US 3507586 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 21, 1970 E. w. GRONEMEYER ET AL 3,507,586
Filed April 4, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 2 m VENTURS ERICH w GRONEMEYER. BY LOUIS E KUTIK.
SETTLE, BATCHELDER a OLTMAN.
April 21, 1970 E w, GRONEMEYER ET AL 3,507,586
Filed April 4;, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS H6 3 ERICH w GRONEMEYER.
' BY LOU/S F KUTIK.
SETTLE, BATCHELDER a OLTMAN.
United States Patent 3,507,586 PUMP Erich W. Gronemeyer, 3430 Galt Ocean Drive 33308, and Louis F. Kutik, 8720 SW. 23rd Place 33312, both of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Filed Apr. 4, 1968, Ser. No. 718,798 Int. Cl. F04b 21/02, 43/00, 21/04 US. Cl. 417-480 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A pump for dispensing liquids and semi-liquids formed entirely from three parts including a housing and a closure joined together to form a compartment, and a valve unit including an intake valve portion and an exhaust valve portion. The housing has an inlet passage and an outlet passage, both communicating with the interior of the compartment, and the intake valve controls flow through the inlet passage and the exhaust valve controls flow through the outlet passage. The closure includes a diaphragm which may be pushed inwardly of the compartment to expel fluid therefrom through the exhaust valve while closing the intake valve, and release of the actuating force allows return of the diaphragm to suck fluid into the compartment through the intake valve while closing the exhaust valve. In a preferred embodiment, the housing has a circular surface like a counterbore. The valve unit includes a circular flap having its edge in contact with the circular surface to divide the compartment into two chambers. The outlet passage communicates with one chamber, and the inlet passage communicates with the other chamber through the valve unit. The circular flap constitutes an exhaust valve, and the valve unit also has another flap constituting the intake valve adapted to block the inlet passage when closed. All three parts of the pump may be made of injection molded plastic material.
Background of the invention The type of pump with which the invention is concerned is often used to dispense liquid or semi-liquid materials from a bottle or other container. By way of example, such pumps are sometimes used to dispense lotions, liquid detergents, syrups and similar materials. Known pumps of this type, however, have been sufliciently expensive to limit their use to some extent. One of the reasons for the relatively high cost of known pumps is that they have been made up of a large number of component parts, sometimes involving ball valves, springs, and mechanisms of various kinds. Not only are the parts costly to manufacture, but assembly of the parts to fabricate a complete pump involves considerable labor, and of course this also adds to manufacturing cost.
Summary of the invention The present invention provides a pump for dispensing liquid or semi-liquid material from a small container, the pump consisting of relatively few parts, all of which may be made from injection molded plastic material. In a preferred embodiment, the pump consists of only three parts which can be assembled together by vertical stacking in a very simple manner to form a complete pump. In this embodiment, the parts are a housing and a closure for the housing joined together to form a compartment, the closure including a diaphragm in the nature of a suction cup which can be depressed to expel fluid from the compartment, and which recovers or returns due to its elasticity to suck fluid into the compartment. The third part of the pump is a valve unit which has an intake valve portion and an exhaust valve portion. The housing has a See bottom wall with a central opening therein forming an inlet passage, and also has a circular surface in the nature of a counterbore with an outlet passage communicating with the interior of this circular surface. The valve unit fits into the housing and has a circular flap constituting the exhaust valve with its edge contacting the circular surface to divide the compartment into two chambers. The inlet passage communicates through the valve unit with one of these chambers, and the outlet passage communicates with the other chamber. The intake valve is a flap located centrally within the exhaust valve in a position to cover the inlet passage. The two valves are separated by a seal portion of the valve unit.
When the diaphragm is depressed, it increases pressure in the first chamber to expel fluid therefrom past the circular edge of the exhaust valve flap and out through the outlet passage while at the same time closing the intake valve. When the diaphragm is released, it returns to its normal position and, in doing so, sucks liquid past the intake valve into the first chamber while simultaneously closing the exhaust valve. Thus, not only does the pump consist of relatively few parts, but its operation is simple and very reliable.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved pump of the diaphragm operated type.
Another object of the invention is to provide a diaphragm operated pump consisting of a minimum number of parts.
Another object of the invention is to provide a pump for dispensing liquid or semi-liquid materials, all of the parts of which can be made entirely from plastic material.
