US 3635567 A
A disposable combination package and applicator unit comprises a flexible laminated strip of moisture impervious material having at one surface a cell integrally formed within the strip and containing a fluent substance to be dispensed. The cell has a rupturable wall so disposed as to release the substance only at that one surface of said strip, and layers of soft absorbent pad material are secured in overlying relation upon both surfaces of the strip.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Richardson, J r.
[451 Jinn, 11, W72
PACKAGE AND APPLICATOR lUNIT Thomas F. Richardson, Jun, 45 Summit Road, Riverside, Conn. 06878 Filed: Dec. 31, 1969 Appl. No.: 889,536
U.S. Cl ..40l/132, 401/196, 206/56 Int. Cl ..B65d 17/00, A45d 34/00 Field of Search ..401/l96, 132; 178/272;
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1940 Gerber et a1. ..40l/l96 X Dow ..206/56 AA 2,790,982 5/1957 Schneider ..401/7 3,334,374 8/1967 Watkins... .....40l/196 3,441,353 4/1969 Claff ..40l/l32 3,466,131 9/1969 Arcudi ..40l/196 X Primary Examiner-Lawrence Charles Attorney-Strauch, Nolan, Neale, Nies & Kurz  ABSTRACT A disposable combination package and applicator unit comprises a flexible laminated strip of moisture impervious material having at one surface a cell integrally formed within the strip and containing a fluent substance to be dispensed. The cell has a rupturable wall so disposed as to release the substance only at that one surface of said strip, and layers of soft absorbent pad material are secured in overlying relation upon both surfaces of the strip.
41 Claims, 16 Drawing lFigui-es PATENIEDJAMM 3,'sa5;5s7
SHEET 1 0F 3 IN VEN TOR.
W W M ATTORNEYS THOMAS E RICHARDSON, JR.
PATENTED m 8 1m SHEET 2 B 3 INVENTOR.
moms F. RICHARDSON,
ATTORNEYS PACKAGE AND APPLICATOR UNIT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to special packages applicator pads for manually dispensing fluent substances and applying them to selected surfaces such as skin, metal plates, wood, glass or plastic surfaces, etc. The invention provides a convenient disposable container-dispenser, application and cleaning device for product formulas of many kinds from baby care products to printing plate cleaners and wood care products. Only one hand of the user is required to extract it from a carton, prepare it for dispensing and carry out application to the desired surface. The invention for example, overcomes many of the disadvantages of current cleaning and applicating practices for baby care which are commonly dependent upon a separate supply of materials. These materials are usually combined for application, which entails wasteful steps and inconvenience and necessitates the use of two hands. For example, one hand is required for dispensing a fluent material onto an applicator which is held in position by the other.
Packaged applicator units in general are known. For example, it is common practice now to provide sealed packages of moist towellette material for cleansing. Similarly absorbent pads are incorporated in packages containing crushable pods or capsules of material to be applied to various surfaces, such as disclosed in US. Letters Pat. to Gerber et al. No. 2,209,914; and Schneider, No. 2,790,982.
However, no cleaner-applicator system currently available for baby care products such as soap or bath products, oil, lotions and powders is known that provides the simplicity, convenience, hydgenic advantage of sterile one-use applicators,
and safety of one hand operations, for one or all of the baby care products mentioned, leaving the other hand free to hold the baby, provided by the invention.
In its preferred embodiment the invention will be described as a special prepackaged unit wherein the product to be dispensed is sealed within a rupturable cell disposed for directional discharge of the product onto a soft pad layer of absorbent material for application and spreading, and this is the major object of the invention.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel unit wherein a predetermined amount of product to be used for a single application or a small number of applications is encapsulated in a moisture impervious rupturable cell, such as a polyethylene cell for providing protection against drying out or contamination and capable of being produced with sufficient economy, due to its manufacturing simplicity and use of inexpensive materials, to permit it to be marketed at low cost.
Another object of the invention is to provide for instant identification of the type of product encased in the rupturable cell when several types of products are produced in identical size and shape. This may be accomplished through the use of color coding ofthe pad material.
A further object of the invention is to provide a combination package and applicator unit wherein a rupturable cell containing a fluent product to be dispensed in integral with a base strip and an applicator absorbent layer pad overlies the cell, the cell wall being thinner adjacent said layer so that when the cell is ruptured its contents will discharge only toward said layer. More specific to this object the base strip may consist of two laminated sheets of different thickness thermoplastic materials, the cell wall being formed in the thinner sheet and the absorbent layer being bonded to overlie said thinner sheet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a generally perspective view showing a combination package and applicator unit according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a section substantially on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing internal structure;
FIG. 3 is a generally perspective view with the absorbent layer on the application side peeled back to show the cell.
