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Publication numberUS3494702 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 10, 1970
Filing dateAug 11, 1967
Priority dateAug 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3494702 A, US 3494702A, US-A-3494702, US3494702 A, US3494702A
InventorsAston Bruno D
Original AssigneeAston Bruno D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for dispensing and applying liquid materials
US 3494702 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 10, 1970 a. o; ASTON 3,494,702

DEVICE FOR DISPENSING AND APPLYING LIQUID MATERIALS 7 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 11, 1967 5EU/V0 Q A570 INVENTOR B 62, 1 0. Cdalaa Arraz/va/ uvvwx Feb. 10, 1970 s. o. ASTON 3,494,702

- DEVICE FOR DISPENSING AND APPLYING' LIQUID MATERIALS Filed Aug. 11, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 EEO/V0 2 ,4570/1/ INVENTOR 62/9 cum United States Patent 3,494,702 DEVICE FOR DISPENSING AND APPLYING LIQUID MATERIALS Bruno D. Aston, 14421 Autumn Moon Drive, Hacienda Heights, Calif. 91745 Filed Aug. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 660,125 Int. Cl. A46b 17/06 US. Cl. 401122 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A bottle for a liquid has a stopper which serves as a handle for an applicator which normally extends downwardly from the stopper through an annular wiper into a body of liquid inside the bottle, which wiper removes surplus liquid from the applicator as the applicator is withdrawn from the bottle. The applicator comprises an elongated support member and a body of soft, resiliently yieldable, open cell foamed plastic which has an exposed dispensing portion, the remaining portion being a storage portion extending lengthwise of the support member. The foamed plastic may be in the form of a tubular stocking embracing the elongated support or the elongated support may be of tubular configuration with the storage portion of the foamed plastic body inside the tubular support. Such an applicator may be withdrawn from its normal position inside the bottle and used for extensive application of the liquid material without the necessity of repeatedly dipping the applicator back into the body of liquid.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is old in the art to mount an elongated applicator on a stopper of a bottle containing a body of liquid cosmetic with the elongated applicator normally extending downwardly into the body of liquid. It is also broadly old to mount an annular wiper inside the bottle which wiper normally embraces the applicator and wipes or scrapes off surplus liquid cosmetic from the applicator as the applicator is withdrawn from the bottle.

In general, such prior art applicators are either solid members with peripheral recesses for retaining the liquid that is to be dispensed or are brush members for retention of a limited amount of the liquid by the bristles of the brush member. Clark Patent No. 3,130,735 and Lederberg Patent No. 3,195,545, for example, show solid applicators with peripheral recesses in combination with annular wiper means and the Ziegler Patent 3,084,374 shows a brush type applicator in combination with an annular wiper means.

The present invention is directed to a twofold need: first, to provide an exceedingly soft and yieldable applicator; and, second, to provide such an applicator that is capable of storing a substantial quantity of the liquid cosmetic and of dispensing the stored cosmetic progressively. Such an applicator may be withdrawn from its normal position inside the bottle and used for extensive application of the liquid cosmetic without the necessity of repeatedly dipping the applicator back into the cosmetic.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The basic concept is to provide an applicator mounted on a stopper of a container for a liquid cosmetic, the applicator comprising a body of soft, resiliently yieldable foamed plastic carried by an elongated support member. An exposed portion of the foamed plastic body serves as dispensing means and a second portion of the foamed plastic body extends lengthwise of the support member to serve as storage means.

3,494,702 Patented Feb. 10, 1970 ICC A feature of the invention is that the foamed plastic 1s of open cell structure to provide two important advantages. In the first place, the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic body is characterized by outer cells which open onto the surface of the applicator and serve as minute cavities to hold and dispense minute bodies of the liquid cosmetic. In the second place, the interior cells, being open, provide free communication among the cells and cooperate to form numerous capillary paths between the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic and the storage port1on.

When the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic is dipped into the liquid cosmetic, the liquid migrates into the storage portion by capillary attraction and when the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic is subsequently lJSed to apply the liquid, the liquid in the surface cavities 1s released and is replaced by dispensing flow from the storage portion. Thus, when the applicator is withdrawn from its normal position inside the container, it may be used to apply the liquid cosmetic extensively without the necessity of repeatedly redipping the applicator.

