US 3488002 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 6, F A M|NA SQIUEEZE BOTTLE DISPENSER Filed Jan. 11, 1968 United States Patent US. Cl. 239-327 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A resiliently deformable container for dispensing fluids in the form of a spray or line drops in a downward direction through a nozzle assembly located at the container base, and where the container top is so formed to exhibit a surface presenting an unstable appearance, to encourage normal storage of the container on its nozzle end. The nozzle assembly is specifically designed for inverted or downward dispensing operations where the fluid to be dispensed lies immediately adjacent the nozzle assembly and the air applied in dispensing the fluid is acquired from an area displaced from the nozzle end.
The present invention is directed to a fluid dispensing container and in particular to those types of containers such as the so-called squeeze bottle type where the fluid is dispensed by pressure exerted on a container wall. In prior art devices of this type, a nozzle unit is conveniently covered by a cap at the top of the container, and working usage for dispensing fluid contained therein entails exerting pressure on the container while holding the nozzle head in a substantially upright position. Typical construction of such a prior art device would call for a tube to deliver fluid from the container bottom to the nozzle assembly at the container top, and an air space provided immediately adjacent to the nozzle assembly for furnishing an air sup ply at the nozzle air intake for the dispensing operation. Although such devices are widely accepted and used, certain aspects relating to the use of these devices have been found to be disadvantageous. For example, almost everyone has undergone the experience that when the nozzle head or cap end of these prior art devices is inverted or tilted at an extreme angle for a spray application in a downward direction toward the ground, a delivery in the form of a solid stream will generally occur. Such an occurrence is a direct consequence of the fluid filling and being trapped within the tube during the course of the tilting operation. An additional cause for the solid stream flow resides in an inflow of the fluid into the adjoining nozzle air intake while the nozzle end is held in the inverted position. Further, another common experience that might occur with prolonged storage of these type containers is the blockage or narrowing of the nozzle head opening caused by the drying out of residual drops of the fluid thereabout, thereby detrimentally influencing the spray effect desired.
The purpose of this invention is to disclose a simply constructed and efficient device; which will operate in a manner not capable by prior art devices of the type made mention to above by providing a fluid dispensing container constructed for delivery of fluid in the form of a fine spray or drops from a nozzle head in a down or inverted position; which may be handled and manipulated in a mode beneficial to the device operation; and where the container construction calls for design parameters that would automatically influence or dispose a person using the container to store or stand the container on its nozzle head end.
To accomplish the above, a special nozzle assembly is employed at the base of a fluid retaining container and adapted to be covered by a removable cap upon which the container may be easily stored. The top of the container is formed to exhibit a surface such as the shape of a cupola, presenting an unstable appearance to encourage normal storage of the container on its cap end so that desirable performance characteristics are obtained with a subsequent dispensing operation. By careful design of the spray nozzle assembly, a slight build-up of fluid is so maintained at the nozzle head to prevent drying up of fluid thereat and thus avoiding blockage or narrowing of the nozzle head opening. Other provisions and/ or objects are provided for, like deliberate obstruction of the nozzle head opening when in storage, and such provision and/or objects will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken into conjunction with the accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is an over-all perspective view of the dispensing container embodying the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the dispensing container taken along lines 22 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view of a form of the nozzle assembly of the present invention, with parts of the container and tube cutaway.
There is shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 a dispensing container 11 comprising a top wall 12, a side wall 13, and a base 14. Top wall 12 has a configuration in the shape of a cupola. The base includes a funnel-shaped bottom wall 15 and neck 16, the exterior of which neck is threaded at 17. A cap 18 is furnished with an inner recessed structure 19 adapted to complement the funnel-shaped arrangement exhibited by bottom wall 15 and neck 16, portions of the cap being threaded at 21 to engage the threaded area 17 of neck 16 in screw-like fashion, thereby allowing the cap to be easily removed from the main body of the container.
The underside 22 of cap 14 is provided with a broad planar area enabling the container to be readily stored on a level surface. In addition, cap 18 has an outer periphery 23 exhibiting a symmetry that corresponds to the symmetry of the container side wall 13 serving to afford firm structural support for storage of the container, and in addition to present a pleasant aesthetic appearance.
