US 3596808 A
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United States Patent [111 3,596,808
 Inventor Dough: F. Corsette Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Loo Augeles. Calif. Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky I 2] 1 App]. No' 1,351 Attorney-Watson, Cole Grindle & Watson  Filed Jan. 8, I970  Patented- Aug. 3, 1971  A i nh d mni Corporation ABSTRACT: A dispensing container in which a reciprocating N Y k, NY, dispensing pump extends into the container through its filling and dispensing opening. A combined gasket and diaphragm valve encircles and cooperates with the pump cylinder and has a flexible substantially elastic inner peripheral valving portion snugly encircling and sealing radially against the cylinder and an outer peripheral gasket portion which is compressed  CONTAINER WITH VENHNG GASKET between the neck of the container and thesupporting flange 12 Claims, 4 Drawing Fig. of the pump barrel. All s admitted from the atmosphere between the pump-supporting flange and the gasket portion to m 222/321 a location above the valving portion while the lower surface of 3 137/525 that portion is exposed to the internal pressure within the conm 11/0 tainer. The valving portion is of downward converging  Eh" I) Search.....-.....' 222/209, f t i l hape to admit air into the container while 1 137/525 preventing the outflow of fluid from the container. The valving portion may seat against the pump cylinder either at a lo-  Rckm Cm cation beneath the air vent of the latter, thus to admit an in- UNITED STATES PATENTS flow only of air through the vent and to prevent outflow 3,249,259 5/1966 Corsette 222/385X therethrough or, if desired, the valving portion may seat 3,282,472 11/1966 Roder 222/321 around the pump cylinder at a location above the vent to 3.39l,647 7/1968 Corsette 222/385X avoid interference with the usualfunctions ofthe latter.
a 2 l i I8 44' as 33 38o 34 38b 6 385 n l 41.- B
K) i i CONTAINER WITH VENTING GASKET" This invention relates to improvements. in liquid-dispensing leakage of product through the vent in case the container v equipped'with such a pump'is laid on its side,-without first containers, or inother words, to containers ofthe type in" which the container is equipped with a dispensing unitsuch as a pump supported by thecontainer closure'and havinga-tubular portion such as a pump cylinderextending intothe con tainer interior for withdrawal. of the product containedtherein.
In such dispensing. containers it is customary for thedispensing pump to be provided with an air'vent through the sidewall of the pump cylinder above the pump piston so that the interior-of the container may communicate :through said vent and the upper portion of the cylinder with the atmosphere to maintain the fluid pressure within the container substantially equal to that of the atmosphere:v
In such dispensing containers, however, provision is generally made forclosing of thevent or of the air passage between the vent and theatmosphere; during shipment 'and periods of nonuse, at which times there isno provision for equalization of the container interior pressure 'with' the-atmosphere. .Where the container is of a flexible-plastic, if for any reason, as for instance, loss of product by permeability of thecontainer walls, the-pressure within the-container 'drops' appreciably below that of the atmosphere, unsightly deformation of the container will normally result-in the absence of any means for admitting atmospheric air into the container. This, in turn, results in a'poor product image :toathe. prospective played for sale.
Where the pump is of the type in which thevent is automatisecuring the plunger'in its depressed position.
Inaddition to its above'adv'antageo'us features, the combined'di'aph ragin valve -and gask et of the-invention supple ments the function 'of'the' vent in'ad'mittin'g atmosphericair into: the container to replace theproduct as the 'latter is' withdrawn by the dispensing unit. If desired for certain types"; of products. The combined diaphragm valve and gasket of the 'i inventionmay replace the-vent and'associated passages to the atmosphere,- or in otherwords permitth'e' elimination of the vent from pumpcylinder. V
Alternatively, theiriventionmay be'associated with the air tothedispenserindependently of the vent when the latter is sealed 'ofi'fromthe atmosphere during shipping and storage.