FIG. 4 is a generally perspective view similar to FIG. 3 but showing a further embodiment;
FIG. 5 is a generally perspective view partially cutaway and sectioned, showing another embodiment;
FIG. 6 is a generally perspective view partially cut away and sectioned showing another embodiment;
FIG. 7 is a generally perspective view showing another embodiment which includes an integral disposal pocket;
FIGS. 8-11 are a series of diagrammatic views illustrating manufacturing steps;
FIG. 12 is a generally perspective view showing a form of carton for a stacked plurality of units;
FIG. 13 is a transverse section across the carton of FIG. 12; and
FIGS. l416 show successive steps in the use of a unit.
Referring to FIGS. 1-13, the unit 21 consists essentially of a flexible strip 22 of moisture impervious material having an internal cell space 23 at one surface 24 and having coextensive layers 25 and 26 of relatively soft absorbent material secured to overlie the opposite surfaces of the strip. This absorbent material may be, for example, soft cloth or cotton sheeting.
In the preferred embodiment, strip 22 is a lamination of two coextensive sheets 27 and 28 of a plastic which may be heat bonded into substantially integral or permanent relationship at all coextensive surfaces except for an intermediate region defining space 23.
For a purpose to appear, one sheet 27 is of materially less thickness than the other sheet, 28. For example, sheet 27 may be only film thickness, and sheet 28 may be twice or more in thickness.
The relative thickness of sheets 27 and 28 in any event should be such that upon application of finger pressure or squeeze to unit 21, sheet 27 will rupture at space 23 and sheet 28 will not rupture. This insures that the contents of the cell will discharge only toward the overlying absorbent layer 25, and strip 28 serves as a moisture impervious layer between the saturated absorbent layer and the hand of the user.
Preferably sheets 27 and 28 are sheets of thermoplastic material such as polyethylene, and in one unit polyethylene sheet 27 is about 2 mils in thickness, and polyethylene sheet 28 is about 4 mils in thickness.
In a preferred mode of making the unit shown in FIGS. 1-3, the thinner polyethylene sheet 27 has an intermediate area permanently deformed out of its plane, as by a suitable dieforming arrangement shown in FIG. 8, to form a cell or pocket 31 that projects away from one sheet surface 32 and is open to the other sheet surface 33.
Then a measured quantity of fluent material 30 to be dispensed by the applicator is introduced into space 23 within the cell, as by metered discharge from a hopper 34 as shown in FIG. 9.
The thicker polyethylene sheet 28 may now be secured to sheet 27, so as to extend over the open mouth of the cell and with one sheet surface 35 bonded to surface 33 at least in a continuous area around the open mouth of the cell. In practice, the coextensive adjacent flat contacting sheet surfaces 33 and 35 are laminated and bonded under heat and pressure so that the sheets are permanently attached together to provide an essentially integral strip containing the charge of material 30.
Care is usually taken not to expose the cell 31 to heat and pressure, to protect the material 30 against temperature effects and to preserve the cell against rupture.
Now the two absorbent material layers or pads 25 and 26 are secured upon opposite sides of strip 22. Preferably this is done by compressing the layers 25 and 2-6 in a perimeter area 36 extending continuously about the strip by application of sufficient heat and pressure to thermally bond the absorbent layers to strip 22. The strip 22 is thus efiectively enveloped by the pad layers. Suitable adhesive may be used in area 3 for preliminary attachment prior to heat bonding or the layers may be secured to the strip 22 by adhesives alone.
FIG. 4 shows an embodiment wherein the absorbent layers 25 and 26 are of larger size than moisture impervious strip 22, so that in the unit these absorbent layers are bonded together all around their continuous perimetrical regions outside the strip as shown at 41 in FIG. 4. The bond between layers 25 and 26 may be a heat settable adhesive, and the absorbent layers in effect provide an envelope enclosing strip 22.
FIG. 5 shows an embodiment wherein the strip 22 has peripherally bonded to its opposite surfaces several sheets 42 of absorbent tissue of high absorbent quality. These sheets are bonded to each other and strip 22 in a continuous perimetrical band 43 similarly to the arrangement in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 illustrates another embodiment wherein is provided substitute material for the cotton applicator pads of FIGS. 1-3. A single layer 44 of soft, high absorbency rate paper tissue with good binding qualities that allow fluent material to pass through it functions as the outer sheet of the applicator pad. A layer of bonded cotton 45 situated behind the sheet 44 serves the purpose of spreading and controlling fluent material. The sheet 44 and bonded cotton 45 together are heatsealed all around the peripheral margin thus providing a polyethylene water-impervious barrier strip enclosed within the applicator.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment having an attached polyethylene disposal envelope. This feature is achieved by extending the water-impervious barrier strip 22 out at one end a length and half longer than the length of the actual applicator pad 21. An envelope 46 is created by folding back the loose end of the strip extension 47 about halfway as shown in FIG. 7 and heat sealing the opposite sides 48, 49. After usage, the soiled applicator pad may be rolled toward the envelope opening and stuffed into it for its final disposal. This envelope can also be utilized to serve as a divider between packaged applicator-cleaning pads in a carton to make them easier to separate for individual extraction from the carton.