Within the space environed by neck 16 is frictionally seated, in plug-like fashion, a nozzle unit 24 comprising a cylindrical body 25 as may be best observed by reference to FIGURE 3. The nozzle unit 24 is tightly captured within neck 16 by way of a ring-like extension 26 circumscribing the periphery of body 25 adapted to snap into a matching complementary recess 27 formed in neck 16.
Situated at the subjacent center of cylindrical body 25 is a chamber 28, one end of which chamber terminates at a spray orifice 29 and another end terminating at an opening 31 to an elongated tubular member 32. As depicte'd in FIGURE 2, tube 32 extends upwardly to terminate at a vent 33 located well above a level 34 of a fluid or other suitable medium 35 placed in the container for dispensing purposes. The air space formed in the container above fluid level 34 and adjacent top wall 12 is tapped by tube 32 for delivery of air via the tube into chamber 28 as will be hereinafter explained in the operation of the present invention. The lower end of tube 32 is tightly fitted within a circular cavity 36 generally formed along the vertical axis of cylindrical member 25 as illustrated in FIGURE 3.
Within cylindrical body 25 is a duct 37 shown to have a right angle shaped passageway extending from an inlet 38 at the bottom wall to an outlet 39 at chamber 28 intermediate spray orifice 29 and tube opening 31, allowing fluid 35 adjacent bottom wall 15 to be directed into chamber 28 for mixing the same with air from the tube in a manner to be explained. However, it is noted that duct 37 could be so angular-shaped to form an acute angle relative to tube 32 defining a line-of-right duct from inlet 38 to outlet 39.
To provide for maximum efliciency of the dispensing container, it is desirable that a certain relationship might exist between the three apertures common to the chamber; namely, that the diameter of the tube opening 31 be smaller than duct outlet 39, and it is preferred that the diameter of spray orifice 29 lie intermediate the measurements of the above-noted diameters. However, it can be appreciated that these relative measurements are to a large extent dependent upon such factors as the viscosity of the fluid being utilized, the particular spray characteristics desired, etc. Typical fluids which might be utilized in the present inventon would include those employed as an athlete foot preparation, an antiseptic, an insecticide, a pesticide, etc.
Although the container would be carefully designed to minimize or eliminate fluid dripping at spray orifice 29, such an undesirable consequence may not be avoided in some instances, one of which might include jarring of the container during storage. To obviate any dripping problem that might otherwise occur, an inward protrusion is provided at 41 (as shown in FIGURE 2) to contact and obstruct spray orifice 29 when the cap is properly secured to the container. In the present embodiment protrusion 41 is formed by merely depressing the center of cap 19. If desired, a resilient pad could be mounted on the head of protrusion 41 in order to ensure better contact with the area encircling the spray orifice.
In operation of the present invention, it is significant to note that ordinary storage of the dispensing container should be accomplished in what is customarily thought of as an inverted position because the cap and/or nozzle assembly incorporated in the dispensing container embodying the present invention, is located at the base or bottom position. To counteract the natural reaction, which would be adverse to the storage of a dispensing container in what is referred to above as an inverted or cap-down position, design parameters of the dispensing container are employed to practical advantage. Specifically, in the illustrated embodiment, top wall 12 has a shape of a cupola, thus presenting an unstable surface which would, prima facie, discourage standing of the container thereon; and, in contrast, cap 18 forming a portion of the container base presents a broad planar surface 22 that would firmly support the dispensing container on a level surface. Further, it might be desirable to provide side wall 13 with a cylindrical shape, as depicted in FIG- URE 1, as an additional inducement to encourage and insure storage of the dispensing container upon cap 18.
Upon removal of the dispensing container from its inverted storage position, cap 18 would be removed, and then with the nozzle unit directed downwardly toward the ground, side wall 13 is squeezed with the fingers of the person operating the device. The resulting pressure formed within the container forces a portion of liquid 35 through duct 37 into chamber 28 and simultaneously the air enclosed at the top of the container is forced through tube 32 also into chamber 28, whereby a mixture of air and liquid is created and forced out of the chamber through orifice 29 in the form of a spray or small droplets on the first as well as subsequent squeezes.