130-. purchaser when a container filled with a given product is discally sealed by movement of the plunger to its fullygraised A position at the conclusion of a pumping operation, it has been found that the sealing maybeeffected before the venting-has;
Further, in such*a conventional dispensing-container- Although the invention is herein shown and described in its preferred fusage-with'a dispensing coritainer in which the dispensing unit comprises'a pump, it is by no means restricted to use-with 'a pump but may also be used to advantage where the dispensing unit is of other type as for instance of the cycdropper type,:so long as the dispensing unit includes a tubular portion"extending into' the container for withdrawal of the product;
'a container havingla dispensing pump attached thereto, the
lowerponion of the-pump being broken away,
FlG. 2 -is a-detaii-perspective"view of the combined diaphragm valve and gasket utilised in the preferred embodiments j F1513 isa cross section on the'li'ne 3-3 of FIG.'2; and F1694 is'a fiagmma'rycmss section taken on the same plane 'as'FlG. l and showin'g a modification of the construcwherein the pump cylinder is equipped withanairvent,-"tilti'ng of the container during use to cause the product to coverthe vent will normally result in undesirable leakage'of the product and in addition may result in plugging of the vent by'the' tion illustrated in FIG; '1.
.Referring'nowin detail 'to theaccompanying drawing, the
"humeral "10 therein "designates a conventional product container such asa flexible 'walled plastic bottle or a glass bottle having an' externally threaded neck 12 for cooperation with container in which a product or a portion thereof has found its way into the vent will result in'causing leakage of theproduct upwardly through the vent and its associated air passage'to the atmosphere.
With these considerations in mind, the'present invention air from the atmosphere into the containerjndependentlyofthe said pump whenever atmospheric pressure 'appreciably"ex-' ceeds the fluid pressure within the container Further, in a preferred embodiment of the inventiomthe said combined diaphragm valve-and gasket is associated-with the dispensing pump in a manner to'permit only the entry of' air. into the container. through the vent while positively preventing outflow of either air orproduct throughthe vent.
ln addition, in such preferredfembodirnenuthe combined-- diaphragm valve and gasket is associated with the dispensing unit in a manner to maintain thevent at all times isolated from theproduct whereby to prevent loss of product throughthe vent as well as plugging of the vent. Also, such an-a'rrangement andis actuated by an intermittent downward finger pressure has the advantage of permitting operationof the-'pump'for dispensing purposes even though thecontainer'is tilted sufficiently that in the absence of the invention, the productw'ould cover and tend to leak auto-outwardly throughthe saidvent'." Such arrangement, moreover, finds-special utilitywhenused the'internally thi'eaded skirt'l4 of a conventional closure cap 15 having anann'u'lartopwall 16 overlying the upper end of th'e'con'tainerne'clt- 12. The container 'neck defines a filling and dispensing opening 13 for the container;
Disposedth'r'oughf the central opening l8 of the closure cap is a conventional dispensin'g 'device D which here illustrated as a reciprocating' dispeiising pump of known type, though in accordancewith'the'broaderaspects of the'invention it could also'constitut'ea tubular barrel of an eye-dropper-type dispenser or other'dispenser-having a tubular portion extendinginto the container.
Thepump' D includes a conventional pump cylinder 20depending into-the containerthroughits filling and dispensing opening-l3 and in spaced relatio'n tothe surrounding neck structure. Extending downward frornfthe lower end of the pump'barrel 2 O isa usual dip tube 22i of fwhich'the lowerend (not-shownlwill normally bedispo'sedjust above the bottom of thec'ontaine'r' so-that theliquid product may be drawn upward through t he tube'22 and 'cylinder2 0 on each operative stroke of the pumpplunger 2am be expelled throughthe conventional discharge thead 24in well-known manner. It will be appreciated that" *the'plunger "231s spring projected upward on the' 'fingerpiece "26a! the" upper end of its discharge head 24. The'upper'end portion of the plunger 23 preferably is covered-and protectedby a removable overca p 28, the downward opening lower end of which is snap fitted onto an enlarged collar 30 affixed to a radial enlargement 32 at the cap is clamped between the collar 30 and the usual supporting flange 34 affixed to the pump cylinder 20 near its upper end.
The pump structure is thus supported by the closure cap so that the cap and pump may be applied as aunit to the container in well-known manner.
In accordance with usual practice, the pump cylinder is a formed with one or more air vents such as 36 extending through its sidewall within the container, normally at a location above the pump piston (not shown). Thisvent 36 normally places the interior of the container in communication with the atmosphere, through the upper end of the pump cylinder and the usual clearance space between the collar 30 and the plunger 23 which reciprocates therethrough. The function of the vent 36, as is well known, is to permit air from the atmosphere to enter the container to replace the product as the latter is withdrawn by operation of the dispensing pump, as well as to provide a means for returning to the container at least a portion of any product that might have become trapped within the cylinder above the pump piston.
