US 3474936 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
'Oct. 28, 1969 MC 5NNE 3,474,936
- SQUEEZE BOTTLE-DISPENSER Filed May 29, 196 2 Sheets-Sheet l 71/1121 wwa gz 3 b 12 J, M DONNELL ,SQUEEZE BOTTLE DISPENSER '2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May '29, 1967 WWW United States Patent 3,474,936 SQUEEZE BOTTLE DISPENSER John E. McDonnell, 25 Fairview Ave., Port Washington, N.Y. 11050 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 583,236, Sept. 30, 1966. This application May 29, 1967, Ser.
Int. Cl. B6511 37/00 U.S. Cl. 222-211 15 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A squeeze bottle dispenser having a dispensing cap carrying a dip tube and having a valving plug movable in the bottom end of the tube by the movable bottom of the bottle. The cap carries an air inlet or relief valve which has communication with the atmosphere and with the inside upper space in the bottle. When the bottle is squeezed flie relief valve is closed, the valving plug drops and opens the bottom of the dip tube, and discharge of liquid from the dip tube occurs, together with air from the upper space in the bottle. When the bottle restores, the bottom raises and closes the valving plug against the end of the dip tube, keeping liquid in the tube. Also, the relief valve opens, and air easily and quickly flows momentarily into the bottle to relieve the vacuum therein.
The present application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 583,236, filed Sept. 30, 1966, now abandoned, and entitled Squeeze Bottle Dispenser.
CROSS REFERENCES (1) Swiss Patent No. 329,477 (2) U.S. Patent No. 1,778,291 (3) U.S. Patent No. 2,113,695 (4) U.S. Patent No. 2,631,064 (5) U.S. Patent No. 2,738,107 (6) U.S. Patent No. 2,980,342 (7) U.S. Patent No. 3,154,222 (8) U.S. Patent No. 3,179,301 (9) U.S. Patent No. 3,221,945 (10) U.S. Patent No. 3,255,933
BACKGROUND This invention relates to plastic squeeze bottle dispensers.
In prior squeeze bottle dispensers having dip tubes it is often necessary when squeezing to expel quite a bit of air before the spray starts, due to the dip tube having become emptied in large part by the inrush of air from the previous actuation. This delays the spraying and is annoying and inconvenient. Also, prior dispensers do not enable replacement air to enter quickly or easily enough, and do not minimize evaporation or loss of vapor from the prodtlct. This is also an inconvenience, and in the case of perfumes a deterioration of the fragrance results. The prior dispensers do not automatically eifect a stoppering when the dispenser is not in use, but require manual stoppering and unstoppering. This is an additional drawback.
SUM MARY The present invention obviates the above disadvantages, Objects are to provide an improved dispenser and automatic closure valve operated by the bottle wall; an im- Patented Oct. 28, 1969 proved dispenser with finger-grip bottle and localized press-spot, and with improved automatic sealing that needs no stopper cap to prevent leakage or evaporation, with improved check valve arrangement in the spray cap; a dispenser which will quickly start spraying when squeezed, and wherein the dip tube will not empty due to inrush of replacement air; a dispenser wherein the replacement air can quickly flow into the bottle without annoying delay; a dispenser which minimizes loss from evaporation, and loss of fragrance of perfumes; and a dispenser like the foregoing, which is very simple, not costly to make and reliable in operation.
The foregoing are accomplished by the provision of a novel squeeze bottle dispenser having a dispensing cap carrying a dip tube and having a valving plug movable in the bottom end of the tube by the movable bottom of the bottle. The cap carries an air inlet or relief valve which has communication with the atmosphere and with the inside upper space in the bottle. When the bottle is squeezed the relief valve is closed, the valving plug drops and opens the bottom of the dip tube, and discharge of liquid from the dip tube occurs, together with air from the upper space in the bottle. When the bottle restores, the bottom raises and closes the valving plug against the end of the dip tube, keeping liquid in the tube. Also, the relief valve opens, and air easily and quickly flows momentarily into the bottle to relieve the vacuum therein.
Other objects will become apparent to those skilled in the art when the following description is read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a top part of a squeeze bottle, and a spray cap with a removable flip-top seal.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the dispenser with upper and lower sections. A relief valve is open.
FIG. 3 shows the bottle being squeezed and discharg- FIG. 4 is a section on line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a section on line 55 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a side view of a smaller squeeze bottle dispenser for one-shot use, showing an upper section.
FIG. 7 shows the small squeeze bottle being discharged.
FIG. 8 shows a modified shank formation.
FIG. 9 is a view like that of FIG. 3, showing another arrangement of relief valve and aerating passages.