In some embodiments of the invention the foamed plastic body is in the form of a stocking embracing the support member with the closed end of the stocking extending beyond the free end of the support member. In such an embodiment the support member may be in the form of a solid rod or may be in the form of a tube with the free end of the tube open.

In the preferred practice of the invention an annular wiper mounted inside the bottle near the mouth of the bottle normally embraces the applicator and wipes or scrapes away surplus liquid cosmetic from the applicator.

as the applicator is removed from the bottle. The annular wiper may have inwardly directed flexible tongues in yielding contact with the applicator or the annular wiper may be of tubular configuration tapering in inside diameter towards its lower end.

Preferably, the applicator is of uniform cross dimension, at least down to the region of its free end, for effective cooperation with the surrounding annular wiper. For this purpose the elongated support member may be tapered towards the free end of the applicator and the wall thickness of the foamed plastic stocking may be tapered towards the base end of the applicator, the two tapers being complementary to result in substantially uniform outside dimension of the applicator, at least along the length of the applicator down to the region of its free end.

In another embodiment of the invention, instead of the foamed plastic body being tubular, the elongated support member is tubular with the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic extending beyond the-free end of the tubular support member and with the remaining storage portion of the foamed plastic extending into the interior of the tubular support member. In this last embodiment, the annular wiper may be an elongated tube encasing the length of the tubular support member. The dispensing portion of the foamed plastic extends beyond the free end of the encasing tubular wiper and may be slightly larger in cross section than the inner cross section of the encasing wiper.

A further feature of the preferred practice of the invention is that the annular wiper has an additional function of normally providing a seal between the stopper and the container. For this purpose the annular wiper may be made of a suitable resiliently flexible plastic and may be formed with a radial flange at its upper end that is interposed between the stopper and the rim of the container opening.

The various features and advantages of the invention tion and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS .FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of an embodiment of the invention comprising a bottle confining a body of liquid cosmetic and a stopper normally closing the bottle with an applicator extending from the stopper downwardly into the body of liquid cosmetic;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of an annular wiper that is incorporated in the structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the annular wiper;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a second embodiment of the invention with a different annular e FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the wiper shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentaryrsectional view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a similar fragmentary sectional view illustrating a fourth embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 8 is .a perspective view of the stopper and applicator of the fourth embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the first embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIGS. 1-3, a container 10 in the form of a bottle has a neck 12 with a rim 14, the neck being formed with an external screw thread 15. A stopper 16, which may be of any suitable configuration, is formed with a cavity to telescope over the neck 12 and the cavity is formed with an internal screw thread 18 to engage the screw thread of the bottle neck.

An applicator, generally designated 20, comprises an elongated support member 22 fixedly attached at its upper end to the stopper 16 and a body 24 of soft, resiliently yieldable, open cell foamed plastic that is carried by the support member and extends longitudinally of the support member. The body 24 of foamed plastic may be made of urethane or any other suitable polymer.

In the construction shown, the support member 22 is in the form of a solid rod that tapers towards its lower free end and the rod is formed with a transverse slot 25 at its upper base end which mates with a bulbous boss 26 of the stopper. In the assembly procedure, the base end of the support member 22 is forcibly telescoped over the bulbous boss 26 with a snap action.

As shown in FIG. 1 a bushing 28 of suitable plastic material may embrace the base end of the installed support member 22 to confine the base end against disengagement from the boss 26 and the bushing may be permanently mounted on the stopper 16 with a radial flange 30 of the bushing serving as a seal between the stopper and the rim 14 of the bottle neck. The foamed plastic body 24 is of tubular configuration with a closed lower end 32, the foamed plastic body being in effect a stocking encasing the length of the support member 22 with at least the handle to withdraw the applicator 20. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the annular wiper 34 may be in the form 'of a bushing with a radially inwardly tapered flange that is divided into a circumferential series of flexible tongues 35. The annular wiper may be dimensioned for a forced fit in the neck 12 of the bottle and may seat against an inner circumferential shoulder 36 of the neck.