It is important in such a dispensing pump to afford some means operative during shipping and storage of its associated product-filled container, for preventing the product from escaping through the vent passage 36 to the atmosphere in the event the container is wholly or partially inverted. Thus, it has been common practice to afford some means for blocking the vent from the atmosphere during shipping and storage. Such means, being well known in the art, is not illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
The structure thus far described is all well known in the art and per se constitutes no part of the present invention but has thus been briefly referred to simply in order to promote a rapid understanding of the invention. 1
Such an arrangement has had a particular disadvantage where the container 10 is of the flexible plastic walled type inasmuch as where the internal fluid pressure of the container for any reason drops appreciably below atmospheric pressure, the resulting pressure differential tends to produce an unsightly deformation of the container.
In accordance with the invention, there is provided in association with such a container 10 and its dispensing unit D a combined gasket and diaphragm valve 38 which functions independently of the dispensing unit D to admit atmospheric air into the container whenever the fluid pressure within the container drops appreciably below atmospheric pressure. The
member 38 is formed of a suitable elastomeric material such as polyethylene, natural or artificial rubber. By reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, it will be seen that the said diaphragm valve and gasket 38 is of annular shape such that when assembled with the other parts, its outer peripheral portion 38a is compressed between the upper end of the container neck 12 and the supporting flange 34 of the pump cylinder. Both the flange 34 and the gasket portion 38a are clamped between the end of the container neck and the closure cap.
In order to maintain effective sealing engagement with the container neck, the gasket portion 38a is provided with suitably arranged concentric sealing ribs 40 on its undersurface for cooperation with the container neck in the usual manner. If desired, the upper end of the container neck may be provided with concentric grooves (not shown) for cooperative reception of these sealing ribs in the manner such as disclosed, for instance, in the [1.5. Pat. No. 3,l79',306 to Corsette. I
In its preferred form, the'centr'al area or valve portion 38b of the member 38 is of downward converging frustoconical configurationand its walls are of downward tapering thickness toward its converging-end so as to increase its flexibility. The valving portion 38b has its'inner peripheral end 42 encircling the pump valve and normally'in snug. radial sealing engagement therewith. Such peripheral edge 42 defines a valve port preferably of slightly smaller diameter than the cooperating 42 of the valving portion in this sures within the container 10 will act on 'the-undersurface of the diaphragm valve and gasket 38 to urge-its downward convergent valving portion 38b radially into sealing relation with the pump cylinder 20 and to isolate the vent 36 of, the pump cylinder from the container interior, the peripheral lower edge instance being disposed below the vent 36.
The valving portion 38b and the pump cylinder 20 jointly define between them an air chamber 41 which communicates with the atmosphere as hereinafter described so that the upper surface of the valving portion 38b is exposed to atmospheric pressures in opposition to the internal container pressure operating against the undersurface of the valving portion 38b.
It will be seen that the air space or chamber 41 communicates outwardly between the supporting flange 34 and the gasket portion 38a of the gasket 38 through one or more radial grooves 44 formed in the upper surface of the gasket portion 38a. The outer end of each such groove or passage 44 communicates with the radial space 46 between the closure cap skirt l4 and the externally threaded neck of the container to com municate with the atmosphere through the clearance space between the coacting threads of the neck 12 and skirt 14.
Thus,;in the construction illustrated in FIG. 1, it will be apparent that the diaphragm valving portion 38b permits entry of air from the atmosphere into the container at any time that atmospheric pressure substantially exceeds the internal pressure of the container. This function is entirely independent of the pump and its vent 36 and may occur during storage and shipping. in addition, such venting function may supplement the venting action of the pump cylinder vent 36 during operation of the pump to admit air into the container for product replacement purposes.
Further, it will be apparent that the disposition of the member 38 with respect to the vent 36 modifies the action of the vent to permit only an influx of air through the vent into the container while barring positively the outflow of any fluid from the container through the vent as well as through the groove or passage 44.
Thus, the member 38 functions to permit operation of the pump for dispensing purposes even though the container may be tilted to a near horizontal position in which the product, except for the presence of the member 38, would cover the vent 36 and tend to escape therethrough. Moreover, the fact that the member 38 isolates the vent 36 at all times from the product, ensures against the plugging of the vent by the product.
