forms of applicators constructed according to the invention to provide a valve means for closing the filling hole after filling in order to insure that no liquid contained within the applicator may be forced out of the filling hole when the applicator is used or compressive force is applied to the casing. Such a check valve construction is illustrated in FIGURE wherein the casing 20 has a flap 21 molded into its closed end to cover the opening 22 and where a part of the outer periphery of the flap makes a slit 23 with the closed end. Upon the release of finger pressure during filling as shown in FIGURE 5, the resilient side walls of the casing will move outwardly to create a subatmospheric pressure within the casing whereby the flap 21 will move inwardly under the force of atmospheric pressure such that liquid solvent may be forced through the slit. If the pressure within the casing is increased after filling, for example by squeezing the casing, the pressure will force the flap to close the opening and thus prevent flow of liquid therethrough. It is apparent that flap 21 could be molded with the closed end of the tubular member 20 so that a thin membrane joins the outer periphery of part of the flap with the casing. This membrane could easily be ruptured to form the slit and the membrane would effectively form a positive means to prevent contamination of the casing interior in the same manner as in the construction shown in FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 illustrates a further embodiment of a valve means wherein the casing 24 has a thin slit 25 formed between two inwardly projecting lips 26. Release of finger pressure during filling will produce a subatmospheric pressure within the tubular member allowing atmospheric pressure to force liquid through the slit formed by the lips. Increase of pressure within the casing after filling will force the lips together and so close the slit.
FIGURE 7 illustrates a further embodiment generally similar to that shown in FIGURE 6 wherein the casing 27 has a frangible tip 28 molded on to the closed end and .4 over the slit 29 which slit is generally similar to that shown in FIGURE 6. Upon use, the frangible tip is broken off and the casing filled as shown in FIGURE 2.
Applicators constructed according to my invention are inexpensive to make since the casings, valves for closing the filling holes, frangible tips and caps are all readily adaptable to be made by molding processes. Such applicators may have a number of uses and the precise composition of the absorbent core material will depend upon the particular use to which the applicator is put. Thus, for example, the absorbency of the core material and the configuration of the nib portion of the core will be determined by the composition to be dispensed and by the area of the surface to be treated. Further, the composition of the soluble substance impregnated in the core or contained in the pellet may vary with the uses to which the applicator is put and the type of liquid solvent with which the applicator is to be filled may also vary. For example, if the applicator is used for coloring, the pellet may comprise a non-toxic food dye where the solvent could comprise water. On the other hand, if the soluble substance comprised a medicinal preparation, the liquid solvent might well be an alcohol.
It is apparent that slight changes could be made in the several embodiments disclosed and that the resulting structure would still come within the invention, the scope of which is to be determined by the appended claims. For example, the porous applicator core 5- shown in FIGURE 1 as being' of a one-piece or integral construction could instead be of a two-piece construction where the applicator nib portion 6 could be made of a more or less dense material than the remainder of the core to vary flow control through the nib portion, to vary the rate of wear of the nib portion or to provide a soft applicator surface.
1. A liquid applicator construction comprising a tubular casing having fiexible side walls, a first end and a second end; an absorbent applicator core having a nib at one end thereof and positioned within said tubular casing to close said second end and to extend partially towards said first end to form a charging chamber within the tubular casing between the first end thereof and the end of said core; a soluble substance in said tubular casing; a charging hole in said first end through which a liquid solvent may be forced into said charging chamber to dissolve said substance and to be absorbed by said core when said applicator is ready for use; and a removable cap means for normally protecting said nib and to seal said second end from ingress of air during charging of said charging chamber.
2. A liquid applicator construction according to claim 1 wherein the liquid capacity of said charging chamber is less than the liquid absorbency of said absorbent core.
3. A liquid applicator construction according to claim 1 wherein said soluble substance comprises a pellet in said charging chamber.
4. An applicator construction according to claim 1 wherein said soluble substance is impregnated in said absorbent core.
5 An applicator construction according to claim 1 having in addition a frangible protective tip portion integral with said tubular casing and overlying said charginghole to prevent contamination of said charging space prior to being filled with a liquid solvent.
6. A liquid applicator construction according to claim 1, having a depressed channel in the outer periphery of said tubular casing adjacent the first end whereby said channel and said cap form an air vent to allow passage of air into said charging chamber when said applicator is in use and when said cap is mounted on the ouctler periphery of the tubular casing adjacent the first en 7 A liquid applicator construction comprising a tubular casing having flexible side Walls, a first end and a second end; an absorbent applicator core having a nib at one end thereof and positioned within said tubular casing to close said second end and to extend partially towards said first end to form a charging chamber within the tubular casing between the first end thereof and the end of said core; a soluble substance in said tubular casing; a charging hole in said first end through which a liquid solvent may be forced into said charging chamber to dissolve said substance and to be absorbed by said core when said applicator is ready for use; removable cap means for normally protecting said nib and to seal said second end from ingress of air during charging of said charging chamber; and operable valve means to open and close said charging hole upon movement of said flexible side walls and wherein said valve means is in an open position when the pressure within said charging space is subatmospheric.
8. A liquid applicator construction according to claim 7 wherein said valve means and said charging hole comprise an inwardly opening slit in said closed end adapted to open when pressure exterior of said tubular member is greater than pressure within said charging chamber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,139,492 12/1938 Fidelman 401- 2,640,216 6/ 1953 Gottlieb 401-4 2,820,233 1/1958 Steiner 401-183 3,100,477 8/1963 Ermel 401-186 3,167,057 1/1965 Bross 401- LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.