In FIG. 1 there is a flip-top seal 10 having a finger piece 12 reinforced by a rib 14, and a novel angled bottom edge 16. The seal 10 tightly closes the spray cap 18 to prevent leakage, but because it is yieldable it can be easily flipped off by upward finger pressure on the piece 12. The diagonal edge 16 makes this removal easy.
The plastic bottle is 20, being mostly smooth with finger grips 22, 24 and 26 at one side. The pressing part or finger-press formation of the bottle is novel, at 28. To make the pressing part quickly return after being pressed, it is made curved and uneven, with wrinkles or corruga tions 30 closely spaced, extending only for a part of a circle as in FIG. 5. The corrugations are ribs and grooves. This makes a more rigid wall which tends to return more strongly to its original position, this being an important feature because quick successive operations are possbile with the rigidized Wall 30. A plain or smooth wall would not return so quickly to the original shape.
The spray cap 18 is connected with the discharge tube 32 which is of the conventional plastic material, somewhat stifi and flexible or resilient, and capable of slight stretching or deformation within the elastic limit. The cap 18 has an air inlet 34 normally closed by a relief valve comprising a disk 36 acted on by a spring 38 in a spring chamber 40. Drifted portions 42 hold the spring 38 in place. Air is shown entering the bottle, by means of the arrows 44 in FIG. 2, when squeezing is discontinued. The invention provides a novel valve set-up as follows: The cap 18 has a spray orifice 46 holding a spring 48 in a mixing chamber 50 connected by a hole 52 to the discharge tube 32. A mixing valve comprising a disk 54 is acted on by the spring 48 and closes a hole 56 in the wall between the chamber 50 and chamber 40.
When the bottle discharges (FIG. 3), air passes upward (see arow 55) and into the spring chamber 40, then displaces the valve disk 54 and mixes with liquid in the chamber 50. The liquid comes up through the tube 32 from the bottom of the bottle, due to the increased pressure as the bottle is squeezed.
The tube 32 is part of a novel valve cooperating with a movable wall of the bottle, but the movable wall does not need to be smooth or accurately contoured, in accordance with the invention. The bottom of the tube 32 holds an accurate molded plug 58, which is made with a taper or a cone 60 and a head 62. The cone 60 is slightly larger than the tube 32, and can spread the end slightly as in FIG. 2, sealing the tube. The cross section of the plug 58, at its shaft, has reliefs or grooves. The reliefs or grooves can extend a slight distance into the cone 60, as shown. It can be like a cross shown in FIG. 4, or it can have a three-rib sectioning like a Y, or it can have a flat strip-like shape obtained by omitting two of the ribs from the cross of FIG. 4.
When the bottle is squeezed (FIG. 3), the bottom 64 which was always pressing upward on the plug 58, no longer presses upward but moves away or down, and the enlarged bottom edge of the tube 32 in resuming its normal circumference squeezes the cone 60 downward so that the relieved shank of the plug is exposed. FIG. 3 shows the plug 58 in fully dropped position. The downward movement of the plug has been helped by the suction effect between the flat head 62 (normally surrounded by the liquid) and the fiat bottom wall 64. As the wall moves downward it tends to draw the head 62 and plug 58 downward. The liquid can now pass upward, past the shank, being forced up through the tube 32 and mixing with the air in the mixing chamber 50. This achieves an important object, which is to use the tube and wall as an automatic valve without requiring the wall of the bottle to be especially tooled or made accurate.
The liquid sprays out as seen at 66. When the bottle is released, the deformed part 28 quickly goes to its original shape, sucking in air through the valve 36. The bottom wall 64 of the bottle has two semi-circular upwardly off-set parts 68 located inward, with opposed curved edges 70 that form a well. The well connects the grooves 72 and receives the bottom of the tube 32 to keep it confined and straight, and the grooves and well collect the last bit of liquid when the bottle empties.
When the bottle is not squeezed, the bottom of the well 70 presses the plug cone 60 into the tube 32 and closes the tube. This prevents evaporation and loss of the liquid. Also the two valve disks 36 and 54 help prevent loss. There is just the right friction between the shank of the plug 58 and the tube 32 to hold the plug against dropping out during assembly to the bottle. There is not enough friction to defeat the action of the tube in squeezing out the cone 60 when the bottle is squeezed. A Y-section shank on the plug can triangulate the tube cross section to secure only light friction as seen exaggerated in FIG. 8.
