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Publication numberUS3554657 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 12, 1971
Filing dateJul 2, 1969
Priority dateAug 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3554657 A, US 3554657A, US-A-3554657, US3554657 A, US3554657A
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 3554657 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 N ER m Wm M W B 5 B. 0. ASTON DEVICE FOR DISPENSING AND APPLYING LIQUID MATERIALS gZ a Mala 4TTOZ/V5J If! dril Jan. 12, .1971

OriginalFil ed Au 11, 1967 Jan. 12, 1971 l m T 3,554,557

DEVICE FOR .msrmzsme AND APPLYING LIQUID MATERIALS I Original Filed Aug. 11, 1967' 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Bea/v0 0. AfifO/V v INVENTOR A TTO/F/Vy K QQJW United States Patent 3,554,657 DEVICE FOR DISPENSING AND APPLYING LIQUID MATERIALS Bruno D. Aston, 14421 Autumn Moon Drive, Hacienda Heights, Calif. 91745 Original application Aug. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 660,125, now

Patent No. 3,494,702, dated Feb. 10, 1970. Divided and this application July 2, 1969, Ser. No. 842,434

Int. Cl. A46b 17/08 US. Cl. 401-122 1 Claim 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into a body of liquid inside the bottle, which wiper removes surplus liquid from the applicator as the applicator is withdrawn from the bottle.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 Such an applicator may be withdrawn from its normal position inside the bottle and used for extensive application of the liquid material without the necessity of repeatedly dipping the applicator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.

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a division of my copending application, Ser. No. 660,125, filed Aug. 11, 1967, now Pat. No. 3,494,702.

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 Pat. No. 3,130,735 and Lederberg Pat. No. 3,195,545, for example, show solid applicators with peripheral recesses in combination with annular Wiper means and the Ziegler Pat. 3,084,374 shows a brush type applicator in combination with an annular wiper means. N

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.

A feature of the invention is that the foamed plastic is 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 stor age portion.

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 used to apply the liquid, the liquid in the surface cavities is 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 may be understood from the following detailed descrlption 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 incoperated 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 dilferent annular wiper;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the wiper shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional 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. l-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 upper end portion of the stocking bonded to the support member.

This first embodiment of the invention further includes an annular wiper 34 that is fixedly mounted in the neck of the bottle to wipe off surplus liquid from the surface of the applicator 20 when the stopper 16 is used as a 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 20 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 4 construction shown, the wall of the tubular foamed plastic body 24 tapers in thickness towards the upper base end of the applicator and the taper 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 then 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 the applicator 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, the 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 applicator immersed in the liquid cosmetic, the whole length of the foamed plastic stocking 24 is saturated with the liquid material to such as extent that the liquid material would tend to drip from the applicator when the applicator is withdrawn from 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 but not 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 from the 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 foamed plastic stocking is employed as the dispensing portion of the foamed plastic material because it affords close control of the area of application and because the foamed plastic material in this region is relatively thick to make available an ample quantity of 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 applicator 20a is of the same general construction as the previously described applicator 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 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 10a with a forced fit 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 samegeneral 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 221) 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 3 flexible tapered tongues 35 that lightly restrict the applicator 20b.

An important advantage of the construction of the applicator 20b is that the hollow support member 22]; 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 sufficient to release the trapped air and thus permit a liquid column to rise inside the hollow support member.

The fourth embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is, in part, similar to the previously der scribed embodiments as indicated by the use of corresponding numerals to indicate corresponding parts. The support member 220 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 20c 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 rim 14c and serves as a seal between the stopper and the rim 14c of the bottle neck. The tubu ar wiper 54 normally Slidingly emb ac s 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 100. 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 dripfree 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 220.

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 claim.

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 being of generally tubular configuration and having a handle end and an open free end,

said foamed plastic body having a dispensing portion exposed and projecting from the open free end of the support member and being laterally enlarged to extend at least to the outer lateral surface of the support member, second portion of the body of foamed plastic extending into the interior of the support member and throughout the major portion of the length thereof, 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,

whereby dipping the free end of theapplicator 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, and

a tubular wiper member closely and slidably surrounding said tubular support member, and having a lower end normally extending beyond the lower end of the tubular support so as to embrace and lightly restrict a portion of the exposed dispensing portion.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,146,806 9/1964 Ginsburg 40l-l22 FOREIGN PATENTS 217,080 11/1942 Switzerland 40ll20 LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4189245 *Apr 28, 1978Feb 19, 1980Bennett Robert ASuction producing disposable pump and dispenser
US4869612 *Dec 9, 1985Sep 26, 1989Mooney Charles WLiquid applicator especially suitable for application of suntan lotion
US4909650 *Apr 19, 1988Mar 20, 1990Ronnie GilbertPine tar applicator
US5492426 *Feb 14, 1994Feb 20, 1996L'orealDeformable applicator with capillary feed
US5599125 *Feb 1, 1995Feb 4, 1997The Bridgeport Metal Goods Manufacturing CompanyLiquid cosmetics container with thin edge semi-rigid wiper
US5716150 *Jul 3, 1996Feb 10, 1998L'orealApplicator unit for a product of a pasty or powdery consistency such as lip rouge
US6168334 *Sep 8, 1998Jan 2, 2001Geka Manufacturing Ltd.Device and assembly
US6227737Jun 12, 1998May 8, 2001The Gillette CompanyFluid applicators
US6238116Apr 30, 1999May 29, 2001Bic CorporationFoam applicator with wiper insert
US6312180 *Apr 23, 1998Nov 6, 2001The Gillette CompanyApplicator for correction fluid
US6789970 *Aug 14, 2003Sep 14, 2004Tonya K. ShearonAdjustable brush cap
US7097376 *Feb 18, 2004Aug 29, 2006P & C S.R.L.Scraping sealing device for cleaning stems and bristles of applicators
US7125187 *Dec 26, 2002Oct 24, 2006L'Oréal, S.A.Closure system for a container
US9173471 *Aug 10, 2011Nov 3, 2015Tokiwa CorporationLiquid cosmetic container
US20030141273 *Dec 26, 2002Jul 31, 2003Alois OstiClosure system for a container
US20040170463 *Feb 18, 2004Sep 2, 2004Paolo BerettaScraping sealing device to clean stems and bristles of applicators of cosmetic products, whether liquid or pasty, and cosmetic product container provided with this device
US20120063835 *Aug 10, 2011Mar 15, 2012Tokiwa CorporationLiquid cosmetic container
USRE37931Nov 5, 2001Dec 10, 2002L'orealDeformable applicator with capillary feed
EP0612488A1 *Feb 8, 1994Aug 31, 1994L'orealApplicator
EP0752222A1 *Jul 1, 1996Jan 8, 1997L'orealApplicator set for pasty of powdered products like lip stick
Classifications
U.S. Classification401/122, 401/126
International ClassificationA61F13/40, B65D51/24, B65D51/32, A45D34/04
Cooperative ClassificationA45D34/046, A61M35/006, A45D2200/1018, B65D51/32
European ClassificationB65D51/32, A61M35/00B2, A45D34/04C2A