When certain absorbent materials are used for the pads the condition may arise where extraction of individual pads from their dispensing package may be difficult because the applicators adhere to each other. This can be eliminated by folding the envelope full length directly over the applicator pad when the pads are packed in a carton thereby creating a nonsticking barrier between them.
FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate one form of a dispensing type carton, a rectangular shaped cardboard box 51 shaped to enclose the applicator units 21 in stacked relation. A perforated diecut (not shown) is peeled off from the top center of the dispensing box, leaving an open throat section 52. This throat section may be specially cut to a particular shape for a better withdrawal ease of the device. The throat section may also include polyethylene plastic sheets 55 overlapping each other slightly for dust protective purposes. The users hand (FIG. 12) is inserted through these protective plastic sheets and each pad unit 21 may be individually extracted. If desired, the bottom wall of the carton may be provided with covered pressure adhesive bands 53 adapting the carton for adhesive attachment to a wall or other conveniently located surface so as to fix the carton to resist the shifting force resulting from one handed withdrawal of the applicator units from the carton.
FIG. 14 illustrates a unit 21 being held in one hand of a user applying thumb pressure inthe vicinity of the rupturable cell until the cell, with a popping or other sensory indication, bursts and the product inside the cell discharges and permeates the absorbent applicator layer. FIG. 15 illustrates the application of the material by wiping the saturated pad held in the same hand over a body surface illustrated as the other hand. I
hand used to withdraw the applicator and burst the cell.
The substance 30 may be any fluent material desired to be dispensed. For example, it may be a cream, liquid, paste, gel, powder or the like. A predetermined amount is placed in the cell, especially where the substance is a medicant.
Strip 21, while preferably of polyethylene, may be of any water impervious sheet material capable of being sealed around the cell space.
The absorbent layers may be any desired material such as cotton padding, cloth or the like. The material should be soft, to avoid scratching or irritating the surfaces wiped.
The applicator units may be formed individually, but in practice they may be formed from continuous strips of the plastic sheet and absorbent material, cut into individual packages as by a reciprocating knife 54 as shown in FIG. 11.
In all forms of the invention the strip 22 which contains the airtight sealed cell may be colored by a desired pigment to indicated a certain material in the cell. A color code can be established for different material strengths or formulas.
When using the applicator of the invention, the users fingers are always protected against moisture or soil by the absorbent pad layer on the users side which is kept dry, at least until its use in dry wiping the applied material, by the impervious sheet 28.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A disposable combination package and applicator unit comprising a flexible strip of moisture impervious material having at one surface a cell integrally formed within said strip and containing a fluent substance to be dispensed, said cell having a rupturable wall so disposed as to release said substance only at said one surface of said strip, a layer of soft absorbent material secured in overlying relation upon at least said one surface for controlling and spreading said substance during application, and said strip having a portion extending beyond said absorbent layer and said portion being formed as a receptacle to receive said used part of the unit following an application.
2. A disposable combination package and applicator unit comprising a laminated flexible strip of moisture impervious material comprising a nonrupturable backing sheet and a thinner cover sheet having at one surface a cell integrally formed therein and containing a fluent substance to be dispensed, the cell wall formed by said thinner sheet providing a rupturable cell wall so disposed as to release said substance only at said one surface of said strip, and a layer of soft absorbent material secured in overlying relation upon at least said one surface for controlling and spreading said substance during application.
3. In the unit defined in claim 1, said sheets being composed of thermoplastic material.
4. In the unit defined in claim 1, said sheets being polyethylene, and the thinner sheet being about 2 mils thick.
UNl'lED STATES TATTNT oTTTcE QERTIFICATE OF CURREC'HON Patent No. 3:635:567 I D t d January 18, 1.972
Inventor(s) Thomas F. Richardson, Jr.
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 3, (1st line of specification), "package's" should be --packaged--. line 55, (wrongly numbered 58) change "in" to Column 2, line 16, (wrongly numbered 17) "FIGS. 1-13" should line 70, (wrongly numbered '73) change "3 to -.25-'.'-. I w line 72, (wrongly numbered 75) change "22" to Claims 3 and 4, line 1 of each, change numeral "1" to --2-. In printing the patent, added claim l2 appears to have been numbered 1 whereas amended application claim 1, from which application claims 4 and 5 (patent claims 3 and 4) depended, has been numbered 2. v
Signed and sealed this 30th day of May 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM PC4050 ($59) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 U.. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 2 I989 '-355'33