Another object of the invention is to provide a diaphragm operated pump in which the valves thereof are integral portions of a single valve unit.
Another object of the invention is to provide a pump which can be assembled easily by a vertical stacking method.
Among the other objects of the invention are to provide a pump which is inexpensive, rugged, reliable in operation, and readily manufacturable on a mass production basis.
Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.
On the drawings FIGURE 1 is an exploded view of a pump in accordance with one embodiment of the invention showing the parts of the pump in section as they might be arranged just prior to assembling them to form a complete pump;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view showing a housing part and a valve unit of the pump, the valve unit being shown in dashed lines as it is positioned for assembly with the housing and in solid lines after it has been forced into place within the housing;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical sectional view of the complete pump showing in particular a closure and diaphragm part of the pump;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view of the pump taken along line 44 of FIGURE 3 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the pump taken along line 55 of FIGURE 3 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional view of the pump showing the diaphragm of the closure part in a depressed position as it appears after dispensing liquid from the pump; and
FIGURE 7 is a vertical sectional view of the pump showing the diaphragm of the closure part after it has risen somewhat and also showing a changed condition of the valve.
Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
As shown on the drawings Referring to FIGURES 1-5 of the drawings, it may be seen that the pump 10 consists of a housing 12, a closure 14, and valve unit 16, these parts being shown in exploded relation in FIGURE 1 and in assembled relation in FIG- URE 3. FIGURE 2 shows just the housing 12 and the valve unit 16 as assembled.
The housing 12 includes an annular side wall 18 and a bottom wall designated generally as 20. Depending downwardly from bottom wall 20 is an annular coupling portion 22 which has internal screw threads 24 adapted to be screwed on to a threaded neck of a bottle or other container. It will be understood that the threaded coupling portion 22 is shown by way of example, and it is possible to provide other types of couplings for the pump as needed.
Extending upwardly from bottom wall 20 is an inner annular side wall 26 spaced radially inwardly from outer side wall 18, and the circular recess 28 between inner and outer walls 18 is dimensioned to receive a rim portion 30 of closure 14 with a tight fit as will be explained further.
Bottom wall 20 has a vertical cylindrical or circular surface 32 formed therein in the nature of a counterbore. This surface cooperates with the unit 16 as will be described further. Bottom wall 20 also includes a flat surface 34, and a circular cavity 36 recessed downwardly from surface 34, the cavity 36 being dimensioned to receive a hollow stem portion 38 of valve unit 16 with a close fit. Formed integrally with bottom Wall 20 is a downwardly extending tube 40 which has a bore 42 extending through it. Bore 42 is an inlet passage which leads to the interior of the pump, and fluid is sucked into the pump through this passage in the operation of the pump. A separate hose-like tube (not shown) may be attached to tube portion 40 so that the hose-like tube can extend into liquid within a container for the purpose of sucking liquid out of the container into the pump. An upwardly extending recess 44 is formed about tube 40 to receive the end of the hose-like tube when it is attached to tube portion 40.
Also formed integrally with bottom wall 20 is an annular slanting surface 46 which acts to seal the bottom wall with the lip of a bottle to which the pump is attached. A nozzle 48 projects outwardly from the side of the pump, and the nozzle 48 has a bore 50 extending through it and extending through circular wall 32 and opening at 52 into the space within wall 32. The bore 50 thus communicates with the interior of the pump and provides an outlet passage through which fluid is expelled from the pump.
Surrounding the top of inlet passage 42 is a raised circular seat surface 54. This surface receives the inlet valve of valve unit 16 as will be explained further.
Valve unit 16 includes the hollow stem portion 38 as previously mentioned, and also includes an exhaust valve 56 and an intake valve 58. The exhaust valve .56 is in the form of a concavo-convex flap which has a circular edge 60 and which is formed integrally with the top end of stem portion 38. As may be seen, flap 56 curves downwardly slightly, and has a shape something like the head of a mushroom. Intake valve 58 is a flat, disk-shaped flap which is connected to stem 38 by two small joints 62 and 64 which are formed integrally with the inside of hollow stem 38. There is an annular space at 66 between the edge of flap 58 and the inner surface of stem 38, the space '66 being interrupted only by the small joints 62 and 64. The joints 62 and 64 are thin enough to bend readily, and thus flap 58 can swing upwardly from a horizontal position after the pump is assembled as will be described.