For effective cooperation with the annular wiper 34,

the applicator 2C is preferably of substantially uniform outside*diameter,-at least over -the major portion of its length down to the region -.of its lower free end. In the construction shown, the wall of the tubular foamed plastic body 24 tapers in thickness towards the upper base end of the applicator andthetaper is complementary to the taper of the support member 22 to make the outside diameter of the applicator'substantially uniform.

As heretofore stated, the foamed plastic body 24 may be made of soft resiliently yieldable plastic material with minute cells and with the cells open rather than closed. One advantage of such a construction is that the applicator 20 has a very soft surface for exceptionally soft contact with the users skin. Another advantage is that the outer cells of the foamed plastic stocking constitute minute cavities that open onto the surface of the applicator and are capable of retaining and dispensing corresponding minute quantities of the liquid material. A third advantage is that the open cells form numerous capillary paths from the surface of the applicator throughout the interior of the foamed plastic body so that when the lower end of theapplicator is immersed in the liquid cosmetic the liquid cosmetic migrates rapidly to impregnate the whole foamed plastic body. Since the ratio of the volume of the voids to the volume of the foamed plastic body is exceedingly high, foamed plastic body is capable of storing a surprising quantity of the liquid material.

The manner in which this first embodiment of the invention serves its purpose may be readily understood. The body of liquid material in the container 10 may be any thin or semiviscous cosmetic material such as cream perfume, mascara, eye shadow, and nail polish. In the normal position of the applicator shown in FIG. 1 with the lower end of the applictaor immersed in the liquid cosmetic, the whole length of the foamed plastic stocking 24 is saturated with the liquid material to such an extent that the liquid material would tend to drip from the applicator when the applicator is withdrawn fro the container.

The function of the annular wiper 34 is to constrict the applicator slightly as the applicator is drawn through the wiper, the result being that the wiper removes surplus liquid cosmetic from the surface of the applicator and reduces the liquid content of the outer cells of the foamed plastic stocking. As the applicator is Withdrawn from the wiper, however, the outer cells of the foamed plastic are immediately replenished by liquid cosmetic from the inner storage cells with the result that the initially withdrawn applicator is saturated with the liquid cosmetic to a high degree butnot to such high degree as to cause the liquid to drip from the applicator.

When the newly withdrawn applicator is applied to a skin area or to the eyebrows or eyelashes of the user, the outer cells of the foamed plastic readily release the liquid cosmetic and do so in response to only exceedingly light pressure. There is a tendency for the foamed plastic stocking 24 to be uniformly impregnated with the liquid and when such uniformity is disrupted by release of the liquid material from a local part of the foamed plastic stocking, liquid migrates to that part fromthe storage cells automatically to tend to' restore the uniformity of distribution of the liquid. Thus, when any particular portion of the applicator 20'is used to'dispense the liquid cosmetic, the remainder of the foamed plastic of the applicator serves as a reservoir to cause replenishing migration of the liquid to the particular portion. In most instances, the lower end 32 of the, foamedplastic stocking is employed as the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic material because it aifords close control of the area .of application and because the foamed-plastic material in this region is relatively thick to make available .an ample quantityof the liquid material and to serve as an exceedingly soft and yielding applicator cushion.

The second embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIGS. 4 and 5 is largely similar to the first embodiment as indicated by the use of corresponding numerals to indicate corresponding parts. The application 20a is of the same general construction as the previously described applicator 20.

The annular wiper 34a in FIG. 4 is different, however, in that it is in the form of a thin walled tube having a lower end portion 40 which not only tapers in diameter but also tapers in wall thickness to form a relatively thin lower scraper edge 42. The annular wiper 34a fits into the neck 12a of the bottle a with a forced tit and a radially outward flange 44 at the upper end of the wiper serves as a seal between the stopper 16a and the bottle rim 14a when the stopper is in its normal closed position. The annular wiper 34a is dimensioned at its lower end for a slight restricting effect on the applicator 20a and thus serves the same general purpose as the annular wiper 34 of the first embodiment of the invention.