Subsequent to releasing the application of the finger pressure, the side wall, due to its elasticity, returns to its original shape creating a suction effect within the container which draws air back through the spray orifice, chamber 28, tube 32 and duct 37 into the container, until that air volume used for the previous spray function and the additional volume created by the volume of liquid dispensed, is replenished by,air.
Since the nozzle unit is disposed so that duct outlet 39 communicates with chamber 28 immediately above spray orifice 29, a slight build-up of liquid could always exist at the spray orifice and, accordingly would significantly reduce blockage or narrowing of tlie spray-orifice opening resulting from such drying, that might otherwise impede or hamper the desired spray effect.
While but one preferred embodiment of the present invention has been particularly shownand described, it is apparent that various modifications may be made therein within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, cap 18 might be joined to the main body of the container by anyone of a number of interlock arrangements such as the snap-on type, the dovetail type, etc. Alternatively, the major portion of cap 18might form an integral part of the container and an enlarged aperture at the middle of the cap could be readily closed'and opened by a slide associated with the cap, to expose the spray orifice. A further modification of the top wall 12 could call for configurations other than the shape of a cupola, such as a pyramid, etc.
What is claimed is:
1. A container for dispensing a solution comprising:
top and side walls, and a'base including a bottom wall, said walls generally defining a closed area adapted to contain a fluid to be dispensed;
at least one of said walls being resiliently deformable;
a nozzle assembly secured at said bottom wall and adapted for spraying a fluid from adjacent the bottom wall in a downward direction externally of said container when pressure is applied to the resilient deformable wall;
the nozzle assembly defining a mixing chamber with a spray orifice and a fluid duct intake extending from the closed area to the mixing chamberimmediately adjacent said orifice;
an elongated tubular member fastened to the nozzle assembly to terminate at said mixing chamber opposite said orifice and extending upwardly within the container toward the vicinity of said top wall; v
the base further including means for firmly supporting the container on a level surface; I
and said top wall further including an unstable surface to discourage the standing of the container thereon and encourage standing of the container on the base.
2. A container according to claim 1 v wherein the bottom wall is funnel-shaped and the nozzle assembly is so contained within said neck to direct the fluid flow from the lowest fluid level of the container through an opening of the duct communicating with the closed area. i
3. A container for dispensing a solution comprising:
a base including a funnel-shaped bottom wall having a neck;
a cylindrically shaped side wall adapted to be resiliently deformable;
a top wall;
said bottom, side and top walls defining a closed area adapted to contain a fluid to be dispensed;
a nozzle assembly seated within said neckand adapted for spraying a fluid from adjacent said bottom wall in a downward direction externally of said container when pressure is applied to deform the side wall;
a mixing chamber included in said nozzle assembly and defining a spray orifice at one side thereof;
a tube fastened to the nozzle assembly, for supplying air to the nozzle assembly, said tube terminating at an end of said mixing chamber opposite said 5 orifice and extending upwardly within the container toward the vicinity of the top wall;
a duct included in the nozzle assembly within the area defined by said neck for delivering fluid at the funnel-shaped bottom wall to the mixing chamber at an outlet immediately adjacent the orifice;
the base further including a cap removably secured to said bottom wall, the cap having a broad planar bottom area for firmly supporting the container on a level surface;
said top wall including an exterior in the shape of a cupola for providing an unstable surface to discourage the standing of the container thereon and encourage standing of the container on the base.
4. A container according to claim 3 the cap including an embossment for obstructing the spray orifice when the cap is secured to the bottom wall.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1953 France.
STANLEY H. TOLLBERG, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
@2 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent N 0. 5,488,002 Dated o Inventor(s) Erancjs A1frgd Mina It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 4 line 11 insert after orifice "communicating with duct outlet 59 in normal usage. Such an arrangement would prevent excessive drying out of the liquid at the spray orifice" Page 8 lines 12-14 of our specification.
SlGNED AND SEALED MAY 121970 QSEAL) Attcst:
Edward M. Fletcher, Ir. WIL E. ,Smm, IR
r Attesting Offlcer 'ommi 55101181 of Patent