The one-shot bottle 71 in FIGS. 6 and 7 is smaller and has a novel corrugated neck 73 mating with corrugations 74 in the cap 76. Smooth surfaces engaging at 70 provide a tight seal while the corrugations hold the cap from being removed. When the bottle 71 is squeezed (see FIG. 7), the bottom 80 bulges downward to release a plug like 58, at the bottom of the discharge tube 82. The bottom 80 is 4 like the bottom of the bottle 20. A plastic shrink seal 84 is torn off before the first use.
Another embodiment is shown in FIG. 9, wherein a different type of air inlet or relief valve is shown, and a different arrangement of aerating passages.
Similar numbers to those already mentioned indicate similar parts.
The cap 18a has a depending central boss 88 with air passages 90 extending past the upper end portion of the dip tube 32, which latter is press-fitted in the boss. The cap has a central vertical bore 92 carrying a spring 38a engaged with a relief ball valve 36a cooperating with an air opening 34a. A horizontal passage 50a connects the orifice 46 with the bore 92, and the bore 92, which functions as a mixing chamber, connects with the upper space in the bottle 20 via the passages 90.
As seen in FIG. 9 squeezing the bottle 20 drops the bottom 64 and valving plug 58 having the grooves 59, thus unplugging the dip tube 32. Liquid flows up through the tube 32, and mixes with air flowing up through the passages 90. A spray issues from the orifice 46. When the bottle is released, the bottom 64 quickly raises the plug 58 to stopper the tube 32, preventing liquid from leaving the tube. The ball 36a is temporarily sucked down, opening the vent 34a, and air now very quickly rushes down the passages 90 into the upper space in the bottle to relieve the vacuum. The bottle quickly restores itself, and liquid is always ready in the dip tube 32 to be discharged without delay at the next squeeze.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
1. A squeeze bottle dispenser which includes a resilient plastic bottle having an upper neck portion, a discharge tube which at one end is fixedly carried by said upper neck portion and which extends into the bottle with a free end disposed at a point near an outwardly movable bottom wall, and a stopper plug movable in the free end of the tube and actuated by the said bottom wall, said wall forcing the stopper plug into sealing contact with the free end of the tube when the bottle is not being squeezed, and said bottom wall moving downward and away from the plug to free it for downward movement in a direction away from the tube when the bottle is being squeezed, thereby to admit fluid into the tube past the plug.
2. The article set forth in claim 1, in which the plug has a tapered valve part which is forced partly into the tube by the said bottom wall, said tube being resilient and at its end stretching slightly within its elastic limit and tending to force the valve outward when the movable bottom wall releases its force on the plug.
3. The article set forth in claim 1, in which the plug has a shaft in the tube, with reliefs to pass the fluid, and there is just enough press fit to prevent the plug freely falling out during assembly of the dispenser while still permitting it to have valving movement in the tube.
4. The article set forth in claim 1, in which there is a cup-like spray cap carrying the tube, said cap having: a relief valve for admitting air into the bottle when out- ,side pressure is greater; a mixing chamber connected to the tube; an orifice connected to the mixing chamber, and a mixing valve between the mixing chamber and the inside of the cap, to admit pressurized air from the bottle into the mixing chamber.
5. The article set forth in claim 4, in which the cap has a spjring chamber holding the relief valve, and in which the mixing valve controls a passage between the spring chamber and the mixing chamber.
6. The article set forth in claim 1, in which the movable wall has a well where the plug sits.
7. The article set forth in claim 1, in which the bottle has finger grips on one side and has an uneven curved finger-press formation on its opposite side at the neck, said formation being adapted for the application of finger pressure to it to force the formation inward, said formation tending to return quickly to its original curved shape when finger pressure is removed.
8. The article set forth in claim 7, in which the uneven curved formation has parallel ribs and grooves extending in general horizontally and also partly around the upper part of the bottle.
9. The article as set forth in claim 3, in which the shaft has three ribs for engagement with the tube.
10. The article set forth in claim 2, in which the plug has a shaft in the tube, with reliefs to pass the fluid, said reliefs extending into the tapered valve part.
11. The article set forth in claim 1, in which there is a cup-like spray cap carrying the tube, said cap having: a valve for admitting air into the bottle when outside pressure is greater; having a mixing chamber connected to the tube; and an orifice connected to the mixing chamber.
12. The article set forth in claim 11, in which the cap has air passages extending from the mixing chamber and communicating with the interior of the bottle.
13. The article set forth in claim 12, in which the cap has a boss wherein the tube is press fitted, the bore of said boss having said air passages.
14. The article set forth in claim 11, in which the mixing chamber is aligned with the top end of the tube, said yalve being disposed at the top of the mixing chamber, said cap having a vent opening cooperable with the valve.
15. The article set forth in claim 14, in which there is a spring in the mixing chamber, engaged with said valve.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner ,F. R. HANDREN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.