The third embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 6 is also largely similar in construction to the first embodiment as indicated by the use of corresponding numerals to indicate corresponding parts. The important difference is that the support member 2217 of the applicator 20b is a relatively flexible plastic tube that is open at its lower end and that tapers both in diameter and in wall thickness towards its lower end. The upper base end .of the support member 22b is bonded to a boss 45 of the stopper 16b and is surrounded by a bushing 46. The bushing 46 is anchored to the stopper and is formed with a radial flange 48 to serve as a seal between the stopper and the rim 14b of the bottle neck. A previously described annular wiper 34 is mounted in the neck 12b of the bottle in the previously described manner and is formed with flexible tapered tongues 35 that lightly restrict the applicator 20b. 7

An important advantage of the construction of the applicator 20b is that the hollow support member 22b serves as a reservoir for the liquid cosmetic and greatly increases the storage capacity of the applicator. Thus, if the lower end portion 32b of the applicator is employed to dispense the liquid cosmetic the dispensing portion will be replenished not only by replenishing flow through the cellular material of the foamed plastic stocking 24b, but also by direct flow of liquid material from the interior of the support member 22b.

It is apparent that when the applicator 26b is first installed in the bottle with the lower end of the applicator immersed in the confined body of the liquid cosmetic, air trapped inside the hollow support member 22b will resist the entrance of the liquid material into the interior of the hollow support member. Such trapped air may be eliminated by simply tumbling the filled container, but in practice it is found that the tumbling action involved in the normal handling and shipping of the container is suflicient to release the trapped air and thus permit a liquid column to rise inside the hollow support member.

The fourth embodiment of the invention shonw in FIGS. 7 and 8 is, in part, similar to the previously described embodiments as indicated by the use of corresponding numerals to indicate corresponding parts. The support member 22c of the applicator 20c is in the form of a tube that is integral with the stopper 16c and the body 240 of the foamed plastic extends into the interior of the hollow support member 220. The lower end 50 of the foamed plastic body is exposed and preferably enlarged in cross section to serve as the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic body. As may be seen in FIG. 7, the dispensing portion 50 of the foamed plastic body extends beyond the lower end of the tubular support member 220. Thus, the applicator 200 is a reversal of the other applicators in that the foamed plastic body is inside the support member of the applicator instead of encasing the support member.

A wiper 54 in FIG. 7 is in the form of an extensive tube that is formed with a radial flange 55 at its upper end. The radial flange is bonded to the stopper 16c and serves as a seal between the stopper and the rim of the bottle neck. The tubular wiper 54 normally slidingly embraces the hollow support member 220 and preferably terminates in a beveled edge 56 that embraces an intermediate portion of the dispensing portion 50 of the foamed plastic body.

When the applicator 200 is in its normal position inside the bottle 10c with the lower end of the applicator immersed in the confined liquid cosmetic, the liquid quickly migrates by capillary attraction from the dispensing portion 50 of the plastic body upward through the length of the plastic body to provide a substantial reserve supply of the liquid. When the applicator is withdrawn from the bottle 100, the restricting effect of the lower beveled edge 56 of the wiper tube 54 removes surplus liquid from the dispensing portion 50 to make the applicator drip-free when it is withdrawn from the bottle. As the liquid cosmetic is dispensed from the dispensing portion 50 of the foamed plastic body, the dispensing portion is replenished by migration of the liquid material from the interior of the hollow support member 22c.

My description in specific detail of the selected embodiments of the invention will suggest various changes, substitutions, and other departures from my disclosure within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. An applicator for dispensing a liquid, for example a liquid cosmetic, comprising an elongated support member and a body of soft, resiliently yieldable foamed plastic carried thereby,

said support member having a handle end and a tapered free end portion,

a dispensing portion of the foamed plastic body being exposed at the free end of the support member,

a second portion of the body of foamed plastic extending lengthwise of the support member,

said foamed plastic body having minute cells and the cells being open to provide free communication among the cells thereby to form numerous capillary passages between said dispensing portion of the body and said second portion,

the exposed outer cells of the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic body forming dispensing cavities open to the surface of the applicator,

said foamed plastic body extending beyond the free end of the support member and having a uniform outer diameter along said tapered end portion of the support,

whereby dipping the free end of the applicator into the liquid causes the liquid to occupy the exposed open cells of the foamed plastic body and to migrate by capillary attraction into storage in said second portion,

and whereby the dipped applicator may be used to dispense the liquid with the cavities of the exposed outer cells of the dispensing portion serving as dispensing means and with replenishing flow occurring from said second portion of the foamed plastic body to the dispensing portion.