Closure 14 includes the annular rim 30 mentioned previously, and also includes a diaphragm portion 68 which is shaped like a suction cup. Diaphragm 68 curves downwardly and outwardly toa circular corner 70, and then curves outwardly and upwardly to the top of rim 30. The portion 72 of the diaphragm acts like a hinge, and when diaphragm 68 is pushed downward, corner moves radially outwardly toward rim 30. Diaphragm 68 is elastic and has good recovery so that it will return by itself to its normal position after being depressed. Underneath diaphragm 68 are downwardly extending protrusions 74 arranged in a circular pattern, the protrusions being engageable with the flap 56 of valve unit 16 when diaphragm 68 is depressed. The action of protrusions 74, will be explained more fully in connection with the operation of the pump.
As shown in FIGURE 2, the valve unit 16 is assembled with the housing 12 by placing the hollow stem 38 in the top of the recess 36, the valve unit 16 then being in the position shown in dashed lines in FIGURE 2. After thus assembling, valve unit 16 is pushed downwardly to force hollow stem portion 38 into recess 36 until the bottom of stem 38 butts against the bottom surface of recess 36. The circular edge 60 of flap 56 is inserted inside circular surface 32 of bottom wall 20. The diameter of surface 32 is slightly smaller than the normal diameter of edge 60, and consequently flap 56 bends downwardly slightly when edge 60 is inserted into surface 32. Thus, flap 56 cannot easily be bent upwardly from the position shown in FIGURE 2, but it can bend downwardly from the position shown in FIGURE 2. As mentioned previously, flap 56 constitutes an exhaust valve, and the exhaust valve is closed with flap 56 in the position shown in FIGURE 2.
The closure 14 is assembled with housing 12 in the manner shown in FIGURE 3. Rim portion 30 is placed in the top of recess 38, and rim portion 30 is then forced downwardly until its bottom end butts against the bottom surface of recess 28 as shown in FIGURE 3. As thus assembled, the closure 14 and the housing 12 form a compartment which has a hollow interior. The interior of the compartment is divided by flap 56 into a lower chamber 76 and an upper chamber 78. Inlet passage 42 communicates with upper chamber 78 through valve flap 58 when the latter flap is open, and outlet passage 50 communicates with the lower chamber 76.
In connection with the assembling of the parts of the pump, it may be noted at this point that the assembling of the valve unit 16 and the closure unit 14 with the housing 12 may be accomplished in the following manner. Valve unit 16 may be placed over recess 36 with the stem 38 inserted therein, and closure 14 may be placed on the top of housing 12 with the rim 30 inserted slightly in recess 28. A plunger may then be brought down on rim portion 14 to force it fully into recess 28. Another plunger, concentrically within the first plunger, may then be brought down to depress diaphragm 68. As diaphragm 68 is depressed, protrusions 74 are directed outwardly at an angle, and they are also brought into contact with flap 56 of valve unit 16. The diaphragm contacts valve unit 16 and forces it into recess 36. At the same time, protrusions 74 force edge '60 of valve unit 16 inside circular surface 32. The pump is than fully assembled, and the plunger may be raised so that diaphragm 68 returns to its normal position.
Housing 12, closure 14 and valve unit 16 are each molded integrally by injection molding of plastic material. Housing 12 is preferably molded of a relatively stiff plastic material such as polyethylene or linear polyethylene. On the other hand, closure 14 and valve unit 16 are preferably molded of a softer polyethylene material such that the valves 56 and 58 and the diaphragm 68 are resiliently flexible. Diaphragm 68 in particular should have good elasticity and recovery so that it can be depressed and will return to its normal position. Seating ring 54 which extends about inlet passage 42 and also circular edge 60 of valve flap 56 must be formed accurately to insure that good seals are provided at these points. In the molding of valve unit 16, it is thus preferable that the molds not part at the circular edge 60, because this would leave a mold line at edge 60. Rather, the mold may be undercut so that edge 60 is formed accurately, and the mold may part somewhere along a surface of flap '6 removed from edge 60. Similarly, the seating ring 54 should be formed by a continuous surface of the mold.
It may be noted that there are no springs or other metal parts in the pump. The only spring action of the valves 56 and 58 is derived from the resiliency of the plastic material from which the valve unit -16 is molded.