In the modified arrangement shown in FIG. 4, the construction of the container and the dispensing pump are identical in all respects with the corresponding elements of the preferred embodiment, but the combined diaphragm valve and gasket member 380. has been somewhat modified to cooperate in slightly different manner with the pump. Thus, in FIG. 4, it will be apparent that the gasket portion 380a is similar in structure and cooperates with the other elements in the same manner as earlier described, but that the diaphragm valve portion 380b is so arranged that its convergent lower end edge 420 engages and encircles the pump cylinder at a location above the vent 36. The member 380 thus does not isolate the vent 36 from the product within the container as in the preferred embodiment and the vent 36 is permitted to achieve its usual functions in well-known manner -without interference by the member 380. The member 380, however, in addition to functioning as a gasket at its outer portion 3800, has its valving portion380b arranged and cooperating with the pump structure to admit air into the container quite independently of the pump when the atmospheric pressure exceeds the fluid pressure within the container. Thus, air will be admitted into the container under suitable conditions even though the communication between the vent 36 and the atmosphere is disrupted in conventional manner during shipping and storage of the' container. Moreover, during operation of the dispensingpump, the valving portion 38% will cooperate with the pump in a manner to supplement or even to replace the action of the vent in admitting atmospheric air into the container for replacement of the withdrawn product. Thus, even though the It will be noted in this embodiment that the valving portion 380b cooperates with an upwardly and outwardly flaring generally conical surface portion 45 of the pump cylinder rather than the cylindrical exterior surface of the pump cylinder as in the preceding embodiment, but that the mode of cooperation between these elements remains essentially unchanged.
This embodiment finds particular utility when employing a pump of the type in which the vent passages are sealed by locking the plunger in its fully depressed position during shipping and storage. In the event of loss of product by permeation through the walls of a plastic container, atmospheric air will be admitted to the container independently of the vent, to prevent container deformation by external pressure, despite the sealing of the vent passages.
What I claim is: a
1. in a dispensing container of the class in which a dispensing pump supported by the container has its pump cylinder extending into the container through the dispensing opening thereof, in spaced relation to the container wall which defines said opening, the combination with said container of an annular diaphragm valve of resiliently flexible material snugly receiving said cylinder in sealing engagement therewith at a location below said vent.
5. The invention defined in claim 3 in which said valve encircles and seats radially against the cylindrical exterior surface of said pump cylinder.
6. The invention defined in claim 3 in which said cylinder includes a supporting flange secured to the container over said opening, the outer peripheral portion of said valve being disposed between said flange and the container in sealing engagement with the container around the opening.
7. The invention defined in claim 6 in which the container, together with said cylinder and said valve, defined an air chamber between said flange and the valve.
8. The invention defined in claim 7 in which said valve is formed with a groove extending across its upper surface from said air chamber to its outer periphery to place said chamber in communication with the atmosphere.
9. The invention defined in claim 8 in which said container includes a closure cap secured over said opening and clamping said, flange and said outer peripheral portion of the valve against each other and the container.
secured to the container in sealing relation around said opening, said valve defining a circular valve port which normally snugly receives said cylinder in sealing relation therewith, the lower surface of said valve being exposed to the internal fluid pressure of the container and the upper surface of said valve being exposed to atmospheric pressure.
2. The invention defined in claim 1 in which said cylinder is formed with an air vent and with a downward convergent frustoconical surface above said vent, said valve encircling and seating against frustoconical surface.
3. In a dispensing container as defined in claim 1, the further feature in accordance with which said valve is of elastomeric material and includes a valving portion immediately surrounding said port and diverging upward therefrom within the container opening.
4. The invention defined in claim 3 in which said cylinder is 7 provided with an air vent through its sidewall to establish communication between its interior and said opening, said valve end 0 said nee a reciprocating pump having a pump cylinder extending through said closure and said opening into the container interior in spaced relation to the neck, the pump having a plunger disposed for reciprocation in said cylinder through its upper exterior end, the combination therewith 0 an annular diaphragm valve having a portion of flexible elastomeric material surrounding said cylinder with the inner periphery of said valve normally snugly encircling and sealing against said cylinder within the said opening, said cylinder having a radial supporting flange near is upper end between said closure and the container neck, the outer peripheral portion of said valve being disposed between said supporting flange and the container neck in sealing engagement with the latter, said cylinder and valve defining an air chamber within the container opening between said flange and the valve, and means. foradmitting air from the atmosphere into said chamber.
ll. The invention defined in claim 10 in which said valve is formed in its upper surface with a groove extending from said air chamber to the outer periphery of the valve, said closure including a skirt encircling said neck, said neck and said closure being mutually conformed to establish communication between said groove and the atmosphere.
12. The invention defined in claim 11 in which said cylinder is formed with an air vent establishing communication between its interior and the said air chamber.