2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said body of foamed plastic is a sheath of uniform outer diameter enclosing the length of said support member including the tapered free end portion thereof.

3. A combination as set forth in claim 2 in which said support member is hollow and is open at its lower free end.

4. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said support member is tapered uniformly throughout its length towards its lower free end;

in which said foamed plastic body is of tubular configuration and encloses the support member including the free end thereof;

and in which the thickness of the wall of the tubular foamed plastic body tapers uniformly towards -the base end of the applicator with; the outside dimension of the foamed plastic body substantially uni-v form along the length of the foamed plastic body.

5. A combination'as set forth in claim 1 in which said applicator isof substantially uniform cross section from the closure member at least down to the region of its lowerfreeend. I l

6. In a device for dispensing a liquid, for example, a liquid cosmetic, the combination of: s

a container confining-a body of the liquid, said container having an upper opening;

a closure member normally'closing said upper open an applicator comprising an elongated support member and a body of soft, resiliently yieldable foamed plastic carried by the support member,

said support member being an elongated member normally removably supported inside the container and normally extending downwardly from said closure with its free end immersed in the body of liquid, an end portion of thetfoamed plastic body being exposed on the free end of the applicator,

a second portion of the body of foamed plastic extending lengthwise of the applicator to said closure,

said foamed plastic body having minute cells and the cells being open to provide free communication among the cells and to form numerous capillary passages from said end portion of the body into said second portion of the body,

the exposed outer cells of the foamed plastic body forming outwardly open dispensing cavities,

said foamed plastic body being in the form of a tubular sheath of uniform outer diameter enveloping the support member of the applicator and of decreasing inner diameter towards the free end of the support member, said sheath having a'closed lower end extending beyond the free end of the support member, whereby dipping the free end of the applicator into the liquid causes the liquid to occupy said exposed outer cells and to migrate by capillary attraction into storage in said second portion I of the foamed plastic body, 1

1 and whereby the dipped applicator may be used to dispense the liquid with the' cavities of the outer exposed cells of the foamed plastic serving as dispensing means and-with replenishing flow occurring from said second portion of the foamed plastic body to the outer exposed cells; and

- annular means to remove surplus liquid from the applicator when the applicator is withdrawn from the container through said opening, said annular means being carried by the container inside said opening and normally embracing the outer surface of the body of foamed plastic whereby withdrawing the applicator from the container involves drawing the body of foamed plastic through the annular means.

7. A combination as set forth in claim 6 in which the length of said support member of the applicator tapers in cross section towards its lower free end,

in which the thickness of the wall of the tubular foamed plastic body length tapers in thickness towards the base end of the applicator;

and in which the taper of the support member and the taper of the thickness of the wall of the foamed plastic body are complementary with the cross sectional dimension of the applicator substantially uniform along its length.

8. A combination as set forth in claim 7 in which said support member is hollow and is open at its lower free I end.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,690,035 10/1928 ONeill et al 401130 3,084,374 4/1963 Ziegler 401122 3,262,461 7/1966 Kambersky 401-422 40 LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1690035 *Feb 16, 1927Oct 30, 1928Jones Clarence MLiquid container
US3084374 *Nov 1, 1961Apr 9, 1963Ziegler Louis CMascara applicator and valve therefor
US3262461 *Jun 25, 1963Jul 26, 1966Helene KamberskyContainer and device for removing contents from a container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5242232 *Dec 9, 1991Sep 7, 1993Sara Lee/De N.V.Anti-drip applicator
US6238116Apr 30, 1999May 29, 2001Bic CorporationFoam applicator with wiper insert
Classifications
U.S. Classification401/122
International ClassificationA61F13/40, B65D51/32, B65D51/24
Cooperative ClassificationA61M35/006, B65D51/32
European ClassificationA61M35/00B2, B65D51/32