As has been pointed out, the rim 30 of closure 14 in the illustrated embodiment fits tightly with walls 18 and 26 in the recess 28 of housing 12. The closure may be secured to the housing in other ways. For example, the top of wall 18 may be riveted or spun over the top of rim 30 to hold the rim in place. Alternatively, a ringshaped recess may be formed in wall 18 and a matching protruding ring may be formed on the side of rim 30 so that the protruding ring snaps into the recess when the closure is assembled with the housing. Snap fitting closures of this type are well known.
Operation FIGURES 6 and 7 illustrate the manner in which the pump operates. FIGURE 6 shows how fluid is expelled or dispensed from the pump. It will be assumed that the upper chamber 78 inside housing 12 is initially filled with liquid. Actuating force applied to the exterior of diaphragm 68, as by pressing on the diaphragm with ones finger, applies increased pressure to the liquid in chamber 78. This pressure forces yieldable circular edge 60 downwardly and away from cylindrical surface 32. Thus, liquid is expelled from chamber 78 past edge 60 of valve fiap 56 into chamber 76 and from there through outlet passage 50 and out of nozzle 48. At the same time, the pressure in chamber 78 forces intake valve flap 58 against seating ring 54 to close the inlet passage 42.
It may be seen from FIGURE 6 that when diaphragm 68 is fully depressed, the center of the diaphragm pushes stem 38 of valve unit 16 downwardly, and projections 74 slant outwardly and engage flap 56; Thus, if valve unit 16, or just the flap 56 thereof, were out of position prior to a dispensing stroke, diaphragm '68 will push the valve unit or just flap 56 back into place as the diaphragm is depressed.
When the actuating force is released, diaphragm 68 moves outwardly in the manner shown in FIGURE 7 and returns to its original position. This produces suction or vacuum in chamber 78 which pulls intake valve flap 58 upwardly off seating ring 54 to thereby open inlet passage 42. The reduced pressure in chamber 78 sucks liquid from the container with which the pump is associated through inlet passage 42 into chamber 78, thus refilling this chamber. The suction in chamber 78 also pulls exhaust valve flap 56 upwardly and urges circular edge 60 against cylindrical surface 32. This closes the exhaust valve so that no liquid escapes through outlet passage 50. It may be noted that hollow cylindrical stem 38 of valve unit 16 forms a seal between intake valve 58 and exhaust valve 56 so that there is no way for liquid to leak directly from inlet passage 42 to outlet passage 50.
Hinge portion 72' of diaphragm 68 swings outwardly as diaphragm 68 is depressed, thus allowing diaphragm 68 to flatten out when it is fully depressed, or at least become flatter. Hinge 72 is resilient, and so returns to its initial position when actuating force is released from the diaphragm.
It may be seen from the foregoing description, that pump 10 consists of a minimum number of parts, only three parts being provided in the illustrated embodiment. These parts can all be molded by injection molding in an economical manufacturing process. The pump is simple and it operates reliably despite the fact that it is inexpensive.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A pump for expelling fluid from a container, said pump including in combination:
(1) first and second parts assembled together and forming at least one compartment therein,
(a) said compartment having an inlet passage and an outlet passage communicating therewith,
(b) said first part being an actuator part at least a portion of which is movable toward said compartment relative to said second part,
(c) and said second part being a housing part having a bottom wall with an aperture therein forming said inlet passage and having an annular upstanding surface about said aperture through which said outlet passage extends,
(2) and a third part made of injection molded plastic and located inside said compartment, said third part having:
(a) an integral portion forming an intake valve for said inlet passage,
(b) another integral portion which is resilient and deflectible and has a circular sealing edge yieldably engaging and biased against said annular surface to form an outlet valve for said outlet passage located between said outlet passage and said actuator part, and
(c) still a further portion forming with said housing part a seal blocking flow along a bypass path between said valves when one of said valves is open,
(3) said annular surface having a smaller diameter than the diameter of said circular sealing edge of said outlet valve portion before assembly thereof to contract said sealing edge as assembled inwardly slightly by bending, with the resilience of said outlet valve portion causing said sealing edge to be biased against said annular surface to form a peripheral seal,
(4) said circular sealing edge being free of any significant irregularity which would impair said peripheral seal and decreasing in diameter to open said outlet valve in response to operation of said actuator part to expel fiuid,
(5) and said actuator part being returnable to suck fluid through said inlet passage past said intake valve into said compartment.
2. A pump as claimed in claim 1 in which said outlet valve is a flap which divides said compartment into an input chamber and an output chamber, said inlet passage communicates with said input chamber and said outlet passage communicates with said output chamber.
3. A pump as claimed in claim 2 in which all of said parts are made of injection molded plastic, and said sealing edge is free of any mold parting line.
4. The pump as claimed in claim 3 in which said diaphragm portion is engageable with said outlet valve flapwhen said diaphragm portion is depressed, thereby assuring that said flap is positioned inside said cylindrical surface.
5. The pump as claimed in claim 2 in which said actuator part includes a diaphragm portion.
6. The pump as claimed in claim 5 in which said actuator part also includes a rim portion compressed between wall portions of said housing part, and a hinge portion connecting said diaphragm portion to said rim portion.
7. The pump as claimed in claim 4 in which said diaphragm portion has projections for engaging said outlet valve flap.
8. A pump for expelling fluid from a container, said pump comprising a compartment having an inlet passage and an outlet passage both communicating therewith, an intake valve for said inlet passage, an exhaust valve for said outlet passage, said compartment having a cylindrical surface therein, said exhaust valve comprising a resiliently flexible flap having a circular sealing edge engaging said cylindrical surface and slightly larger in diameter before assembly than the diameter of said cylindrical surface so that said flap bends slightly and is self biased against said cylindrical surface, said flap dividing the interior of said compartment into an input chamber with which said inlet passage communicates and an output chamber with which said outlet passage communicates, and said flap being made of injection molded plastic with said sealing edge being free of any mold parting line, said compartment including an actuator depressible into said input chamber to expel fluid therefrom past said scaling edge through said output chamber and out said outlet passage, and said actuator being returnable to suck fluid through said inlet passage past said intake valve into said input chamber.
9. In a displacement pump adapted to be attached to a container and having a variable volume compartment selectively communicable with valved inlet and outlet passages, said compartment being defined by a housing member, an actuator member and a flexible resilient valve member, said actuator member being assembled with the housing member, and said valve member having inlet and outlet valve passage closing portions, the improvement comprising a portion of the housing member in the form of an interior annular surface extending upwardly relative to the bottom of the housing member and above the outlet passage, and the valve member including a portion sealingly aflixed to the housing, with said outlet valve passage closing portion comprising an annular deflectible flange extending radially from the sealingly affixed portion and said inlet valve passage closing portion being located centrally of said flange, said flange being of greater diameter than the interior diameter of said annular surface and being normally deflected inwardly with its upper surface biased outwardly against the annular surface thereby forming an annular seal and separating the variable volume compartment from the outlet passage, said valve member being made of injection molded plastic and said flange being free of any significant irregularity which would impair said annular seal.
10. A pump for expelling fluid from a container, said pump comprising a compartment having an inlet passage and an outlet passage both communicating therewith, an intake valve for said inlet passage, an exhaust valve for said outlet passage, said compartment having a cylindrical surface therein, said exhaust valve comprising resiliently flexible flap slightly larger in diameter than said cylindrical surface so that said flap bends inwardly and is self-biased outwardly against said cylindrical surface, said flap dividing the interior of said compartment into an input chamber with which said inlet passage communicates and an output chamber with which said outlet passage communicates, and said compartment including an actuator depressible into said input chamber to expel fluid therefrom past said flap through said output chamber and out said outlet passage, said actuator having a depressible portion resiliently connected to the remainder of the actuator by an annular pleat whereby said depressible portion is resiliently returnable to suck fluid through said inlet passage past said intake valve into said input chamber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,211,212 8/1940 Langdon 137-525.3 2,537,241 1/1951 Smith 137-5l2.15 2,567,391 9/1951 Mead 230231 X 2,690,278 9/1954 Bacheller 103-148 2,856,863 10/1958 Folley 230231 3,029,742 4/1962 Curtis 103148 3,084,707 4/1963 Frye 137525.3 X 3,102,489 9/1963 Corsette et a1 137525.1 3,159,176 12/1964 Russell et al. 137525.1 3,162,334 12/1964 Miller 103228 FOREIGN PATENTS 637,889 4/1962 Italy.
WILLIAM L. FREEH, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R